As a kid (and adult for that matter) who was forever unable to remember her numerical lock combinations, what3words is the most brilliant invention of all time. And who among us readers/writers can't absolutely fall in love with this concept: The entire planet mapped out in three meter squares with each one assigned a unique three-word sequence.
Download the app to your phone, and no matter where you go, you can find you three-word location. Give your three-word location to someone, and they can find you!
I can only imagine that some poets have already gotten a hold of this and are integrating it into their writing - right? How about engaging young students in both geography and writing. Come up with three words, put them in, and see where that location is - the possibilities are endless and exciting! Check it out for yourself!
In keeping with Memoir Magazine's mission, "to be a witness to both factual and emotional truths that resonate with the human heart by supporting writers and artists in sharing their stories—whether personal, social or political– through publication, education, and advocacy," the publication offers Memoir Magazine University, "a safe space dedicated entirely to the development of writers and stories that need to be heard."
Two summer classes coming up are Anonymous Memoir Writing Workshop for Sexual Assault Survivors with Memoir Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief Mary McBeth (July 9 - August 20; open times) and Writing To Heal with Jerry Waxler [pictured] (July 10 – August 21, Tuesdays 7:30-9pm EST; July 12 – August 23, Thursdays 12 noon-1:30 EST).
Future classes will include Intro to Memoir and Memoir 101. For more information, visit Memoir Magazine's website.
Not to rush your summer, but July 4th signals the opening of registration for the annual August Poetry Postcard Festival!
This is a FAVORITE event for me and many others who have been doing it since it started over ten years ago, as well as for newbies - who are always welcome to join!
Visit Paul E Nelson's webpage for full instructions, but the basic premise is this: Registrants are grouped with 31 other participants and each group member gets a list of names and addresses. You start with the name below yours on the list and each day, write a poem on a postcard and send it to that person. The next day, you go to the next name on the list, write, send, repeat.
The idea is to be spontaneous in writing these poems. They aren't supposed to be prewritten (although some folks do type or reprint for the sake of legibility), and as much as possible, written in the moment. In the past, I've known a writer to focus on colors as a theme, another randomly landed on a word in the dictionary and made that their inspiration. Since the only requirement is to write and send a card a day, the rest is up to each writer's imagination and motivation. The postcards can be anything at all - some people make their own, some use photos, others are cheesy tourist postcards, some are vintage - it's totally up to the sender.
There is a $10 registration fee to help handle the oversight. I'm happy to pay this, and the domestic and occassional international postage - considering how much I spend on conferences each year, some of which I walk away from wondering what I gained from them. The APPF has never disappointed. Not only has it inspired my own writing in numerous ways, there is something so uniquely enjoyable about going to the mailbox each day, wondering what I might be gifted from another poet out there somewhere in the world.
Challenge yourself to do this. Participate. Enjoy it. Struggle through it. At the end of the month, you'll feel enormous satisfaction and even a bit a sadness that it's over.
Celebrating ten years and thirty issues of Still Point Arts Quarterly, Founding Editor Christine Brooks Cote's introduction to the Summer 2018 issue reads like an advice article for anyone with the idea to start up a journal.
Among the things she figured out along the way was what made for publishable submissions. She came up with these three criteria: "1) they have to be so interesting that I can't stop reading until I get all the way to the end; 2) they have to be well written - I shouldn't have to reread a paragraph or a sentence several times, or even twice, to figure out what is being said; and 3) they have to strike just the right chord inside me and make me feel that what I just read should be read by everyone."
Over this years, she notes, this search for quality submissions has not changed, nor her "aim to present them as respectfully and tastefully as possible. Each journal is a creation, a work of art."
Cote admits one thing that has changed over the years: "my respect, admiration, and gratitude for the artists and writers whose work we publish has grown exponentially. I never imagined when I started this work that I would have the pleasure of connecting with so many thoughtful and inspiring individuals who produce work that regularly stops me in my tracks. Truly, connecting with the people who contribute to this publication has been immensely joyful and fulfilling, and I've learned so much from them. That part I didn't expect - indeed, unexpected gifts are the best."
May Still Point Arts Quarterly enjoy another ten years - and more - of giving such beauty and joy to readers as well as receiving!
The Southeast Review spring issue (36.1) features winning entries from their 2017 contests:
Gearhart Poetry Contest
Judged by Erin Belieu
Winner: "The Truth Takes Lunch" by Jed Myers
Finalist: "Three Nails" by Christopher Childers
World's Best Short-Short Story Contest
Judged by Robert Olen Butler
Winner: "Friends" by Greta Schuler
Finalists: "Saint Barbara's Day" by Elina Alter
"Shpykiv" by Alexandra Brenner
The Southeast Review Narrative Nonfiction Contest
Judged by Matthew Gavin Frank
Winner: "Crywolf" by Erica Berry [pictured]
Finalists: "The Stone Grows without Rain" by Lee Huttner
"Soundings: Field Notes on Communication with Animals and God" by Sylvia Sukop
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) is a general term used to identify this non-profit resource that can be found in numerous communities across the country. VLAs provide low-cost or free legal aid and guidance to artists and organizations, and some will even provide consultation to artists from areas that do not have their own VLA. In the past, I've received phone consults from the VLA in New York prior to Michigan having its own organization. Some, such as the St. Louis VLAA include Accountants for the Arts as well. The VLAA website has a directory of VLAs with the advice that if you do not see your state listed to contact your state arts council.
[Pictured: Alma Robinson, Executive Director of Califorinia Lawyers for the Arts]
The Great American Read is an eight-part series from PBS that "explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience."
The series kicked off with a two-hour launch in May and continued with five one-hour episodes examining concepts common to the eligible novels. The finale - planned for October 2018 - will announce the results of the nation-wide vote to select America's best-loved book.
The Great American Read website includes all the programs for online viewing as well as the list of 100 books and directions on how to vote for your best-loved novels from the list.
This week's covers are from some of the many Alternative Magazines we have listed at NewPages as a reminder of this useful resource for both reading and submitting writing.
Earth Island Journal combines investigative journalism and thought-provoking essays that make the subtle but profound connections between the environment and other contemporary issues. Writers guidelines here.
The focus of Feminist Studies 44.1 (2018) is life writing and new approaches to studying women’s autobiographies, including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Gertrude Stein, Kamal Das, Gayle Rubin and Judith Butler, as well as works by Estelle Carol, Alexandra Ketchum, Olga Zilberbourg, Corey Hickner-Johnson, Hiliary Chute, and Ashwini Tambe. Submissions guidelines here.
The Progressive is a journalistic voice for peace and social justice at home and abroad, steadfastly opposing militarism, the concentration of power in corporate hands, the disenfranchisement of the citizenry, poverty, and prejudice in all its guises. Writers guidelines here.
One of my favorites, Parabola is published quarterly by the Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition, a non-profit, non-denominational, educational organization. Each issue devotes 128 highly illustrated pages to a universal theme. Submission guidelines here.
The Humanist magazine applies humanism — a natural and democratic outlook informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion — to broad areas of social and personal concern in pursuit of alternative ideas. Writers guidelines here.
And we all need to retain our ability to laugh and bring humor into our days. The Funny Times helps us fulfill this need as America's longest-running ad-free monthly humor publication in a newspaper format.
But the core inspiration behind this new publication was Founding Editor David Jordan’s “limited success” in getting his own work published. “I decided I would go to the other side and be the publisher and the person who says yes. I figured I might have more success in this role and get satisfaction from it.”
Based out of Chicago, The Esthetic Apostle is a new online monthly of poetry, prose, artwork and photography which also releases print issues quarterly.
“Promoting creative individuals, self-realization/development, and beautiful ideas” are what motivated this start-up, as Founder and Editor-in-Chief Samuel M. Griffin explains. “The wit and wisdom of Oscar Wilde was a primary catalyst. As a tribute to our city and Wilde, we named the magazine The Esthetic Apostle after a Chicago Tribune headline describing Wilde's visit to the windy city.” And if you're wondering about the spelling...