Just a quick note for a Friday afternoon: literary journal, collective, cabal, or whatchamacallit PANK is raising some funds. Their goal is a cool $4K, and they’re about a quarter of the way there. If you like free online stories, essays, and poems by interesting people, about interesting things, perhaps you’ll toss a few bucks in their kitty.
Look, here’s a link to their Crime Issue, which has a story by Chris Offutt.
Look, here’s a story by Rachel Swirsky.
And look, here’s a whole issue called Science and Fiction.
Also, I recently invited myself awkwardly into a green room kind of thing with Roxane Gay, one of the PANK editors, and she was beyond gracious and sweet. I had no place in that room, is what I’m saying. But I went in anyway, to say hello to her. And she had no problem with that.
Donate! And read!
…for a little while, at least. Grab the collection here.
LOVE that cover.
I have a cold and I’m a little bleary today, so this could be wronger than usual. But I think this is where my numbers stand for the 2011 calendar year.
Number of submissions made (the whole shebang): 93
Number of rejections: 59
Hard to say: 1
Number of acceptances: 5
Longest time out: 329 days (I’m looking at you, McSweeney’s)
Shortest time out: 0 (a tie between Word Riot and Indiana Review–although the IR piece was one I withdrew.)
What’s that definition of insanity, again? Something something something…expecting different results?
I’ve recently become a board member of Late Night Library, an excellent bicoastal literary venture by Paul Martone and Erin Hoover. Together they host a podcast that discusses the work of new writers-fiction writers and poets who have just published a first book.
What I find really interesting about LNL is that Erin and Paul do close readings of the texts in conversation. They read excerpts, discuss craft, and talk in detail about the work. Reviews are great, but I haven’t seen (or heard) a lot of other critics giving this much careful attention to single works–let alone new works by unknown authors.
So I was super-pleased to see that Poets & Writers just mentioned LNL in their News and Trends feature. Copping their text here:
Late Night Library, a monthly podcast out of New York City and Portland, Oregon, presents close readings and conversation about contemporary poetry and fiction with writers Erin Hoover and Paul Martone. Each week the bicoastal duo discuss a book by an early career author, spotlighting writers such as Kara Candito, Leslie Jamison, and Mathias Svalina. The free podcast is available on the Late Night Library website (www.latenightlibrary.org) and via subscription on iTunes.
What they said. Nice work, Paul and Erin!
A while back, I noticed something interesting in our local Red Box: a cover for a movie called Unanswered Prayers. It looked a little something like this:
The fine print described this as a movie executive-produced by Garth Brooks, and…based on his song of the same name.
To which I said: huzzah! At last, free from the shackles of wearisome scripts! No longer burdened by plots and words and things! And then I scribbled some notes on the back of a Wet-Nap, and sent it to The Rumpus, where Elissa Bassist kindly put it up. As Funny Women post #69, no less.
It’s not every day you see your name above the fold in an awesome place like The Rumpus. Right below the Old Spice guy! Excuse me while I preserve this moment for posterity.
I have a few copies of the latest issue of Hunger Mountain in hand, and I think they may be out in the world on their own now, too. I have to say, the cover design is gorgeous and the contents are amazing. You’ve got your Ron Carlson, your Pam Houston, your Robin Black and your Marge Piercy and your Edith Pearlman, along with a whole passel of other awesome folks.
I’m tickled to see a story by Heather E. Goodman in there, too. Heather and I were at the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop together in 2008, in Andrea Barrett’s class. Heather wrote a terrific story about a snake. It’s great to be in her company again.
The issue theme is “menagerie,” which is to say: animals, creatures, beasties, oddities. Just the kind of thing that cranks my gears. There are reminiscences about childhood pets (some funny, some ill-fated), as well as strange and fantastical stories about real and imagined critters. It’s a great collection, beautifully edited.
My short story, “Nocturne,” is in there, and I’ll be sending a copy off to one generous soul who contributed to the 2011 Strange Horizons fund drive. I’ll also be sending a copy of Alden Bell’s The Reapers are the Angels, not because I have anything to do with that excellent book, but because I think it’s under-read and absolutely amazing. Literary zombie fiction, for reals. Put it on your holiday shopping list! You won’t be disappointed.
PANK just unleashed its October issue, which includes many fine works and also my story, Urbs in Amnis. Blessed be PANK’s name.
The Turner Twins. Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales.
Strange Horizons, the wonderful, free, online speculative fiction magazine (that published my story “Peerless,” this summer, God bless them) is having its annual fund drive. I can say without hesitation that they are a terrific magazine to publish with, and that they publish great stuff.
Here’s where you can donate to the fund drive. They’re shooting for $8K.
Here’s where you can see what prizes you could win for giving. (Note: signed copy of Ursula K. Le Guin novel, donated by Herself!)
Prizes continue to come in…I’m hoping to donate a copy of Alden Bell’s awesome zombie coming-of-age novel The Reapers are the Angels, which, if you haven’t read it yet, you should read now. I never thought I’d say that about a zombie coming-of-age novel, but there you go. If you donate, maybe you’ll get your very own copy to love.
Well, not everything. I’m loading up on a bunch of free Kindle classics, and just grabbed a single of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. You may know it. If you don’t, don’t read the rest of this post. Here’s a picture instead, to prevent your getting spoiled.
Unidentified soldier in Union sack coat in front of American flag, courtesy Library of Congress.
Anyway, here’s what the Amazon put for the story review:
Short story by Ambrose Bierce, published in 1891 in Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, a collection that in 1898 was revised, enlarged, and retitled In the Midst of Life. The narrative concerns the final thoughts of a Southern planter as he is being hanged by Union soldiers. In the brief period between the tightening of the noose and the actual breaking of his neck, the man imagines his escape.
Also, Bruce Willis is a ghost.