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DEL SOL PRESS NEWS


DEL SOL PRESS NAMES WINNER OF 2018 PRIZE FOR FIRST NOVEL

Del Sol Press is pleased to announce that JUST OFF ELYSIAN FIELDS by Woodlief Thomas has won the 2018 Del Sol Prize for First Novel.

Woodlief Thomas is a writer and teacher in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has also lived in New Orleans, Brooklyn, Mississippi, and Mexico. His writings have appeared in Armchair/Shotgun, Oxford American, The Progressive, In These Times, Nowhere, and Newfound.

Of the winning novel, Del Sol Press Editor in Chief Chris Stewart said, One is immediately drawn into the world of this novel and its characters, of which New Orleans is one. It is rich on every level and will haunt you. We are so pleased and proud to be the press to publish it.

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NEW AND FORTHCOMING BOOKS BY DEL SOL PRESS


MINGLEMENTS
By Renée Ashley
Forthcoming at Amazon Read More...

For Renée Ashley, everything's connected, and so Minglements comes forth in rays of entanglements, some hilarious, some not so hilarious at all. This collection is a kind of guided tour through the way a mind works. Now, when people ask Ashley, What planet do you live on? she can hold up this book in response. Peter Murphy, author of Atlantic City Leaves, best sums it up when he notes, "Renee Ashley accomplishes something extraordinary in Minglements, a hybrid book of literary criticism and memoir. She states all the reasons she shouldn't write a memoir, defends them, and writes it anyway, and I don't want her to stop... Ashley has ignored the New Critics' focus on "the work itself" and offers us a more transactional appraisal of contemporary poetry. She gives us such an idiosyncratic take on "the work" and on herself, we may never be able to read another traditional review without longing."





SECOND SHIFT - ESSAYS
By Susan Tekulve
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In this collection of twelve essays, Susan Tekulve explores the tasks we perform that earn us more than a paycheck. Tekulve's topics include the gathering of secret family stories; surviving a night of haggis and Scottish whisky; mothering a musician son; facing down two teenage gunmen, and caring for a dying mother. The key word in this collection is memory. Whether investigating common occurrences, or making narrative sense out of events for which there are very few words, these essays remind us that memories, and the shaping of them into stories, are the best kind of work. Susan's stories and essays have appeared in Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, New Letters, Best New Writing 2007, The Indiana Review, Denver Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Prairie Schooner, North Dakota Quarterly, Connecticut Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Crab Orchard Review, The Literary Review, Webdelsol, Black Warrior Review, and The Kansas City Star. An Associate Professor of English, she teaches in the BFA and MFA in creative writing programs at Converse College.





KARMA CITY - AN SF ACTION THRILLER
By Gardner Browning
Forthcoming at Amazon Read More...

An unexpected parasite has crippled humanity; but when a geneticist turns to darker science to create a cure, an enhanced predator is engineered that acquires an intelligence of its own. It falls to an urban drifter and his female, mercenary partner, to stop this killer elite before it supplants mankind.

New Hampshire author, Gardner Michael Browning, has been writing fiction since elementary school. As an older brother to two, spinning tales of magic, fantasy and adventure was an important job throughout childhood. Storytelling is but one passion, as Browning draws inspiration from the many facets of his life.





KNOWING WRITERS - ESSAYS AND REVIEWS
By Walt Cummins
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Walter Cummins learned very early on that the writer he knew as a person, no matter how well, is not the writer whose words he read. Even when the material is autobiographical, even based on incidents he has heard about in great detail, the written version is another reality and the voice or character experiencing the situations a much more complex being than the person who told him about them. So, what does it actually mean to know a writer?




DIE BACK - A LITERARY SCIENCE FANTASY
By Richard Hacker
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Six hundred years after a fifteenth century scryer gains the alchemical knowledge to create a dark future in his own image, Addison Shaw inherits a destiny: to fight this ancient war that threatens all he loves with extinction. Using an alchemical pen, he writes himself into past lives, leaving his body in the present. Upon completion of his mission, he must die in order to break the link and return home. While his enemy, Kairos, plays a three-dimensional chess game across the centuries, with each ‘Inking’, Addison’s world shifts further into chaos. From ancient Alexandria to modern Tokyo, Addison and his fellow Inker, Jules, fight a time war against Kairos. After Jules is murdered in the present and her consciousness trapped in an Inca princess five hundred years in the past, Addison, alone and close to defeat, realizes that the only way to save his world is to destroy it.

To save the future he must die in the past, and as often as possible.





THE SINGING SHIP - DSP PRIZE WINNER 2016
By Rebecca Winterer
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Two teenage sisters--Bernadette, the explorer and skeptic; and Jane, the Christian optimist--engage in an unorthodox battle for the truth of their attack in the Australian bush. As they grow up, each seeks refuge in their own world: Bernadette in the maps and writings of the 19th century explorer Charles Stuart, Jane in her faith and teaching. Their parents, Audrey and Robert, unaware of what's happened, deal with their own break in the security of their marriage. Audrey copes by creating a button quilt, its patterns an intricate topography hinting at the family's secrets and betrayals. As the quilt grows and the years pass with the growing burden of what's unsaid and denied, each character bends the boundaries of time and memory to negotiate with the trauma that has separated them from themselves and each other... [ more on Amazon ]




WAR OF THE WORLD MAKERS - A LITERARY SCIENCE FANTASY
By Reilly Michaels
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From 1743 Prussia to 2238 Dubai, the Pan Buddhist Democratic Union (PBDU) wages war to save humanity from being annihilated and replaced in the 21st century by a mad vision of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. PBDU member, Czarina Catherine II, joins forces with spellcrafter Zolo Bold as well as her younger self, the Princess Freddie von Anhalt, and together with World Maker Niccolo Paganini they face an implacable foe, the most brilliant mind to ever invent the future: Leonardo da Vinci--recast to the 21st century as Master Edison Godfellow, inventor and magician supreme.

"War of the World Makers" by Michaels is a dark science-fantasy with no delusions of grandeur. It is truly grand. [ more about this novel ]




TELLING STORIES - OLD AND NEW
By Walter Cummins
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Walter Cummins has published six previous short story collections: Witness, Where We Live, Local Music, The End of the Circle, The Lost Ones, Habitat: stories of bent realism. More than 100 of his stories, as well as memoirs, essays, and reviews, have appeared in magazines such as New Letters, Kansas Quarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, Under the Sun, Arts & Letters, Confrontation, Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, The Laurel Review, Other Voices, Georgetown Review, Contrary, Sonora Review, Abiko Quarterly, Weber Studies, Midwest Quarterly, West Branch, South Carolina Review, Crosscurrents, Crescent Review, The MacGuffin, in book collections, and on the web. [ more books ]




Some Words on the Revision Process

by Rebecca Winterer

Initially the most difficult part of the revision process leading up to publication was being asked to do it. I know how naïve that sounds now, but at the time I believed the manuscript I'd submitted was more or less finished. Once the editor had identified enough in my work that would interfere with a reader's enjoyment of the novel, it was clear to me that it wasn't finished and I had plenty of work ahead.

Some of the editor's feedback made sense to me and some didn't so I addressed the areas where we agreed, which wasn't as straightforward as that sounds since I was forced to analyze why feedback makes sense or doesn't, which meant I had to address my biases. In other words, I had to be especially diligent with regard to the feedback that didn't make sense to me. I promise you that to question one's choices and to truly consider whether something works is not easy. The danger is that, if you don't do this, you may unwittingly alienate readers as I did and subvert the potential of your work. Where aesthetics may differ, and the structure or form of a piece might be controversial, this is even more important to do. Throughout the revision process, I worked to clarify why I was making the choices I was and how to best implement them, more carefully keeping the reader's experience in mind. The editor naturally pointed out where I'd forgotten to do this.

Once I'd decided on a course and had begun to revise, I was faced with another challenge: my old writer self. Each time I reviewed a scene or chapter or considered a character or transition, I was faced with this earlier Rebecca, who'd confidently written certain things a certain way. It felt like I was dealing with a Rebecca who was a trickster, who left puzzles to be solved and gaps to be filled, who hinted at character behavior and inserted stand-in passages that hopefully the later Rebecca would find, decipher what they stood in for, and replace. I was dealing with a Rebecca who would happily overwrite a passage as much as underwrite it, and who tended towards generalities in language and action that were begging to be clarified. She was relentless: she would leave pages of narrative that would explain all you needed to know and not only be death-defyingly meaningful, but also death-defyingly dull and unreadable. Worse, sometimes she wasn't even a thing of the past. I could revise a passage one day that the next day had been sabotaged and in need of further revision. Worse still, I'm certain she's left problems that I wasn't able to recognize in my final review of the novel, graciously leaving me vulnerable to critics into eternity.

I will say, however, this earlier Rebecca wasn't malicious. I could see that she always tried to write and to tell the story well, and to be true to her characters, and, in fact, thankfully, was successful many times. Where the story flowed, the narrative tension was consistent, the language was clear, pace varied, the characters authentic, and the transitions seamless, I could see she was leaving the later Rebecca clues and models as how that could be done and even to remind this later Rebecca that it was doable.

My revision process wasn't exactly scientific, but it wasn't magic either. I annotated the novel and combined my list of issues with those of the editor and worked my way through and back and over again and again. I became more proficient at identifying where I'd set up roadblocks for the reader and better at understanding and implementing ways to clear the way. It wasn't standard. Some techniques you can study and some issues you mull over in the middle of the night and, if you're lucky, a solution will come. Some solutions are born from hours or days of frustration and hopelessness. Go figure.

Publication, of course, is the hard end to the revision process. Perspectives change. I expect you have to let bygones be bygones. Now all I hope is that my novel, THE SINGING SHIP, provides pleasure to those who read it. (Thank you to the editor at Del Sol Press, Christine Stewart, for her help along the way.)




Night Writer

We asked K.C. Aegis, whose novel BINDING PROGRAM placed third in the 2016 Del Sol Press First Novel Prize competition to share his first experience of writing. The 2017 Del Sol Press First Novel Prize closes May 15th. Learn more and submit your manuscript here: http://www.delsolpress.org/DSP-NovelCompetition.htm



When I was in the ninth grade, my English teacher gave me a failing grade. She handed it to me at the beginning of class--a story I had written--with a big red F scribbled on the front. Beneath this, she had written a single word: Plagiarism.

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Writing the Other

Sadie Hoagland holds a PhD in Fiction from the University of Utah and an MA in Creative Writing-Fiction from UC Davis. Her work has appeared in Slush Pile Magazine, The Black Herald, MOJO, Alice Blue Review, Grist Journal, and The South Dakota Review, among others. Her novel, STRANGE CHILDREN, placed second in the Del Sol Press First Novel Prize this past summer. The story focuses on two sisters, Emma and Annalue, and takes place in a polygamist commune in the desert, where a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl fall in love, breaking religious law. They are caught, and a year later she gives birth to his father's child, while the boy commits murder four hundred miles away, a crime that will slowly unravel the community.


When I tell people that my novel, Strange Children, is about several characters coming-of-age in an isolated polygamist community, there are usually many follow-up questions. One of the most frequent is: Did you grow up in a polygamist community?

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"THE SINGING SHIP" TAKES THE PRIZE

Del Sol Press is pleased to announce that THE SINGING SHIP by Rebecca Winterer has won the inaugural First Novel Prize for 2016.

Winterer has received fellowships at The Millay Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and an MS in Physical Therapy from Columbia University. She has volunteered at the nonprofit Writing Center, 826 Valencia, taught creative writing at the Writing Salon, and is currently working on a collection of short stories.

Contest judge, the award-winning novelist Madison Smartt Bell, called the work, "breathtaking in its freshness, originality, and structural ingenuity."

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