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Posted by Dennis

Chuck Reviews The June Workshop Finalists!

Photo by Harley SoltesAfter a slight intermission, we return to you with perhaps the greatest feature we have ever offered on our website in 10 solid years of content.  Chuck Palahniuk reads and reviews your stories!  Hopefully by now you know the drill, but just in case you don't, lemme recap you!

Starting in February of 2009, we began a screening process, whereby about 17 original stories from our Writers' Workshop get nominated and then read by judges every month.  The top 6 stories are then sent off to Chuck Palahniuk who reads, reviews and feedbacks them.  The selected finalists are then posted here, along with Chuck's in-depth notes.  It is Chuck's aim at the end of the year to choose the best stories and publish them in an anthology which he will write the Intro for. 

As we are on a three month turnaround, below you will find the 6 stories that Chuck reviewed for June 09.  Premium Members can click each story to not only read it, but also see Chuck's feedback.

The Great-God Bird of Arkansas - Wil D. Alton

Invisible Graffiti - Adam Skorupskas

Bike - BH Ebert

Logan Outbreak - J. R. Strohmeyer

The Line Forms On the Right - Amanda Gowin

The Soldier - Phil Jourdan

A big congrats to all the finalists.  Chuck seemed to really enjoy every story we sent in June.

For all of you that would like to jumpstart your writing career, quit procrastinating and,

For everyone else, remember, don't miss out,

Join The Workshop Today!

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

Cockroach

'Cockroach' by Rawi Hage
Joshua Chaplinsky
A young immigrant travels to the land of ice and snow to whisper tales of gore on how he calmed the tides of war.

I was two-thirds of the way through Rawi Hage’s Cockroach when the incident occurred.

I was making my daily rounds, trolling the internet for porn, when something bounced off the top of my head. I ran a hand through my hair. Nothing. A minute later- bonk! A small piece of plaster lands on the desk. Fear grips me. I look up, slow. There on the ceiling is a whopper of a cockroach, strutting around with impunity like Tony Manero on his way to the club.

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Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

The Year of the Flood

'The Year of the Flood' by Margaret Atwood
Joshua Chaplinsky
A haunting companion to the dystopian masterpiece Oryx and Crake, from the reigning queen of speculative fiction.

Four years ago, my girlfriend lent me Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake on our very first date. I was hesitant to accept, not only because that locked me into seeing her again, but because other than Geek Love, I had never read anything by a female author that I had actually liked. (Imminent backlash in 3... 2... 1...) Flash forward to the present and we are still together and I am anxiously awaiting the release of The Year of the Flood. Looks like I have fallen prey to not one, but two crafty she-devils.

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Posted by mirka

Craig Clevenger Returns for the last Shotgun Workshop Intensive for 2009!

Attention writers!  Lock and load, because it's time to prowl the wasteland of procrastination and start collecting scalps.  Translation:  It's time to get serious about your writing.  Here at The Cult, we do not rest until we're sure that every writer with potential that is reading this has taken that fateful plunge into improving their craft.  We're relentless in this endeavor; to make you all better writers a

Stooge's picture Posted by Stooge

James Ellroy

You're digging it, right?
Stephen Conley
James Ellroy

James Ellroy has written a new book. After eight long years and a short story collection or two, Mr. Ellroy has finished his Underworld USA Trilogy with Blood's a Rover, a wild and unpredictable ride through the end of the 1960's and the end of our country's innocence for good.

Authors
Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

Blood's A Rover

"Blood's A Rover" by James Ellroy
Joshua Chaplinsky
Here it is, in all its mellifluous and macho-maimed magnificence. Grok its groin-grabbing gravity.

The above quote comes directly from the back cover of the ARC. I figured I’d get the hyperbole out of the way, and who better to sell this gargantua than the Demon Dog himself? The man is his own best critic, and as a reader, I tend to agree with him.

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Posted by Dennis

Writers' Workshop Anthology: June Nominations & Finalists Announced

Chuck Palahniuk reads and reviews the June Writers' Workshop finalists!Greetings, everyone!  As of yesterday, six more original short stories have been sent off to Chuck to be read, reviewed and feed-backed.  This is an unprecedented opportunity for up and coming amateur writers.  Not only do we offer a groundbreaking online Writers' Workshop for you to troubleshoot your material and get honest and helpful feedback from your peers... but we are currently selecting the best stories each month and sending them off to Chuck!

In 2009 our  Writers' Workshop received a massive make-over.  Chuck is now directly involved with his readers, helping them improve their writing craft.  Each month, after a thorough screening process, we send Chuck 6 fan-written stories which he then reads, reviews, and provides vital feedback on.  It is Chuck's goal to pick the best stories at the end of the year and include them in an Anthology, which he will not only include his name on and write the Introduction for, but also help attach a publisher to.  (in fact, Chuck has hinted that he may already have one lined up!)

So saddle up, folks.  It's time to get serious about your writing!

Tina Page's picture Posted by Tina Page

The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder

"The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder"
Tina Estlin Page
In that place where self-analysis, stimulants, and murder meet: psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est?

"It is often easier to confess to a capital crime, so long as its sentences sing and its features rhyme, than to admit you like to fondle-off into a bottle." William H. Gass

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Joshua Chaplinsky's picture Posted by Joshua Chaplinsky

Stitches

"Stitches" by David Small
Joshua Chaplinsky
A graphic memoir about childhood horrors from the award winning children's author, David Small.

This was suggested by the publisher in a batch recommendation of books that might appeal to readers of The Cult. Since I’m not much of a comic book guy anymore (I collected back when I was a preteen) and I don’t read children’s books, I’d never heard of David Small. Apparently he is a prize-winning author and illustrator. My childhood seems to predate his popularity, so I’m considering myself excused. To be honest, I was lured by the promise of a quick, easy read, and the ever-expanding size of my to read list intimidated me into taking this one on.

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