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Story's Monsters

Published September 01, 2015 Posted By
storyStory’s second print issue is themed “The Monsters.” The double-sided issue feels like a literary preparation for Halloween, from Lincoln Michel’s horror-ified authors and Dorothy Tse’s “Woman Fish” on Side A, to the Tastoane masks of Corinne Lee’s essay “Kissing the Monster” on Side B.

Allison Campbell edits the Hybrid Poetry portfolio on Side B and says, “Inside are works of art with two minds but, essentially one body. They create a new space between image and word, and ask to be experience with slight divisions of mind but unity of sense,” the mythological two-headed snake Amphisbaena brought to life and wrapping up the issue. Pick up a copy and get a little creeped out, or head over to the Story website for online content.

Books :: Able Muse Book Award

Published August 26, 2015 Posted By
cause-for-concern-carrie-shipersWinner of the 2014 Able Muse Book Award, Cause for Concern by Carrie Shipers is now available. From the publisher’s website: “Full of incisive meditations on frailties and fortitude often delivered with visceral honesty, Cause for Concern is spellbinding from start to finish.”

Order a print or digital copy of Cause for Concern from Able Muse’s website.

The Modern Dickens Project

Published August 25, 2015 Posted By
The Modern Dickens Project starts by posting an opening chapter online then invites other writers to continue the story by submitting the next chapter in the developing story month-by-month for the next twelve months, resulting in a thirteen chapter book. The curators behind this project are Chris Draper, Executive Director; Rachel Vogel, Managing Editor; Kali Van Baale, Editorial Advisor; Tracey Kelley and Murl Pace, Editorial Board.

Starting in 2011, the project posts a starting chapter by an established guest author, wetting the "tone and style of the following chapters." While supported by the Iowa Arts Council, submissions are open to all writers; however, the overall story "must be distinctively Iowan."

Submissions are due by the 21 of each month with the winning chapter selected and published online by the first of the next month to keep the story contributions going.

Previous Modern Dickens Project books are The Devil is Done Sinning, Defining Darrell, and Woman, Regardless. Each is available in paperback and kindle formats.

Books :: Quercus Review Spring Book Award

Published August 20, 2015 Posted By
no-elegies-lindsay-wilsonNo Elegies by Lindsay Wilson, winner of the Quercus Review Press Spring Book Award 2014, was released this summer. Susan Deer Cloud, author of Hunger Moon, calls Wilson’s debut collection “pure metaphorical magic.”

No Elegies is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Able Muse 2015 Winners

Published August 19, 2015 Posted By
Able Muse is pleased to announce the winners of the Write Prize for poetry & fiction. The winning writer and the winning poet will each receive a $500 prize.

Write Prize for Fiction
Final Judge: Eugenia Kim
Winner: Andrea Witzke Slot - "After Reading the News Story of a Woman Who Attempted to Carry Her Dead Baby onto an Airplane"

Here is what Eugenia Kim has to say about Andrea Witzke Slot's winning story: The first line of this story presents a character, setting and situation with a rare and satisfying command of storytelling. Using perfect details balanced against rapid pacing, the voice of this writing has an air of stern and simple elegance, and reveals how the narrator's experience of a newspaper story becomes a parallel challenge to her own ambivalence about motherhood and love. In the way that great stories open larger questions, within its brief timeframe this story questions culture and society, and how we are so quick and sure to judge the tragedies of others, yet with less capacity to examine the perils in our own judgments.

Honorable Mention
James Cooper - "Strangers on a Cliff"
Albert Liau - "With the Clarity of Hindsight"

Shortlist
Scott Sharpe - "Dance Among the Dogwoods"

* * * *

Write Prize for Poetry
Final Judge: H.L. Hix
Winner: Elise Hempel - "Cathedral Peppersauce"

Here is what H.L. Hix has to say about Elise Hempel's winning poem: The formal qualities of "Cathedral Peppersauce" are elegant: slant rhymes throughout, until the final couplet clicks the poem closed with a perfect rhyme. Even more elegant, though, is the poem's way of grasping the beauty of its subject, by looking simultaneously at the bottle and through it into history, from which it recuperates, through sympathy and particularity, a life lost long ago.

Finalists
Elise Hempel - "Jockey"
Jeanne Wagner - "On Watching a Cascade Commercial"

Shortlist
Jim Bartruff - "Meditation on the Wake of the Winslow Ferry"
Midge Goldberg - "On Learning the Harvest Moon Is an Optical Illusion"
Trish Lindsey Jaggers - "Jaybirds Feeding on Robins"
Miriam O'Neal - "Bottle Journal ? Meditation on Transformation"
Gabriel Spera - "Blessed"
Marty Steyer - "The King of Lightning"
M.K. Sukach - "About an Alligator"

Some Literary News Links

Published August 18, 2015 Posted By
David Ulin and Carolyn Kellogg offer readers 10 ways to explore the complicated legacy of Watts through literature on the LA Times Jacket Copy.

Philip N. Meyer, professor at Vermont Law School and author of Storytelling for Lawyers, on How trials are more like plot-driven movies than character-driven novels.

Writer and activist Omer Aziz takes a look at What novels teacher us about life on the Huffington Post.

And several lists to support the need to read:

Top ten most chosen 'must-reads' by teachers

8 classic novels that will make you a better leader


President Obama's Summer Reading List

2016 Centenary Ireland's Easter Rising

Published August 17, 2015 Posted By
william-butler-yeatsIt's a great time for fans of Yeats to plan a visit to Ireland as 2016 marks the centenary of Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising, a key moment on Ireland's path to independence. Programs are planned throughout the year in seven areas: State Ceremonial; Historical Reflection; An Teanga Bheo (The Living Language(; Youth and Imagination; Cultural Expression; Community Participation; and Global and Diaspora. In addition, the government is "providing enhanced visitor experiences and access to important locations related to the Rising or to events and people of that time," such as the GPO Interpretative Center, Richmond Barracks,  National Concert Hall, Military Archives and more. The website has a PDF download of the events planned as well as regular updates online.

The Poetry Foundation has a full entry on William Butler Yeats' "Easter, 1916" in which Ange Mlinko explores "how the conflict of a nation was camptuerd by a plitically reluctant poet."

The Meadow 2015 Novella Prize Winner

Published August 14, 2015 Posted By
jerry mathesThe 2015 annual issue of The Meadow features the winner of their 2015 Novella Prize: "Still Life" by Jerry D. Mathes II.

The Novella Prize is open until December 15 for previously unpublished manuscripts between 18,000 and 35,000 words. The winner receives $500 and publication in the print journal as well as online. The judge for 2015 has not yet been announced. For more information, visit The Meadow website.

New Madrid Anniversary

Published August 12, 2015 Posted By
new-madridHappy 10th Anniversary to New Madrid, the national journal of the low-residency MFA program at Murray State University. In her Editor's Introduction, Ann Neelon takes a look back, noting that "as milestones go, a decade is not insignificant, especially for a low-residency program like ours that operates, within the university budget, according to a make-or break financial model much like that of a small business."

In looking to the future, Neelon resolves to "keep getting better," with plans underway "to start up a literature option in Ireland. April 2016 marks the centenary of the rebellion immortalized by William Butler Yeats in his poem, 'Easter, 1916.' and our plan is to take advantage of the many exhibits and events the government of Ireland has planned in commemoration. Our first study-abroad course, to be offered in June of 2016, will use the Easter Rising as a lens through which to examine the entanglement of literature, history, and politics. The course will be open to alumni as well as current students."

Lee Gutkind on Waiting

Published August 11, 2015 Posted By
creative-nonfictionIssue 59 of Creative Nonfiction is themed Waiting. In his editorial, "What's the Story?" Lee Gutkind examines many of his own experiences with waiting - as an editor, as a writer, as a coffee consumer. He also considers the role he plays in the lives of others and their waiting to hear about submissions they've sent in to CNF, that process, and why there is so much waiting for others to do.

The word waiting appears 35 times in the 1000-word essay, and while I can empathize with the frustrations shared with each recounting, there's also something oddly humorous about it - most likely because it's not me doing the waiting. But I certainly know the experience of waiting at Starbucks only to be next in line behind the guy who "asked the barista twenty questions about the breakfast choices and the oatmeal toppings."

This issue also includes the essay "Any Given Day" by Judith Kitchen, submitted specifically for this issue prior to her passing August 20, 2014, and the essay "A Genre by Any Other Name?: The Story Behind 'Creative Nonfiction" by Dinty W. Moore. Gutkind's and Moore's essays can be read online as well as "Sleepless in Any City: Insomnia in Lorca's Madrid" by Janine Zeitlin for readers to get a sample of the publication's content.

Malahat Review on Long Form Poetry

Published August 10, 2015 Posted By
malahat reviewThe Malahat Review issue 191 includes winners of their 2015 Long Poem Prize: Gary Geddes for "The Resumption of Play" and Genevieve Lehr for "The latter half of the third quarter of the waning moon."

The Malahat Review website features and interview with each author on their winning poems as well as a link to a symposium on the Long Form which was presented at the League of Canadian Poets' Long Poem panel May 2015 annual general meeting in Winnipeg. Contributing authors and commentaries include: Kate Braid's "Tending the Garden: The Fruits and Dangers of the Long Poem"; Cornelia Hoogland's "The Long Poem and the Shape of the Working Mind"; and Sharon Thesen's "After-Thoughts on the Long Poem."

Cash Award for Parenting Artists

Published August 03, 2015 Posted By
The 2015 round is now open for the Sustainable Arts Foundation. The foundation offers awards in two major categories: visual arts and writing. Writers working in fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and poetry are endouraged to apply. Visual artists practicing painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, mixed-media and photography are encouraged to apply. At this time they are not accepting applications in the performing arts, film/video, or music.

To be eligible, the applicant must have at least one child under the age of 18. The foundation will award Sustainable Arts Foundation Award: $6,000 and Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award: $2,000. They typically offer five of each award in each application round.

There is a $15 application fee, but 100% of the fee goes to the jurors, who are also fellow parent artists themselves. Deadline September 4, 2015.
halstonCarissa Halston's "Call It a Map" has been awarded the 2015 Willow Springs Fiction Prize of $2000 and publication in issue #76. Halston offers insight on the winning story: the Craigslist ad that inspired the concept, her signing up for a sleep study and researching disabilities. She writes of the piece, "I wanted to push sensory details as far as I could without relying on imagery, which meant I was allowed to choose similes and metaphors that wouldn't fly in another story. All stories rely on internal logic, but I find the most cohesive narratives are those that use their plot details to inform their diction." Read the story and more from Halston here.
Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their May Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000. The next Short Story Award competition will take place in August. Glimmer Train's monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

Lauren Green1st place goes to Lauren Green [pictured] of New York, NY. She wins $1500 for "When We Hear Yellow" and her story will be published in Issue 97 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be her first publication.

2nd place goes to Emory Harkins of Brooklyn, NY. He wins $500 for "We're Talking to Ourselves."

3rd place goes to Ellen Graham of Seattle, WA. She wins $300 for "Livingston."

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Deadline today for the Very Short Fiction Award: July 31. This competition is held quarterly, and 1st place wins $1500, publication in the journal, and 20 copies of that issue. It's open to all writers, with no theme restrictions, and the word count must not exceed 3000. Click here for complete guidelines.

Some Literary News Links

Published July 30, 2015 Posted By
Molly Lynch give us 10 books to entertain, inspire and encourage young feminists - agree? disagree?

150 Years of Wonderland is on exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum, with an online exhibition available for mouse click travelers.

Follow that up with Anarchy in Wonderland: Vivienne Westwood's anti-capitalist take on Alice's Adventures on NewStatesman.

Washington Post's Valerie Strauss examines Common Core and Martin Luther King Jr.: Is this any way to teach his famous letter from jail?

What do Americans look like in Arabic literature? Columnist Marcia Lynx Qualey @arablit explores Portraits of Americans in Arabic literature.

I could have used a couple of these when I first began smartphone reading: 5 Tips for Reading Serious Literature on Smartphones.

And Dartmouth College is running a contest to see what artificial intelligence can create the most human-like writing and music entries.

NER Focus on China

Published July 30, 2015 Posted By
Volume 36.2 of New England Review includes a Focus on China, with first English translation of poems by Xiao Kaiyu, Ya Shi, and Yin Lichuan; Wei An's ruminations on nature just north of Beijing; Wendy Willis on Ai Weiwei's blockbuster show at Alcatraz; and fiction by Chinese-born American writer Michael X. Wang.

new-england-reviewEditor Speer Morgan writes in his Editor's Note: "At NER, the door has always been open to translations, from any language, but Chinese literature has been missing from our pages since 1987, when we published David Hinton's rendition of classical Chinese poet Tu Fu. So for this issue we reached out in order to bring more of it in. We've assembled a handful of contemporary works translated from Chinese as well as works pertaining to China written in English. This is not an attempt to present some kind of overview—not at all—but rather we're doing what NER does best, that is, offering a lively sample of what's new and good. They're presented not as a discrete section but are integrated into the issue as a whole, because it turns out that the China-related pieces in this issue speak just as often, and sometimes more clearly, to the other works assembled here as to each other."
better-than-war-siamak-vossoughiSince 1983, the University of Georgia Press has annualy held their Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, which, according to their website, “was established to encourage gifted emerging writers by bringing their work to a national readership.” Siamak Vossoughi’s winning collection Better Than War will be published in September 2015.

From the publisher’s description: “The stories in Better Than War encompass narratives from a diverse set of Iranian immigrants, many searching for a balance between memories of their homeland and their new American culture. [ . . . ] All Iranian immigrants, young or old, carry with them a vivid past in their contemporary life. Vossoughi’s Better Than War is about growing up, coming of age, and raising children in America while still remembering the importance of retaining Iranian pride.”

Preorder your copy of Better Than War at the University of Georgia Press website.

New Editors @ Beloit Poetry Journal

Published July 28, 2015 Posted By
With little fanfare, John Rosenwald and Lee Sharkey have stepped down as The Editors of Beloit Poetry Journal, roles they have held for nearly 25 years.

The publication has a long and romantic history - starting up at Beloit College, declaring its independence to defy the opinions of those who would censor it, and moving from Wisconsin to Maine while keeping its place-based name, establishing an international reputation for contemporary poetry. Writers speak of 'not being ready yet' to submit to BPJ, but someday, they will; or of being rejected, they smile - as though accomplishing the attempt was enough (and they always say, "I got the nicest rejection..."). Sigh. There just aren't many such stories as those nowadays with the revolving door of publication start ups and closures, hundreds of lit mags to submit to, mass submission processes where writers don't even know the publications they've sent work to.

Beloit Poetry Journal's history is a good read and reminder of the literary journals that paved the way for so many others. And not just publications, but the people involved with them: editors, readers, writers, publishers. All of us.

Having known John and Lee (and Ann Arbor) for well over a decade now, I know this decision to pass on the publication was not an easy one. Please readers, understand, it was within their power to end Beloit Poetry Journal and call it a good run. Stepping away is hard enough, but handing over a publication with such an incredible reputation was not so much a decision as a process that took several years to come through. My appreciation and admiration to John and Lee and Ann for all of their hard work and dedication to writers AND readers. They never separated the importance of those two roles through the years they ran the journal, which is what makes it so well known today within the literary community.

I see John and Lee are still listed in the publication as "Senior Editors," so I'm sure they will continue on in some advisory capacity. But I have also met the new editors: Melissa Crowe and Rachel Contreni Flynn. I know they will look to their Senior Editors in the years to come to guide them, but I already sense that they will have strength and creativity of their own to take the journal into the next great phase of its existence.

Melissa and Rachel provide a short note about the transition here. I like how in it, and elsewhere on the site, the role of Editor is referred to as handling the day-to-day operations of the journal. But as the literary community had come to know first David and Marion Stocking, then John Rosenwald, Lee Sharkey, and Ann Arbor as the face(s) of Beloit Poetry Journal - there is a great deal more responsibility to being the Editor of a journal than simply running the day-to-day. That day-to-day may actually feel like the work of it all, but much more than that is required to maintain a good literary publication. A great literary publication. One of the best.

The tangible, the day-to-day, that will be the easy part. It's the other, the expectations, that become the true responsibility. The expectations of writers, of readers, of other editors, other publications, of teachers, of students, of the up-and-coming, of the established, of yourselves - most of all - of yourselves. Continually satisfy these changing expecations of the collective imagination, sustain this, and you will have a publication people know internationally. For decades. It has been done. It can be done.

My best to Melissa and Rachel. No cliches about shoes to fill. You have already done that or you wouldn't be here already. Ten years from now, let's look back, talk about where Beloit Poetry Journal has been and imagine where you see it going.

Big Muddy 2014 Contest Winners

Published July 28, 2015 Posted By
hannah-gildeaBig Muddy: A Journal of the MIssissippi River Valley issue 15.1 features winning entries from their 2014 contests:

Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest
Jeannine Dorian Vesser, Missouri, "That Summer"

Mighty River Short Story Contest
Hannah Gildea [pictured], Oregon, "Cottonmouth"

2014 contest winners for full-length works to be published by Southeast Missouri State University Press include:

Cowles Poetry Book Prize
Angie Macri, Underwater Panther
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel
James Tate Hill, Academy Gothic
Publication Date: October 1, 2015

The Masters Review 2015 Anthology

Published July 28, 2015 Posted By
kevin-brockmeierThe Masters Review volume IV features ten authors whose stories were selected by Kevin Brockmeier [pictured] as "The Best Stories by Emerging Writers." The Masters Review has two submission periods per year, one for new voices published online, and the print anthology, which in the past was open to just those in graduate-level programs.

This year's anthology opened to submissions "from emerging writers of all kinds." Editor Kim Winternheimer writes, "As The Masters Review grows in its literary pursuits, its focus remains on celebrating and promoting new and emerging authors. Yet, by showcasing writers from a single demographic we were limiting our platform. As we mark our fourth year, we are thrilled to embrace a growing range of voices."

Winternheimer comments that while nonfiction entries were submitted, none were selected for this final colletion, making this anthology an all-fiction issue. Authors and works included can be found here, as well as a link to the shortlist of finalists.
Rounding out its first year of publication, Crab Fat Literary Magazine has four print issues (August, November, February, May) and a 'best of' anthology in addition to its online collection from posting new writing every other Sunday of the year.

Founding/Managing Editor Caseyrenée Lopez and Fiction Editor Ella Ann Weaver oversee the publication of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, flash fiction, interviews, art/photography, and experimental/hybrid work. They will consider audio/video of readings, but it's not something they've published regularly.

The motivation for starting CFLM, Caseyrenée tells me, was "to join the conversation. My educational background is focused on queer writing/publishing, and supporting minority voices was the next step for me. I also wanted to see what was out there; starting Crab Fat has provided me with interactions and experience I wouldn't have gained otherwise."

Most intriguing to me is that name – Crab Fat. Where on earth did that come from? Caseyrenée says, "I wanted something memorable and cool, but was struggling to find something that would vibe with my goal of highlighting awkward/experimental/queer prose and poetry. A few days before I committed to buying a domain, my husband and I were at breakfast and started calling out random phrases and obscure words. He suggested 'crab fat' because we'd been listening to Crudbump's Illuminati Shit. Our favorite line in the song is 'rock a big gut, that's my crab fat' and we'd been making jokes about his chubby belly being 'crab fat.' So really, the name Crab Fat is a weird mashup of rap lyrics and body positivity."

In keeping with the unique name, readers can expect to find "a little bit of this and a little bit of that," Caseyrenée tells me. "We feature a wide variety of voices and offer an eclectic mix of contemporary content. We are progressive and like to publish work that goes against the grain of mainstream." To that end, during their first year CFLM has featured writing from Adam Kuta, Edward A. Boyle, D.S. West, Haley Fedor, Alana I. Capria, Philicia Montgomery, and Susannah Betts.

The future for CFLM will include pushing the genre limits and incorporating more experimental work into the magazine. "We want work that breaks conventions and makes us question what we know about genre" says Caseyrenée, "so we are actively reaching out to a wider audience than before. We are also trying to raise money through tip-jar submissions, a GoFundMe campaign, a cool image prompt contest, and sales of our print anthology. We want to pay writers for their work, even if it is just a token payment, to show that we appreciate all of their hard work." Crab Fat also actively works to recognize writers through nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

CFLM's print anthology is published under the Damaged Goods Press imprint. Caseyrenée is the founder of both, so in a sense, they're sister sites/publications. The quarterly magazine is available as PDF and print, and the every other Sunday installments on available online. Submissions are accepted a rolling basis using Submittable.

Ruminate 2015 Nonfiction Winners

Published July 23, 2015 Posted By
ruminate-35Ruminate Summer 2015 includes the first and second place winners and the honorable mention of the 2015 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize judged by Scott Russel Sanders.

First Place
D.L. Mayfield for Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Second Place
Elizabeth Dark Wiley for "If you Want it to Last..."

Honorable Mention
Shannon Huffman Polson for Naked: A Triptych
Drunken Boat #21 includes work from each of the finalists for the DB Book Contest. The contest was opened to opened to poetry, translations, and hybrid works. The editors received nearly 300 manuscripts which were narrowed down to 10 finalists. Forrest Gander chose the winner of the contest: Collier Nogue's The Ground I Stand on is Not My Ground, a book that utilizes QR codes that link up to a website to create a truly immersive multimedia experience.

The finalists contest: Diana Thow translating Amelia Rosselli; Eleanor Goodman; Amaranth Borsuk and Gabriela Jauregui; Amy Pence; Catherine Hammond translating Carmen Boullosa; Collier Nogues; Elisabeth Murawski; Haley Larson; Meredith Stricker; Michael Leong; and Stephanie Anderson.

Samples of their work can be read on Drunken Boat #21 here.

SHR Auburn Witness Poetry Prize

Published July 21, 2015 Posted By
jake-adam-yorkThe newest issue of Southern Humanities Review (v48 n4) includes a special poetry section featuring the winner, runners-up and finalists for the 2014 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize honoring Jake Adam York (pictured; 1972-2012).

WINNER
Amanda Gunn
Gunn was the guest of honor at "Abide": A Tribute to Jake Adam York and His Work, October 2014.

RUNNERS-UP
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach
Shara Lessley

FINALISTS
Lauren Camp
Kai Carlson-Wee
Joshua Gage
Jennifer Horne
Jeremy Keenan Jackson
Anna Leahy
Enid Shomer
David Tucker
Seth Brady Tucker
Richard Tyler

The Fiddlehead Summer Fiction Issue

Published July 21, 2015 Posted By
fiddlehead-summer-2015I couldn't help but to share this snippet from Mark Jarman's editorial remarks for the summer fiction issue of The Fiddlehead (n264):
I will be brief: this is an amazing collection, an astounding summer fiction issue. Look at the stories and writers from around the globe, writers new and proven: no one else in Canada can touch what we are doing right now.

There I've said it; the gods of the small mags can strike me down.
Rather than being struck down, I hope this encourages readers to take look (a couple can be read full text online) and judge for themselves!
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