In her craft essay in the February 2018 #133 issue of Glimmer Train's Bulletin, Danielle Lazarin tells readers to "Question Everything" as she does in her own drafting process. Her essay opens:
"On some days, my writing notebooks look like an inquisition, my pages topped and ended with questions: in all-caps, underlined, circled. Many are small: What do the kids want to be called? What is her work? Handwriting=obsessive or careless? Maybe she cries on the subway home, after dinner? But they're big, too: What is true, the memory of it, or the moment? Is she lacking? DO WE REQUIRE HOPE? Though they may appear frantic, a series of scribbled questions aren't signs of confusion or desperation but of sufficient curiosity on my part to propel a story forward. At every stage of my work, questions are my most essential writing tools. I use them to move through to the other side of murky. It's only by stepping into that unknown and uncomfortable space repeatedly during my process that I can become more deliberate in the story I'm telling."
Also included in this month's GT Bulletin are Thomas Fox Averill's "Writing Archival Fiction" and Aline Ohanesian "On Rejection." The Bulletin is free to read online and have delivered monthly to your e-mail.
The Editors at Broadsided Press write:
We have, according to the constitution, the right “to keep and bear arms” in the United States. But how, in the wake of Las Vegas, Pulse, Sandy Hook, Trayvon Martin, and other abuses of firearms—by citizens and in some cases by those trained to protect and serve—do we bear that right? How do we bear it?
At Broadsided, we believe that art and literature belong in our daily lives. They inspire and demonstrate the vitality and depth of our connection with the world. We had to speak out—we had to make a space for you to speak out—on this issue as part of our ongoing "Broadsided Responds" feature.
We put out a call to visual artists asking for submissions. Work came from all over the country, in all media. Powerful, provocative, dynamic work. Guest Arts Editor Stacy Isenbarger selected six pieces that offer a range of attitudes, aesthetics, and opportunities. Of her decision, Stacy has this to say:
How do we confront that of which we already hold tightly? Collectively, these chosen works offer a dimensional conversation of this weighted issue. Some may suggest a boundary of societal judgement, but they don’t necessarily reveal what side they are one. Instead these pieces offer evolving space. They welcome an opportunity for viewers to discuss how we bear that which touches our lives.
We now ask you to respond with words to six works of visual art by Sandra Cohen, Jonathan Frey, David Kamm, Osceola Refetoff, Dixie Salazar, and Kristen Woodward.
When you submit your writing, be sure to be clear as to which piece you are responding.
DEADLINE: December 27, 2017.
The December 2017 Glimmer Train Bulletin is a fun read this time around, with an eclectic mix of craft essay written from teachers and authors, some of whose works have recently been published in Glimmer Train Stories.
Author of the novel The Luster of Lost Things , Sophie Chen Keller's [pictured] essay, "On Writing from a Child's Perspective for Adults," is a topic I have often tried to better understand as a reviewer assessing others' writing;. This was an instructive perspective to read, as Keller asks, "But how to manage that voice while keeping the novel from becoming a book for younger readers - especially when my inspiration for plot and tone was those books for younger readers?"
For essays on writing and revision, University of Chicago Professor Will Boast offers his advice on "Cutting Out the Bad Bits," while Andrew Porter, Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Trinity University in San Antonio writes on "The Long First Draft."
And, in these volatile times, Iranian-American writer Siamak Vossoughi comments on "The Political Lives of Characters," noting the decision writers face: "Political beliefs can matter a lot, in stories and in life, and they can not matter at all. [. . . ] A writer only runs the risk of being preachy or dogmatic if he or she makes a character of one political belief less three-dimensional and human than that of another."
The Glimmer Train Bulletin is free to read online each month here, or have it delivered monthly to your inbox.
In addition to general management and editorial duties, the Senior Editor will also be responsible for directing a special translation project and academic database using literature previously published in Hayden’s Ferry Review.
Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism or a related field and five years related experience; an MFA in Creative Writing, bilingualism, and experience working in a university setting and web development are preferred.
Salary range $41,976 - $50,000 DOE.
To view the full job description and apply, visit http://bit.ly/2hNxTGU or search openings at https://cfo.asu.edu/applicant by job title “Senior Editor” or requisition number “36507BR”. A pdf of the job description is also available at http://bit.ly/2fRlVLQ.
Individuals with any questions should contact the Piper Center at 480.965.6018 or pipercenter.info-at-asu.edu.
The position will close Wednesday, November 1st, 2017.
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!
There is no fee to enter this contest, prizes will be awarded for first ($3000) and two runners up ($1000) as well as print/online publication. Deadline: September 1, 2017.
Toni Beauchamp [pictured] was the president of Art Lies Board from 2002-2004. See the Gulf Coast website for more details.
The Poetry Marathon is run (no pun intended) by Caitlin Jans (Thomson) and Jacob Jans, two writers and web publishers living in the Pacific Northwest. There is no charge to participate in the marathon, and in 2016, over 500 writers started the marathon, but many did not finish. Clearly, this is not an activity for the faint of heart.
Last year, I participated in the half marathon and found it to be demanding, frustrating (sometimes forgetting to write my poem!), but in the end immensely rewarding. I have run marathons and half marathons, and the feeling from finishing the Poetry Marathon was very similar. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment, and at the same time, a bit of sadness that it was over. I had posted poems, offered feedback to others, received comments on mine - just like cheering each other on in a foot race. It was sad to be a part of such an intense, similarly driven community of writers, and then, just be done with them. It's what makes a person want to come back and do it again!
The Poetry Marathon website has an FAQ that answers the burning questions, like: How do I prepare for the Marathon? What if I can't be at a computer all day? What happens to the poems once I post them? and more. The site also features blog posts from previous participants who offer commentary on their marathon experience. If you're not sure about the commitment, just try it for a day on your own. See what it takes to get to the computer once an hour and write a poem (or at least write a poem per hour, because you are allowed to "catch up" at the computer if you can't get to one every hour).
This year, like last year, the organizers plan to publish a Poetry Marathon Anthology of poems written during the marathon. Some writers included in the first anthology: Sheila Sondik, Teri Harroun, Marie Moser, Raven Kingsley, Joan Leotta, J.I. Klienberg, Liam Strong, Will Jackson, Anne McMaster, Ebony Larijani, and Seema Ka.