Possibilities

July 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

Got some great short stories that form a cohesive unit? A dozen flash fiction pieces that explore a theme? Or just one, gorgeous longer short story?

I hope so, because we’ve just opened our 2016 Possibilities Period at Red Bird Chapbooks! For the duration of July and August, we’ll be accepting collections of fiction, poetry, CNF, and everything in between, so send us your best. You can find the full guidelines here.1435580753

Didn’t think chapbooks were for fiction? We’ve been trying to combat that misconception for years, and I think we’re finally getting some traction. When I started with Red Bird, we had a handful of brave authors sending their manuscripts, while last year there were nearly a hundred fiction chapbooks to choose from, and even with Beth Mayer joining the team, I felt like there was more good work in the pool than we were able to choose for publication. Though I know how awful it feels to hear that as a writer, it is a great problem to have as an editor! We’re publishing six incredible and diverse collections of fiction in 2016, whereas we didn’t even have six submissions that first year. This year we’ve added a third fiction editor, so we will be publishing nine fiction chapbooks in 2016!

Interested in knowing more? Here’s an interview I gave to Bonnie ZoBell at Everyday Fiction a few years ago, detailing what I’m looking for in a chapbook and what makes them such a great format for a fiction writer.

Redbird Chapbook Submission Period Now Open!

July 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

Got some great short stories that form a cohesive unit? A dozen flash fiction pieces that explore a theme? Or just one, gorgeous longer short story?

I hope so, because we’ve just opened our 2015 Possibilities Period at Red Bird Chapbooks! For the duration of July and August, we’ll be accepting collections of fiction, poetry, CNF, and everything in between, so send us your best. You can find the full guidelines here.1435580753

Didn’t think chapbooks were for fiction? We’ve been trying to combat that misconception for years, and I think we’re finally getting some traction. When I started with Red Bird, we had a handful of brave authors sending their manuscripts, while last year there were nearly a hundred fiction chapbooks to choose from, and even with Nancy Hedin joining the team, I felt like there was more good work in the pool than we were able to choose for publication. Though I know how awful it feels to hear that as a writer, it is a great problem to have as an editor! We’re publishing six incredible and diverse collections of fiction in 2015, whereas we didn’t even have six submissions that first year.

This year we’ve added on Beth Mayer for a third fiction editor, so we will be publishing nine fiction chapbooks in 2016! That said, after impressing a lot of folks from all over the country with our lovely, handmade books at AWP this past spring, we are expecting even more great work will come pouring in this year, so make sure to send your best stuff.

Interested in knowing more? Here’s an interview I gave to Bonnie ZoBell at Everyday Fiction a few years ago, detailing what I’m looking for in a chapbook and what makes them such a great format for a fiction writer.

A Big Announcement, a Call for Submissions, and an Interview

October 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hey all. Sorry it has been several weeks, but I’ve had a my fingers in a lot of cakes recently.

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Myself, my wife, and our beautiful children

In addition to getting married last weekend,I’ve been readying Episode Two of Slash for the world and reading through some marvelous submissions in my role as fiction editor at Red Bird Chapbooks.

Our submission period is open through the end of October, so I want to encourage you all to send your best work. We publish quality poetry, ficition, CNF, and everything in between, so we’re interested in whatever you’re doing. Click here for complete guidelines. 

I was recently interviewed by the charming Bonnie ZoBell at www.everydayfiction.com for their Flash Fiction Chronicles Series on the underexplored world of fiction chapbooks. You can check out the interview here to get a better sense of what a chapbook is and what we’re looking for. As I say in the interview, fiction is severely underrepresented, so I especially want to make sure all you short story writers out there consider how great it would be to have a chapbook of your best work to sell at readings, give to friends and family, or leave laying around the coffee table the next time you’re having someone over who you’re trying to impress.

Red Birds are Still Chirping Despite Snow

April 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sorry world.  I jinxed everything with all the talk of spring in my last post; apparently, I should have stayed in the library working on a longer post for you all, because it didn’t take too long for it to snow once I started playing hooky.  And now it feels like spring will never come.

The good news is that spring is still going strong at Red Bird, so we can all keep ourselves warm with good chapbooks.  As promised Shaun Rouser’s darkly comic “Family Affair” is now available for purchase in our store.  The three stories in this beautiful, hand-bound chapbook explore, with a disturbing exactitude, the convoluted obligations that bring us together as family.  Mr. Rouser has a unique, erudite voice, so please do click on the cover below to check it out in our web store.

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In more big news, we’ll have this and other fiction titles available soon in ultra-affordable (though far less lovingly-physical) ebook formats at out Smashwords Store.  I’ll let you know as they become available.

8946430Lastly, I wanted to stress one more time we would love to consider your fiction manuscript for publication as a Red Bird Chapbook. Please, please, please send us your flash fiction or short story collection! Just click the little birdie on the right and he’ll take you to our submission guidelines.  And don’t forget to come back next week for our special 1-year anniversary jokealong extravaganza.

Red Birds are Chirping

April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Spring has finally come to Minnesota. Looking out the window of the library I write in, I can see the snow on the hills melting down into the little lake that I watched freeze over almost six months ago now—so I hope you understand why that it’s going to be a short edition of The Oldest Jokes in the World this week.

I do have some exiting news to share with you all after a big Red Bird Chapbooks editor’s meeting we had earlier this week. We’ve been having a great first quarter to 2013, with a burgeoning staff and line of great chapbooks.

I’m especially proud to announce the newest fiction manuscript we’ve accepted: Ivory Children by Joe Baumann. Joe writes striking flash fiction, and the vignettes in this collection range from fantastical and surreal to grounded and understated, but they all contain a concentrated chunk of humanity. Some of the stories included have already been published at various literary journals around the web, so I encourage you to check them out for free in advance of Ivory Children‘s release in a few months:

“Thimbles” at The Dying Goose

“Sally the Imortal” at matchbook

“Porcelian” at Crack the Spine

I also just received a copy of the final product of the first manuscript I worked on at Red Bird, Family Affair by Shaun Rouser. The chapbook is a beautiful home for Mr. Rouser’s darkly comic tales, and I’m anticipating a great swell of pride when it becomes available to the world at large. It should be available for purchase at the Red Bird store any day now, so I’ll keep y’all posted.

8946430Lastly, I wanted to stress that, apart from these two wonderful collections, we have a drought of fiction manuscripts at Red Bird right now. With increased sales and recognition for our beautiful chapbooks, the poetry editors are being inundated with more verse than they can keep up with—which is making us fiction editors lonesome. Please, please, please send us your flash fiction or short story collection because we want to publish it! Just click the little birdie on the right and he’ll take you to our submission guidelines.

Anyhow, I’m going to get the hell out of this stuffy library (the first day of spring is the only day of the year on which I will insult a library), but check back next week: it is the one-year anniversary of the blog, so we’ll have a special birthday jokealong! If you’re wondering what to get me, I like puns.

Big News

October 16, 2012 § 2 Comments

Sorry it’s been two weeks since I last posted.  I’ve been blessed with lots of ideas for the novel I’m working on and a great bevy of literary events around town to keep me busy.  Last weekend—in addition to great readings by Sheila O’Connor and Cracked Walnut—I attended the Twin Cities Book Festival.  While there, I not only met Chris Ware (every bit as kind as you imagined), but also talked about opportunities with local literary friends.

I’m proud to announce that, as a result of all that hobnobbing, I’ve signed on to be the fiction editor at Red Bird Chapbooks.  Publishers of beautiful broadsides and chapbooks, Red Bird has worked predominantly with poetry  in the past, so I’m excited to be the first official fiction editor and hope to increase the amount of prose we bring to readers.

We are looking for chapbook material: a cohesive collection of short stories, flash fiction, or one single story; around 25 pages worth.  Full guidelines for the submission process are on the website, and I encourage everyone to send us your best work.  As you can see above and on the website, the broadsides and chapbooks are a gorgeous, unique way to bring your work into the world, personal and beautiful in a way that I feel still escapes e-publishing.  I’m really proud to join the organization and excited to read lots of fresh work, so write hard and send it in.

In the meantime, check back here soon, because I should have another big announcement by the end of the week.

Versus

July 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

Since I’m already taking a break from the regular business of the blog this week to promote my guest post over at Innocent Offerings, I want to take a second to let everyone know about Versus Literary Journal.

My lovely girlfriend, the poet Jenny McDougal, is launching this new journal along with our friend Kate Glassman as a much needed home for literary explorations of sci-fi and pop-culture. From their mission statement:

Versus seeks to publish original works of prose, poetry, and creative nonfiction that legitimizes, analyzes, and/or deconstructs sci-fi/fantasy and pop culture icons in order to establish a place for them in a literary capacity. The journal publishes contributor content every few weeks on our website and selected works for our bi-annual print edition in the Fall and Spring.

The web adress is http://versusliteraryjournal.org/, and they hope to have the inaugural issue up soon. In the meantime, though, you should submit something awesome to them. I know for a fact they like humorous work; Jenny is often the only person who laughs at my jokes.

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