Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Empty City - Berit Ellingsen

The Empty City is a story about awakening to inner truths and one's own self. It is told in short episodes that describe a place, a dream, a question, a memory, a fantasy or an event.

Urban explorer and lucid dreamer Brandon Minamoto discovers that outside his thoughts and emotions exists a world that is silent and open, surrounding him and everyone else. The silence starts picking him apart and makes him question his sense of self and his past. But behind the noise and the stories, there is something constant and unchanging.

An excerpt is online on the book webpage, together with links to interviews: Empty City.

More information about the research for this book is up in Necessary Fiction's Research Notes.

Berit Ellingsen is a Korean-Norwegian fiction writer whose stories have or will appear in Everyday Genius, SmokeLong Quarterly, Blue Fifth Review, Metazen, decomP and other literary journals. Berit was a semi-finalist in the Rose Metal Press Chapbook Competition in 2011 and her chapbook What Girls Really Think was published by Turtleneck Press in February 2012. Berit’s novel, The Empty City, is a story about silence.

Berit Ellingsen: The Empty City

PS: there's also a personal review of the book in the editor's blog: Zen and the Empty City

related links: philosophical, novels

Monday, June 25, 2012

Marco Polo 100 x 100

Earlier this year, Marco Polo Arts Magazine placed a call for one hundred stories one hundred words long. Close to five hundred international submissions arrived.

Vincent Fino's story was selected as best and stands as the introductory story for the new series, and is online now: Mother's Day Retreat

The other 99 stories will follow, each on an own page, with an overview at the 100x100 page.

About Marco Polo
Marco Polo is an online literary and art magazine. In addition to fiction, flash fiction (maximum word count 1500), nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, poetry, and art, they have several feature series, for example: Talk - Interviews with authors, filmmakers and artists; Camera - A photo-document document of what happens when someone borrows Marco Polo's camera and takes photos; Truffaut - Literature and art devoted to and inspired by the works and legacy of Francois Truffaut; A + A - Artists in conversation... The Founding Editor and Art Director of Marco Polo Arts Magazin is Darin Beasley, Co Founder: Brian Hitselberger, more here: about

Currently, Marco Polo has a special call up for 100 x 500 Creative Nonfictions: "Your nonfiction must be no longer or shorter than 500 words, title excluded. Break out of the mold and surprise us and yourself." The 100 best entries will be published in Marco Polo. Deadline December 31. Guidelines

Monday, June 18, 2012

Best of WLT (World Literature Today)

To celebrate its 350th issue, the magazine WLT (World Literature Today) conducted a readers' choice contest. The poll was based on the shortlist of staff favorites in essays, poetry, short fiction, interviews, and book reviews from the past 10 years of WLT.

Now the readers' choice winners and runners-up are announced on the WLT website, with links to all texts: Winners of the 350th Issue Readers' Choice Poll

The original shortlist is still online, too: WLT Shortlist: interviews, essays, poetry, book reviews, fiction

And here, some direct links:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Self-Published eBook Bestseller List by GalleyCat

As a reaction to the massive scale of the self-publishing world and the growing number of e-books, GalleyCat now started a Self-Published Bestseller List.

GalleyCat is a media website with news from the book publishing industry, the aim of the list is to track current self-published bestsellers, and provide some orientation for interested readers.

Focusing on the the three major marketplaces: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, GalleyCat selected the self-published digital books and put together three Top10-lists, which will be updated weekly.

Below the first 3 entries of the current lists, with categories added:

Amazon Self-Published Kindle Bestsellers
1. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (Adult Romance)
2. Easy by Tammara Webber (YA / Romance)
3. Weekends Required by Sydney Landon (Romance)
Barnes&Noble Self-Published eBook Bestsellers
1. Summer Secrets by Barbara Freethy (Women's Fiction)
2. Take Me by Locklyn Marx (Adult Romance)
3. A Month at the Shore by Antoinette Stockenberg (Romance)
Smashwords eBook Bestsellers
1. Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley (Romance)
2. The Fifth Man by Randy Ingermanson (Sci-Fi)
3. Wisdom by Amanda Hocking (YA / Urban Fantasy)

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Sun Rising - Stories for Japan

Its been over a year since the disasters hit Japan. While the world may have shifted their focus to other areas, the suffering of the people devastated by the events the 2011 tsunami caused continues.

Over 60 contributors have donated their works to New Sun Rising - Stories for Japan, in order to heighten the awareness of the plight of the Japanese people. Several blueprint contributors are included in the anthology: Dave Bonta, Brigita Orel, Marcus Speh, Nora Nadjarian. All authors are listed here: contributors, and notes on the team and the process of creating the anthology is online here: the team.

This anthology is not about the disaster, but celebrates the beauty of the Japanese culture, environment and people. Its about hope, passion and commitment.

New Sun Rising is currently available on Kindle through Amazon. Its also available to borrow through thier library system for the next three months. Every cent will be directed to the Japanese Red Cross to assist those who still require help.

New Sun Rising - Stories for Japan
New Sun website
New Sun at

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A Foal Poem - Rose Hunter (update)

A Foal Poem is a full-length poetry book from Rose Hunter. Written in Mexico during the course of 2010, the poems form an outer journey that starts in Puerto Vallarta, moves to Acapulco and San Miguel de Allende, Sayulita, and back to Puerto Vallarta. Overall, the book takes the reader on an inner journey through the themes of addiction and recovery, relationships, and changing/emerging identities.

Update, 2012: Decomp Magazine reviewed Foal, with several quotes: "This is where Rose Hunter takes us, "...this place / slouching towards, no, stumbling, / towards, along, overexposed cobblestones; one gringo dive bar / after another and never stop" ... And Hunter achieves, again and again, an absolutely surprising effect, like something hatching in your throat and then you falling love with that thing when it flies out, so beautiful, so new."

For another taste of A Foal Poem, try Aposematic / Grey at BluePrintReview, and The Lion / rebar at Connotation Press.

"A Foal Poem drew me in and didn't let go.... I wanted to stay within this world - the cube lady explaining with her hands; the Mexican palms and the cranes; bubbles in the rock and black sand beaches. Life during the wave’s lifetime... Revealing and concealing, A Foal Poem curls inward, outward, and within." -Sherry O'Keefe

Rose Hunter is the author of to the river (Artistically Declined Press), and the editor of the poetry journal, YB. Poems from this book have appeared in A cappella Zoo, decomP, elimae, Escape Into Life, kill author, The Nervous Breakdown, PANK, Referential, The Toronto Quarterly, Willow Wept Review, the BluePrintReview, and others. There also is an author talk with Rose Hunter in this blog.

Rose Hunter: A Foal Poem
poetry collection, 108 pages, $6.50

(originally posted in fall 2011)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

top 50 book blogs, 65 literary tumblrs & 5 lit blog streams

There’s an abundance of book blogs out there, with a wide range of themes: from current prize winners to crime and science fiction, and from books in translations to historic books to newcomers. But how to find all those blogs? Here some links:

1) Book Blog Ranking List
Thanks to web algorithms, there's a book blog  list that is based on 20 ranking factors and includes Bookslut, Booking Mama, Bookgeeks, and many other book blogs / book websites (scroll for the various ranking lists): Top 50 Book Blogs.

2) List of literary tumblrs
The editors of the Millions webpage started to put together listings of literary tumblrs, there are 65 included now: The Millions Guide to Literary Tumblrs

3) Blog Streams
For an unranked yet more adventurous approach, try the following topic/tag-links of Wordpress and Tumblr, each creates an automatic blog post stream for each tag: