• SHORT STORIES/AWARDS

    december Literary Magazine

    2018 Pushcart Nomination

    "Fishers of Men"

    If another boat comes, like Ryker says, the captain will tell us, You know what those SAR80s are for, boys. I will be the first to shoot and the captain will be so proud of me that he will give me another special hat, like the last time. I shot two men. They tried to come on board. They had a small boat and they wanted our boat because it is bigger. The captain told them to go off. They wouldn’t listen and so he told us to fire. And I shot first. They fell backwards. One fell into the sea and got sucked under into the motor. It was a terrible noise and the motor broke. We had to paddle the boat to shore for repairs. Everyone was given permission to visit our families for one day. But I couldn’t go to my home.

    When I first told my mother I was going to join the captain she became very angry with me. I told her not to worry. We have good weapons and cannot get caught. And if we do, the captain can just pay the judge and we will go free. Everyone knows this.

    But when I came from the first trip and gave her the money she was still angry,

    --Galad, I am your mother but I hide my face when the others talk about pirates. All this big-talk. But it is a bad thing. Your father would be shamed.

    TRIP WIRES

    stories

    Winner 2017

    Excerpt from: BROTHER'S KEEPER

     

    She is at the window waiting since noon, since last year’s announcement on the church noticeboard, last month’s update, last week’s email, waiting for her temporary Sudanese, temporarily in her living room, her kitchen, her guestroom, temporarily so grateful to her American family, American refuge from the dark nights of pangas and bullet mania and shouting, shoveled from plane to bus to this calm street where he will walk: tentative, neatly shorn head bowed, hardly daring to look at the numbers on doors, belongings in a cardboard case with only one clasp, limping from injuries, bandages beneath clothing, single photograph of family, bible with pressed flower from graveside.

    Her window angled elegantly for viewing the street corner, her window well shaded but view unobscured.

    It’s overcast, just when Los Angeles should have looked welcoming to this new resident.

    And is this him? But where is the pastor who is meant to accompany him, to make the introductions and—

    This is the boy she was promised? But he is a man.

    FINGER POPPING

     

    First rule: Don’t look like you’re fresh-off-the-border. The Seventh Day Adventists give away clothes on Fridays. I got tennis shoes, a grey baseball hat, green sweat pants, and a blue sweatshirt that I had to wrestle from this guy. He jumped me. That’s mine. Like I should just hand it over. I kicked him on the ankle (Alex: Always go for the ankle, knee, and crotch) and while he was yelling for his mami, I was gone.

    Tried stuffing my hair in the baseball hat but it falls out quick when you have to run. Cut my hair off. A girl on her own stands out. A kid in a baseball hat is just a kid in a baseball hat.

    The church people sometimes give a little plata, usually mothers with kids, and I buy tortillas and beg peanut butter from the stand near the bus station. Sometimes the mothers give me tortillas and ask where my parents are.

    december literary magazine

    Spring 2017

    FISHERS OF MEN

     

    If another boat comes, like Ryker says, the captain will tell us, You know what those SAR80s are for, boys. I will be the first to shoot and the captain will be so proud of me that he will give me another special hat, like the last time. I shot two men. They tried to come on board. They had a small boat and they wanted our boat because it is bigger. The captain told them to go off. They wouldn’t listen and so he told us to fire. And I shot first. They fell backwards. One fell into the sea and the other one got sucked under into the motor. It was a terrible noise and the motor broke. We had to go to shore to repair our motor. We were allowed to visit our families.

    Normally, we all stay in a cave near the boat until we go out to sea in the mornings. We are like the fisherman. We go early and come late. Only the very strong can do this work. We must do it because who can make money taking care of the goats?

     

    Read the whole thing, plus a shed-load of amazing poetry and fiction in your very own copy here.

  • NOVELS and COLLECTIONS

    SMALL CHANGE, fiction chapbook

    Winner, Gold Line Press Competition 2016

    Copies at my book store, below, or at Small Press Distribution.

     

    Audio preview here!

    A boy crawls through a tunnel in the Gaza Strip to bring back supplies to his family and neighbors despite the high risk of the tunnel being flooded, gassed, or bombed. On the eve of the Arab Spring in Libya, a girl and her best friend disguise themselves as boys to train for a school sports competition, knowing that if they’re caught they will be severely punished. Four young girls, three of them pregnant, decide to escape their abusive husbands and attempt to cross from Morocco to Spain.

     

    Set against these turbulent backdrops, the children’s voices, apolitical, remind the reader of the distilled best of human relationships. With no resources and armed with only loyalty, guts, and tenacity, they risk their lives for their friends.

    THE GEOGRAPHY OF

    KITCHEN TABLES

    Novel-in-progress set in post-apartheid South Africa.

    I stepped over the leaking plastic bag, and wrenched the gate open. A short, bald, red-faced man, startled eyes, dry old mouth open, skittering backwards in his tackies. I reached back, grabbed the bag by the knot and turned back to see him disappearing down the alleyway by our house that lead to the backfield. I ran after him as he tried to sprint, his fake Nikes turned out, his old bowed legs struggling, waving both hands like he was trying to stop a bus. Finally he stopped and turned around, gasping, sweating,

    --Go away

    I took two more strides and launched the stinking bag. Gaping astonishment as it split and splattered over shoes, pants, shirt.

    --You—you fokken bitch—

    --I have returned what is yours. Literally masimbakho. Your shit.

    I dragged out my phone and took a picture. His wife would have plenty to say.

     

    The opening chapter won the Africa Book Club October 2014 competition. Read it here.

    LOSING TOUCH

    July 2014

    Arjun Kulkani brings his family to North West London, England, after Indian Independence. While he struggles to fit in, his family adapt almost seamlessly. When he is diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, he suffers a further loss of identity. Even as his body fails, Arjun gains more understanding of his youthful impatience, his careless cruelty to his family, and how to love even those he doesn’t like.

     

    Excerpt: "Sometimes Sunila goes to stand at the bottom of the garden pretending to tidy up the compost heap, and allows the forbidden thought to come: divorce. She can only whisper it. It’s a bad word. Bad people do it. But in the Women’s Own magazine at the doctor’s office, she read that Elizabeth Taylor had done it. She’d done it so many times that it was just part of her normal routine. Get up, put on face cream, divorce Richard. How daring it sounds, so chic."

     

    Click here to buy a copy.

  • COLLABORATIONS

    Collaboration with Lisa Sanders, fine artist

    THE SHEDDING FOX

    Prose-poetry and fine art

    The Shedding Fox

    lives in a shed and sheds

    She cannot stop the shedding so it is better and warmer to be here in the dull sweet-wood room among the thin-pale layerings of her-fur her-skin

    Sometimes it’s quiet and she thinks, my-fur my-skin falling, catching the light

    Because light is where my-fur my-skin colors and turns and changes even as it is dying

    That is the beauty of every great thing: to fall into color and die

     

    I recorded the narrative with the amazing Paul Tavenner and am now taking short videos for our video-o-rama together. If you'd like to be included (10-15 seconds of fame) wearing a Japanese Fox mask, drop me a message below!

  • Shop Now

  • PRESS KIT

    To contact me directly, please use the form below.

    TRIP WIRES, short stories

    Leapfrog Press, June 2018

    These stories follow young people and children as they struggle for survival in turbulent settings across the globe, from Afghanistan to Los Angeles.

    Drops in June! You can pre-order here.

     

    This is what life looks like when conflict repaints the canvas against which [the] characters seek love, family and a moment's stability. [Sandra Hunter's] keen eye for twinned details―the fleeting safety of an imam's lap is set against a prayer rug in the back room of a California suburban home, far from neighbors' eyes―lends this collection a rare power and poignancy. Not to be missed.

    --David Rocklin, The Night Language

     

    Within this poignant collection, there’s a thread that compels her characters to reach for survival, and it’s this gossamer wire, these small miracles of love, that electrify her stories.

    --Shilpa Argawal, Haunting Bombay

     

    In spare and unflinching prose, the stories in Trip Wires depict children and young adults struggling to deal with the brutal consequences of war and social upheaval. I am deeply grateful to Sandra Hunter for the courageous and sympathetic way she tells these young people's tales.

    --Jean Hegland, Into the Forest

     

    Hunter is not afraid to place her characters in the direst of circumstances, while showing compassion and understanding for their plights. A unique collection by a very talented writer.

    --Peg Alford Pursell, Show Her A Flower, A Bird a Shadow

     

    Hunter explores the internal worlds of children, teenagers, mothers, and fathers; she is activistic in her tenderness and her attention to each perspective. Equipped with kindness and acuity, this writer reminds us of the weight of the world as well as our ability to carry it.

    --Cassidy McCants, Associate Editor, Nimrod International Journal

    SMALL CHANGE

    Gold Line Press, August 2016.

    SMALL CHANGE does what great fiction should do. Rather than strive for newness for the sake of novelty, or reinvent language to showcase the writer’s chops, it approaches language in a new way because the material—struggling for life and love in the Middle East—demands it. Fresh, invigorating, and profound, I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I did.

    --David Treuer

    Fiction judge of the 2016 Gold Line Press Competition

     

    Each of Hunter’s three stories does what stories should do, using small moments in time to touch larger themes. Here the touching, sometimes tactile, sometimes cerebral, sometimes brutal, sometimes beautiful, presses against the Middle East, a place where turmoil too often touches its people. SMALL CHANGE points to big change with quiet grace, touching hard places and hopeful places.

    --Adam Berlin

    Author of BOTH MEMBERS OF THE CLUB, THE NUMBER OF THE MISSING, BELMONDO STYLE, and HEADLOCK. He teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and is editor of J Journal: New Writing on Justice.

     

    Complete review by Adam Berlin at Word Riot here.

    October 22, 2016.

     

    Audio preview here.

     

    Interview with Camille Bradshaw of Gold Line Press here.

     

    Interview with Natalie McNair of Speaking of Marvels here.

     

    Video of Why There Are Words May 11 2017, reading here.

     

    What readers are saying

    I was so gripped and moved by those three stories, and they've continued to haunt me.

    --Jean Hegland

     

    The voices are unique and yet hit me in my solar plexus. In fact, I had to put the book down in some places because I was afraid to read further - feeling their threat was my threat. The topics are today's topics and written in a way that people can feel at one with the characters. So much so that when they finish the book and put in down, they are thinking not only of the story but their own situation within this world.

    --Joan D

     

    This is a 'small' book which could 'change' your understanding of childhood, as viewed from the perspective of children from other cultures who are facing adult challenges.

    --Amazon Customer

    These pics can be downloaded free. Please credit Zena Fairweather for the first two, Michelle Wing for the fourth one and Matthew Callender for the fifth one.

    Bios for re-use

    50 words:

    Sandra Hunter’s stories have won the 2017 Leapfrog Press Fiction Award, 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize, and three Pushcart nominations. She is a 2018 Hawthornden Fellow and a 2017 MacDowell Fellow. Books: fiction chapbook SMALL CHANGE and debut novel, LOSING TOUCH. Her short fiction collection, TRIP WIRES, is out in 2018.

     

     

    90 words:

    Sandra Hunter's fiction received the 2017 Leapfrog Press Fiction Award, 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize, 2014 H.E. Francis Fiction Award, and three Pushcart nominations. She placed second in the 2017 Katherine Anne Porter Prize, and is a 2018 Hawthornden Fellow and a 2017 MacDowell Fellow. Books: SMALL CHANGE (2016) and LOSING TOUCH (2014). Her short fiction collection, TRIP WIRES, will be published in 2018. She has finished her second novel, THE GEOGRAPHY OF KITCHEN TABLES, and is currently working on the sequel, FISSURES OF MEN. She lives in Ventura, California where she teaches Creative Writing and runs writing workshops.

     

     

    150 words:

    Sandra Hunter's fiction received the 2017 Leapfrog Press Fiction Award, 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize, 2014 H.E. Francis Fiction Award, and three Pushcart nominations. She placed second in the 2017 Katherine Anne Porter Prize, and is a 2018 Hawthornden Fellow, and a 2017 MacDowell Fellow. Her debut novel, LOSING TOUCH (2014), examines the double loss of identity through immigration and chronic disease. Her fiction chapbook, SMALL CHANGE, won the 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize. The stories are set in the Middle East, are told through the voices of children. Her short fiction collection, TRIP WIRES, that explores the lives of young people set against turbulent backdrops around the world, will be published in 2018. She has finished her second novel, THE GEOGRAPHY OF KITCHEN TABLES, set in post-apartheid South Africa and is currently working on the sequel, FISSURES OF MEN. Sandra lives in Ventura, California where she teaches Creative Writing and runs writing workshops.

     

    Awards

    • 2018 Hawthornden Castle Fellowship
    • 2017 2nd place Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, for "Finger Popping"
    • 2017 Winner, Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest, for collection TRIP WIRES
    • 2017 MacDowell Fellowship
    • 2016 Gold Line Press Fiction Award for collection SMALL CHANGE
    • 2014 Africa Book Club Award for excerpt from THE GEOGRAPHY OF KITCHEN TABLES
    • 2014 H.E. Francis Short Story Competition for "Against the Stranger"
    • 2013 Women's Domination Short Story Competition for "Human Voices Drown Us"
    • Pushcart Prize nomination 2018 by december Magazine for "Fishers of Men"
    • Finalist, 2017 Enizagam Fiction Prize, for "A Girl Needs Spiked Shoes"
    • Hon Mention 2016 New England Book Festival, for chapbook SMALL CHANGE
    • Short list 2016 Bridport Prize, for "Fishers of Men"
    • Finalist 2016 Curt Johnson Prose Awards, for "Fishers of Men"
    • Finalist 2016 Cupboard Pamphlet Prize for collection CROSSING THE WIRES
    • Semi-finalist 2015 Lascaux Prize for "30 Below"
    • Semi-finalist 2015 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize for collection CROSSING THE WIRES
    • Finalist  2015 Nelson Algren Award for "Jewels We Took With Us"
    • Finalist 2015 Tucson Book Festival Literary Awards for "Natural Sex:
    • Semi-finalist 2014 Tucson Book Festival Literary Award for collection SMALL CHANGE
    • Pushcart Prize nomination 2013 by Carve Magazine for "Human Voices Drown Us"

    Professional Memberships: PEN America, Association of Writers & Writing Programs, Hedgebrook Cedar Deep Giving Circle, Women's Writers Project, Women's National Book Association, American Association of University Woman.

     

    Agent: Writers House

    What I'm up to

    Work stuff: It's almost time to grade my creative writing students' graphic novel assignments. How lucky I am to do this job! Meanwhile, the rewrite is languishing. Hoping to get SOMETHING done over the Thanksgiving break.

     

    Yum stuff: Cashew cream. Cashew cream, Cashew cream. Brings the zing to breakfast.


    Random stuff: Feeling geeky about yoga. The body is amazing. So grateful for standing balancing poses.

    Add paragraph text here.
  • WHAT'S HAPPENING 2016/2017

    Moorpark College

    Writing Workshop

    When: 4pm-5pm, every Thursday

    Where: HSS 202, Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Road, Moorpark, CA 90321

     

    We're back! Join us on Thursday, 11/16 for prompts, read back and feedback. And lots of lerv.

    Camarillo AAUW

    Authors Luncheon

    We laughed, we ate great food, we listened to amazing speakers and we raise funds for girls to attend a math and science summer class in Santa Barbara. Go the women!

    Holiday Workshop

    When: 2pm-5pm December 9

    Where: Private home. Contact me for details.

    Cost: $45

    Join us for a calming and focusing workshop with yoga, breathing exercises, and writing.

    Our host is also offering a Chinese tea ceremony!

    Community Literature Initiative

    Reading and Workshop

    When: 8:15pm, December 11, 2017

    Where: USC Kaprelian Hall Room 137

     

    Jazzed to the hilt to be visiting these incredible students to read from SMALL CHANGE and talk about keeping your sanity in the manic world of publishing.

    Tyrone Guthrie Center

    So thrilled to be heading to Ireland in January for a 3 week residency. Of course, it won't look quite like this when I'm there! I'll post pics.

    Hawthornden Castle

    A real castle with a dungeon and chilly stone staircases, just outside Edinburgh. And maybe ghosts! I'll be diving into the new novel in this month-long residency in Feb. Pics to come!

  • GET PUBLISHED? SUBMIT!

    Opps for comics and graphic novels, a sequin-burst of paying lit mags, and an intriguing call for mss by Open Container who would like to see your novel as a tray of macarons or a series of rolled-up cigars. Shorts on?

    Submissions

    SINGLE SUBS: magazine title, genres accepted, deadline, pay

     

     

    Allegory (sci fi, fantasy, horror): fiction; 12/31; yes$

     

    Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine (“the essence and immediacy of the beast”): fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, art; open; no

     

    Arts & Letters ($3 entry): poetry, fiction, nonfiction; 1/31; yes$

     

    Eastern Iowa Review: lyric/hybrid essays, prose poetry; 3/31; yes$$

     

    Eastern Iowa Review: fiction, art; check website; yes$

     

    Eternal Haunted Summer (“goddesses, gods, pagan heroes”): fiction, poetry, reviews, essays; 12/1; yes$

     

    Forge: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, photography, comics; 12/31; no

     

    Fterota Logia (new YA lit mag, send subs via email): fiction, nonfiction, critical essays, art; open; no

     

    Grab This! Anthology, inspired by “me too” (diverse women, including trans, queer/gender non-conforming women): 12/20; no

     

    Great Weather for Media: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, genre-blurring work; 1/28; no

     

    Jaggery (South Asian focus): art, poetry, reviews, essays: 12/4: yes$

     

    Jellyfish Review: flash fiction, nonfiction, essays; open; no

     

    K’in (brand new lit mag, experimental, trad, playful): fiction, nonfiction, poetry; 3/18; no

     

    Knee-Jerk: fiction, nonfiction, interviews, reviews, art including comics/graphic work; open; no

     

    Mslexia (“bewitched”): fiction, poetry, scripts; 12/4: yes$

     

    On The Road Again Anthology: poetry, fiction, including previously pubbed; 2/28; no

     

    Out Of Your Shadow Anthology Call: Empowered Sidekicks: fiction; 12/10; yes$

     

    Palooka: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic narratives, comic strips, art, photography; open; no

     

    Pittsburgh Poetry Review: poetry; 12/15; yes$

     

    PoetsIN, Mental Illness - It’s Time To Stop The Stigma Book: poetry, fiction, nonfiction; 12/14; no

     

    Rumble Fish Quarterly (“folklore”): poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art; open; no

     

    Slice (“flight”): fiction, poems, essays; 12/1; yes$$

     

    Split Rock Review: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, sequential art/comics/hybrids; open; no

     

    The Broken City (“Hurry! Hard!”): fiction, non fiction, poetry, essays; photos, illustrations, comics; 12/1; no

     

    The Cantabrigian (submit early to avoid sub fees): fiction, cover art; 12/31; yes$

     

    The Matador Review: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art; 11/30; no

     

    Up The Staircase Quarterly: poetry, artwork, interviews, reviews: 12/31; no

     

    Whispers (10 lines or less on “gratitude”): poetry; 11/25; no


     

    MANUSCRIPTS: press, genres accepted, deadline, pay

     

    Mary Hunter Austin Book Award ($20 entry, check website for specific focus areas): nonfiction, fiction essays, poetry, prose poetry; 3/31; yes$$ and publication

     

    Open Container ($10 entry; poetry published artistically, such as on a fold-out map, short story printed on milk carton, novel rolled into cigars and presented in a cigar box): poetry, fiction, nonfiction; 11/30; author copies

     

    Split Rock Review Poetry Chapbook: poetry; 5/1-5/31; publication

     

    Advice for up and coming comic book artists:

    Jason Thibault’s advice on breaking into the comic book industry.

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