Issue 1

Issue 1 Now Available at the Criss Library

hero-project-crisslibrary1Students and faculty, you can now read the 13th Floor Magazine issue 1 for free at the Criss Library! To do so, stop at the front desk and ask for the magazine. They will issue you a Kindle with the magazine loaded. Then grab a coffee from the cafe, curl up in one of the comfy armchairs scattered all over the place, and get ready to be amazed by all the talented writing!

If you don’t want to wait, you can always buy your own copy of the magazine from Amazon. It’s just $4.99 and contains the best of what our campus art community has to offer.

In the News: 13th Floor Magazine Creatively Connecting the Campus

13th Floor Magazine: Creatively connecting the campus

By Anna Lynch, Entertainment Editor

Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013  in Gateway


Layout Editor Jes Liberatore laughs with Emily Maguire at the launch party for 13th Floor Magazine. Photo by Chelsey Risney.

The number 13 isn’t considered lucky. For years the digit sandwiched between 12 and 14 has held a superstitious quality that strikes a contagion of fright among those fearing the number.

Clearly, those on the 13th Floor Magazine staff don’t hold superstition. And that’s a good thing. The magazine team recently released their first issue of the 13th Floor Magazine, which has served as a creative outlet for University of Nebraska at Omaha students. A launch party was held at The Dundee Dell on Friday, in celebration of the recent release.

Far from unlucky, the publication provides a platform for UNO students to share and have their poetry, written and art works published, while celebrating the diversity and talents students have to offer. A product of UNO’s Writer’s Workshop department, the magazine encourages and fosters the creativity of students from all majors.

UNO student and Managing Editor of the publication, Kate Bard, said, “We want to dissolve this unseen roadblock that seems to say if you’re a neuroscience major or a psychology major or an exercise science major, you can’t participate in the art scene on UNO’s campus.” Bard added, “That’s just not true. The 13th Floor Magazine is here, and we’re inclusive.”

The idea of molding these creative works into a publication grew from students in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media Writer’s Workshop. The students were “looking for some kind of outlet for our creative work, when we realized that we didn’t have any way to celebrate and encourage the art community on this campus,” Bard said.

For those who wish to get involved with 13th Floor Magazine, email and interest is an ideal place to start. “Email us with submissions or with inquiries. Email gives us a chance to get a dialogue started,” Bard said. “We’re quite accommodating, and we want to make sure that if you join our [literary] magazine, you’re doing something you want to do; that’s where passion stems from, and we’re looking for passionate people.”

With their first issue fully launched, the team sees a bright future for the magazine, as well as some major goals. Bard said a they hope to have print versions available for future issues, so “authors, artists, and fans something tangible.”

Readers can purchase the first issue of 13th Floor Magazine as an ebook for $9.99 from

Original Article:

Fiction: Wedding Reception Noir by Andy Oerman

As a special treat, we’re featuring some of the great pieces from Issue 1, now available from Amazon for $4.99. Also be sure to check out Andy’s Amazon author page to see what else he’s published.


fiction by Andy Oerman

shutterstock_82560667Part 1: Hard-Boiled Hokey Pokey in the City by the Sea

I was sitting in my office, downing the last swallow of a glass of bourbon so cheap the clerk had paid me to take it, when some dizzy blonde dame stuck her left foot through my open doorway.

Not that I was complaining; it had been a boring day, it seemed like a nice foot (in a shiny black high heel) and its owner was stacked like a shelf full of anatomy textbooks. But then, just as quickly, she pulled it out.

“Put your left foot in, put your left foot out, open up a fruit stand on Sepulveda Boulevard; I don’t care,” I said. “Just do it today, baby. Shake a leg, I mean.”

She frowned slightly, bit a full pink lower lip that looked like it had just eaten strawberries and cream, and stuck her left foot back in over the threshold. Then the crazy broad stood there and started wiggling her gam all around like it was covered in fire ants.

I had no idea what kind of hocus-pocus she was trying to pull, and as I watched, she began to turn herself around. But as a hard-boiled private Richard with most of his bills paid and no personal attachments, I knew this much – Blondie was in some serious trouble.

I smelled a big payoff for this case, if I could get her to calm down long enough to explain.

I rose and arranged the chair across from my desk for her to sit. “Come on in, Dollface, and tell me what it’s all about.”


Part 2: The Long Electric Slide Into Night

After a drink, she spilled her sob story. Good girl moves out west to be a star, gets in with the wrong crowd. Some smooth talker goes too far one night, there’s a struggle, a gun goes off … I’d heard it a hundred times before.

She turned on the waterworks then, said there had to be some way I could help her get rid of his body. When she looked at me with those dark eyes and batted those long lashes, something happened.

You can’t see it. You gotta feel it. It’s electric. At that point, I’d have done anything for her. “Let’s go check it out,” I said.

In a few minutes we were standing over the corpse of some small-time operator in a cheap seersucker suit. He was face down in a pool of dusky blood on his kitchen floor. I looked over at her; she looked scared and … something else. Something false.

“We’ve got to move,” I said. “Here, grab his ankles.” She couldn’t hold back. She threw herself at me and started planting her lips all over my kisser.

“This is wrong,” I said.

“Some say it’s mystic,” she replied. “You can’t resist it. You can’t do without it.”

“Have you lost it?” I asked. “You gotta face the music for what you did here tonight. You just can’t hide.”

“Wanna bet?” she whispered into my ear, soft as angel’s breath. Then she took a sap from somewhere I hadn’t seen and clubbed me. Shocking pain coursed through my brainpan.

“I didn’t choose this,” she said, before I sank into a moat of inky black oblivion.


Part 3: Boot-Scootin’ Boogie All the Way to the Hoosegow

I woke up with a splitting headache made worse by approaching police sirens. Choking back nausea, I staggered out to my jalopy and sped off.

I’d felt something I hadn’t in a while. I was going to make her feel it, too. She wouldn’t play me for a patsy. I’d teach her, teach her, teach her, teach her to do the electric slide … in Old Sparky up at the women’s prison in Tehachapi.

I knew the first place she’d hole up. Out in the desert past the city limits sign, there was a honky tonk near the borderline. The joint started jumpin’ every night when the sun went down.

I told myself it might be the last sunset she ever saw.

They got whiskey, women, music, and smoke. But I was only lookin’ for one woman in particular.

I work hard for my money. So what if I wasn’t gettin’ paid for this case? Sometimes justice is worth dispensing for free.

I went flyin’ down the highway to that hideaway. The bartender asked me, “Hey pal, what’ll it be?”

I spotted my prey across the dance floor full of outlaws, inlaws, crooks, and straights, all out makin’ it shake. They scattered when I took out my gat and pointed it at her. “I want a shot at the blonde over yonder lookin’ at me.”

Her face drooped like melting wax, or maybe it was just that it was hotter than the 4th of July in there.

“Turn around and get down on the ground,” I told her, dangling a pair of iron bracelets from a finger. “We’re scootin’ our boots back to the cops.”


Part 4: Maltese Macarena and the Marble Orchard


A dull orange glow seeped in through a small skylight in the precinct’s interrogation room. It cast a beam across her features like a candle burning behind the windows to her soul.

She hadn’t spoken since we left the road house, but the homicide dicks were letting me have a run at getting her to open up.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“No hablo,” she said.

“Knock it off, sister! The jig is up! Now, what’s your name?”

A far-off expression drifted across her face like a soft breeze turning a pinwheel. “When I dance,” she said, “they call me Macarena. And the boys, they say that I’m buena. They all want me, but they can’t have me, so they all come and dance beside me. They move with me, chat with me … but if I could I’d take you home with me.”

“Nix,” I said. “That ship done sailed. I like my conquests a bit less incarcerated. Now spill it. Who was the stiff? You know him better than you let on, don’t you? Was he your boyfriend?”

“Don’t you worry about my boyfriend. Name’s Vitorino,” she said. “I don’t want him, couldn’t stand him. He was no good, so I…”

“Don’t stop now,” I said. “The jury might go easier on you if you come clean.”

“Now come on, what was I supposed to do?” she asked with a sneer. “I stabbed him with a scissors. Accidentally. Nine times. Then I shot him with his own gun and went to see you.”

The homicide detective nodded, got up from his stool in the corner and wordlessly beckoned her to stand.

“Wait,” I said, as two uniformed bulls that had been waiting outside led Macarena away to her 6×8 concrete hole. “One more question. How come I was the lucky P.I.? Of all the two-bit gumshoes out there, what made you come to me?”

“Because your office was easy to find,” she said. “It’s right next to the YMCA.”


Cover: Sneak Peek

NewCoverHere’s a sneak peak at the gorgeous cover image by Chelsey Risney we’ve selected for issue #1, due to be released on August 26th. Don’t forget that it will be free to download for the first week, so be sure to get your copy during that promotion!

Don’t have a Kindle reading device? That’s fine! You can get the free kindle reading app for any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC/MAC computer! To learn more, visit Amazon.

Prose Slam Winners to be Published in 13th Floor Magazine


From left to right: Alexandria, Chyna, Andy, and Jennifer

Wednesday night was the bi-annual Prose Slam, held at The Pizza Shoppe Collective in Benson (yum!) and hosted by Writer’s Workshop faculty Lisa Sandlin and Sarah Mason. Judges were Writer’s Workshop graduates. We had a great turnout, and 4 winners who will be published in the upcoming premier issue of 13th Floor Magazine! Everyone did an amazing job reading, and I didn’t envy the judges having to choose between them all to select a winner. Here are the official results:

4th Place: Jennifer Hickey

3rd Place: Chyna Jedlicka

2nd Place: Andy Oermon

1st Place: Alexandria Hodge


1st Place winner Alexandria Hodge

We will also be publishing some of the winning pieces here on, so be sure to watch throughout the summer. The Prose Slam is held once a semester in the spring and fall, and offers a cash prize to the top 3 winners. The first place winner also gets their picture in a place of honor in the Writer’s Workshop department. Enter this fall and you, too, could be a winning slammer!

The Submission Window is Closed

We had an amazing turnout for our very first issue! You guys literally rock! We are so impressed by the talent! Pat yourselves on the back, writers! You deserve quite the applause!

Our Submission Editors and reading staff will be going through all of your great work, picking out the ones that will make it into the magazine! Stay tuned for our magazine release date and keep an eye on your email! We will be alerting our future-published authors as soon as we decide!

Day 11: 3 days left! – We’re getting close!

Revision Day!

In 1966, Vladimir Nabokov said in an interview with Random House, “I have rewritten–often several times–every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers.”

What is your revision process like?

Today, I have a little exercise to help you get on your feet when it comes to the revision process. Open up your piece and reacquaint yourself with it. Print it out and grab a red pen, or turn your curser to RED, which ever feels best, and start eliminating each and every word you don’t need. Your goal is to strip away 10% of your writing. Think of it as cleaning out the attic; some of the junk will be gone, but the attic remains, right?

I know it can be painful, but have fun!

Day 9: 5 days left!

How was that?

Whew! Have you come out of your writing coma? I know I have! I needed a little fresh air! But now you can feel comfort because everything is out on the page and you have a really great rough draft! Just in time for some killer revision process before 13th Floor Magazine’s deadline on April 14th!

Today, after such a long weekend of writing your story, take a break! Go to the park, go shopping, go do other homework, watch television … anything to get your mind distanced from your piece. But be sure to do a little something before you go to bed:
Pull out your journal or notebook from your bedside table and muse on these three questions:

1. What is the goal of my piece?
2. What am I trying to tell my audience?
3. What aspect of the human condition am I trying to touch upon?

These are the questions we explored before you wrote the piece. Now, reexplore them after you’ve written your draft to reground yourself in the very core of the story.

Tomorrow we start revising!

Day 5: 9 Days Remaining!

ihaveastory_2Go write!

Okay, NOW the moment you’ve all been waiting for! You’ve been inspired, you’ve spent two days with your characters, you’ve drawn up a game plan, now you can finally go write!

Remember, “the world is full of great writers who missed their deadlines,” to quote UNO Writer’s Workshop Professor Miles Waggener. Set aside uninterrupted time to write. Lock the doors, turn off that always-hot iPhone, and really focus. You only have 9 days left, after all!

Have fun!