Ken Poyner is at it again. No spineless neurotics or lovable sitcom divorcés found here.

I like Ken Poyner’s work because he writes about men who don’t apologize. His characters don’t have bad relationships or mommy issues. There aren’t any quasi-metros or neurotics. They aren’t spineless twots, or sitcom divorcés “with a heart of gold.”

From The May, 2014 issue, Ken Poyner’s story, “Snake Oil Rights,” has a salesman who sizes up a synthetic human–a female form, his own design:

“…the thunder of her spiked heel nearly touches the floorboard as one blue sensuous snake of a thigh slithers carefully over the other, the lip of her mini-dress folding just a little back. I turn to look over the whole of her, and it takes commitment to this trip’s firm schedule not to stop the truck. But I need to get to wherever this place is. I am the new novelty, straight from the complicated cities. I am bringing progress, modernity, the life folks only see on their quaint hand-held view screens.”

He writes beefy characters so that actors like Gene Hackman, Charlton Heston, Eli Wallach, George Kennedy could have played them.

From Poyner’s latest coming in October, “Establishment”, an android barkeep eyeballs two customers engaged in discourse:

“You hate to see them waste their money on access when they could be wasting their money on maintenance, but I can’t control the bone and protein crowd. I’ve yet to figure out their programming, and I stay out of the mathematics of it when two of them are dealing.”

There it is, from both sides. The first, he’s acknowledging one of the base motivations for improving technology. The second, from the opposite viewpoint, is a unique combination of man/machine sensibility with genuine AI cynicism on what it is to be a man. He’s comfortable in both places.

© Getty Images His characterizations are perfect raw material for classic actors of the sixties and seventies who played some great sonsabitches who didn’t give a shit whether they got the girl or just who their ex-wife was tumbling now.

Ken’s very low-key about all this and prefers a discussion of “personhood”  but as far as I am concerned his voice is clear. And we don’t see enough of this kind of work.

Check out Ken Poyner in the “May, 2014” issue. And get ready to welcome him back in October.

-CTG

June Stories Released~! “No Sleep Till Deadtown” and Other Stories

Black Denim Lit #5: No Sleep Till DeadtownJune Stories Released~!











www.bdlit.com

 

 

Jinn

Daniel Moore
Gynoid twins greeted Endo when she stepped onto the main floor. Hard plastic and running lights separated molds of female flesh, colored and textured to look like human skin. One claimed Endo had lost color and had low vitamin. The other noticed a drop in weight, red branches forming in her eyes, and asked if she was ill or pregnant. Read more…

Deficit
Sarah Vernetti
On the way home, we stop at a solar-powered red light. I stare absent-mindedly out my window at the truck next to us. Finally, I realize that the woman in the passenger seat is staring back. My heart starts racing. “Mommy, why are those men riding in the back of that truck?” Iris asks. Read more…

The Line of Fate
Suzanne Burns
With her teeth, Tabitha tore the sutures from the middle finger of her left-hand Ostrich glove. The nubby sections of dyed red leather pulled away from each other like a bad cut. The flesh of her middle finger turned purple as she ran cold water over the exposed flesh. “This is almost like getting a new finger.” Read more …

No Sleep Till Deadtown
Michael Haynes
The smooth pavement of the bridge rolled under her tires. The last smooth ride she’d have. Soon she was in the mist, and the bridge arced downward. The paved road turned to gravel, and her passenger awoke. “I snuffed it, huh?” She didn’t answer, eyes fixed on the road ahead, the narrow, twisting path through the mire. Read more …

Gladys Collins
John Pace
You have no idea what it is like to live on the street. No, not just to be homeless, but to live as a target for others. Others who despise you for no reason beyond your mere existence. Do you hear me? I cannot work. I cannot even squat in a vacant building, no matter how derelict. The others, they never trust me, and in that world, mistrust becomes just cause for violence. Read more …

The Cloud
Elaine Olund
I followed the instructions, trapping my thoughts. It worked long enough for me to start to drift to sleep. But I could hear them scratching around in the box, like beetles. And then I felt them. I felt them crawling on me. I felt them chewing my hair, I said. Taking a deep breath of his own and then a long draw from his water tube, he said, Well, clearly, you’re not a box-keeper. Read more …

Pigs Fry; Pigs Fly
Janet Slike
Her father, oblivious to Hannah’s shame, put three more strips of crunchy, double-smoked bacon on her plate so the serving dish could be replenished with more flesh from the cast-iron skillet. He tugged at his work shirt with greasy fingers, the fat oozing down to give his nails a slick polish. Hannah blamed the medication’s side effects, but she wasn’t quite sure how a beta blocker could make her feel like a cannibal. Read more …

Ripples From The Weather Aggregator
Sean Monaghan
In the line at Heathrow, Jaclyn kept seeing suspicious characters. Any one of these people could be after her. Once she was in the air, it would be all right. Everything would be fine. All she had to do was get off the ground. She wondered if they could touch her once she was through passport control. Did they have people on the other side? Surely not. Read more …

Woot~!

“Sites we like” page is updated for @BartlebySnopes Find it at http://www.bdlit.com/sites-we-like.html … and make more suggestions~!

A Night at the Diner - Michael Morshed

A Night at the Diner – Michael Morshed

“Sites we like” page is updated for @BartlebySnopes

Find it at http://www.bdlit.com/sites-we-like.html … and make more suggestions.

Congratulations Michael Morshed~!

What does an acceptance letter look like at @BlackDenimLit ?

WIDE - awards-310x178Dear [SubmitterFirstName],

Thank you for sending us “[SubmissionTitle]” for [Category]. We really enjoyed it and would like to publish it in the next open issue of [OrganizationName] online at [OrganizationWebSite] and in one issue of the monthly eBook anthology.

••• YOUR TO-DO LIST •••
You’re going to receive our writer’s agreement for you to sign and return. After reading and understanding the rights being sold or licensed, all you have to do is:
1: type your name and date at the bottom
2: with a 3rd person bio in the body of the email
3: provide us instructions on how to pay you with Paypal USD
4: Accept the Submittable ‘Agreement to Terms’
…then return the first three via email. To learn more about the definitions of the publication rights you are granting, please read writer’s advocacy resources (such as http://www.pw.org/content/copyright ).

••• WHERE CAN I FIND MY STORY? •••
Once published, your story will appear on a unique URL found on the Stories page located at http://www.bdlit.com/stories.html under the publication month to be read online or through an eReader, as part of an eBook anthology. After six months the link will be moved to the archives where it will remain permanently. Note that the URL for the story will not changed during the archive process. You will be eligible for selection for the twice-annual print Anthology issue. The next release for that is Fall, 2014.

••• WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE MAGAZINE? •••
You’ll note that you can sell your reprint rights right away, since we’re not asking for exclusivity at this stage of the development of our press. In the meantime we’re working very hard to build readership. We’re aiming to become an SFWA Affiliate Member and a Qualifying Professional Market by the end of 2015. Once we achieve that goal we will ask newly accepted stories for one year exclusivity. As for our progress on the qualification to apply for Qualifying Professional Market,
– we have about 60% the needed readership; and
– we are 40% into the regular continuous schedule needed; and
– we have budget to for for 40,000 words a year at pro rate.
Note that at this time we are choosing to provide only a semi-pro rate so that can extend our author payments to 200,000 words a year.

••• HOW CAN I HELP THE MAGAZINE? •••
– update your web presence so we can promote you – Goodreads, Author Central, etc.
– donate time (become a first reader)
– get readership (send friends)
– provide reviews of the eBook anthology in your favorite online bookstore.

Thank you for your submission. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Thanks again.
Sincerely,
[StaffFirstName] [StaffLastName]
Editor, [OrganizationName]
[OrganizationWebSite]

 

 

 

________________________________________

Author Agreement

 

••• INTRODUCTION •••

Congratulations! Your work, “[Title]” has been accepted! Your work will not be published anywhere until you have signed and returned this agreement. By signing this agreement, you agree to allow us to publish your story in the online literary publication, [OrganizationName] in the manner detailed below. Briefly described, your work will be published on the website permantently; and in one issue of the eBook anthology only, as files formatted to load on any eReader device. These files are made available for direct side-load from the website, or download through all major eBook storefronts for all eReaders. We would request separately (at a later time) any rights to reprint your story in any print edition.

*********************************************
You are granting First Publication Rights.
You are granting Electronic Rights.
You will retain all other rights, including exclusivity.
*********************************************

••• FIRST PUBLICATION RIGHTS •••
You are verifying that this particular work has NOT BEFORE BEEN PUBLISHED and that you are the SOLE AUTHOR of the work. You will receive pay for your work, EITHER a minimum flat fee of USD $5.00 per story OR USD $0.01 per word–whichever is greater. Your work will appear on our website and in one eBook anthology having a unique ISBN, which can be used as a future publishing credit.

••• ELECTRONIC RIGHTS •••
We will maintain online access indefinitely to your story, at no charge to the reader (under Online ISSN #2333-9977 with a URL to be determined, unique to that story). We’ll publish an eBook anthology for each month’s online stories. One eBook issue will contain your story (under Print ISSN #2333-9969 and an ISBN to be determined, unique to that eBook). The eBook format will be EPUB, MOBI and PDF. No copy of any of the eBooks will have DRM enabled. The eBook will contain statement of rights given to publish, plus rights retained by you.

••• PRICING •••
The online reading access will remain free ALWAYS. The eBook will have availability as follows:
– eBooks are provided as a free side-load ALWAYS, direct from http://bdlit.com; and
– IF newer than 45 days, eBooks are provided in worldwide electronic bookstore venues:
— free of charge, or else at the venue’s minimum charge; and
– IF 45 days or older, eBooks are provided in worldwide electronic bookstore venues:
— sold at USD $3.49, or else at the venue’s minimum charge.
NOTE: 99% of readership leverages the above pricing model to avoid any reading expense, since we provide at least one path to a free copy at all times.

••• FIRST PUBLICATION ATTRIBUTION •••
You will ensure clear and appropriate attribution to the original publication when you reprint elsewhere.

••• HARD COPY PUBLICATION •••
Your work will not appear in any hard-copy print publication from [OrganizationName]. Instead, you will be notified separately if your work is selected for one of the twice-annual print anthologies (under Print ISSN #2333-9969 plus an ISBN to be determined, unique to that volume), and you will have the right to refuse at that time.

••• EDITING •••
You are also agreeing to allow the editors of [OrganizationName] to make minor changes to your work that do not alter the content of the work. These changes may include grammatical changes, spelling changes, and format changes.

••• TERMINATION •••
If at any time you would like to remove your work from our website, please contact us at contact@bdlit.com. We will take down your work immediately upon request. Note that if your work has appeared in either the print or eBook anthologies, we will be unable to remove it.

••• NOTES •••
Thank you again for your submission. We hope to see your work again in the future. Please sign below and send this contract to the email address above. Please keep a copy of this contract for your records. We would ask your assistance (before you sign) in highlighting any changes made to the agreement.

••• YOUR STATEMENT OF AGREEMENT •••
I, [SubmitterFirstName] [SubmitterLastName], agree to all of the above terms and give [OrganizationName] the right to publish my work on its website. I also verify that I am the sole author of the piece mentioned above, and as such have the freedom to submit it for publishing.

____________
Name

____________
Date

Writer Resource Highlight: Writer’s Carnival

What is it?
Writer’s Carnival, http://writerscarnival.ca, a social site for writers–with member space~!

What I do there?

  • share your writing in order to obtain feedback from other writers,
  • enter contests (requires upgraded access),
  • browse for writing prompt ideas,
  • access resources, …and more~!


Do they publish? Will I become a better writer?

  • They do have an e-zine called “Reader’s Carnival” (requires upgraded access) , and
  • They have a classes web, with modestly priced Writer’s Carnival Classes.
  • Don’t forget the free resources!

Stats?

  • 15 months old
  • just over 2,000 members
  • more than 56,000 comments.

But I’m not Canadian?!
That’s ok, we all have our flaws. They engage their users every day with new content and are growing. They’re constantly looking for great resources for their members. Friendly folks, for sure.

Sample?

  • “Alice Claire” says “So, you’ve come up with an awesome story idea, started writing it and posting it here for feedback.   Now you’re wondering where your audience is, right?  Well, that’s a large part of being a writer, especially if you’re going down the self-publishing road.  You need to find your target audience.  How will you do that?Read more…

Worth a visit~!

CTG

Announcing Black Denim Press~!

There is a new link below for the book press:

The Press The Magazine
bdp-facebook-preview bdl-facebook-preview

You can see above that we have added a new Facebook page to describe the book press efforts. The press is the larger entity under which we’ll make the magazine and stand-alone books and other publications. We’ll divide the publishing like this:

Overview

So, Black Denim Press serves as Publisher, Distributor and Editor of Books and Magazines, print and eBooks.

The governing submissions guidelines for stories are found here. Remember:

  • General Lit and Sci-fi/Fantasy preferred.
  • Action/adventure or Western.
  • Mystery, Crime, Suspense or Thriller.
  • …but not erotica nor horror.
  • Prose, not poetry.
  • Fiction, not letters, essays, journals or other non-fiction.
  • Material of all length considered

Over 17,500 words will be stand-alone volumes under Black Denim Press. Under, will be handled in the magazine, Black Denim Lit.

Without entering into a debate as to what qualifies as “literary” we are looking for stories that have unique and lasting artistic merit.

Find all of it on bdlit.com or Twitter, Facebook, and most social media using “BlackDenimLit” keyword.

Comment below or write us and tell us what you think~!

Thanks~!

Author Payments go “Semi-Pro”~! (no more $5 checks)

We’re upgrading author payments from a flat $5.00 to semi-pro rate. Black Denim Lit now offers a semi-pro payment for each piece published online at www.bdlit.com:

  • $0.01 per word
  • U.S. Dollars
  • Payment is through PayPal (you are responsible for currency conversion cost)

If a piece is selected for the twice-annual anthology, the contributor will also receive a free print copy of the edition containing their work. Next print release: Fall, 2014.

Authors have been notified that this is retroactive for acceptances back to March 14, 2014~!

For full submission guidelines please see, http://www.bdlit.com/submissions.html

Don’t forget, as always, we are woefully short on women author submissions.

Keep writing.