October 10, 2016 § Leave a comment
Coming to the Twin Cities Book Festival this weekend? You should drop by and say, “hi,” while I’m working at the Red Bird Chapbooks booth! We’ll have lots of chapbooks, old and new, for sale, as well as info about how to get involved with the press as a volunteer or author.
Not coming to the Twin Cities Book Festival? What’s a matter, brainless–don’t you know it is the best literary fun you can have in Minnesota all year long?
There’ll be lots of presses if you’re interested in finding a publisher and lots of schools, workshops, and MFA programs if you’re looking to improve your craft.
Plus, the place will be lousy with awesome authors: TOJitW favorite Mark Rapacz will have a table for his new book Boondoggle (there will be a review here shortly after I get my copy at the fest) and a new favorite of mine,Andre Alexis, will be talking and signing–his Fifteen Dogs has, so far, been the funniest and most surprising book I’ve read this year (I can’t wait to see him at 2:30, so just don’t drop by the booth then).
And if you just want books, there’s no better way place to get your hands on both the hottest and most obscure tomes out there! You can get all the details and the full schedule here.
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.
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.
April 6, 2015 § Leave a comment
Just a quick note to let it be known that I’ll be attending The Associated Writing Programs Conference and Book Fair ( #AWP15 ) this week in big-time Minneapolis. I’ve been to five conferences, and they’re always an inspiring and educating experience, so after having to miss last year’s, I’m excited to have it in my own back yard this year.
I’ll be resurrecting our #jokealong series for the week, too, tracking down all the best humor in the keynotes, panels, and hallway banter before nominating a best joke of the conference. If you’ve never been to an AWP before, check out the #jokealong from AWP Boston for sense of how much fun shooting the shit with a bunch of other writers can be.
I’ll be working the Red Bird Chapbooks booth on Saturday from 1-5, closing down the book fair, so stop by to look at some gorgeous hand-made books, get info about submitting to us, or just to say hi and give me your best literary joke. I’ll also have some copies of Slash in my backpack to sell—but honestly, if you go through the trouble of tracking me down, I’ll probably be flattered into giving them to you for free!
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.
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.
May 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
So… this is the third week in a row that I’m going to promise a new jokealong next week. I’m starting to feel a bit like the King of Empty Promises from The Kids in the Hall.
Which isn’t to say that joking around slipped my mind. I thought about joking around often, but it was usually longingly, while occupied by a more serious task. I’ve been busy laying the groundwork for Slash‘s release this autumn by setting up a facebook page and familiarizing myself with ebook formatting for Smashwords.
I’ve become somewhat confident on Smashwords by converting three of our most recent Red Bird chapbooks. Shaun Rouser‘s Family Affair, with its three patiently intelligent long-form stories was probably the easiest to format; Matthew Burnside‘s Escapologies was a little harder, as it contains a dozen distinctly beautiful prose poems; but Laura Bogart‘s collection of compelling short stories was the hardest, as it also contains several of her lovely illustrations.
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.
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.
Lastly, 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.
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.
Lastly, 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.