The World's Most Volatile Literary Journal
$965 Pledged of $5,250 goal
3 years 47 weeks ago

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Firecracker: The World's Most Volatile Literary Journal

Some art is deliberate and hard-wrought; some art is inspired and spontaneous. Firecracker Vol. 1 channels the impressionistic, ephemeral qualities of the latter. In a mere 12 hours on Saturday, August 25th, we’re going to workshop and edit new texts from authors and illustrators across Minnesota; design a first-rate literary journal; send it off to the printer; and host a celebratory rock show—all in time to make it to last call!

Firecracker is intended to bridge Minnesota’s outstanding literary and music communities, as well as to foster emerging and established artistic talent. The project, organized by the award-winning Rain Taxi Review of Books, will be based out of The Cedar. Any time between the start of the event at noon until approximately 6pm, writers of all experience levels can swing by and work with veteran editors from top-notch literary organizations to develop fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or comic art. The writing will be truly spontaneous: all entries will be based around a theme, announced at noon that day. Although contributors will have the most to gain by showing up during the collaborative six-hour workshop at The Cedar, writers from across Minnesota will be able to make submissions to the journal electronically and editors will respond in real time with edit memos.

After the collaborative session, the editors and designers will begin putting together the magazine on their tight deadline. This will provide the hard-working writers a chance to grab a bite to eat or participate in an unplugged open mic on The Cedar's patio before the night’s grand event: a Firecracker concert featuring esteemed local bands with literary ties—Saltee, Pennyroyal, Ablaze, and The New Instructions—beginning at 8pm. Tickets can be obtained via Cedar Seeder pledges—and all participating writers can attend the show for free! At midnight, everyone will get to view the finished file of the journal, thank the supporters and contributors, and send the files to the printer.

About the Bands


Featuring Jacqueline Ultan (cello), Mike Michel (guitars), and Carnage (voice/beatboxing), Saltee is an indie, urban, organic, neo-classical trio steam-driven by Afro-Cuban beats made by body and voice. The ultimate soundtrack experience, Saltee combines global grooves with unearthly acoustic and electronic sounds.


Minneapolis four-piece Pennyroyal is best known for the vocal styling of front-woman Angie Oase and her harmonica duels with co-songwriter Ethan Rutherford. In June 2010 Pennyroyal released limited, handmade editions of their debut full-length Sad Face / Glad Face, which was named a "stellar debut" by Minneapolis Star Tribune music critic Chris Riemenschneider, who included the LP on his list of the "Best Local Albums (so far)" of 2011.

The New Instructions

The New Instructions is a power pop trio from North Dakota featuring Rob King (drums), Adam Quesnell (bass, vocals), and Kevin Carollo (guitar, vocals). After releasing their critically ignored masterpiece Transplant in 2006, TNI just got better, harder, louder, and more hirsute. Their unreleased second album, Relapse into Obscurity (2008), proved to be ironically true. Their soon-to-be-unreleased third effort, Appetite for Instruction, promises to raucously showcase Fargo's best-kept and longest running secret.


Known for their "savage minimalism," Ablaze is composed of local punk poet legend Paul D. Dickinson (frontman of Frances Gumm and former proprietor of Speedboat Gallery) on the drum kit and Nicole Tollefson on guitar and voice. Ablaze may lead to total bliss or, alternately, total destruction.

About Rain Taxi Review of Books

Rain Taxi Review of Books, a winner of Utne Reader’s Independent Press Award for Best Arts & Literature Coverage, is a quarterly publication that publishes reviews of literary fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and comics, with an emphasis on works that push the boundaries of language, narrative, and genre. Essays, interviews, and in-depth reviews reflect Rain Taxi’s commitment to innovative publishing. Rain Taxi also publishes two chapbook series, and hosts a wide range of literary events in the Twin Cities, including the annual Twin Cities Book Festival in October. Rain Taxi’s editorial and design staff will be at The Cedar, helping to craft Firecracker into the bang-up creation it’s destined to be!

About our Editing Partners on Firecracker, Vol. 1:

Conduit is a literary journal that is at once direct, playful, inventive, irreverent, and darkly beautiful—and has had poems chosen for The Best American Poetry series numerous times.

Grimalkin Press is a DIY printmaking operation and publisher of small press comics that might otherwise stay inside of sketchbooks.

Paper Darts primarily publishes sexy, snarky, scintillating magazines, but has also been acclaimed far and wide as a creative agency, indie lit publisher, and otherwise awesome new addition to the Twin Cities literary scene.

Twin Cities Daily Planet is an online publication connecting citizens in Minneapolis and St. Paul with one another and with the global community.

Additional Thanks

Check out the special backing levels to the right!  In addition to our editing partners, we wish to thank The Loft Literary Center, Vance Gellert, and Dylan Hicks for providing noteworthy incentives.  We also wish to thank YOU for supporting this project at any level you can. We predict Firecracker is going to be a blast!


How Cedar Seeder works: Music and art patrons like you pledge money to support specific projects. If we are able to raise the required amount by the due date, we charge your credit card, the project happens, and you receive the gifts for your level of giving. If we don't raise the required amount by the due date, the project doesn't happen and your credit card is not charged.

1. Create a username for Cedar Seeder. If you already have one, go ahead and log in. When you click "Support This Project," at the top of the page you'll be asked to create a username and password, or you can also log in through your Facebook account.

2. Make your pledge. Look over the incentive levels and select the amount of your donation. You may also select your own amount. 

3. Cedar Seeder is a safe and secure site. Make sure to enter in the correct contact and payment information. 

Your credit card will not be charged unless we receive $5,250 in pledges by the end of the day on August 2. 

All tickets will be held at Will Call under the name on your credit card and can be claimed at The Cedar on the night of the show.

Cedar Seeder is currently the only way to reserve tickets for this performance. Once the goal has been reached, tickets will go on sale through all regular Cedar outlets.

If the project is successful, you will receive more information about how to claim your incentives once the funding deadline has passed.

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Saltee is an Indie, urban, organic, neoclassical trio steam-driven by afro-cuban beats made by the human voice. The group features Jacqueline Ultan(cello), Mike Michel aka Bill Mike (guitars), and Carnage (voice/beatboxing). The ultimate soundtrack experience , Saltee combines memorable global melodies with unearthly acoustic and electronic sounds.