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Published May 20, 2014
The editors of NANO Fiction ask you to join in celebrating National Short Story Month by getting your  flash on! Visit the NANO Fiction website each day for a new writing prompt, some of which will be linked to a selection of editors' favorites published in NANO Fiction. At the close of the month, NANO will re-release the prompts along with their linked stories with a dozen never-before-seen new prompts in an anthology. The anthology can be pre-ordered - free to educators with an .edu email address (e-mail your request to them) and only $10 to others.
Published May 21, 2014
WATERisLIFE has created the first-ever manual that teaches safe water tips and serves as a tool to kill deadly waterborne diseases, The Drinkable Book. Created by Chemist Dr. Thersea Dankovich, the text of the book is been printed with food-grade inks that teach safe water habits and are printed on technologically advance filter paper capable of killing water-born diseases. Each page can provide someone with up to 30 days of clean water, and each book with up to 4 years of clean water.
Published May 12, 2014
The Broadside Press annual Switcheroo poetry winner is "Disappear" by Philip Schaefer, whose work has been matched with the artwork "Another Portal" by Maura Cunningham. The broadside is available for free, full-color download from the Broadsided website. Public posting encouraged! Finalist "Before Man" by Lauren Wolk is also available for reading on the website.
Published May 13, 2014
The 2014 issue of The Briar Cliff Review marks another year for its contest winners. Here are the first prize winners with a short quote from their work (which can be found inside the issue):

Fiction Contest Winner
Leslie Kirk Campbell: "Thunder in Illinois"
   "He's not a gambler but he's made his own secret bet. If he wins, he won't need to go back to Bangkok. If he loses, well, his bag is still packed.
     'What did you say, Lenny?'
     'I said I can die as soon as I get more points that you, dear. And I'm a hair's breadth away from that moment.'"

Nonfiction Contest Winner
JLSchneider: "Call Me T
Published May 13, 2014

Photos from artist Micah Bloom's Codex project ("involves film, photography, and installation") is included in Ruminate's Spring 2014 issue. I encourage you to take a look as his artwork will hit the souls of any writer or reader. " In an artist's note he writes about how growing up, his family instilled in him a certain respect for books: "In our home, books were elevated in the hierarchy of objects; in their nature, deemed closer to humans than furniture, knickknacks, or clothing. Under these impressions I was forced into this relatinship with displaced books." His work uses the books that were "strewn in streets, across roadways, along railroad tracks" after the Souris River ravaged Minot, North Dakota in June of 2011. "These books were vessels—surrogates of human soul, these shelters—housing our heritage—displaced, now driven over by boomtown commuters and shredded by oil tankers on their way from the Bakken oil fields. It was this surreal situation that stirred me to alter the fate of these books."

And although I truly wish more information about the actual art rendering was including, it's a pleasure just to flip through the pages. You can find a little more information by watching their (already funded) kickstart video.
Published May 12, 2014
The new Rhino announces and publishes the winners of their 2014 contests.

2014 Founders’ Prize
Jose Antonio Rodriguez - "Poem in honor of the one-year anniversary of my sister Aleida’s death, which is five days away"

MaryJo Thompson - "Body Breakers"
Adam Scheffler - "Americas"

2014 Editors’ Prizes
First Prize
Brandon Krieg - "Comedy of Mirrors"

Second Prize
P. Scott Cunningham - "Planet Earth"

Honorable Mentions
C. Ann Kodra - "Dowsing"
Octavio Quintanilla - "Tell Them Love is Found"
Published May 12, 2014
The newest issue of The Southampton Review is a special fiction issue. To conclude the editor's note, Lou Ann Walker writes, "This fiction issue, edited by Susan Scarf Merrell, is devoted to the obsessive myopic passion of all artists, and particularly novelists and short story writers. '...because,' as Luthi notes, 'a writing life can help it all make sense." And Merrell writes in her note that "As you page through this fiction issue of TSR, you will find a wide variety of storytelling styles . . . Famous writers and young students appear here, grappling with the questions that most interest and concern them . . . Funny, sad, painful; experimental, traditional, flash—no matter what form the stories here take, or what tales the authors choose to tell, each one has truth at the core of its created world."

The issue starts its fiction with Edwidge Danticat and "Je Voudrais Etre Riche: A Trickster Tale." Here's how it begins so that you can get a taste: "It was too good not to be true. Two women. One black. One white. One old. One young. The young black one, pregnant, with a slightly shrieking wailing voice. The old white one hunched over under a red, ankle-length coat, and a fog of white hair creep out under a crocheted mauve beret.
Published May 08, 2014
Founded in 2012 by Grant Garland, Middle Literate is a traveling reading series, in the form of a podcast, which features literary work that stays true to the Midwestern state-of-mind and effectively represents the intricacies of the people who call the Great Plains home. The recording quality is good with occasional music which adds a nice transitional touch without being overbearing. Garland has a relaxed, friendly approach, and overall, the recordings are something that could be listened to at the desk or on the road.

Inspired by radio shows and podcasts, like This American Life, Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me, and You Wrote The Book, Middle Literate Middle Literate episodes thus far include:

Episode 1 "Happiness" features “A Girl Named Mercedes,” a story about the elusive “happy ending” by John Rubins, an award winning instructor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I started by listening to this one, just to try out the sound quality, but Rubins premise for his story hooked me and kept me listening (yes, with a smile on my face).

Episode 2 "Nothing is Extinct": Middle Literate travels to Monmouth, IL to visit with writer Chad Simpson in his hometown, reading stories from his award winning collection Tell Everyone I Said Hi.

Episode 3 "Rule of Three": In Bloomington, Indiana, Middle Literate hears poetry from Scott Fenton, Brianna Low, and Paul Asta, three MFA students at Indiana University.

Most notably, Middle Literate was the spearhead for the “They Hardly Knew Us” reading series, a series dedicated to showcasing the work of prospective MFA students from the University of Illinois. Readers included David Ethan Chambers, Emily Penn, Dan Klen, Paul Asta, Ethan Madarieta, and Bryan Bachman.

Middle Lieterate reading period is December 1 to September 1. Work from writers at any point in their literary careers is welcomed. ML accepts simultaneous submissions, as well as previously published work.
Published May 08, 2014
Guest Editor Israel Wasserstein puts forth North Dakota Quarterly's newest issue that celebrates William Stafford at 100. "Stafford's poems stayed with me in their quiet resolve, and their commitment to his values, to the elegance of plain speech, and to finding that which is holy in one's experience," writes Wasserstein. "All of which to say, when the opportunity arose to edit he William Stafford Celebration issue . . . I was thrilled." As a closing note, he writes, "I hope that you will find in these pages proof of the continuing relevance of Stafford's words and life, and of the powerful, moving, and diverse work being done by those whom he has influenced. I hope that you will find these remarkable works celebratory, even when they face tragedy and loss, even when they are at their most serious."

The issue itself features work from Paulann Petersen, Regina and Tim Gort, Jeff Gundy, Philip Metres, Fred Whitehead, Richard Levine, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Mark Dudley, Abayomi Animashaun, Linda Whittenberg, Karin L. Frank, Meg Hutchinson, and so many more.
Published May 09, 2014

The artwork on the latest issue of Phoebe is by Jaime Bennati, an artist who "makes the viewer question our relationship to things we keep and discard daily" by using materials often overlooked. The center of the issue features more of her work as well as a self-written how-to guide so you can try a piece of your own. Her included collection comes from using bus tickets that were discarded. "On average about 200,000 were discarded per day." As a person who makes jewelry out of discarded materials, I'm intensely interested in her work.


The Fall 2013 issue of Kestrel features artwork by Julie Anne Struck titled A Story which is photo transfer, ink, collage, and colored pencil on panel. It's great to look at up close. Struck "has always touched upon and explored anything that illustrates her interest in dissolving boundaries and celebrating connections between fine art, design, writing, and other creative disciplines." More of her work is featured in full color inside the issue.


Not only are the colors and the actual skill of this cover art for Ruminate fascinating, but Sarah Megan Jenkins's Jean Lafitte Swamp (acrylic and mixed media) feels like today in Michigan. The trees are gloomy, the world looks sad after a harsh, long winter, but the sun is coming up and there's hope on the horizon.

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