"Literature is not efficient," writes New England Review Editor Carolyn Kuebler in the Editor's Note to V39 N3. "Reading it, writing it, and publishing it all require a seemingly unreasonable investment in time. Journals like ours take part in this economy of inefficiency by keeping our doors open to writing from everyone, everywhere." She goes on to discuss the weight placed on editors to make selections from thousands of unsolicited submissions, which open publications with good reputations face.
"Because of this openness to new writing, we have to say 'no' far more often than we say 'yes,' which can give writers a kind of 'who do they think they are' feeling of resentment. It also sets literary editors up as gatekeepers, as if reading and evaluating manuscripts were in some way equivalent to being a bouncer at an exclusive nightclub or a troll under the bridge. To me, the problem with the image of a gatekeeper is that it implies that the lit mag is some steadfast entity that simply exists, and that editors are only blocking the way to it. But without the efforts of those same people who are reading the manuscripts, there would be no there there."
Instead, Kuebler entreats readers (and writers) to consider "lit mags and their staff of editors and readers in terms of service," with many of those working behind the scenes doing so for little or no pay, and putting "aside their own agendas and literary preferences, and often their own writing, in service of another’s."
I get it. I hope others do, too. Thanks Carolyn - and countless other editors, readers, and all of those who give selflessly in the service of literature to make these publications 'there.'
The Fall 2018 issue of Raleigh Review features the winners of the 2018 Dorriane Laux / Joseph Millar Poetry Prize:
"Forever Daylight" by John Sibley Williams [pictured]
"Four Sonnets" Bailey Cohen [2nd]
"Lightning Flowers" Emily Mohn-Slate [3rd]
"Other women don't tell you" by Julia Dasbach
"Keloid Scar" by Julia Dasbach [not published]
"Sometimes I Pretend the Daughter I Wanted Was Born Alive" by Chelsea Dingman
"After You Have Gone" by Chelsea Dingman
The prize will open again April 1, 2019 and close May 31, 2019. The winner receives $500 and publication, finalists receive $10 and publication, honorable mentions will be considered for publication and payment. All entrants receive the Fall issue.
Ruminate Fall 2018 (#48) features the 2018 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize recipients, as selected by judge Susan Woodring:
"Coda" by Jason Villemez [pictured]
"Terra Incognita" by Laura O'Gorman Schwartz
"The Pistachio Farmer's Daughter" by Heather M. Surls
The next submission deadline for the short story contest is February 15, 2019. The contest is open to stories 5500 words or less with no limit on the number of entries (one per fee). The winner receives $1500 and publication; $200 and publication for the runner-up.
The Fall 2018 Still Point Arts Quarterly is a special issue titled "Four Freedoms Reinterpreted." Editor Christine Brooks Cote writes in her introduction that the concept was inspired by Franklin Roosevelt's 1941 speech in which he specifically identified freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. She explains:
"Two years later The Saturday Evening Post published four paintings by Norman Rockwell, each devoted to one of the Four Freedoms. There were accompanying essays written by respected writers of the day. Now seventy-five years later, it seems appropriate to revisit these 'essential' freedoms and think about where we stand today. . . This special issue is filled with art and writing from people who have something to say about freedom. It is both a celebration of who we are as a country and a cry for attention to the ways in which the foundations of our country are threatened. I hope you will be moved by this outpouring of love for our country and concern for our future."
Readers can view a generous sample of the publication here.
The Gettysburg Review Summer 2018 features artwork by William Fisk on the cover and inside with a full-color portfolio. The oil on canvas subjects come from "machines and other seemingly permanent objects of modern and post-modern industrial culture."
Rattle poetry magazine issue 61 features "Looking into the Future," a digital montage by Thomas Terceira. This work was created "by scanning Victorian engravings and combining and colorizing them in Photoshop. It is part of a series inspired by Max Ernst's surrealistic collages." See more of Terceira's work here.
Featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, photography, cross-genre, and reviews, Lime Hawk 12 cover art is Caotiche Comprensioni by Paolo Di Rosa. See more of his work here, where "the central theme running throughout his work is the human figure immersed in a non-place, externalising dreamlike and introspective projections; setting the stage for an intimate dialogue between feeling and reality."