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

Denise Hill

Written by
john luther adamsAlaska Quarterly Review's Fall/Winter 2015 issue includes an incredible special feature, "They Were My People" by John Luther Adams. AQR introduces the seventy-five page section: "Drawn from his upcoming memoir Silences So Deep: A Memoir of Music and Alaska, Pulitzer Prize and Grammy-winning composer John Luther Adams writes about his music and deep friendship with Gordon Wright and John Haines. They were for him 'larger-than-life figures' and 'the embodiment of Alaska.'” Adams also shares photos and the score for "Mountains Without End" from A Northern Suite and "How the Sun Came to the Forest" from Forest Without Leaves. Alaska Quarterly Review has generously made this entire feature available online for readers to enjoy.
Written by
don quixote restless booksThis year has brought a number of ways to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Miguel De Cervantes' Don Quixote. Restless Books has released a new edition of the novel introduced by leading Quixote scholar Ilan Stavans. This edition inaugurates Restless Classics: interactive encounters with great books and inspired teachers. Each Restless Classic is designed with original artwork, a new introduction for the trade audience, and a video teaching series and live online book club discussions led by experts. Each copy of the book comes with a set of instructions on how to access videos corresponding to specific aspects within the text.

The Hudson Review Autumn 2015 features the essay "Don Quixote or the Art of Becoming" by Antonio Muñoz Molina. The full text of the essay can be read on The Hudson Review website here.
Written by
wax paperThe Wax Paper is a literary magazine "produced in a beautiful newsprint, broadsheet format (22" x 27.75") that still smells like ink when you open it up,” Publisher Nicholas Freeman boasts. But readers can also find The Wax Paper online on all digital formats with tech features not available in print, balancing the best of many worlds.

Freeman, founder and director of The Finch Gallery of Chicago, brought together resources from this and Hey Rat! Press of Los Angeles to publish all forms of moving words and still images in the print edition; the website posts images, texts, audio recordings, film, and animation selections in a full archive of contributor work.

Publishing four issues per year, Freeman tells me The Wax Paper name is derived from Studs Terkel’s first radio program, The Wax Museum. “We adopted Studs as our spirit animal while we were mapping out the aesthetics of The Wax Paper. It was only natural to honor him in the name of our project. Through The Wax Paper, we are devoted to continuing Studs’ sensibilities and charisma by publishing an eclectic range of work from artists skilled in their field and empathetic in the depiction of their characters.”

wax paper frontThe Wax Paper Editor Hans Hetrick has writing experience from poetry to technical manuals. As Freeman tells the story, the two “became acquainted 60 feet 6 inches away from each other as the famed battery in Chicago’s Mexican Baseball League. Post-game conversation found a common interest and belief that great art must possess a generosity of spirit, a genuine respect for its audience and its subjects, and a dedication to craft. We immediately began work publishing a chapbook, Fighting Love, filled with Hans’ poems and my illustrations. After the publication of Fighting Love, Hans started trying to sell me on founding a magazine. Eventually, I relented, and The Wax Paper was born.”

Freeman and Hetrick took their first cooperative publishing experience into their work on The Wax Paper as a publication open to all forms of written word, image, and any combination of the two. “The first priority of The Wax Paper,” Freeman explains, “is to expand our understanding of the people we share the world with, and in doing so, expand our understanding of ourselves. Works will be selected on their ability to illuminate the humanity and significance of the subjects that inhabit the work.”

Readers of The Wax Paper can expect to find well-crafted, lively work that explores the diverse range of the human condition. Contributors include poets, painters, playwrights, photographers, comedians, screenwriters, illustrators, essayists, fiction and nonfiction writers, translators, songwriters, muralists, storytellers, and anyone skilled in moving words and still images. The Wax Paper features unpublished and veteran artists like Richard Robbins, Thomas Maltman, Becky Fjelland Davis, Roger Hart, Karen Byers, Mike Lohre and Pulitzer Prize winning historian and author Garry Wills who honored the publication by writing their opening essay.

The Wax Paper accepts all forms of moving words and still images for their quarterly printed broadsheet. They are distributed nationally and all written work will be archived on their website. Current reading period is open until June 30th. All contributors are given a lifetime subscription.
Written by
noy holland"There are standards, and we can be obedient to them. We can ask punctuation to be of service to meaning, in service of clarification, a hand to hold, a breeze at our backs. Standard punctuation is easy and safe and encouraged. It becomes almost invisible. 'It was good enough for Shakespeare,' a teacher once told me, 'it's good enough for you.' Don't be silly, I think he was saying. Don't be a sophomore, or a sheep. Because he loved Bernhard and Beckett, too, their everlasting paragraphs induced by the substance and manner of what they had to say; there is nothing capricious about it. Nothing capricious about Merwin, whose unpunctuated, uncapitalized lines can look like leaves being blown from the page, light and dry and moving. Like wind in the fur of the foxes." From Noy Holland's Punctuation is When You Feel It, published in the Glimmer Train Bulletin #106.

First Lines for 2016

November 11, 2015
Written by
snoopy typingThe First Line literary magazine is built on the premise of jump-starting writers' imaginations. The publication provides the first line for writers and accepts fiction and non-fiction submissions for each issue based on that unique first line. Since 1999, readers have been able to enjoy a wealth of creativity that stems from these common start points. Recently, the first line held a contest for - First Lines! They received over 1,000 entries and selected four to use as the first lines for 2016:

Spring: “Unfortunately, there is no mistake,” she said, closing the file. (Submitted by Julia Offen)
Summer: By the fifteenth month of the drought, the lake no longer held her secrets. (Submitted by Julie Thi Underhill)
Fall: Mrs. Morrison was too busy to die. (Submitted by Victoria Phelps)
Winter: In the six years I spent tracking David Addley, it never occurred to me that he didn’t exist. (Submitted by Aysha Akhtar)

"But wait," says Editor David LaBounty, "there’s more. We felt several sentences that were submitted as first lines would have made great last lines, and since we needed a last line for the third issue of The Last Line, we decided to pick one more sentence. We chose the following to be the last line for the 2016 issue."

Issue 3 of The Last Line: It was hard to accept that from now on everyone would look at her differently. (Submitted by Adele Gammon)

In case you weren't sure, The Last Line annual lit mag is the same concept, only flipped: writers are provided with the last line as their prompt.

No excuses writers: you've been prompted!

Changes at Florida Review

November 10, 2015
Written by
jocelyn bartkeviciusThe Florida Review writes: "After seven years of distinguished leadership, Jocelyn Bartkevicius [pictured] is stepping down from the editorship to pursue her own writing projects." Jocelyn will see issue 39.2 to press and has made selections to be included in 40.1, making a smooth transition to the new editor, Lisa Roney, writer, teacher, and author of the recently published Serious Darling: Creative Writing in Four Genres.
Written by
campbellGlimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their August Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held three times a year 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 January/February. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

1st place goes to A. Campbell of New Haven, CT [pictured], who wins $1500 for “On Fleek/Fleek On.” This story will be published in Issue 98 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be the author’s first fiction publication.

2nd place goes to Mary Kate Varnau of Carbondale, IL for “Supernova.” This story will also appear in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing her prize from $500 to $700.

3rd place goes to René Houtrides of Jackson Heights, NY. She wins $300 for “Senior Spring.”

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Written by
driftwood press 24Some lit mags are able to feature a writer or two by providing an interview with authors whose works appear in the issue. For Driftwood Press Literary Magazine, amazingly, this 'feature' is standard.

Every contributor has the opportunity to include answers to some questions: When did you write this piece? What inspired this piece? Are any of its themes inspired by your own life? What part of this piece was conceived of first? Is there anything unique about your personal writing process? Who are some of your favorite authors? Which authors influenced this piece? What drew you to Driftwood Press?

In addition to a number of stock questions, there are also some which are tailored to the author or to the selected work, showing good editorial/interviewer sensibilities in eliciting information of interest to readers.

This is a remarkable feature in any magazine, adding informative and educational content to the reading. For writers looking for insight into the craft of other writers, and for readers looking for insight into their analysis and interpretation, a magazine full of these interviews is a boon. This is a publication I would recommend highly to teachers looking for accessible (and FREE) resources for students both in writing and literature courses. Getting a full scope of contemporary literature in a single source doesn't get much better than this.
Written by
amanda silberlingExcepted from "Afterglow" by Amanda Silberling:
I built a home in the shadow of a body,
raised myself to learn why time never stops
moving so slowly. How only I can turn it
back. Waking up feels ten cents short.
I can slip down the drain like a fallen coin.
Read the whole poem and hear it read by the poet on decomP magazinE.

Cutthroat Mentoring

October 27, 2015
Written by
cutthroatCutthroat Literary Magazine offers month-long and six-week-long one-on-one mentorships in a number of genres. "This is much cheaper than a writers conference or a writing program," the magazine touts, with a refundable fee if the mentor fails to fulfill his/her contract. The mentorships include submitting work, getting close read feedback ("extensive written critical comments and suggestions"), and being able to interact via e-mail within each week of the mentorship to ask questions and submit new works or resubmit revised works. Visit the Cutthroat website to read more specifics, inlcluding fees. The writing mentors include:

POETRY: Patricia Smith, Richard Jackson, Joy Harjo, Pam Uschuk, Doug Anderson, Marilyn Kallet, Annie Finch, William Pitt Root

SHORT STORY: Donley Watt, Lorian Hemingway, Darlin' Neal, William Luvaas, Melissa Pritchard, Beth Alvarado

MEMOIR: Joy Harjo, Doug Anderson, Beth Alvarado

MIXED GENRE: Sean Thomas Dougherty

ESSAYS: Linda Hogan

NOVEL: Donley Watt

SCREENPLAY: Steve Barancik

We welcome any/all Feedback.