is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.


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In August of 2013, the independent news publication Truthout's graphic journalism column Ladydrawers began a yearlong investigation into women's international labor, primarily through the global garment and sex trades. It began with fashion ("Fast Fashion") as "one of the largest employer of women worldwide as well as one of most significant ways through which sexuality is expressed, in the US and around the world. Fast fashion, in particular: cheap, cute, disposable threads on which we spend about $1,700 per year."

Other columns in this series include: "Thin Line Between Garment and Sex 'Trades'" (Anne Elizabeth Moore, Ellen Lindner and Melissa Gira Grant); "It's the Money, Honey" (Anne Elizabeth Moore and Ellen Lindner); "A Very Small Satisfaction": An interview with Oscar-Nominated Rithy Panh on Cambodia's Missing Pictures (Anne Elizabeth Moore); "The Business of Thrift" (Anne Elizabeth Moore and Julia Gfr
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Isthmus, edited by Ann Przyzycki, Randy DeVita, and Taira Anderson, is a new biannual print magazine that publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Isthmus offers “good writing that will make you want to pass the issue to a friend.” Przyzycki says, “We value the traditional as well as those pieces that organically can only be told through experimentation with form.”

Przyzycki recalls a time when all three editors were stuck together in traffic on the interstate highway running north to south through Seattle. One editor remarks that the reason for the bottleneck traffic in Seattle is that the city is built on an isthmus. Later, when coming up with a name for the journal, Przyzycki says they looked back on this moment and chose Isthmus to refer not only to the city it was based out of but also to the geographical term and the accompanying metaphor: “a narrow connection between two larger objects, as the printed journal is a connection between the writer and the reader,” she says.

But as with all new journals, we ask why? Why start a literary magazine? And in Przyzycki’s research, she found that most start because the editors don’t feel like there is “a venue for a certain kind of story, that there is some hole to fill”—and she would be right. She is fully aware of the vast amount of venues already out there but says “I don’t think that there can be too many opportunities for good writing to be shared.” Inspired by the independent presses and magazines at AWP this year, she believes that many writers are looking to independent lit mags for “new voices.” She loves the honor of allowing someone else to trust her with their work; “I love working on books and so perhaps naively I feel that my passion for publishing and connecting writers to readers is reason enough.”

As the journal grows, Przyzycki hopes to include translations on a regular basis, increase the online presence, and include more book recommendations and author interviews on the website.

The first issue features fiction by Jennifer Bryan, Michal Davis, and Leslie Parry; nonfiction by Kelly Chastain, Elizabeth Mack, and Mark Rozema; poetry by Louis Armand, Cody Deitz, Suanne Fetherolf, Natalie Giarratano, Matt Hemmerich, Gabe Herron, Patrick Kindig, Jed Myers, Jason Olsen, Natania Rosenfeld, Mike Smith, Haley Van Heukelom, Laurelyn Whitt, and Theodore Worozbyt.

Isthmus editors read year round for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can submit through Submittable only; please find complete guidelines on their website. They also note that you should check in regularly with their blog and Facebook page for announcements of any upcoming special issues or future contests.
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This season on the BBC, writers and directors have taken on four big classic works: Jed Mercurio’s adaptation of DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Ben Vanstone’s adaptation of Laurie Lee’s novel Cider With Rosie, Adrian Hodges' adaptation of LP Hartley’s The Go-Between and J B Priestley’s classic play An Inspector Calls. Each have been made into 90-minute adaptations. Read more on the BBC website and from John Plunkett on The Guardian. Though not everyone is pleased with this; check out Mof Gimmers's article on Anorak.
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The editors at The Asheville Poetry Review to announced the William Matthews Poetry Prize Recipients for 2014, judged by Billy Collins.

Bruce Sager, from Westminster, MD was awarded first prize for his poem, "The Lot of Stars," and will receive $1000, plus publication in the 20th Anniversary issue of The Asheville Poetry Review (Vol. 21, Issue 24, 2014), which will be released in November, 2014

Second prize is awarded to T. J. Sandella, from Cleveland, OH, for his poem, "Flight." He will receive $250, as well as publication.

Dave Seter, from Petaluma, CA, was the third prize recipient for his poem “What My Uncle Is Trying To Say,” and he will also be published in the next issue. All three authors will be featured at a reading in Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC this summer.
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A new zine called When in Drought is hitting the streets in a small print run from Los Angeles. With a tongue-in-cheek and often political attitude, it has no problem standing out from a crowd of other literary magazines. Each issue is themed and contains writing, art, and translation "with neglected literature from around the world." To get a feel for them, here's some excerpts from their submission guidelines: "Whatever it is, we're against it. Just kidding. We love you." And at the bottom of each page on their site, they declare, "Stay horny for art." And on their contest page, they have some sample titles of books that if written, they would pay good money for: Nude on a Chair; Look Mom, the Children Don't Have Any Pants Today; Mein Kampf, Your Kampf, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off; Tits Laid Heavy on My Thoughts: A Memoir; and other humorous suggestions.

The latest issue is themed Prague: "never in recorded history has the municipality of Prague experience drought. On the contrary, it has withstood floods, torrential downpours, &, quite often, thunderstorms . . . It is no wonder then that the editors of this journal should be fascinated with such a place . . . We hope you will soon find your thirst slaked—& please, when in Prague, do not forget your umbrella." The issue itself contains 100 pages of original work combined with passages from Franz Kafka.
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The overall style of Santa Monica Review isn't particularly striking, but the image they selected for this Spring 2014 issue is. There's something about the young girl's eyes and the way the black lamb just gently rests in her arms, not trying to get away, that makes it hard to look away. The piece is by Deborah Davidson titled Leaving Home.


The cover of the latest North Dakota Quarterly is James Bassler's Rib Shield, painted silk wrap, woven, cut, and sewn. "In the 1980s his work underwent a dramatic change after his exposure to the Navajo wedge weaving process and the art of John Cage." You really have to see it up close to appreciate it as you should—I'd love to see it in person!


The image on Poetry's May 2014 issue takes over the cover. It's titled "Torch" and is done by Kate McQuillen as part of her collection called Body Scans. See more here.

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The Open Society Documentary Photography Project is soliciting calls for the 2014 Audience Engagement Grant Program. Since the program’s inception in 2004, they have funded 54 photographers who have gone beyond documenting a human rights or social justice issue to enacting change. Beginning this year, they will offer two tracks of support for individuals at different phases of their Audience Engagement projects.

Track One: Project Development
Grantees will receive funding to attend an Open Society–organized retreat in December of 2014. This event will be designed in collaboration with Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program, whose nationally recognized workshops provide participants with essential practical tools and strategies to help them move their project and career goals forward. Attendees will become part of a larger Audience Engagement Grant cohort, with opportunities to connect both during the conference and after.

Track Two: Project Implementation
Grantees will receive funding to execute (or continue executing) their projects as well as attend December’s retreat.

Eligibility Criteria
•Documentary photographers, photo-based artists, and socially engaged practitioners who use their work to move target audiences beyond the act of looking, to directly participate in activities or processes that lead to change around an issue.
•Individuals who establish meaningful partnerships with others committed to realizing change and who bring a complementary set of skills and expertise.
•Projects that use photography or photo-based art creatively and innovatively to reach a project’s unique audience.
•Projects with goals that are ambitious, yet realistic and achievable.

The application deadline for BOTH tracks is: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
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In the latest issue, Seneca Review is challenging genre. "In 1977, Seneca Review made room for a cross-fertilization of poetry and nonfiction it called 'the lyric essay,'" the editor note states. "With this special issue of SR (Fall 2013/Spring 2014), we are making room for a different chimera we’re calling Beyond Category—work that crosses bigger lines of genre and form. Not just between poetry and essays but between writing and visual art, between analog and digital. These hybrids and outliers will be a regular part of future issues"

And it is, indeed, beyond categorization. In addition to the bound print copy, which includes a wide variety of art and photographs of projects, Seneca Review's new issue comes with a poster filled with thought bubbles, two witty tattoos, a newspaperesque handout combining drawings and sketches with tiny type that must be read with magnifying glass (also included), and more beyond category pieces rolled into tubes. It's certainly exciting!

This is also the start of the Beyond Category Online feature that includes digital work. Currently, you can find pieces by Susan Howe & David Grubbs, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Derek Gromadzki, Sarah Minor, Noah Saterstrom, and more. I didn't play around there too long, but you should definitely do so. As a sample, the piece "Memory Collective" explores the nature of memory as six essayists share a fleeting or fragmented memory. Then, another essayist takes that memory and remembers it, in whatever format they choose. "This process may involve speculating, soldering, or drawing on one's own reservoir of memories to complete or cohere another's memory." It may sound a little confusing at first, but I urge you to take a look.
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Awkward Paper Cut is a literary site devoted to supporting and inspiring innovative artistic creations incorporating words, images, and sound in a new kind of storytelling that mixes different formats and media with original and inventive ideas and approaches. Featured pages include Writers on Writing, Swoon's View (picks from "video addict" Marc Neys), and Podcasts of multiple authors/works under a connecting theme. The most recent podcast, Episode 14-8, is titled D
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As you'll quickly be able to tell, this week it's all about color. It's been a dull and dreary winter, and I loved having a collection of colors filling my bins this week:

I saw this staring up at me from the top of my magazine pile, and I gravitated to it. Teen in Body Paint, Key West, Florida is a picture by Roger Sacha of a young man painted by Tony Gregory with body paint in 2005. You'll have to pick up an actual copy of Subtropics to get the full effect.


The color on the cover of The London Magazine's new issue is fascinating as though it's a rainy day, there's still a rainbow of color. It's detail from Leonid Afremov's Rain of Fire, oil on canvas, 2007.


This cover of Boulevard completes the list of colorful action as the lights dance of the bridge in the photograph. It's by Charles Gross and titled Crossing the Tuo River at Night.

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