Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.

Archive for September, 2010

Awkward New York Release Party Tonight

September 30, 2010 By: Category: Events

Tonight, Awkward founders Clay McLeod Chapman and Kyle Jarrow are throwing the most A-1 awesome shindig that has ever been thrown to celebrate the release of a book. If you live in New York, there is no excuse for not going. And buy a book! Buy a damned book already. Plug plug plug. Plug plug plug. Oh, I grow veery of this vorld …

Their Second Short Story Anthology

Thursday September 30th at 7pm. FREE!
Happy Ending Lounge, Lower East Side, NYC

Hosted by the beautiful and charismatic Desiree Burch.

Awkward Two features thirty-three original short works by twenty-five great writers from the world over, in a package that is at once sophisticated and refreshingly humble. Thirty-three new stories of 1500 words or less.

The release party will include:
-Readings of several stories from the book
-Screenings of several short film adaptations of stories from the book*
-A chance to mill around, sip drinks and network with a bunch of charming and attractive people who like books

And it’s all FREE!

Awkward Two – the First Fiction Book with Embedded Video

September 30, 2010 By: Category: Awkwardness

Not a mock-up.

Oh mah gah. I just popped over to the iTunes bookstore to check on the status of Awkward Two, and guess what? WE HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED! Ya know what this means? This means we are the VERY FIRST FICTION BOOK IN EXISTENCE with embedded video.

Okay, that probably isn’t exactly true. Have you ever seen the Alice in Wonderland iPad thing? That shit is sweet. But I will say this with absolute (99%) certainty: we are (almost) certainly the first book of short stories ever released with instant film adaptations. The (maybe possibly) first! Mark my words!

You can buy the book with video right now for $6.99. (I have no idea how to link to the iTunes bookstore through the regular old telonet, or else I’d send you directly to the page.) Check it out right here.

By mid-October, we’ll have a total of six short films embedded in the book; right now, there are only three (plus the bonus Awkward trailer). As the other two become available, you’ll be able to update your copy for free. And if any other filmmakers are inspired and want to make films for the other stories in the book, get in touch with us and we’ll make it happen! The more, the merrier!

If you ever read books on your iPhone, iPad or iPod, we’d really appreciate it if you could throw us a couple of bucks in solidarity. We have no idea how to get the iTunes store to notice us, but if we sell a few copies, they just might be inclined to feature the book. Even if you don’t ever think you’ll read it … consider it a donation to a just cause. We would totally do the same for you. If you ever released the first ever fiction book with embedded video, we would totally buy it. Oh, wait, too late, cause WE ALREADY DID IT. BOOM!

Our First Bit of Press

September 29, 2010 By: Category: Awkwardness

Awkward Two author Joshua Citrak wows the crowd with his story "Pure Gold."

The LA Awkward release party was held last night at Cinespace, and it was a real whiz-bang of a good time. Were you there? You should’ve been there. World-O-Crap was there, and they gave us a nice plug on the site today. Thanks, World-o-Crap! We owe you a drink!

Awkward Two On Sale Today!

September 27, 2010 By: Category: Awkwardness

Yes! It is on sale. You no longer have to pre-order it. Now you can order-order it, and it will come right to your doorstep!

You currently have two options for ordering Awkward Two: through our website (here), or through Amazon (here). If you order through our website, you’ll get a free DVD featuring short films made just for the book!

Assuming the iTunes store accepts the ePub file I spent all last week coding, you’ll soon be able to order it through them with embedded video. Not for nothing, but I’m pretty sure this is the first fiction book ever released with embedded video. It’s kind of a big deal, or whatever.

The Kindle release will also be coming later this week … just waiting for approval. And after that, we’ll try to make it available for all the other book reading devices out there.

I’m feeling a little exhausted by all the promoting I’ve been doing lately, so I’ll just leave you with this: please, please buy a copy in some form or another. Your support could really help us make this project a success.

I Got Nothing

September 23, 2010 By: Category: Awkwardness, Videos

Sorry folks, I’m really phoning it in this week. Or rather, not answering the phone. There’s a reason, though: I have been up to my eyeballs in code, trying to figure out how to make this eBook thing work.

The good news is that I think I finally got it! The bad news is that I’ve been lying to all of you for several months now. See, when we first conceived of the Awkward film & book project, we were all, “that’ll be awesome on the iPad! People can read a story and then watch the movie immediately afterwards!” But at the time, we soon discovered, you couldn’t actually do that, because the iTunes store did not allow books with embedded video. And also we had no idea how to code that freaking thing even if they did.

All that changed about two weeks ago. According to my inside sources, iTunes now hosts books with moving picture shows stuck right inside them, just as we’d always hoped. And just as we’d promised you, even though we had absolutely no business doing so.

Anyway, last night I dove into the matrix and figured out how to create this thing we’ve been promising to create, even though the universe consistently reassured us that we were not allowed to create this thing. And I think I finally got it! (I said that already!)

So we won! We beat the universe! And honestly, we couldn’t be prouder of myself. Pat on the back, me! In the meantime, however, Awkward Thee Website has faltered. And right before the book is being released and we need to drum up interest, too. See how these things work? Self-sabotage.

So I’ll just tell you two things, post a video, and get back to poring over code. 1) Catfish. Go see it. Amazing. 2) The new Superchunk record. Buy it. It’s as if 1994 never ended.

And now an important message from our sponsor, by way of Videogum by way of Everything Is Terrible:

See you on the other side, dudes!

How to Create Free Ringtones Using iTunes

September 20, 2010 By: Category: Videos

Nothing much to report today, except how awesome Awkward Two continues to be. One week until official release! Get your panties ready!

While we await other exciting news, here’s a video about how to make free ringtones using iTunes. Which, I remember when I first got my iPhone way back when, and I was like, “Whuuuuut? You’re gonna give me a device with all my music on it and then make me pay to use that music as a ringtone?” [Insert comment from PC fanciers about how evil Steve Jobs is here]. But apparently there’s a work-around. And here it is!

Sidenote: How much you want to bet this becomes the most popular post on the site at some point in the near future? Lesson for any would-be bloggers: titles always trump content. As we’ve learned from the “Adidas Created the Soccer Ball” debacle.

The Faith Project: Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction

September 17, 2010 By: Category: Greatest Hits, The Faith Project

Inspired by their mutual love of the INXS record Kick, Matt and Jeff have decided to take another listen to their favorite classic and forgotten records from the 80s. This is the Faith Project, and it is 100% guaranteed to contain absolutely no analysis of George Michael’s Faith.


Wait ... there was another dude in GnR who wore a top hat? And when have you ever seen Axl wear a gay turquoise biker cap?

I never had a metal phase. Well, that’s not entirely true: I had a brief flirtation with best-forgotten hair metal bands like White Lion and Kingdom Come in the ’80s, but in my defense I only listened to them because I wanted my older sister to think I was cool. (Didn’t work.) But the real metal bands, your Metallicas, your Iron Maidens, your Slayers … I never felt pulled to those bands as a way of working out my adolescent male angst. Instead, I went straight from pop to the Sex Pistols and Ramones, and from then on my tastes were pretty well focused on punk and what was once called “college rock.” I guess I’ve always preferred the scariness of shitty recordings and bad singing to the scariness of wicked guitar solos and evil lyrics.

So then, what to make of my 23-year (gulp) love affair with Appetite for Destruction? If I don’t particularly feel drawn to metal, what is it about this record that still keeps me enthralled every time I hear it?

Well, for starters, where does Appetite even fit in the rock music spectrum? Is it hair metal? Metal metal? Glam? Hard rock? Dirty blues? Punk? Pop? In truth, it’s a little of everything, and that’s what makes it such a fascinating record 23 (stop saying that!) years after its release. (more…)

R&R Salutes Bill Murray

September 16, 2010 By: Category: Friends

Painting by Candace Jean

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to our friends at R & R Gallery for their write-up in the LA Times today. They’re having an art show dedicated to Bill Murray this weekend which is a brilliant idea and I so, so wish I could be there. If you’re in LA, get there early ’cause this shit is gonna be PAAAAACKED.

Mr. Bill Murray Opening
Friday, Sept. 17

R&R Gallery
929 E. Second St., Suite 106
Los Angeles, CA 90012

And now they’re on TV! Nice work, dudes!

View more news videos at:

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Lynette D’Amico

September 14, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Lynette D’Amico

This is not Lynette D'Amico.

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: Lynette D’Amico is a fantastic writer. Her contribution to Awkward Two, “Inappropriate Gifts,” is pure magic, and an excellent example of how a great writer can take a handful of words and create entire worlds. It’s beautiful, beguiling, funny, touching, and surprising, and I can’t wait for you to read it yourself. “Inappropriate Gifts” is also the inspiration for the equally amazing film by director Tracy Dishman, which you can watch right here. And now I give the floor to Lynette!

The Interview Portion

1) Who are you and why are you here?
I’m an advertising copywriter recently relocated to Chicago from Minneapolis. I’m here because Jeffrey Dinsmore is good to me.

2) Why do you write?
I’m not a big talker. (more…)

The Awkward Two Trailer Is a Game Changer

September 10, 2010 By: Category: Videos

Awkward Two Trailer from Awkward Press on Vimeo.

I’m like Don Draper … I was taught that it’s not polite to talk about yourself. The other day, one of my friends who I hadn’t seen in awhile asked me how Awkward was going. “It’s ok,” I said. “I’ve sunk a lot of money into it.” Sarah give me some shit about that afterwards. “What is that?” she asked. “Humility?” I don’t really know. It’s me trying not to sound cocky, I guess.

Well, that was the old me. The new me is all cocky, all the time. And boy oh boy, do I have something to be cocky about today.

Just look at that freaking thing. It’s a work of beauty, right? Here’s the story: I wrote the script about a month ago, thinking it was a fun idea that was probably too ambitious for us to do. But, just for kicks, I sent it off to Gabe Michael to see if he had any interest in shooting it. I’d worked with Gabe earlier on another film project he was doing, and I knew he had the goods. Miraculously, he jumped on board, along with badass producer (and professional “fixer”) Shahin Younessi . In one week, they assembled a talented crew and an amazing cast, and put together what I, in my newfound cocky opinion, believe is the best book trailer ever made. Total cost: just under $500. About $300 of that was food. Wrestlers eat a lot. Not as much as sound guys, but a lot.

Crazy amounts of love and respect to the crew: Director Gabe, Producer Shahin, DP Alex Rodriquez, AD Jeannine Sturtevant, Gaffer Richard Lee, Makeup Artist Mannee Leija, Sound Mixer/Boom Operator John E. Walker, and PA/Runner Laura Giangiulio. And tears of joy for the hilarious cast: Chris Chiquet as the Reader and Lucas Messer & Kevin Scarlette as the wrestlers. Thanks, everyone. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this and how grateful I am for your hard work.

Convinced yet? Buy it.

Oh! Totally forgot. Thanks as well to the multitalented Matt Ransford for A) designing the Crime & Punishment book cover and B) letting the shoot interrupt his LA vacation!