Traffic Cone Quarterly – Canada’s Newest Literary Magazine

TC Cover

Our readers know we’re fiction fans and we especially like indie magazines. So this is great news – Canada has a new literary magazine and it’s fabulous!

Traffic Cone Quarterly is the brainchild (or lovechild, one or the other or maybe both) of Ottawa-native, Connor McCarthy. While we don’t know Connor personally, we do know some of the contributors.

The cover design is the work of Connor Beck. Connor is a ridiculously talented artist, and equally modest. The man simply has NO idea how good he is. Neither of us can draw a stick person (or more accurately a stick buffalo – it was late, there had been a few pops, we were playing Pictionary – we’ll save that for another post), and look at the dirty old man on the cover of Traffic Cone Quarterly – brilliant! Well done Connor B.

And our friend Cameron Rufelds is finally in print. You might remember Cam from our original Stroked Ego post – well he’s a wonderful actor and as you’ll see when you read his story, a remarkable writer.

Here’s the opening from Cam’s story, Dogs in Glass Houses Sink Ships

“So I’m sitting at a bus stop, watching the fucking pavement age, when I hear this noise from across the street. I look up, and standing, looking at me attentively from the other side of a quaint little fence, is this Dog. Now, I’m not sure  of the breed or anything, but this fucking Dog looked smart as all hell, I mean, I was half expecting the fucking thing to start talking to me it looked so smart… Which is probably the only reason I didn’t shit myself when it did. Obviously, at first, I thought it was just a really odd bark, but the Dog was very persistent, it was saying “Hey”… Now, after about the third time – and after making sure nobody was close enough to hear me – I finally said “Hey” back to the fucking thing, almost laughing at myself when I did. Then the Dog said,

“Watch this.”

Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic opening paragraph, Cam!

The magazine also has poetry, and not the kind no one understands. Not the rhyming kind either, but – well have a peek. Here’s an excerpt from The More Philosophical of Them, by Taylor Congdon.

Sitting,
sunken in the steps of a church – asking god what he find hurts worse.
asking him what really came first –
because the egg just wouldn’t make sense.

And here’s an excerpt from Connor McCarthy’s Larry & Lori

Larry spat. “It’s a fucking hellhole,” he said. I realized he was quite drunk. Lori sat across from me, still smiling. She had been pretty not long ago, but cigarettes and booze and uninspired conversation had made her tired and old. She wore an American-style blouse and makeup and hadn’t yet touched her beer. She leaned over and quietly said something to Miranda, who smiled and looked at me and said something back and they were in their own quiet conversation. Larry put a hand on my shoulder.

Canada needs a magazine like this. So check out (and like) the Traffic Cone Quarterly Facebook page, read the magazine, and if you’re a writer, submit some writing.

I’m so excited about this magazine. I can hardly wait for the next issue.
It’s absolutely brilliant – I now know what poetry is. It’s not ‘Mary had a little lamb’.
Poetry’s tricky, but this is the first time I’ve read poetry I liked.
We should mention that we’ve seen Cameron in action in Ottawa’s theatre district.
We have, and at one of the après-play get-togethers, he read one of his stories for us.
I feel like we’re in New York when we go to the theatre…
Really? I feel like we’re in the Glebe.
Glebe or New York. It’s all about the entertainment.
You have a remarkable imagination. But back to the entertainment – Traffic Cone Quarterly is great entertainment.
What do writer’s say to each other for luck? I’d like to say ‘break a leg’.
Writers don’t always talk to each other.
Ok then.

Theatre district collage