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Published October 26, 2015
Ellen Blum BarishWith the tag line: An exploration of human experience through essay and image, it’s hard to pass up Thread, a new literary magazine of short-form, personal narrative writing (100 to 1800 words).

Editor Ellen Blum Barish [pictured] has taught writing in Chicago-area universities, including Northwestern, where she draws her motivation to create this new publication: “The beautiful work of some of my writing students sparked my desire to publish emerging writers and build a community with established ones.”

The title comes from Barish’s attraction to the word thread: “for its multiple meanings, as a term we use to talk about what writing is about, the material that connects pieces together as well as the act of connecting them, and as a string of human conversation.”

But she also sees the publication as creating something even more rich for the readers to experience. The publication will offer readers, “Stories from life turned into art, accompanied by photographs that deepen and enrich those stories.”

Some past contributors include Robert Root, Lee Reilly, Randy Osborne, and Ona Gritz, and the upcoming issue will feature Roberto Loiederman, Annette Gendler, and Tom McGoehy.

Barish looks forward to the continuation of the publication, noting “I’m thinking about adding a flash nonfiction category and possibly a theme issue.”

Thread accepts submissions every day of the year by email, though Barish advises potential contributors, “To get a good sense of the publication, I urge writers to read at least two issues before submitting a piece of work to Thread.” See the website for full submission details.
Published July 27, 2015
Rounding out its first year of publication, Crab Fat Literary Magazine has four print issues (August, November, February, May) and a 'best of' anthology in addition to its online collection from posting new writing every other Sunday of the year.

Founding/Managing Editor Caseyrenée Lopez and Fiction Editor Ella Ann Weaver oversee the publication of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, flash fiction, interviews, art/photography, and experimental/hybrid work. They will consider audio/video of readings, but it's not something they've published regularly.

The motivation for starting CFLM, Caseyrenée tells me, was "to join the conversation. My educational background is focused on queer writing/publishing, and supporting minority voices was the next step for me. I also wanted to see what was out there; starting Crab Fat has provided me with interactions and experience I wouldn't have gained otherwise."

Most intriguing to me is that name – Crab Fat. Where on earth did that come from? Caseyrenée says, "I wanted something memorable and cool, but was struggling to find something that would vibe with my goal of highlighting awkward/experimental/queer prose and poetry. A few days before I committed to buying a domain, my husband and I were at breakfast and started calling out random phrases and obscure words. He suggested 'crab fat' because we'd been listening to Crudbump's Illuminati Shit. Our favorite line in the song is 'rock a big gut, that's my crab fat' and we'd been making jokes about his chubby belly being 'crab fat.' So really, the name Crab Fat is a weird mashup of rap lyrics and body positivity."

In keeping with the unique name, readers can expect to find "a little bit of this and a little bit of that," Caseyrenée tells me. "We feature a wide variety of voices and offer an eclectic mix of contemporary content. We are progressive and like to publish work that goes against the grain of mainstream." To that end, during their first year CFLM has featured writing from Adam Kuta, Edward A. Boyle, D.S. West, Haley Fedor, Alana I. Capria, Philicia Montgomery, and Susannah Betts.

The future for CFLM will include pushing the genre limits and incorporating more experimental work into the magazine. "We want work that breaks conventions and makes us question what we know about genre" says Caseyrenée, "so we are actively reaching out to a wider audience than before. We are also trying to raise money through tip-jar submissions, a GoFundMe campaign, a cool image prompt contest, and sales of our print anthology. We want to pay writers for their work, even if it is just a token payment, to show that we appreciate all of their hard work." Crab Fat also actively works to recognize writers through nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

CFLM's print anthology is published under the Damaged Goods Press imprint. Caseyrenée is the founder of both, so in a sense, they're sister sites/publications. The quarterly magazine is available as PDF and print, and the every other Sunday installments on available online. Submissions are accepted a rolling basis using Submittable.
Published July 20, 2015
polychrome-inkPolychrome Ink is a new biannual print and e-published journal with the mission to highlight that diversity is not a niche market, but a mass market.

"Polychrome Ink is run by a group of diverse friends," Executive Editor Em Salgado explained to me. "We met due to a mutual love of literature. During frequent literary discussions, we often noticed a shortage of characters that represented any of our individual diversity points, which only further highlighted what we felt was lacking. The need to see ourselves normalized in the literature being produced and the literature we love became our raison d'être. Eventually we grew tired of simply talking about it and decided to take matters into our own hands."

At the editorial helm along with Em are Associate Editor Zire Fournier, Copy Editor Kimmia Masterson, and Assistant Associate Editor Zaira Fournier. Additionally, Polychrome Ink currently has eight specialty editors who assist with topics and themes in which they have experience. For example, if Polychrome Ink receives a submission with any of the following themes: gay male, genderqueer, religious, neuroatypical — the editors send that submission to Aaron for review because he, himself, is a gay neuroatypical genderqueer individual who studies theology.

Unique to this publication, writers who submit may choose the editor that they feel best suits their work. Em explained, "The process of selecting an editor with the appropriate diversity points and literary interests helps to assure writers that their submission is being reviewed by someone that their work will resonate with the most — thus making the relationship between writer and editor more personal."

Even the name Polychrome Ink speaks to the diversity of the publication: "We were looking for a moniker that represented diversity," Em said, "and by extension, diversity in writing. Polychrome means multicolored, yet does not have the same connotation as rainbow, since our demographic extends beyond LGBTQIA+ themes. And Ink, of course, represents the writing itself."

Readers of Polychrome Ink can expect to find a collection of short fiction, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, essays, and poetry written by diverse authors and/or with diverse themes. Em explains that "Polychrome Ink seeks to share authentic voices and quality literature, covering an array of genres and topics, with the hopes that the work resonates with readers."

For their inaugural issue, the featured author was Tessa Gratton, alongside Emma Mauze, Frances Kimpel, D. Michael Warren, Shana Bulhan Haydock, David Perlmutter, Yuan Changming, Anders Scott, Jan Steckel, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Courtney Hamel, Kim Luna, Jaycee Boydgarcia, Alex Franco, Malcolm Friend, and Stephen Mead.

"In terms of the future," Em told me, "we will continue providing an outlet and resource for writers and readers alike. We would like to be amidst the publications everyone looks to for original diverse literature. We also have plans to expand our staff — thus broadening the diverse spectrum of our editorial team."

Polychrome Ink accepts submissions via email and is approaching the end of the submission period for Volume II — which releases in October. (Submissions close July 31.) There is no reading fee and the publication is a paying market with hopes that as readership grows, so will the compensation to writers.
Published June 30, 2015
tishman-reviewThe Tishman Review gets its name from Tishman Hall, located on the campus of Bennington College where co-founding editors Maura Snell and Jennifer Porter gave their graduate lectures and readings as students in the Bennington Writing Seminars. They are joined by Joanne Nelson, editor for creative nonfiction.

Publishing quarterly fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art, including cartoons, the current issue of The Tishman Review is available for free online. All issues are available to purchase as an e-book and in print-on-demand.

Porter tells me they started a magazine "to be DIFFERENT. We wanted to pay our contributors, we wanted to be hands-on editors—not only reading everything that comes in (and often providing feedback) but also editing accepted pieces, we wanted to be open to what authors are creating rather than having pre-determined ideas of what they should be writing."

As a result of their up-to-elbows approach, readers can expect to find a selection of poetry, prose and art that "speaks to the human condition" and "hopefully elicits a response, whether it be emotional or intellectual."

There have been no preset themes for submissions, though themes have appeared from among the works once they have been selected for publication. The editors shared, "We do like to publish work that challenges the 'isms of sex, race, age, etc."

Among those writers whose works have been selected, in poetry: Lauren Davis, Ace Boggess, Barrett Warner, Karla Van Vliet and Jennifer Martelli; in fiction: Tamas Dobozy, Amanda Pauley, Laura Jean Schneider, Lee L. Krecklow, James English, and Mercedes Lawry; in creative nonfiction: Robert Vivian, Jayne Guertin, and Kerrin O'Sullivan.

For the July issue, The Tishman Review will begin mini-contests in which readers (on our website) and the staff vote for their favorite piece in each genre and contributors will win prize monies. The editors hope to continue working on the publication's financial standing so as to increase contributor payments.

All poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions can be made through Submittable. There is a fee to submit works, which the editors felt a need to comment on: "There is a lot of controversy surrounding submission fees. On our website we've posted a Code of Ethics for our journal as we do charge a submission fee. We want each submitter to see what they are paying for. We also host regular no fee submission days that we announce through social media. We do not charge a submission fee for art or craft blog posts."

The Tishman Review also accepts submissions of book reviews and craft essays for the Craft Talk Blog (there is no pay for these contributors, but the byline is worth it – the blog already has some excellent content that has been featured on NewPages), as well as cover art, interior black and white art, and cartoons.
Published June 18, 2015
writing-mapFrom the mastermind of Shaun Levin come a couple of fantastic creations. The first is Writing Maps. Simply designed and beautifully executed, these illustrated maps are printed on sturdy 11x16 paper and folded into eight, making the closed map about postcard size. Each map contains writing prompts related to the subject of the map. For example: Write Around the House: Writing Prompts to Explore the Rooms We Inhabit; Writing Art: Writing in Galleries and Museums; The Café Writing Map: Writing Prompts for Cafes, Bars, Bistros, and Pubs; Writing Things: Writing About Objects and the Things We Carry; How to Write a Story Writing Map; Write Around the Bookshop.

Shaun explains: "Writing Maps are created to suit writers of all genres and levels. Writing Maps are devised to inspire stories, spice up your writing routine, expand your work, develop work-in progress, and make sure you have writerly fun in ways that'll surprise you." There are currently 16 maps available with more planned, such as Writing School Map and Write Around the Garden.

In addition to the Writing Maps, Shaun is editor of The A3 Review, a publication folded in the same style as the maps, featuring poetry and prose with a 150 word limit. With room for a cover and back cover, 14 writer's works can be featured in each publication. The contributors come from a monthly writing contest in response to changing prompts. Current and upcoming prompts: Green Things; Journeys; Hands. Contest winners receive a cash prize, with two works selected each month for publication in The A3 Review.
Published May 27, 2015
julep-journal-winter2015Based out of Nashville, Tennessee, Julep Journal has just issued its third print volume to complete its first year of publication. Named, as you might well have guessed, after the delightful southern cocktail, the editors comment, "We identify with it. It's Southern by origin and in spirit. It's refreshing, clean. It's simple but has innumerable variations."

In keeping with that refreshing spirit of variation, Julep publishes all genres – fiction, poetry, creative essays, academic treatises – and, according to the editors, "we especially love pieces that exist between or beyond those boundaries. In other words, if it doesn't fit in with more rigid, binary journals, there is a home in Julep."

Giving this new writing a home are founding editors Joseph Storey, Kevin Foster and Greg Frank, and editors Brittney McKenna and Theron Spiegl, who "like good Southerners, believe in the power and beauty of a fine physical object."

When asked the motivation for starting up a literary magazine, the editors go back: "Years ago, we would sit around coffee shops and complain about the state of cultural journals. So many do little more than spin the wheels of their chosen genre, advance a binary political position with an inherently limited type of nuance, or represent only a corner of a region. We dreamt of a journal that advances art, represents the spectrum of the creative work of a region, and pushes beyond political binaries. The narrative of the Southern Renaissance, Nashville and the surplus of its creative economy, was rolling at the time. So we decided to start a journal as a platform for the work that was happening."

As such, readers of Julep can expect to find anything and everything that fundamentally excellent writing and visual art. "A distinctly Southern, non-binary artistic and cultural perspective," the editors promise readers. "The best work of upcoming Southern intellectuals and artists." The most recent issue features works by Eileen Fickes, Stephen Mage, Daniel Pujol, Cameron Smith, Matthew Truslow, Jessica Kennedy, and featured artist Robert Scobey.

While publishing as a triannual the first year, the editors are planning to extend the length and cultural commitment of each journal and move to biannual printing. "We want every issue to eclipse the last in cohesiveness of theme, quality of work, and physical beauty. In order to accomplish this, we're planning to publish twice yearly rather than thrice, with a greater range of art. We also want to build and grow our partnerships with artistic and cultural institutions across the South, including cohosting events of all types. Why create if it's not ambitious?"

For writers, the editors are always accepting new pieces. The next issue will be available in mid-June, with plans to select pieces for Issue Five by the end of July. Visit the Julep website for more specific information about genres.

The most unique quality of Julep's model is editorial. We reject the notion that ideas – and the attempts of writers and artists to express those ideas – exist in a vacuum. Julep's team of editors support writers as they hone – and even sometimes create – their pieces. It's a messier process, but the pieces turn out better and the final product is more thematically cohesive.
Published May 04, 2015
Editor Katherine Mayfield and Intern Bonnie Irwin bring readers and writers The Maine Review, a new print/e/Kindle quarterly publishing short fiction, CNF, poetry, essays on writing, and black-and-white interior art. They also publish annual collections of short fiction (summer) and poetry (winter).

maine-reviewWhile the name, The Maine Review, seems obviously to represent the location of the publication, Mayfield tells me it was inspired "in the tradition of reviews like The Missouri Review and The Iowa Review. We felt that Maine needed a literary review representing the beauty and ruggedness of the Pine Tree State. Though we publish well-known and new and emerging authors from around the world, we feature the work of Maine artists on each issue's cover. The Maine Review is a proud member of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, a nonprofit membership organization that works to enrich the literary life and culture of Maine."

With such great role models already influencing this new publication, I asked Mayfield what motivated her to start her own journal, "Throughout my many years of writing and editing, I've seen so much excellent writing that never finds a home, and I wanted to give more writers the opportunity to be published. I also thoroughly enjoy putting the issues together – it's like working a jigsaw puzzle, moving pieces around to get a good 'flow.' The Maine Review also provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase Maine artists."

Mayfield also commented on what readers could expect to find in the publication: "Our mission is to publish quality writing that touches readers and engages their hearts, minds, and imaginations, expanding their view of the world and of life as a human being." While the publication remains fairly "traditional" – not publishing genre horror or fantasy – Mayfield says they do look to feature humor in every issue.

Some recently featured authors include Author's Guild President Roxanne Robinson, Maine Senior Poet Laureate Roger Finch, award-winning poets Annie Finch, Jason Michael MacLeod, Claire Scott, David Sloan, and Sean Sutherland.

In addition to the annual collections of short fiction and poetry, in the next year Mayfield says she'd like to publish an annual collection of CNF/memoir. Just now nearing the end their first year, The Maine Review looks forward to expanding the size and scope of the publication over the next few years.

The Maine Review holds contests and open reading periods. The next contest, for the Fall 2015 issue, will open in late May with a June 30th deadline. The contest for the annual poetry collection will open in autumn. The publication also has two open reading periods (no fee) each year for the Winter and Summer issues with submissions for those issues only accepted during the reading periods. See the publication's website for more specific information. Submission is via the website and there is also a form available on the website for mailing submissions via USPS.
Published April 14, 2015
bear-reviewBased out of Kansas City and Seattle, Bear Review is a new independent online biannual of poetry and micro-prose (under 500 words) as well as visual art. Between issues, Editors Marcus Myers and Brian Clifton also post Bear Review authors reading their work on Soundcloud and Tumblr.

In starting a literary magazine, Myers and Clifton say they like the juxtaposition inherent in those publications. "When reading one, you never know what will be on the next page--your new favorite poem? your best friend from childhood? a plot that destroys everything you though about storytelling? The possibilities are endless. We wanted to create a space in which this excitement could live and grow. Part of the fun for us is putting each issue in order and seeing how the text and images converse with one another. In a phrase, our mission is to keep our readers guessing."

And while the name Bear Review might seem to invite eco- or nature-themed writing, the inspiration expresses a more complex metaphor. When Myers was a teenager, he went hiking and came across a bear face-to-face. The experience was full of beauty that turned into danger and fear. Myers writes, "As readers, we crave that specific sort of encounter from each poem or flash piece we happen upon. Our favorite pieces, like literary bears, have a mix of beauty and danger that leaves us with a greater respect for what's real. And we want to share this vital wonder with our readers. "

Reader of Bear Review can expect to find this mix of beauty and danger throughout, though since the editors are both poets, the publication is bias to that genre. ("But we do love micro-prose," says Myers.) In both prose and poetry, Myers assure me that readers can expect to find a wide breadth of styles and contemporary modes as well as visual art from critically acclaimed photographers, illustrators, and painters.

Some recent contributors include Moikom Zeqo, Mathias Svalina, Jordan Stempleman, Lisa Russ Spaar, DA Powell, Rusty Morrison, Wayne Miller, Emily Koehn, Megan Kaminiski, Miriam Gamble, John Gallaher, Drew Cook, and Hadara Bar-Nadav.

Myers tells me that future plans for Bear Review are to continue making the journal "a beautiful place for the poems and prose we love; we want to continue to bring an audience there. We want to provide a place where established and soon-to-be established writers can share the same stage." A chapbook contest, website expansion for close readings, and book reviews and interviews are all in the works.

Bear Review takes submissions year round via submittable, and Myers and Clifton say they read each submission out loud. All work done as a labor of love, Bear Review is a welcome addition to the literary arts community.

[Cover: "Victim of Explosion" by August Sander, 1930]
Published April 07, 2015
BPLThe Birds We Piled Loosely (or BPL for short) is an online quarterly interested in publishing "anything we can fit into our magazine," according to Editors Johnathan McClintick and Nicole Letson. For that reason, readers coming to BPL can expect to find just about any kind of writing: from villanelles, to essays, etc. And art can range from photography, painting, illustrations, graphic design etc. BPL is published as a pdf (free to download) because the editors found using InDesign allows them to more easily format non-conventional pieces. Also, McClintick notes, "we can curate the magazine so that the pieces inside read together in a complementary order, and the magazine can readily be shared and circulated."

McClintick says BPL "started on a whim, but as we've gotten more engaged with the work, we really see it as a chance to help writers and artists get more visibility online." Like many start-up publications, there's no paycheck for those involved, but nor does the publication ask for payment. "All our work is voluntary and we see it as community service," comment McClintick, "We love having the chance to share the work of others and give readers the chance to find more work like it. This is why our contributor's bios contain links to other work they've done or are doing. We want readers to read more and discover more; our magazine is just a starting point for them."

Some featured contributors to the first two issues include Emma DeMilta, Glen Armstrong, Karen J. Weyant, Luke Thurogood, Rob Cook, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Patty Somlo, John Colasacco, who has a book coming out this May through CCM Press, and Howie Good, whose Fugitive Pieces proceeds will be donated to charity.

And the name – why The Birds We Piled Loosely? The answer reveals a whimsical side: "We liked birds! And besides, the great danes piled loosely would just sound silly," McClintick jokes. "In reality," he says, "we came up with a shortlist of several different names and passed them around to friends and settled on the name people liked the most." The result is indeed intriguing and unique.

In the future for BPL, the editors want to look for ways to incorporate video and audio, consider print options and different website designs, and feature a sample of an author's newly released book. Already, issue three will feature poems from Rob Cook's new book Asking My Liver for Forgiveness.

For submissions, the editors tell writers to submit "text pieces" instead of any one genre because they don't want to discourage people from submitting in any medium or style of writing. As for art, they're really open to anything there as well. Letson's background and career is in visual design, while McClintick's is in writing and editing, so they complement each other in the type of work they're looking for.

McClintick stresses to writers: "Understand that we won't know your name or publication history when we review the piece. We've rejected writers claiming they had over a 100 publications and accepted writers who have never been published. We'll take a look at any type of writing and judge it on its merit alone. Name dropping publications when you submit your piece doesn't impress us."

McClintick and Letson offer this final word: "We really believe in the work we're doing and in our contributors! We want to thank them again. This magazine is really for our contributors and readers, and we can only hope that when someone opens the magazine that they can see all of this in our work."
Published March 26, 2015
brain-of-forgettingBrain of Forgetting is a new bi-annual (winter/summer) PDF and print (CreateSpace) publication of poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, photography, artwork published by Brain of Forgetting Press with Editor-in-Chief Bernadette McCarthy and Associate Editor of Visual Art Tom Jordan.

The name Brain of Forgetting, McCarthy tells NewPages, "is drawn from the Irish legend of Cenn Fáelad, who lost his 'brain of forgetting' when his skull was split open by a sword-blow in battle. Cenn Fáelad developed a photographic memory for historical and legal information, which he wrote out in verse and prose on tablets. The journal honours his legacy by providing a forum for work that engages with archaeology, history, and memory, while recognising that pure, neutral historical fact does not exist in itself: the human (mis)understanding of history is not only susceptible to forgetting, but a natural tendency to impose a narrative structure on the past and invest it with meanings determined by the present."

Based in Cork, Ireland, the journal brings together the intellects of archaeological researcher and poet Bernadette McCarthy and photographer and art historian Tom Jordan. Unable to discover a literary journal that bridged the gap between academic research and creative output, McCarthy set up the journal in September 2014, advertising a call for submissions on the theme of "Stones." She attended an exhibition of her friend Tom Jordan's photography, which focused in particular on recording built heritage, and asked him to come on board as editor of visual art. This issue is now available here to purchase as well as for free download from the site.

In starting a new publication, McCarthy tells NewPages, "We hope to raise more awareness of the importance of protecting our past heritage, and how the past is not dead, but can help us reach a deeper level in our own creative work, and understand our present reality in a more complex way. The past isn't black-and-white, and there is no one narrative of what history entails; this is a central message of Brain of Forgetting. The process of 'digging' into the past and uncovering new meaning is vital to individual and collective social identity, and Brain of Forgetting hopes to address this need by negotiating the boundaries between past and present, creative imagination and historic record, and lyricism and bare-boned data."

Readers of Brain of Forgetting will find creative work that relates to the past, but, as McCarthy says, "this work must have a contemporary edge." A variety of writers and artists from all over the world were published in Issue One, many of whom had quite diverse backgrounds. Some were professional archaeologists, anthropologists, medievalists, and geologists; others were professional writers and artists who find the past to be a fruitful source of inspiration. "All work published was chosen not simply because it related to the past," McCarthy stresses, "but on the basis of its quality and originality—subjective indeed, but we try our best!"

The editors are excited about the upcoming Issue Two, which will feature new poetry by Afric MacGlinchey, as well as new translations by Rosalin Blue of the poetry of August Stramm, who died in World War I.

Looking to the future, in an ideal issue of Brain of Forgetting, Bernadette McCarthy would love to include work from one of her favorite archaeologist-poets, Paddy Bushe, and perhaps creative non-fiction by the likes of Christine Finn, author of Past Poetic: Archaeology in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney. In general, however, she is interested in original work from anyone that engages with the past, regardless of whether s/he is an established or emerging writer.

Tom Jordan would love to publish a previously undiscovered essay by Hubert Butler, author of Ten Thousand Saints, who bridged the gap between history and imagination in his writings. He is also a fan of Irish artist Robert Gibbings and cosmologist/author Carl Sagan, but in general he welcomes anything well-done that relates to the chosen theme of the journal.

For now, McCarthy says, "Surviving is our main goal at present, and perhaps gathering enough funding together to be able to pay a local company to do the printing for us - though we are grateful for the existence of online independent publishing platforms. We would also like to try and reach a wider readership, and publish an even more diverse range of writers. So far, most of the work submitted has emanated from Ireland, the UK, Canada and the US. It would be great to feature more work from the wider Anglophone world e.g. parts of Africa, Asia, and Australasia where English is spoken."

Submissions for Issue Two, based around the theme of "Poppies," are open until the end of March. Up to four poems or two pieces of flash fiction (900 words max.) can be submitted, while submissions of creative non-fiction (one piece, 1200 words max), as well as photography and other artwork are also welcome. While the journal is primarily English-language, work in other languages can be considered if accompanied by English translation suitable for publication, while translations of pre-1500 English-language work are gladly considered. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, as long as the contributor informs the journal if a piece is published elsewhere. All work submitted must be previously unpublished in print or online. See Brain of Forgetting's website for more information.
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