More Messages: Caffeine Dreams

There it was, hanging on the wall at St. Mark's Coffeehouse, looking little different from handmade notices alerting regulars to apartments for rent, bands in search of a new shredder or pets desperate for a new home. But in this case, the scrawled text referred to a couple of area publications that typically employ more sophisticated means of advertising: the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post.

The note, reproduced here, reads:


You can post short stories, chapters of your novel and poetry on The pay sucks ($0), but all stories, poems and blog entries posted on are considered for publication in our print editions that go out on top of the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post every Thursday. For more info, go to or call us at 303-623-2HUB.

Was this message actually scrawled by a Rocky or Post rep? The use of personal pronouns implies that it was -- and the listed phone number is indeed the official line. If so, it implies that the papers are not getting the volume of material they need to keep the project afloat long-term, and are attempting to boost submissions via grassroots methods.

Whatever the case, neither the print edition delivered this morning to Westword's 10th and Broadway office nor the version tossed to subscribers in the Ken-Caryl Ranch area contained any fiction or poetry. Instead, each supplemented the usual mix of press releases, community attaboys and listings with a column by editor Travis Henry encouraging people to sell their stuff for free on the site, be it an old couch or a Milli Vanilli tape.

Nevertheless, would-be authors at St. Mark's were apparently encouraged by the page posted there. When our intrepid correspondent happened upon it, all of the tear-off phone number tabs were gone. Does that mean a local java fan's unpublished novel will soon be serialized in the print editions of the dailies? Odds are slim, but even if a miracle happens, I hear the pay sucks. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts