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Author Launch Party: Tales from the Deep

October 4th, 2022

Congratulations to the winning authors of our "Tales from the Deep" short story contest. The long-awaited anthology will release this month with an author party online.

From an apocalyptic ocean to the empty void of space, from the ghosts in the human psyche to the center of the Earth, in Tales from the Deep twelve international authors ask questions answered best in the dark. Featuring John Waterfall and Harrison Blackman. Don't dip your toes in these waters unless you have the courage to face what's waiting underneath. This short story collection takes readers deep into dystopian future water worlds and alien planets that look like home. You'll visit a doctor in the high mountains of Persia, dive into the microbiology of alien moons, then foray into the dark recesses of the lives of warriors, deep space travelers, cyborg creatures, and adventurers of all kinds.

It's time to celebrate. Join the online zoom party for readings and interviews with the creators of this epic anthology that is worth waiting for. Saturday, October 22, 1 pm CDT.

​Save your reservation here.

The idea for this contest and the original call for entry--along with the original artwork for the story prompt--was created with the help of teen intern, Alex J. He did an entire semester of work on genre research and why good short stories need to address elements of fear. Each story in Tales from the Deep reveals evocative awakenings and acts of courage in dark and deep places. The winning stories selected are just incredible! We couldn't be happier. Here are our authors:

Falling by Harrison Blackman Second Chances by Victoria Shannon Plastic Jesus by Judith Ets-Hokin Levi’s Song by John Waterfall The Red Wolf Incident by Natasha Reeves Amir Moo by Ali Azar Neptune’s Children by Brian Burt James McClintock Was a Rational Man by Thomas Winningham III Aeriel by Samantha Bolf Europa Explorer by Martin Rothaemel Don’t Want the World to Turn Without You by Mathilde Rybka

The Lady with the Aligator Purse by Polly alice McCann


We'd also like to invite back any short fiction author published with us for a spectacular story reading on Saturday Oct 29th 1 pm CDT. More details coming soon... Email us to be one of the readers!


Here is a replay of our first interview with Alex Eickhoff, Illustrator of next year's short story collection, TALES FROM THE DEEP. We sat down to talk a few times in Spring 2020, and you won't believe Alex's story. From his first mural to dozens of murals painted nationally in the last two years including the Florida Zoo, and too many parks and street sides to count. Alex is a vibrant artist and illustrator in the Kansas City Area whose painterly artwork pushes the boundaries of imagination into the surreal and absurd with light, humor, and a shout into the darkness. We couldn't be luckier to have him and his hand-painted art for this collection! Please follow his work on Instagram @eye_cough.

Tell us about your art.

After I finished my BFA in art in 2015, I moved to KC and worked as a fabricator to build custom interactive displays and decor in a “big sign company”… in their sculpture department for a few years. Then I decided to go on “sabbatical.”

Well, we loved your studio at InterUrban Arthouse and your small daily art that is addicting to purchase, and now you are doing more and bigger things. Tell us what your art is like. Where do you get your ideas?

Idea bubbles: simplified singular objects. They are like an iconic mish-mash of ideas. I create a thought versus a story. So, “what would a toad sitting on a stool sitting on a toadstool look like?” would be a question that begins a painting, or “What would an animal look like if he was posing for a class photo?”

I get it. You play with words, idioms, and the subconscious field of images. We are so excited that you are illustrating our next collection of short stories. Where does it come from?

I sketch with paint. I keep it simple: simple composition so I can explore color and texture and different ways of applying paint; not daunting, not drafting, half the time improv, or in-depth concept. Let the paint be the paint and see what happens.

Oh, that is perfect. So, what comes next?

I really want to get into the KC local mural and street art scene. For the last few years, I volunteered with SpraySee, MO. Artists come from all over the country to create street art. In 2019, they painted 40 walls. This spring, I painted my first mural in Art Alley in the crossroads. It’s a good demographic for someone to view your art.


Upcoming Anthologies

  • Night Forest, Folk Poetry and Story featuring poets Gary Baumier and Katharyn Howd Machan and artist Elke Trittle, December 2022

  • Sprouts Meditations: Artists, Poets & Writers, Spring 2023

  • Path of Birds Poetry and Art Anthology in Progress 2023

  • Universe in a Bottle Anthology in Progress 2023

  • New Contests now open on Submittable for short fiction and short cozy mystery


Flying Ketchup Press ® founded in 2018 to champion new and diverse voices in short fiction and poetry. Home | Flying Ketchup Press

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Instagram: @flying_ketchup_press  Twitter: @press_flying   

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