miserable holiday stories wins best book award!

I’m thrilled and honored to announce that Miserable Holiday Stories has won a 2021 Best Book Award in the category: Humor! MHS was also a finalist in two other BBA categories:  Fiction Anthologies and Fiction Short Story.

The awards were presented by AmericanBookFest.com which states that “this year’s contest yielded over 2,000 entries from mainstream and independent publishers” including HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Macmillan Publishers, New World Library, NYU Press and Oxford University Press, among dozens of others.

About the book:

No matter what holiday you celebrate, this quirky yet bittersweet compilation will have you longing for mid-January. Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, “who ate all the $#!@% figgy pudding?!”

Miserable Holiday Stories (20 Festive Failures That Are Worse Than Yours)
Publisher: Racehorse (a division of Skyhorse Publishing)
Available from Amazon.com, BN.com, numerous other online retailers, and finer bookstores everywhere.

the negotiable apology

A new one-act play of mine, The Negotiable Apology, directed by Tamara Alexander will be having its premiere at the Brewster Theater Company’s 2021 Playwright Festival over the weekend of September 24-26. And yes, this falls squarely into yet another Miserable Love Story.

Here’s the blurb info:

One afternoon, a man and woman attempt to reconcile their formerly romantic relationship from 20 years previous.

Seating is limited for all three shows and tickets are going fast. Here’s info on how to get tickets.
And here’s a little teaser to whet your appetite:

MARGOT

So, why are you calling, Danny?

DANNY

Well, that’s the thing, see – you know – I guess – you get to a point in a person’s life, right – where – you start thinking about things – reflecting over – over choices you made, right?  And –

MARGOT

You’re getting divorced?

DANNY

No!  No. Not at all.  Not at all.  That’s the farthest thing from –

MARGOT

Look, Danny – I have to pick my kids up in, like, fifteen minutes.  And this is feeling a little – I don’t know – weird.  Whatever it is – why don’t you just message me on Facebook or –

DANNY

See – see, here’s the thing, Margot.

(beat)

I wanted to apologize.

MARGOT

For what?

DANNY

Okay. Well.  I mean – you probably don’t even remember this, but –

MARGOT

Try me.  I have an awesome memory.

 

 

miserable holiday stories wins independent press award!

Extremely excited to announce that Miserable Holiday Stories has been recognized as a Distinguished Favorite in the Humor category in the 2021 Independent Press Awards!

In 2021, the Independent Press Award had entries worldwide. The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence.

About the book: “Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, who ate all the $#!@# figgy pudding?!”

Miserable Holiday Stories is published by Racehorse, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. For more information on the book, please click here.

For more information on the Independent Press Awards, please click here.

writing the gift story

My article “Writing the Gift Story” is up at Review Tales.  Here’s a bit of it:

“No one likes staring at a blank page. Fortunately, many writers cultivate all sorts of prompts and tools to conquer that authorial vacuum as much as possible – whether it be leaving the previous day’s writing off on a cliffhanger – or maintaining an endless List of Ideas forever begging to be written.

As a perpetual short story writer, I’ve developed a number of similar tools. But here’s one of my favorites that’s particularly useful at this time of year – The Gift Story.”

You can read the full article here.

miserable holiday stories

Very excited to announce the release of the NEW improved version of Miserable Holiday Stories – just in time for the upcoming holiday season!

From the copy blurb:

Throw another yule log on the fire and let the seasonal suffering begin! No matter what holiday you celebrate, these quirky yet bittersweet tales will have you longing for mid-January. Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, “who ate all the $#!@% figgy pudding?!”

This upgraded 2.0 version comes from the fine folks at Skyhorse Publishing, and contains eleven new pieces, including the entire (kid-friendly) novella The Unbreakable Toy!

Miserable Holiday Stories is the latest “Miserable” release and a lovely year-end gift for all those friends and relatives who you feel haven’t suffered enough already in 2020!

miserable events 2020!


Cancel your vacation plans!

Miserable Love Stories drops into stores tomorrow – February 4th – just in time for Valentine’s Day!  (Yes, it was rescheduled from its original January release date.) We already had one great event at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati a couple weeks ago.  And we have a TON of events coming up soon in February, which you should absolutely come to – especially if you live in New Jersey!

Saturday, February 8, 2-4p – Meet and Greet and book signing at incredibly fabulous The Town Bookstore in Westfield, NJ. Stop by and share your most awful Valentine’s Day story, meet the author and get a book signed!

Wednesday, February 12, 7-8p – Reading and book signing at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ. This is a full-on reading – that means we read some pieces from the book – and book signing! Featuring laughs, tears, and possibly awkward audience participation! No doubt, there’ll probably be a blizzard that day.

And then – then! – it’s theater time!  

Fri-Sat, February 14-15 – Miserable Love Stories! at the Rising Curtain Theatre in Bloomfield, NJ.  (Three performances only!  Fri at 8p; Sat at 6 and 8p)  Director Ted Wrigley has done a phenomenal job with a truly brilliant cast of some of the funniest actors in NJ.  (We’re talking deep, deep improv and stand-up experience for most of the cast.)  So, it’s going to be a highly memorable evening.  Please note – this is a small black box theatre (and a large cast) and seats are already selling out .  If you’re interested in this show, please contact the theater asap! I’ll also be signing books at this event, too.   

Click on the links above for more information on all the events. And how cool is this poster?

Miserable Love Stories will be available in bookstores across the nation.  Click here to order the book directly from the publisher!

 

miserable love stories!

I’m incredibly excited to announce that my Miserable series has been picked up by Skyhorse Publishing!  And the newest book Miserable Love Stories is scheduled for release in January, 2020, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  This news has been bubbling up for most of the past year – but now that we have the cover and are moving to the final production stages, I’m thrilled to release the information.  MLS will be part of Skyhorse’s Racehorse imprint and will have distribution through Simon & Schuster.

Subtitled 25 Romantic Disasters That are Worse Than Yours and featuring stories that have appeared in such eclectic journals as New Pop Lit, The Big Jewel, Gi60, Blue Skirt Productions, MidAmerican Fiction and The LegendaryMiserable Love Stories is now available for pre-order on Amazon and at fine bookstores pretty much everywhere.

After MLS, the next book in the series is scheduled for release later in the 2020.  It’s a significant expansion of one of the current Miserable books and will render the previous version as a collector’s item!  So, pick up the originals now while you still can!

 

And here’s the blurb copy for Miserable Love Stories:

Funny Short Stories for Heart-Breakers, the Broken-Hearted and the Completely Utterly Confused

Whether you’re headed to that exciting first date where you’ll inevitably spill Cabernet all over yourself or you and your significant other are celebrating Date Night #4,081 with an extra pint of Halo Top, everyone can agree on one thing: Love Stinks. How to escape the endless cycle of melancholy? Well, you probably can’t. What you can do is take comfort in humorist Alex Bernstein’s new collection of stories about miserable mad crushes, amorous infidelities and bittersweet romances.

Hear stories of horrific bridesmaids’ dresses, strange love at airports, awkward confessions, manic pixie dream girls, uncomfortable road trips, the bizarre state of future sex and, of course, true, everlasting love. So, curl up with your favorite valentine and enjoy such titles as:

Circle in the Square
The Qualified Apology
The Eight Hour Kiss
The Deli Chick
The Forrest Gump Question
Sexpo 2041
Come Home Soon
My Annoying Mother
And more!

Commiserate lost love and painfully awkward first dates with Miserable Love Stories!

 

prom selected for portland film festival

Exciting News!  My screenplay, Prom on Mars, is an Official Selection at the upcoming Portland Comedy Film Festival.

Wait – what?!  I hear you cry.  Screenplay?

Yes, once upon a long, long time ago Prom on Mars was my retro-futuristic screenplay about a bunch of kids in the year 2053 taking a three-day shuttle ride to Mars for their senior prom.  (Something of a cross between High School Musical (without the music), Star Trek, and Animal House.)  In the 2000’s – back when I was Reviews Editor for PopImage.com – Prom became a long-running webcomic at that site, and this site was created to house the whole thing.  Prom had a nice run for a few years at those two sites, told it’s story, sold a few indie copies of a print run of the first 50 strips, and then called it a day.

Later, when I started planning for a new website to house my writing, comedy, and publishing efforts, I decided to keep the promonmars url, because I kind of loved the name and the branding, and figured I’d also grab any leftover traffic.  The current site has had almost exclusively all new content.  Although I’ve occasionally re-posted some of the non-Prom strips – eg Total Losers, and Young Christo – but no Prom strips…yet.


Young Christo

In fact, for the past 10 years or so, in my brain, Prom was now a brand (and, technically, a publishing imprint), not a property of it’s own.

That is, until I re-read the original Prom script this past summer for the first time in a decade, and thought hey, that’s not so terrible.  So, I cleaned it up and sent it off to a couple places, including the Portland Film Festival.  And well, there you go.

Wish me luck!  I may even post some of the script or the old webcomics up here, if there’s any interest…

it’s a Gi60 weekend!

It’s that time of year, once again, for Gi60! (Gone in 60 Seconds – the One Minute International Theatre Festival).  Gi60 is an evening of 50 short plays in (approx) 50 minutes.  I’ve gone international again, this year, with six pieces performed across three different shows – inc pieces in the Brooklyn and UK Leeds shows, and four in the Gi60 NextGen show (also in Brooklyn).  Above is one of my pieces from last year’s NextGen show – Bupkis.

Tickets are still available for all of the shows this weekend.  You can find links here.  And if you can’t make it out to Brooklyn, the evening shows will also be live streamed.

I will be haunting both of the Saturday shows in Brooklyn, and will likely have a few copies of both Plrknib and Miserable Adventure Stories with me for signing.

Here’s all the information on the shows and tickets.

Hope to see you there!