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

Denise Hill

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
Written by
apple valley reviewThis one made me smile out loud. Here's an excerpt from Megan Taylor's essay "The Lottery":
And my grandmother says, “The lottery’s the highest it’s ever been. I asked my hairdresser to pick up an extra ticket for me. And I know just what I’ll do if we win.”

[. . . ]

Grandma has wanted to win the lottery for as long as I can remember.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“I’ll give you the money to run an ad with tire prices so low that the competition won’t know what to do! They’ll be scratching their heads, saying, ‘Where did she get tires at those prices? How can she sell them so low?’ And customers will be coming in left and right! You’ll have to beat them off with a stick. It’ll be such fun.”

I’m excited then, too, thinking of pissing off the competition. Getting even. It’s not the high road, but it makes me smile just the same.

Read the rest and more from Taylor and others in the fall 2015 issue of Apple Valley Review online.

What Allegro Looks For

October 29, 2015
Written by
allegro headerKnowing what an editor is looking for in submisisons can also help readers understand what they will encounter on the pages (print or electronic) of a literary publication.

UK-based Allegro Poetry Magazine publishes online by founding editor and British poet, Sally Long, who explains to writers what she is looking for in submissions. "I aim to publish the best poetry in Allegro and so I have no preference for any particular form of poetry." That said, she did offer some qualities she looks for in a good "fit" for Allegro: poems that evoke place or time; strong characterizations of people-focused works; striking images; well-used language; well-crafted formal poetry - which Long notes she sees too little of and would welcome more; and poems that skillfully use rhyme and half-rhyme - also a form she would welcome more of.

Allegro publishes two themed issues per year, the latest from September is themed "Japanese," while the remainder of the issues during the year are open to general submissions.
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American Life in Poetry: Column 552

Many of the poems that have survived for hundreds if not thousands of years perfectly capture a single vivid moment. There’s an entire season packed into this very short poem by Ed Ochester, from his recent book, Sugar Run Road. Ed Ochester lives in Pennsylvania.


Crows, crows, crows, crows
then the slow flapaway over the hill
and the dead oak is naked

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2015 by Ed Ochester, “Fall,” from Sugar Run Road, (Autumn House Press, 2015). Poem reprinted by permission of Ed Ochester and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.
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Bringing literary frontiers and emerging voices to readers around the globe, New Zealand based Headland is a quarterly publication of literary short fiction and creative non-fiction available on Kindle.

JillianFounding Editors Liesl Nunns & Laura McNeur comment on their motivation for starting up a literary magazine, “We wanted to create a journal that gives voice to aspiring writers alongside established authors, offering a platform for first-time publication. New Zealand is home to remarkable literary talent, and Headland is a springboard for writers to explore and develop their potential, and showcase their early-career works.”

To support this focus on new writers, the editors offer this encouraging insight on their submissions page: “If we are umm-ing and aah-ing over whether to select your piece, it may just tip the balance in its favour if we know that we have the opportunity to introduce a new voice and, hopefully, make someone’s day.”

Choosing the name Headland, the editors meld both their local and global interests, “We wanted a name that invoked a very New Zealand sense of place and also looked outward to the rest of the world. For us, Headland not only does this, it touches on the limb writers go out on when they submit, on the experience readers have when lost in a good story, compelled to finish, and the place where the story lingers long after the last word is read."

Readers who come to the publication can already find great variety among the three issues of published authors. “We're very upfront about the fact that we publish what we love,” say the editors. “Readers can expect to find stories that they'll remember. Stories that take them places, and works that strike a chord in some way."

Some featured authors include Alex Reece Abbott, Michelle Elvy, Nod Ghosh, Heather McQuillan, Sian Robyns, Trish Harris, Rupa Maitra, Patrick Pink, Bonnie Etherington, Becca Joyce, Ignacio Bayardo Peña, and Jillian Sullivan [pictured]. The editors will soon be announcing their Best Story, and Best Story by an Unpublished Author for 2015. Headland will also feature a few contributors on their blog for each issue, exploring a different aspect of writing.

Headland accepts short literary fiction and creative non-fiction pieces between 2000-5000 words. The next deadline is Friday 11 December 2015. The editors plan to run another special issue featuring flash fiction alongside their regular content. Submissions are accepted by e-mail.
Written by
Ellen Blum BarishWith the tag line: An exploration of human experience through essay and image, it’s hard to pass up Thread, a new literary magazine of short-form, personal narrative writing (100 to 1800 words).

Editor Ellen Blum Barish [pictured] has taught writing in Chicago-area universities, including Northwestern, where she draws her motivation to create this new publication: “The beautiful work of some of my writing students sparked my desire to publish emerging writers and build a community with established ones.”

The title comes from Barish’s attraction to the word thread: “for its multiple meanings, as a term we use to talk about what writing is about, the material that connects pieces together as well as the act of connecting them, and as a string of human conversation.”

But she also sees the publication as creating something even more rich for the readers to experience. The publication will offer readers, “Stories from life turned into art, accompanied by photographs that deepen and enrich those stories.”

Some past contributors include Robert Root, Lee Reilly, Randy Osborne, and Ona Gritz, and the upcoming issue will feature Roberto Loiederman, Annette Gendler, and Tom McGoehy.

Barish looks forward to the continuation of the publication, noting “I’m thinking about adding a flash nonfiction category and possibly a theme issue.”

Thread accepts submissions every day of the year by email, though Barish advises potential contributors, “To get a good sense of the publication, I urge writers to read at least two issues before submitting a piece of work to Thread.” See the website for full submission details.
Written by
nora-goldJewish celebrates five years as "the only English-language journal in the world (in print or online) devoted exclusively to publishing Jewish fiction." was formed to showcase the finest contemporary writing on Jewish themes (either written in, or translated into, English), and to provide an online community for writers and readers of Jewish fiction from around the world. Editor Dr. Nora Gold writes, "I see this journal as a means to bring together in one place first-rate Jewish fiction from many different countries, thus allowing us all to experience simultaneously the rich diversity that exists within Jewish culture and the core elements that unite us. . . Jewish fiction is important not just for its literary value, but because it tells the stories of our people, a legacy for generations to come."

The most recent issue features 24 authors, among them: Ayelet Shamir, Rivkie Fried, György Spiró, Grigory Kanovich, María Gabriela Mizraje, Robert Sachs, Susan Breall, Frederick Nenner, Stephanie Friedman, Scott Nadelson, Yona Zeldis, and Elizabeth Edelglass.

Poem :: Claudia Serea

October 30, 2015
Written by
The Paper Children
by Claudia Serea

claudia-sereaI sit on the floor
and decorate the room
with paper cutouts.

Silhouettes of children,
snipped from a folded newspaper,
fall from my hands.

They float around the room dancing,
playing, pretending
they aren't gone.

. . . 

Read the rest in the October 2015 issue of The Lake.

Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet, translator, editor, and designer who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. She is co-founder of National Translation Month which celebrates translation throughout the month of September.

The Sound of Poetry

October 28, 2015
Written by
poet lore 110Poet Lore Fall/Winter 2015 Editors' Page addresses the idea of sound in poetry and the poetic voice. "Becuase how a poet sounds matters so much to us at Poet Lore, we read the poems we're considering aloud to one another at each editorial meeting - a decisive exercise. Too often, stanzas that looked promising on the page fall flat in the air. . . It's hard to describe but easy to recognize the cadences of poetry. As Robert Frost wrote in a letter to his former student John Bartlett a century ago: 'The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader . . . . I wouldn't be writing all this if I didn't think it was the most important thing I know.'"

Also included in this issue is the essay "Say the Word" by Mark Sullivan, which "explores the threshold between hearing and interpreting word-sounds."
Written by
wild-onesMorgan Laidlaw and Zan Giese are the editorial force behind the newly launched biannual PDF The Wild Ones: A Queer Literary Magazine. Publishing stories, essays, and poetry written by LGBTQ+ writers, for LGBTQ+ writers, that "depict life and the world as we see and experience it," The Wild Ones means to create a space for queer authors.

"There are so many outlets that reinforce hetero-normative culture," Morgan tells NewPages, "and we need more works and publications that cater to us as queers. Most people can name at least one gay magazine or one queer author who has been published in a major magazine. But magazines like ours? Where they are just queer magazines? Space is what we are all looking for. Space to fit in. Space to exist and space to create. There are gaps where queer people don't quite fit into mainstream expectations and some queers who still don't fit at all. It's not that what's already out there isn't good enough, it's that there isn't enough. Period."

Morgan and Zan combined this motivation with inspiration to create the magazine's title. "The name is a hat-tip to Oscar Wilde," Morgan explains, "but also to Where the Wild Things Are and Maurice Sendak and Thorton Wilder. It's also a reference to the kinds of stories we're looking for: wild stories that don't conform to stereotype or convention."

Their first issue is a reflection of this mission, featuring an amazing science fiction short story from B.R. Sanders and hard-hitting poetry from contributors like Mark Ward, Sea Sharp, and Alaina Symanovich. "Right now," Morgan says, "we're trying to establish ourselves as a source for high-quality literary work through our journal and cultural criticism through our website. In the future, we'd love to publish quarterly, and move into other publishing venues as well."

The Wild Ones accepts submissions via their online form and welcomes pitches sent e-mail. The editors are also looking to grow their writing staff. If anyone is interested in writing for The Wild Ones website, send an email with a writing sample.

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