"Trends in international politics toward right-wing nationalism, racism in endlessly renewing guises, and the pursuit of material short-term gain regardless of what it does to the earth’s environment and national budgets: all these things make me wonder how well we remember our history beyond last year or even last month. The end of World War I led to an utterly changed, financially crippled world; World War II resulted in the physical destruction of much of Europe and between fifty and eighty million dead, only to be followed by a series of cold and hot wars arising partly from long-misguided imperial assumptions. This nation now has a president who among other things denies climate change, while the largest wildfire in California history burns along with sixteen others and the highest mountain in Sweden just lost its stature because it has melted so much this year.
"Current politics and culture wars are surely a passing phase, like the reign of the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy throws a bucket of water on her, the witch will surely melt. Surely. However, given how little we appear to remember about history, one wonders if we will have to go through some cataclysm before we go for our buckets."
Read the full essay here.
"Home as Found" by Frank Meola in Brooklyn, NY
"Explain It To Me" by Jenessa Abrams [pictured] in New York, NY
"Conflagration" by Suzanne Barefoot in Lancaster, PA
"Terschelling" by Jaap van der Schaaf in London, England
"How Would You Like to Be Dead?" by Noah Bogdonoff in Providence, RI
In addition to publication, each winning entry receives a cash award. For a full list including honorable mention and semifinalists, click here.
This is an annual contest open from April 1 - May 15.
A Broadsided Press recent call for “Multilingual Writing” resulted in In Praise of Polyphony, 2018, a folio of six broadsides from writers and artists who “think/feel/see in English, Spanish, Finnish, Yiddish, Chinese, Italian, Polish, and Russian. In narrative, metaphor, sound, ink, photograph, shape, and color.”
Like all broadsides from Broadsided Press, the folio is available for free download.
Writers featured: Maija Mäkinen, Jeni De La O, Piotr Gwiazda, Diana Anaya, Allison Escoto, Ching-In Chen.
Artists featured: Anya Ermak, Bailey Bob Bailey, Cheryl Gross, Antonia Contro, Undine Brod, Barbara Cohen.
The Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Colorado Review features "Aisha and the Good for Nothing Cat" (also available to read online) by Shannon Sweetnam, winner of the 2018 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction selected by Margot Livesey.
In addition to publication, the winner receives $2000. The prize opens annually on December 1 and closes on March 14, 2019. See full guidelines here.
Heading down its home stretch, Glimmer Train Bulletin continues to offer writers and readers the inside scoop from authors. December's bulletin features "Go Small to Go Big" by Jane Delury [pictured], which advises writers who feel "overwhelmed with your novel or story draft" to set it aside and go back to basics: the sentence. And Matthew Vollmer's essay, "The Literary Masquerade: Writing Stories Disguised As Other Forms of Writing," encourages that "this interplay that results from a story and the particular form it appropriates can be exciting for both writer and reader."
Read both essay in full here, where you can also find a full archive of bulletin back issues.
Audrey Kim: “What I Left Behind"
Emily Perez: “Extraterrestre"
Jenny Li: “Chapter Seven Quiz: Coming of Age in Female Skin"
This award recognizes outstanding young poets and is open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world. The contest winner receives a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop.
The December 2018 issue of Poetry Magazine features the 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship recipients: Safia Elhillo, Hieu Minh Nguyen, sam sax, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, and Paul Tran.
The annual $25,800 prize is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry and is open to all U.S. poets between 21 and 31 years of age.
Mary A. Johnson's "Staurozoanastic Cavity" (2017) is featured on the cover of the Summer 2018 Cimarron Review. This unique work is composed of Emperor rice dye, logwood/bloodwood dyed paper, aerosol paint, inkjet prints on rice paper, rhinestones, aluminum shavings, acrylic medium, and pen, on paper. See more of her work here.
It seems 'collage' is this week's theme, finishing out with "House" by Star Black on the cover of Gargoyle 68.
Until November 29, The Common Foundation is holding its annual Author Postcard Auction: "Bid for a chance to win a postcard from your favorite author, handwritten for you or a person of your choice. A wonderful keepsake, just in time for the holidays. Author postcards make great gifts! All proceeds will go toward The Common's programs. These include publishing emerging writers, mentoring students in our Literary Publishing Internship program, and connecting with students around the world through The Common in the Classroom."
Featured authors include: Aja Gabel, Aleksandar Hemon, Andre Aciman, Andrew Sean Greer, Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett, Caitlin Horrocks, Carmen Maria Machado, Claire Messud, David Sedaris, Elliot Ackerman, Esi Edugyan, Garth Risk Hallberg, George Saunders, Harlan Coben, Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Lethem, Joseph O'Neill, Julie Orringer, Kelly Link, Kiese Laymon, Min Jin Lee, Nathan Englander, Nell Freudenberger, Rabih Alameddine, Rachel Kushner, Rebecca Makkai, Rivka Galchen, R.O. Kwon, Tommy Orange, Tom Nichols, and Viet Thanh Nguyen.
The October-December 2018 issue of Prime Number Magazine features the winners of their 2018 Awards for Poetry and Short Fiction:
Winner of the Poetry Award
Judged by Terri Kirby-Erickson
“Guernica Triptych” by Diana Pinkney
Winner of the Short Fiction Award
Judged by Clint McCown
“Bridges” by Deac Etherington [pictured]
See a full list of runners-up and finalists here.
Entries open for the 2019 Prime Number Magazine Awards for Poetry and Short Fiction on January 1, 2019.
"Cadets are keen observers of social cues from their professors, retracting behind the protective formalities of rank at the first whiff of 'agenda,' regardless of its political stripe. It’s easy enough, and they have little social capital invested in the humanities. Nor do they know many people who do. . . . Unlike most of us, though, Cadets will flat-out ask in public how reading poems matters to future practitioners of their trade.
It’s a sincere question, a vital one. It belonged in the public sphere the first time I heard it in October 2016. . . . poetic speech can, at its thorniest, frame problems that cannot be reduced to partisan accolades, commodification, claptrap. It can render the crisp shadows of power under the thorns.
But this is work. Like most hard work, it is also humbling, if not downright humiliating."
Primarily an online publication of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and photography, Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices also provides the community with unique essays on its SolLit Blog. Recent features include:
"A Writer-Photographer’s Poignant Essay about Smelter Town" by William Crawford
"Women Writers’ Roundtable: Judy Juanita, Melinda Luisa de Jesús, and Dr. Raina J. León on Life-Changing Art" by Rochelle Spencer
"Misogyny and the Acceptance of Violence Against Women" by Patricia Carrillo [pictured]
"The Immigrant Experience Then and Now — and Hope for the Future" by Diane O'Neill
"Neurodiverse Students Need Creative Arts" by Donnie Welch
"Protesting Police Brutality: From Taking a Knee in the U.S to Striking in Catalan" by Chetan Tiwari and Sandell Morse
"Writing, Meditation, and the Art of Looking" by Marilyn McCabe
Guest bloggers are invited to contribute: "We seek inspirational and informative content from diverse voices on writing craft, writing process, diversity (or lack thereof?) in the lit world, recent trends in writing and/or literature, brief author interviews, and more." See full submission guidelines here.
Bellevue Literary Review Editor-in-Chief Danielle Ofri welcome readers to the 35th issue with a newly redesigned journal, "a remarkable collaboration with students at the Parsons School of Design, under the direction of their teacher, the incomparable Minda Gralnek. The students were given free rein" to change the seventeen-year-old design that has been slowly morphing over the past few years: ". . . we moved from archival photos on the cover to contemporary art, in order to broaden our reach."
Ofri assures readers that "it's the literary content that really makes the journal, and we'd never conflate content with presentation. Cooks, though, know that food is always just that much tastier when you pull out the special-occasion china. So we offer up this first course to you, and hope that you find it savory - inside and out."
This issues theme , "Dis/Placement," brings together an introductory essay by Ha Jin, as well as new writing from Barron H. Lerner, Myra Shapiro, Hal Sirowitz, Sue Ellen Thompson, Eric Pankey, Dan Pope, Rachel Hadas, Prartho Sereno, and others, as well as cover art by Jonathan Allen.
BLR is looking for submission on the theme "A Good Life" - deadline January 1, 2019.
Laura Sobbott Ross [pictured], “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages”
Chivas Sandage, “Chopping Onions”
Franke Varca, “Palming the Air Hamsa”
Elizabeth Aoki, “Walking here is to be swallowed by the sky”
Bruce Bond, “The Calling”
Tyler Mills, “Bastille Day”
Ondrej Pazdirek, “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Again”
Leslie Sainz, “Malecón”
Andy Young, “The Immunity of Dreams”
"The Literature, Arts and Medicine Database (LitMed) is a collection of literature, fine art, visual art and performing art annotations created as a dynamic, comprehensive resource for scholars, educators, students, patients, and others interested in medical humanities. It was created by faculty of the New York University School of Medicine in 1993. The annotations are written by an invited editorial board of scholars from all over North America. The site also includes a blog and resource section. Readers are also invited to join a LitMed list serve for those interested in posting resources related to the field."
In his introduction the the Fall 2018 issue of Creative Nonfiction, Editor Lee Gutkind writes on the theme Risk as it relates to a writer's life: ". . . although we may be safe from physical harm, all of us who write know that every hour we devote to our notepad or keyboard, every moment we stop and think and dwell on the thoughts and ideas that will, in one way or another, find life on a page or computer display, involves monumental risk."
Read the full essay here.
"And the question is why are people so numb? I think they are awakening, and I’m very happy about that. But awakening has been so slow. And that’s the dark age. People are having a hard time gaining knowledge and wisdom. The educational systems are completely unreliable and full of land mines for most people. So, yes, it is a dark age, and you can only hope people will come out of it, but they have to turn off gadgets and start to talk to people. And the time is very short."
From "A Conversation with Alice Walker" by Erik Gleibermann, World Literature Today, November-December 2018.
The issue also includes an excerpt from Walker's "My 12-12-12" and a web exclusive interview “Translating Alice Walker: A Conversation with Manuel García Verdecia,” by Daniel Simon.
Today is the day. Vote411.org for information.
“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Toni Morrison said, "The function of freedom is to free someone else."
“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”
― David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."
"Too many people fought too hard to make sure all citizens of all colors, races, ethnicities, genders, and abilities can vote to think that not voting somehow sends a message." ― Luis Gutierrez
The Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Nimrod International Journal opens with Editor Eilis O’Neal reflecting on the publication's 40th anniversary of awards. While there have been some changes, O’Neal asserts, “What hasn’t changed is that, from the beginning, the prizes have been awarded to writers from all corners of the country, writers of diverse backgrounds, and writers at many different stages of their writing careers, from authors with impressive publishing credits to writers appearing in print for their first time. And what really hasn’t changed is that, each year, the Awards bring us outstanding poetry and fiction. This year is no exception.”
The Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry
Judge Patricia Smith
Emma DePanise [pictured], “Dry Season” and other poems
Megan Merchant, “Marrow” and other poems
Anna Scotti, “When I could still be seen” and other poems
Jeanne Wagner, “Dogs That Look Like Wolves” and other poems
Josephine Yu, “Women Grieving” and other poems
The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction
Judge Rilla Askew
Sharon Solwitz, “Tremblement”
Ellen Rhudy, “Would You Know Me”
Liz Ziemska, “Hunt Relic”
Work by the winners, as well as by the honorable mentions, finalists, and many semi-finalists, are published in Awards 40, the Fall/Winter 2018 issue.
The 41st Nimrod Literary Awards competition begins January 1, 2019; the deadline is April 30, 2019.
First place: Laura Roque [pictured] of Hialeah, Florida, wins $3000 for “Lady-Ghost Roles." Her story will be published in Issue 105 of Glimmer Train Stories.
Second place: Ben Nadler, of Albany, New York, wins $1000 for “Shalom Bayit.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue.
Third place: Clark Knowles, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, wins $600 for “In Dublin.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue.
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching!
Short Story Award for New Writers: November 10
This competition is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 500-5000 word but can go up to 12,000. First place prize wins $2500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.
Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their July/August Very Short Fiction Award. This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers for stories with a word count under 3000. The next – and last! – Very Short Fiction competition will open on January 1. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.
1st place goes to Peter Sheehy, of Astoria, New York, who wins $2000 for “Things Frozen Then.” His story will be published in Issue 105 of Glimmer Train Stories. [Photo credit: Henry Porter]
2nd place goes to Ted Mathys, of St. Louis, Missouri, who wins $500 for “High Plains.”
3rd place goes to Cassandra Verhaegen, of Corvallis, Oregon, who wins $300 for “California Orange.”
Here’s a PDF of the Top 25.
To better understand what they are looking for, the editors note that some of their favorite graphic artists are Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez, Joe Sacco, Brecht Evens, Taiyo Matsumoto, Anders Nilsen, Jillian Tamaki, Christophe Chaboute, Eleanor Davis, Gipi, Simon Hanselmann, Michael DeForge, David Lapham, and Inio Asano.
Interested writers/artists are asked to submit a sample, partial, or full manuscript. The publishers do not match up artists/storytellers. This is a traditional, paid publishing contract arrangement.
For more information, visit the Driftwood Press graphic novels submission page.
The English Department at Ohio Northern University has opened a new Single Poem Broadside contest for currently enrolled high school juniors and seniors.
Young writers may submit one original, self-authored poem of 30 lines or less by November 1, 2018 in any form, style or aesthetic approach.
ONU Associate Professor of Creative Writing Dr. Jennifer Moore [pictured] will judge the submissions.
The winning entry will receive $100, letterpress broadside publication of the poem, ten copies, and the ONU English Department Talent Award of $4000 per year for four years (upon application and acceptance to ONU).
For more contests open to young writers and publications for young writers and readers, visit the NewPages Young Writers Guide.
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.”