It appears that the Flatmancrooked Fiction Prize is a desired commodity if the response to our second annual offering is to be taken as evidence. Our readers and editors spent two months reading, and reading, and reading, and after consideration, debate, and rereading, the finalists and their stories were sent off to our guest judge, Benjamin Percy (author of The Wilding and Refresh, Refresh). And the finalists are:
“Amber Wong-Cohen” by Jessica Fleitman
“Riot on Cell Block P” by Geoff Schmidt
“Outside” by Daniel Grandbois
“Clues to Murple” by Kirk Curnutt
“Long Enough and Hard Enough” by Tom Bonfiglio
“Cloisters” by Danny Goodman
“Based on True Events” by Danny Goodman
“The Housekeeper” by Theodore Wheeler
“Look Up. Look Up.” by Myfanwy Collins
“Punch Confessions” by R. Neal Bonser
The prize recipient and the runner-up will be announced in late October. Congratulations to the finalists.
Joellyn—as judgmental as she is insecure—tells her unborn daughter the story of her courtship with an unemployed, terribly-dressed man named Zachary. The novella is a romantic comedy—if romantic comedies were dark and screwed up and no one got exactly what they wanted.
This is Edan Lepucki. While the photograph may suggest that Edan is trying to sell Omar in order to pay her exorbitant water bill, this is not necessarily the case, and it will most certainly not be the case if you invest in what we believe to be Edan’s promising literary career. For $12 you can buy a share of Edan Lepucki’s future, and in return you will receive a signed, hand-numbered, limited-edition printing of her debut novella, If You’re Not Yet Like Me, in addition to an extremely pragmatic bonus gift. For the most avid Lepucki fans, we offer SUPER LAUNCH, which will win you the signed first editions, a personalized letter on a collector’s edition card from the author and, of course, the secret gift.
We came across Edan’s sharp and witty prose last year via The Millions, where she is a staff writer, and some months later we published her short story, Salt Lick. Her fiction is by turns discomforting and disarming—sincere without being sentimental—and we think her future is well worth watching. Here’s what some others have had to say about If You’re Not Yet Like Me:
“Why, when I was reading this extraordinary–no other word for it–novella by Edan Lepucki, did I start thinking of Henry James? Thinking, specifically, of his adventures in human desire, cruelty, and perversity as found in The Turn of the Screw, The Portrait of a Lady,and other works of highly civilized terror. Lepucki’s work is very much of the here and now–funny, smart, sardonic, and fully sexed–but she goes at her subject with the same flaying relentlessness as H. James. I’ll use that word again: Extraordinary.”
-Ben Fountain, author of Brief Encounters With Che Guevara
“Edan Lepucki’s sly, smart novella is never quite a love story—in fact, rarely has the edict “only connect” seemed more difficult to enact than among her small tribe of underachievers. Sex, however, retains its reliable consequences. And therein lies the beauty and the gut punch of this sneaky, deft book. “
-Michelle Huneven, author of Blame
“If You’re Not Like Yet Like Me tells quite a few damn good jokes before it decides to twist your heart apart. Gracefully written, barbed and biting; a touching meditation on the mistakes we make before meeting the ones who truly deserve our love.”
Note: 1st editions of If You’re Not Yet Like Me will ship on Monday, Nov.8 and 2nd editions will ship on Nov. 19th
International buyers please send an inquiry for LAUNCH purchases to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAUNCH – For Readers.
-one signed copy of If You’re Not Yet Like Me by Edan Lepucki, 1st edition
-a special and statistically effective gift.
SUPER-LAUNCH – For fans, friends, and family.
-two signed copies of If You’re Not Yet Like Me by Edan Lepucki, 1st edition
-one copy of the 2nd edition of If You’re Not Yet Like Me, which includes additional work and an interview with the author.
-a personalized letter from the author on a custom postcard.
Edan Lepucki’s novella, If You’re Not Yet Like Me, is on the launchpad come Monday morning. Come back, LAUNCH Edan, and get a grand gift of a book and something secret and intensely useful. Here is her book trailer!
We only just caught wind of this. Lucky for you, too, because it’s not too late; this is the greatest writer’s retreat you probably don’t know about: Kate Braverman is currently accepting applicants for a rare writer’s workshop—Writing as a Criminal Act—at her estate in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The darkly lyrical Braverman has the enchanting ability to slip her entire fist into the very center of human life and drag from it all that is deep and shallow. She captures the simultaneous emptiness and fullness of existence in a language that is at once raw and poetic, accessible and immersive, a perfect synthesis of rhetoric and image. She’s a longtime favorite of the Flatmancrooked crew, and I’m super excited to head out to Santa Fe with Kate and smear coyote blood all over my manuscript while howling at the stars and full moon with twelve other writer-criminals. Come lie and steal with me!
From Kate’s website:
Writing as a Criminal Act
Santa Fe Workshop, September 25, 2010 Kate Braverman will teach a rare total immersion one-week writing workshop. Participants will stay at her retreat, write, howl with the coyotes, write, watch the sunset like a massacre across their faces, write, eat, write, witness the promiscuous moon leave her greasy streaks across the innocent sky, write, have nightmares and write.
Ms. Braverman is interested in the concept of Writing as a Criminal Act. As writers, we employ the methods of professional criminals. We break and enter, we rob, we assume aliases and false identities, engage in fraud, lie, omit, impersonate, autopsy the living, exhume the dead for interrogation and deny everything. Recognizing the full extent of one’s writing tools should be liberating. We will use them with the ruthless conviction of people willing to be incarcerated for their acts.
TreeHugger: To promote We’re Getting On, you are embarking on a carbon-free tour of the West Coast, planting birch-seed covers as you go. What motivated you to adopt this eco-conscious means of promotion?
James Kaelan:We’re Getting On emerged from my skepticism of the direction this country is moving environmentally and technologically. The novel isn’t a cautionary tale or a polemic, necessarily, but it reflects my uneasiness—even my fear—of what sort of country we’ll be living in a few decades from now. I wanted, therefore, to do something positive to promote the novel. About a year ago I started wondering, What if there was a way to manufacture and promote a product in this country that not only didn’t harm the environment, but actually improved it? That birthed the idea of a book that could grow into a tree. And a book that grows into a tree not only offsets its own production emissions, it also, technically, creates the material to produce new books. In light of the oil spill—an environmental disaster perpetrated by an industry that trades in environmental catastrophes—We’re Getting On and Flatmancrooked’s Zero Emission Book project operates as an antidote to destructive business practices.
TH: What role do you think fiction can play in the environmental movement?
Today was a big day for Flatmancrooked! Our author, James Kaelan, made the cover of Poets & Writers for his debut novel, We’re Getting On (available exclusively from Flatmancrooked here) and FMC received massive amounts of kudos for the Zero Emission Book Project. James begins his book tour by bike July 1st. Catch him at one of 8 readings on the west coast as he makes his way through a 1900 mile journey without the aid of any carbon-based technologies (no hotels, no meat products, no electricity). Get excited! We are!
I love out-there theories and the people who are seized by them. I’m a sitting duck for crackpots. Maybe that’s why I like the Web.
But even those of us who pride ourselves on never showing skepticism arrive at a crossroads sometimes. Should I really sacrifice 20 minutes of my life to hear out this particular rant (about Google, Obama, the Fed) or politely back away from the ranter?Well, you really sound as if you’re on to something, sir!
In analog times, one sign that it was time to retreat was if a big talker, having declared himself an author, produced his “book” and something about the book just wasn’t . . . booky. Maybe the pages carried a whiff of the Xerox or mimeograph machine. Or maybe the volume — about Atlantis or Easter Island — looked too good, with engraved letters, staid cover, no dust jacket. After a casual examination of the spine or the title page, realization would dawn: self-published.
In this time of Twitter feeds and self-designed Snapfish albums and personal YouTube channels, it’s hard to remember the stigma that once attached to self-publishing. But it was very real. By contrast, to have a book legitimately produced by a publishing house in the 20th century was not just to have copies of your work bound between smart-looking covers. It was also metaphysical: you had been chosen, made intelligible and harmonious by editors and finally rendered eligible, thanks to the magic that turns a manuscript into a book, for canonization and immortality. You were no longer a kid with a spiral notebook and a sonnet cycle about Sixth Avenue; you were an author, and even if you never saw a dime in royalties, no one could ever dismiss you again as an oddball. (read more)
So, we’re all very impressed with books. Writing, intelligence, blah, blah, blah. But, let’s talk carnal needs. Say, you find yourself at AWP, the LA Times Book Festival, or, heaven help you, Frankfurt. You’ve just hopped from the HTML Giant Bonanza, to the Granta Party, to the New Yorker Drink-Fest at some upscale bar. It’s 1 AM. Coats are off. Personal space is a thing of the past. The room, dark and warm, is filled with sexy brainiacs and you certainly don’t want to curl up with just a book tonight. So, you’re gonna make your move. Which author do you aim for?
Author of Beasts of No Nation, Uzodinma represents all things sexy about the best the ivy league has to offer. He was named one of Granta’s Best Young Novelists and now, one of Flatmancrooked’s Sexiest. Admit it. You want to be the one to whom he says, “Just call me Uzo.”
Nice Big American Baby is Judy’s most recently collection. “American Babe” is Judy’s most recently received title, as bestowed upon her by yours truly. She is also on the coveted Granta’s Best Young Novelists list and on our, “Girls are Extra Sexy when they Write High-Brow Horror” list.
Best known for his novel Shoplifting From American Appareland his impressive ability to self-market, Tao will now be known as the face of all things sexy-and-criminal in the literary world. Eeeeeeee Eeeee Eeeeeeee indeed.
The sweet heart of Travel + Leisure, Salon, and the New Yorker, Nell’s Lucky Girls is a collection comprised of stories about American’s in foreign lands. Nell herself embodies a mystique somewhat foreign, making lucky men of those who catch a glimpse of this risen star.
So, the party is coming to close. You’ve taken what you can from this lovely fluff piece. Let’s pretend you’ve got a shot with these prize-authors. Time to let us know which one of them you’d like to be stuck in a Marriott with for a weekend, nursing bourbon, pretending to want to talk about Raymond Carver between . . . “exchanges.” What’s your flavor?
Not to get all Wired Magazine on you, but here I’ve done an interview that includes the words, “It’s a services-based MVC architecture. We mostly use open-source technologies (Subsonic, ASP.NET MVC, JQuery).”
See, for the last few years I’ve been managing Publishing Genius submissions through an email address that directed subs into my personal inbox, where I would use various labels to keep them straight. It was easy, so I figured it was a good solution.
But a couple months ago I stumbled across a service for managing subs called “Submishmash.” I liked the curious name, and it was free, so with an ounce of hesitation, I decided to check it out. Since it was in beta, I had to send an email off to the creators. A couple hours later, someone named Michael FitzGerald responded and set me up with an account. He even helped me out by inputting my guidelines from the PG site. (read more)