Author: java1317

You’re Cordially Invited: Fall 2016 Issue Launch Party

Tuesday, September 20th, join us in the elegant Weber Fine Arts Gallery to celebrate our newest edition.

We really put a lot into this one and hope that it’s just the beginning to a beautiful new year of editions to come from our team. We want to celebrate the effort, not just ours, but of the people who were included, and of those who helped in the production (as well as our wonderful readers, of course).

The event will begin at 4 PM and last until 5. There will be short readings from some of the included authors and light refreshments will be served.

The party is free to enjoy but for those interested in snagging a lovely little copy of the Fall issue, they will be for sale for $15. Cash and credit are welcome. As always, all profits go to furthering production for future issues and we appreciate any contributions.

For any questions or further details on the event please visit our Facebook event page.

Fall 2016 Edition and eBook On Sale!


Hello, 13th Floor here and we’ve got a deal for you!

Our new edition is finally ready and we’ve got not just one cover but TWO!

That’s right, folks, we loved the art that was submitted so much that we just couldn’t decide!

We’ve got the Nerd cover by Courtney Kenny Porto and Foresight by Cangshu Gran.




If eBooks are more your style, then you’re in luck! This edition and all back ordered editions are FREE to download the week of August 22-26th.

Both versions, along with all eBooks  will be available starting today at our shop. All purchases go to furthering publication, so as always we want to thank you for your continued support.


We will also have a special surprise coming up concerning this issue, so keep your eyes peeled for details on that coming soon!


Bubblegum Cyber Punk

We are very excited to announce a new project from fellow editor and creative mind, Phil Brown!

Bubblegum Cyber Punk is a one-shot publication exploring consumer culture in technology and what fuels it. Phil and his team will be accepting original works of  short fiction, non-fiction, and poetry involving the theme.

Submissions should be sent to Phil directly at The deadline for submissions is September 30th.

For any further information or questions see here.


Staving Off Stage Fright: Tips for the Publically Timid

Picture this: you’ve been writing for years, perhaps even got involved with theater in high school, but when the moment comes for you to clamber onto a stage and share your work you begin to sweat. It’s something personal, something private; even your closest friends don’t know this one. There’s feedback on the mic, you begin to mumble. You shake, rattle, and have to crawl off stage from the fear of probable rolling.

We’ve all been there…right?

Well, for those less graceful and poised than myself when it comes to the art of performance prose and poetry, here are some simple tips to soothe while public speaking.


Don’t be ashamed to have the piece handy

Now, I’m pretty sure practicing is a no-brainer, but even when the mirror and your cat could recite it back to you perfectly, an audience can throw you off. Don’t be afraid to have the piece ready for reference. Just make sure to glance up periodically to show the audience you’re still with them.

Re-write to perform

Much like drafting the piece, itself, pacing of a performance piece can influence the reading. If you notice that you seem to be stumbling over a section, or timing isn’t on your side with a scene, re-write a draft that’s meant to be performed. Make it sloppy, make it grammatically incorrect, make it what it needs to be to get that pacing down to a T. It’ll be your little secret.

Don’t be hard on yourself

Remember that this isn’t life or death. Breathe and you will get through it. When you focus on the mistakes the performance’s tone will be altered along with your mood and the two will tumble around each other in a negative cycle. Learn from every performance you make and use that to add to your next.

Treat Yo’self

Going off that last one, the little things can do wonders. Dress for the confidence you want, have a nice meal and a drink, you’ve earned it. Endorphins make you happy, and happy people read like champs.


Most of the time, open mics or slams are filled with a multitude of peers. They get it. Talk to them, and remind yourself that they are friends here to support and endorse your creativity.

Did these help? Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!

For upcoming slams in the Omaha area in August check out the Petry Menu and make sure to watch for events on the Nebraska Writer’s Collective  Facebook; as well as keeping an eye on news from 13th Floor, of course.

Keep calm and create on, writers!




Musicians Wanted

As briefly mentioned in posts, Changing It Up! and If You Give a Book a Playlist we are accepting music submissions to the site!

Our own Sophie Clark shared her musical story telling with her band, Clark and Company, at July’s open mic and we loved it so much that we want to hear more!

To submit your audio files or for any questions, email us at Make sure to include a short bio so that we can learn the mind behind the music as well.

In a lot of ways music can take us to places where words struggle to, show us things that photographs can’t capture, and remind us of feelings we sometimes forget. We’d love to help you share that magic, if you’ll have us.

Opening It Up

Are you on the fence about signing up for the slam  July 28th? No worries, we’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve never done something like this before, perhaps you haven’t polished it as much as you want—  let’s say you’re not an “experienced” writer—


Hang out, and if you find the courage, come to the judging table and sign up. That’s right, we’re opening it up and making it an open mic. Read it off your phone if you want, but we want to hear your voice!

Rules still apply: the piece must be 700 words or under and entry is still $5

Let the prose outweigh the cons and come on down!

Slam begins and 7 PM at Pizza Shoppe Collective in the cozy Benson area.

For further details check out 13th Floor’s event page on Facebook

Slam Coming Soon

Coming to the Pizza Shoppe Collective, July 28th, comes the awkward and charming tales  of people trying to figure the world out while trying to have a social life.

Brought to you by the hardworking minds behind 13 Floor Magazine, with help from UNO’s Bookstore and the Writer’s Workshop.

Entry fee is $5, pieces must be 700 words or less. Winner receives place in 2017 Spring Edition.

Free for audience.

Slam begins at 7 PM, readers should arrive around 6:40 to prepare.


For more upcoming details Like and Follow 13th Floor on Facebook.

Slipping Into Something a Little More Uncomfortable with “The Lobster”: Tone in Visual Story Telling

In a sea of summer Rom-Coms and big-budget franchise films, director Yorgos Lanthimos’ the Lobster emerged much quieter but just as decadent with an interesting aftertaste.

To briefly explain, the narrative centers on a society in which being single has been deemed illegal and the concept of love, impractical. Hours after his wife has left him, our protagonist is forced into a hotel where he must find a new companion within 45 days, based on even the most inane similarities, such as being nearsighted or be turned into the animal of his choice to try again in that realm. The plot alone is enticing, but what really makes the film work is how the story is presented. Like any good dystopian sci-fi film, the viewers are made to feel unsettled, presumably to invoke cultural or self-reflection. The Lobster is far from discreet in its criticism of a culture that commercializes swiping right to find a soulmate but it also pokes fun at the over-romanticization of “the single life”.

Although dystopian in nature, the world presented looks no different than our own, creating an eerie sense of reality that makes the subtle but strange sci-fi elements (like a random camel roaming in an out of frame) pop. It’s made even more uninviting by creating a sideline perspective; much like Scorsese’s Raging Bull, the audience watches the confrontations from a distance, from behind branches, or passenger seats of the car— almost as if we aren’t supposed to be seeing it. Yet, with long tracking shots and scenes devoid of any musical cushioning, we’re stuck. Stuck searching for any sense of warmth and relief— much like the main character.

The hotel represents the rational side of a partnership with indifference and consistency proving to be the quickest way to a mate (and if that doesn’t cut it, you get the bonus of a child to smooth things over). The environment is muted, a bland barrage of yellows and greys. Everyone dresses the same and most, if not every interaction is spoken through soft, monotone dialogue. Every act of passion is met with horrific punishment, whether its a man having his hand burnt via toaster for pursuing his “animal nature” or a woman’s screams from failed suicide attempt ignored. These shots are not short. The pacing of the hotel sequence drags and is done so to raise the tension in these characters. Stress, anxiety, and almost boredom stack on each other until the protagonist eventually escapes. Suddenly the screen is filled with a burst of color.

The second act of the film in which the protagonist lives with the Loners in the woods acts as a stark contrast to the hotel, filled with a lightness and that the audience quickly laps up. The pacing speeds up and just as we are getting comfortable a newfound and naturally intimate relationship, we’re reminded that there’s no in between in this world. The group sneaks into the city to gain supplies, posing in couples, but the protagonist and his love interest stick out without the lushness of the woods to hide them. And in this world, you are either blandly together or vividly alone. After they return the love interest is blinded, taking away the near-sightedness that had matched them.

Although we’re shown scenes of them attempting to continue the relationship, filled with the hope of a happy ending— of beating the system, the final shot is of her sitting alone. She waits for him to return after blinding himself as a sign of true love. The viewer sits waiting for a release, any sign of commitment, and we’re left wanting as the last thing we see is her alone.

The question ever-present in the Lobster is this: what is worse, being alone and “free” or being loved and less alive? And much like the ending of the film, no one knows the right answer, so, we sit and wait to decide what we would— or should—  do if placed in these circumstances. Even the promotional posters speak to this absence of an answer to what we’re really looking for by having both characters lovingly embrace empty space.

Lanthimos has created a message that stays with his audience well after the lights come back on, and he did this not only through the intriguing world he created but in the way he served it to us. Pacing, lighting, color, sound, and staging are all crucial seasonings added into the pot that makes this type of narrative so striking. Trust me, there aren’t many fish out there in the sea like this one.

To see more  discussion of visual storytelling technique and development of craft in film, check out the marvelous youtube channels, Every Frame A Painting and Channel Criswell

To read more reviews of “The Lobster”:

“The The Lobster (2016) Is Thought Provoking Indie-Weirdness – Movie Review”

“Yorgos Lanthimos: ‘I just think it’s interesting to start a dialogue’”

“The Lobster review: ‘like nothing you’ve seen before’ “

“Why ‘The Lobster’ Is So Lopsided”

13th Floor’s Summer Edition Is Here!

I’ve said it before and I will say it again; we at 13th Floor are flabbergasted (that’s right, I said it) again and again at the talent we see come from out community, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t throw our own pens into the ring.

Curious to see what comes from the people behind the editors page? This summer treat can be purchased in ebook format for just $4.99 on Amazon. All proceeds go toward printing future issues as we are a non-profit student run and self funded organization.

It is because of your continued support that we get to do what we love. Thank you for letting us share it with you.