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Denise Hill

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The Modern Dickens Project starts by posting an opening chapter online then invites other writers to continue the story by submitting the next chapter in the developing story month-by-month for the next twelve months, resulting in a thirteen chapter book. The curators behind this project are Chris Draper, Executive Director; Rachel Vogel, Managing Editor; Kali Van Baale, Editorial Advisor; Tracey Kelley and Murl Pace, Editorial Board.

Starting in 2011, the project posts a starting chapter by an established guest author, wetting the "tone and style of the following chapters." While supported by the Iowa Arts Council, submissions are open to all writers; however, the overall story "must be distinctively Iowan."

Submissions are due by the 21 of each month with the winning chapter selected and published online by the first of the next month to keep the story contributions going.

Previous Modern Dickens Project books are The Devil is Done Sinning, Defining Darrell, and Woman, Regardless. Each is available in paperback and kindle formats.

Able Muse 2015 Winners

August 19, 2015
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Able Muse is pleased to announce the winners of the Write Prize for poetry & fiction. The winning writer and the winning poet will each receive a $500 prize.

Write Prize for Fiction
Final Judge: Eugenia Kim
Winner: Andrea Witzke Slot - "After Reading the News Story of a Woman Who Attempted to Carry Her Dead Baby onto an Airplane"

Here is what Eugenia Kim has to say about Andrea Witzke Slot's winning story: The first line of this story presents a character, setting and situation with a rare and satisfying command of storytelling. Using perfect details balanced against rapid pacing, the voice of this writing has an air of stern and simple elegance, and reveals how the narrator's experience of a newspaper story becomes a parallel challenge to her own ambivalence about motherhood and love. In the way that great stories open larger questions, within its brief timeframe this story questions culture and society, and how we are so quick and sure to judge the tragedies of others, yet with less capacity to examine the perils in our own judgments.

Honorable Mention
James Cooper - "Strangers on a Cliff"
Albert Liau - "With the Clarity of Hindsight"

Shortlist
Scott Sharpe - "Dance Among the Dogwoods"

* * * *

Write Prize for Poetry
Final Judge: H.L. Hix
Winner: Elise Hempel - "Cathedral Peppersauce"

Here is what H.L. Hix has to say about Elise Hempel's winning poem: The formal qualities of "Cathedral Peppersauce" are elegant: slant rhymes throughout, until the final couplet clicks the poem closed with a perfect rhyme. Even more elegant, though, is the poem's way of grasping the beauty of its subject, by looking simultaneously at the bottle and through it into history, from which it recuperates, through sympathy and particularity, a life lost long ago.

Finalists
Elise Hempel - "Jockey"
Jeanne Wagner - "On Watching a Cascade Commercial"

Shortlist
Jim Bartruff - "Meditation on the Wake of the Winslow Ferry"
Midge Goldberg - "On Learning the Harvest Moon Is an Optical Illusion"
Trish Lindsey Jaggers - "Jaybirds Feeding on Robins"
Miriam O'Neal - "Bottle Journal ? Meditation on Transformation"
Gabriel Spera - "Blessed"
Marty Steyer - "The King of Lightning"
M.K. Sukach - "About an Alligator"
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David Ulin and Carolyn Kellogg offer readers 10 ways to explore the complicated legacy of Watts through literature on the LA Times Jacket Copy.

Philip N. Meyer, professor at Vermont Law School and author of Storytelling for Lawyers, on How trials are more like plot-driven movies than character-driven novels.

Writer and activist Omer Aziz takes a look at What novels teacher us about life on the Huffington Post.

And several lists to support the need to read:

Top ten most chosen 'must-reads' by teachers

8 classic novels that will make you a better leader


President Obama's Summer Reading List
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william-butler-yeatsIt's a great time for fans of Yeats to plan a visit to Ireland as 2016 marks the centenary of Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising, a key moment on Ireland's path to independence. Programs are planned throughout the year in seven areas: State Ceremonial; Historical Reflection; An Teanga Bheo (The Living Language(; Youth and Imagination; Cultural Expression; Community Participation; and Global and Diaspora. In addition, the government is "providing enhanced visitor experiences and access to important locations related to the Rising or to events and people of that time," such as the GPO Interpretative Center, Richmond Barracks,  National Concert Hall, Military Archives and more. The website has a PDF download of the events planned as well as regular updates online.

The Poetry Foundation has a full entry on William Butler Yeats' "Easter, 1916" in which Ange Mlinko explores "how the conflict of a nation was camptuerd by a plitically reluctant poet."

New Madrid Anniversary

August 12, 2015
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new-madridHappy 10th Anniversary to New Madrid, the national journal of the low-residency MFA program at Murray State University. In her Editor's Introduction, Ann Neelon takes a look back, noting that "as milestones go, a decade is not insignificant, especially for a low-residency program like ours that operates, within the university budget, according to a make-or break financial model much like that of a small business."

In looking to the future, Neelon resolves to "keep getting better," with plans underway "to start up a literature option in Ireland. April 2016 marks the centenary of the rebellion immortalized by William Butler Yeats in his poem, 'Easter, 1916.' and our plan is to take advantage of the many exhibits and events the government of Ireland has planned in commemoration. Our first study-abroad course, to be offered in June of 2016, will use the Easter Rising as a lens through which to examine the entanglement of literature, history, and politics. The course will be open to alumni as well as current students."
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jerry mathesThe 2015 annual issue of The Meadow features the winner of their 2015 Novella Prize: "Still Life" by Jerry D. Mathes II.

The Novella Prize is open until December 15 for previously unpublished manuscripts between 18,000 and 35,000 words. The winner receives $500 and publication in the print journal as well as online. The judge for 2015 has not yet been announced. For more information, visit The Meadow website.

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malahat reviewThe Malahat Review issue 191 includes winners of their 2015 Long Poem Prize: Gary Geddes for "The Resumption of Play" and Genevieve Lehr for "The latter half of the third quarter of the waning moon."

The Malahat Review website features and interview with each author on their winning poems as well as a link to a symposium on the Long Form which was presented at the League of Canadian Poets' Long Poem panel May 2015 annual general meeting in Winnipeg. Contributing authors and commentaries include: Kate Braid's "Tending the Garden: The Fruits and Dangers of the Long Poem"; Cornelia Hoogland's "The Long Poem and the Shape of the Working Mind"; and Sharon Thesen's "After-Thoughts on the Long Poem."

Lee Gutkind on Waiting

August 11, 2015
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creative-nonfictionIssue 59 of Creative Nonfiction is themed Waiting. In his editorial, "What's the Story?" Lee Gutkind examines many of his own experiences with waiting - as an editor, as a writer, as a coffee consumer. He also considers the role he plays in the lives of others and their waiting to hear about submissions they've sent in to CNF, that process, and why there is so much waiting for others to do.

The word waiting appears 35 times in the 1000-word essay, and while I can empathize with the frustrations shared with each recounting, there's also something oddly humorous about it - most likely because it's not me doing the waiting. But I certainly know the experience of waiting at Starbucks only to be next in line behind the guy who "asked the barista twenty questions about the breakfast choices and the oatmeal toppings."

This issue also includes the essay "Any Given Day" by Judith Kitchen, submitted specifically for this issue prior to her passing August 20, 2014, and the essay "A Genre by Any Other Name?: The Story Behind 'Creative Nonfiction" by Dinty W. Moore. Gutkind's and Moore's essays can be read online as well as "Sleepless in Any City: Insomnia in Lorca's Madrid" by Janine Zeitlin for readers to get a sample of the publication's content.
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The 2015 round is now open for the Sustainable Arts Foundation. The foundation offers awards in two major categories: visual arts and writing. Writers working in fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and poetry are endouraged to apply. Visual artists practicing painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, mixed-media and photography are encouraged to apply. At this time they are not accepting applications in the performing arts, film/video, or music.

To be eligible, the applicant must have at least one child under the age of 18. The foundation will award Sustainable Arts Foundation Award: $6,000 and Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award: $2,000. They typically offer five of each award in each application round.

There is a $15 application fee, but 100% of the fee goes to the jurors, who are also fellow parent artists themselves. Deadline September 4, 2015.
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Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their May Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000. The next Short Story Award competition will take place in August. Glimmer Train's monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

Lauren Green1st place goes to Lauren Green [pictured] of New York, NY. She wins $1500 for "When We Hear Yellow" and her story will be published in Issue 97 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be her first publication.

2nd place goes to Emory Harkins of Brooklyn, NY. He wins $500 for "We're Talking to Ourselves."

3rd place goes to Ellen Graham of Seattle, WA. She wins $300 for "Livingston."

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

Deadline today for the Very Short Fiction Award: July 31. This competition is held quarterly, and 1st place wins $1500, publication in the journal, and 20 copies of that issue. It's open to all writers, with no theme restrictions, and the word count must not exceed 3000. Click here for complete guidelines.
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