Catapult

Catapult Catapult publishes books, produces a daily web magazine, offers writing classes, and hosts an open online writing platform. Catapult publishes books, produces a daily web magazine, offers writing classes, and hosts an open online writing community.

From the founders of Electric Literature and Black Balloon Publishing. Catapult is headquartered in New York, NY, with a second office in Portland, OR. Have a question? Shoot us an email at [email protected] Catapult welcomes your comments and encourages you to engage in a dialogue on our page. We do reserve the right to remove comments that are abusive.

Mission: We publish fiction and narrative nonfiction stories that are alive, illuminating, stirring, and surprising. We promote diverse, unique voices—both emerging and established—from all walks of life. We produce longform, print books, ebooks, web originals, workshops, classes, live events, and digital projects. We foster writers, artists, creators, and makers. We host a community for the emerging storytellers of all kinds. We advocate for the rights of creative workers.

Operating as usual

11/13/2020

"I’m sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean to offend you with the rollercoaster stuff. We don’t have to TALK POLITICS." Fantastic short fiction from Sophie Atkinson, on PR, love at first sight, and government-approved daily recommended pleasure rides: https://buff.ly/2TYc1Z4

Thinking about the addicting beauty of LOW COUNTRY, the forthcoming memoir from J. Nicole Jones, and about time measured...
11/13/2020

Thinking about the addicting beauty of LOW COUNTRY, the forthcoming memoir from J. Nicole Jones, and about time measured in cataclysm.
https://buff.ly/2GUfbKy

“He resented everything about me that I couldn’t change—my white skin and my white friends (Lauren, Mara, Clare etc.), m...
11/13/2020
Project | Thomas Renjilian

“He resented everything about me that I couldn’t change—my white skin and my white friends (Lauren, Mara, Clare etc.), my childhood home with a heated pool.” Read "Project," a short story by Thomas Renjilian here:

Maybe it’s strange that I haven’t acknowledged my ex, but how can I after the nails, which are either about me or not about me, and which is worse?

"The doctor knew she had a hardness under her skin, that the hardness had spread, and that he could order nothing for it...
11/13/2020
Before the Cure | Sara Schaff

"The doctor knew she had a hardness under her skin, that the hardness had spread, and that he could order nothing for it from the Apothecary." Read this stunning flash fiction from Sara Schaff:

He’d seen himself as something different then: greater than he was, more worthy of acclaim.

"And in spite of every version of the #metoo movement we’ve seen in the past two decades, the work never stops for survi...
11/13/2020
When There Is No Right Way to Heal | Destiny Birdsong

"And in spite of every version of the #metoo movement we’ve seen in the past two decades, the work never stops for survivors, and the world is not kind to us when we don’t deliver. And so many times, we are not kind to ourselves." Destiny Birdsong on "I May Destroy You," writing her poetry collection, and learning how to heal:

The details of those poems may be his first inkling that I know what he did.

11/13/2020

"For me, having sex for the first time was just another boring stepping stone into adulthood that didn’t actually have the power to dictate the rest of my life," writes Sarah McEachern: https://buff.ly/32CWIdo

"I want to feel free to make whatever I want without trying to fit into a mold of perfection, of respectable representat...
11/13/2020
When There Is No Right Way to Heal | Destiny Birdsong

"I want to feel free to make whatever I want without trying to fit into a mold of perfection, of respectable representation, or appropriate survivorhood." Destiny Birdsong on I May Destroy You, writing her poetry collection, and learning how to heal:

The details of those poems may be his first inkling that I know what he did.

11/13/2020

"But I did think about sex. A lot. Admitting my own desires felt dangerous," writes Sarah McEachern on rethinking Rethinking ‘Twilight’ and purity rings: https://buff.ly/32CWIdo

“I don’t know if these foods tasted better when I was little, if they’d taste just as magical today.” Sivan Piatigorsky-...
11/12/2020
Taste, Memory | Sivan Piatigorsky-Roth

“I don’t know if these foods tasted better when I was little, if they’d taste just as magical today.” Sivan Piatigorsky-Roth's illustrated ode to the meals we remember:

“I can tell I love you because I want to give you a bite of whatever I’m eating.”

Our application deadline for our remote, paid spring internship positions is tomorrow!We're seeking two full time intern...
11/12/2020

Our application deadline for our remote, paid spring internship positions is tomorrow!
We're seeking two full time interns, focusing on publicity and marketing:
https://buff.ly/3l9g4Oj
And one part time intern focusing on design:
https://buff.ly/38f4uO5

Help make great books!

"Black Sunday is a literary wound that bleeds pain for a while, but you should stay the course, because that's followed ...
11/12/2020
'Black Sunday' Will Destroy You — Let It

"Black Sunday is a literary wound that bleeds pain for a while, but you should stay the course, because that's followed by lots of love, beauty, and hope."

Tola Rotimi Abraham's wrenching novel follows a four young children in Lagos, Nigeria, whose comfortable life is blown apart when their mother loses her job, and their father abandons them.

"I can only hope they offer me the grace that comes with newness, with uncharted territory, with the messiness of surviv...
11/12/2020
When There Is No Right Way to Heal | Destiny Birdsong

"I can only hope they offer me the grace that comes with newness, with uncharted territory, with the messiness of survival." Destiny Birdsong on I May Destroy You, writing her poetry collection, and learning how to heal:

The details of those poems may be his first inkling that I know what he did.

"When I tried to skateboard as a kid, the neighborhood boys refused to welcome me," writes Sam K. MacKinnon. "Now, women...
11/11/2020
Longboarding My Way Out of Loneliness | Sam K. MacKinnon

"When I tried to skateboard as a kid, the neighborhood boys refused to welcome me," writes Sam K. MacKinnon. "Now, women and gender-diverse people are creating skateboarding communities all over the world."

When I tried to skate board as a kid, the neighborhood boys refused to welcome me. Now, women and gender-diverse people are creating skateboarding...

Congratulations to Tola Rotimi Abraham and all the fine authors on the longlist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize! A ma...
11/11/2020

Congratulations to Tola Rotimi Abraham and all the fine authors on the longlist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize! A magnificent list!
https://buff.ly/2UdLvv5

"My children, if pressed to explain why they love me, say that they do because I’m their mother. But my need for them, a...
11/11/2020
Motherhood, Metamorphosis | Rachel Mans McKenny

"My children, if pressed to explain why they love me, say that they do because I’m their mother. But my need for them, and theirs for me, is not the entirety of who I am," writes Rachel Mans McKenny:

I do not wish to have not been a parent. But I think it is normal to imagine new existences when the world is crumbling.

11/11/2020

In the middle of a pandemic, it can be tough to reconcile differing views on risk and public safety. In this new essay, Toni Mirosevich explores how we feel when those opinions are right in front of us: https://buff.ly/3lltdnx

"Now I wonder if I am a mother who writes, or if my children have a writer as a mother." writes Rachel Mans McKenny:
11/11/2020
Motherhood, Metamorphosis | Rachel Mans McKenny

"Now I wonder if I am a mother who writes, or if my children have a writer as a mother." writes Rachel Mans McKenny:

I do not wish to have not been a parent. But I think it is normal to imagine new existences when the world is crumbling.

"I tell her I don’t get it either, why people are like they are."In the middle of a pandemic, it can be tough to reconci...
11/11/2020
As If You and I Agree | Toni Mirosevich

"I tell her I don’t get it either, why people are like they are."In the middle of a pandemic, it can be tough to reconcile differing views on risk and public safety. In this new essay, Toni Mirosevich explores how we feel when those opinions are right in front of us:

It’s relieving when you find someone who feels the same way you do about Covid-19 risk and public safety. But what about those who disagree?

"Grandad’s stories began to fade as I began to gain interest," writes Michael Chakraverty when his grandad began to show...
11/10/2020
Reconnecting With My Grandad’s Heritage As He Began to Forget It | Michael Chakraverty

"Grandad’s stories began to fade as I began to gain interest," writes Michael Chakraverty when his grandad began to show signs of dementia. "I felt the bite of shame as I realized how little attention I’d paid." To reconnect with his family, he went to India:

My connections to the country and its people, my family, didn’t require control or even words. Touch, color, and togetherness were enough.

Check out Horror DNA’s 5-⭐️ review of TINY NIGHTMARES . . . if you dare. “There are stories that go beyond categorizatio...
11/10/2020

Check out Horror DNA’s 5-⭐️ review of TINY NIGHTMARES . . . if you dare.

“There are stories that go beyond categorization . . . There are stories from familiar authors and stories from relatively new talents, all of them with their unique take on what horror truly is. There is something for everyone in here. Each story has its own merit, and the editors did an amazing job compiling this powerhouse collection."

https://buff.ly/38pNF2V

BookRiot includes WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS in this great list of audiobooks for Nonfiction November “[This book] discusse...
11/10/2020

BookRiot includes WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS in this great list of audiobooks for Nonfiction November

“[This book] discusses the harm caused by white feminism and the role white women play in white supremacy . . . Mozhan Marnò beautifully narrates the book, making it easy for the listeners to follow along and process the information presented in the book.”

https://buff.ly/3nck7tP

In the middle of a pandemic, it can be tough to reconcile differing views on risk and public safety. In this new essay, ...
11/10/2020
As If You and I Agree | Toni Mirosevich

In the middle of a pandemic, it can be tough to reconcile differing views on risk and public safety. In this new essay, Toni Mirosevich explores how we feel when those opinions are right in front of us:

It’s relieving when you find someone who feels the same way you do about Covid-19 risk and public safety. But what about those who disagree?

"Parenting remade me," writes Rachel Mans McKenny comparing it to the ways caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies. "...
11/10/2020
Motherhood, Metamorphosis | Rachel Mans McKenny

"Parenting remade me," writes Rachel Mans McKenny comparing it to the ways caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies. "I wouldn’t say my children dissolved me into a liquid form of myself, but I wouldn’t not say that."

I do not wish to have not been a parent. But I think it is normal to imagine new existences when the world is crumbling.

The #NBAwards Finalists reading is TONIGHT at 7pm ET! The list of readers is so exciting—including Anja Kampmann, author...
11/10/2020
ONLINE | 2020 National Book Awards Finalists Reading

The #NBAwards Finalists reading is TONIGHT at 7pm ET! The list of readers is so exciting—including Anja Kampmann, author of HIGH AS THE WATER RISES, with translator Anne Posten. Register now if you haven't and we'll see you tonight!

Every year, The National Book Foundation teams up with The New School to present readings by each of the National Book Awards Finalists.(Finalists will not appear in this order)Fiction Finalists:• Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind• Lydia Millet, A Children’s Bible• Deesha Philyaw, The Sec...

11/10/2020

"It’s time. I become less concerned with earning a living than I am with earning my life," writes Jennifer Romolini: https://buff.ly/3pb8OUq

11/10/2020

"If you research the mercurial nature of the voice long enough, you will find it surprising that any of us can ever speak at all," writes Jennifer Romolini, "Like so much in life, it works effortlessly until, one day, it doesn’t." https://buff.ly/3pb8OUq

The #NBAwards Finalists reading is this Tuesday, November 10th, at 7pm ET and the lineup is I N C R E D I B L E—includin...
11/10/2020
ONLINE | 2020 National Book Awards Finalists Reading

The #NBAwards Finalists reading is this Tuesday, November 10th, at 7pm ET and the lineup is I N C R E D I B L E—including Anja Kampmann, author of HIGH AS THE WATER RISES, with translator Anne Posten. Register for it now!

Every year, The National Book Foundation teams up with The New School to present readings by each of the National Book Awards Finalists.(Finalists will not appear in this order)Fiction Finalists:• Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind• Lydia Millet, A Children’s Bible• Deesha Philyaw, The Sec...

"With prose so sparse it reads like poetry, Jones sketches a complex emotional landscape. . . . It's a grim but not whol...
11/09/2020
Cynan Jones's Waterless World

"With prose so sparse it reads like poetry, Jones sketches a complex emotional landscape. . . . It's a grim but not wholly disheartening vision of the future."

Thank you to Sierra Magazine for this beautiful review of Cyan Jones' STILLICIDE.

In "Stillicide," sparse prose chronicles hope amid dystopia

"After all, what’s scarier than a fake monster? An actual monster, like racism or addiction."Paperback Paris peels back ...
11/09/2020
'Tiny Nightmares' Is a Short-Story Collection That Is Sure to Scare

"After all, what’s scarier than a fake monster? An actual monster, like racism or addiction."

Paperback Paris peels back the spooky veneer of Nadxieli Nieto and Lincoln Michel's TINY NIGHTMARES to reveal the truly frightening underneath.

For fans of flash fiction and horror, Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto's 'Tiny Nightmares' is sure to scare you well past Halloween.

A reminder that we're seeking applicants for our paid remote spring internship positions now!Two full time publishing in...
11/09/2020

A reminder that we're seeking applicants for our paid remote spring internship positions now!

Two full time publishing interns, with a focus on publicity and marketing: https://buff.ly/3l9g4Oj

One part time intern, with a focus on design: https://buff.ly/38f4uO5

Join us!

"Ruby Hamad's WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS lays out the need for white women to confront their longstanding participation in ...
11/09/2020
#ColorlinesReads: 30 Books to Get You Through Fall

"Ruby Hamad's WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS lays out the need for white women to confront their longstanding participation in white supremacy"

WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS is included in this list of literary lifelines from Colorlines!

This autumn, take a much-needed break with stories of love, survival and mythology.

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Comments

Hannah Walhout's article on New York was quite wonderful. It was definitely New Yorker style writing in more ways than one.
I just finished "Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book" by Courtney Maum and I will be recommending it to many of my writer friends!
A Country Muse “Hear Sir! I write poetry far better than anyone on earth,” the young man claimed. “Oh! You don’t believe I can show you that.” He came close and demanded to read the yellow lines printed on his black t-shirt. I glued to the words, and as the t-shirt was tattered, and washed more than hundred times, many letters lost their sheen. You need to apply your imagination to have a sense of the poem. I failed to decipher the lines, but said with a sweet voice, “Wow! I’ve never read such a beautiful poem in my life!” “Eh, where do you find beauty?” He asked with a sneer, and apparently had been much pained with my words. “Why, man, I found beauty in each letter you pen.” I tried to mollify his wrath. But he was gloom and dark. A silence sustained. I felt shaken for my misdeed. The air was cool, and the day pleasant. The sun was mellow, and its soft rays fell on us through the laced twigs of lovely trees. The water of the pond riffled with a low murmur. Birds flew and sang dolefully among the bushes and thickets. The ducks paddled in glee in the gleaming water. A fishy smell smothered us. “You, the educated, always find beauty in everything—beauty in nature, beauty in women, beauty in poetry, even beauty in the poor. Eh…Where is beauty? Huh.., this poem is written not with ink. Each letter is dripped and soaked with my own blood. Huh…beauty?” He spat, and the air flung it far. He looked me hard, eyes forcibly wide, and face flushed with anger and disdain. “Where is the blood? It’s printed in a machine. Do you have a textile factory?” I feigned nonplused. He was terribly dismayed. He said nothing, as if he suddenly lost words. He squinted at me with derision. His eyes glittered, and a spasm of ache ran through his face. He jumped up with energy, and hurried a few paces away. But he came back, and said, “Blood, you can’t see, as you’re blind. Why do you keep eyes? Go to Nripen Mitra Eye Care, and donate them.” “That I do at when I die.” I quipped. “Hear Sir! And don’t forget. You may be a professor, but I’m your teacher.” He said with conviction, and thumped the soil hard, and his dangling hand was covered with dust, and the rays of the late noon sun began to play chiaroscuro before our eyes. “Why do I write? Do you know? Any idea?” He stooped his head, and it hung heavy. “Because you love it.” I plainly said. “But I’m asking now why do I love it?” He shouted shaking his head. A strain of fresh spit covered his thick lower lip, and his mouth was watery. “How can I tell that, man? I never know you and your poetry. Some write for name, some for posts and parks, the elegant and rich take it as hobby; the fashionables indulge in it as mere pastime. And we all love it. Your particular case I know not.” I bluntly said. He grasped or not I couldn’t tell. But he nodded his head, and said, “Sir, I’m writing since childhood. And I can tell you even the exact date. It was June 28, Monday morning when my father died. It was a heavy weeklong downpour, fields and ponds flooded. Villagers kept shut in huts. Many were washed away. We cried long. At noon the rain slowed, and we brought the dead to the burning ghat. We somehow made an odd plank with woods, wet and soaked, and poured two drums of kerosene oil over it. Father lie naked, and I set fire to his mouth. The body was not getting burnt, it was smouldering. My neighbours took bamboo poles and beat and beat, until they got tired. They thrashed his skeletons. And then Vangha Das, a tall dark man with a huge paunch and long untrimmed whiskers, a specialist in cracking heads hit and broke my father’s skull. It splattered like a ripe melon. I came home, swapped and sucked. And after midnight I wrote my first poem, “Mrituya” (Death). And I kept the draft in a tin trunk at a corner of my hut. At my restless days and nights I read it aloud, keeping me shut, and dark at my hole.” “Ask me why, why I write?” He stirred his legs unstopped, and stared at me. “Why?” “To kill pain, Sir.” “What pains? You’re young, and perhaps you have a good wife and a lovely child.” I remarked. “I’m unmarried,” he protested thumping his breast and told, “in old school days I fell in love with a girl. She was a beauty. You can’t find such a nice girl nowhere. But I was a student, and her father refused me her hand. I cried, and I penned many poems to soothe me. She loved my words, and at night lone she sang. We never talked. Only now and then stolen glances we exchanged. She knew the depths of my love, my admiration, and I dreamed her day and night. Then one day she stopped coming school, and I heard she eloped with a man of two children.” “So what? Fall in love again with any girl of your choice. Who Cares? It was so cool in today’s world.” I flatly said. “Are you a profe-saar? You’re talking like a…a low fellow. Huh… with such mentality you teach. Shame, shame on you!” He squeezed his face, and spat with a loud noise, and fell silent again. “Why man, love knows no time, no clime, no age. And I’m not asking you to marry and fetter your soul. I only ask you to fall in love, sacred and pure. And what’s wrong with that?” I extended. “Nah, nah… I’m happy with my life and my poetry. I don’t hate girls, but I shun them. I fear intruders into my little world of poetry.” He told, and looked earnest. “Oh, it’s fine. Have you published any poem?” “I’ve no luxury to do that. I have an acre of farm lands, and a yard of betel nut rows, and I live on that. Hah, Dr. Satidhar Rai, editor of Mujnai published some of my poems. But one day he called me, and asked to sell 200 copies to my friends and known faces. I declined before his face, ‘Saar, I don’t sell poems; I’m a poet, I only pen it.’ Since then he stopped me publishing.” He paused for a while thoughtfully, and then softly said, “I pen on sheets, and often print them on shirts and pants. My friend Amit has a printing machine. He does it free. And you know I have no ambition. A poor village poet I’m, and love to remain so. And see, not only on clothes, I also etched them on my skin.” He removed his t-shirt, and threw it away. It fell on a twig beyond, and hung like a scarecrow. He turned his back, and I saw, it was painted all with a green sketch ink. He pushed me to read. I tried and failed again. Only some dying words I could discover with much difficulty. The wind blew and yellow leaves fell on us. We made cozy leafy cushions, and sat on them. A cuckoo cooed tirelessly from a tree nearby. A kingfisher sat still on a lone stray branch, and its eyes set on the gliding water. The sky was all blue. The sun was rich and soft. Peasants, men and women, yonder were all busy weeding potato fields. “How many poems have you written?” I asked, and he said nothing. He looked weird, and a line of pain ran across his sunken cheeks, bearded and scabbard and jaded. His small eyes glowed, and gleamed in a way that thousands tales one could read there. “Countless Sir! My trunk is filled, and I now keep them on everywhere—bed, four corners of my hut, kitchen. And Sir, at my hut you can’t keep feet without nudging them. I write on boundary tins, clothes, utensils, plastic jars. My yard was scratched, and nut trees embossed all. In rain my poems bath, and in sun they bask.” He laughed so loud that birds made a flutter from trees. “Anything else you love, man?” I asked looking at the greeneries of the fields, and heard the rustle of the leaves. A leafless shimul tree was in full bloom, and its underneath was covered with gory scentless flowers. The man sat bare. The day was pleasant, and the place was a bit cold. “Oh…,” he smiled, “nothing much of that. I like fishing. But I don’t kill them. I catch fish, see them gasping for life for a minute or two, and freed them in crystal water. Sometime I pelt pebbles in ponds hours after hours. I also frequent forest to see tall trees standing still. I love to hear the buzz of bees, and cries of peacocks, but what I love most is to hear the sad silence of long wintry night and to watch and count the sparkling stars hung heavy over my tin shade.” “Oh! What a beautiful life you lead!” I exclaimed. “No beauty, please. It’s simple. I love simple things.” He warned me with an air of authority. He scratched his head, brushed his face again and again, scrambled his back pocket and lighted a bidi. He smoked, and asked me to forgive him for this little pleasure. “What I have Sir, …nothing,” he sighed, and began, “you know I have no bad habits—no women, no wine. I smoke bidi (a cheap smoke), and write at dark night. The things I need—a pen, a bidi, and a dark corner. I’m not a poet of moon, and sun, and stars. I’m a poet of pain. And I write poem not for fame or name. I write to quench the pangs of my birth. You understand, not laugh. Everybody writing poetry, hu… it’s not so easy and baby thing. All are not poets, a very few are.” He looked fierce, his eyes burnt. He spat, and with a mournful look he sat silent, and began to count lines of his palm, and muttered. And suddenly he hinged out a crumpled paper from his hind pocket and began to read so loud that some peasants soon left weeding, and hurried, and circled us. He commands all for being silent, coughed, straightened the sheet, readied himself and began to shriek, “Jago amar maa ar ghumayo naa “(Awake mother, no more sleep) Tomare fele jodi choli (If I leave you) Pothe jodi bipod ase (If darkness comes in my path) Dakbo kare maa? (Whom I call?) Nirapode tumi chhhaya (You are my safe shelter) Tomar kole, tomar buker (Lying on your lap) Dugdho tene (Sucking your breasts) Ei prithibir prothom alo (First light of the earth) Peyechi ami maa…” (I see…) ” He stopped, and kissed the sheet thrice, and sounded aha ha ha, oh oh ohhoho, and began to cry. He cleared his nose, and tears ran down, making his beard greasy. The peasants were all silent, and stared us still. The scent of fresh mud entered my nostrils. And they were so overwhelmed, and they almost bent over us. I could see nothing, only the bare mud caked, dusty legs, and the toes all flat like the ducks pointing towards us. An old pale lean woman among the crowd wiped her eyes with the end of her soiled sari, and pitied the man, “Why do you cry, bachha (boy). Your mother is no more. So what, I’m your mother. Come, I caress you.” Suddenly the man stopped crying, and tried hard to figure out his mother, and when found, he looked quizzically straight at her, and said with a serene voice, “You are my maa, it’s all right maa. But underneath lays another thought. Can you tell me that anyone? I ask you all.” His burning eyes slowly surveyed the dull faces of the peasants one by one. The peasants eyed one another, and stood silent, gaped and yawned. He then raised his voice and shouted, “Why won’t you die? Why do you live at all, you all are rustic fools!” He spat. I sat silent. He pushed me and asked, “Sir! What will do they? The mother of my poem is all’s mother—Bharat maataaa. Huh… it’s not so easy; a poem isn’t a baby thing! He cried loud and fainted.