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Denise Hill

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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.

NER Focus on China

July 30, 2015
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Volume 36.2 of New England Review includes a Focus on China, with first English translation of poems by Xiao Kaiyu, Ya Shi, and Yin Lichuan; Wei An's ruminations on nature just north of Beijing; Wendy Willis on Ai Weiwei's blockbuster show at Alcatraz; and fiction by Chinese-born American writer Michael X. Wang.

new-england-reviewEditor Speer Morgan writes in his Editor's Note: "At NER, the door has always been open to translations, from any language, but Chinese literature has been missing from our pages since 1987, when we published David Hinton's rendition of classical Chinese poet Tu Fu. So for this issue we reached out in order to bring more of it in. We've assembled a handful of contemporary works translated from Chinese as well as works pertaining to China written in English. This is not an attempt to present some kind of overview—not at all—but rather we're doing what NER does best, that is, offering a lively sample of what's new and good. They're presented not as a discrete section but are integrated into the issue as a whole, because it turns out that the China-related pieces in this issue speak just as often, and sometimes more clearly, to the other works assembled here as to each other."
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Molly Lynch give us 10 books to entertain, inspire and encourage young feminists - agree? disagree?

150 Years of Wonderland is on exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum, with an online exhibition available for mouse click travelers.

Follow that up with Anarchy in Wonderland: Vivienne Westwood's anti-capitalist take on Alice's Adventures on NewStatesman.

Washington Post's Valerie Strauss examines Common Core and Martin Luther King Jr.: Is this any way to teach his famous letter from jail?

What do Americans look like in Arabic literature? Columnist Marcia Lynx Qualey @arablit explores Portraits of Americans in Arabic literature.

I could have used a couple of these when I first began smartphone reading: 5 Tips for Reading Serious Literature on Smartphones.

And Dartmouth College is running a contest to see what artificial intelligence can create the most human-like writing and music entries.
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kevin-brockmeierThe Masters Review volume IV features ten authors whose stories were selected by Kevin Brockmeier [pictured] as "The Best Stories by Emerging Writers." The Masters Review has two submission periods per year, one for new voices published online, and the print anthology, which in the past was open to just those in graduate-level programs.

This year's anthology opened to submissions "from emerging writers of all kinds." Editor Kim Winternheimer writes, "As The Masters Review grows in its literary pursuits, its focus remains on celebrating and promoting new and emerging authors. Yet, by showcasing writers from a single demographic we were limiting our platform. As we mark our fourth year, we are thrilled to embrace a growing range of voices."

Winternheimer comments that while nonfiction entries were submitted, none were selected for this final colletion, making this anthology an all-fiction issue. Authors and works included can be found here, as well as a link to the shortlist of finalists.
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hannah-gildeaBig Muddy: A Journal of the MIssissippi River Valley issue 15.1 features winning entries from their 2014 contests:

Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest
Jeannine Dorian Vesser, Missouri, "That Summer"

Mighty River Short Story Contest
Hannah Gildea [pictured], Oregon, "Cottonmouth"

2014 contest winners for full-length works to be published by Southeast Missouri State University Press include:

Cowles Poetry Book Prize
Angie Macri, Underwater Panther
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel
James Tate Hill, Academy Gothic
Publication Date: October 1, 2015
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halstonCarissa Halston's "Call It a Map" has been awarded the 2015 Willow Springs Fiction Prize of $2000 and publication in issue #76. Halston offers insight on the winning story: the Craigslist ad that inspired the concept, her signing up for a sleep study and researching disabilities. She writes of the piece, "I wanted to push sensory details as far as I could without relying on imagery, which meant I was allowed to choose similes and metaphors that wouldn't fly in another story. All stories rely on internal logic, but I find the most cohesive narratives are those that use their plot details to inform their diction." Read the story and more from Halston here.
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With little fanfare, John Rosenwald and Lee Sharkey have stepped down as The Editors of Beloit Poetry Journal, roles they have held for nearly 25 years.

The publication has a long and romantic history - starting up at Beloit College, declaring its independence to defy the opinions of those who would censor it, and moving from Wisconsin to Maine while keeping its place-based name, establishing an international reputation for contemporary poetry. Writers speak of 'not being ready yet' to submit to BPJ, but someday, they will; or of being rejected, they smile - as though accomplishing the attempt was enough (and they always say, "I got the nicest rejection..."). Sigh. There just aren't many such stories as those nowadays with the revolving door of publication start ups and closures, hundreds of lit mags to submit to, mass submission processes where writers don't even know the publications they've sent work to.

Beloit Poetry Journal's history is a good read and reminder of the literary journals that paved the way for so many others. And not just publications, but the people involved with them: editors, readers, writers, publishers. All of us.

Having known John and Lee (and Ann Arbor) for well over a decade now, I know this decision to pass on the publication was not an easy one. Please readers, understand, it was within their power to end Beloit Poetry Journal and call it a good run. Stepping away is hard enough, but handing over a publication with such an incredible reputation was not so much a decision as a process that took several years to come through. My appreciation and admiration to John and Lee and Ann for all of their hard work and dedication to writers AND readers. They never separated the importance of those two roles through the years they ran the journal, which is what makes it so well known today within the literary community.

I see John and Lee are still listed in the publication as "Senior Editors," so I'm sure they will continue on in some advisory capacity. But I have also met the new editors: Melissa Crowe and Rachel Contreni Flynn. I know they will look to their Senior Editors in the years to come to guide them, but I already sense that they will have strength and creativity of their own to take the journal into the next great phase of its existence.

Melissa and Rachel provide a short note about the transition here. I like how in it, and elsewhere on the site, the role of Editor is referred to as handling the day-to-day operations of the journal. But as the literary community had come to know first David and Marion Stocking, then John Rosenwald, Lee Sharkey, and Ann Arbor as the face(s) of Beloit Poetry Journal - there is a great deal more responsibility to being the Editor of a journal than simply running the day-to-day. That day-to-day may actually feel like the work of it all, but much more than that is required to maintain a good literary publication. A great literary publication. One of the best.

The tangible, the day-to-day, that will be the easy part. It's the other, the expectations, that become the true responsibility. The expectations of writers, of readers, of other editors, other publications, of teachers, of students, of the up-and-coming, of the established, of yourselves - most of all - of yourselves. Continually satisfy these changing expecations of the collective imagination, sustain this, and you will have a publication people know internationally. For decades. It has been done. It can be done.

My best to Melissa and Rachel. No cliches about shoes to fill. You have already done that or you wouldn't be here already. Ten years from now, let's look back, talk about where Beloit Poetry Journal has been and imagine where you see it going.
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fiddlehead-summer-2015I couldn't help but to share this snippet from Mark Jarman's editorial remarks for the summer fiction issue of The Fiddlehead (n264):
I will be brief: this is an amazing collection, an astounding summer fiction issue. Look at the stories and writers from around the globe, writers new and proven: no one else in Canada can touch what we are doing right now.

There I've said it; the gods of the small mags can strike me down.
Rather than being struck down, I hope this encourages readers to take look (a couple can be read full text online) and judge for themselves!
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ruminate-35Ruminate Summer 2015 includes the first and second place winners and the honorable mention of the 2015 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize judged by Scott Russel Sanders.

First Place
D.L. Mayfield for Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Second Place
Elizabeth Dark Wiley for "If you Want it to Last..."

Honorable Mention
Shannon Huffman Polson for Naked: A Triptych
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