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

Denise Hill

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themaLooking for an idea to get your writing started today? Try THEMA literary journal! Each issue of THEMA is based on a different unusual theme. The journal is designed to provide readers with a unique and entertaining collection of artistic theme interpretations, in the form of stories, poetry, black-and-white artwork, and photography. It also provides a stimulating forum for established and emerging literary artists and serves as source material and inspiration for teachers of creative writing.

Upcoming themes and dealines for submission:

The Neat Lady and the Colonel's Overalls
November 1, 2015

Drop the Zucchini and Run!
March 1, 2016

Second Thoughts
July 1, 2016

"The premise given," the editors write, "must be an integral part of the plot, not necessarily the central theme but not merely incidental." For more information, visit THEMA.

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samsun-knightWriter Samsun Knight explores the role of conversational dialogue in fiction: " reality, nobody ever talks to anyone else. What speech actually achieves is a communication between one person and that person's idea of the other. Most of the time there is no difference, no discernible difference, between such verisimilitude and the truth. But the best dialogue will manifest this disparity in subtle, slender ways. It will show how, in speaking, we fail to speak."

Read the rest of his commentary in Glimmer Train Bulletin #102 along with other craft essays from authors recently published in Glimmer Train Stories.
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tishman-reviewThe Tishman Review gets its name from Tishman Hall, located on the campus of Bennington College where co-founding editors Maura Snell and Jennifer Porter gave their graduate lectures and readings as students in the Bennington Writing Seminars. They are joined by Joanne Nelson, editor for creative nonfiction.

Publishing quarterly fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art, including cartoons, the current issue of The Tishman Review is available for free online. All issues are available to purchase as an e-book and in print-on-demand.

Porter tells me they started a magazine "to be DIFFERENT. We wanted to pay our contributors, we wanted to be hands-on editors—not only reading everything that comes in (and often providing feedback) but also editing accepted pieces, we wanted to be open to what authors are creating rather than having pre-determined ideas of what they should be writing."

As a result of their up-to-elbows approach, readers can expect to find a selection of poetry, prose and art that "speaks to the human condition" and "hopefully elicits a response, whether it be emotional or intellectual."

There have been no preset themes for submissions, though themes have appeared from among the works once they have been selected for publication. The editors shared, "We do like to publish work that challenges the 'isms of sex, race, age, etc."

Among those writers whose works have been selected, in poetry: Lauren Davis, Ace Boggess, Barrett Warner, Karla Van Vliet and Jennifer Martelli; in fiction: Tamas Dobozy, Amanda Pauley, Laura Jean Schneider, Lee L. Krecklow, James English, and Mercedes Lawry; in creative nonfiction: Robert Vivian, Jayne Guertin, and Kerrin O'Sullivan.

For the July issue, The Tishman Review will begin mini-contests in which readers (on our website) and the staff vote for their favorite piece in each genre and contributors will win prize monies. The editors hope to continue working on the publication's financial standing so as to increase contributor payments.

All poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions can be made through Submittable. There is a fee to submit works, which the editors felt a need to comment on: "There is a lot of controversy surrounding submission fees. On our website we've posted a Code of Ethics for our journal as we do charge a submission fee. We want each submitter to see what they are paying for. We also host regular no fee submission days that we announce through social media. We do not charge a submission fee for art or craft blog posts."

The Tishman Review also accepts submissions of book reviews and craft essays for the Craft Talk Blog (there is no pay for these contributors, but the byline is worth it – the blog already has some excellent content that has been featured on NewPages), as well as cover art, interior black and white art, and cartoons.

Ricochet Review

July 08, 2015
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ricochet-reviewStudent poets guided by faculty and editorial editors at Chicago's Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center comprise the editorial board of Ricochet Review, an annual poetry magazine that strives to publish both established and emerging writers who work in poetry and/or poetry translations from various languages and various forms of art. The newest issue (#3) features translation from both underrepresented and major languages, as well as through ekphrasis.

Ricochet Review is unique among literary magazines because of its "Apprentice Poet and Master Poet Mentorship Exchange." This is an opportunity for high school poets to hone their craft through a guided, workshop-style collaboration between experienced, published, and talented master poets, who understand the art of poetry and how to convey it. High school students who wish to be mentored should highlight their interest in their cover letter when submitting their poems. The editorial board will then contact chosen participants.

Ricochet Review is currently accepting national and international submissions from high school students, college students, and non-students. The theme for their next issue: "Macabre and Grotesque." The editors write, "We are looking for any type of poetry and translation directly or indirectly inspired by the macabre and/or grotesque." The reading period ends February 1, 2016.
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The Teacher's Lounge on the League of Canadian Poets website offers some great resource essays and lesson plans:

Encouraging Amazing Writing by Dawna Proudman
Inspiring Writing that Makes You Stand Up and Cheer by Dawna Proudman
Performing your Work: Finding the Actor Inside of You by Penn Kemp
Get Rhythm: teaching students to hear rhythm and metre by Katherine Parrish
Keep it Simple: Concrete Imagery in Poetry by Michael Mirolla
Dispelling the 5-7-5 Myth: A Haiku Lesson for Elementary Students by Naomi Beth Wakan
Canadian Poets Across the Curriculum: Al Purdy and the Dorsets by Kathryn Bjornson
Canadian Poets Across the Curriculum: Fred Wah and Joy Kogawa by Kathryn Bjornson
Digital Spaces, Reading, and Poetics by Aaron Tucker
Identity and Autobiography by Aaron Tucker
Teaching Form Poetry by Yvonne Blomer

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Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their Very Short Fiction Award. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers for stories with a word count under 3000. The next Very Short Fiction competition will take place in July. Glimmer Train's monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

SpencerHydeFirst place: Spencer Hyde [pictured], of Franktown, CO, wins $1500 for "Light as Wings." His story will be published in Issue 97 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be his first major fiction publication.

Second place: John Patrick Sheridan, of Schenectady, NY, wins $500 for "The Narrators."

Third place: Steve Lambert, of St. Augustine, FL, wins $300 for "Fishing with Max Hardy."

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

Deadline coming up for the Fiction Open: June 30
Glimmer Train hosts this competition quarterly, and first place is $2500 plus publication in the journal. This category has been won by both beginning and veteran writers - all are welcome! There are no theme restrictions. Word count generally ranges from 2000 – 6000, though up to 20,000 is fine. Click here for complete guidelines.
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gulf-coast-summer-fall-2015The winner and honorable mentions of the 2014 Barthelme Prize are featured in the Summer/Fall 2015 issue of Gulf Coast:

2014 Barthelme Prize
Amy Hempel, Judge

Emma Bolden, "Gifted"

Honorable Mentions
Patty Yumi Cottrell, "No One Makes Plans"
Susan Lilley, "Delmonicos"

The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. The contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will receive $250, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on the Gulf Coast website as Online Exclusives.

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amy-clarkThe Chattahoochee Review Spring 2015 includes the winners of the Lamar York Prizes for story, judged by David James Poissant, and essay, judged by Marcia Aldrich. Each winner receives $1000 and publication. This year's recipients are Joel Wayne for "Brother's Keeper" (fiction) and Amy Clark (pictured) for "The Rocks" (nonfiction). A complete list of finalists can be found here.
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BirkertsThe Sewanee Review Spring 2015 issue takes a close look at the print world with its theme "The Alchemy of Print." Essays include Sven Birkerts [pictured] on "The Little Magazine in the World of Big Data"; A. Banerjee on T. S. Eliot's editing career, "T.S. Eliot and the Criterion"; Robert Buffington on Allen Tate's time at the Sewanee Review; Stephen Miller on the life of the Partisan Review, "Memoirs of a New York Intellectual Manque"; David Heddendorf on "Reading that Isn't Reading"; John Maxwell Hamilton's "The Gospel on Book Theft"; "Price Control and the Publisher" by James L. W. West III; "Everything an Anchor" by Fred Chappell; "The Man Booker Prize for 2014" by Merritt Moseley; "Remembering Winston Churchill: The making of a Book" by Mel Livatino; and "The Cheever Misadventure Revisted" by Scott Donaldson.
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brick-95Now this is cool: Brick 95 has a special feature "On Childhood Books" in which 17 writers reread and comment on books of their youth. Featured authors include Marina Endicott, Pico Iyer, Colum McCann, Kilby Smith-McGregor, Melora Wolff, Eugene McCabe, George Murray, William Kowalski, Frank Macdonald, Aga Maksimowska, Sarah Faber, John Goldbach, Eliza Robertson, Yasuko Thanh, Madeleine Thien, Lisa Moore, and Johanna Skibsrud. Some books you may recognize: Black Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Crime and Punishment, Stuart Little, The Hardy Boys, Peter Pan, and many more. Great concept. Great read. Brick includes some samples on their website here.

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