Blog

Page 15

Blog roll

This is a short list submission for the YOUTH Award   This Way by Sherry Landow We skin the bed, my mother and I, stripping away the stains of the week which I pretend not to notice. This has become our Sunday ritual, our absolution process. I take the pillowcases off and throw them in the corner of the room while she pulls apart the sheets. No good no more, she lays them aside. Sitting on the floor at the end of the bed is a fresh pile of linen, ready to cover the mattress. Naked, the bed looks jaundiced and stale against the wall of their large room; like the once-white ageing sheets kept at the back of the cupboard. She hands me the top corner as I wedge …

Read more →

  For the past twenty four hours a team of talented, highly trained monkeys has been busy collating the votes. All that remains is to announce the winner. Congratulations to: Dharval Mehta Dharval’s submission impressed us during the short list phase. The judges were also enamoured, with every judge assigning Beach Vacation points from their 3,2,1 pool. Judges cited a lack of readership interaction as the only bad mark against an otherwise excellent submission. This really was a close tournament, with each of the other five entrants only a few points at most from Dharval’s score. In no particular order, here’s some feedback from the judges on each of the other five submissions. The Visitor by Helen Rose Schneider The Visitor made the short list with its strong imagery. We are …

Read more →

Edward W Robertson is the author of Breakers and Meltdown. He also writes at his blog, Failure Ahoy! Edward is one of those rare authors who has his finger on the pulse of the industry. We asked Edward a bunch of questions. Grab a cup of tea, this one is well worth it.   The Ed: Tell us a little about what your reading at the moment. Edward W Robertson: I’m reading The Righteous, by Michael Wallace. It’s the first in a series of polygamist thrillers. Wait, that’s thrillers about a polygamous sect, not a thriller novel with multiple wives. I don’t read a lot of mystery/suspense stuff, but it’s really good. Setting it among a fundamentalist Mormon group was inspired–not only do you have all this political intrigue between families, but you get a …

Read more →

“My courage (or cowardice?) gathered, I moved the gun to my temple and braced for the bullet’s impact.” That’s from Holly’s ROSA nominated submission. It’s a stirring piece that tackles sexuality and gender expectations. We asked Holly a few questions. Read on below. The Ed: Tell us about your ambitions as a writer. Was sort of fiction do you like to write? Holly Riordan: My ultimate goal in life is to be successful with my writing. I don’t write in order to make money and I certainly don’t wish for fame. When I began writing short stories in my young teens, they were all realistic and contained scenarios and emotions that are common in modern society. Since then, I’ve started to read more science fiction novels and tend to write …

Read more →

Dhaval’s an interesting type. Not content to run with the pack, Mehta chose a (lone) wolf for his avatar. Fitting, given the ‘non-compliance’ theme. None of this should detract from his submission. Beach Vacation challenges us to break the rules, placing freedom over conformity. Check out the author’s interview below.    Tell us about a book you have read recently, and why you enjoyed it. I just finished reading David Sedaris’s “Old Faithful” in The Best American Essays 2005 (edited by the very gifted Susan Orlean).  After reading “Old Faithful”—after reading anything simply touched by Sedaris—I ask the cruel forces of the world to throw me headlong into a terribly awkward but painfully funny circumstance, just so I can write about it.  Then I remember I don’t have Sedaris’s wild …

Read more →

  This is Jason’s second nomination for a NITH short list. Considering we’ve only done two awards that gives him a hundred percent success rate. Like all our short list authors we threw a few questions his way. Jason’s submission for the ROSA is here.   The Ed: Tell us about your ambitions as a writer. What sort of fiction do you prefer to write? Jason Fink: My first ambition is to be able to find the discipline to get my ass in a chair and write; that’s the hardest part for me as I’m always distracted by shiny things and squirrels.  As for the kind of fiction I enjoy writing and what I want to write… it varies depending on the time of day you ask.  I’ve started a dozen different novels in various …

Read more →

  Tashiina Buswa’s submission for the ROSA is a reflection on mass education,  ethics, and the arbitrary values we assign to success. You can check it out here.  Read on for the interview…    The Ed: Tell us about your writing career thus far. Where did you get your start, and how long have you been writing? Tashiina Buswa: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. My best friend and I began an ill-fated novel when we were ten, a laughable project now but I’d say that’s what spurred my love for writing. As I grew older I was more inclined to poetry, but recently have been focused on short fiction. What role to paper books having in an increasing digital marketplace? I still have a lot of faith in print. …

Read more →

  Helen’s short listed submission, The Visitor, tackles gender, religion and compliance in a supernatural thriller. Read on for Helen’s q&a.. The Ed: Tell us a little about your ambitions as a writer.  H.R. Schneider: My primary ambition for writing actually lies in the realm of non fiction. I am still in high school, but I would like major in journalism next year at college. I believe that journalism is best utilized to pursue social justice. Because of this, I would like my fiction writing to also have an aspect of social justice. I still have a long way to go as a writer, but I hope that whatever work I produce, whether fiction or non-fiction  can bring about some issue at hand and perhaps make a difference. What role to …

Read more →

The Interview is a ROSA short listed piece of  fiction that works as a character study. Cassie Kosarek one woman’s plight to break out of social compliance in a contemporary setting. Her writing is deft and always on point. We asked the author a few questions. The Ed: Tell us about an interesting habit you might have when writing. Cassie Kosarek: I stare at people. I don’t like to write at home because I’m too easily distracted, so I end up going to the public library or a coffee shop, where, in my own pondering, I have been caught way too many times staring strangers down without noticing it. What role to paper books having in an increasing digital marketplace? I’m an active blogger and explored the digital humanities quite …

Read more →

  This is a short list submission for the ROSA Award.     Suicidal Screams by Holly Riordan   My trembling fingers grasped the trigger as I felt my life slip away. I was supposed to be the womanizing all star of my high school’s baseball team. I was supposed to grow up to become a lawyer who would shower my trophy wife and kids with cash. I was supposed to live the life I’d always planned. But I was gay. I realized in sophomore year, after watching Rebecca Stone get picked on during chemistry. The teacher was rambling on, deaf to the malicious students who mocked the girl with a girlfriend. Even if Rachel wasn’t my neighbor, it would be impossible not to know her. She had inextinguishable red …

Read more →

This is a short list submission for the ROSA Award.     Pool Parties In Venice by Tashiina Buswa It’s Thursday afternoon and we’re all fifteen, sixteen – with the exception of a few burnouts who failed grade ten roughly three times in a row. We’re sitting in Mr. Smith’s applied science class, prisoners to jails made of periodic tables, locked by chemical equations. Of course, we’re only taught the very basic of scientific principles, because after all, we comprise the “no future” class. We’re a motley assemblage of drug-abusers, class clowns, trailer-park trash. And don’t forget the moody breed – the back-row kids always quipped with a plentiful supply of teen angst and sarcasm. The category I fall into. Today’s science class has a “special” guest, and by special, I …

Read more →

This is a short list submission for the ROSA Award.     The Visitor by Helen Rose Schneider   I wake up far too earlier than my alarm to rustling in the dark. I flip on the light and blink the back the urge to fall asleep again. The first thing I see is a face peering over me, framed by a crown of thorns and lank, black hair. Blood drips from where each prickle punctures the skin, and flows between greasy locks to a face that was once beautiful. It catches in the hollows of a starved face and drips on the lashes, giving a ghoulish effect to a pale complexion, which should be sun-kissed and vibrant. “Ah!” I recoil, “Saint Rose, I thought I wouldn’t see you again. I …

Read more →

This is a short list submission for the ROSA Award.     So It Begins by Jason Fink   “I shall not move” was what I was trying to say.  The words failed me.  Words always fail me.  I was not as eloquent as I’d have liked.  I was not as educated as I’d have liked.  I assumed this would change; at this moment I had to make do with the tools afforded me. “But sir,” I said, trying reason, “Sir, brother nor sister do not do what you are want me to do.” The large, stoic man in the white suit looked at me with solemn appraisal.  His moustache, black as grey streaked coal, twitched.  “You would say no to me?” I nodded.  I am on the front line.  More, …

Read more →

This is a short list submission for the ROSA Award.     Beach Vacation by Dhaval Mehta   It’s been ten minutes, and Gregg’s still wiping.  I can hear it, the balled-up toilet paper chafing his crack. “OK, Gregg, that’s enough.  Three wipes—that’s the rule,” I say, knocking on the bathroom stall. “I’m almost done,” he says in a Boston accent.  Then he starts up again, this time more aggressively. A couple minutes later, Gregg finally steps out, a big, muscular man in an old Coors Light shirt.  He’s tall, too, and hulky, with a big nose and dark, curly hair.  He’s smiling, as if he’s won some big award. “OK,” Gregg beams.  “I’m done.  I’m done.” He’s also a repeater. Back in the recreation room, I leave him with the …

Read more →

This is a short list submission for the ROSA Award.     The Interview by Cassie Kosarek She places her shoes next to the door so she can slip them on as she leaves. She polished them yesterday; a pair of black Nine West pumps her mother got her two Christmases ago, telling her that they looked professional but not too expensive – you want to show them you’re not cheap, but that you still need the job. She turns from the shoes. Her hair isn’t done. She combs her fingers through her curls. Unprofessional, she thinks and plugs in her straightener. She can’t remember who told her that curls were unprofessional, but she hasn’t ever been to an interview with her natural hair. She swipes her foundation over her skin …

Read more →

There’s a buzz about Ben Winters. His latest novel, The Last Policeman, takes crime fiction into the pre-apocalyptic future, a novel perfectly timed for the upcoming Mayan Apocalypse. It’s so popular, it’s made Boingboing’s gift guide and Slate’s 2012 staff picks Late to the party as always, we’ve interviewed a candid Ben about his his books, the industry, and pork butt. Enjoy the read. Ed: Last meal before the asteroid strikes. What do you eat? BHW: My wife and I have decided to stop eating meat at the turn of the year, and my only major reservation has to do with her delicious recipe for a slow-roasted pork butt, based on one by the celebrity chef David Chang. I am already mourning the looming disappearance of this incredible dish from my life, so if …

Read more →

The votes are in, The points tallied, all that remains is too announce our first ever award winner. Congratulations to: Nathan Boole Nathan’s was the most ambitious submission, painting the portraits of three damaged people. His use of chronological jump cuts adds depth to the storytelling and even though it was our longest piece, it was also surprisingly economical. A strong sense of character is present in Boole’s writing, as is the ability to take risks. Not always a good thing, but we look forward to seeing where he takes us from here. The competition was incredibly close.  The judges actually voted in a three way tie. The overwhelming response from the readership pushed Boole ahead of Fink and Ross, but neither runner up should be discouraged. Jason was praised …

Read more →

Submissions aren’t the only way writers get to be creative on NITH. We asked Jason this question, check out his response below. Question: You are sitting in an expensive restaurant with a group of friends, enjoying a classy meal. The room is packed, the waiters are busy, yet the mood is sombre. In one corner a string quartet plays dutifully over the culinary din. A waiter brings over your entrée, mushrooms stuffed with cheese and red pepper. As your fork pierces the fungal skin the door opens and a woman enters. She is barefoot and wears an overcoat. Her hair is auburn. She crosses the room near to where you are sitting and disrobes. Beneath she is nude. Deftly, she climbs into the lobster tank and begins to swim with …

Read more →

  Submissions aren’t the only way writers get to be creative on NITH. We asked Nathan this question, check out his response below. Question: You are sitting in an expensive restaurant with a group of friends, enjoying a classy meal. The room is packed, the waiters are busy, yet the mood is sombre. In one corner a string quartet plays dutifully over the culinary din. A waiter brings over your entrée, mushrooms stuffed with cheese and red pepper. As your fork pierces the fungal skin the door opens and a woman enters. She is barefoot and wears an overcoat. Her hair is auburn. She crosses the room near to where you are sitting and disrobes. Beneath she is nude. Deftly, she climbs into the lobster tank and begins to swim …

Read more →

This is a submission for Flash Comp 300  We don’t want to give too much away on this one. Emma’s submission is a slow, horrific joint. You’ll never look at your insinkerator the same way again.    From: Daniels, Clare To: Lu, Kim Subject: Untitled Was that you that left the mess in the sink? From: Lu, Kim To: Daniels, Clare Subject: RE: Huh? From: Clare, Daniels To: Lu, Kim Subject: RE: re: There’s all this raw meat in the sink. it’s a bloody mess. I take it it wasn’t you. From: Lu, Kim To: Daniels, Clare Subject: Re: re: re: Sorry no. Debbie maybe, or her boyfriend? Use the insinkerator. From: Daniels, Clare To: Melonard, Deborah F. Subject: Kitchen Mess Debbie, the sink… Do you know, can you explaiN? From: …

Read more →