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...
Rhino: The Poetry Forum annual publication includes winning and selected entries from two annual prizes.
Each year, Rhino selects Editor's Prize Winners from among its general submissions to receive cash, publication, and nomination to the Pushcart Prize. There is no additional process; all submissions to the publication are considered.
"Worms" by Erika Brumett
"You Have To Be Ready" by Amanda Galvan Huynh
"betty" by Amy Bilodeau
The Founder's Prize is an annual contest (Sept 1 - Oct 31). Winners receive a cash award, publication, and Pushcart Prize nomination. These entrants are also eligible for the Editor's Prize.
"Asking for a Friend " by Abby E. Murray [pictured]
"Odysseus " by Joseph Fasano
"Amelia Earhart Folds Origami Cranes" by Adie Smith Kleckner
"Midden" by Paul Otremba
All of these works can also be read on Rhino's website.
Roland Petersen's "American Bathers, 2017" on the cover of Spring 2018 Catamaran captures the essence of summer; this publication belongs in every beach tote and travel bag to take along on your summer adventures!
The long depressive curtain, the castle
stone limned in green, the thin insistent
incursions of rain that scarify the mortar,
what are they if not a promissory note,
the slung burden and authoritative bell
of dreams we take, in dreams, for dead.
The yellow eye wakes, and death’s antagonist—
let us call him scientist, father, creator, god—
draws back in shame and horror from his one
creation. He sees in him a miracle confusion,
drenched in the bile that is our birthright,
and says, in silence, hell. What did I expect.
Cover art "Dimming Superstition" collage on a book cover by Hollie Chastain.