Short Story: “The Rottweiler”

Pop Fiction

Should the new short story be entertaining?

ONCE, not much over 100 years ago, the short story was the most popular art form. The American public consumed stories voraciously– work by Jack London, Frank Stockton, Richard Connell, O. Henry, Stephen Crane– even from more refined types like Edith Wharton and Henry James.

What was the hallmark of the short story?

They were entertaining.

Build a better story, we believe, and the public will beat a path toward your door. We’ve already seen steps– baby steps anyway– in that direction in the prestigious-and-usually-snobby pages of The New Yorker. which recently for the first time in decades published a story that some people actually wanted to read.

And so, we give you a tale of suspense and mystery– “The Rottweiler” by Alex Bernstein, one of the best new practitioners of the short story art going. You’ll find in the work a touch of humor, and perhaps a rottweiler or two. Jump into the adventure. . . .

“On the plus side – if we kill you – we don’t have to put up with all this fuss and noise all the time. On the negative side…mm…Woolsy, what was the negative side, again?”

(Painting by Claude T. Stanfield-Moore.)


Pushcart Time



All Hail Pushcart! Yes, we’re one of the many small literary outfits who applaud the Pushcart Prize collections– though we have reservations. To discover what they are, and at the same time find out which works we nominated for the annual awards this year, read this.

Have we missed the boat this year with our picks? Are we all wet? Living in Fantasyland? Let us know!


This week we’ve also kicked off a can’t miss Cat Poetry Festival at our Fun Pop Poetry feature, here.


Pop Lit Fiction

Our mission is to publish terrific fiction.

Today we present a short story, “Clarity,” from one of the best story writers around, Alex Bernstein. The title of his story is apt, because Bernstein writes with distinct clarity– clarity of thought and clarity of style, which makes him one of the sharper commentators on the American scene today, combining humor with understanding. See if you agree.

“Julie – you can’t be happy with that guy. He takes undead hair scraps from people’s armpits and buries them in their scalps! He makes beer in his living room! Is that what you want?”

Our Pushcart Prize Nominations


What about our Pushcart Prize nominations? Did we send in for work published in 2015 any Pushcart Prize nominations?

Absolutely! This time around we sent in three nominations of work from this website, along with three nominations from our just-released-to-the-world print version, NEW POP LIT #1. (Available for sale via our Detroit blog; soon to be offered at the “Shop” feature of this our main site.)

We had an awful lot of very good work to choose from, in both cases, journal and site. We settled on a representative sampling of each. Given that the Pushcart people receive hundreds, maybe thousands, of nominations each year, our bias went slightly toward work which might get their attention, and therefore stand an outside shot at being prize worthy. We erred on the side of uniqueness, and so, went with in one case a translation; in another, a work which could be classified as either story or essay.

The nominations are–


From the website:

“ENERGY” by Andrei Dichenko (translated by Andrea Gregovich).

“MOO-G” by David Solórzano.



From the NEW POP LIT print journal:

“DICK AND LIZA” by Alex Bernstein.


“DANNY BOY” by Jessie Lynn McMains.


Thanks to the nominees for submitting their work to us. THANKS most to all the other excellent writers who allowed us to present their work to the world, either here or in our new journal.


Mrs. Harris

Third-Way Fiction

Good morning, readers! Our treat for this week will tickle your ‘awkward bone’. Check out this delightful little gem by author Alex Bernstein, titled Mrs. Harris.

Mrs. Harris? It’s Albert Levy again. Are you there? Okay. Okay. I’m trying to be polite and civil and responsible, here, but I’ve sort-of had it with this. As you know – and as I’ve mentioned several times – we appear to have very similar phone numbers; like just a digit off or something. And you’ve given out my phone number instead of yours to all of your clients or case files or whatever you call them.