Book Ex Machina

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Friends in Flash! Smokelong reviews Matchbook Stories!

smokelong review

At first glance, the most striking (pun so intended) aspect of the Matchbook Stories is its unique make-up. Yes, these stories are contained within actual matchbooks, and yes they are absolutely adorable, and yes your friends will squee with delight when they bear witness to such tiny cuteness. But Matchbook Stories isn’t just a gimmick. The stories are equally as compelling as their packaging. Book Ex Machina has created an art object that assures both style and substance.

Smokelong, we love you too! (Read the whole review over at the Smokelong Quarterly blog!)

Book Ex Machina everywhere, summer edition

Into the sea!

Hello from the cruel Cypriot summer. We are making the most of it, conquering seas and beaches when we are not busy doing busy work in the office.

And how are you? Is it nice where you are? Write us a letter1 and tell us all about it. We love letters. And speaking of which, here are two in the form of short stories in the form of letters by Ioanna Mavrou.

Stolen Stationery in The Rumpus

Layover Jetlag Lei Plane Ghost Love in The Letters Page

We are working on Matchbook Stories Issue 4 with Ali Smith, and Etgar Keret who called us beautiful2 and said: “I’ve never seen before super short stories treated with such great love and respect. Good work, Ioanna and Thodoris!” This issue will be available when it’s really cold out and only crazy people3 go swimming. (Perfect for your Christmas stockings.)

In the meantime what did you think of Issue 3? Haven’t read it yet? Perfect time to order a copy, or go grab one from one of the many beautiful locations around the world that stock it. London, NY, L.A., Singapore, Paris! And of course as always at our beloved Atlantis Books who are having yet another great literary festival next month.

But if you prefer door to door service we’ll be happy to ship anywhere and everywhere in the world. (Even space. We bet the astronauts on the space station could use some short stories to read while eating their vegetables.)

1. Our address is on our about page. You can find stationery and stamps in the second desk drawer.

2. Just follow the link, you’ll see, he totally did.4

3. We’re just jealous, we admit it, we wish we swam all year round rain or shine.

4. hehe

P.S. Our wonderful contributors are all having a busy summer. Some of all the things, in no particular order: Lee Jing-Jing has a new book of poetry out. Pat Cash has a play opening in London. Etgar Keret has a memoir out and lots of interviews and pieces published everywhere. J. Robert Lennon is working on Okey-Panky and taking cool photographs. Tara L. Masih is editing The Best Small Fictions 2015. Marc Cinanni is writing in Spanish cafes. Erik Boman is working on a novel in Oxford. Yorgos Trillidis is writing stories in Cyprus. And Ali Smith has a new book coming out soon!

Out now: Matchbook Stories Issue 3!

Dear friends,

We are delighted to announce that our newest issue of Matchbook Stories is out now and available to order on our website.

Our biggest issue yet*, Matchbook Stories Issue 3 is a matchbox filled with genius award-winning short story writers. You’ll love this so much you’ll want to carry it around all summer in your pocket.

With four great tiny stories by Etgar Keret, J. Robert Lennon, Tara L. Masih, and Yorgos Trillidis.

As always each matchbook is a tiny book in itself with book cover art specifically designed for the stories. Great bite-size fiction to share with friends and strangers. A perfect addition to your summer reading list!

“An object of beauty,” some have said about Matchbook Stories. We like to think of it as a shareable literary object and the tiniest literary magazine in the world.**

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Matchbook Stories 3

 

Matchbook Stories Issue 3

With stories by Etgar Keret, J. Robert Lennon, Tara L. Masih, and Yorgos Trillidis. (Meet our Issue 3 writers)

Etgar Keret is the author of, among other books, The Seven Good Years, Suddenly, A Knock on the Door, The Girl on the Fridge and The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God. His books are bestsellers in Israel and have been published in thirty-seven languages.

J. Robert Lennon is the author of seven novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Happyland, and the story collections Pieces for the Left Hand and See You in Paradise. He teaches writing at Cornell University.

Tara L. Masih is the author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows, the editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle, and the series editor of the annual Best Small Fictions anthology. Her flash fiction has been widely anthologized.

Yorgos Trillidis is the author of three short story collections, and a collection of non-fiction. Some of his stories have been published in English and a couple have been adapted into short films. He lives in Nicosia.

Matchbook Stories Issue 3
€15

Have a lovely summer,
Book Ex Machina

* still tiny!
** we haven’t checked with Guinness or anything, but we’re pretty sure.

And in case you missed it: Matchbook Stories Issue 2 (there are still some copies in stock.)

Matchbook Stories are also available in some of the most beautiful shops in the world.

We’re now on Goodreads

Sign up for our newsletter and get all our important news first!

Seriously, how is your summer? Send us a tweet and tell us about it.

Matchbook Stories 3 – Meet our writers!

This is everything that is great about having a literary magazine: getting to publish writers you love. We’ve been fans of Etgar Keret, J. Robert Lennon, and Yorgos Trillidis for many years now; and what a bonus, discovering Tara L. Masih and her wonderful stories!

Also great: how much love and support we get from writers (hello, Ali Smith, we are your helpers, forever and ever) and the wonderful readers and bookshops that carry us all over the world.

Here’s to Matchbook Stories Issue 3! Our biggest yet (but still tiny as ever!) And to many more issues of tiny bites of literature!

 


 

Etgar Keret is the author of, among other books, The Seven Good Years, Suddenly, A Knock on the Door, The Girl on the Fridge and The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God. His books are bestsellers in Israel and have been published in thirty-seven languages.

His story in Matchbook Stories Issue 3 is “Asthma Attack” (and he has also written us one for Issue 4, coming later this year.)

Photographer-Yanai Yechiel 35-3 photo: Yanai Yechiel

 

J. Robert Lennon is the author of seven novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Happyland, and the story collections Pieces for the Left Hand and See You in Paradise. He teaches writing at Cornell University.

He wrote his story “Fault” for  Matchbook Stories Issue 3.

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photo courtesy of the author

Tara L. Masih is the author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows, the editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle, and the series editor of the annual Best Small Fictions anthology. Her flash fiction has been widely anthologized.

Her story “Ella” is in Matchbook Stories Issue 3.

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Yorgos Trillidis is the author of three short story collections, Αγκιστρωμένοι στα Φυστικοαμάξια μας, Τελετή Λήξης and Μικροπράγματα, and a collection of non-fiction. Some of his stories have been published in English and a couple have been adapted into short films. He lives in Nicosia.

He wrote his story “Verification” for Matchbook Stories Issue 3.

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Ioanna Mavrou in The Letters Page

Ioanna has a story in the latest issue of the beautiful correspondence-themed literary journal The Letters Page, edited by Jon McGregor. (Available to read online or to download and printour preferred method. )

And here is an interview where she talks about writing, letters, and editing Matchbook Stories.

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Matchbook Stories 3 | Pre-order!

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Our beautiful third issue is now available for pre-order!

Our biggest issue yet! Matchbook Stories Issue 3 is a matchbox filled with genius award-winning short story writers. You’ll love this so much you’ll want to carry it around all summer in your pocket.

Four great tiny stories by Etgar Keret, J. Robert Lennon, Tara L. Masih, and Yorgos Trillidis

Shipping everywhere in the world. Available here.

Matchbook Stories is open for submissions

We are currently accepting stories for Issue 4 (our holiday issue that will include stories by Ali Smith and Etgar Keret!) Send us your tiniest most awesome stories!

Submission Guidelines:

We are looking for tiny stories that are complete in up to 150 words.

We want stories about meetings, moments and places, stories invoking the feeling of real matchbooks. A few words that can be carried in a pocket and shared with a friend, or perhaps a stranger. Tiny stories to fall in love with. Give us fire. Knock our socks off.

Please submit up to two stories. Simultaneous submissions are allowed—if the work is accepted for publication elsewhere, please withdraw your submission. Previously published work is not accepted for consideration.

Deadline: June 30, 2015

Enter your story submissions through Submittable

*We also have a nice offer for writers who want to get their hands on Matchbook Stories Issue 2 & Issue 3 (pre-order)*

Matchbook Stories 3: a preview!

Mark your calendars and make (a little) room on your summer reading lists: Matchbook Stories Issue 3 will be released on July 22nd 2015!

Our biggest issue yet, (but still tiny!) it is filled with great stories from Etgar Keret, J. Robert Lennon, Tara L. Masih, and Yorgos Trillidis.

You can find out more, look at more pictures, and pre-order this issue right here.

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London pinholes

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Some London pinholes from Thodoris Tzalavras

AWP success!

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So happy to get the report from Versal about AWP15. Looks like we got Matchbook Stories Issue 2 in a lot of new hands! Thanks nice people of AWP15 and Versal for taking us along for the ride! Hope to see you again at AWP16!

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Hello people of AWP, won’t you come down to booth #536 and see our books?

The lovely people of Versal have organized #EuroTourAWP and invited us along with over a dozen more English-language presses from Europe.

We’ll all be hanging out together at #536

If you get there in time you might find one of the flyers we made with all our news and a story inside, and the opportunity to win a free copy of Matchbook Stories Issue 2–watch our Twitter feed for details.

Be sure to also check in with our Matchbook Stories Issue 3 contributor, the great J. Robert Lennon! His schedule is posted here on his blog.

To celebrate we’re also offering Matchbook Stories 2 with FREE SHIPPING EVERYWHERE! all week from our website.

AWP!

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Getting ready for AWP

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You’ll find these lovely flyers (and our books!) at table #536

Matchbook Stories Issue 2 | a Review

Our friend Phedias Christodoulides reviews Matchbook Stories Issue 2

 

What is a matchbook story? It is exactly what its name signifies, a short story in the form of a matchbook: a small paperboard folder that instead of matches contains pages of prose. The conception of this unusual literary format belongs to Ioanna Mavrou and Thodoris Tzalavras, the couple behind Book Ex Machina, an independent imprint in Nicosia that specializes in the publication of small runs and special editions of art and photography books. One of the series they publish is in the matchbook story format, and they have just released Issue 2. The issue contains four matchbook stories of four pages each by three writers—Pat Cash, Marc Cinanni and Eric Boman—placed inside a case that fittingly resembles a matchbox.

What makes a matchbook story special is a more challenging question. According to Ioanna and Thodoris a matchbook story is special because it is a playful way of making literature, an original way of making literature into anything, and because it shows that literature is not only about written content, but also about a material medium. In the case of Matchbook Stories even a person that is not interested in literature may pick it up because it is pretty as an object; its material quality thus lends it a value that is not present in standard books. Indeed, the four matchbook stories of this edition are quite charming to behold—their four differently-colored covers make the whole package look like a box of chocolates. However, for me the answer to what makes the medium of the matchbook story special is given by the inscription on each of the four matchbook covers: ‘Read and share with a friend.’

Read and share with a friend. The pocket size and tiny length of the stories makes them ideal for precisely this—sharing. At any time, any place, one may take a matchbook from the case in his pocket and read it to a friend, then discuss it with him. Such an interaction is more difficult in conventional literature but it is in such interactions that the value of literature really lies—in the act of communicating and exchanging ideas, and of readers shaping together the meaning of a literary work. By having a copy of Matchbook Stories Issue 2 in his or her pocket, one can convey to a friend the link between modernity and dog life. Or what Dubai really feels like. Or puzzle him as to the relation of airplane crashes, dolphins and Pink Floyd. Or whether sexual objectification is ever really gratifying to the subject. The four stories are all concise depictions of moments from lives, much like haikus in prose form. They encapsulate the striking diversity in life and offer it to readers, all in a few words, inside a matchbook box.

Phedias Christodoulides

News!

bookexmachinaeverywhere

So many good things happened lately. If you’ve been following us on Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook you probably heard, but here is a list of all the awesome Matchbook Stories related news in no particular order:

So here’s to a great start for our publishing year!

For more news be sure to follow us on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

And here’s wishing you all a great 2015.

Thodoris Tzalavras pinhole

Pinhole picture by Thodoris Tzalavras

Matchbook Stories 2 – Meet our writers!

Erik Boman

Erik Boman

Swedish writer Erik Boman lives in the UK and is an advocate of all things speculative and suggestive. He writes SF, crime and other oddities, and sometimes stirs the embers of his blog.

He wrote a poem for Matchbook Stories Issue 2 called “Weekend Dogs”

Pat Cash

Pat Cash
Pat Cash is a creative writer, spoken word poet and journalist living in London. He began performing in Paris and now runs the open-mic night Spoken Word London and the theatrical showcase event Fabrics Cabaret.

His story in Matchbooks Stories Issue 2 is “Yes”

Marc Cinanni

Marc Cinanni

Marc Cinanni is an Italian Canadian writer living in Spain. When not writing stories and poems, he procrastinates on Traitor te Quiero.

He has a poem, “Dubai” and a short story “Ping” in Matchbook Stories Issue 2.

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