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vine leaves 2015Vine Leaves Literary Journal, featuring "the lost writing form of the vignette," is accepting applications for Editor-in-Chief to manage the biannual print  and digital publication as well as develop a clear vision for its literary and financial stability. Qualifications include a creative self-starter with a minimum two years managerial and editorial experience; a voracious and diverse reader with extensive literary and design networks, excellent communications skills, and a relentless passion for supporting aspiring writers; ideally, an author yourself. This is a part-time, renewable, three-year contract, beginning late June 2016 reporting to Publisher Jessica Bell. This is a volunteer position until the Journal becomes profitable, when a reasonable salary will be negotiated. Applications close Friday, April 29, 2016 with Skype interviews late May/early June. Full posting here.

Arcadia on The New Chican@

Published March 03, 2016 Posted By
ito romoArcadia 10.1 is themed "The New Chican@" with guest editor Ito Romo. The issue features short fiction by Luke Neftalí Villafranca, poetry by Octavio Quintanilla, fiction and nonfiction by Sarah Cortez, and a poem by Tim Z. Hernandezm, with original art from Vincent Valdez. Romo writes in his introduction, "I wanted to put together a group of artists who, with their art, be it visual or literary, tell a story honestly and beautifully - those were my only criteria. And so, I've chosen a group of Mexican American artists who have recreated for us, with images and words, the current strange and dark malaise of the invisible, of the forgotten."

Rattle Feminist Poets Issue

Published March 02, 2016 Posted By

rattle 51For Rattle #51, the editors put out the call for submissions from women poets with the same great uncertaintly every magazine risks when planning a themed issue or special feature. Rattle editors must have been pleased, as the issue features "a lengthy tribute to 31 feminist poets" selected from "the thousands of poems" submitted. Also included in the issue is a conversation with Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts. The feature explores the question, "What does it mean to be a feminist poet in the 21st century?" Rattle editors surmise: "There might be as many answers to that question as there are feminist poets—each of those featured provide their perspectives in an especially important contributor notes section."

Featured poets: Lisa Baird, Michele Battiste, Roberta Beary, Heather Bell, Claire Blotter, Leila Chatti, Ann Clark, Barbara Crooker, Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton, Julie R. Enszer, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Beth Gylys, Kelsey Hagarman, Sandra Kohler, Amy Miller, Abby E. Murray, Jenny Qi, Jessy Randall, Laura Read, Lucinda Roy, Yaccaira Salvatierra, Amber Shockley, Robin Silbergleid, Julie Steiner, Lisa Summe, Katherine Barrett Swett, Kelly Grace Thomas, Amy Uyematsu, Julie Marie Wade, and Sara Watson.

albeitAlbeit is a free, online, MLA-indexed journal of scholarship and pedagogy that "strives to fill the academic space between scholarly journal articles and teaching documents."

Co-founded by Tracy Bealer,  PhD in American literature with an emphasis on 20th century masculinity, and Natalie Leppard, PhD in American literature with an emphasis on 20th century terrorism, Albeit publishes scholarly articles and "practical documents" such as syllabi, lesson plans, and book reviews that can be used alongside an existing course, as a theme, or upon which to build a course. The articles and documents are meant to be accessible to professors and college students alike.

Published twice a year, previous issue themes include Horror (1.1), Failure (1.2), and Women on War (2.1). The current call for proposals is for issue 4.1: Black Lives Matter. Abstracts are due by August 1 with complete articles by October.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published February 29, 2016 Posted By
main street ragThis week's theme seems to be the color - something of a burnt umber - that draws my eye. Main Street Rag 21.1 features the photography and an accompanying interview with Tammy Ruggles. "Afternoon Leisure" is the cover photo.

saranac reviewSaranac Review 11 features cover and full color internal art by Canadian artists, Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber, formerly known as The Royal Art Lodge.

the ragThe Rag online monthly "focuses on grittier forms of contemporary short fiction," with this issue featuring Alan Shapiro's "Has and Have" with cover art by Matthew Laznicka.

Digital Forum: What is Well-Educated?

Published February 25, 2016 Posted By
courtship windsThe inaugural issue of the revived Courtship of the Winds features a Digital Forum in which the editor asks five questions related to education reform, including "What does it mean to be well-educated?" and "Which educational systems in the U.S. or in other countries would you point to as a model for reform efforts here? What has made them successful?"

Editor William V. Ray engaged a variety of professionals in the conversation, and while based in Massachusetts, the topic is pertinent nation wide. Participants include: Rachael Avery Barton, Middle School History Teacher; Michael Capuano, U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’ 7th District; Kenneth Hawes, Senior Lecturer in Education, Wellesley College; Phillip James, History Department Coordinator, Lincoln-Sudbury R.H.S.; Véronique Latimer, High School Art Teacher; Arthur Unobskey, Assistant Superintendent, Gloucester Public Schools; Isa Zimmerman, Executive Director, Massachusetts Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

The Courtship of Winds publishes two online issues per year of poetry, fiction, short dramatic pieces, essays, photography, art, and short pieces of music.

Brevity January 2016 Craft Essays

Published February 24, 2016 Posted By
Brevity online magazine of the “extremely brief essay form” also regularly features craft essays. Issue 51 (January 2016) offers a number of these to satisfy a variety of writers’ interests:

“Textures and Contrasts: Starting Points for Travel Writing” by Sheila Madary
“On Asking the Hard Questions” by Silas Hansen
“Becoming a Writer in Due Time” by Chelsey Drysdale
“On Keeping a (Writing) Notebook (or Three)” by Randon Billings Noble

Read these and the newest in brief nonfiction at Brevity.
With the first-place prize recently raised to $3000 (how fortunate for David!), Glimmer Train has selected the 2015 December Fiction Open winners. This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers. Stories generally range from 3000-6000 words, though up to 24,000 is fine. The next Fiction Open will take place in March. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

David MiznerFirst place: David Mizner [pictured], of New York, NY, wins $3000 for “Your Swim." His story will be published in Issue 99 or 100 of Glimmer Train Stories.

Second place: Ezekiel N. Finkelstein, of New York, NY, wins $1000 for “Clayton and the Apocalypse – scenes from an earlier life” and publication in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories.

Third place: Karen Malley, of Holyoke, MA, wins $600 for “Fragile.” Her story will also be published in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing her prize to $700.

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Deadline soon approaching for the Short Story Award for New Writers: February 29

This competition is held quarterly and 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 1500-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. First place prize wins $2500 (just increased from $1500!) and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.
richard 1The American Indian Library Association (AILA) has selected “Little You” (2013), published by Orca Book Publishers, written by Richard Van Camp [pictured] and illustrated by Julie Flett as the 2016 Best Picture Book; “In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse” (2015), published by Amulet Books and written by Joseph Marshall III as the 2016 Best Middle School Book, and “House of Purple Cedar” (2014) Cinco Puntos Press, written by Tim Tingle as the 2016 Best Young Adult Book.

The American Indian Youth Literature Awards are presented every two years. The awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. Books selected to receive the award will present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts. For a full list of Honor Books as well as a printable color brochure of the award winners, visit the AILA website.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published February 22, 2016 Posted By
tishman review 2 1The Tishman Review quarterly is available online as a PDF, but it's also wonderful to hold this full-size, 8.5 x 11 perfect bound print copy. The pages provide generous space for art and poetry, with prose cut to two columns for easier reading. The gorgeous cover art Of Skin and Earth by Stephen Linsteadt in just the invitation readers need to continue on inside.

new madrid 2016The theme for New Madrid Winter 2016  is "Evolving Islands" and features a selection of essays, poetry, and fiction in response to this theme. The cover art is courtesy of NASA, "Eluthera Island, Bahamas, 2002."

creative nonfictionIn keeping with Creative Nonfiction's theme "Let's Talk About the Weather," this cover image comes from artist and designer Mark Nystrom's "wind drawings" series. Driven by the weather, this series is a drawing process Nystrom developed using weather instruments and custom electronics that collect wind data that is then digitally interpreted. Nystrom's images accompany each essay in this issue of CNF.

Verse Dedicated to the Portfolio

Published February 18, 2016 Posted By
verseSince 2009, Verse has been dedicated to publishing a collection of works from each selected contributor. Readers who enjoy spending more time with one author will appreciate this format; the most recent issue offers nearly 450 pages to only 14 portfolios by Natalie Eilbert, Sandra Simonds, Timothy Liu, Eric Pankey, Karla Kelsey, Leonard Schwartz, Kate Colby, John High, Kathryn Cowles, Douglas Piccinnini, Laressa Dickey, B.J. Soloy, Aleah Sterman Goldin, and Kevin Varrone. Verse is housed in the English Department at the University of Richmond, with Faculty Editor Brian Henry's ENG 393 students involved in the editorial process.
The winners of the 2015 Neil Shepard Prizes appear in the newest issue of Green Mountains Review (v28n2):

green mountains reviewNeil Shepard Prize in Fiction
Judged by Molly Antopol
"The Forest" by Sharon White

Neil Shepard Prize in Nonfiction
Judged by Amy Fusselman
"They're Not Pretending Anymore" by Harry Leeds

Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry
Judged by Mike Young
"I Took to Walking Down the Middle of Highways to Avoid Getting Shot" and
"Pageantry Reigned Supreme at the 128th Veiled Prophet Ball" by Annie Christain

Read a the full list of finalists and winners here.

2016 Rainbow Book List

Published February 16, 2016 Posted By
Rainbow BookThe 2016 Rainbow List, a project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA), is a bibliography of books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, and which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18. The list is intended to aid youth in selecting high-quality books that were published between July 2014 and December 2015. The list also is intended to aid as a collection development or readers’ advisory tool for librarians serving children and young adults. Read more here about the list as well as comments from the committee about their continuing concerns with LGBTQ representations in literature.

The MacGuffin 2015 Poem Hunt Contest Winners

Published February 16, 2016 Posted By
macguffinWinner and honorable mentions of the 20th National Poet Hunt Contest are featured in the newest issue (Fall 2015) of The MacGuffin.

First place
"Farewell the Beagle!" by Susan Richardson

Honorable Mention
"Time Awaits Her Arrival" by​ Susan Cowger
"The Secret Historian" by Elisabeth Murawski

Judge Laura Kasischke writes, "This was no easy task. The poetry submitted to the 20th National Poem Hunt Contest was remarkable. The range of styles and subject matters was vast, of course, but the mystery and loveliness of these many pieces remained consistent. Reading such a wealth of powerful poetry, I felt renewed in my hope for the craft. Any art form that calls so many sharp-eyed, witty, passionate minds to it can never die. In the end, I chose the poems that wouldn't leave me alone, the ones I found myself thinking about for days after reading them."

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published February 15, 2016 Posted By
mississippi review 43 3This week's cover picks' theme could be whimsy, as there was something in each of these covers that made me laugh, with a blend of curiosity to want to look inside. This cover image of Mississippi Review (43.3) by Allison Campbell is a throwback to the Brady Bunch, with writers included in the issue on featured on both the front an back cover.

gettysburg reviewThe Spring 2016 issue of The Gettysburg Review features a full color section of the paintings and collages of Jacqui Larsen, as well as this cover work (oil and collage), Trotting a Fenced Field.

missouri review winter 2015The most literal of the 'making me want to look inside' covers this week is The Missouri Review, themed "Behind the Curtian." This cover image, "Matter," by Logan Zillmer reveals summer behind the curtain of winter - appropriate considering the below zero winchill outside.
michaelolinhittPrism Review announced the winners of its 2016 poetry and short story awards, as chosen by Victoria Chang (poetry) and Bryan Hurt (fiction).

Fiction: "Messiah Complex," Michael Olin-Hitt [pictured]. Judge Bryan Hurt writes, "I was drawn into the story by Josh's kinetic voice and hooked by his spirited and smart digressions. The author carefully and subtly adds so many layers: there's sadness and loss but it's met with optimism and empathy.

Poetry: "Slow Motion Landscape," Sam Gilpin. Judge Victoria Chang writes, "here, grass is 'guillotines,' speech 'wrens us in its folding,' and sunsets 'thrum.' The language is fresh and new in this sequence poem, but even more interesting is the mind behind the poem--one that both thinks and sees abstractions and paradoxes that make the reader read and re-read, think and re-think, see and see again."

The winners' works will be included in the 2016 issue, available in June at the Prism Review website.

Maria Tess Liem Creative Nonfiction Winner

Published February 09, 2016 Posted By
maria liem2Maria Tess Liem's "Rice Cracker" was selected from among 179 submissions as the winning entry of the The Malahat Review's Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize. Contest judge Jane Silcott called the work "A beautifully considered piece: driven by quiet emotion, delivered through art and craft." Jack Crouch interviews Liem, discussing her attraction to nonfiction, the difficulties she experiences when writing about 'the personal' as well as the benefits, and what her future writing plans include. The Malahat Review awards $1000 for this prize as well as publication. Liem's piece can be read in the winter 2015 issue (#193).

Gettysburg Review Seeks New Managing Editor

Published February 09, 2016 Posted By
The Gettysburg Review has announced that managing editor Ellen Hathaway has moved on to retirement, which means there is an opening for a new manging editor at the literary magazine.

Applicants should have 1-3 years of experience as an editor/copyeditor with at least a BA degree. The deadline for application is February 19, 2016, so check out the job posting here, and good luck!

2015 NSK Neustadt Prize Winner

Published February 08, 2016 Posted By
world literature todayWorld Literature Today January/February 2016 features a celebration of the NSK Neustadt Prize Laureate Meshack Asare. Since 2003, the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature has been awarded every other year to a living writer or author-illustrator with significant achievement in children’s or young-adult literature. Laureates receive a check for $25,000, a silver medallion, and a certificate at a public ceremony at the University of Oklahoma and are featured in a subsequent issue of World Literature Today. Other recipients of the NSK Prize have included Mildred D. Taylor (2003), Brian Doyle (2005), Katherine Paterson (2007), Vera B. Williams (2009), Virginia Euwer Wolff (2011), and Naomi Shihab Nye (2013). [Text from the NSK Neustadt Prize website.]

The Latest Word :: Craft Essays & Interviews

Published February 08, 2016 Posted By
patrick maddenLove. I love craft essays. Love. Northwestern University's TriQuarterly online lit mag has "The Latest Word" which features a slew of craft essays and a few interviews published on a continuous basis per issue. A sample of these from the past issue - which are all available to read online - include a five-part series on "Writing into the World: Memoir, History and Private Life" with parts authored by Carolyn Forché, Garth Greenwell, Alysia Abbott, Catina Bacote, and Honor Moore. Other essays: "TV Room at the Children’s Hospice" by Michael Ryan; "Fashioning a Text: Finding the Right Fit" by Michael Steinberg; "Me, Myself, I: Idiosyncrasy and Structure in Nonfiction" by Michael Downs; "Synchronicity and Structure" by Robert Root; "Around the Candy Bowl" by Elyssa East; and "Finding a Form Before a Form Finds You by Patrick Madden" [pictured].

Novella Sales to Benefit Friend in Need

Published February 08, 2016 Posted By
midwinter novellaJamey T. Gallagher, a former reviewer for NewPages, is currently raising funds by selling his novella online to help a friend who is having health issues. The novella, Midwinter, was inspired by his friend's heart condition: "It is midwinter and Hank Caldwell returns to his hometown in Maine because his old friend is dying. While there, he makes discoveries about his father and begins to rethink his own life. Midwinter is a novella about coming to terms and moving on." Andre Dubus III writes: "Jamey T. Gallagher is a major talent, with a deeply empathetic eye and a natural-born writer’s ear." The novella can be purchased here; read an excerpt here.

Great First Line :: Alison Townsend

Published February 05, 2016 Posted By
alison townsendI'm a sucker for a good first line. From Under the Sun, an online journal of creative non-fiction, Alison Townsend's opener to "My Thoreau Summer" drew me in: "If, on an afternoon in midsummer, I happen to find myself near a small lake or pond, opening like earth’s blue eye before me, and then catch a whiff of the water’s clean mineral scent, overlaid with algae and mixed with the head-clearing resin of white pine, all of it intensified, cooked by sunlight, I am instantly transported to South Pond, in Marlboro, Vermont." Wow.

But it's a serious let down if the writer can't uphold the promise of such a great opener. No worries here: Townsend delivers. Her essay takes readers through her summer spent at this pond, and it is almost utterly painful when she must separate herself from the place (c'mon - no spoiler here - summers do come to an end).

How many of us know this very experience: "I was homesick for the pond for months after leaving it. I missed the silence and the stillness, nothing but the sound of owls calling at night and wind in the pines. I missed my meditative forays, alone in the canoe. I missed the sight of Grace, reading across the room. But more than anything else, I missed who I was at the pond. Or rather, I missed the way that I forgot myself in its presence. Returning to the normal world and resuming my studies was a letdown after living as elementally as I had. As time passed, I would slowly understand that, without intending to, we had in fact lived more deliberately at the pond than I realized." Double wow.

Read it. All of it.
open minds quarterly

Open Minds Quarterly is a publication of "poetry and literature of mental health recovery." The winners of their annual BrainStorm Poetry Contest for mental health consumers is divided over two publications. The first, second, and third-place poems are published in the spring issue, with honorable mentions following in the fall issue. The Honorable Mentions are "The Rain King" by Thomas Leduc, "Ophelia" by Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, "Observational" by Katy Richey, and "The 4th Floor" by Katy Richey.

Craft Essays :: GT Feb Bulletin

Published February 03, 2016 Posted By
Glimmer Train Bulletins are a free monthly resource with "essays by creative-writing teachers and other accomplished authors on craft, perspective, and the particulars of writing and getting published." I enjoy reading these brief but poignant commentaries on the writing life. Here's the lead lines for February's Bulletin #109 - see for yourself if you aren't intrigued to read at least one of these:

stephanie soileauGabe Herron: You have to forget time because it's going to take how long it takes, not one minute longer, not one minute less.
Carrie Brown: I'm interested in how shockingly difficult it is to be good. And I'm interested in our failures in that regard—exactly how we fail and why, how we console ourselves and others, how we forgive ourselves and others, how we fail to forgive.
Stephanie Soileau [pictured]: I believe in storytelling as a way to map and explore the ambiguities of human experience, and it is this belief that motivates me as a fiction writer. Stories have given me a language to express the contradictions in my own experience, and because...
George Rabasa: The fragrant mess is being constantly stirred, the recipe changing, if not hour by hour, certainly from one week to the next: memory agitates, imagination warps, new stuff is learned and enters the mixture.

WLT Celebrates 90 with New Series

Published February 02, 2016 Posted By
daniel simonWorld Literature Today celebrates 90 years of continuous publication with its January/February 2016 issue. Editor Daniel Simon [pictured] writes: "To celebrate. . . I’m pleased to announce the 2016 Puterbaugh Essay Series, a yearlong suite of review-essays that survey the twenty-first-century literary landscape. The editors have invited five writers to reflect on the contemporary scene by choosing a book or group of books, published since 2010, that have inspired their own creative and critical thinking. Bangladeshi novelist and critic K. Anis Ahmed launches the series with “Fiction: A Transgressive Art,” a compelling essay that, among other topics, focuses on the insidious forms of censorship that contemporary writers tend to internalize. Subsequent issues will include essays by Ghassan Zaqtan (Palestine), Bernice Chauly (Malaysia), Dubravka Ugrešić (former Yugoslavia), and Porochista Khakpour (Iran/US)." A good reason to start a subscription to WLT today!
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