VAO Publishing’s Pushcart Prize Nomination

Each year, small presses and literary magazines across the country get to nominate up to 6 of the pieces they’ve published for the Pushcart Prize.

We are proud to announce the nomination of “The Time about the Dog” by Álvaro Rodríguez from Along the River.

You can read Álvaro’s story here: The Time about the Dog

Call for Submissions for Border Noir

VAO Publishing is accepting submissions for its upcoming title Border Noir: Hard-Boiled Fiction from the Southwest, edited by Álvaro Rodríguez, co-author of the recent film Machete. The anthology will be available in May 2012 in trade paperback and eBook form.

If you are interested in being part of this exciting project, you should submit your work through our submission form. Submission deadline is March 1, 2012.

Content Guidelines:
The simplest definition of noir is fiction that focuses on mostly amoral characters, that typically involves crime or misdeeds, and that evinces a bleak or fatalistic view of the universe. However, noir doesn’t have to be overly depressing or serious; in fact, black humor is often a secondary characteristic. And though noir usually features stripped-down, utilitarian prose, it doesn’t have to; a complex, dense and subtle style can also be used to create stories in this genre.

See this article for a very clear (and amusing) discussion of the common traits of noir fiction.

What we’re looking for in Border Noir are stories set in the US Southwest (or with origins in/implications for the area) that explore the darker, tougher and grittier underbelly of life in this region. We are interested in everything: straight-up hard-boiled detective fiction, procedural police stories, tales of ordinary losers trapped by the consequences of their own actions, gothic pieces, and even edgy magical realism that borders on the horrific or phantasmagorical.

We are especially looking for authors from south Texas or the Southwest, but we are also interested in compelling work by writers from elsewhere who are able to capture something essential about this region.

Authors will be paid an initial $25 upon acceptance, plus a 2% royalty on the first 600 copies sold.

For further information, call us at 956.246.0353 or drop us an e-mail at

About the Editor
Álvaro Rodríguez has been writing since childhood and, in fact, did his best work when he was 11. With filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, he is the co-writer of the wishing-rock children’s movie SHORTS (2009), and MACHETE (2010) starring Danny Trejo and Robert DeNiro, and is the screenwriter of the vampire western FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE HANGMAN’S DAUGHTER (2000). His short stories (including a Pushcart Prize nominee) have appeared in The Mesquite Review, flashquake, BorderSenses and Popcorn Fiction.

Along the River

On May 18, VAO Publishing released Along the River: An Anthology of Voices from the Río Grande Valley. Edited by David Bowles and with a cover designed by painter Noé Vela, Along the River features poetry and prose by a host of local talent, including the short story “The Time About the Dog” by Álvaro Rodríguez, co-screenwriter of the recent films Shorts and Machete.
This volume is the first in a projected series of annual anthologies that will provide a forum for the unique vision of regional writers. Proceeds from its sale will be used by Valley Artistic Outreach to continue providing art camps for children and promoting artistic expression throughout the Valley.

Álvaro Rodríguez
David Bowles
Angélica Maldonado
Yaresy Salinas
María Ramírez
Daniel Tyx
Mónica G. Hernández
Félix Omar Vela
Evangelina Ayon
Lois Marie Garza
Charlene Bowles
Robert Brown
Cindy Jáimez
Virgilio B. Valencia
Alfredo Ortiz
Javier David González
Matthew Madrigal
Olga Lidia Cervantes
Richard D. Givens
Verónica Sandoval
Edwin de Kock
Gwenda J. González
Jonathan Corey Mangan
Kristin Michelle Keith
María Piedra
Ludivina V. Vásquez
María de la Luz Quiroga
Clarrissia Nerio
Nina Medrano
Rosalia Arriaga
Anna Lilia Castillo
Gloria M. Alvarado
Edwin Sandoval
Book Description
These unique voices combine in a harmony of Mexican and American, of magical and ordinary, of tragedy and triumph. From established writers to emerging talents, the contributors to this volume represent the depth and beauty of a community that is just beginning to make itself heard.
Book Details
Paperback: 168 pages
Publishing Date: May 18, 2011
Language: English and Spanish
ISBN-10: 0615480667
ISBN-13: 978-0615480664
Product Dimensions: 5″ X 8″
Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces
Book Availability
Along the River will eventually be available for order at most national bookstores.  To preview and purchase online, select one of the following options: