There's something just quintessentially summer about the Cut Bank 88 cover, with artwork by David Miles Lusk, "Beach Snack." Indeed!
The Main Street Rag Summer 2018 cover continues the summer theme - at least for us here in Michigan, motorcycles are not year-round. Photo by Editor M. Scott Douglass.
And, perhaps a farewell to summer, this beautiful photograph on the cover of the summer 2018 issue of Able Muse: A Review of Poetry, Prose & Art, "Young Dragon's Flight" by Anja Osenberg, is just one of the works for this issue's featured art, "A Flight Theme."
The Fall 2018 Still Point Arts Quarterly is a special issue titled "Four Freedoms Reinterpreted." Editor Christine Brooks Cote writes in her introduction that the concept was inspired by Franklin Roosevelt's 1941 speech in which he specifically identified freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. She explains:
"Two years later The Saturday Evening Post published four paintings by Norman Rockwell, each devoted to one of the Four Freedoms. There were accompanying essays written by respected writers of the day. Now seventy-five years later, it seems appropriate to revisit these 'essential' freedoms and think about where we stand today. . . This special issue is filled with art and writing from people who have something to say about freedom. It is both a celebration of who we are as a country and a cry for attention to the ways in which the foundations of our country are threatened. I hope you will be moved by this outpouring of love for our country and concern for our future."
Readers can view a generous sample of the publication here.
I can't look a the cover of the September 2018 issue of Poetry Magazine without the intro riff to "All Along the Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix cuing up in my head. Sweetly enough, the inside front cover features a tribute quote from Donald Hall (1928-2018): "The world is everything and that is the case. / Now stop your blubbering and wash your face." (Poetry, February 1979)
Keeping with colors, I love how Issue 20 of True Story: 6'3" Man with Doritos by Matthew Clark is actually the color the cheesy Doritos dust leaves stuck to your fingers long after eating them (illustration by Lucy Engelman). So, no problem munching on a bag while you read this issue!
The Missouri Review Summer 2018 cover features the unique photography of Libby Oliver from the Soft Shells series. Visit her website, and check out the Sidewalk Series - slightly disturbing but mostly funny as hell.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
David Mason is the former poet laureate of Colorado and a professor of literature and writing at Colorado College. His most recent book is The Sound: New and Selected Poems, from Red Hen press. I very much like the way in which the muddy boots both open and close this poem, in which not one but two biographies are offered to us in less than a hundred words.
The Mud Room
His muddy rubber boots
stood in the farmhouse mud room
while he sat in the kitchen,
unshaven, dealing solitaire.
His wife (we called her Auntie)
rolled out dough in the kitchen
for a pie, put up preserves
and tidied, clearing her throat.
They listened to the TV
at six, he with his fingers
fumbling the hearing aids,
she watching the kitchen clock.
Old age went on like that,
a vegetable patch, a horse
some neighbor kept in the barn,
the miles of grass and fences.
After he died his boots
stood muddy in the mud room
as if he'd gone in socks,
softly out to the meadow.
We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2017 by David Mason, "The Mud Room." Poem reprinted by permission of David Mason. Introduction copyright ©2018 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.
Edify Fiction is seeking submissions for two upcoming themed issues. For the December 2018 issue, they are accepting pieces surrounding the topics of Christmas, holiday, and winter. Their January 2019 issue looks at all things teen - from teen writers to bullying, peer pressure, emotions, first love, best friends - and more.
When I asked Edify Fiction Editor Angela Meek [pictured] about the teen-themed CFS, she replied, “I was inspired recently to make a themed issue about teen concerns because of a story we recently accepted that incorporated the author's own experiences as a teen and how those challenges shaped him. As a mom with a teen who is starting to stretch those wings and find her way in the world, I thought it would be a good time to have a dedicated issue.”
The call is a broad one, and Meek says they want it that way: “We're pretty open as long as it is has a teen flavor to it - growing up, relationships, bullying, sports, siblings, dealing with parents, dealing with living in a divorced family, acceptance, school - you name it. As long as it is related to teens in some manner, any topic is welcomed. We also would love to feature as many teen writers as possible - from never-been-published to those writers who know their way around the writing world.”
For more information, check out Edify Fiction on Facebook and Twitter. Their general submissions guidelines can be found here, which apply for the themed issues as well. Deadline for both these themed issues is October 31, 2018.
CutBank 88 features the winner and runners up of their annual Big Sky, Small Prose Flash Contest, as selected by Judge Zach VandeZande:
1st Place Winner
"Water" by Allie Mariano [pictured]
Read more about Allie Mariano and the judge's comments here.
"A Posture of Grace" by Kim McCrea
"Holding His Fire" by Daryl Scroggins
Big Sky, Small Prose: Flash Contest 2018 is open until September 30. Read the full details here.
Wordrunner eChapbooks publishes an annual themed anthology, taking submissions just prior to publication, but also then publishes two e-chapbooks of fiction each year. While they have a submission fee, they are also a paying market (with a better return than I've been getting for playing the lottery lately). "Our aim is to make high quality writing available free or at very low cost, much like the original chapbooks that were hawked in the streets of 18th and 19th century London for pennies," the editors note. Yet web publishing opens up all kinds of new options for digital-aged readers: "In many issues, hyperlinks to photos, videos, background articles, maps, poetry, and artwork add new dimensions to the online reading experience."
The current chapbook is Ovenbirds and Other Stories by Dorene O'Brien, with a full archive of previous e-chapbooks and anthologies going back to 2008. Submissions for the spring anthology will open January 1 with submissions for the e-chapbook fiction series running from May 1 - June 30. Lots of time to get your manuscripts ready!
Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their May/June 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 will start on September 1: Short Story Award for New Writers. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.
1st place goes to Victoria Alejandra Garayalde of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who wins $2500 for “American Dream.” Her story will be published in Issue 104 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be her first print publication. [Photo credit: Rebecca Titus]
2nd place goes to Jenzo DuQue of Brooklyn, NY, who wins $500 for “How to Harbor an Illegal.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue, increasing his prize to $700. This will be his first print publication.
3rd place goes to Sena Moon of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who wins $300 for “Sugar.”
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadlines soon approaching!
Fiction Open: August 31 (grace period extends through September 10)
Glimmer Train hosts this competition twice a year, and first place wins $3000 plus publication in the journal, and 10 copies of that issue. Second/third: $1000/$600 and consideration for publication. This category has been won by both beginning and veteran writers - all are welcome! There are no theme restrictions. Word count generally ranges from 3000 – 6000, though up to 28,000 is fine. Stories may have previously appeared online but not in print. Click here for complete guidelines.
Very Short Fiction Award: August 31 (grace period extends through September 10)
This competition is also held twice a year, with first place winning $2000 plus publication in the journal, and 10 copies of that issue. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. It’s open to all writers, with no theme restrictions, and the word count range is 300 – 3000. Stories may have previously appeared online but not in print. Click here for complete guidelines.
For teachers, Carve can re-print bulk orders of back issues (most of which are sold out in single copy), and also provides free lesson plans for single stories online. The lesson plans are availabe to download as Word documents and include a link to the story, some of which feature audio readings. The plans include group activites, discussion prompts, and critical reading and writing exercises. Just in time for the new school year!
For writers, Carve offers online writing classes exploring elements of craft. Writers can choose a self-study or community platform option, with six weekly lessons composed of assigned readings, notes on a particular craft element, questions to apply to the assigned reading, and writing exercises to practice the craft. Self-study students receive guided feedback on the reading and writing assignments (NOT manuscript critiques). The community platform options utilizes Wet Ink for a full course interaction with peers.
Also available for writers is a manuscript critique service, and for readers and writers alike, there is a free sign-up for Carve Tips for Writers delivered weekly to your mailbox or using RSS Feed or Apple News.
Much to be discovered and enjoyed at Carve!
If you’ve been itching to get your hands on copies of the 2018 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction winner, now you can. Readers may now preorder copies of Jen Julian’s Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses which will ship early October and is available in both paperback and hardcover.
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Kevin Morgan Watson says the collection:
held my interest while taking me on a variety of journeys, both real and surreal, from a paleontologist who spontaneously crumbles to dust during a lecture, to siblings dealing with their hoarder-father’s estate. These stories ranged widely in theme and style, and after finishing one story I looked forward to where I would be taken in the next.
While you’re waiting on your signed copy of Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses, you can stop by TriQuarterly’s website for a taste of Julian’s writing with “Attachment,” published this past July.
I love the fairy tale aura of Wes Lee's "Day 242" on the cover of 2018 issue of The Meadow from Truckee Meadows Community College, as well as the magazine's new logo design.
I'm a sucker for a good old-fashioned fisheye lens, and luckily, The MacGuffin's own nonfiction editor, Michael Dyke doubles as a photographer, providing this view of Belle Isle Aquarium, Detroit, Michigan for the Spring 2018 cover.
Last week, Nimrod International Journal announced exciting news for writers: they are now a paying market. For work printed in the two upcoming 2019 issues, the editors will pay $10/page with a maximum of $200, visual artists will receive $10 per image used, and all contributors will continue to receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears.
Writers whose work is selected through the journal's two annual contests (Nimrod Literary Awards and the Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers) will also receive the new payment, though the monetary prizes for winners will remain the same.
Learn more and submit your own work at Nimrod’s website.
"Rejection doesn't have to be the end of the line" according to Carve Magazine. To which end, they include the coolest column in each issue: Decline/Accept, with commentary from a writer whose work, originally declined by Carve, has been accepted elsewhere. The author writes about their rejection/revision/acceptance, a snippet of the original work is included with Carve editors' comments as well the snippet revised (if applicable) along with editors' comments from the publication that accepted the work.
The Summer 2018 issue features Kelly Hill, whose story "The Bearded Loon" was published in the July 2017 issue of Upstreet. Hill comments on the rejection and subsequent acceptance, "I've been doing this writing thing long enough to understand that the story I set out to tell is not always the story I write or the story that others ultimately read. I'm always thankful for good feedback from insightful readers, although any feedback can be useful if it helps you mentally justify your stylistic choices."
Decline/Accept is a great craft component for readers and writers alike, and you can see a full listing with links out (when available) to the final published work here.
The Summer/Fall 2018 issue of Gulf Coast features several contest winners:
2017 Translation Prize
Chosen by John Keene
from Time to Be
by Camila Reimers
Translation by Lisa Carter [pictured]
2017 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose Winner
Chosen by Roxane Gay
"Pedro" by D.J. Thielke
The Inaugural Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing
Chosen by Darby English
"Dust Balls" by Brandon Brown
The Colorado Review cover photo by Brian Holland is luscious, and even more so when viewed full spread with the entire night-lit bridge in the background.
And a final splash of red and summer with "Picnic, Long Island, New York" by Ralph Gibson on the cover of the Summer 2018 issue of Michigan Quarterly Review.
Readers, do you find yourself wanting to support small presses, while not wanting to break your bank? Look no further than Press 53. Each month, they’ll now offer up a selection of their titles at a discounted price. Visit their website to see the current titles in poetry and fiction, including Mary Akers linked story collection Bones of an Inland Sea, and Stacy R. Nigliazzo’s award-winning poetry collection Scissored Moon.
That’s what writers do: we start over. For a writer, every day is a new day with a new beginning. Even if we are writing an essay or a book chapter we have been working on for days or months—or years!—we face our notebook or keyboard not really knowing what is going to happen to our work next. We may think and hope that we know, but we really don’t—at least until we are deep into the story. Even then, we are invariably surprised.
Lee Gutkind from his What's the Story introduction to the 4th Annual Readers' Choice Theme issue of Creative Nonfiction - Starting Over: Hitting the Reset Button
Perfect for the start of the new school year - whether or not you're a student! The Southeast Review is offering its second Writer's Regimen for poets, essayists, and fiction writers who would benefit from incorporating structure into their daily writing practice - or perhaps get a daily practice started! Editor Dorothy Chan explains:
This October, The Southeast Review 30-Day Writer's Regimen returns with daily prompts, daily exercises, and daily quotes to cure your writer's block and give you an endless source of creative inspiration! We've added daily themes, so get ready to immerse yourself into different worlds every day! We're also proud to announce craft talks by esteemed writers Ching-In Chen, Kao Kalia Yang [pictured], Sam Herschel Wein, and Timothy Liu. Registration is open now. This October, write lots of short stories and poems you'll be proud of. We hope you enjoy our regimen!
In addition to all the daily features, Writer's Regimen offer flashback craft talks from previous WRs for "more writing heavyweights" as well as a free copy of The Southeast Review.
For a PDF sample of the first regimen day, click here. Chan says, "This summer we've decided to innovate the regimen by including themes, and you'll notice the theme of Day 1 is 'secrets.' These themes will carry on for a few days and each day, subscribers will experience a variation of that theme. Other themes include translation, the body, Hollywood, and seduction."
Regular readers of The American Poetry Review will be exicted to see the new cover design starting with the July/August 2018 issue. We love it here at NewPages World Headquaters! Nicely done APR!
Diversity and the Arts is the theme of the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Nimrod International Journal, featuring "Tree of Life," a gorgeous canvas, acrylic paint, composition leaf and embroidery piece by the Tulsa Girls Art School: "an afterschool, social service program that uses art as a vehicle to reach girls."