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

Denise Hill

Jane Austen Tea Series

November 07, 2014
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miss-lucy-steeleBingley Tea has created a line of teas in celebration of Jane Austen's many marvelous books and characters. Encompassing the full range of black, green, herbal, oolong, and white teas, Bingley has created unique blends for many characters, including "Compassion for Mrs. Bennet's Nerves," "Elinor's Heart," "Emma's Perfect Match," "Mr. Bingley's Signature Blend," and "Wicked Wickham." Twenty-one teas in all, and each with a fun descriptor reflective of its character - both literally and literary.

LGBT Book Lovers Series

November 04, 2014
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LGBT2From Daily Kos online: "LGBT Literature is a Readers and Book Lovers series dedicated to discussing books that have made an impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. From fiction to contemporary nonfiction to history and everything in between, any book that touches on LGBT themes is welcome in this series. LGBT Literature posts on the last Sunday of every month at 7:30 PM EST."

Series writer and Daily Kos member Chrislove is looking for writers to join in! "You do not need to be an academic, a Ph.D. candidate, an LGBT literature buff, or even LGBT to write for this series. You do not need to provide a scholarly critical analysis. . . if you have something to say about LGBT literature, I want you to feel welcome to say it in this series. Please don't feel that you have nothing to say. If LGBT literature has impacted you at all, your thoughts are worth sharing here in LGBT Literature."

Visit the website for more information.
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Madcap Review semiannual of literature and art makes its debut online with this cover image: Ever, November 19, 1910, 2013. Screenprint made with the master printers of the Cabiros Workshops. Click here for more information on the cover artwork.

off-the-coastThis photograph, "Longings," by Malinda Fillingim graces the cover of the Fall 2014 poetry journal Off the Coast. It almost seemed to glimmer gold when caught in just the right light, and there's just something about it that makes me want to be wandering down those tracks, into the fog.

yellow-medicine-reviewAs a lifetime fan of the movie, Paper Moon, I was of course struck by this image Fall 2014 cover image for Yellow Medicine Review: "Boy in the Moon" by Hulleah Tsinhnahjinne. Though the moon seems a bit sinister at first glance, the more I absorbed the image, the more of the "protector" I could envision in the story of this image.
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JohnThorntonWilliamsRevealing the interiority of a character in a way that feels natural, yet resonates powerfully within a reader is one of the most difficult tasks of the fiction writer. Considering how powerful that emotional connection between reader and character can prove to be, and how empty a story can feel without it, it's vital that the writer bridge the distance between reader and character in ways that are subtle rather than clumsy.

But how does one accomplish it?

John Thornton Williams goes on to explain in his November Glimmer Train Newsletter bulletin Indirection of Image.

Other craft essays include:

Aurelie Sheehan: My City (or, On the Idea of Making It My Own)

Peter Turchi: Puzzle and Mystery

Greg Schreur: The Creative Process: A Diuretic Metaphor

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Know some young readers & writers? Are you a K-12 teacher? Check out the Young Authors Guide on

This is guide where young authors (as defined by each publication - sometimes it includes college-age) can find places to publish their writing. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a select list of publications in print as well as online that have open submissions with guidelines, an editorial selection process, and a regular print cycle. Some publish only young authors, some publish all ages for young audiences. For more specific submission guidelines, visit the publication's website.

Also included in this guide are contests for young writers. These are carefully selected for quality and sensitivity to not wanting young writers to be taken advantage of (with promises of publication and high entry fees). Almost all are no-cost entry with some awarding scholarship money.

This is not a paid-for page or an advertising page in any way. It is a page I have put together as a resource to encourage young writers in their interest.

If you know of other publications or contests that could be added to this list, please e-mail me with information:
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Boulevard consistently selects stunning cover art, and the most recent issue (#88) shows no letting up. Steven Kenny's "The Raft" is an oil on canvas, richly reproduced for the rich depth of contents within (like Bob Hicok, Sheila Kohler, Joyce Carol Oates, and Floyd Skloot).

This 2014 issue cover of Iron Horse is a stunner. "The Kelpies" is a photograph by Rafal Adamczyk. It's slightly cropped for the magazine cover, so seeing the original adds a greater appreciation for this gorgeous cover shot.

healing-museI love the concept of The Healing Muse, published by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, SUNY Medical University. This journal should be required reading for ALL health care worker programs nationwide. The cover alone is testament to its contents, issue after issue: "Comforting a Friend" by Lynne Feldman. The Healing Muse - keeping the humanities in medicine.

hermanuetic-chaosMia Funk's oil on canvas "Labyrinth" draws readers into issue #4 of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal. Funk says of her work: "I try to be provocative and playful and create a visually impacting work using oil on canvas, moving the paint like a dream/nightmare until I'm satisfied with the effect of the images coming through. I think people have a capacity now to accept strange and I hope some of my work holds up to that. I want to disorientate the viewer and make the unfamiliar familiar and vice versa."

Poetica Holocaust Edition

November 06, 2014
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poetica-2014-holocaustAlthough the fall edition of Poetica: Contemporary Jewish Writing is already sold out, readers can still get a copy of the publication's special fall 2014 Holocaust Edition. Fiction and poetry from writers included in this edition: Sally Albiso, Fred Amram, Helen Eisen, Joy Gaines-Friedler, Barbara Goldberg, Miriam Green (Israel), Sarah Katz, Marta Kosály, Bem Le Hunte (Australia), Jesse Morales, Drew Nacht, Baruch November, Nina Pick, Michael Robinson, Sophie Soil (Canada), Tamara Tabel, Tim Stobierski, Israel Zoberman, with cover art by Ron Weijers and inside art by Selma Waldman and Harriet Caldwell. The publication is 70 pages, perfect bound.
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The Fall 2014 issue of Apple Valley Review has much to recommend it, but three poems by Laura Lee Beaseley featured in the online magazine took a stronghold in me. Each a short punch of a read hit hard to issues of illness and dying, but shared, not alone. "Our Dying" begins in its title alone to speak of the shared nature we feel in losing and loss of another. "Chemotherapy" brings the patient's support person into the treatment: "And I felt it too, that sudden spark, / that familiar nervous thump." The last, "St. Jude," begins "I asked why you wore him / around your neck. / We're not even Catholic." By the close of the poem, the answer is clear. A sorrow-sweet trilogy of work, especially for those having been there, done this.
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If you wonder how we pick Lit Mag Covers of the Week, it really is just looking at the issue and catching ourselves saying, "Oh, that's a cool!" Exactly what I said when I picked up Whiskey Island issue 64. St. Paul, Minnesota painter Aniela Sobieski, also an MFA candidate at Syracuse University, has her work "Young Buck," oil on canvas, featured on the cover. While still gorgeous, it's not quite in full. Visit her website for the whole picture.


This September/October 2014 cover of Ragzine had been showing up on our slider feature, and each time, I am absolutely drawn to this image. "Ida & Disa" is a photo by Mia Hanson whose interview is included in this issue online.

Number 2 Summer 2014 of Red Earth Review struck me because I recognize that precarious-looking train trestel trusted to hold up a ton of freight through wooded swamp. We have a few of those near where I live, in addition to reminding me of the film scene from Stand By Me. "People Get Ready" is the photograph by Wilma Whittaker.


"Two Fates" oil on masonite panel by Alex Hall featured on the online literary magazine decomP is from his latest series "Relativity," which depicts individuals floating in time and space. Hall says of this series, "I chose to paint the figures with no distinct faces so they would relate to every man and every woman."


Poems & Literal Truth

November 12, 2014
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lawrence-raabThe Fall 2014 issue of New Ohio Review includes the feature "Poems and Literal Truth" with essays from Lawrence Raab ("Should Poems Tell the Truth?" [pictured]), Daisy Fried ("Truthless Demands"), Adrienne Su ("Where Are You Really Writing From? Reading and Writing Place and Experience"), Louise Glück ("A Brief Response" which begins "Frankly, I have no idea why this should be any sort of problem."), Carl Dennis ("Telling the Truth in Poetry"), Kim Addonizio ("Pants on Fire"), and Michael Ryan (in which Ryan shares his experience reading through poems for Iowa Review - one of which came in with the title "Father").

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