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Under a Warm Green Linden Broadsides

Published September 19, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

narcissus posterIn addition to publishing poetry, interviews, and reviews twice a year online as well as chapbooks, Under a Warm Green Linden accompanies each issue with a selection of beautiful, affordable, high-quality print broadsides signed by the authors. The adjectives to describe these broadsides are my own; I have sought them out for purchase with every new issue - so I can attest to their production value! Add to that, Under a Warm Green Linden donates a portion of all proceeds from sales to the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Forest Foundation - both with specific reforestation efforts. To date. Under a Warm Green Linden supporters have helped plant 300 trees. A win all around!

Pictured: "Narcissus on the Hunt" by Jennifer Bullis

3Elements Review Themed Writing Prompts

Published September 18, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

Looking to spark your motivation for writing? Try the latest prompt from 3Elements Review: Carriage, Pinwheel, Scour.

3elements reviewEach quarter, 3Elements Review presents three elements, and all three must be used in the story or poem in order to be considered for publication. 

The editors expand on this guideline, "Your story or poem doesn’t have to be about the three elements or even revolve around them; simply use your imagination to create whatever you want. You can use any form of the words/elements for the given submission period. For example, if the elements are: Flash, Whimsy, and Seizure; we would accept the usage of Flashed, Whimsical, and Seizures."

3Elements also accepts artwork and photography based on at least one of the elements - "but creating something that represents all three elements will really impress us."

The deadline for this quarter is November 30, 2019.

Rattle Tribute to African Poets

Published September 17, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

rattleThe Fall 2019 issue of Rattle Tribute to African Poets features seventeen poems "representative of the urgency and excitement that makes the poetry coming out of the continent feel so vital."

Authors whose work make up this tribute include O-Jeremiah Agbaakin, Ifeoluwa Ayandele, Kwame Dawes, Jonathan Endurance, Zaid Gamieldien, Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, Pamilerin Jacob, Temidayo Jacob, Labeja Kodua, Akachi Obijiaku, Anointing Obuh, Chisom Okafor, Ukamaka Olisakwe, Chidinma Opaigbeogu, Olajide Salawu, and Charika Swanepoel.

There is also an interview with Kwame Dawes by Editor Timothy Green.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published September 16, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

west marin review

There's something both innocent and haunting about this image, Binary Traces Young Girl  by Lia Cook, on the 2019 cover of West Marin Review.

water stone review

"Bodies Worth Defending" is the theme of Water~Stone Review Volume 21, and is clearly expressed in this cover photograph by Kwon Healin.

calyx

“Solo #4” by Leah Kosh is featured on the Winter/Spring 2019 cover of Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, which has been running uninterrupted since its inception in 1976. 

CLT Contemporary Chinese Poetry

Published September 12, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

chinese literature todayContemporary Chinese Poetry is the special focus of the latest issue of Chinese Literature Today (v8 n1), with several works by each poet. The featured authors and the translators include:

Wang Jiaxin, translated by Diana Shi and George O’Connell
Che Qianzi, translated by Yang Liping and Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas
Li Dewu, translated by Jenny Chen and Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas
Hu Jiujiu, translated by Matt Turner and Haiying Weng
Mi Jialu, translated by Lucas Klein, Michael Day, Matt Turner, and Haiying Weng
Huang Chunming, translated by Tze-lan Sang
Chen Li, translated by Elaine Wong

The publication also includes a feature section on Newman Prize Laureate Xi Xi, with the 2019 Newman Prize Nomination, the 2019 Newman Prize Acceptance Speech, new poems translated by Jennifer Feeley, excerpts from several works, reprints, and an analytical essay of Xi Xi's fiction by Wei Yang Menkus.

'The Chain' by Adrian McKinty

Published September 12, 2019 Posted By Guest Blogger

chain mckintyYou are now part of The Chain.

Adrian McKinty, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, now a New Yorker, is an award-winning crime novelist who has written a stunning work of twisted psychology, domination, and contest of wills. The plan in The Chain seems foolproof, insidious as it is. A child is kidnapped, the parent gets a phone call, and a ransom demand is made. The parent is told to select another child and kidnap the target in order to get his or her child returned. A two-step process. The horrifying aspect of the demand is that the parent gets 24 hours to pay the ransom and kidnap the next child. No such thing as planning, considering, discussing, contemplating, rationalizing, justifying.  The Chain makes an action demand, and the demand for fast action and tangible results. Or the kidnapped child is no more. The Chain has no tolerance for mistakes, for police involvement, for extensions of time to pay the ransom, for attempts to outwit. The entire process will be completed in 24 hours, or else.

'One Day on the Gold Line' by Carla Rachel Sameth

Published September 11, 2019 Posted By Guest Blogger

one day on gold line samethCarla Rachel Sameth’s One Day on the Gold Line offers a gut-wrenching account of Sameth’s life from young adulthood through middle-age, spinning around maternal desire and loss, and probing the critical distinctions between an imaginary motherhood and the lived reality of mothering her son through young-adulthood. Structured through a series of twenty-nine short chapters that refuse easy chronology, the book is both thematically and formally interested in questions of time and identity.

Beginning with the essay “The Burning Boat,” the book charts Sameth’s insatiable desire to build a family, whether partnered or solo, and the obstacles that stand in her way. Conception comes easily to Sameth; carrying to term does not.  Only after undergoing experimental treatments for recurrent miscarriage does she give birth to her son, Raphael.  Significantly, Sameth chooses not to offer a developed account of gestation—the ground that most mother memoirs traverse; rather, there’s a temporal gap between the chapters that explore maternal desire and those that present difficulties of mothering, both single and as lesbian co-parent to her stepdaughter.  In this way, the book provocatively explores what it means to create and sustain family outside heterosexual marriage.

Rooted in the physical and social landscapes of California, the last third of the book takes up the difficulties that Sameth experiences as adolescent Raphael undergoes treatment for drug use.  Critically, the book offers addiction as a figure through which to understand all human desire. Sameth writes: “In my case, I desperately sought self-value; I thought that I could fix the hole by creating a family to love and nurture.” Writing against fantasies of ideal motherhood, Sameth’s book presents a brutally honest and much-needed account of family-building and parenting in the twenty-first century.

 

Review by Robin Silbergleid
Robin Silbergleid is a poet and nonfiction writer.  Her most recent publication is In the Cubiculum Nocturnum (Dancing Girl Press, 2019).  She currently directs the Creative Writing Program and teaches at Michigan State University.  You can also find her online at @rsilbergleid and robinsilbergleid.com.

Understorey Offers Editing for Submissions

Published September 11, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

understorey magazineUnderstorey Magazine is an online publication of Canadian literature and visual art inviting "compelling, original stories and art by Canadian writers and artists who identify as women or non-binary."

For Issue 17 themed Nature: Writing on a World under Threat, the editors are offering free editing services for submissions. In an effort to "inspire new and emerging writers, as well as support established writers," the editors are offering to "send our thoughts on what already works and what can be improved." Not all works will be published, but with this effort, Understorey hopes to help women writers "polish" their writing and "find a place to share it with the world."

A very generous offer indeed! Submission deadline is September 30.

2019 Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize Winners

Published September 10, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

The Sept/Oct 2019 issue of Kenyon Review features the 2019 Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers winner and runners up, along with an introduction by Richie Hofmann. Each work can also be found on the Kenyon Review website along with an audio recording by the poet.

kenyon review young writersFirst Prize
Jay Martin: “November Picnic with Louise"

Runners Up
Martha Schaffer: “Stars"
Stephanie Chang: “Post Meridiem"

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers is open to high school sophomores and juniors. The winner receives a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop in addition to publication with two runners up.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published September 09, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

poetry sept

Armando Veve is the cover artist featured on the September 2019 issue of POETRY magazine. Poetry + tote bag lovers = you can get this same design on a tote bag with your subscription or renewal to POETRY

creative nonfiction

It's actually the tag lines on the cover of Creative Nonfiction #71 that landed it here: "Let's talk about SEX: 5 tips for better sex (writing); Make it last : the art of the long sentence; The eroticism of essaying."

gettysburg review

Catherine Mackey is the featured artists, both on the cover (Alcatraz Sink No. 1, oil and mixed media on wood panel), and with a full-color portfolio inside the Spring 2019 issue of The Gettysburg Review.

 

2019 Witness Literary Award Winners

Published September 08, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

This spring, Witness, published by the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, announced the winners of its inaugural Literary Awards in Fiction and Poetry.

sophia stidPoetry Winner
Judge Hanif Abdurraqib
“Apophatic Ghazal” by Sophia Stid [pictured]

Poetry Runner-up
"lump" by Renia White

Fiction Winner
Judge Lesley Nneka Arimah
“The Nine-Tailed Fox Explains” by Jane Pek

Fiction Runner-up
“The Kristian Vang Fan Club” by 
John Tait

For more information on the winning entries as well as a full list of finalists, click here. Winning entries can be read in the Spring 2019 issue.

Submissions for the 2020 contest are open until October 1, as well as general submissions on the theme "Magic."

New Lit on the Block :: Slippage Lit

Published August 30, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill
slippage litI have a friend who likes to order items on a menu that are sound fun to say when we go out to eat. That’s how I first came to try calamari and bibimbap. It’s also a way to discover great new lit mags, like Slippage Lit, whose co-editors, Jacob Parsons and Admir Šiljak, along with Social Media Editor Semina Pekmezović, admit they chose the name because they just like the way it sounds. But that’s not the only reason.

Cleaver Magazine's Writer-to-Writer Craft Essays

Published August 27, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

Lea PageCleaver: Philadelphia's International Literary Magazine online features Writer-to-Writer: Essays on Craft and The Writing Life.

Recent essays include "On Revision: From story to STORY, With a Little Help from a Doomed Vole and Robert McKee" by Lea Page [pictured]; "From Play to Peril and Beyond: How Writing Constraints Unleash Truer Truths" by Jeannine Ouellette; "Into the Woods: What Fairy Tale Settings Can Teach Us About Fiction Writing" by Dana Kroos; "Three Secrets to Create the Writing Life You Want" by Lisa Bubert; "In Defense of Telling" by Scott Bane.

Polish Poetry in Translation

Published August 21, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

The latest issue of New England Review (40.2) includes "Polish Poetry in Translation: Bridging the Frontiers of Language" edited by Ellen Hinsey [pictured], NER's international correspondent, with translations by Jakob Ziguras.

ellen hinseyHinsey discusses her approach to this collection, coming to the difficult question of "how to choose among so many brilliant authors? Should one pick a range of poets, or focus on individual key texts that might reflect a Polish reader’s idea of major 'missing' poems?"

2019 Dogwood Literary Award Winners

Published August 20, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

Issue 18 of Dogwood features the winners of the 2019 Dogwood Literary Awards:

gillian vikDogwood Literary Award in Fiction
Judge Phil Klay
"Whom the Lion Seeks" by Annie Lampman

Dogwood Literary Award in Poetry
Judge Lia Purpura
"The Cancer Menagerie" by Gillian Vik [pictured]

Dogwood Literary Award in Nonfiction
Judge Lia Purpura
"The Taste of It" by Nikita Nelin

The deadline for the 2020 contest is September 5, 2019. Winners in each genre receive $1000 in addition to publication. See full guidelines here.

Prime 53 Summer Challenge

Published August 19, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

ChrisForrestIf you love rules and regulations, following forms and formulas to make something work, gnashing your teeth and pulling out your hair to meet perfection - and you love poetry - then you're going to love this free Prime 53 Summer Challenge Poetry Contest

Press 53 Poetry Editor Christopher Forrest [pictured] and Publisher and Editor in Chief Kevin Morgan Watson devised a new poetic form: the Prime 53 poem.

"The Water of Life" by Zac Thompson

Published August 19, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

qu i10 summer 2019Wrap up your summer and get ready to head back to school with Zac Thompson’s “The Water of Life” a stage/screenplay in Qu #10. The characters, Leah and Carrie, are young, romantic partners at the close of their two-month summer relationship, each preparing to go to college—Carrie away to university and Leah to the local junior college. Leah, a preacher’s daughter, has set up a baptistery so the two can bind their relationship with a ritual. The dialogue is subtly quick and revealing, Leah being the pragmatist and Carrie the comic; Leah the “intense” dramatist and Carrie the lighthearted, “afraid to express [her] feelings.” It’s an intimate scene, full of the love and subsequent gut-churning realism young people face when their paths are on the verge of separation. A memorably bittersweet read.

 

Review by Denise Hill

Ecotone Offers Venerable Instructions

Published August 16, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

With the Spring/Summer 2019 issue, Ecotone Editor Anna Lena Phillips Bell [pictured] introduces a new "department" to be included in each issue of the journal, "Various Instructions, in which writers and artists will offer lists, prompts, formulas, how-to's, and the like."

anna lena phillips bellDrawing inspiration from Eric Magrane's "Various Instructions for the Practice of Poetic Field Research," Bell writes that "these instructions are an invitation to think deeply in and with place. They have proved enduring; I’ve been glad to use them in teaching and in my own poetic practice."

The Sealey Challenge - Week Two Update

Published August 15, 2019 Posted By Katy Haas

sealey challenge booksWe’re two weeks and a day into The Sealey Challenge, and I’m admittedly half a book behind. “Challenge” is right. Between daily responsibilities and attempting to eke the last bit of fun from the remaining weeks of summer, my poetry reading has slid onto the backburner this past week, despite the enjoyment reading more than a dozen different poets has given me.

Participating in the challenge continues to give me insight into my own habits and, well, laziness. However, this year’s reading has brought me to a local coffeeshop every couple days, so now other regulars are checking in on me and my progress. “What are you reading today?” or “Still kicking?” greets me when I walk into the cozy little building. I now have cheerleaders and accountability, something to keep me “kicking” (though I probably won’t admit to any of them that I’m a day behind when I visit today).

Are you participating in The Sealey Challenge, and are you keeping a better or worse hold on your reading than I am? What is your favorite book you’ve read so far?

Stay tuned for flash reviews of some of the books I read during the challenge, and click the “Read more” button below to check in on which books I’ve finished so far.

"A Civilized Man" by Robb T. White

Published August 15, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

thriller magazine v2 i1 july 2019Robb T. White’s lead story “A Civilized Man” is provided as a sample of the July 2019 Thriller Magazine (2.1). White’s narrator opens the story with, “What is a civilized man?” and walks readers through his fiancé’s disappearance and ultimate discovery of her brutalized dead body. The predictable dead-end investigation is offset by the narrator’s unexpected choice of action as he lays down his own justice. “It’s odd that I feel no guilt or shame.” The narrator confesses, “Quite the opposite. I feel . . . pleased, if that’s the right word.” Likewise, in reading the objectively detailed sequence of events, I felt no guilt or shame in his actions either. Pleased ? Maybe that is the right word.

 

Review by Denise Hill

Detroit Working Writers Poetry Contest Winners

Published August 14, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

Based out of Schoolcraft College in Michigan, The MacGuffin Spring 2019 features the winners of the Detroit Working Writer’s MacGuffin Poetry Prize, awarded at the group’s annual conference last Fall:

diana dinvernoFirst Place
“Ann Arbor" by Diana Dinverno [pictured]

Second Place
“I Thought I Couldn’t Take It With Me” by Vicki Wilke

Honorable Mention
"Whispers" by 
Jack D. Ferguson

Also included in this issue is a biographical sketch and selection of poems from The MacGuffin’s 24th Poet Hunt Contest Guest Judge Richard Tillinghast. Winners of the Poet Hunt Contest will be published in the next issue of The MacGuffin.

 

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published August 13, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

massachusetts review

Sorry coulrophobics, and pretty much anyone creeped out by clowns, but this still from Kate Durbin's portrayal of "the trickster figure of the clown and white box of the Facebook timeline" in her short film Unfriend Me Now! (2018) is just one of many images also included in the Summer 2019 issue of The Massachusetts Review.

parhelion

Such an iconic image of summer on the cover of Parhelion #5. This photo by Anne Eastman is one of many featured in her portfolio in this issue. Read her artist's statement to learn about her approach to photography, which includes evenings dancing as as "Little Miss Funshine" at the Fantasy Bikini Club in LA.

court green

Court Green Summer 2019 made me laugh out loud: images of Elizabeth Taylor are used to link to each writer on the publication's home page. Other publications commonly use the writers' photos here, but Court Green's spin on that is hilarious. Since moving from print to online, this use of themed circles has become their hallmark.

Two Poems by Leslie Marie Aguilar

Published August 12, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

wildnessTwo whirlwind prose poems by Leslie Marie Aguilar in the May 2019 issue of wildness online speak in abstractions melded with concrete symbols, creating a contemporary mythology of the self. “Bone Altar” begins, “Legends begin with valerian root, red clover, & a touch of tequila.” and instructs the reader to call upon ancestors. “Cartography,” just at the moment I think the poem’s speaker is deeply troubled, assures me, “If this sounds like a cry for help, like shouting into a canyon & hoping to hear a voice different than your own, it’s not.” Two dizzyingly brief works with lasting impact.

 

Review by Denise Hill

David H. Lynn Announces Retirement

Published August 09, 2019 Posted By Denise Hill

david h lynnIn his "Front Matter" editor's note to the July/August 2019 issue of Kenyon Review, David H. Lynn announces his intention to step down from his role as The David F. Banks Editor of the publication:

". . . about a year from when this issue arrives off the press, I’ll be stepping down as editor. The decision came to me rather suddenly, I confess, and several years earlier than I’d previously imagined. What had long seemed a comfortable bike ride, despite occasional potholes and sudden challenging hills that maintained my interest and attention, was now unexpectedly weighing in my legs and on my shoulders. I was growing a bit weary and impatient for other vistas, other challenges."

In discussing the role and responsibilities of editor, Lynn responds to the label of gatekeeper :

"It’s hostile and resentful, suggesting that the role of literary editors is to maintain high barriers. With all my heart, however, I believe that the appropriate charge for an editor of the Kenyon Review is to resist any such notion of guardianship, of excluding any class or set of writers. Rather, whoever is appointed to follow me, she or he or they, should continue to seek to include, to aggressively search out new voices and new talents and even new media with which to publish them, while also nourishing and supporting many of those talented authors we have discovered and honored for the past two decades and more."

We wish Lynn a smooth transition away from his wonderful work with Kenyon Review - may he indeed be met by beautiful vistas and invigorating challenges.

CRAFT Literary - Summer 2019

Published August 08, 2019 Posted By Katy Haas

craft literaryCRAFT Literary’s mission is to “explore the art of fiction with a focus on the elements of craft.” They do this through publishing fiction with commentary, pieces on craft, interviews, and more.

Recent publications include Cathy Ulrich’s flash fiction piece “Being the Murdered Extra.” Ulrich imagines the backstory for the quintessential crime show “dead girl.” Written in second person, readers are put in the place of the auditioning girl while still feeling disconnected (you’re dead after all) as the story moves on to breathe life into the background characters of the background character: her mother and her roommates. This story is accompanied by two paragraphs of commentary on the craft.

The “Craft” section of the website includes sections titled “Essays,” “Interviews,” “Books,” and “Roundups.” In “Books,” find reviews, and in “Roundups” check out lists like “TV Adaptations We Love” and “CRAFT Fiction by the Elements.” A recent interview with Ariel Gore is introduced by a bonus essay on Gore’s We Were Witches by interviewer Melissa Benton Barker.

Jody Hobbs Hesler in “If You Can Name It, You Can Fix It: A Craft Glossary” writes about the benefits of giving clear feedback during writing workshops. In the essay, she points out how it’s easy to provide feedback of what’s working, but harder to articulate what could use some help, so she offers her own help by pointing out some common issues such as “Cliches of the Body” or “Too Much Reality vs. Realism.” Hesler provides a convenient little glossary for writers and those who workshop.

CRAFT Literary provides a deeper look into fiction while offering writers plenty of material to help out with their own writing processes.

 

Review by Katy Haas

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