Empty Sink Publishing

The magazine for intellectual deviants.

Welcome to Issue 15

Welcome to the fifteenth issue of Empty Sink Publishing, in which we celebrate our second anniversary! Issue 1 was published on November 4, 2013. Since then, we’ve published work by over one hundred artists, writers, and poets, and this month, we’re doubling down. This issue features fourteen short stories and non-fiction pieces, works by nine different poets, eight visual artists, four book reviews, our new Comics Corner feature, and a partridge in a pear tree. But we’ve also got some great news to share.

Photography by Sarah Katharina Kayß.

Photography by Sarah Katharina Kayß.

This is the first issue our Fiction Editor, Suanne Schafer, has been responsible for that section. We’re proud of the great job she’s done selecting and editing the stories for this issue, and I know you’re going to enjoy them. There’s quite a mix here: from anthropomorphic kittens saving Christmas to murderous sea creatures—you know, the usual. But they are held together by one important thread: plain old good writing. Suanne can spot it!

In other news, in case you didn’t see the announcement, we’ve announced our Pushcart nominees for this year. We are so proud of the authors we nominated, and humbled that they chose us for their work. Congratulations to you all!

With Suanne on board, we’re defining our vision for the future of Empty Sink Publishing. We love the artists and authors we work with, the process of publishing their work, and the feedback we get from our readers. In order to explore the different opportunities available to us we’ve decided to move to a quarterly publication schedule. After this, our next issue will be in March 2016.

The Editor’s Choice for this month goes to Taylor Allen for her poem “Version 1.1.” This reimagining of the creation story captivated me the first time I read it and stuck with me for several days, which is exactly what I’m looking for in good writing. Still in high school, Ms. Allen has a bright future in writing ahead of her, and we are honored to publish her work!

We hope you will join us for our next adventure in 2016! In the meantime, please enjoy this mega-sized issue of Empty Sink Publishing.

Happy (and safe) holidays to you all,

—E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 12/12/2015

 
CONTENTS OF ISSUE 15:
 
FICTION

John Skarl — “Bleeding Wolfe”

Peter Clarke — “The Farewell Act is a Sideshow”

Joseph Randazzo — “Retail Suicide Death-Wish”

James Hanna — “Baby Boo Saves Christmas”

Bart Van Goethem — “Such a Wonderful Evening”

Dan Corfield — “Montmartre”

Jesse Lynn Rucilez — “Meal of a Lifetime”

Guinotte Wise — “Winchester Tattoo”

Tessa A. Adams — “Revolutions”

 
REALITY

Chad W. Lutz — “Before the Light Dims”

jjnotier — “Study Hall”

Briana Goins — “What I Never Told You”

Jennifer Mary G. — “Goodbye Butterfly”

James Hanna — “Cracking Vials”

 
POETRY

L. G. Corey — Three Poems

Emma Kliethermes — “Balance”

Darren C. Demaree — Three Poems

James B. Nicola — Four Poems

Christy Hall — Three Poems

Anne Britting Oleson — Three Poems

Daniel Sundahl — Two Poems

Chelsea Kirk — Three Poems

Taylor Allen — “Version 1.1” (Editor’s Choice)

 
VISUAL

W. Jack Savage — Six Images

David Klugman — Visiting a Sage

Bill Wolak — Unexpected Pleasure

Christopher Woods — Three Photographs

Sarah Katharina Kayß — Six Photographs

Adam Kluger — Four Images

Keith Landrum — Three Images

Jeff Musillo — Seven Images

 
BOOK REVIEWS

Book Review: Canticle for Leibowitz, Haw, Dustlands, by Suanne Schafer

Book Review Update: Call Me Pomeroy, Second Edition

Quarterly Comic Corner, by E. Branden Hart
 

2017 Pushcart Prize Nominees

2016_Cover_BigThe end of 2015 is nigh, and for small publishers like Empty Sink Publishing, that means that exciting time of year is upon us—The Pushcart Prize nominations! For those unfamiliar with the award, this is an American literary prize that recognizes the best “poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot” featured in small presses over the previous year. Winners of the prize are published in a grand anthology; these anthologies have been published annually since 1976. Each publication can nominate up to six works they have published—and since we’re not the type to just stop short, we submitted the full six titles for the award this year.

Much like last year, the decision was difficult as we have been inundated with fantastic contributions, but these were the ones that stood taller than the rest. Somewhat confusingly, the best of 2015 are published in the 2017 titled anthology, but we’re not going to let that harsh our mellow. So without further ado, we would like to announce our six candidates for the prize this year. Drum-roll please!

Empty Sink Publishing nominations for the 2017 (like we said, it’s confusing) edition of the Pushcart Prize:

 
“Barter”: a short story by Sarah Khan, from Issue 11

“Brother’s Keeper”: short story by Paul Allison, from Issue 11

“The Melding Tree”: short non-fiction by Thomas N. Mannella III, from Issue 11

“Slow Drivers”: short story by Rachel Tanner, from Issue 12

“Exit Stage Left”: short story by Katrina Johnston, from Issue 13

“The Lightship”: short story by Eleanor Lerman, from Issue 14

 
We would like to congratulate these six talented writers, and we would also like to thank ALL of our contributors for making 2015 a resounding success!

Adam Dubbin
Publisher

Empty Sink Publishing Interviews

ThePromoShow1cropOn Monday, September 28, Publisher Adam Dubbin appeared on Empty Sink Publishing contributor Tammy Ruggles’ online talk radio program, The Promo Show 1, to talk with Tammy about various musings from inside and out of our humble publication. Follow this link or click on the image to the right to hear Adam discuss:

  • The internal mechanisms of Empty Sink Publishing and what we do
  • Details on Adam, Exec. Editor Branden Hart & Fiction Editor Suanne Schafer
  • The current climate of the online publishing industry
  • Tips on submission etiquette and how best to get published
  • An update on what our past contributors are currently up to
  • And other mental meanderings
  •  
    TheUnavoidableDrudgeAnd in case you missed it before, Branden was interviewed back in the nascent days of publication—December, 2013—by The Unavoidable Drudge podcast show. He has a great talk with the guys from Drudge, and it’s very nostalgic listening Branden discuss the early days, while Adam’s fresh news brings you from the past up to the present. Enjoy!

    Welcome to Issue 14

    Welcome to Issue 14 of Empty Sink Publishing. We’ve got a couple of big announcements to make. First, and most importantly, Adam and I would like to welcome Suanne Schafer on as our Fiction Editor. Suanne has appeared in past issues of Empty Sink Publishing and has one of the best editorial voices I’ve ever seen. We know that Suanne is going to do a great job, and we look forward to working with her!

    With change, of course, comes challenge, and so we’re going to give ourselves a little bit of time to adjust to becoming a triumvirate, set up our systems, and get rolling. We’ll be taking a short hiatus; our next issue will appear sometime in December. We’ve got some interesting things planned for the future and can’t wait to roll them out for you, but we’ve got to take a little time to lay the foundation before diving in.

    So the future is looking great, and we hope you’ll be a part of it. In the meantime, read on in this issue for some of the finest art, literature, and poetry being created today. Speaking of poetry, our Editor’s Choice for this month is poet Charles O’Hay. Mr. O’Hay’s poetry spoke to me more than any I’ve read recently, and it is an honor to have him publish with us.

    Enjoy!

    —E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 8/23/2015

     
    CONTENTS OF ISSUE 14:

    FICTION

    Kyle Beasinger — “Rennie”

    Eleanor Lerman — “The Lightship”

    John Parras — “This is a Movie About Falling”

    Jocelyn Cullity — “Another Love Story”

    Kendall Neubeiser — “Imitate”

    Noah Milligan — “The Deep Down Bone of Desire”

     
    REALITY

    Tom Vollman — “Jimmy”

     
    POETRY

    Jennifer Lagier — Three Poems

    Luke Normsy — Four Poems

    David Anthony Sam — Two Poems

    Shelby Thomas — “Metal T”

    Carles O’Hay — Three Poems (Editor’s Choice)

     
    VISUAL

    Nicholas Perry — Three Images

    David Klugman — Always Look Back

    W. Jack Savage — Five Images

    Clinton Van Inman — Three Images

     

    Welcome to Issue 13

    About a month ago, my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world. It’s been a wild month, but it’s an amazing experiece, and I learn something new every day. I was worried that I would be unable to continue my ESP responsibilities after the kiddo arrived, but to my pleasant surprise, small children who can’t do much yield themselves quite well to editing an online literary and arts magazine.

    Case in point: when my son wakes up at 3 AM, screaming like a pterodactyl, I don’t have to go into his nursery, rock him, and pray that he’ll go back to sleep. I can go into his nursery, rock him, and read him ESP submissions that I didn’t have time to get to during the day. Today, he got a little fussy, so I put him in my lap and read out loud as I proofread the poetry in this issue.

    See, a lot of people told me that parenting is all about sacrifice, and while there are plenty of sacrifices, there are also these great moments to share the things you love with your children. It shows you that sometimes it’s about incorporation. It’s about turning shared experiences into something that’s mutually beneficial for both parties, and at the end of the day, that’s what we strive to do with our contributors here at Empty Sink Publishing. So without further ado, our Editor’s Choice for this month is “Exit Stage Left,” by Katrina Johnston. Ms. Johnston absolutely nails the unreliable narrator in a way that will catch you completely off-guard—it’s a fantastic story.

    Enjoy this issue, and remember to take time out of your day to enjoy something you love with somebody you love.

    —E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 6/7/2015

     
    CONTENTS OF ISSUE 13:

    FICTION

    Allen X. Davis — “The Pedestrian”

    Frank Diamond — “Evil People Are People Who Love Evil”

    Sean Jackson — “Half-Dead Saints”

    Suanne Schafer — “The Conservation of Matter”

    Michael B. Tager — “This is How You Forget”

    Katrina Johnston — “Exit Stage Left” (Editor’s Choice)

     
    POETRY

    Molly Chandler — Five Poems

    C.S. Fuqua — Three Poems

    Lucas Jacob — Two Poems

    Travis Laurence Naught — “Tattoo Until Death”

     
    VISUAL

    Aaron James Farrell — Wandering Light, Part 3

    Leonard Kogan — Three Images

    David Klugman — The Two of Them

    Rees Nielsen — Four Images

    Nicholas Perry — Four Images

    W. Jack Savage — Three Images

     
    BOOK REVIEW

    Back in Black, by L.T. Vargus and Tim McBain

     

    Welcome to Issue 12

    Welcome to the new and improved Empty Sink Publishing! We’ve been talking about doing a redesign for some time now, and we finally made it happen. We hope you enjoy the new look and find it even more accessible than the old site. Special thanks to Leigh Sims for granting us permission to use her photo in the header. Funny thing is, the name of that photo is actually “Empty Sink.” It was meant to be.

    We’ve got some amazing fiction, poetry, and visual art for you this time. We also have an interview with artist Gottfried In Berlin, as well as a review of James Hanna’s new collection of Pomeroy stories, Call Me Pomeroy.

    Our editor’s choice for this issue is one of my favorite stories that we’ve ever published. “Slow Drivers,” by Rachel Tanner, is one of the most gleefully psychotic things I’ve ever read—you’re going to love it. If Ms. Tanner continues developing her unique voice, we will no doubt see more of her in the future.

    Enjoy the new look and do us a favor: if you notice any problems as you’re browsing the revised site, drop us a line. We tried hard to make sure nothing got broken in the transition, but you never know what kind of wonky things can happen. Otherwise, get reading!

    —E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 4/12/2015

     
    CONTENTS OF ISSUE 12:

    FICTION

    Lewis Beilman — The Trail

    Barbara Harroun — Labor

    Buell Hollister — Old Money

    Max Orkis — Nothing Wrong

    Denise Tolan — Six O’Clock Mass

    Rachel Tanner — Slow Drivers (Editor’s Choice)

     
    REALITY

    Elizabeth Rasch — Jung, Fetish, and the Artist: An Interview with Gottfried in Berlin

     
    POETRY

    Patricia George — Three Poems

    Channie Greenberg — “His One Hundred Styles”

    Dah Helmer — Three Poems

    Kurt Newton — Three Poems

    David Ritchie — “How Mr. O’Leary Slipped Into the Null”

    Natalya Sukhonos — Four Poems

     
    VISUAL

    Aaron Farrell — Wandering Light, Part 2

    Leonard Kogan — Three Images

    David Klugman — On the Other Side of Fear

    Tobias D. Oggenfuss — Four Images

    Nicholas Perry — Four Images

    Francis Raven — The Eclipse of Art

    Emily Story — Four Images

     
    BOOK REVIEW

    Call Me Pomeroy, a novel by James Hanna

     

    Welcome to Issue 11

    It’s official: Pomeroy has arrived. The man, the myth, and the legend you first met in Issue 1 of Empty Sink Publishing finally decided that our pages were not enough to contain him and got himself a book deal.

    And I gotta say, I’m proud of Ol’ Pomeroy. I’ll never forget the first night I read a Pomeroy story—James Hanna’s brilliant prose and voice grabbed me from the first page. I’m also proud that Jim asked me to write an introduction for the book. To have my name associated with something he created is an honor, and I thank him for including me in Pomeroy’s journey.

    Our Editor’s Choice for this month is the short story, Brother’s Keeper, by Paul Allison. This story enchanted me: the characters are so well fleshed-out, the situations so real. Mr. Allison is an excellent storyteller, and Brother’s Keeper is an excellent story that explores the depth and influence of family, and the struggle to find solace within it. It’s an excellent read, and we’re proud to have it in this issue.

    As for the rest of this issue, I’m going to let it speak for itself. As we start our second year, I’m astounded by the quality of the material being submitted to us. But don’t take my word for it. Follow the links below for some of the freshest prose, poetry, and visual media today’s authors and artists have to offer.

    —E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 2/8/2015

     
    CONTENTS OF ISSUE 11:

    FICTION:

    Paul Allison — “Brother’s Keeper” (Editor’s Choice)

    Frank Diamond — “Hospital View”

    Sarah Kahn — “Barter”

    Deborah Miller-Collins — “Facebook Lies”

    Thaddeus Rutkowski — “Mentorship”

     
    REALITY:

    Nicholas Boke — “Finding My Memory”

    Thomas N. Mannella III — “The Melding Tree”

     
    POETRY:

    L.G. Corey — Five Poems

    Brad Garber — Four Poems

    Sushant Leena — The Translated Hindi Poems of Sushant Supriye

    Domenic Scopa — Four Poems

    Reese Scott — Two Poems

     
    VISUAL:

    Aaron James Farrell — Wandering Light, Part 1

    Leonard Kogan — Three Images

    Clinton Van Inman — Two Images

    Meeah Williams — Three Images

     

    Welcome to Issue 10

    Welcome to Issue 10 of Empty Sink Publishing. To paraphrase Dave Chappelle, it’s time for a celebration, ladies. Because it’s our one-year anniversary.

    One year and a month, to be exact, but the point is: last November, we started this enterprise, and we’re still here, publishing some of the best art, poetry, and writing from both established and up-and-coming artists and authors around the world. And we’re still moving forward, full steam ahead.

    But let’s take a quick moment to look back. We’ve had the opportunity to publish some incredible work this year and wanted to give you an update on some of our favorites from Issue 1.

    • Since originally appearing in Issue 1, artist Dani Orchard was named one of four female artists who are shaping the future of painting by Huffington Post.
    • After publishing Rafe Posey’s story, A Newcomer’s Guide to the Dog Villages, author Ben Marcus contacted us and asked to get in touch with Mr. Posey. We, of course, obliged, and while we don’t know the outcome, we were very proud that an esteemed author such as Marcus was interested in a story from our little ol’ ‘zine.
    • Titus Green continues to write and is back in this issue with a new short story that is perfect for anyone who thinks the world’s addiction to phones and tablets is going to end us all.
    • Otha “Vakseen” Davis continues making a splash in both the music and art worlds, with countless shows under his belt, continued publication in some of the best indie mags around, and an online store where you can get all sorts of merchandise emblazoned with his best work.
    • Award-winning poet and professor William Doreski wrote some of our favorite poetry from Issue 1, and he’s back in this issue with more poetry and as a participant in our “Twenty Questions” feature.
    • And last, but certainly not least, James Hanna’s career is on fire. In the past year, we’ve published four of his stories: three of them in the “Pomeroy” series. He’s published a novel, The Siege, and is preparing to publish all three Pomeroy stories—plus an unpublished fourth—in a book due out this February. We are delighted to be the people who “found” Pomeroy, and wish James the best of success with the new book (which we will, of course, review on its release).

    We’re very proud to have played a small part in the success of all our Issue 1 contributors. But the fun didn’t stop there. Throughout the year, we’ve published some astounding art and writing that deserves to be read and recognized by as wide an audience as possible. Fortunately, we have just that opportunity with the Pushcart Awards, which focus on pieces published by small presses in the previous calendar year. For us, the calendar year started with Issue 3 and ends with this one. It was difficult to pick the best from a field of such talented authors and artists, but in the end, we nominated the following contributors for their work:

    • “A New Cookbook” (Issue 3), a poem by Claire Scott
    • “The Gates of Sleep” (Issue 3), a poem by Moneta Goldsmith
    • “Maiden Voyage” (Issue 6), a poem by Richard Fein
    • “Luminita” (Issue 6), a short story by Ewa Bronowicz
    • “Voyage Around Lies” (Issue 8), narrative nonfiction by Ìgbékèléolúwa Sàláwù
    • “Flightless” (Issue 10), a short story by Gena LeBlanc

    Congratulations to all of the nominees, and best of luck! We’ll anxiously await announcement of the winners and will report back in a future issue about the results.

    Finally, our Editor’s Choice for this issue is the short story, Flightless, by Gena LeBlanc. I was intrigued by the story itself, but Ms. LeBlanc’s way with words is what makes this story so wonderful. She knows how to craft a fine sentence, and we look forward to seeing what she puts out next.

    It’s been a wonderful year of publishing this magazine, and Adam and I both look forward to another. We’d like to thank all our contributors and readers for your support, and hope you’ll enjoy this issue, which is jam-packed with interviews, poetry, the new Pomeroy story, and some incredible art.

    Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep doing whatever you do, and make it art.

    —E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 12/7/2014

     
    CONTENTS OF ISSUE 10:

    FICTION:

    Gena LeBlanc — “Flightless” (Editor’s Choice)

    Veronica Fitzhugh — “He: A Collection”

    Titus Green — “The Exile”

    James Hanna — “Pomeroy and the New World Order”

     
    REALITY:

    Rick Bailey — “Beans Squared”

    Dana Norris — “Ambivalence”

    “Twenty Questions with William Doreski”

    “Twenty Questions with W. Jack Savage”

    “An Interview with Larry G. Corey”

    “An Interview with L.T. Vargus and Tim McBain”

     
    POETRY:

    William Aarnes — Five Poems

    Jacqueline Jules — Four Poems

    Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb — Two Poems

    Kevin Murphy — Four Poems

    Brandy Ryan — “once/was”

    Charles Rafferty — “Working Toward a Definition of Luck”

    Larry Corey — Six Poems

    William Doreski — Three Poems

     
    VISUAL:

    W. Jack Savage — Three Images

    Lis-Anna Langston — Four Images

    Clinton Van Inman — Three Images

     
    BOOK REVIEW:

    Fade to Black/Bled White, by L.T. Vargus and Tim McBain

     

    Welcome to Issue 9

    We’ve been at this long enough now that, occasionally, I get questions like, “How do I get published in your magazine?” The easy answer to this question is, “Send us something that doesn’t suck.” But the real answer is more complicated. Thankfully, there are hundreds of articles on the Internet about how to get published in a literary and arts magazine, and I’m not going to rehash those points here. No, today, I’m going to show you the six easy steps to NOT getting published in our magazine—or any other, quite frankly.

    Six Easy Steps to Publishing Failure

    Step 1: Don’t read the magazine you’re submitting to.

    Traditional advice is to actually take the time to read past issues of the magazine you’re submitting to. This helps you make sure that the magazine is a good fit for your style, tone, and subject matter. But you’re a busy, busy genius with a romantic sci-fi psychological thriller set in a suburban neighborhood that’s stuck in the 1950s—your brilliant work transcends genres, and any magazine would love to have it! So go ahead and submit it to “Pets Weekly.” You’ve got a dog in one of the scenes, and once they read it, they’ll be so impressed that they’ll change their entire format just to give you a monthly column. SUCCESS!

    Step 2: Submission guidelines are for pussies. Ignore them.

    You’ve heard it time and time again: read and follow submission guidelines. But you’re an artist, man. You don’t follow the rules. You’re a rebel—that’s, like, your whole shtick. So their submission guidelines say they don’t accept electronic submissions—then why do they have an email address? Silly publishers. Forget snail mail—just shoot them an email, wow them with a kickass cover letter, and they’re sure to make an exception. Hey, speaking of cover letters…

    Step 3: Use your cover letter to show that you are funny/weird/awkward/pompous/racist.

    One of your friends told you not to bother putting much in your cover letter, because most publishers don’t actually read them. Well, fuck that. You’re going to MAKE them read your cover letter. You’re going to write some brilliant prose in a barely-legible font so they HAVE to look at it. You’re going to intrigue them with your description of how you’re a lone wolf artist, someone who’s got a sense of humor so unique that nobody else finds it funny. You’re going to tell them about how Shakespeare was a hack and monkeys could write better than David Foster Wallace. And they’re going to LOVE it.

    Step 4: Don’t waste time revising your story—much like what you left in the toilet this morning, it is perfect just the way it came out.

    Look, let’s face it. You are a writer, that mythical beast who comes up with brilliant stories and shares them with the world for fun and profit. You don’t have time for revision, and besides, your first draft was perfect. You even ran spell-check on it, and it only found two errors! Other, less talented writers may need to revise their work to make it publishable, but you, my friend, are a freaking Mozart of words: everything that comes out of you is genius. Plus, you’ve got this great idea for a character study of a guy who works at McDonald’s, but dreams of becoming a famous writer—no use wasting time revising the story you just finished when you’ve got an even better one waiting in the wings of your imagination!

    Step 5: Submit your work to as many places as humanly possible all at the same time.

    Because your work is so wonderful, you know the first person who sees it is going to accept it. But why send it to just one magazine for consideration? Who are you to deny ALL of the magazines the opportunity to look at what you’ve created? Go ahead: send it to all of them, all at the same time, even if they specifically say they don’t accept simultaneous submissions. And even better—don’t tell them it’s a simultaneous submission. That way, when it inevitably gets picked up by Atlantic Monthly, you can send all the other schmucks an email saying, “BOOYAH! Off the market, bitches. IN YO FACE.”

    Step 6: When the publisher sends you edits, tell them to fuck off.

    Edits?!? To your brilliant piece of literature? That’s like giving Tom Wolfe fashion advice. If a publisher dares to approach you with proposed edits—even if those edits actually make your piece better—do the only logical thing: tell them your piece is awesome as it is, and they can either publish it unchanged or go screw themselves. Because nothing says “successful writer” like alienating the very people who can help you achieve that success!

    So there you have it. If you too would like to fail in publishing, simply follow these six easy steps, and you’ll be not getting published in no time at all!

    Without further ado, let me introduce you to the folks who decided not to follow this advice and found a home in this issue.

    Our Editor’s Choice for this month goes to the short story, Confluence, by Brandon Madden. It’s very difficult to describe anything about this story without giving it away, but I can say one thing: this story will leave you questioning the very nature of what you think is reality. It’s an excellent story, and we’re very proud to feature it in this issue.

     
    CONTENTS OF ISSUE 9:

    FICTION:

    Brandon Madden — “Confluence” (Editor’s Choice)

    Sean Padraic McCarthy — “Teeth”

    Caleb Sarvis — “Thoreau in a Phone Booth”

    Sushant Supriye — “The Fifth Direction”

     
    REALITY:

    M.M. Adjarian — Sister Moon

    “Twenty Questions with author Alysha Kaye”

     
    POETRY:

    Claire Scott:

    Colin James:

    Doug Bolling:

    Emily Strauss:

    Joe Nicholas:

    Gerard Sarnat:

     
    VISUAL:

    W. Jack Savage — Three Images

    David Klugman — The Prison of Forgotten Dreams

    Jim Pollock— Girl Walking Her Pinata

    Photography by Lis Anna-Langston

     
    BOOK REVIEWS:

    The Waiting Room, by Alysha Kaye

    One Kick, by Chelsea Cain

     
    One last note: get out your calendars, because we’ve got two dates for you to mark down. The first is Halloween, when we’ll have something special coming out by Strange Fish author and artist N. Piatkoski. The second is December 8, when we will release Issue 10. Issue 10 is going to be a big one. It’s where we will celebrate our one-year anniversary, and we’ll have both old and new contributors there for the party.

    In the meantime, enjoy Issue 9, and remember: it’s easy to not get published, and nobody ever succeeded by doing what’s easy.

    —E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 10/6/2014

     

    Welcome to Issue 8

    About a year ago, during a beer-fueled brainstorming session, Adam and I conceived the idea for EmptySinkPublishing.com: an online arts and literary magazine for both aspiring and established authors and artists who are looking for an outlet that will take their careers, and our place in them, seriously.

    We’ve written at length about how we do it. But why did we do it? That, we haven’t talked about much. After all, starting a magazine is no small task, and running one that publishes on a regular basis, on top of a regular eight-to-five job, is an even bigger task. And it isn’t like Adam and I don’t have other things to do: I’ve got a novel to finish editing and he’s working on a documentary. If we decided to abandon this project, it would give us both more time to concentrate on other, larger projects that, let’s be honest, have a better chance of reaping us financial rewards.

    It isn’t like the world of independent online magazines is brimming with financial opportunity, and we’re not going to be on the cover of Publishers Weekly as some bastion of the new wave of publishing and writing—it ain’t gonna happen, even if we are doing things differently than all the other publishers out there.

    So why did we do it, if not for fame and fortune? There’s two reasons:

    1. Because we wanted to
    2. Because we could

    Do you know how little capital it takes to start a website? You can get a good website, domain name, hosting service, and CMS for less than a hundred dollars. How long did it take to design the website? Not long at all—we use a pre-made template focused on ease of translation to multiple devices. Our design time was limited so that we could focus on what was important to us: content.

    What about getting people to submit—how much do ads cost? Well, they’re free, depending on where you go. Our most effective ads were placed, at no charge, on NewPages.com, and they have resulted in close to one thousand submissions over the past twelve months.

    And what about publicity? Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, that’s free too, and we’ve spent a good part of the past twelve months growing our followings on both.

    So the “how” was cheap and easy. We just needed the “why.” And at the end of the day, the “why” is that simple reason you hear from every child at some point in their lives: “because.”

    We’re both good editors. We both like literature, poetry and art. And after several months of debating all different kinds of websites: author services, editing services, even, at one point, a website that would allow people to publish their own material no matter how bad or atrocious it was, we settled on a tried-and-true method that’s been around for over a century: the good old arts and literature magazine.

    I’m not trying to brag here, but the fact is: most startup literary magazines don’t make it past the six-month mark, and we’re proud that we did. Because it isn’t easy. In the time I’ve spent working on this magazine, I probably could have written two novels.

    But it’s worth every minute, for several simple reasons. One, it has given Adam and I the chance to work together again, which we enjoy—we make a great team. Two, it has introduced us to some of the finest talent the creative world has to offer. And three—and perhaps most importantly—we’re having a damn fine time doing it.

    We hope you enjoy this issue. We’re going to introduce our features in a bit of a different format this time, so check out our full lineup for this issue below. But I do want to make note of the Editor’s Choice for this issue. N. Piatkoski has been with us since the beginning, delivering new issues of her black and white graphic novel, Strange Fish, every month. This month, she did something spectacular: she did the entire issue in color. And every inch of it is beautiful. I’ve loved Strange Fish from the very beginning, but seeing it in color is magical. Nicole is an incredible artist, our most consistent contributor, and we are honored to have our magazine associated with the work she’s doing. This issue of Strange Fish is not to be missed: read it once for the story, then look at it once more just for the artistry.

    Be sure to come back for our ninth issue in October, and in the meantime, keep doing what you love.

    —E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 8/15/2014

     
    CONTENTS OF ISSUE 8:

    FICTION:

    Summer Afternoon, by Reese Scott

    Release, by Mary Ann Cooper

    The Man in Black, by Nels Hanson

    The Release, by Karen Faris

    The First Night, by P.K. Lauren

     
    REALITY:

    Voyage Around Lies, by Ìgbékèléolúwa Sàláwù

    Nineteen Questions with Author L.T. Vargus, by E. Branden Hart

     
    POETRY:

    Yuan Changming:

    Travis Naught:

    Peter Bracking:

    Jennifer Lagier:

    Howie Good

    Christopher Dovoric:

     
    VISUAL:

    Three Images by Clint Van Inman

    Three Images by W. Jack Savage

    Three Images by Jack Galmitz

    Strange Fish Issue 10, by N. Piatkoski (Editor’s Choice)

     
    BOOK REVIEWS:

    Half Way Home, by Hugh Howey

    Casting Shadows Everywhere, by L.T. Vargus

     

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