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.”
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Peter Schmitt is a Floridian, and the following poem is from his book, Renewing the Vows, published by David Robert Books. Poetry seems to be the perfect medium for brief anecdotal stories, but most of us have higher expectations of a poem, believing it should reach beneath the surface and draw up something from the deeper parts of experience. This is just such a poem.
It's all like a bad riddle, our widow friend
said at the time. If a tree falls in the woods
and kills your husband, what can you build from it?
That she was speaking quite literally
we did not know until the day months later
the bench arrived, filling that foyer space
in the house the neighbors pitched in to finish.
She'd done it, she said, for the sake of the boys,
and was never more sure of her purpose
than when they were off, playing in the woods
their father loved, somewhere out of earshot
and she would be struggling in with groceries.
For her, it was mostly a place to rest
such a weight, where other arms might have reached
to lift what they could. Or like the time we knocked
at her door, and finding it just ajar,
cautiously entered the sunstruck hallway,
and saw her sitting there staring into space,
before she heard our steps and caught herself,
turning smiling toward us, a book left
lying open on the bench beside her.
We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2007 by Peter Schmitt, "The Bench," from Renewing the Vows (David Robert Books, 2007). Poem reprinted by permission of Peter Schmitt and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2018 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.
Driftwood Press is kicking off their new Seminar Series with a five-week online Erasure Poetry Seminar lead by Jerrod Schwarz [pictured], instructor of creative writing at the University of Tampa. The seminar covers the history, practice, and importance of erasure poetry. The format is weekly video, writing prompts with feedback, a class-only Facebook group and YouTube channel. The course fee includes a copy of A Little White Shadow by Mary Ruefle. Students will contribute to a Showcase Booklet which will be made available for free on Driftwood’s website and via their social media outlets.
Writers interested in attending the seminar must apply with writing sample and statement of interest no later than October 31. After selection, the course will run from November 12 - December 14.
The Fiddlehead Summer 2018 poetry issue features, appropriately, "Waning Summer Light, 2017," oil on canvas by Sonya Mahnic.
Which transitions nicely to the Fall 2018 cover of Copper Nickel, with Milk & Honey pigment print on 100% rag paper by Kristen Hatgi Sink. Inside, this issue features fourteen poets from Ireland and the UK.
Writing Immigrant Stories by May-lee Chai [pictured]: "For American authors writing about a multicultural, globalized world, the issue of translation is unavoidable: what to put into English, what to leave in a mother tongue, and how to render the mixed-English that often is used in immigrant families."
Novel and Story by William Luvaas: "For years, the novel was dominant, with its loud, broad-shouldered personality. Novel was so self-assured—something of a bully, really—while Story scurried about, mouse-like under the furniture, speaking in a whisper, fearing Novel would step on it. Then something unexpected happened."
Tobias Wolff (from an interview by Travis Holland): "So when I would read a great story of Ray Carver's, like 'Errand' or 'Cathedral,' my thought would be, 'I want to write this well.' Not write like him, because I knew I couldn't. That was his world, his voice, all that."
This and all previous bulletins are archived here.
"Literature is not efficient," writes New England Review Editor Carolyn Kuebler in the Editor's Note to V39 N3. "Reading it, writing it, and publishing it all require a seemingly unreasonable investment in time. Journals like ours take part in this economy of inefficiency by keeping our doors open to writing from everyone, everywhere." She goes on to discuss the weight placed on editors to make selections from thousands of unsolicited submissions, which open publications with good reputations face.
"Because of this openness to new writing, we have to say 'no' far more often than we say 'yes,' which can give writers a kind of 'who do they think they are' feeling of resentment. It also sets literary editors up as gatekeepers, as if reading and evaluating manuscripts were in some way equivalent to being a bouncer at an exclusive nightclub or a troll under the bridge. To me, the problem with the image of a gatekeeper is that it implies that the lit mag is some steadfast entity that simply exists, and that editors are only blocking the way to it. But without the efforts of those same people who are reading the manuscripts, there would be no there there."
Instead, Kuebler entreats readers (and writers) to consider "lit mags and their staff of editors and readers in terms of service," with many of those working behind the scenes doing so for little or no pay, and putting "aside their own agendas and literary preferences, and often their own writing, in service of another’s."
I get it. I hope others do, too. Thanks Carolyn - and countless other editors, readers, and all of those who give selflessly in the service of literature to make these publications 'there.'
The Fall 2018 issue of Raleigh Review features the winners of the 2018 Dorriane Laux / Joseph Millar Poetry Prize:
"Forever Daylight" by John Sibley Williams [pictured]
"Four Sonnets" Bailey Cohen [2nd]
"Lightning Flowers" Emily Mohn-Slate [3rd]
"Other women don't tell you" by Julia Dasbach
"Keloid Scar" by Julia Dasbach [not published]
"Sometimes I Pretend the Daughter I Wanted Was Born Alive" by Chelsea Dingman
"After You Have Gone" by Chelsea Dingman
The prize will open again April 1, 2019 and close May 31, 2019. The winner receives $500 and publication, finalists receive $10 and publication, honorable mentions will be considered for publication and payment. All entrants receive the Fall issue.
Main Street Rag accepts submissions to the Kakalak anthology each year, publishing poetry and art by or about the Carolinas. Submissions are selected through an annual contest, opening in January and running through May.
The 2018 edition will be released this upcoming December, featuring the poetry and art award winners and honorable mentions.
2018 Poetry Award Winners:
1st place: Derek Berry
2nd place: Betsy Thorne
3rd place: Anne Waters Green
Honorable mentions include Jane Seitel, Beverly C. Finney, Suzanna L. Cockerille, and Kathy Nelson.
2108 Art Award Winners:
1st place: Jeanette Brossart
2nd place: Cheryl Boyer
3rd place: Ashley Jolicoeur
Honorable mentions include Jack McGregor and Joyce Compton Brown.
If you pre-order now, you can save a few dollars (to spend on some of the other great Main Street Rag titles perhaps).