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New Lit on the Block :: Embark

Published September 15, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
embark coverTeaching a course in The Novel, I took my students to the fiction section of the library and had them pull down books at random and simply read the first several pages, sometimes just the first sentence. I wanted them to sample as many “beginnings” as they could, then comment on the exercise. Some said they liked it as a way to consider a lot of books and see which one might grab their interest; overwhelmingly, they all wanted to go back and keep reading at least one or more of what they had sampled. Now, imagine this experience of sampling first chapters at your fingertips, on the computer, in one publication, and you will have imagined Embark.

2017 Dogwood Literary Prize Winners

Published September 14, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
Dogwood Issue 16 features the winners of their 2017 Literary Prizes:

laura readGrand Prize Winner
Judge Michele Glazer
Laura Read’s poem “Margaret Corrine, Dunseith, North Dakota, 1932”
$1000 and publication
[Laura pictured]

First Prize in Nonfiction
Judge Sarah Einstein
Natasha Sajé’s essay “Guilt: A Love Story”
$250 and publication

First Prize in Fiction
Judge Karen Osborn
J. Stillwell Powers’ story “Salvage”
$250 and publication

Read full judge's comments here.

Bennington Review Predicted More Threat than Expected

Published September 13, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
bennington review"The decision to consider the work in the current issue of Bennington Review through the lens of threat," writes Editor Michael Dumanis, "- be this threat political, global, localized, or existential - was made during an uncharacteriscially emotional editorial meeting on Thursday, November 10, 2016, two days after a certain historical event. We felt completely unprepared to imagine what might come next. Animated by collective anxiety - this sense of abrupt dislocation of expectaions, as well as new actual danger - we gravitated toward poems and stories and essays where paradigms were similarly disrupted, where characters suddenly found themselves destabalized by external forces, where institutions and individuals in which we'd placed our trust failed to hold up their end of the bargain."

See a full table of contents with several sample works from the issue here.

Cover image by Prague-based artist Jakub Geltner: "Cultural Landscape."

Wanted :: Environmental Issues Writing

Published September 12, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
earth island journalEarth Island Journal is an online magazine that "consistently delivers environmental stories that mainstream media often fail to cover." As such, writers who have "distinctive stories that anticipate environmental concerns before they become pressing problems, stories that scan the horizon for the next big issue" will find a place for their work here. Earth Island Journal  is a paying market for articles on the full spectrum of environmental issues and success stories of individuals and communities defending and restoring the Earth. Each issue also includes the feature "1,000 Words," focusing on environmental artists and their works.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published September 11, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
concis“Field Tripping” by Katie Buchan is the eye-catching cover on the concīs Summer 2017. This online and e-pub journal devoted to brevity is available as PDF download.
fugue"The Spaces Between" by Laura Berger is featured on the cover of the online issue of Fugue (52). Managed and edited by graduate students in the English and Creative Writing Programs at University of Idaho, Fugue  features poetry, plays, fiction, essays, visual-text hybrids, and interviews.
kenyonDo I pick EVERY Kenyon Review cover? Maybe, but when covers make me laugh or do a double take, that's worth sharing. The artist is Milan, Italy-based Emiliano Ponzi.

New Lit on the Block :: Sky Island Journal

Published September 08, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
sky island journalBorn in the southern reaches of Arizona and New Mexico, Sky Island Journal is a new, open access online quarterly of poetry, flash fiction, and brief creative nonfiction. Just like its unique geographical namesake, Sky Island Journal  promises, “as a writer, no matter who you are, where you're from, or what you write about – if you’ve ever felt a connection to landscapes, art, or people, your writing might very well find a home with us. As a reader, you're in for a real treat.”

Michigan Quarterly Review Tribute to Vicki Lawrence

Published September 07, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
vickiIn its Spring 2017 issue, Michigan Quarterly Review editor, Jonathan Freedman, offers a wonderful tribute to Managing Editor Vicki Lawrence who stepped down in May after twenty years with the magazine. As managing editor, Freedman writes, "she did just about everything: copyedited, proofread, supervised all the other manifold details of the publishing process, helped select the covers, talked the authors into her judicious recasting of the more infelicitous, erroneous, or just plain aberrational turns of phrase or thought. She schlepped copies of the journal to the Ann Arbor Book Festival and the AWP convention with equal vigor and tenacity."

NewPages enjoyed our professional relationship with Vicki, looking forward to our annual meetings with her at AWP. Along with many others who came to know her as the face of MQR, we will miss her greatly in our literary circle, but look forward to seeing her again soon to fulfill our promise of beers in Ann Arbor!

Rattle :: Tribute to Rustbelt Poets

Published September 06, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
rattleThe Rust Belt extends from the Great Lakes to the Upper Midwest and refers to the deindustrialization the region experienced as needs and supplies changed over the decades. As a Michigander, Detroit and Flint are well-known names from our state representing the Rust Belt sector. But on the tails of any discussion of decline and decay are examples and stories of revitalization and renewal, and these are common literary themes. Rattle takes a uniquely complex approach in issue #57, looking instead to the impact "the shifting political attitude of this region" had on the 2016 election and checks in to "find a first-hand account of what’s going on through the poet’s eye."

Featured poets include: Joseph A. Chelius, Edward Derby, Heather Finnegan, Jim Hanlen, Zachary Hester, Donna Hilbert, Ananda Lima, Bob Lucky, Herbert Woodward Martin, Andrew Miller, Behzad Molavi, Al Ortolani, Li Qingzhao, Lee Rossi, Michael Sears, Matthew Buckley Smith, and Dennis Trudell, with a conversation with Detroit-based psychotherapist and poet Ken Meisel.

Glimmer Train May/June Short Story Award for New Writers

Published September 05, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
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.

DanMurphy1st place goes to Dan Murphy [pictured] of Brooklyn, NY, who wins $2500 for “In Miniature.” His story will be published in Issue 101 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be his first fiction publication.

2nd place goes to David Ye of Irvine, CA, who wins $500 for “Blue Water.”

3rd place goes to Jen Wellington of Buffalo, NY, who wins $300 for “Red Stick.”

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 has just been increased to $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 20,000 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 must not exceed 3000. Stories may have previously appeared online but not in print. Click here for complete guidelines.

Movie Review :: I Am Not Your Negro

Published September 05, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
Dissent, the online magazine of independent minds and strong opinions, features a reivew of Raoul Peck's documentary I Am Not Your Negro, based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript Remember This House. In "The Apocalyptic Baldwin," reviewer Dan Sinykin writes:
movie poster"I Am Not Your Negro  shows how the later Baldwin, as he negotiated the politics of the mid-to-late 1960s and lived through the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., became disillusioned about the possibility of any peaceful resolution to racism. Though the film hints at Baldwin’s emergent anti-capitalism, attention to the texts Peck draws from reveal the force with which Baldwin began to see American capitalism, nationalism, normative sexuality, and whiteness as inextricably bound. To address racism, then, he came to believe, would require a fundamental transformation of society. More likely, though, America would burn itself to the ground."

Read the full article here.

New Lit on the Block :: Breathe Free Press

Published September 01, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
breathe free press coverEmma Lazarus’ sonnet “The New Colossus” has gained new popular attention of late, thanks in part to White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller’s comments dismissing the value of its message to immigrants. But, before Miller, this poem engraved on The Statue of Liberty was the inspiration for Breathe Free Press, a magazine the Editor Deborah Di Bari says was “founded in great part to resist the Trump administration’s oppressive policies.”

Poetry :: Letter to America

Published August 31, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
An exerpt from "Darling America" by Kelli Russell Agodon from the ongoing series of Letter to America published on Terrain.org:
...
kelli russell agodonListen, the dolls in my dollhouse

are being deported and the landlord is typing
in all caps. How do we recognize humanity

when we’re just a name on a screen? An avatar
of a flag or resist, a red cap or a pink hat?

We’re holding the door for people, until we know
how they voted then we’re tripping each other

into the future, getting high off how fast they fall.
...
Read the full poem and hear it read by the author here.

Southern Humanities Review 50th Anniversary

Published August 30, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
southern humanities reviewPublishing fiction, poetry, and essays from the Department of English at Auburn University, Alabama, Southern Humanities Review celebrates 50 year in print with volume 51.1. The issue features an essay by Greg Varner; fiction by Craig Bernardini, Megan Fahey, Beck Hagenston, Ted Morrissey, and Hannah Pittard; and poetry by Jessica Rae Bergamino, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Tarfia Faizullah, Joe Jiménez, Elizabeth Langemak, Kamilah Aisha Moon, Melissa Mylchreest, Sam Ross, sam sax, Derek Sheffield.

Southern Humanities Review  is available for single issue purchase on the NewPages Magazine Webstore.

Books :: 2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner

Published August 30, 2017 Posted By Katy Haas

whetting stone taylor mali blogSubscribers to Rattle magazine will find a nice surprise with their Fall 2017 issue: a copy of the 2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner, The Whetting Stone by Taylor Mali. In The Whetting Stone, Mali explores his wife’s suicide, her life, their love, and Mali’s guilt and resilience, with poetry that is stark and accessible.

If you’re not already a subscriber to Rattle, you can still order individual copies of The Whetting Stone (which features cover art by the talented Bianca Stone) from the magazine’s website. While there, consider subscribing to Rattle to be sure you receive the Rattle Chapbook Prize winner directly in your mailbox next year.

Books :: 2016 Able Muse Book Award

Published August 29, 2017 Posted By Katy Haas

manhattanite aaron poochigian blogAble Muse Press annually holds the Able Muse Book Award, which offers a $1,000 prize, plus publication of the winning manuscript. The 2016 winner was recently published: Aaron Poochigian with Manhattanite.

A. E. Stallings, 2016 Able Muse Book Award judge and author of Olives, writes in the Manhattanite foreword: “This collection is a celebration of exuberant melancholy, or melancholy exuberance, slick lyric cum urbane pastoral. [ . . . ] Poochigian’s verse is never taciturn: like a Broadway musical, it is always bursting into song [ . . . ].”

Readers can check out four poems from the collection on the Able Muse website, where copies of Manhattanite can also be purchased.

2016 Mary C. Mohr Award Winners

Published August 29, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
bradford kamminWinners of the annual Mary C. Mohr Awards in fiction and poetry appear in the Spring 2017 issue of Southern Indiana Review. Each winner receives $2000 and publication. Entries for the 2017 award are open until October 2.

2016 Mary C. Mohr Poetry Award Winner
Selected by Jericho Brown
"manhood" by Richard Thompson

2016 Mary C. Mohr Fiction Award Winner
Selected by Adam Johnson
"The One Good Thing About Las Vegas, Nevada" by Bradford Kammin [pictured]

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published August 28, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
boiler"Decompose #4" by Taylor Torres is featured on the cover of The Boiler, an online quaterly of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from emerging and established authors, as well as artwork.
thread coverThread is an online "intersectional feminist arts collective" publishing visual art, poetry, prose and creative nonfiction bimonthly.
superstition reviewThe work of artist and activist John Sproul is featured on the cover of Superstition Review #19.

Read & Listen Entre Rios Books

Published August 25, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
Alchemy for Cell Book CoverEntre Rios Press offers readers several new titles that will come with free audio download.Publisher Knox Gardner has been working closely with the book designer and audio producer. He tells me, "When I get the audio back from the studio, I am always startled to hear something new about the poems. I love it." Gardner says they will have audio on all of their books and these first three will be available for free download for all listeners (not password protected). Samples are currently available on their website or here on their SoundCloud station. Entre Rios is also working to include an interview/discussion with Maya Zeller and Carrie DeBacker as part of their audio download.

Flowers & Sky: Two Talks by Aaron Shurin
Mary's Dust poems by Melinda Mueller with music by Lori Goldston
Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts poetry and art by Maya Jewell Zeller and Carrie DeBacker

Aquifer Now Open to General Submissions

Published August 24, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
tfl aquiferAfter the first few months of getting their online feet wet, Aquifer: The Florida Reviw Online is now open for general submissions. Writers are encouraged [as always] to review the publication content to make sure their writing is a good fit before submitting. "We are seeking top-quality digital stories, graphic narrative, creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry" the editors say. TFR  is also introducing a January annual $50 "staff picks" award from among all the authors published in the print TFR  and Aquifer.

Fiddlehead 2017 Summer Fiction Issue

Published August 23, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill

fiddleheadFiddlehead Fiction Editor Mark Anthony Jarman introduces this issue's contents as a showcase of "great, sensuous stories from the east coast and west coast and around the world," and adds that the issue also features a nonfiction work, "The Foxes of Prince Edward Island," by Matthew Ferrence. ". . . it is our desire," Jarman explains, "to include more creative nonfiction in future issues of The Fiddlehead." Readers can find Jarman's introduction and Eden Robinson's story "Nanas I Have Loved" available to read online.

Under the Sun :: CNF for the Classroom

Published August 22, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
under the sunUnder the Sun online creative non-fiction annual offers teachers "Ten reasons why our online journal would be a good choice in your writing courses," including the fact that the editors are teachers and writers themselves. They've tested Under the Sun  in their own classrooms to positive feedback from students. And students - you have a voice! Let your teachers know about Under the Sun  and other great, free access, literary and alternative magazines at NewPages!

Congrats 2017 Poetry Marathoners!

Published August 21, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
poetry marathon successFor either 12 or 24 hours starting at 9am on August 5, 2017, an elite group of writers entered into - and finished - the annual Poetry Marathon. This was my second year I entered only the half marathon, writing one poem per hour for 12 hours, from 9am - 9pm.

While this may sound 'easy' enough at first thought, it's a far more grueling commitment than most can imagine - just like running a marathon or half marathon. I mean, how many of us can run? Run a mile? Run five or ten? It's when the miles - and poems and hours - start adding one on top of another that the breakdown enters in. In marathon running, they call it "hitting the wall." Even though running - or writing poetry - is something you love to do, the constraints of time and goal of a numerical accomplishment push that relationship to its limits.

Started by Caitlin Jans (Thompson) and Jacob Jans in 2011, there have since been six marathons. Every year, hundreds enter their names to compete, and every year, only a fraction of those actually do. This year, 95 poets successfully completed 24 poems in 24 hours and 123 poets successfully completed 12 poems in 12 hours. Congratulations to all on this accomplishment! See a full list of the 'winners' here, where the poems are posted via a WordPress site, and the organizers just closed submissions for the second annual anthology of winners' submissions.

If you missed the marathon this year - and the five other times it's been held - you may or may not still have a chance to enter. Caitlin and Jacob have announced that the future of the marathon is up in the air. They are looking for someone who might be interested in helping run it, or other options for keeping it going. It's clearly no 'easy' task on their end either, but their efforts to date have been immensely appreciated. I'm sure every one of us who has successfully completed this challenge will forever hold a sense of pride in that accomplishment. As well we should!

The Malahat Review 2017 Long Poem Prize Winners

Published August 17, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
delani valinThe winners of The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize appear in the Summer 2017 issue and interviews with each poet are available to read on the publication's website. Winners receive $1000 and publication. Contest judges: Louise Bernice Halfe, George Elliott Clarke, and Patricia Young.

John Wall Barger, "Smog Mother"
Read the interview with John Wall Barger here.

Délani Valin [pictured], "No Buffalos"
Read the interview with Délani Valin here.

The Malahat Review  is available for single issue purchase in the NewPages Magazine Webstore.

Gulf Coast 2016 Prize Winners

Published August 15, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
gulf coastThe newest issue of Gulf Coast (v29 n2) features winners from two of their annual contests. Established in 2008, the Barthelme Prize for Short Prose is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. One winner receives $1,000 + publication; two honorable mentions receive $250. All entries will be considered for paid publication on the Gulf Coast website as Online Exclusives.

2016 Barthelme Prize 
Judge: Jim Shepherd

Winner
Andrew Mitchell, "Going North"

Honorable Mentions - Both also received print publication
Molly Reid, "Fall from Grace"
Marya Hornbacher "A Peck of Beets"

The Gulf Coast Prize in Translation Contest is open to prose (fiction or nonfiction). The winner receives $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions receive $250.

2016 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation
Judge: Idra Novey

Winner
Carina del Valle Schorske for a translation of Marigloria Palma

Honorable Mentions
Ondrej Pazdirek
Tim DeMay

New Lit on the Block :: Arkana

Published August 11, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
arkanaArkana is a new biannual online journal published by the Arkansas Writers MFA Program at the University of Central Arkansas. While the name may seem obviously connected to the place, “arcana” can also mean a secret or a mystery, or a powerful and secret remedy, some “great secret of nature that the alchemists sought to discover.” This definition, the editors explain, is what they want Arkana  to be all about: “discovering powerful voices that haven’t previously been heard, but speak to human nature and the human experience. Publishing every genre possible, and with the welcoming flexibility online offers, the editors want to “be the literary journal of mysteries and marginalized voices—to champion the arcane.”
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