Welcome to the first issue of Empty Sink Publishing.
When publisher Adam Dubbin and I originally came up with the idea for Empty Sink Publishing, we had a singular goal: to publish content that could not find a home anywhere else on the web. The problem was, we needed people to submit that content.
We reached out to family and friends. We put up daily calls for submissions on Twitter. We sent messages to random people who were somehow our Facebook friends. There was barely a trickle of submissions, and while we were seeing some good stuff, we didn’t think we had enough to produce a magazine.
We had discussions about what would happen if nobody submitted anything. Both of us have written stories that have never been published anywhere—we thought about publishing those using pseudonyms to make it look like other people were writing for the magazine. Then one night, beer in hand, I stumbled onto NewPages.com. They allow magazines that don’t charge reading fees to place free calls for submissions in their classified section. Five minutes later, I had ours submitted.
The ad went up on September 16. Within less than five hours, we had ten submissions. In the next three days, we had forty more. And as I write this, we are closing in on almost two hundred submissions, and we already have content approved for our second and third issues.
The incredible response we’ve received has caused us to reevaluate our mission, and it is this: Empty Sink Publishing will cultivate the written word and visual arts through publication, promotion, and by establishing a collaborative community for our contributors. For those following us on Twitter and Facebook, over the next few days, you’ll see a post highlighting each individual author, artist, and contributor as part of our promotional platform. Artists and authors who are accepted for publication will also be invited to our Facebook Contributors’ page, a closed group forum that will allow Empty Sink contributors to discuss the writing business, promote their work, and collaborate on future endeavors.
We’re very excited to be here, we’re thrilled at the response we’ve gotten, and we look forward to seeing more of what our contributors have to offer to the world.
Now, on to the first issue.
In our Fiction section, you’ll find a wide range of stories—there’s something for everyone here. There’s avant-garde literature in the tradition of Ben Marcus with Rafe Posey’s A Newcomer’s Guide to the Dog Villages. For a little humor, check out Walter Plotz’s story about disgruntled workers at a greeting card factory, Angry Bear. George Dila’s The Cello Player will make you ponder opportunities lost, while Titus Green’s Situation Room assures you that the new political bosses of the future will be the same as the old bosses we have now. If you like epic family stories, then check out the first part of Terry Davis’s Merry and Joe—the second part will be published on December 4 in our second issue. Finally, we have Call Me Pomeroy, by three-time Pushcart nominee James Hanna. More on that one later.
In our Reality section, read Amanda Silva’s creative non-fiction Branded for an unconventional look at the relationship between desire and tattoos. If you like poetry, we have works from poets Leslie Bell (who contemplates the fickleness of youth in The Bottle), Justine Johnston Hemmestad (whose haunting Exile will force you to contemplate the fickleness of life, in general), William Doreski (with Our Backyard Scrolls and Blue on Blue), Mitchell Grabois (who evaluates the value of the Internet in Time), and Tim Suermondt (who, as far as we know, is the only person on Earth who has written a poem about Jesus playing basketball in the late Seventies). In addition, if you’re looking for something to read besides EmptySinkPublishing.com, check out Connor FitzGerald’s review of Freedom, by Jeremy Griffith. It might just change your life.
We don’t just concentrate on the written word, however. We’re also publishing some incredible pieces in our Visual section. Artists Dani Orchard, Otha Davis III, and Tammy Ruggles each have beautiful entries, and there’s also mixed media offerings from Richard Baldasty—the enigmatic Snake—and Arizona Ocean, a joint effort by Travis Naught and Jennifer Barnes. Finally, we are very excited to publish the first part of Strange Fish, a graphic novel by N. Piatkoski. Strange Fish is a brilliant graphic novel that examines pop culture, pop technology, and the fine line between good and disgusting. The art is gorgeous, and there’s a misogynistic penguin as well—there’s a little something for everyone is what I’m trying to say.
Before you start reading, let me tell you a little more about Call Me Pomeroy. Each month, I will choose a piece as “Editor’s Choice.” These will be the pieces that stand out to me most in each issue—the pieces that not only speak to me, but that show me something I’ve never seen before. This month’s Editor’s Choice is Call Me Pomeroy, by James Hanna. I knew we had something special within the first two pages of this epic tale about a homeless vet who gets mixed up in the Occupy Protests of 2011. By the time I finished it, I knew we had to publish it—that we would be LUCKY to publish it. And we are—its irreverent, misogynistic narrator forces us all to look more closely at politics and life in general. As you read the story, think about which character’s actions would most closely resemble your own in the same situation. You may be surprised—and disappointed—by the answer. And despite all this, it is absolutely hilarious. If you don’t laugh out loud at least three different times during Call Me Pomeroy, seek medical attention immediately.
I know this has been a long intro, but I wanted to properly set the stage for the great works we have in this issue. We are proud that our contributors allowed us to publish their work, and we look forward to everything else we have in store for you in coming issues. In the meantime, keep reading, keep submitting, and most of all, enjoy the first issue of Empty Sink Publishing.
—E. Branden Hart, Executive Editor, 11/4/2013