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The American Library Association (ALA) joined the Harry Potter Alliance in launching “Spark,” an eight-part video series developed to support and guide first-time advocates who are interested in advocating at the federal level for issues that matter to them. The series, targeted to viewers aged 13–22, will be hosted on the YouTube page of the Harry Potter Alliance, while librarians and educators are encouraged to use the videos to engage young people or first time advocates. The video series was launched today during the 42nd annual National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C.

The video series provides supporting information for inexperienced grassroots advocates, covering everything from setting up in-person legislator meetings to the process of constructing a campaign. By breaking down oft-intimidating “inside the Beltway” language, Spark provides an accessible set of tools that can activate and motivate young advocates for the rest of their lives. The video series also includes information on writing press releases, staging social media campaigns, using library resources for research or holding events, and best practices for contacting elected officials.

Books :: BOA Editions Award Titles

Published May 27, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
boa editions logoOut now from BOA Editions, LTD. is Remarkable by Dinah Cox, winner of the BOA Short Fiction Prize. From the publisher’s website:
Set within the resilient Great Plains, these award-winning stories are marked by the region’s people and landscape, and the distinctive way it is both regressive in its politics yet also stumbling toward something better. While not all stories are explicitly set in Oklahoma, the state is almost a character that is neither protagonist nor antagonist, but instead the weird next-door-neighbor you’re perhaps too ashamed of to take anywhere. Who is the embarrassing one—you or Oklahoma?
In Fall, Kathryn Nuernberger’s poetry collection The End of Pink will be released. The winner of the 2015 James Laughlin Award, The End of Pink (Nuernberger’s second collection) is “populated by strange characters” and is “equal parts fact and folklore.” Copies are available for preorder at the BOA Editions, LTD. website.

Books :: 11th Tartts First Fiction Award Winner

Published May 26, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas

enigma of iris murphy maureen millea smithIn July, look for Maureen Millea Smith’s The Enigma of Iris Murphy from The Livingston Press. Winner of the eleventh Tartts First Fiction Award, Smith’s short story collection looks at “A prison’s visitation room; a veterinarian who understands the thoughts of animals; an Omaha police sergeant; a banking executive who consoles her dying friend; a librarian who sleeps with giraffes—all linked by the life of Iris Murphy.”

While awaiting its July release, readers can check out The Livingston Press’s website where they can find an excerpt from The Enigma of Iris Murphy and preorder a copy.
[quote from publisher's website]

Gulf Coast Prize Winners :: 2016

Published May 26, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
The summer/fall 2016 issue of Gulf Coast, in addition to a lot of great writing for their themed "Archive Issue," includes winners from two of their contests:

The 2015 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation
Judged by Ammiel Alcalay
Winner ($1000 + Print publication)
Samantha Schnee for her translation from Carmen Boullosa's The Romantics' Conspiracy.
Honorable Mention ($250 + Online publication)
Rebeca Velasquez for her translation from Irma de Águila’s El hombre que hablaba del cielo, or The Man Who Spoke About the Heavens.
Brad Fox for his translation from Sait Faik Abasiyanik's novella Havada Bulut, or A Cloud in the Sky.
Commendation
Jonathan Larson for his translation of Friederike Mayröcker's études.
J. Bret Maney for his translation of Guillermo Cotto-Thorner's Manhattan Tropics.

2015 Barthelme Prize for Short Fiction
Judged by Steve Almond
Winner ($1000 + Pring publication)
"Taylor Swift" by Hugh Behm-Steinberg
Honorable Mention ($250 + Print publication)
"The Deer" by Nickole Brown
"Threeway" by Wes Wrobel

Hudson Review 2016 Fiction Contest Winners

Published May 25, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
The Hudson Review has announced the winners of their 2016 Short Fiction Contest:

First Prize ($500)
“The Comfort Weaver” by Alia Ahmed
“The Colonel’s Boy” by Timothy Dumas

Second Prize ($250)
“Leah, Lamb” by Dana Fitz Gale
“Shadow Daughter” by Leslie Pietrzyk

Honorable Mention
“Einhorn’s Kosher Palace” by David Klein
“Those Who Burn” by Lara Prescott
“The Wedding at Valocchio” by James Vescovi

Alia Ahmed's "The Comfort Weaver" is published in the spring 2016 issue of The Hudson Review and is also available full-text on the publication's website here.

Chattahoochee Review 2016 Lamar York Prize Winners

Published May 24, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
The Lamar York Prize honors the founder and former editor of The Chattahoochee Review by awarding $1,000.00 each and publication to a winning story and essay. The 2016 winners appear in the spring 2016 issue.

Fiction Winner
Judged by Tayari Jones
"Y'all's Problem" by Beth Ann Fennelly

Nonfiction Winner
Judged by Dinty Moore
"Trip" by Audrey Spensley

The Lamar York Prize is an annual contest that accepts submissions between October 1 and January 31.

[Cover art: The Baron in the Trees, 2011 by Su Blackwell; detail and artist's statement included in the issue.]

Kenyon Review EcoPoetry

Published May 23, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
kenyon review v38 n3 may june 2016"Literature and the Anthropocene" is the title of The Kenyon Review Editor's Notes in the May/June 2016 issue. The term 'anthropocene, Editor David H. Lynn explains, is "a term coined by Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer in 2000 to denote the current epoch, 'in which many geologically significant conditions and processes are profoundly altered by human activities' . . . As one response to these vast and accelerating changes we offer in this issue a special section of EcoPoetry, work that self-consciously addresses the relationship between the human and the natural world, gathered by our poetry editor David Baker. This is the second iteration—last year’s received wide acclaim—and my intention is that it will be an ongoing feature in our pages."

To further encourage the genre, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop offers a nature writing session each summer. Collaborating with scientists at Kenyon College’s Brown Family Environmental Center, this workshop provides wrirters with guided scientific investigation, in labs and wetlands and woodland paths, along with time and strategies for writing. This nature writing workshop is one of several offered by the Kenyon Review.

[Cover art by Brett Ryder.]

Books :: 2015 Permafrost Prize Series Award

Published May 19, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas

scavengers becky hagenstonBecky Hagenston brought home the 2015 Permafrost Prize Series Award with her story collection Scavengers, chosen from nearly 150 entries. As the winner, Hagenston saw her collection (her third) published by the University of Alaska Press this year in both paperback and digital editions.

From the publisher’s website:

These are the people and situations—where the familiar and bizarre intermix—that animate Becky Hagenston’s stories in Scavengers. From Mississippi to Arizona to Russia, characters find themselves faced with a choice: make sense of the past, or run from it. But Hagenston reminds us that even running can never be pure—so which parts of your past do you decide to hold on to?

An unforgettable read, Scavengers is now available.

Alaska Quarterly Review on Poems and Painting

Published May 19, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
peggy schumakerThe spring/summer 2016 issue of Alaska Quarterly Review includes the special feature "Sparks: A Conversation in Poems and Paintings" with Poet Peggy Shumaker [pictured] and Artist Kes Woodward.

From the Introduction: "This collaboration began when two friends decided to share an artistic conversation. Kes Woodward asked Peggy Shumaker to write a poem, and he created a painting in response to it. Peggy wrote in response, Kes painted in response, again and again. As each piece added its vividness to the conversation, both writer and artist found they were responding not just to the last piece, bu to the entire body of work. The work has taken many unpredictable and startling turns, adding to the intensity of this third art - an art that's not language alone, not purely painting, but the bonding of the two."

Briar Cliff Review Contest Winners

Published May 18, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
briar cliff reviewVolume 26 of The Briar Cliff Review includes the winning entries from their 2015 annual writing contest.

Poetry Winner
"Midwinter, My Mother" by Laura Apol

Fiction Winner
"Thirty and Out" by S.J. MacLean

Nonfiction Winner
"On Kindness" by Laura S. Distelheim

In addition to publication in the gorgeous full-size format print copy - which includes full color art  throughout - winners receive $1000 each. This annual contest runs from August 1 - November 1 of each year.

Have Book Will Travel

Published May 18, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
have book will travelYou know you've got a great idea when you create something that makes others say, "IT'S ABOUT TIME SOMEONE DID THAT!"

Founded by Author and Editor Neil Aitken, Have Book, Will Travel is a searchable database of authors willing to travel, reading series currently seeking guest writers, and venues available for booking events. "Our goal" writes Aitken, "is to develop Have Book Will Travel into a valuable online resource that will make the task of planning a reading or a book tour easier and less confusing for all involved. We also encourage instructors and schools where budgets might be too tight to fly an author in for a reading, to consider bringing an author in via Skype for a classroom discussion or a video conference reading. By creating a central repository of information, we seek to simplify the search and to make more authors available to more venues."

Authors can add themselves to the database, as can hosts of reading series and managers of bookstores, galleries, libraries, theatres, restaurants, or other types of performance venues for authors. On the flip side, users can search or browse the full lists of authors, series, and venues or search each by state and province in Canada. Some of these links don't have much or anything just yet, which means there's room for you to get in there and "add"! Sign up authors, series and venues!

Become an Official Teens' Top Ten Book Group

Published May 17, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
Coming in August 2016, library staff may apply on behalf of their teen book groups for a chance to become one of fifteen Teens’ Top Ten official book groups with Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association (ALA). The fifteen book groups will carry out a 2 year term, which will take place from January of 2017 through December 31, 2018. The official book groups are responsible for reading, submitting reviews, and nominating titles for the Teens’ Top Ten list.

Interested groups may sign up for updates about the application period here. Learn more about the book group project and eligibility requirements here.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted the Thursday of National Library Week.

School Library Research Journal Seeks Co-editor

Published May 12, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is seeking a Co-editor with experience in scholarly research and publishing for its online journal, School Library Research. Click here for a full position description. Qualifications include PhD, EdD, or equivalent terminal degree and tenure or tenure-track faculty status at a college or university. Applications are due June 6, 2016.

Nominate Top Teen Titles

Published May 11, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) has announced that teens aged 12-18 can now nominate their favorite titles to be considered as a 2017 Teens’ Top Ten nominee via the public nomination form.

In previous years, nominations were limited to the official Teens’ Top Ten book groups while the voting process for the official “top ten” titles was open to the public. In efforts to ensure that the “top ten” better reflect the opinions of teens everywhere, nominations for the preliminary round of nominees is open to the public. Book title nominations submitted in the current year will be used for consideration of the following year’s list of nominees. Teens can submit a book title now through December 31, 2016 to be included in the pool of the 2017 nominee candidates. For books to be eligible for consideration, they must be published between January 1– December 31, 2016.

Submit a suggested title via the public nomination form here.

Black Warrior Review 11th Annual Contest Winners

Published May 10, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
black warrior reviewThe Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Black Warrior Review features the winners of the publication’s 11th Annual Contest in Prose, Poetry, and Nonfiction. Each winner received $1,000 and publication; each runner-up received $100.

Fiction judge Alissa Nutting selected “The Twins” by Jill Rosenberg as the winner and “Fellowship" by Kimberly Parsons as the runner up.

Poetry judge Heather Christle selected “b careful” by Mark Baumer as the winner and “Wolfmoon” by Mary-Alice Daniel as the runner-up.

Nonfiction judge Mary Roach selected “Huron River Drive” by Will McGrath as the winner and “Three Great Lyric Passages” by Hugh Martin as the runner up.

Judges' comments on the winning works and a full list of all the finalists can be found here.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published May 09, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
crazyhorse 89Still Life with Apple by David Harrison is a rich oil on canvas acquired for the Spring 2016 issue of Crazyhorse, which also includes the winners of their Crazy-shorts! Short-Short Fiction Contest.
sarah katharina kayssI liked this slightly dizzying photo on the cover of Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley. Credit goes to German photographer Sarah Katharina Kayß, whose work provides unique perspectives on architecture.
colorado reviewI want to believe it is the Blue Bird of Happiness that adorns the Spring 2016 cover of Colorado Review [no photo credit given].

The Bellingham Review 2015 Contest Winners

Published May 05, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
bellingham reviewThe Spring 2016 issue of The Bellingham Review features their 2015 literary contest winners.

Contest judge Bruce Beasley selected Ming Lauren Holden’s poem, “For My Aspirated,” as the recipient of the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry. Beasley said the poem “stunned me every time I reread it for its collision of mystery and absolute clarity . . . its insistent repetitions and piled-on rhetorical questions pounding against the unplumbable mysteries of loss.”

Eric Roe’s short story, “Notes From Lazarus,” earned the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction. Contest judge Kristiana Kahakauwila called the story, “a lovely meditation on love, devotion, and hope . . . finely crafted and controlled but never overwrought.”

S. Paola Antonetta, contest judge for the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, described the pleasures of reading Leigh Claire Schmiddli's work: “‘This Sonata, into the third movement’ is an essay that puns deeply to get at the deep truths of all those ways in which language, like life, evades our meanings for it. Divided, like a musical piece, into movements, ‘This Sonata’ evokes movement itself in all its forms . . . Piercingly lyric, haunting in its details.”

Books :: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Published May 05, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas

sir gawain green knight john ridlandForthcoming from Able Muse Press in August 2016 is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a new Modern English translation by John Ridland. Advance praise calls this edition one of the most readable and complete translations of the classic tale. Illustrations by Stephen Luke are found inside the pages, and provide the front and back cover art, the cover design similar to that of an old fairytale storybook.

A great addition to classic collections, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is now available for preorder from Able Muse Press.

The Malahat Review 2016 Open Season Awards

Published May 04, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
malahat 194Winning entries for the 2106 Malahat Review Open Season Awards can be read in the newest issue (#194). Interviews with each of the winning authors can be found on The Malahat Review website.

Open Season Award for Poetry Winner
John Pass, "Margined Burying Beetle"

Open Season Award for Fiction Winner
Katherine Magyarody, "Goldhawk"

Open Season Award for Creative Nonfiction Winner
Jennifer Williamson, "Light Year"

The Malahat Review, Canada’s premier literary magazine, invites entries from Canadian, American, and overseas authors for their annual Open Season Awards, with a prize of $1500 in each of three marquee categories: poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction.
alex jarosGlimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their 2016 January/February Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held three times a year 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 is open now: Short Story Award for New Writers. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

1st place goes to Alex Jaros of Kansas City, MO [pictured], who wins $2500 for “The Southwest Chief.” His story will be published in Issue 99 of Glimmer Train Stories.

2nd place goes to Gabriel Houck of Lincoln, NE, for “A Working Theory of Stellar Collapse.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train, increasing his prize from $500 to $700.

3rd place goes to Sonia Feigelson of Brooklyn, NY. She wins $300 for “Easy, Exotic.”

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

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published May 02, 2016 Posted By
three elements reviewBenjamin Duke's Home Again, Home Again fills the front and back covers of the Spring 2016 (#10) issue of 3 Elements Literary Review, an online publication that challenges writers and readers alike with issues themed with three elements. Spring's elements are Measure, Cleave, and Sliver.
apple valley review spring 2016Taking the old and making it new again is this spring issue of the online Apple Valley Review, which features cover artwork: “Cabin in the Woods, North Conway, New Hampshire,” 1848, oil on canvas by Thomas Cole.
michigan quarterly reviewSix Million is the photograph by Conor MacNeill on the cover of Winter 2016 Michigan Quarterly Review. It was taken in Berlin at the Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas - the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and is companion to the opening essay by Philip Beidler, "This Way to the Führerbunker: Gertrud-Kolmar-Straße, Berlin, Mitte."

Books :: The Inklings Coloring Book

Published April 28, 2016 Posted By
inklings coloring bookIf you haven’t joined the adult coloring book bandwagon yet, now is a great time to hop on. Black Squirrel Books, an imprint of The Kent State University Press, released a new coloring book last month. The Inklings Coloring Book—with illustrations by fantasy illustrator James A. Owen—features 15 line drawings inspired by the works of Oxford’s famous Inklings.

Inside, J. R. R. Tolkien has tea, Christopher Tolkien stands outside the Tolkien Home, Charles Williams is at Oxford, and these illustrations are all mixed in with dragons, dwarves, elves, and more, with the Bandersnatch hidden in many of the images.

Fans of fantasy literature can take a break from their latest adventure and relax with some fantastical coloring with The Inklings Coloring Book, available now.
bellevue literary review spring 2016The Spring issue of Bellevue Literary Journal features the winners of their 2016 BLR prizes:

Goldenberg Prize for Fiction judged by Paul Harding
Winner: “The Foreign Cinema” by Lauren Alwan
Honorable Mentions: “Are You Having Suicidal Thoughts?” by John Noonan, and “First Child, Second Place” by Marylin Warner

Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction judged by Mark Vonnegu
Winner: “Askew” by Esther K. Willison
Honorable Mention: “A Member of the Family” by Morgan Smith

Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry judged by Ada Limón
Winner: “The Problem With Anatomical Thinking—” by Meridian Johnson
Honorable Mention: “The Interview” by Kathryn Starbuck

Daniel Liebowitz Prize for Student Writing
Winner: "The Lump" by Susanna Nguy

Uruguay Poet Idea Vilariño

Published April 27, 2016 Posted By
vilarinoPoet Lore Spring/Summer 2016 features Jesse Lee Kercheval's translation of Uruguay poet Idea Vilariño. In her introduction, Kercheval writes of Vilariño's book-length work, Poem de amor, "her own Leave of Grass. . . stands as a testament to both the necessity and the impossibility of love in this world, especially for a passionate, independent woman determined to speak with her own voice." Kercheval adds, "I believe it is important for English-speaking poets and poetry readers in general to have access to work, and am delighted to this selection of poems - in both Spanish and English - in Poet Lore. I hope all of Poemas de amor will soon be available in translation." Several of the works are available in English on the Poet Lore website. A Guest begins:

You’re not mine
you’re not here
in my life
at my side
you don’t eat at my table
or laugh or sing
or live for me.

Southeast Review 2015 Contest Winners

Published April 26, 2016 Posted By
southeast reviewThe Southeast Review spring issue (34.1) is chock-full of finalists and winning contest entries from their 2015 season.

World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest
Judged by Robert Olen Butler

Winner:
C. A. Kaufman, “Akron, Ohio: 1933”

Finalists:
Amina Gautier, “Thankful Chinese”
Lewis Holt, “Manliness”
Ashton Russell, “We Don’t Talk About Ifs”
Ashley Shelby, “Liberation: Kuwait”
Michaella A. Thornton, “Man Lace”

SER Gearhart Poetry Contest
Judged by David Kirby

Winner:
Carolyn Moore, “The Teen Romances Her Razor”

Finalists:
Sarah Gordon, “Creases, Folds”
Tom Kelly, “Funeral Glam”
Rebecca Lauren, “Elegy for a Band Mother”
Ralph Sneeden, “Contrapunctus (#2)”
Arne Weingart, “Piecework”

SER Narrative Nonfiction Contest
Judged by Bob Shacochis

Winner:
Will McGrath, “Death of the Virgin”

Finalists:
Heather Corrigan, “Widmarked”
A. Sandosharaj, “Dead Bird Stories for Nonbelievers”
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