my publishing history

Me with C, who likes to march around banging a pot on her head whenever I try to write.

** Publishing History **


My second collection of short stories, Dark All Day, was published in spring of 2013 by John Gosslee Books. Illustrated throughout, you can preview it here.

My first collection of short stories, called Punishing Ugly Children, is available from Killick Press.

{Short Stories and Essays}

"Ugly Daikon"; Canadian Notes & Queries, Number 92, Spring, 2015.

"Letter #26"; Canadian Notes & Queries, Number 86, Winter, 2012.

"Long Ago in Tokyo"; Palooka, Issue #3, Spring, 2012.

“Mister Corpse and the Future”; Uncommon Magic: 30 Years of Writing from the Ban Righ Writers Group (anthology, edited by Christina Decarie); Upstart Press, Fall 2011.

"Guts"; Hayden's Ferry Review, Issue #48, Spring/Summer 2011.

"A Japanese Ghost Story"; Descant, Issue #152, 'Ghosts and the Uncanny'.

"Superhero Cemetary"; The White Wall Review, Fall 2010.

"Parachute Man"; Queen's Feminist Review, #17 Spring 2009 issue.

"Ophelia (323), Scrub Your Eyes"; Bottom of the World (UK), March 2009 issue.

"Misery Guts"; Knock, #10, The dead friends issue, fall 2008.

“Death of a Dictator (My Iggly Education)”; Event, 37•2, Fall 2008

"Roman Soldiers"; Filling Station, Issue 41, December 2007.

"In the Kingdom of Chicken"; The Puritan, Issue 4, Fall 2007.

"Polly Jean"; Windsor Review, Volume 40 No.1, Spring 2007.

"Pinch Me"; Zeugma, May 2006, No.2

“Dead Motorcycle Cops”; Kiss Machine, Spring 2005 issue, No.94.

“Victory Girl”; Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts (anthology, edited by Anna Camilleri), Arsenal Pulp Press, Fall 2005.

“The Prince (Sometimes You’re Dying)”; The New Quarterly, Spring 2005 issue, No.94.

“The Secret Lives of Straw Men”; Lichen Arts & Letters Preview, current Spring/Summer 2005 issue, No.7.1.

“A Primer for Calling Melissa”; Backyard Ashes, Fall Issue, 2004.

“Blindekuh”; subTerrain Magazine, Volume 4 No.39, Spring 2004.

“Broken Head”; Wascana Review, Volume 37 No.2, Fall 2002.

“Free Rein”; Prairie Fire, Volume 22 No.4, Winter 2001-2002.

“A brief conversation with my dental hygienist, based on the idea (and I’m almost certain of this) that she dislikes me, intensely”; Queen Street Quarterly, Volume 5 No.3.

“The Deuce”; Signal, Volume 1 No.2, Fall/Winter 2001.

“Aisle Six”; The Nashwaak Review, Volume 10 No.1, Fall 2001.

“Distraction, In Four Pieces”; Writual, Volume 1 No.4.

“Fidelity in Advertising”; Dark Leisure, Fall 2000.

“The Indisputable Weight of the Ocean”; Gaspereau Review, No.12, Summer 2000.

“The Hard Place”; Queen Street Quarterly, Volume 3 No.3.

“Living in a City”; Geist, Volume 8 No.33.

“The Adam Box”; Whetstone, Volume 25 No.2, Winter 1999.


+ "Spencer" in The Loose Canon Four.

+ "Toddler T-Shirt Slogans" in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, LISTS (8/17/06).

+ "Beulah" in 55 Words.

+ "Dark All Day" in Branch Magazine, Issue 2.2 (Home, Part Two).

+ "Bike Chain" in Knee-Jerk magazine, Issue #26, August 2011.

+ "The Fire That Never Lights" in Illustration Friday, March 2012.


“A Note for Sugarbones”; Pottersfield Portfolio, Volume 19 No.2, Spring 1999.

“The 7 of Cups”; The Fiddlehead, No.197, Autumn 1998.


Winner of the 2007 David Adams Richards Prize (best book-length manuscript, Writer's Federation of New Brunswick) for my short-story collection Punishing Ugly Children.

Highly Commended (one of 25 finalists included in the radio anthology) for the 2007 Commonwealth Short Story Competition for my short story "Scissors".

Finalist for the 2010 Malahat Review Novella Prize, for my illustrated novella Broken Hill.

Short-listed for the 2011 ReLit Awards (Short Fiction, Punishing Ugly Children).

* * * * *


Berger’s talent is fresh and volatile, his imagination often smartly channelled, other times rampant or simply meandering. The best work here proves him an ambitious and singular new voice, one that will only get better as craft distills impulse.

In his first short story collection Berger channels the whimsical imagination of a precocious child. Sentences are punchy and trip over each other in their pace, something he maybe learned growing up with six siblings in rural Saskatchewan. But the David Adams Richards Prize winner isn't just cute, his magic realism and unique narratives warrant study, many reads and a want for more.
-- Telegraph-Journal

Anything could be happening, everything is occurring and it all seems to pour from his skillful and idiosyncratic hand.
-- The Telegram

Darryl Joel Berger's debut short story collection is filled with distinctive characters, many pining for luck amidst bad situations and mile-long losing streaks. Whether his characters get what they want is ultimately less important than dramatizing the awkwardness of life in a disconnected world, a theme that resounds evocatively throughout the book.

Darryl Joel Berger dreams up dark and troubled landscapes populated by deeply disturbed characters. In a matter of mere pages (or even paragraphs), entire twisted lifetimes are lived and worlds stutter to an end.

Berger writes like an anarchist plotting mayhem, his stories routinely deviating from the norm, venturing into uncharted territory where they live or die on their own terms. At their best, the stories break with tradition in a manner that seems not only natural but inevitable, and the reader finishes them with his mind open to new possibilities. When Berger fails, it's often because he's stretching an already thin premise beyond the breaking point or too obviously trying to shock the reader into submission. But this does not diminish the triumph that Punishing Ugly Children represents. This book adheres from start to finish to its author's bracingly fresh and idiosyncratic vision. Adventurous readers will want to pick it up, if only for the thrill of getting in on the ground floor or something new and strange.
-- The Fiddlehead

Berger’s exceptional collection of strange, artful short stories offers the kind of instant gratification readers are hungry for in a time-starved world. Every school kid’s fantasy comes vividly true in ‘An Arsonist’s Guide to Physics’ - in a miraculous two and a half pages. Berger’s economy is his genius: he gets to the heart faster than a gamma ray. In ‘Free Rein’, a history professor and his mistress gamble the last of the children’s savings bonds with mixed success. ‘Red Horse Leader’ reads like a micro novel. ‘The Kingdom of Chicken’ is a surprisingly poignant portrait of the single girl’s dilemma and ‘Big Head’ is the literary equivalent of an episode of The Office, complete with email exchanges which make the reader cringe and grin, often in the same sentence.
-- Arts East

Each piece has a punchline, its own small and smartly delivered wound, though each arrives differently, some as a cherry bomb unexpectedly blowing off the reader’s fingers, others as a deftly driven scalpel slice.
– Natalie Zina Walschots on Dark All Day in Quill & Quire.

*   *   *   *   *

And now for something completely different ...


Miss Dropsalots

We Play Crying Games

Flava Flav's Cave of Babes

Ciao, Baby!

The Communist Playlatariate

Ice, Ice Babies

Aunt Edgy's

Dante's In-Fun ... No

We Gots Dem Little Boy Blues

Kid Naps

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