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Denise Hill

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wlt nov 18"And the question is why are people so numb? I think they are awakening, and I’m very happy about that. But awakening has been so slow. And that’s the dark age. People are having a hard time gaining knowledge and wisdom. The educational systems are completely unreliable and full of land mines for most people. So, yes, it is a dark age, and you can only hope people will come out of it, but they have to turn off gadgets and start to talk to people. And the time is very short."

From "A Conversation with Alice Walker" by Erik Gleibermann, World Literature Today, November-December 2018.

The issue also includes an excerpt from Walker's "My 12-12-12" and a web exclusive interview “Translating Alice Walker: A Conversation with Manuel García Verdecia,” by Daniel Simon.

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The Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Nimrod International Journal opens with Editor Eilis O’Neal reflecting on the publication's 40th anniversary of awards. While there have been some changes, O’Neal asserts, “What hasn’t changed is that, from the beginning, the prizes have been awarded to writers from all corners of the country, writers of diverse backgrounds, and writers at many different stages of their writing careers, from authors with impressive publishing credits to writers appearing in print for their first time. And what really hasn’t changed is that, each year, the Awards bring us outstanding poetry and fiction. This year is no exception.”

emma depaniseThe Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry
Judge Patricia Smith

First Prize
Emma DePanise [pictured], “Dry Season” and other poems

Second Prize
Megan Merchant, “Marrow” and other poems

Honorable Mentions
Anna Scotti, “When I could still be seen” and other poems
Jeanne Wagner, “Dogs That Look Like Wolves” and other poems
Josephine Yu, “Women Grieving” and other poems

The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction
Judge Rilla Askew

First Prize
Sharon Solwitz, “Tremblement”

Second Prize
Ellen Rhudy, “Would You Know Me”

Honorable Mention
Liz Ziemska, “Hunt Relic”

Work by the winners, as well as by the honorable mentions, finalists, and many semi-finalists, are published in Awards 40, the Fall/Winter 2018 issue.

The 41st Nimrod Literary Awards competition begins January 1, 2019; the deadline is April 30, 2019.

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Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their July/August Fiction Open competition. This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers. Stories generally range from 3000-6000 words, though up to 28,000 is fine. The next – and last! – Fiction Open will open on January 1. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

Laura RoqueFirst place: Laura Roque [pictured] of Hialeah, Florida, wins $3000 for “Lady-Ghost Roles." Her story will be published in Issue 105 of Glimmer Train Stories.

Second place: Ben Nadler, of Albany, New York, wins $1000 for “Shalom Bayit.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue.

Third place: Clark Knowles, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, wins $600 for “In Dublin.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue.

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Deadline soon approaching!
Short Story Award for New Writers: November 10
This competition is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 500-5000 word but can go up to 12,000. First place prize wins $2500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.
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Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their July/August Very Short Fiction Award. This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers for stories with a word count under 3000. The next – and last! – Very Short Fiction competition will open on January 1. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

Peter Sheehy1st place goes to Peter Sheehy, of Astoria, New York, who wins $2000 for “Things Frozen Then.” His story will be published in Issue 105 of Glimmer Train Stories. [Photo credit: Henry Porter]

2nd place goes to Ted Mathys, of St. Louis, Missouri, who wins $500 for “High Plains.”

3rd place goes to Cassandra Verhaegen, of Corvallis, Oregon, who wins $300 for “California Orange.”

Here’s a PDF of the Top 25.

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jennifer mooreThe English Department at Ohio Northern University has opened a new Single Poem Broadside contest for currently enrolled high school juniors and seniors.

Young writers may submit one original, self-authored poem of 30 lines or less by November 1, 2018 in any form, style or aesthetic approach.

ONU Associate Professor of Creative Writing Dr. Jennifer Moore [pictured] will judge the submissions.

The winning entry will receive $100, letterpress broadside publication of the poem, ten copies, and the ONU English Department Talent Award of $4000 per year for four years (upon application and acceptance to ONU).

For more contests open to young writers and publications for young writers and readers, visit the NewPages Young Writers Guide.

Boyfriend Village

October 18, 2018
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zachary dossWith its most recent edition, Black Warrior Review introduces the renaming of their online edition of the publication: Boyfriend Village.

The name comes a story written Zachary Doss, "The Village with All of the Boyfriends." Zach was an editor with BWR  and beloved member of the literary community. He passed away in March 2018.

Brandi Wells writes, "Zach loved BWR before, during, and after he was editor there. It makes sense that he might be woven into the infrastructure in this way. I hope it is a space for weird voices and writers who are trying something new, something surprising."

She offers readers this excerpt from Zach's story: “The Village with All of the Boyfriends is where all of your boyfriends wind up eventually. You built this Village for them and they can’t leave and neither can you. You are not allowed inside, but you wait in the desert at the edge of town.”

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American Life in Poetry: Column 707
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Peter Schmitt is a Floridian, and the following poem is from his book, Renewing the Vows, published by David Robert Books. Poetry seems to be the perfect medium for brief anecdotal stories, but most of us have higher expectations of a poem, believing it should reach beneath the surface and draw up something from the deeper parts of experience. This is just such a poem.

The Bench

peter schmittIt's all like a bad riddle, our widow friend
said at the time. If a tree falls in the woods
and kills your husband, what can you build from it?
That she was speaking quite literally
we did not know until the day months later
the bench arrived, filling that foyer space
in the house the neighbors pitched in to finish.

She'd done it, she said, for the sake of the boys,
and was never more sure of her purpose
than when they were off, playing in the woods
their father loved, somewhere out of earshot
and she would be struggling in with groceries.
For her, it was mostly a place to rest
such a weight, where other arms might have reached

to lift what they could. Or like the time we knocked
at her door, and finding it just ajar,
cautiously entered the sunstruck hallway,
and saw her sitting there staring into space,
before she heard our steps and caught herself,
turning smiling toward us, a book left
lying open on the bench beside her.


We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry  magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2007 by Peter Schmitt, "The Bench," from Renewing the Vows  (David Robert Books, 2007). Poem reprinted by permission of Peter Schmitt and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2018 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.


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Driftwood Press has recently announced that they will now accept submissions for graphic novel manuscripts to add to their catalog.

To better understand what they are looking for, the editors note that some of their favorite graphic artists are Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez, Joe Sacco, Brecht Evens, Taiyo Matsumoto, Anders Nilsen, Jillian Tamaki, Christophe Chaboute, Eleanor Davis, Gipi, Simon Hanselmann, Michael DeForge, David Lapham, and Inio Asano.

Interested writers/artists are asked to submit a sample, partial, or full manuscript. The publishers do not match up artists/storytellers. This is a traditional, paid publishing contract arrangement.

For more information, visit the Driftwood Press graphic novels submission page.

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jerrod schwarzDriftwood Press is kicking off their new Seminar Series with a five-week online Erasure Poetry Seminar lead by Jerrod Schwarz [pictured], instructor of creative writing at the University of Tampa. The seminar covers the history, practice, and importance of erasure poetry. The format is weekly video, writing prompts with feedback, a class-only Facebook group and YouTube channel. The course fee includes a copy of A Little White Shadow  by Mary Ruefle. Students will contribute to a Showcase Booklet which will be made available for free on Driftwood’s website and via their social media outlets.

Writers interested in attending the seminar must apply with writing sample and statement of interest no later than October 31. After selection, the course will run from November 12 - December 14.

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Glimmer Train may be winding down, but its Bulletins with craft essays from writers continues a stongly as ever. The October 2018 installment features:

may lee chaiWriting Immigrant Stories by May-lee Chai [pictured]: "For American authors writing about a multicultural, globalized world, the issue of translation is unavoidable: what to put into English, what to leave in a mother tongue, and how to render the mixed-English that often is used in immigrant families."

Novel and Story by William Luvaas: "For years, the novel was dominant, with its loud, broad-shouldered personality. Novel was so self-assured—something of a bully, really—while Story scurried about, mouse-like under the furniture, speaking in a whisper, fearing Novel would step on it. Then something unexpected happened."

Tobias Wolff (from an interview by Travis Holland): "So when I would read a great story of Ray Carver's, like 'Errand' or 'Cathedral,' my thought would be, 'I want to write this well.' Not write like him, because I knew I couldn't. That was his world, his voice, all that."

This and all previous bulletins are archived here.

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