WRITERS. As the number of smartphones, e-readers, and tablets,soars, there is a growing desire for intriguing and entertaining material to read on them. With that in mind, author Nancy Christie is promoting December 21, 2013 as “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day. The goal is to recognize the resurgence of short story reading as a popular form of personal entertainment.
“December 21 marks both the start of winter and the shortest day of the year,” says Christie. “So why not take advantage of the long winter night to curl up with a good short story?”
Pixel Hall Press, a small boutique publisher, believes “The market for short stories and novellas is about to experience a renaissance. The length of a story is going to become irrelevant. All that will matter is whether it’s a great story that captures the readers’ interest and imagination.”
Whether you choose to enjoy a story on an e-reader or prefer the tactile pleasure of turning the pages, the result is the same: A feeling of satisfaction comes from reading a complete, beautifully crafted story in one sitting.
So, this holiday season, Pixel Hall Press is challenging people to read a new short story and discover a new-to-you author. The following stories are only 99 cents each.
“Annabelle” by Nancy Christie is a lyrical portrait of a young woman, the daughter of a painter, and his devoted model. Their obsession with the creation of art binds the family and twists the soul of a child.
“Honor” by Daniel Grotta raises the question: “What is it to be honorable? In the eyes of others? In your own heart? Is it what you’ve done or who you are?” This novella (with flashbacks to the Vietnam War era) explores the human cost when patriotism, personal ethics, and the deep bond of friendship collide.
“Cautionary Tales for the New Millenium” by Eric Nielson, illustrated by Jay Munro. A droll, slightly jaundiced look at contemporary morés, this mini collection of very short illustrated stories reaches below the funny bone to expose insights and truths about who we are and what we are becoming.
“The Broken Bottle” by Sally Wiener Grotta. A suburban wife’s perceptions of life and self-awareness are irreparably altered when she witnesses a brief but vivid moment of violence in downtown Chinatown.
“Alice in Wonderland” by Nancy Christie. When life is unbearable, where can one go to escape? For Alice, constrained by circumstances and unwanted obligations, books transport her to imagined worlds beyond her own, nourishing her spirit — and her body. But what will Alice do when there are no more pages to devour and reality reclaims full dominion?
And for Free: “Mr. Eastman’s Empathy” by Daniel Grotta. A man vows to fight Death itself with the one weapon he has — his empathy. (A free excerpt — and complete short story — from “Seven From Haven” by Daniel Grotta, a collection of gentle tales of the paranormal, reminiscent of the old Twilight Zone TV series.)
Here are three collections of short stories (not published by Pixel Hall Press) that the editors have enjoyed. All four are available in print, or as ebooks.
“Stealing the Fire” by Jane Ciabattari is filled with character-driven, literary gems.
“The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection”. This annual collection edited by Gardner Dozois, the best editor in SF, is curated with an eye for great writing, excellent tale-weaving and an unswerving sense of what makes a truly fine short story.
“USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series.” An intelligent noir collection that is appropriately dark and brooding.
About Pixel Hall Press
Pixel Hall Press is a relatively new, old-fashioned small publishing house that takes pride in discovering literary gems and great stories that might have otherwise been overlooked.
They believe that amidst all of the disruption created by digital publishing and merger mania, mainstream publishers seem to have lost sight of the core principles and purpose of publishing. At the other end of the spectrum is an avalanche of self-published books that are notoriously uneven in quality.
Small boutique imprints, such as Pixel Hall Press, are reclaiming the heart and soul of publishing by reviving the idea that a publisher’s “raison d’être” is to find and nurture great writers, and to provide readers with beautiful, meaningful, truly enjoyable books.
Guidelines for Writers
PHP Shorts are standalone short stories and novellas published as eBooks. Some PHP Shorts may also be collected into print anthologies.
Pixel Hall Press welcomes queries from authors of short stories and novellas. Specifically, PHP is looking for highly polished, well-crafted stories about 4,000 to 15,000 words long.
More than genre, PHP editors consider how compelling the story is, how memorable the characters are, and how well the narrative develops (without clichés).More information and instructions for sending an email query can be found in the Writers Guidelines.