• 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

    TRIP WIRES

    June 2018

    TRIP WIRES travels around the world, with stories, many in children's voices, set against turbulent socio-political backdrops from Afghanistan to Syria to Columbia to America. The terrain is different in each story, but all of these young people face the dilemma of being without resources even as they try to find and maintain relationships.

     

    Excerpt from "Borderland":

    "He speaks loudly,

    --Borderland is an important country. And I’m going to run it.

    She thinks of something to placate him,

    --I think you will win. Is anyone else going to vote?

    He clicks his tongue,

    --Of course I’m going to win. And then I’ll improve the water quality.

    She is eager to refill her bottle,

    --There is water? Where?

    He exposes his gray teeth,

    --If you listen, you’ll hear what I’m going to do for this country. We must have education for our children. And we need health insurance. And we need to keep out the unsavory types."

     

    Click here to buy a copy.

    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

    SMALL CHANGE
    $10.00
    Chapbook of short stories: 30 Feet Below, Say That You Saw Beautiful Things, and Jewels We Took With Us.
    Quantity
    Coming soon
  • 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 story collection, TRIP WIRES, is out in 2018.

     

     

    90 words

    Sandra Hunter’s fiction won the 2017 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest, 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize, October 2014 Africa Book Club Award, 2014 H.E. Francis Fiction Award, and three Pushcart Prize nominations. She is a 2018 Hawthornden Castle Fellow and a 2017 MacDowell Fellow. Books: LOSING TOUCH, a novel (July 2014), fiction chapbook, SMALL CHANGE (June 2016), fiction collection TRIP WIRES (June 2018). She teaches English and Creative Writing at Moorpark College and runs writing workshops in Ventura and Los Angeles. Favorite dessert: Angry Samoa from Donut Friend.

     

     

    150 words

    Sandra Hunter’s fiction won the 2017 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest, 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Prize, October 2014 Africa Book Club Award, and three Pushcart Prize nominations. Her story “Finger Popping” won second place in the 2017 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. Her story collection TRIP WIRES is out in June 2018, the chapbook, SMALL CHANGE, was published in August 2016, and her debut novel, LOSING TOUCH, was published in 2014. She’s just finished her second novel, THE GEOGRAPHY OF KITCHEN TABLES, set in post-apartheid South Africa, and is working on the sequel, FISSURES OF MEN. She is a 2018 Hawthornden Castle Fellow and a 2017 MacDowell Fellow. Sandra Hunter lives in Ventura, California where she teaches English and Creative Writing and runs writing workshops in Ventura and Los Angeles. Favorite dessert: Angry Samoa from Donut Friend.

     

    300 words

    Sandra Hunter is the author of LOSING TOUCH (2014), a novel about immigrant Indians settling into 1960s London and examines the double loss of identity through immigration and chronic disease. Her short story collection, TRIP WIRES (2018), won the 2017 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest. It presents voices of young girls and boys—some of them children—set against turbulent socio-political backdrops such as Afghanistan, Syria and Colombia, Paris, Los Angeles, and an unnamed apocalyptic land. SMALL CHANGE (2016), won the 2016 Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition. The three stories, set in Palestine, Libya, and Morocco, are told in children’s voices. With no resources and armed with only loyalty, guts, and tenacity, they risk their lives for their friends.

    Recent works include numerous short stories such as “Finger Popping”, 2nd place, 2017 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction; “A Girl Needs Spiked Shoes”, Enizagam October 2017; and “Against the Stranger” (April 2016), performed at Stories on Stage, Davis. She is a 2018 Hawthornden Castle Fellow and a 2017 MacDowell Fellow.

    Sandra has just finished her second novel, THE GEOGRAPHY OF KITCHEN TABLES, set in post-apartheid South Africa. It follows the story of an interracial couple who marry in the rainbow glow of Nelson Mandela’s election. When their 9 year-old daughter, Liseli, is bottle-raped by a gang, the post-traumatic stress threatens to shatter the marriage. She is currently working on the sequel, FISSURES OF MEN, that follows one of the characters from the previous novel as he makes his way in America.

    Sandra teaches English and Creative Writing at a community college, runs writing workshops, and gives readings and presentations at writing festivals and conferences. Her favorite desserts: Angry Samoa from Donut Friend.

     

    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: The draft is complete. Huzzah! I can now move on to the new novel.

     

    Yum stuff: Didn't make it to Donut Friend but we are having an early Valentine's lunch at Azu.


    Random stuff: It's so strange to be back in 80 degree weather. Come on, rain gods, give LA a break.

    Add paragraph text here.
  • WHAT'S HAPPENING 2018

    New Writers Group

    It's A Grind, Moorpark

    Talented bunch of Moorpark students have started a new writers group. If you're interested in enthusiastic and supportive feedback in a v cool coffee hangout, PM for more info.

    Hawthornden Castle

    February-March 2018

    Heading to Edinburgh tomorrow. Got my rain boots, thermals and Zoom recorder -- ready for the weather and the ghosts! No Wi-Fi at the castle so pics to come when I get into the cit.!

    Chatter Sunday

    Reading

    Date: June 24

    Time: 10am

    Place: 1512 1st Street NW, Albuquerque, NM

    So delighted to be going back to this incredible venue as the half-time act. Music to vaunt your soul into parallel galaxies, and I'll be giving a brief reading from TRIP WIRES.

    SOMOS

    Reading with Pat Pollard

    Date: June 26

    Time: 6pm

    Place: 108 Civic Plaza Drive, B, Taos, NM

    The amazing Pat Pollard will be reading from Bonnie Lee Black's HOW TO MAKE AN AFRICAN QUILT and I'll be reading from TRIP WIRES. Magic in magical Taos.

    BOOKWORKS

    Reading with Barbara Rockman

    Date: June 27

    Time: 6pm

    Place: 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque NM

    Fizzing to be reading with my wonderful friend and ludicrously talented poet, Barbara Rockman.

  • GET PUBLISHED? SUBMIT!

    A bijou collection this pre-Christmas week. Get your holiday shorts on.

    Submissions

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

     

    Artifact (send subs via email): poetry, reviews, critiques; ongoing; no

     

    Bare Life Review (immigrant or refugee authors): poetry, fiction, nonfiction: 12/31; no

     

    Beakful/Becquee; poetry, art, essays, reviews; open; no

     

    Dark Matter: Women Witnessing: fiction, poetry, essays, artwork, ritual, prayer, dreams, visions, howls, songs; 1/12; no

     

    Existere: poetry, short plays, fiction, postcard/flash fiction. Art, lit reviews, essays, interviews, sketches, photography; 12/31; yes$

     

    Folio: art, fiction, nonfiction, poetry; 2/2; yes$

     

    K’in: fiction, nonfiction, poetry; 3/31; no

     

    Outlook Springs: fiction, nonfiction, poetry; 1/15; yes$

     

    Privilege & Identity Abroad Narrative Writing Contest: essays, nonfiction, narratives; 1/15; no

     

    The McKinley Review: fiction, nonfiction, poetry; open; no

     

    The Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry Award: poetry; 1/15; yes$$

     

    The Stinging Fly (Irish and Int’l writers): poetry, fiction; 2/11; yes$

     

    Spilled Milk Magazine: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, artwork; 1/1; no

     

    Talking Soup: nonfiction; open; no

     

    Whispers (theme “Dreams”): poetry; 12/25; no


    MANUSCRIPTS: press, genres accepted, deadline, pay

    Smoking Pen Press: short fiction anthology; 1/1; yes$

  • OR... LEAVE A MESSAGE

A Proud Member of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society