Archive for September, 2011

The fifth annual Western Maryland Small and Regional Press Festival will be held on the weekend of the 14th and 15th of October. This is an event that brings editors and publishers together with writers and teachers from Western Maryland. Free and open to the public, this is a chance to bring writers from all over the area to congregate, share ideas, and make themselves known.

Two of the attending presses, Big Pulp and Post Mortem Press, have been interviewed for the event.

Interview with Big Pulp:

How did your press get started?

Big Pulp: Big Pulp launched online on March 3, 2008, with new fiction and poetry published 2 or 3 times per week. The first print edition was published in December 2010, and we are now on track for quarterly publication.

Big Pulp is a personal vision, which I founded as an outlet for the kind of fiction I like to read. The majority of fiction magazines specialize in one genre or publish no genre fiction at all, and I find that boring. After the third or fourth science fiction story (or fantasy or literary, etc.), my interest wanes, and I start to itch for something different. Big Pulp scratches that itch.

What influences went into the creation of Big Pulp?

Big Pulp: Big Pulp harkens back to the golden age of pulp and popular fiction, when there were dozens – if not hundreds – of fiction magazines publishing all sorts of genre and literary fiction. We like to think of ourselves as a very condensed version of a 1930’s newsstand, with fantastic taste in fiction.  We publish a variety of work – including humorous pieces and potboilers – but are biased toward literate genre fiction.

What are your views on the state of speculative fiction, and how does that relate to what you try to achieve with Big Pulp?

Big Pulp: I don’t know that I’m qualified to speak on the state of spec fiction as a whole. When I go to a bookstore, I see a lot of media tie-ins and adaptations, and a lots of sequels and series that are past their prime. I’d like to see more risk taking and more commentary. Where is this generation’s Brave New World? Or 1984 or Fahrenheit 451? I’d like to see SF writers examine the social sciences and not just speculate on the next round of gadgets. I don’t receive a lot of that kind of SF in my slush pile, but I encourage it. I like to reward a writer who takes a risk or looks at our future from a different angle, even if the manuscript may not be as polished as I’d prefer.

Interview with Post Mortem Press:

How did your press get started?

Post Mortem Press: Post Mortem Press came into being as a result of a career change. I worked for a large corporate concern and hated my job. During the last year of my tenure there I wrote a book to help middle managers through the outsourcing process. Just as I was completing the book, my job was eliminated. In order to collect severance pay I was required to drop the book. I took what I learned during the process of creating my management book, along with a long career in marketing, to create Post Mortem Press.

What influences went into the creation of Post Mortem Press?

Post Mortem Press: I wanted to be sure our Independent Press was author centric. Many I became aware of treated authors with minimal respect. The publishers made a great deal of money from the authors work and rarely compensated them appropriately. Post Mortem Press changes that. We keep the author in the loop 100% and pay royalties from the first sale.

What types of work do you publish and who is your audience?

Post Mortem Press: We started with horror anthologies and have since branched into many different genres. We continue to publish horror collections and novels, but we also publish thrillers, memoirs, “general” fiction, and even non-fiction. We want to have a diverse audience as a result of a diverse catalogue. Admitted all geared toward the darker side of stories/reality.

– Mark Collins


Poet Irene McKinney Read at Lyric Theater

Posted: September 29, 2011 by fsucenterforcreativewriting in Events, Poetry

Appalachian poet Irene McKinney, previous poet laureate of West Viginia, read at the Lyric Theater, Frostburg, MD on Tuesday, September 27.

McKinney’s poetry revealed striking imagery and narrative of what it’s like to grow up in the secluded heartland of West Virginia. FSU student Deborah Wiles says about McKinney, “[She is] an insightful poet who retains the natural and rural grit of her West Virginia home.”

Between back story and poem, McKinney offered the audience a look into her process as well as her craft. Corey Oglesby, another FSU students, says, “Her sense of humor is as sharp and refreshing as her insights are unique and achingly real.”

McKinney was well received with approximately 60 students, alumni, faculty, and community members. She was the first author to kick off FSU Center for Creative Writing’s literary reading series of Fall 2011. Michael Griffiths is next to read at the Lyric Theater on October 25, at 7:30 pm. Look for other readings and events with the Center for Creative Writing at

– Jessica Palumbo

Irene McKinney Reading September 27

Posted: September 29, 2011 by fsucenterforcreativewriting in Events, Poetry