Kelly scavenges for scrap metal from the hundred thousand abandoned buildings in a part of Detroit known as “the zone,” an increasingly wild landscape where one day he finds something far more valuable than the copper he’s come to steal: a kidnapped boy, crying out for rescue. Briefly celebrated as a hero, Kelly secretly takes on the responsibility of avenging the boy’s unsolved kidnapping, a task that will take him deeper into the zone and into a confrontation with his own past, his long-buried trauma, memories made dangerous again.
Scrapper is a devastating reimagining of one of America’s greatest cities, its beautiful architecture, Its lost houses and its shuttered factories, its boxing gyms and storefront churches, anywhere hope lingers. With precise and powerful prose, it asks: What transgressions would we allow if we believed they would ensure the safety of the people we loved? What do we owe for our crimes, even those committed to protect our charges from harm?
4014 North Goldwater Boulevard #101
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
When I was asked to go to AWP Minneapolis and represent Superstition Review, I didn’t really know what AWP was and what it would entail. I had only just learned a few weeks earlier of its existence. Panicked, I wanted to learned everything and read everyone so that I could fully appreciate the experience. Once I had the flight booked, I heard people talking about AWP left and right. How did I miss this? It became the code. AWP? Yeah, you? Yeah. It sounded like the party of the year, but it was at some speakeasy where only the elite could go, and I somehow got a golden ticket undeserved.
This is how I thought: do I even belong here? How funny that I spent the greater time worrying about humbling myself before the Great that I assumed would be there. I eventually realized that there was no real way to prep for the conference, so I just sat back and watched the #badAWPadvice roll in while I packed my bag (not quite well enough for the snow). I sensed the theme of all the advice: yes, we are all writers, relax.
I was the first to land on the ground in Minneapolis, so my selfie was the one plastered across the ASU News page and other social media. Already still wondering how I got there, I was even more confused by seeing this. Yes, you are here. This picture in the article was found by my sweet mom, who unknowingly professed her love for me on the Facebook post. Already unsure of myself, I thought that this was even more embarrassing. Quickly, I realized I needed to not take myself so seriously. Many moments on the trip felt like these little nuggets of life wisdom.
I spent that hour alone in the city wandering, getting my bearings, trying to center myself for the event. I never felt like I stopped moving (which made sense given the plane, subway, bus, and walk to the hotel I took to start) that entire trip.
The girls I roomed with were the highlight of the conference. Early on, we bonded, and I was able to learn from these like-minded women, who were in the same undergraduate, lost boat as I was. This bonding—this sense of community—defined the trip. I got it: an association of writers.
We spent our first night in a crowded, local Normal World Pub that couldn’t fit more people in if it tried–and it did try. The Literary Death Match was hosted there, and right away the trip began with awkward bump ins and “excuse me, coming throughs” with fabulous writers like Roxane Gay, Mark Doten, Matt Bell, and Claire Vaye Watkins. We pushed, shoved to the front of the crowd and had the equally the best and worst spot up front and right next to the bathrooms where the waiters/passerbys had to continuously shove to pass. None of that mattered because everyone was enjoying the readings, the impromptu performance of Matt Bell, and the literary charades to follow.
The conference itself felt like swirling dream sequences. I had a dream before the trip that the conference was like a casino. There were no lights and gambling tones rising above the crowd, but we were enticed into various panels and rooms until we reached the last day and were all ready to go home, slightly broke from buying books and cool totes and souvenirs at the book fair.
I learned a lot from the panels I did go to, and I also learned to relax when I didn’t go to a panel. Everything began to bleed into everything else like watercolors, and I was okay with that. I even sort of liked that better than the regimented plan that I originally assumed would get me through the conference.
I was not discouraged by the advice, but rather uplifted because every person that I met only reminded me that you write because you love it. I understood that the conference served as a reunion for many writers, who after years teaching or living elsewhere, were able to catch up and engage in the same thought-provoking conversations with other like-minded and intuitive people.
I was thrilled to meet the humans behind the contributors list in SR, to take part in curious conversations, and to connect with the past SR Editor-in-Chiefs, Erin Regan and Sydni Budelier, and the most recent fiction editor and my mentor, Stephanie Funk. It truly was a treat, and I won a golden ticket with the friendships and memories from AWP15.
Photos by Jessica Marie Fletcher
For the past year, Treehouse has been dedicated to exhibiting pleasantly unusual and interesting writing that is short enough to read on a coffee break but good enough to linger over. We feature previously unpublished work from emerging and established writers alike. We accept writing no longer than 1,000 words in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry genres. Simultaneous and multiple (up to three) submissions are accepted. Submissions are read on a rolling basis (unless otherwise noted).
To celebrate our successful first year, Treehouse is proud to present our First Annual Literary Loot Contest for Unusual Prose! In addition to publication in Treehouse, the contest winner will also receive: a one year subscription to Barrelhouse, Booth, Carolina Quarterly, Ecotone, Gigantic, Gulf Coast, [PANK], and REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters; two new Fall titles from brand new (but no less awesome) indie press A Strange Object, two new titles from Dzanc Books and a six-month subscription to their e-book club; a copy of Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard) and First Year (an MLP Anthology) from Mud Luscious Press; and a t-shirt from A Strange Object and [PANK].
Our favorite non-winning contest entries will also be published in Treehouse.The rules:
- We’re interested in prose that does unusual stuff. In the past we’ve published stories in the form of to-do lists, invisible text with footnotes, survival guides, landlord-tenant correspondence, recipes, and also all kinds of inventive work that was linguistically, but not necessarily structurally, experimental. So if you think your story, essay, prose poem, or genrebender fits the bill, send it our way. (Sorry, no poetry with line breaks for this one.)
- Entries are to be a maximum of 750 words.
- All entries must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30. Preferred format is .doc, but .docx and .pdf are also acceptable.
- Subject line of contest entries must say: CONTEST ENTRY. Otherwise, they will simply be filed as regular submissions and will have zero chance of receiving cool swag.
- Your name MUST NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON YOUR PIECE. Since we often get writing from people we kind of know, either via real life or the internet, we want to be extra careful that everything is getting read blind. We’re even going to implement our ultra-secret “assigning numbers to stories and then not telling anybody what the numbers mean” system.
- In the interest of fairness, we can’t accept submission from editors at any of the magazines or publishing houses that are participating. UNCW students may submit work, so long as they’re not currently on staff at Ecotone.
- Former Treehouse contributors are invited to submit work.
- We also can’t accept submissions from anyone who has gotten past second base with any member of the editorial staff. (In this case, “second base” refers to urban second base; rural second base is okay.) However, if you have gotten past second base with a member of the editorial staff: why don’t you call us already? It’s been more than three days.
- One of the main things we’re trying to communicate with this contest is that literature is a community. We picked out the journals and publishing houses we’re most excited about because we wanted to share them with you—our favorite readers. (And pretty much everybody we asked to participate eagerly agreed.) As such, we’ll be featuring a different participating magazine or indie house every week. Please check out their sites and consider subscribing or buying books—not because they’re helping our contest, but because they’re sustaining a thriving literary community that you’re not going to get from mainstream publishing. And because they publish cool shit!
- We really believe in doing as much as we can without getting money involved. So even if you can’t afford to subscribe to any of our partners’ publications, consider spreading the word—about the contest and/or about any of the publishers you see that tickle your fancy—via facebook, twitter, or other social media. Or, you know, your mouth.
Our authors have been featured in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best New American Voices, Best American Mystery Stories, and Best American Fantasy. In the past year we’ve published new work from acclaimed young writers like Roxane Gay, Matt Bell, Patrick Somerville, Marie-Helene Bertino, and many others.