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Published October 18, 2018

zachary dossWith its most recent edition, Black Warrior Review introduces the renaming of their online edition of the publication: Boyfriend Village.

The name comes a story written Zachary Doss, "The Village with All of the Boyfriends." Zach was an editor with BWR  and beloved member of the literary community. He passed away in March 2018.

Brandi Wells writes, "Zach loved BWR before, during, and after he was editor there. It makes sense that he might be woven into the infrastructure in this way. I hope it is a space for weird voices and writers who are trying something new, something surprising."

She offers readers this excerpt from Zach's story: “The Village with All of the Boyfriends is where all of your boyfriends wind up eventually. You built this Village for them and they can’t leave and neither can you. You are not allowed inside, but you wait in the desert at the edge of town.”

Published October 16, 2018

jerrod schwarzDriftwood Press is kicking off their new Seminar Series with a five-week online Erasure Poetry Seminar lead by Jerrod Schwarz [pictured], instructor of creative writing at the University of Tampa. The seminar covers the history, practice, and importance of erasure poetry. The format is weekly video, writing prompts with feedback, a class-only Facebook group and YouTube channel. The course fee includes a copy of A Little White Shadow  by Mary Ruefle. Students will contribute to a Showcase Booklet which will be made available for free on Driftwood’s website and via their social media outlets.

Writers interested in attending the seminar must apply with writing sample and statement of interest no later than October 31. After selection, the course will run from November 12 - December 14.

Published October 09, 2018

Glimmer Train may be winding down, but its Bulletins with craft essays from writers continues a stongly as ever. The October 2018 installment features:

may lee chaiWriting Immigrant Stories by May-lee Chai [pictured]: "For American authors writing about a multicultural, globalized world, the issue of translation is unavoidable: what to put into English, what to leave in a mother tongue, and how to render the mixed-English that often is used in immigrant families."

Novel and Story by William Luvaas: "For years, the novel was dominant, with its loud, broad-shouldered personality. Novel was so self-assured—something of a bully, really—while Story scurried about, mouse-like under the furniture, speaking in a whisper, fearing Novel would step on it. Then something unexpected happened."

Tobias Wolff (from an interview by Travis Holland): "So when I would read a great story of Ray Carver's, like 'Errand' or 'Cathedral,' my thought would be, 'I want to write this well.' Not write like him, because I knew I couldn't. That was his world, his voice, all that."

This and all previous bulletins are archived here.

Published October 03, 2018

carolyn kuebler"Literature is not efficient," writes New England Review Editor Carolyn Kuebler in the Editor's Note to V39 N3. "Reading it, writing it, and publishing it all require a seemingly unreasonable investment in time. Journals like ours take part in this economy of inefficiency by keeping our doors open to writing from everyone, everywhere." She goes on to discuss the weight placed on editors to make selections from thousands of unsolicited submissions, which open publications with good reputations face.

"Because of this openness to new writing, we have to say 'no' far more often than we say 'yes,' which can give writers a kind of 'who do they think they are' feeling of resentment. It also sets literary editors up as gatekeepers, as if reading and evaluating manuscripts were in some way equivalent to being a bouncer at an exclusive nightclub or a troll under the bridge. To me, the problem with the image of a gatekeeper is that it implies that the lit mag is some steadfast entity that simply exists, and that editors are only blocking the way to it. But without the efforts of those same people who are reading the manuscripts, there would be no there there."

Instead, Kuebler entreats readers (and writers) to consider "lit mags and their staff of editors and readers in terms of service," with many of those working behind the scenes doing so for little or no pay, and putting "aside their own agendas and literary preferences, and often their own writing, in service of another’s."

I get it. I hope others do, too. Thanks Carolyn - and countless other editors, readers, and all of those who give selflessly in the service of literature to make these publications 'there.'

Published September 26, 2018
rebecca fish ewanAs always, Brevity's craft essays cover a wide range of topics to interest any/every writer of "concise literary nonfiction," and then some. The September 2018 installment features "Schizophrenia, Dandelions, Cookies, Floods and Scabs: Alternate Approaches" by Elizabeth Robinson; "Picturing the Hybrid Form" by Rebecca Fish Ewan [pictured], which offers readers "an illustrated crash course on graphic memoir"; and an exploration of "the interplay of language and visual arts" with Beth Kephart's "Paynes Gray: When Watercolors Become Words."
Published September 25, 2018
jane smileyCongratulations to Boulevard on its 100th issue of fiction, poetry and essays. Special to this issue is a craft interview with Jane Smiley in which she discusses the "necessary ingredients" that went into the structure of her Last Hundred Years trilogy, what she was "obsessed with" when writing, and the impact of winning the Pulitzer. Also included is the Boulevard's regular Symposium feature on the topic "Writing In the Donald Trump Age." Contributors include Shara McCallum, Phong Nguyen, Daniel M. Mendoza, René Martínez, Meron Haredo, and Robert Zaller.
Published September 12, 2018

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:

still points fall 2018

"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.

Published September 04, 2018

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.

angela meekWhen 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.


Published August 29, 2018
terrain galvinI think most of us know some old home - a beautiful relic of an era long gone by that we believe holds family stories as well as secrets. And, sadly, we also watch many such structures rot away, lost in court battles or just cost of upkeep, often times being razed with whole histories erased with them. Georgia-based writer and documentary photographer Kathleen Galvin followed one such home for over a decade and tells the story of her attempts to salvage its history in Temptation to Trespass: A Photo Essay published in Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments. Though the end result may not provide all the stories and secrets, such efforts give a last chance, perhaps a final story, to these great community structures.
Published August 28, 2018

ovenbirds coverWordrunner 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!

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