Announcement: Second Bull Spec Teen Writing Contest, judged by Sharyn November

DURHAM, NC: August 31, 2012

WHAT: Bull Spec, a Durham-based speculative fiction magazine established in 2009, is pleased to announce its second Teen Writing contest, to be judged by Sharyn November, Viking Children’s Books Senior Editor and Editorial Director of Firebird.

WHY: To foster the next generation of speculative writing in the Carolinas and celebrate the region’s most promising young writers.

WHEN: Submissions may be sent between September 1 at 12:00 AM to December 1 at 11:55 PM, Eastern Time (US).

HOW: Email your stories as RTF attachments to contest@bullspec.com. We are absolutely not strict on formal manuscript formatting for the teen writing contest, though please, be readable.

ELIGIBILITY: The contest is open to writers aged 12-17 in North and South Carolina, with age determined at the time of story submission. One entry per person, and the story must be the sole work of the submitting author. The story must not have been previously published. One additional eligibility rule this year: previous winners of the teen writing contest are not eligible.

LENGTH: Entries should be between 1000 and 2000 words. Entries longer than 2000 words will not be considered and will be returned unread.

THEME: There is no specific theme. Please submit your best story in any speculative fiction subgenre.

PRIZE: One (1) story will be selected as the winner of the contest and will be published in Bull Spec #9 in print and PDF in early 2013. The winning author will be paid $100 and receive a contributor copy of the magazine. Up to three (3) additional stories may be listed by author and title as honorable mentions.

ADDITIONAL: Download a PDF of this release, suitable for printing.

CONTACT:

Samuel Montgomery-Blinn

Publisher, Bull Spec

sam@bullspec.com

+1.919.824.9402

NOTE: The first Bull Spec Teen Writing Contest was judged by multiple award-winning editor Ann VanderMeer, and won by Hillsborough, NC writer Benjamin Paul for his story “The Messengers”, which was published in Bull Spec #5 in April 2011. One honorable mention was also listed, Maryam Ali’s “Out of Darkness”.


September handout flyer, v1.

While I’m soon to pull the trigger on the full September newsletter, here’s the handout flyer of highlights for September and early October. It’s a busy month ahead!

Update: Corrected an inaccurate listing. Andy Duncan’s reading at NCSU is on Sep 12 at 7:30, not Sep 19 at 7. See you there!

(Don’t print the JPG! There’s a handout-2012-september-v1 (color) and handout-2012-september-v1-bw (grayscale) PDF for that!)

SEPTEMBER 2012

4 Chapel Hill Comics hosts sf and horror author Scott Sigler for a reading from his Galactic Football series and graphic novel Infected. 7 pm.

9 Raleigh’s Tir Na Nog hosts “NerdMusik!” with Mikey Mason, Danny Birt, and more. 6 to 8:30 pm.

12 North Carolina State University hosts author Andy Duncan for a special reading event. 7:30 pm.

13 Quail Ridge Books hosts Clay and Susan Griffith for a reading and signing of The Kingmakers: Vampire Empire 3. 7:30 pm.

14-16 The Escapist Magazine presents the first Escapist Expo at the Durham Convention Center.

20 Chapel Hill’s Varsity Theater hosts Neil Gaiman and other storytellers as part of The Unchained Tour. Tickets online and at Flyleaf Books. 7:30 pm.

20 Durham’s Motorco Music Hall hosts award-winning author Junot Díaz for a reading. Tickets online and at The Regulator Bookshop. 7:30 pm.

21 Flyleaf Books hosts fantasy author Brent Weeks for book 2 of Lightbringer, The Blinding Knife. 7 pm.

24 Flyleaf Books hosts epic fantasy author Steven Erikson for book one in his new Malazan prequel trilogy, Forge of Darkness. 7 pm.
OCTOBER 2012

1 Quail Ridge Books hosts Michael Chabon for a reading and signing from his forthcoming non-genre novel Telegraph Avenue. 7:30 pm.

9 Quail Ridge Books hosts Kij Johnson for a reading and signing from her new collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees. 7:30 pm.


Saturday quick updates, August 18

Since the August newsletter was mailed out a few weeks ago, and even since last week’s round of quick updates, the news and events have been piling up. While it’s not quite time to send out the September newsletter yet, there are some things coming up and not yet specifically mentioned that I wanted to get out into the world:

  • August 20 (Monday) 9 pm — “Nerd-Vana Presents Super Mega Ultra-Funcade Toon-Hour”, something which appears to be a series of strange skits involving Saturday morning cartoon themes, with Rich Sigfrit and Laura Haywood-Cory and a long list of other performers, at Legends Nightclub in Raleigh. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/209595709169790/
  • August 21 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Monthly book club meeting of the Research Triangle Science Fiction Society (RTSFS) with this month being a discussion of Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age and also a discussion of this year’s Hugo nominees. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/419566308080461/
  • August 24 (Friday) 10 am — Ann Patchett visits Duke for the DukeReads summer reading program’s discussion of her novel State of Wonder. Watch live online at 10 am via Duke University’s ustream channel. More info: http://dukealumni.com/learn-travel/dukereads
  • August 24-26 (Friday to Sunday) — Major League Gaming Summer Championships in Raleigh. More info: http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/competitions/40
  • August 28 (Tuesday) 6:30 pm –The next SF/F Group meeting of the Durham Writers Group, a writing workshop. RSVP via the Meetup group.
  • September 4 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Best-selling science fiction and horror author Scott Sigler visits Chapel Hill Comics for a reading and signing event.
  • September 9 (Sunday) 4 pm — Screening of the short local horror film “Foodie” as part of the Carrboro Arts Center’s Second Sunday film series along with three other short films. Ticketed event: $5. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/247295845391580/
  • September 9 (Sunday) 9 pm — NerdMusik! at Tir Na Nog with Greenville’s Danny Birt among those performing. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/255087191277612/
  • September 14 (Friday) 9 pm — Amanda Palmer at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. More info: http://www.amandapalmer.net/shows/
  • September 20 (Thursday) 7:30 pm — The Unchained Tour, including Neil Gaiman, at The Varsity Theatre in Chapel Hill. Ticketed event, with tickets available online or in person at Flyleaf Books. More info: http://bullspec.com/2012/08/15/the-unchained-tour-including-neil-gaiman-with-events-across-the-carolinas-in-september/
  • (Ongoing) “Cattes Wearing Hattes” pre-registration drive for illogiCon — for every 3 pre-registrations, another convention staff member changes their Facebook profile picture to, well, a cat wearing a hat. When they reach 30 I’ll be changing my profile pic to one of my cats wearing a green bowler as well. Did I mention Tim Powers is the literary guest of honor, and Mark L. Van Name is the toastmaster? More info on this, er, “event” at: https://www.facebook.com/events/288960271212241/

Whew. Not much going on, not at all… Meanwhile, don’t be fooled — there are already-mentioned events which filter in through those dates above. It’s quite a busy early fall!


The Unchained Tour, including Neil Gaiman, with events across the Carolinas in September!

Beginning September 14 in Columbia, SC and making its way through North and South Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and ending up in Savannah, GA on September 22, The Unchained Tour is bringing Neil Gaiman and a crew of Moth-veteran raconteurs to the Carolinas all September long. The stops in between (all 7:30 pm unless noted) include Spartanburg, SC (Sep 15), Tryon, NC (Sep 16, 2 pm), Asheville, NC (Sep 16), ETSU – Johnson City, TN (Sep 17, 12 pm), Boone, NC (Sep 17), Charlotte, NC (Sep 18), Winston-Salem , NC (Sep 19), Chapel HIll, NC (Sep 20), and Charleston, SC (Sep 21).


Friday quick updates, August 10

Couldn’t make it out to Flyleaf for the Michael J. Sullivan and T.C. McCarthy reading? I’m absolutely stoked to remind folks that Calvin Powers captured the readings on video for all to see. Thank you so much, Calvin! And thanks to the 40 or so folks who came to the event, whether from far away (Sullivan’s recap of the event mentions a family from Baltimore!), nearby, or somewhere in-between. (You’re not nobody, Teresa Frohock!)

Second, some new events have been scheduled since the August newsletter went out. You can scan the newsletter for “NEW-NEW” of course, but in brief:

  • Ultimate Comics will be celebrating its ninth anniversary on Saturday, August 25 with “a HUGE party!”
  • Andy Duncan at North Carolina State University on Wednesday, September 12 for a reading event at 7:30 pm — UPDATE: I had originally and incorrectly listed this as Sep 19.
  • Flyleaf Books hosts Forbes technology reporter Andy Greenberg for his new non-fiction novel THIS MACHINE KILLS SECRETS: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information, for a reading and signing on Wednesday, September 26 at 7 pm
  • Durham’s Sci-Fi Genre is moving to a new location on Westgate Drive, and has scheduled its grand opening for Saturday, September 29th. More info: http://scifigenre.com/moving.html
  • Quail Ridge Books hosts Greensboro author Orson Scott Card for Ruins, the second book in his Pathfinder series from Simon Pulse (young readers/young adult) on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:30 pm

Speaking of events, a reminder that coming up in 3 days (Monday!) at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, Anna North will read from and sign copies of her novel America Pacifica. Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on America Pacifica, an island in the Pacific that refugees from the West Coast have retreated to after a second ice age. For Darcy, life with her make-it-work mother is made up of seafiber clothes and dinners of jellyfish. When Darcy’s mother doesn’t come home one night, she kicks of a search that pulls her from the small life she knows in Little Los Angeles to a harrowing adventure far bigger than she could have expected. Anna North’s writing has appeared in publications like The Atlantic, Jezebel.com, and The Paris Daily Review. She is a senior editor at BuzzFeed.com and lives in Brooklyn.  Reading with Anna will be her friend Kristen-Paige Madonia, whose new YA novel, Fingerprints of You,”deftly depicts the nuanced conflicts of early motherhood and the search for identity.” The event is scheduled to start at 7 pm.

At the book’s page at Amazon.com, you can read an “Author One-on-One” between Anna North and Kelly Link, getting some ideas about the book. Anyway, that’s all I have for this Friday — see you next week, by which time we’ll have definitely announced the next Bull Spec Teen Writers contest details!


July and August newsletter — including events tonight (Friday) and Sunday

Vol 2. No 5. 3 August 2012:

Sorry for the radio silence last month; it’s been a bit busy around here since the calendar rolled into June. First, the imminently upcoming highlights, with more info links down in the calendar section:

  • Tonight (Friday, August 3) the North Carolina Museum of Natural History hosts a screening of three short films based on the work of the late Ray Bradbury. The event starts at 5 om, with the films to start at 7 pm.
  • For readers nearer the western half of North Carolina — Saturday (August 4) Asheville’s Malaprop’s Bookstore hosts Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Naomi Novik, Tobias S. Buckell, Karin Lowachee, Nathan Ballingrud, Will Hindmarch, and Jeremy L.C. Jones for a joint reading at 7 pm.
  • Sunday (August 5) from 2 to 4 pm, Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books hosts South Carolina science fiction author T.C. McCarthy and Virginia fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan for a joint reading and signing. Yeah! We’ve been waiting all summer for this and it’s finally here! If you missed McCarthy on WUNC’s The State of Things today, check back later tonight for the re-broadcast, or download the podcast.

Second, there’s a long list of NEW events interleaved below, but here are a few (OK, more than a few) in quick highlight mode:

  • Anna North (post-apocalyptic novel America Pacifica) and Kristen-Paige Madonia at The Regulator Bookshop on Monday, August 13 at 7 pm.
  • Local authors Clay and Susan Griffith at Quail Ridge Books on Thursday September 13 for the conclusion of their Vampire Empire trilogy, The Kingmakers at 7:30 pm.
  • Andy Duncan at North Carolina State University on Wednesday, September 12 for a reading event at 7:30 pm. UPDATE: I had erroneously listed this as Sep 19.
  • Brent Weeks at Flyleaf Books on Friday, September 21 for the second book in his Lightbringer series, The Blinding Knife at 7 pm.
  • Steven Erikson at Flyleaf Books on Monday, September 24 for the first book in his new prequel trilogy in his Malazan storyline, Forge of Darkness at 7 pm.
  • Jasper Fforde at Quail Ridge Books on Monday, October 22 for his young adult fantasy novel The Last Dragonslayer at 7 pm.
  • Local writer Alex Granados has a new book Cemetery Plot coming out in late October, with events and appearances scheduled throughout the Triangle in early November.
  • I must have missed the announcement, but Mark Van Name will be the Toastmaster at illogiCon in January 2013.
  • ConTemporal 2013 has been announced for June 27, 2013 at 5:00pm until June 30, 2013 at 3:00pm at the North Raleigh Hilton.

Whew.  Meanwhile, I’ve posted the tentative table of contents for Bull Spec #8 which is in production and headed for a release this late summer (or, yeah, early fall), and hope you all enjoyed some of the great events the last couple of months (Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid reading at Flyleaf; MakerFaire; Free RPG Day; ConTemporal — my photos are slowly going up; the five, no, SIX author science fiction panel at the Barnes & Noble of Cary; the Star Trek: The Next Generation screenings; the as-always excellent Can’t Stop the Serenity event; and more besides). And! We’re putting the finishing touches on both the second teen writing contest and the start of some new columns on the website. It’s a busy and exciting time, eh?

-Sam

AUGUST 2012

1 — Local editor new anthology: Raleigh author and anthologist John Kessel’s latest anthology (co-edited with James Patrick Kelly) to be released: Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology from Tachyon Publications.NEW: 3 (Friday) 5 pm — Tthe North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences hosts a screening of three short films based on the work of the late Ray Bradbury. The event starts at 5 pm, with the films to start at 7 pm. More info: http://naturalsciences.org/programs-events/first-friday-goodbye-ray-bradburyNEW: 4 (Saturday) 7 pm – Regional event: Asheville’s Malaprops Bookstore hosts Shared Worlds writers Tobias Buckell, Karin Lowachee, Will Hindmarch, Ann and Jef VanderMeer, and Nathan Ballingrud for a SF/F extravaganza.5 (Sunday) 2 to 4 pm — Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books hosts the 2nd Bull Spec summer literary sf festival with South Carolina author T.C. McCarthy (Germline, Exogene, and the forthcoming Chimera) and Virginia author Michael J. Sullivan (The Riyria Revelations). Last year was a veritable Steampunk Cabinet of Curiosities. This year, it’s a mini Orbit regional author-palooza. Spread the word: http://bullspec.com/2012/07/30/event-flyer-for-sundays-flyleaf-books-reading-with-t-c-mccarthy-and-michael-j-sullivan/
NEW: 13 (Monday) 7 pm — The Regulator Bookshop — Anna North will read from and sign copies of her novel America Pacifica. Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on America Pacifica, an island in the Pacific that refugees from the West Coast have retreated to after a second ice age. For Darcy, life with her make-it-work mother is made up of seafiber clothes and dinners of jellyfish. When Darcy’s mother doesn’t come home one night, she kicks of a search that pulls her from the small life she knows in Little Los Angeles to a harrowing adventure far bigger than she could have expected. Anna North’s writing has appeared in publications like The Atlantic, Jezebel.com, and The Paris Daily Review. She is a senior editor at BuzzFeed.com and lives in Brooklyn.  Reading with Anna will be her friend Kristen-Paige Madonia, whose new YA nove, Fingerprints of You,”deftly depicts the nuanced conflicts of early motherhood and the search for identity.”

14 — (Ex!) Local author new collection: Raleigh author Kij Johnson’s fiction collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees to be published by Small Beer Press. Kij will be back in the Triangle in October for a reading event — see below!

NEW-NEW: 24 (Friday) — Ann Patchett visits Duke for the DukeReads summer reading program’s discussion of her novel State of Wonder. Watch live online at 10 am on Friday, August 24. More info: http://dukealumni.com/learn-travel/dukereads

NEW-NEW: 25 (Saturday) — Ultimate Comics will be celebrating its ninth anniversary with “a HUGE party! We will have food and drinks…”

31 – September 6 — Durham’s Carolina Theatre’s Summer Classics Film Series concludes withSam Raimi’s ARMY OF DARKNESS and John Milius’ CONAN THE BARBARIAN: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/films/summer-classics-film-series

SEPTEMBER 2012

4 — Local author new novel: Raleigh authors Clay and Susan Griffith conclude their Vampire Empire series with book 3, The Kingmakers, after 2010′s The Greyfriar and 2011′s The Rift Walker, from Pyr Books. More info: http://clayandsusangriffith.blogspot.com/

NEW: 8 (Saturday) — Bookmarks Book Festival in W-S with Sherrilyn Kenyon: http://www.bookmarksbookfestival.org/

NEW: 13 (Thursday) at 7:30 pm — Local authors Clay and Susan Griffith at Quail Ridge Books on Thursday September 13 for the conclusion of their Vampire Empire trilogy, The Kingmakers.

NEW: 13-16 (Thursday to Sunday) — SparkCon in Raleigh, with poetry, art, music, and other programming tracks “filling downtown Raleigh with a 4-day creative explosion”. More info: http://www.sparkcon.com

14-16 (Friday to Sunday) – The Escapist Magazine presents the first Escapist Expo at the newly renovated Durham Convention Center, with game designers, writers, comics, music, and more. Bull Spec will have a table, so stop buy and say hello! More info: http://www.escapistexpo.com/

NEW: 15-16 (Saturday and Sunday) — Durham’s CenterFest Arts Festival in downtown Durham, with a large variety of local artists, photographers, makers, and performance art. More info: http://centerfest.durhamarts.org/

NEW-NEW: 19 (Wednesday) at 7:30 pm — Andy Duncan at North Carolina State University for a reading event. Location TBD.

NEW: 21 (Friday) at 7 pm — Brent Weeks at Flyleaf Books on Friday, September 21 for the second book in his Lightbringer series, The Blinding Knife.

NEW: 24 (Monday) at 7 pm — Steven Erikson at Flyleaf Books on Monday, September 24 for the first book in his new prequel trilogy in his Malazan storyline, Forge of Darkness.

NEW-NEW: 26 (Wednesday) at 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Forbes technology reporter Andy Greenberg for his new non-fiction novel THIS MACHINE KILLS SECRETS: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information.

NEW-NEW: 29 (Saturday) — Durham’s Sci-Fi Genreis moving to a new location on Westgate Drive, and has scheduled its grand opening for Saturday, September 29th. More info: http://scifigenre.com/moving.html

OCTOBER 2012

1 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Michael Chabon (the author of The Yiddish Policeman’s Union and The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay) for a reading and signing event of his forthcoming non-genre novel, Telegraph Hill. More info: http://quailridgebooks.com/event/michael-chabon-telegraph-hill

9 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm — Kij Johnson returns to the Triangle for a reading and signing of her forthcoming collection from Small Beer Press, At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories, at Quail Ridge Books. More info: http://quailridgebooks.com/event/kij-johnson-nebula-winner-new-stories

NEW: 22 (Monday) 7 pm — Jasper Fforde at Quail Ridge Books on Monday, October 22 for his young adult fantasy novel The Last Dragonslayer.

NEW-NEW: 29 (Monday) 7 pm — Clay and Susan Griffith at Flyleaf Books on Monday, October 29 for a reading and signing of The Kingmakers (see above for more info on the book and another reading at Quail Ridge Books).

NEW: 31 — Local author new novel: Alex Granados’s Cemetery Plot to be published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. Taglined “The apocalypse isn’t all it’s cracked up to be”, the novel’s described as: “When Vanessa Hawthorne woke up at the end of the world, she expected to be one of the undead… and to have company. Instead Vanessa wakes up in a near-future America where graveyards are as plentiful as strip malls and a real-estate tycoon is after her for the technology she doesn’t even know she hides. CEMETERY PLOT is a farcical romp through a future where the undead are part of a money-making scheme, and the past and future collide to bring together an undead medium with the three people responsible for the end of the world. Throw a mad scientist into the mix and you have a time-traveling apocalyptic prophecy for the modern money-obsessed world. The CEMETERY PLOT is nearly 50,000 words. It’s a science fiction/horror satire perfect for anyone from young adults to adults.” Granados will be on The State of Things on November 2, with signing throughout the triangle in November (see below).

NOVEMBER 2012

NEW: 4 (Sunday) 2 pm — Alex Granados reading and signing Cemetery Plot at McInty’re Books in Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. (See above for book info.)

NEW-NEW: 7 (Wednesday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Greensboro author Orson Scott Card for Ruins, the second book in his Pathfinder series from Simon Pulse (young readers/young adult).

NEW: 9 (Friday) — Granados at The Storetellers Bookstore in Wake Forest, during the town’s Art after Hours event.

NEW: 13 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm — Granados at Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books.

NEW: 15 (Thursday) 7 pm — Granados at Durham’s The Regulator Bookshop.

17-18 (Saturday and Sunday) — NC Comicon at the Durham Convention Center: http://nccomicon.com/

TBD — Local author new novel: J.L. Hilton’s Stellarnet Prince, sequel to January’s Stellarnet Rebel, to be published by Carina Press

JANUARY 2013

11-13 (Friday to Sunday) — illogiCon 2 will be held at the Embassy Suites of Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle on January 11-13, 2013, with writer guest of honor Tim Powers and webcomic guest of honor Garth Graham, and toastmaster Mark L. Van Name: http://www.illogicon.com/

JUNE 2013

NEW: 27-30 (Thursday to Sunday) — ConTemporal 2013 at the North Raleigh Hilton, beginning with the Thursday evening guest of honor dinner and continuing as this Steampunk-themed convention is back for a second year. More info: http://contemporal.org/

END


Friday quick updates

A pair of quick updates for Friday morning:

  1. South Carolina science fiction author T.C. McCarthy will be on WUNC’s “The State of Things” today at 12 pm to talk about his Subterrene War series, in advance of his joint reading with Virginia fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan on Sunday at Flyleaf Books from 2 to 4 pm.
  2. Tonight, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is hosting a screening of three short films based on the late Ray Bradbury’s work. The event starts at 5, with the films starting at 7.

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