Tag Archives: Short Story

Spilling Ink Review – “The Last Dignified Transaction”

“The Last Dignified Transaction” is about the rewards inherent in being a university teaching assistant, and then going on to work as a waiter… and then having to serve your former students.  As for dignity, well, I think I’ve got some left.  This publication originates in Glasgow, so hooray for me because I’m oversea (and by the way, I hell of want to visit Glasgow).

Spilling Ink Review is a  quarterly e-journal. They’re a troupe of professional writers and readers that shares a passion for the written word as well as compassion for new and established writers looking for an innovative platform. Their aim is to create an environment where the unexpected can thrive, where the serious and the humorous can sit comfortably side-by-side, and where we can celebrate both the process and the product of creative writing.

Update:  I regrettably must report that Spilling Ink Review is now defunct.  The magazine is permanently closed, and their website URL is available for purchase.

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Digital Americana – “The Best of the Terrible Lies”

You would have to spend some money to read this one, but it would cost you less than one dollar, which doesn’t seem too steep in today’s market. And the magazine looks amazing. “The Best of the Terrible Lies” is a story about a teenager who likes to tell lies. And he chooses to tell them in class. I’m proud to have it appear in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Digital Americana.

Digital Americana Magazine (DAM) is the world’s first literary & culture journal made for tablets. It’s ten parts literary and ten parts culture. If you like to read, why waste your money on other 99¢ magazines or apps when you could already be reading DAM? We love what we do and we hope that you do to.

The issue that my piece appears in is titled Arise.  It is the Spring/Summer issue of Digital and can be purchased in print.

Digital Americana’s website.

Digital Americana’s Blog.

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About Digital Americana:

Digital Americana crosses the literary arts with American culture and a state-of-the-art publishing mindset. Since 2010, it has functioned as an independent & interactive journal of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art, & criticism. Digital Americana seeks to publish writers and artists that have showcased a unique American sensibility, experience, or theme in their work.

The first version of the Digital Americana Magazine (DAM 1.0) app was accepted into and released amongst the first-round of iPad App Store apps (available on launch-day of the first iPad 4/2010) — earning the distinction of being of the first magazines made for tablet devices, and the first literary magazine made explicitly for the iPad. In April 2011, we completely redesigned the app, adding new features such as in-app purchasing, and began to also offer issues in print (via MagCloud). In May 2012 we became part of Apple’s Newsstand store (DAM 2.0). In early October 2012 we introduced a new interactive “redact” function to our redesigned iPad app (DAM 3.0) with the release of our Fall—2012 Redact issue. With this “redact” toolset readers are able to create erasure poetry instantly from any page of any issue in the app. During this time we also relaunched the design & functionality of our iPhone magazine app, by creating a completely custom vertical layout that enhances the experience of reading an issue, which runs on a device that fits in the palm of your hand. Our Fall—2012 issue was the first issue to be formatted this way.

In all aspects of our mission: of the art, literary content, culture, design, and journalism featured within our pages—our hope for Digital Americana is that it will be seen as the sum of its parts—a uniquely modern and American experience.
Issues are currently released seasonally. Submission guidelines can be found here. Recent news & press can be found here.

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Black Market Review – “The Staging Ground”

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Hello friends.  I have some good news.  Another story has been published and is available to read for free online.  The story is titled “The Staging Ground” and is about bad neighbors and the problems that they cause me.  I mean, these neighbors were really assholes.  And the entire feud takes place in or around the laundry room.  I mean, seriously, fuck them.  Why wouldn’t they let me do my laundry in peace.  And I was an agoraphobic level shut in, so it was a match made in hell.  I really like this story and am proud to announce that The Black Market Review has picked it up.

The Black Market Review is edited exclusively by Creative Writing undergraduate and postgraduate students at Edge Hill University.  Thank you for the opportunity BMR.

Black Market Review operated out of Edge Hill University, but most recent visits to the site seem to indicate that the publication has become defunct. I am happy that “The Staging Ground” currently lives on the site’s archives and hope that it continues to do so indefinitely.  Edge Hill’s campus address is St Helen’s Rd, Ormskirk, Lancashire L39 4QP, United Kingdom.   Here’s to intercontinental publication credits.  Thank you, UK!

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Milk Sugar – “Vengeance is a Speechless Clown”

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The piece is titled “Vengeance is a Speechless Clown,” and the publication is Milk Sugar. “Vengeance Is a Speechless Clown” is an epic saga about revenge, artistry, and the things that drive us in life.  It’s also about a clown who is totally fucking pissed off.  Chasity Thomas and the lovely folks at Milk Sugar saw fit to include it in their February/ March issue alongside some truly talented authors.

Milk Sugar Logo

Update:  Unfortunately I must report that Milk Sugar, as a publication, is now defunct – a bit of news that saddens me, as I genuinely enjoyed what they were putting out into the world.  In the words of their editor, Chastity Thomas:

“Milk Sugar will officially end with Issue 22 in December. It has been a blast editing this journal and putting out into the world the work of some truly talented people. I’ve enjoyed everything I read, even the work that was a bit out there and those that were not chosen to appear. The journal started off shaky as I learned the process of rejecting people (which is really hard by the way), figuring out how to choose what works would best go together and simple stuff like how many writers to feature in each issue. I’m glad that people seemed to enjoy what were doing here. We even reached over 250 followers on Facebook, no small feat! These last two issues continue to showcase some great work. So please, buckle down and read an entry or two.

– Chasity Thomas, Editor in chief”

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About Milk Sugar:

Milk Sugar is a literary journal that was formed with the creative writer in mind. We want to provide a forum where writers feel free to express their creative ide in an environment that actually promotes creativity and not the status quo.  Milk Sugar is not meant to be your typical literary journal, hence the name. There are no delusions of grandeur here, just good, solid and creative writing. We want the erotic, the fantastical, the existential, the dirt the grime and most of all the ultimate beauty that is a well written piece. Allow us the privilege of finding out who you are through your work.

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Corner Club Press – “The Writing Group”

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The Corner Club Press has been kind enough to accept my story “The Writing Group.” It is to be found on page 93 of the January 2012 issue of their journal, which is, unfortunately, temporarily unavailable. This piece is unfairly subjective look at a fellow writer, but is more about the narrator’s inability to escape the monastic solitude of authorhood.  It is about a man whose personal struggles make him unsympathetic to a fellow sufferer. It’s curmudgeonly and mean and an editor once described it as frighteningly solipsistic, but it’s a great read. Each issue of the Corner Club Press is released as a free PDF download, and they’re awesome.

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About Corner Club Press:

The creation of The Corner Club Press is actually an impulsive endeavor of ours. Being an editor for The Oddville Press, it’s always been at the back of my mind to create my own magazine, but I never had a reason to start. For one thing, finding people on-line and then actually trusting them to get things done is a harrowing thought. For another thing, I had no idea how to go about doing it. Of course, having experience in the realm of two magazines has answered those questions for me, but even then I had nobody to start a magazine with. Then in my ENGL 2250 class, I met three other people who were interested in creative writing. The name “Corner Club” actually comes from Christopher Selmek, writer of Augusta’s local Verge. He coined the term because all four of us sat in the corner of our ENGL 2250 classroom, constantly exchanging humorous anecdotes over the days’ lessons. We quickly formed a friendship, then bonded one night during a study session.

But it was Daphne and I who bonded even faster because of our fervent love for the written word and Daphne’s own shared interest in being part of a magazine. As for Greg Tredore, he is someone we impulsively added because of his experience with a literary magazine and having an MFA in Creative Writing. We figured he’d be a great mentor to us, and thus far, he is.

Even though two members of the “Corner Club” are not as of yet active in the creation of this magazine, the name wouldn’t exist without their friendship. And that’s what Daphne and I want this magazine to be about: friendship. Not necessarily stories of friendship or anything of that sort, but we aim to provide a friendly, flexible magazine for writers to submit to. I consider myself more of a novelist, so the short stories I did write often had difficulties finding magazines because many magazines want shorter works and there are few magazines that accept longer works. We also didn’t want to limit our magazine to any particular theme or genre because we want as many submissions as possible. So submit away!

Amber Forbes, Founder

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Midwest Literary Magazine – “Eliza’s Body as Sacrament of the Grace I Sunk From”

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My story “Eliza’s Body as Sacrament of the Grace I Sunk From” originally appeared on page 61 of the September issue of Midwest Literary Magazine, which was titled “Broken Spades.”  This is a story that I love to this day, and that people really seemed to dig.  That might be at least in part due to the explicit and detailed pornography contained therein.  The story is a lamentation on a semi-functional relationship that didn’t ultimately pan out, but that coasted for a while on sex alone.  It’s also about a dumb kid who doesn’t have the slightest idea what he’s doing – either in bed, or in life.

There were some complications when publishing this story.  For example,the Midwest Literary Magazine did not read my cover letter closely, so my birth name was used rather than my pen name.  I attempted to inform the editor of this, and the mistake could have been amended before the release of the print journal, but I did not hear back from the staff.  They did not contact me when the story went live, nor when the print issue was released.  That was all right, because I really wanted this piece to see the light of day, and I highly doubt that any other publication would have taken a look at it.  So I remain grateful to Midwest Literary Magazine.  Nevertheless, it was due to business practices like this that the Midwest Literary Magazine began to receive some very bad press – mostly generated by justifiably disgruntled authors.  The magazine has since become defunct.  For quite a while after the closing of the publication, the story was still available to read or to purchase online, but alas, those links have inevitably closed as well.  Now if you attempt to visit the website, you will come across a garage door repair advertiblog.

Maybe the piece will one day be read again by human eyes.  Only time will tell.

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Scissors and Spackle – “The Gifts I Received”

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“The Gifts I Recieved” is a story that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking, and it’s about a young man’s relationship with his arguably strange mother. The story was published in the first issue of Scissors and Spackle, and unfortunately the publication has not survived the 7 years since. That said, I hustled this magazine because I didn’t know any other way. I purchased dozens of copies from the editor at cost, and distributed them through local Santa Cruz publications. I backpacked these issues to friends and at parties. I still don’t really know how to publicize, but this was a fun attempt.

Check out my write up on the Bookshop Santa Cruz website and feel free to let me know if anything has been left out of the Ben Leib bio – it doesn’t, for example, mention how handsome I am.

This magazine was, for a time, also found on the shelves of Logos Books & Records:

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They were also selling it at Bookshop Santa Cruz, too:

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About Scissors and Spackle:

We are artists, creators, and writers. But we are first readers; readers of newspapers, magazines, novels, and flash. Readers of poetry, memoir, and writing that defies conventional labels. When there is nothing else around we are sometimes readers of cereal boxes, catsup ingredient lists, and shampoo instructions. We are taking up space in Los Angeles, CA but are also from Bailey and Denver CO, Twenty Nine Palms and Atlanta, Northern Virginia and New Orleans.

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Children, Churches, and Daddies – “Once, I Found that I Might Be a Good Friend”

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The Story is titled “Once, I Found that I Might Be a Good Friend.”  This was the first story of mine that was accepted for publication. I still think that it’s a good piece, and it has a special place in my heart.  It’s about a kid that thinks he has the tenacity to solve the world’s problems.  He does not.  The magazine is called Children, Churches, and Daddies (the stipulation for publication being that the author not discuss family or religion).  You can also click on This Link to read the story for free, but you’ll have to look for it by scrolling through the contents of the magazine.  Figure out how to buy the magazine by clicking either of the links below.

Cultural Touchstone

Children, Churches, and Daddies – Vol. 229

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Children, Churches and Daddies (founded 1993) has been written and researched by political groups and writers from the United States, Canada, Australia, Belgium, England, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Norway, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey (as well as input from both Japan and Slovenia). Regular features provide coverage of environmental, political and social issues (via news and philosophy) as well as fiction and poetry, and act as an information and education source. Children, Churches and Daddies is the leading magazine for this combination of information, education and entertainment.

All magazine published from Scars Publications are released on the web — and pre-2010 issues are also released as a free downloadable PDF file e-book (All issues have been available on a web page, as an Internet Issue, with an Internet ISSN number). In this way people can enjoy the magazine on the Internet for free.

Cc&d magazine originally started as a print-only magazine, and within a year was placed on the web. Because of years where the magazine did not exist except in collection books, cc&d magazine has made every effort to continue to have issues available for free online. Print issues are offered to people who are interested in keeping a hard copy for their own records, but since over the years cc&d magazine has been available for free on the web, free print copies are not given away.

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Down in the Dirt – “Beauty and the Bus”

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The story is “Beauty and the Bus.” It’s a charming little gem all about my penis, which puts me on par with the most hackneyed of all male writers – I can only go up from here (no pun intended). The magazine is Down in the Dirt.  Just Click here, and enjoy.

Also, you have several options when ordering the print edition of Down in the Dirt Magazine, containing my story “Beauty and the Bus.” The story appears in the 2011 anthology of Scars Publications’ contributors, as well as a a bevy of other Down in the Dirt compilations, which is pretty cool and I’m fucking stoked. People seem to be digging the bizarre and embarrassing crap that I’m willing to reveal about myself. Click the links below to find the order forms for any of these various Scars Publications.

Perfectly Imperfect

1000 Words

Bleeding Heart Cadaver

Down in the Dirt, Vol. 101

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Read the intro letter from Scars Publications editor, Janet Kuypers:

Hi there, from the new editor of Down in the Dirt… I wanted to formally say hello, and give you any information about the connection Down in the Dirt has always had to Scars Publications.

Let me start from the beginning… I (Janet Kuypers) have run Scars Publicaions since its inception in early 1993, shortly before the birth of the literary magazine Children, Churches and Daddies (byline: the UN-religious, NON-family oriented literary and art magazne). In 1994, cc&d magazine ran supplement sections occastionally inside, in a section called Down in the Dirt. As cc&d got more and more popular, we stopped this insert. But the logo design for Down in the Dirt was there, and when Scars Publications expanded in 2000 (with its own domain name, then eventually mp3 audio and the video additions), we considered starting Down in the Dirt as its own magazine (instead of having inserts in cc&d).

Now, I had enough on my plate, so I did not mind giving the reigns to Alexandria Rand for editing this publication. I gave her magazine templates and form letter responses from cc&d, and she ran Down in the Dirt for nearly a decade. When she decided that she wanted to step down as editor, I just could not let the magazine die (I mean really, it was an off-shoot of my magazine, by baby, so to speak, and it used my artwork and templates for design). So although it means more reading and more designing on my part, taking over as editor was something I could not pass up.

So I have done everything in my power to keep Down in the Dirt magazine just as Alexandria kept it running — it still combines poetry and prose, and (unlike cc&d, which separates the poetry and prose into different section) accepted material flows between styles throughout issues. And yes, as I write this letter months after taking over as editor (this letter was written toward the end of January in 2011), people still send submissions to Alexandria’s old email address (so yes, we still keep that email address open for people who only know of the old address for emailing submissions).

It has always been Scars Publications’ policy to not accept the same writing to both magazines, because all accepted writing appears under the author’s name in he writings section of http://scars.tv and there cannot be repetition of accepted writings. But now, as the editor of both magazines, I get to read a greater variety of writings, and it is an honor to further immerse myself in the literary world with Scar Publications.

Thanks for being a part of Down in the Dirt, and let’s keep this magazine going for another decade!

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PostPoetry – “My Legacy as Written in the Lives of Kin”

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“My Legacy as Written in the Lives of Kin” is the true story of my maternal great-grandfather, who got locked up for breaking the law, and whose children subsequently hitchhiked across the country to ask Herbert Hoover to pardon him. It sounds crazy, but it really happened. Lifetime made a movie about it, though they left out the key points of prostitution, grand theft auto, and suicide, and replaced them with religious jingoism. I attempted to get in touch with the screenwriter of The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue in order to discuss his sources. He never responded. (Incidentally, the message boards and comments on the IMDB page are fascinating.) For me, the piece was a means to reflect upon how failure can feel pre-ordained.

PostPoetry was an awesome dual language (English and German) publication out of Britain (so’s I’m international).  Since the release of the second issue of PostPoetry – the issue in which my piece appears – the magazine went through a restructuring period, and has reemerged as The Transnational, an equally awesome periodical with much the same premise as it’s progenitor.  Regardless of the restructuring, it is still possible to purchase a copy of PostPoetry Issue II by following this link.

Ben Leib hat die vergangenen zwölfJahre seines Lebens als Kellner, Student und Junkie zugebracht – und jede dieser Lebensstationen hat ihm ein gleichwertiges Maß an Qual zugefügt.

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About Postpoetry:

Despite the associations which the name carries, PostPoetry doesn´t consist of poetry alone: PostPoetry is open to a wide range of forms and styles: We are always looking for texts (epic poetry, diary extracts, comments, essays, thought experiments, experimental and absurd texts) which offer a new approach to the political and social landscape of the previous century and of the present.

PostPoetry is a modern way for the generation of the 21st century to express itself. Texts can be like old scars and calluses, like blood and dirt. Or they can be melancholy, quirky, ironic or enlightening. They can dissolve existing boundaries and suggest new ones. They can make us question our beliefs about what writing can do. Texts can champion social justice and human rights, war and psychological violence, giving rise to provocative or soothing thoughts. And if they don’t entertain, they should at least make us laugh or cry. Or both.

The PostPoetry mission is to cull the submissions we receive into a printed collection that will stay with you long after you read it, a collection you’ll return to again and again.

We’re a print journal. Which, of course, doesn’t make us better than online journals, but we like the fact that our contributors’ work appears in a pleasant magazine that, between readings, will grace perhaps hundreds of bookshelves and coffee tables.

The PP Mag doesn’t set thematic limits. Texts and pictures will be collected and arranged in an appropriate aesthetic form in the printed magazine. The web presence can be your point of orientation – the pictures and texts that you find under the category of “samples” are a little glimpse of what you’ll find in the printed version of the PP Mag.

The PP Mag is bilingual: available in English and German. (We will publish English as well as German texts and translations.)

Topics aren’t compressed, allowing you to say what you have to say. PostPoetry want to join the play of your thoughts. This is the only way PostPoetry can react to impulses and present events.

The PP Magazine isn’t commercial. PostPoetry is financially and politically independent.

PostPoetry is a platform for political and socio-critical texts and artwork. PostPoet(People) enjoy the freedom afforded by speculation and criticism.

PostPoetry believes that all great literature is revolutionary and necessary. Great writers are honest. They call upon us as readers to experience the intangible.

PostPoet(People) show us parts of the world that we have never seen, places we’ll never see, situations we will never experience while making us see through their eyes what has been right in front of us all the time.

Great writers can channel emotions and find new ways to stretch all sense of the conventional. PostPoet(People) see their world with open and critical eyes – and express it in a whimsical, oblique or tightly structured manner. Thus, the visual plane is not limited to one dimension: it is open in all directions.

So if you have something to say – say it.

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The Transnational:

We publish poetry and essays from authors from around the world. We are always looking for texts (poetry, diary extracts, comments, essays, thought-experiments, absurd and experimental texts) which offer a new approach to the political and social landscape of the present day. (Please read the submission guidelines, before sending texts).

Texts which are published in the Transnational can dissolve existing boundaries or suggest new ones. They can make us question our beliefs, champion social justice and human rights, war and psychological violence, giving rise to provocative or soothing thoughts. We believe that all great literature is revolutionary and necessary. Great writers are honest. They call upon us as readers to experience the intangible.

We are a print journal. Which, of course, does not make us better than online journals, but we like the fact that our contributors’ work appears in a magazine that, between readings, will grace perhaps hundreds of bookshelves and coffee tables. The Transnational shows its readers parts of the world that they might have never seen, places they might never see, situations they will never experience while making them see through the writers eyes what has been right in front of them the whole time.

The Transnational does not set thematic limits. Topics are not compressed and will allow you to say what you have to say. The Transnational wants to join the play of cultural thoughts, social ideas and therefore react to impulses and present events.

The web presence can be your point of orientation – the texts that you find under the category of samples are a small glimpse of what you will find in the printed version of the magazine. The website and magazine are bilingual (English and German) – texts can be send in both languages.

The Transnational is not commercial. We are financially and politically independent.

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