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Daniel Torday on The Monster Scale

Published March 04, 2015 Posted By
daniel-tordayDaniel Torday, Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College, shares his insight on writing monsters: "A number of years ago I encountered a workshop where, all at once, every one of the very talented writers I was working with seemed to want to write only fantastical short stories about monsters. Story after story came into workshop containing not just monsters, but the most fantastical of monsters: vampires who could fly and suck blood and seduce. Wolfmen who were as hirsute as the hirsutest of all wolves. Dragons that breathed fire and stole princesses and encountered hobbits. It was in a moment of desperation that, together with the most self-searching writers in that group, finding their stories needed something—but what?—we came up with a tool we called "The Monster Scale.'"

Read the rest in Glimmer Train Bulletin #98, a free monthly of craft essays.

Sinister Wisdom 40th Anniversary Poster

Published March 04, 2015 Posted By
sinister-wisdom-posterTo celebrate its upcoming 40th anniversary, Sinister Wisdom is offering a commemorative poster to donors. Sinister Wisdom is the multicultural lesbian literary and art journal founded in 1976 with Editors Harriet Ellenberger (aka Desmoines) and Catherine Nicholson. The poster reads, "We needed more to read on, feed on, more writing to satisfy our greedy maws."

Current Editor Julie R. Enszer writes in the recent issue's introduction: "When I first started as an editor of Sinister Wisdom, my sole focus was on keeping Sinister Wisdom alive. I wanted the journal to survive; I wanted the journal to live to carry the dreams and ideas of lesbians into the future. Today, almost five years later, I still am aware of the precarious nature of all lesbian-feminist projects (I do not think that we can ever believe our work and our institutions will last forever, that we can ever become complacent about the things that we value), but I feel more assured about the journal's survival and about my role as editor."

I couldn't agree with Enszer more - that we need to stay actively engaged in those things we value. Supporting Sinister Wisdom through subscription and/or donation for the poster is a step away from that complacency. For forty years past and many more in the future.

American Life in Poetry :: Robert Hedin

Published March 03, 2015 Posted By
American Life in Poetry: Column 519

Many of us have built models from kits—planes, ships, cars. Here's Robert Hedin, a Minnesota poet and the director of The Anderson Center at Tower View in Red Wing, trying to assemble a little order while his father is dying.

Raising the Titanic

I spent the winter my father died down in the basement,
under the calm surface of the floorboards, hundreds

of little plastic parts spread out like debris
on the table. And for months while the snow fell

and my father sat in the big chair by the Philco, dying,
I worked my way up deck by deck, story by story,

from steerage to first class, until at last it was done,
stacks, deck chairs, all the delicate rigging.

And there it loomed, a blazing city of the dead.
Then painted the gaping hole at the waterline

and placed my father at the railings, my mother
in a lifeboat pulling away from the wreckage.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Robert Hedin from his most recent book of poems, The Light Under the Door, (Red Dragonfly Press, 2013). Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Hedin and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
tahoma-literary-reviewNow in its second issue, Tahoma Literary Review is a publication of poetry, fiction and nonfiction based in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Published three times per year, TLR is available in print, PDF, epub and Kindle formats. In addition to these print and electronic editions, TLR offers featured readings by contributors via Soundcloud.

Poetry Editor Kelly Davio, Fiction Editor Joe Ponepinto, and Nonfiction Editor Yi Shun Lai comment on the publication's name: "It is reflective of our ties to and pride in the Northwest. Tahoma—or Mount Rainier, as white settlers renamed it—is almost synonymous with the Northwest, and in its beauty, presence, and endurance, it's an excellent analogue for what we want to achieve as a part of the literary ecosystem."

The trio tell me their motivation in starting TLR stems from their belief that "literary writers deserve greater opportunities for publication and monetary compensation for their work, partially because we believe the writing we crave is underrepresented in other journals, and partially because we have the experience and know-how to turn our beliefs into a financially stable, technologically savvy publication."

Readers of TLR can expect to find "truly diverse literary writing, from the traditional to the experimental, that is always challenging and engaging, never sentimental." Recent contributors include Nickole Brown, Nance Van Winckel, Beth Oness, Leslie Pietrzyk, Michael Bazzett, Lori A. May, Jeannine Hall Gailey, and Timothy Ogene.

The future of TLR continues to build on the editors' vision, with an increase in compensation to contributors; decrease in submission fees; and continued growth of content with additions to the Endnotes section of craft articles and interviews.

Writers can find detailed submission guidelines, including specifics on each editor's individual interests, on the TLR website. Only electronic submissions are accepted via the publication's website.

Glimmer Train December Fiction Open Winners

Published February 28, 2015 Posted By
Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their December Fiction Open competition. This competition is held twice a year. Stories generally range from 2000-6000 words, though up to 20,000 is fine. The next Fiction Open will take place in June. Glimmer Train's monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

Zeynep-Ozakat-credit-David-SamuelFirst place: Zeynep Ozakat of Istanbul, Turkey, wins $2500 for "Moving from Istanbul." Her story will be published in Issue 96 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be her first published story. [Photo credit: David Samuel]

Second place: David Szucs of New York, NY, wins $1000 for "Rhubarb and Pussy Willow."

Third place: Jonathan Frith of Cold Spring, NY, wins $600 for "Meese's Father."

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

Deadline TODAY for the Short Story Award for New Writers: February 28. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 1500-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. First place prize is $1500. Second/third: $500/$300. Click here for complete guidelines.

Fulton Prize for Fiction Winners

Published February 27, 2015 Posted By
adirondack-reviewThe Winter 21014 issue of Adirondack Review features the winner and runner-up of their annual Fulton Prize for Short Fiction. Winner "Study of an Orange" by Theresa Duve Morales receives $400 and publication and "Embryology" by Barrett Bowlin wins $30 and publication. The issue also features some marvelous artwork by Alfredo Palmero, Oscar Varona, Federico Federici, Stephen Nelson, and Sandrine Pagnoux. All worth the click.

Some Literary News Links

Published February 26, 2015 Posted By
Ten Reasons to Write Short Stories Even Though the Pay is Peanuts - although one of the reasons is short stories can make money, there are several other more altruistic reasons as well.

Chrislove examines LGBT character visiblity in comic books and graphic novels - and offers loads of resources.

Just for fun: 6 Classic Novels That Could Use a Sequel - ETonline provides their opinion on what the sequel would include.

"Twitter's not literature, but it can be a novel teaching tool" poses Harriet Line in the Times Higher Education.

From one literary lover to another, homeless man given a Kindle by a kind-hearted stranger.

The Bronte sisters' family dining table has been saved from auction with the help of the Bronte Society and its supporters.

Jacqueline Sahagian offers 10 Better Books by the Authors you Read in School - good for starting a healthy literary argument!

Gender gaps in journalism classes and newsroom concern students.

Let's get together, yeh-yeh-yeh: We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training.

Poetry Northwest Honors Carolyn Kizer

Published February 26, 2015 Posted By
carolyn-kizerPoetry Northwest Winter & Spring 2015 issue is the first since founding editor Carolyn Kizer passed away October 9, 2014. The issue honors Kizer's vision and legacy, as Editor Keven Craft writes in his introduction, in that "the majority of the poets in this issue are women. The majority of men herein write about (or through) a particular she. Or contend with otherness in other forms." The publication is entirely devoted to poetry, "including a substantial section of poetry in translation, reflecting an important part of Kizer's early attempts to internationalize Poetry Northwest."

Writer Beware Recent Posts

Published February 25, 2015 Posted By
Some of the recent posts on Writer Beware: The Blog:

Two Red-Flag Sentences in Publishing Contracts
Lost in Translation (About the reputation of Author Translation service - worth reading the exchange!)
Who's Running Your Writers' Group? Why You Should Be Careful
Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts: How to Protect Yourself

writer-bewareWriter Beware: The Blog is sponsored by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from several other organizations. With author Victoria Strauss at the helm, their effort is "Shining a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. Also providing advice for writers, industry news and commentary, and a focus on the weird and wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world."

Poetry :: Kimberly Reyes

Published February 25, 2015 Posted By
Excerpt from "Undertones" by Kimberly Reyes published in The Acentos Review February 2015:

. . .

kimberly-reyesThe machete sugarcane bled

Red on the island

dark and Jíbaro, Salinas poor,

Red was the language we spoke,

fertile in storied humility.

The good Red on the Mainland,

the mixed and other and ancient and othered,

rich 'got some Indian in me' reigning Red

whose scorn I

I didn't know then.

my mutilated being

my maternal brown stain


"why is your last name Reyes?"

"is your husband Spanish?"


. . .

Read the full poem here.
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