Each year come spring, Roanoke's private Community High School presents its Marginal Arts Festival-- a downtown celebration of the creative process, more so than the creative object. Organizers say it's the fire...not the grate.
This year, as part of the festival, a new group emerges-- Roanoke Pulp and Paper-- dedicated to flipping the publishing model on its ear....at least in just one community.
Writer, teacher and Community High School Administrator Josh Chapman says his Roanoke Pulp and Paper project is at this point just an idea-- designed to introdce site specific fiction that champions the local.
"The old model for literary publishing doesn't work anymore. Self publishing has made it possible for writers to be stewards of their own work. Just as bands now have that," says Chapman.
Chapman is kicking off his concept with a 48-hour novel writing contest- starting on Saturday, March 23rd. Monday morning, writers turn in whatever they’ve got.
Contest entries must fall under the very wide umbrella of PULP LIT, that 20th century genre of dime novels and inexpensive magazines-- featuring cheap printing, cheap paper and cheap authors……packaged to please the working class.
In this contest, anything goes-- teen vampires, urban romance, gypsy adventures-- whatever the story, though it must be set in Roanoke.
Here's an excerpt from the contest rules:
The entries will be judged anonymously by writer C.L. Bledose-- author of Last Stand in Zombie Town!
The winner takes home a printed, bound novel, $500-dollars, and an invitation to read a bit, on the radio.
Anyone can participate in the 48-hour fiction writing contest-- —but you do have to register a few days in advance.