Ascent Aspirations Publishing

Bizarre Front Cover

Anthology 2014

Retails at $20.00

The Anthology will be available in October 2014

Orders are being taken at Ascent Aspirations Email or by PayPal

Winners and Contributors

Prize Winners

Flash Fiction

First Prize: Frank Sikora “Jenny Can’t Go back to Bismarck”
Second Prize: Dorothea Helms “Boxed In”
Third Prize: Norman Johnson “The Squeaking Hinge”
Honorable Mention: Anthony J. Rodway “The Orb”
Honorable Mention: Paul Beckman “A Visit From Grammy”


First Prize: Philip Gordon “sometimes there was snow”
Second Prize: Keith Inman “The Time We Live In”
Third Prize: Katharyn Machan “Hazel Tells Laverne”
Honorable Mention: Harvey Jenkins “A Day of Creation”
Honorable Mention: Bruce Strand “A Question of Morality”
Honorable Mention: Diane Palfrey “New Age Departure”
Honorable Mention: Mary Elizabeth Nelson “At the Dump”


Susan Adams “Sand is Only Moving”
Becky Alexander “Black Winged Dreams”
Julia Aleynikova “Cappuccino Decorated with Snake Scales”
Merle Amodeo “Standing In”
John Barta “Rattled Cage”
Paul Beckman “A Visit From Grammy”
Jay Chollick “On Their Own”
Marcela Croitoru “Connections”
Alexander J. Dawson “Out--”
Josie Di-Sciascio-Andrews “Event Horizon”
Fran Frigge “Street Corner Values”
Miki Fukuda “Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day”
Joanna Gale “Runaway Neon Lights”
Kim Goldberg “Escape from Cyberia”
Katherine L. Gordon “Arctic Vortex Aftermath”
Philip Gordon “sometimes there was snow”
Philip Gordon “string-theory and self-awareness”
Cristine A. Gruber “Demise”
Sterling Haynes “Laughter is the Best Medicine - Maybe”
Dorothea Helms “Boxed In”
Ruth Hill “[ANTI-SPAM] Re: Re: Re: s’up?”
Ann Howells “Class Reunion (2 good 2 be 4 gotten)
Keith Inman “The Time We Live In”
I.B Iskov “All the Time”
I.B. Iskov “Mary-Beth”
Harvey Jenkins “A Day of Creation”
Norman Johnson “The Squeaking Hinge”
Norman Johnson “Under the Bed”
George Kusyj “Dignity”
George Kusyj “Heart Attack”
Ruth Latta “How We Fell in Love”
Katharyn Machan In London “They Were Down the Hall”
Katharyn Machan “Hazel Tells Laverne”
Keith MacIvor “Lousy Timing”
Judy Mayhew “A Dress for the Occasion”
Susan McCaslin “On Coming Late to the First Shock of Modernism”
Beth McClelland “Luck Run Out”
Ray McGinnis “From the Sublime to the Lime”
Claudine Nash “Crossed Wires”
Judith Neale “The Thief”
Judith Neale “He’ll Be Sorry”
Mary Elizabeth Nelson “At the Dump”
Debbie Okun Hill “More Than a Few Bricks Missing in Portland”
Diane Palfrey “New Age Departure”
Derek Peach “Drawer Gossip”
Derek Peach “Lightening”
Karen Sylvia Rockwell “Swimmingly”
Anthony J. Rodway “The Orb”
Frank Sikora “Jenny Can’t Go back to Bsimarck”
Frank Sikora “Three Hundred Miles to Leadville”
Ruth Simkin “Pulling the Tube: A True Story”
Beth Skala “The Corset”
Pat Smekal “Sheer Lunacy”
Laura Smith “Maraschino”
Spiel, The Poet “Untried Blood”
Bruce Strand “A Question of Morality”
Elizabeth Symons “Down the Rabbit Hole”
Lynn Tait “Eden’s Bar & Grill”
Lynn Tait “Reptilian Ruse”
Meg Tuite “Collisions Without Diversion”
Meg Tuite “Crumbling Foundation”
Vernon Waring “Strings from Psycho”
S. J. White “The Lady Yang”
Jan Wood “Double or Nothing”
Jan Wood “Shoe-Boxed Irony”
Ed Woods “Lollipops”


Our theme is the bizarre (as in strikingly unconventional and far-fetched in style or appearance; odd) or (as in markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements; outrageously or whimsically strange), however there are word limits. Poetry is to be no more than 30 lines including the spaces between stanzas, so that the poem printed in 11 pt. font Times Roman will fit on one page. Flash Fiction prose is to be no more than 600 words, so that the prose printed in 11 pt. font Times Roman will fit on two pages.

To clarify our criteria for this anthology, hone your words, and be a minimalist. Create narratives with concrete detail, without abstractions. Prune your adverbs and adjectives and be sparse with your articles, especially in the poetry. We are looking for stories in both the poems and the flash fiction pieces, but we want you to show us your narrative, rather an tell us directly. Leave your readers in suspense and have them work to fill in the gaps. Maybe take us in one direction and then surprise us in the end. You can write about personal and global issues, conflicting opposites, and unusual relationships. Consider yourself a witness. The content is wide open.

Here are some poets we admire, who do this. Dorianne Laux, Sharon Olds, Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier, Jack Gilbert, Susan Musgrave, and Tom Wayman. Here are some prose writers we admire, who do this. John Gould, Raymond Carver, Michael Winter, Ivan Coyote.

The anthology (ISBN) will be judged and compiled for late summer of 2014.

The publication will be a perfect-bound book with a colour art designed cover.

First Prize for Poetry - $100 (CND) & 1 copy of the anthology
First Prize for Flash Fiction - $100 (CND) & 1 copy of the anthology
Second Prize for Poetry - $50 (CND) & 1 copy of the anthology
Second Prize for Flash Fiction - $50 (CND) & 1 copy of the anthology
Third Prize for Poetry - $25 (CND) & 1 copy of the anthology
Third Prize for Flash Fiction - $25 (CND) & 1 copy of the anthology

Plus 6 - $10 (CND) honourable mention awards with 1 copy of the anthology
Plus all additional contributors in the collection will receive one copy of the anthology.

The goal is for the contest to generate the costs for publishing the anthology. If the entry fees and sales of the anthology exceed the costs, then the additional money will be used to fund future print anthologies with prize money being more widely distributed among all the authors who appear in the anthology.

Rules & Guidelines

The anthology will contain poetry and flash fiction.  

Poems and flash fiction can be published elsewhere as long as the author holds the copyright, or be unpublished and not sent elsewhere. Submit your poem(s)/flash fiction with a brief bio, by e-mail to
In the subject heading say Summer 2014 Bizarre Anthology.

By mail with your contest fee include a cover page with the poem(s)/flash fiction title(s) and the first line beside each title, your name, address, phone number and e-mail. IN ADDITION ALSO INCLUDE EACH POEM/FLASH FICTION ON A SEPARATE PAGE WITHOUT YOUR NAME. We will be using the printed copies of your poems for judging and the electronic copies sent by email for the designing of the book pages should you be included in the anthology.

Maximum length of each poem is 30 lines and spaces between the stanzas count as lines. The maximum length for flash fiction is 600 words.

Contest Fee: $5 for one poem or 3 poems for $10. $10 for each piece of flash fiction. You can send as many poems/flash fiction pieces as you wish.

Send your entry information, and POEMS/FLASH FICTION with payment to:
either David Fraser, or Ascent Aspirations Publishing
1560 Arbutus Drive
Nanoose Bay, BC
V9P 9C8

Please do not send a SASE as in the past, as we will be publishing the winners' list on the web and will notify everyone.

All submissions will remain the copyright of the author.
*Additional copies of the perfect-bound anthology will be available at time of publication.
Retail Prices without shipping costs $19.95 CND/19.95 US
 The prices of additional copies including shipping and handling are as follows:

In Canada and USA ($20.00 CND and 23.00 US)
To Other International Destinations ($25.00 US)
Advanced Ordering of the Summer 2014 Issue can be done by email.
Poetry/Flash Fiction
Orders are being accepted in advance. email:

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