Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hub City Press Announces $10, 000 Short… | Hub City Writers Project

Hub City Press announces the establishment of the $10, 000 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize.

Source: Hub City Press Announces $10, 000 Short… | Hub City Writers Project

Hub City Press announces the establishment of the $10,000 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize. The contest includes book publication and will be judged in its first year by Lee K. Abbott, author of seven collections of short stories. Submissions open on August 1, 2017 and will close January 1, 2018.

The new prize is open to emerging writers in thirteen Southern states. Submitters must currently reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia, and must have no previously published books.

A $25 submission fee will accompany each submission. Submission information can be found at . Manuscripts will be taken through online submission only. All manuscripts will be read anonymously by paid screeners. This contest is guided by the CLMP Code of Ethics.

Hub City Press Founder and Publisher Betsy Teter says of the new prize, “We are thrilled to announce one of the most substantial short story prizes in North America and to honor C. Michael Curtis, who has been a great friend to Hub City Press over the years.”

The first winning book will be published in Spring 2019.

This prize is made possible by an anonymous contribution from a South Carolina donor.

Lee K. Abbott’s short stories and reviews have appeared in Harper’s, The Atlantic, the Georgia Review, the New York Times Book Review, the Southern Review, and Epoch. His fiction has been often reprinted in The Best American Short Stories and The Prize Stories: The O’Henry Awards. His latest collection of stories, All Things, All at Once: New & Selected Stories, was published by Norton in June 2006. He is professor emeritus of English at Ohio State University.

The prize is named in honor of C. Michael Curtis, who has served as an editor of The Atlantic since 1963 and as fiction editor since 1982. Curtis has discovered or edited some of the finest short story writers of the modern era, including Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, and Anne Beattie. He has edited several acclaimed anthologies, including Contemporary New England Stories, God: Stories, and Faith: Stories. Curtis moved to Spartanburg, S.C. in 2006 and has taught as a professor at both Wofford and Converse Colleges, in addition to serving on the editorial board of Hub City Press.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Haiku to you Thursday: “Defined”

Love is not defined /

except by the open heart /

and pain at parting.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2017, poetry by author, Uncategorized

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Library Sweepstakes – Unbound Worlds

Source: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Library Sweepstakes – Unbound Worlds

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bad Sex In Fiction Awards: The Connoisseur’s Compendium

Describing the union of bodies can sometimes have unintended consequences … and awards.


Spasming muscles, groans, whispers, licked ears, sweat, bucking, otherwise central zones: if you hear those terms, you know you can be only be reading about one thing: the Bad Sex in Fiction Award, a prize established 23 years ago by the Literary Review.

Each year since 1993, the Bad Sex in Fiction Award has honoured an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel. The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them. The prize is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature.

The Award was established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, at that time editor of Literary Review.

Because we wouldn’t want you having to sift through the archives, we’ve brought you this: a compendium of…

View original post 3,064 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

SyFy’s July 4th Twilight Zone Marathon Schedule

Enter the Holiday Twilight Zone…

Shadow & Substance

When it comes to Twilight Zone marathons, nothing tops New Year’s Eve. The last one was particularly impressive, with Syfy airing an expanded slate: all 156 episodes, in high-definition, in broadcast order.

TZ marathon

But close behind the NYE marathon in popularity is the July 4th one. So here, in case you’re planning some fireworks, a cookout, or some other summer fun, is the schedule for this year’s marathon:

July 3, 2016

11:30pm – A Kind of Stopwatch

July 4, 2016

12:00am – Night Call

12:30am The Changing of the Guard

1:00am – The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms

1:30am – Probe 7 – Over and Out

2:00am – The Last Flight

2:30am – The Little People

View original post 428 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Stephen King on writing

Stephen King Used These 8 Writing Strategies to Sell 350 Million Books
The best-selling novelist shares his secrets to selling so many books.

by Glenn Leibowitz


Stephen King is one of the most prolific and commercially successful authors of the past half century, with more than 70 books of horror, science fiction, and fantasy to his name. Estimates put the total sales of his books at between 300 and 350 million copies.

Stephen King

Author offers advice.

16 years ago, King shared everything he knows about writing in a book that instantly became a bestseller: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Part memoir, part codification of his best writing strategies, the book has become a classic among writers.

I discovered – and devoured – it a dozen years ago, when I was trying to take my writing to the next level. I recommend it to all of my writer friends.

You don’t have to be a fan of King’s writing to appreciate the wisdom within the pages of this book. Nor do you have to be a novelist: The book has highly practical strategies that writers of nonfiction can immediately apply to their writing.

Here are eight writing strategies King shares that have helped him sell 350 million books:

1. Tell the truth.

“Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all… as long as you tell the truth… Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work… What you know makes you unique in some other way. Be brave.”

2. Don’t use big words when small ones work.

“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up your household pet in evening clothes.”

3. Use single-sentence paragraphs.

“The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story… to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all.

The single-sentence paragraph more closely resembles talk than writing, and that’s good. Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?”

4. Write for your Ideal Reader.

“Someone – I can’t remember who, for the life of me – once wrote that all novels are really letters aimed at one person. As it happens, I believe this.

I think that every novelist has a single ideal reader; that at various points during the composition of a story, the writer is thinking, ‘I wonder what he/she will think when he/she reads this part?’ For me that first reader is my wife, Tabitha… Call that one person you write for Ideal Reader.”

5. Read a lot.

“Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in. The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as in long swallows. Waiting rooms were made for books – of course! But so are theater lobbies before the show, long and boring checkout lines, and everyone’s favorite, the john.”

6. Write one word at a time.

“In an early interview (this was to promote Carrie, I think), a radio talk-show host asked me how I wrote. My reply – ’One word at a time’– seemingly left him without a reply. I think he was trying to decide whether or not I was joking. I wasn’t. In the end, it’s always that simple.”

7. Write every day.

“The truth is that when I’m writing, I write every day, workaholic dweeb or not. That includes Christmas, the Fourth, and my birthday (at my age you try to ignore your goddam birthday anyway)… When I’m writing, it’s all the playground, and the worst three hours I ever spent there were still pretty damned good.”

8. Write for the joy of it.

“Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it… Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side – I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”


Leave a comment

Filed under 2016, Uncategorized, writing tip, Writing Tip Wednesday

Heart of Darkness?

Darkness on the Edge of Town
Joe R. Lansdale is the toast of Italy, a hot property in Hollywood, and an inspiration to a generation of horror and thriller writers everywhere. And he owes it all to Nacogdoches.
by Eric Benson



Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale—author of more than 45 novels and 400 short stories, essays, comic books, and screenplays, ranging in genre from historical fiction to grind-house pulp—is a hell of a nice guy, maybe the nicest in East Texas. An avuncular 64-year-old with piercing blue eyes, a Matterhorn nose, and a slightly crooked grin, Lansdale is a big-hearted pillar of the Nacogdoches community, a still-smitten husband to his wife of four decades, and a proud-as-pie dad of two children. Lansdale rescues stray dogs. He has been known to house kids in need. He runs a local martial arts school at a loss. He offers advice to aspiring writers—on his Facebook page, in emails, in person. When he walks into any of his familiar haunts—the Starbucks on North Street, the Japanese restaurant Nijiya, the General Mercantile and Oldtime String Shop—he addresses employees by name, inquires about their lives, and leaves pretty much everyone smiling.

Tim Bryant, a Nacogdoches crime writer who studied screenwriting under Lansdale, swears that his former professor is the “friendliest, most down-to-earth” man that he’s ever known. This comes as a surprise to some, Bryant attests. “A lot of people think he must be the craziest, darkest, most twisted person.”

That’s because Lansdale is not only the nicest guy in East Texas, he’s also the man who wrote this: “Ellen stooped and grabbed the dead child by the ankle and struck Moon Face with it as if it were a club. Once in the face, once in the midsection. The rotting child burst into a spray of desiccated flesh and innards.” And this: “As they roared along, parts of the dog, like crumbs from a flaky loaf of bread, came off. A tooth here. Some hair there. A string of guts. A dew claw. And some unidentifiable pink stuff. The metal-studded collar and chain threw up sparks now and then like fiery crickets. Finally they hit seventy-five and the dog was swinging wider and wider on the chain.” And, just last year, this: “In the next instant Uncle Bob was dangling by a rope from a tree and had been set on fire by lighting his pants leg with a kitchen match. That was done after a nice churchgoing lady had opened his fly, sawed off his manhood with a pocketknife, and tossed it to a dog.”

When I first met Lansdale, I had a hard time fathoming where he found such darkness. It was a mid-November afternoon, and Lansdale was sitting with his family at their favorite Starbucks. They were a picture of suburban bliss: sipping lattes, making plans for dinner, and reminding one another not to forget the “puppaccino” for Lansdale’s one-year-old pit bull, Nicholas. (“He knows when we’ve been to Starbucks and expects it!” Lansdale laughed.) His daughter, Kasey, a 29-year-old country singer, was on her way to teach a yoga class, but she would soon be moving to Los Angeles. You could tell. She was wearing full makeup, movie-star shades, platform heels, and a pink T-shirt emblazoned with the words “La Di Da.” (A bracelet with tiny skulls on it was the only accessory that betrayed the macabre sensibility she had inherited from her dad.) Her brother, Keith, a 33-year-old 911 dispatcher and screenwriter with a laid-back surfer vibe, simply looked exhausted. He’d woken up from a nap after his graveyard shift and had stumbled into Starbucks to power up before another night fielding emergency calls. Their mother, Karen—the poised, flaxen-haired matriarch, who manages the business end of Lansdale’s creative pursuits—sat smiling at her husband and children. She injected the occasional quip as they bantered back and forth about film festivals in Italy, blues festivals in Norway, Kasey’s impending move, and the family’s decades-long collaborations.

“We did our first story together when they were kids,” Lansdale said happily. “Keith was twelve and Kasey was eight. It was for Random House, Great Writers & Kids Write Spooky Stories. Kasey wrote this hanging scene and it was really good, but they said we had to take it out. It was too intense for other eight-year-olds.”

I’d come to Nacogdoches to spend a few days with Lansdale, because after decades as an object of fan-boy adulation, he looked to be on the brink of the kind of above-the-title celebrity that rarely accrues to a writer, much less one who has spent his life behind the Pine Curtain. Starting in the late eighties, Lansdale made his reputation by leaping across genres (western, horror, crime, sci-fi), bounding through tones (from campy to bleak to tender and back again), and skewering bigots, Bible-thumpers, and plain old hypocrites along the way. That fearlessness had done more than earn Lansdale fans; as Steven L. Davis, the curator of the Southwestern Writers Collection at Texas State University, once wrote, it had established him as “the unabashed conscience of East Texas.” But even as he’s won an ardent following with works like Bubba Ho-Tep (in which JFK and Elvis, both still very much alive, battle a reanimated mummy in their nursing home), the Southern-fried noir Cold in July, and, especially, his sublime Hap and Leonard series, Lansdale’s stories and novels have remained niche products, his readers members of a devoted and select cadre.

Lately, though, Lansdale’s writing has attracted a broader audience. His recent novels Edge of Dark Water, The Thicket, and Paradise Sky—all published by Little, Brown’s Mulholland Books imprint—have balanced his penchant for absurdity and visceral horror with a style that’s a little more accessible, albeit still happily in-your-face. After decades of false starts, Cold in July was finally made into a movie, and Hollywood is pursuing other adaptations, with Bill Paxton planning to direct a screen version of Lansdale’s coming-of-age fable The Bottoms and Peter Dinklage’s production company developing a project based on The Thicket. And Hap and Leonard, Lansdale’s crime-fighting odd couple (Hap: white, liberal, straight; Leonard: black, Republican, gay), will soon swagger into the big time. Over the next two months, Lansdale will release a complete collection of Hap and Leonard short stories as well as the ninth Hap and Leonard novel, Honky Tonk Samurai. But the really big occasion arrives on March 2, when Sundance TV will air the first episode of its Hap and Leonard series, starring the classically trained English actor James Purefoy as Hap and Michael Kenneth Williams, best known for his work as Omar Little on HBO’s The Wire, as Leonard. (Christina Hendricks of Mad Men plays Hap’s bad-news ex-wife.)

– See more at:

Leave a comment

Filed under 2016, author interview, authors, Uncategorized