Wannabe - 39

By Chris Prunckle

Wannabe 39

Wannabe is a blog series by Chicago area artist Chris Prunckle documenting his trials and tribulations as a wannabe artist. Check back next week for a new posting.

Chris Prunckle is a graphic designer, illustrator and comic book artist banished to the suburbs of Chicago. Though an advertising industry minion by day, he slaves his nights away creating a mad little world.  He’s previously worked on the comics Fisted, Bonesetter, and The Scarab.  Follow him at @midjipress.

Eight Days of Splendor: DAY ONE

By Naomi Huffman

Bill Hillmann's The Old Neighborhood is the perfect ending to our Eight Days of Splendor because it's a story about a large family, one that deals love and violence in equal punches. Amdist drug use, street brawls, gang violence and racism, teenager Joe Walsh struggles to find his place among his own family and the larger world. Honest and raw, The Old Neighborhood will knock you flat out on the floor. 


by Bill Hillmann
April 2014

The Old Neighborhood by Bill Hillmann

The Old Neighborhood is the story of teenager Joe Walsh, the youngest in a large, mixed-race family living in Chicago. After Joe witnesses his older brother commit a gangland murder, his friends and family drag him down into a pit of violence that reaches a bloody impasse when his elder sister begins dating a rival gang member. The Old Neighborhood is both a brutal tale of growing up tough in a mean city, and a beautiful harkening to the heartbreak of youth.

Bill Hillmann is an award-winning writer and storyteller from Chicago. His writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Newcity, Salon.com, and broadcast on NPR. He's told stories around the world with his internationally acclaimed storytelling series the Windy City Story Slam. Hillmann is a Union Construction Laborer and a bull-runner in Spain. In the not so distant past, Hillmann was a feared street brawler, gang affiliate, drug dealer, convict, and Chicago Golden Glove Champion.

Eight Days of Splendor: Day Two

By Victor David Giron

With only two days left until Christmas, by now you've probably seen enough red and green to get you through the next 365 days. So just in time, we're announcing to you The New Black, from Dark House Press.  

Edited by Richard Thomas
May 2014

The New Black

The New Black is a collection of twenty neo-noir stories exemplifying the best authors currently writing in this dark sub-genre. A mixture of horror, crime, fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, and the grotesque—all with a literary bent—these stories are the future of genre-bending fiction.

Richard Thomas is the author of three books—his debut novel, Transubstantiate (Otherworld Publications), and two short story collections, Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press) and Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press). He has published over 75 stories online and in print, including Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Pear Noir!, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, and Opium, as well as the Shivers VI anthology alongside Stephen King and Peter Straub. He has won contests at ChiZine, One Buck Horror, and Jotspeak and has received five Pushcart Prize nominations to date. He is also the editor of three anthologies out in 2014: The New Black (Dark House Press), The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press), and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. In his spare time he is a featured book critic at The Nervous Breakdown, a columnist at LitReactor, and Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press.

Eight Days of Splendor: Day Three

By Victor David Giron

Nothing says "happy holidays" like a story with a dead mother appearing to her daughter in dreams and a lake that haunts an entire town. 

With just three days left before Christmas, we bring you one of two titles coming this spring from our new imprint, Dark House Press.

by Letitia Trent
May 2014

Echo Lake by Letitia Trent

Thirty-something Emily Collins inherits her recently murdered aunt's house, deciding to move to Heartshorne, Oklahoma, to claim it and confront her family's dark past after her dead mother begins speaking to her in dreams, propelling this gothic, neo-noir thriller toward terrifying revelations of murderous small-town justice when a horrible community secret is revealed through the supernatural pull of Echo Lake.
Letitia Trent grew up in Vermont and Oklahoma and spent her teenage years traveling with her flea-marketing parents. She received her MFA in poetry from Ohio State University. Her work has appeared in journals such as the Denver Quarterly, Fence, and the Black Warrior Review.

Eight Days of Splendor: Day Four

By Naomi Huffman


Perhaps by now you're on your way to wherever it is that you celebrate this season. Maybe you're with friends, or with family, but whomever you spend the holiday with, I hope it's filled with laughter and love, and the kinds of experiences worth re-telling later. Memories. 

Of course, if we're talking about stories, we have to talk about Megan Stielstra, who tells the most powerful stories you've heard...

by Megan Stielstra
May 2014

Once I Was Cool by Megan Stielstra


These insightful, compassionate, gutsy, and heartbreaking personal essays explore the messy, maddening beauty of adulthood with wit, intelligence, and biting humor, tackling topics ranging from beating postpartum depression through stalking to a surprising run-in with an old lover at the symphony while on ecstasy.

Megan Stielstra is the author of Everyone Remain Calm and the Literary Director of the 2nd Story storytelling series. She’s told stories for all sorts of theaters, festivals, and bars including The Goodman, The Steppenwolf, and The Museum of Contemporary Art. Her writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.


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