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How an MFA Prepared Whitney Collins for Literary Life

Guest Post by Katy Yocom

headshot of Whitney Collins

Whitney Collins graduated from Spalding University’s low-residency MFA program in 2018, won her first Pushcart Prize in 2020, and published her first book to universal acclaim the following year. I asked Whitney, author of prize-winning short story collection Big Bad and the forthcoming Ricky & Other Love Stories, how the MFA program at Spalding prepared her for the literary life. According to Whitney, it all came down to volume, community, and craft.

In her own words:

Volume.

“The sheer volume of work we were asked to generate was remarkable, and, yes, a bit intimidating,” Whitney said. “But it’s doable, and you will AMAZE yourself by being able to do it. The Spalding ‘packets’ prove to you that not only can you write, but that you can also write A LOT. I graduated with a newfound confidence surrounding my generative abilities. I also graduated knowing I had no excuses! Priceless.”

Community.

“The community at Spalding is like no other,” she said. “It’s diverse, both culturally and in genre, and delightfully non-competitive. As Sena (Jeter Naslund, Spalding MFA co-founder) always said: ‘Your competition is in the library, not the classroom.’ Your classmates at Spalding will be your cheerleaders not your critics.” 

cover of Whitney Collins' story collection Big Bad

Craft.

“The short craft essays that you write at Spalding will not just teach you how to think critically about how and why a piece of creative work is working, but you will begin to read creative work differently,” she said. “You will start to dissect successful literature and figure out what is contributing to its success. And if you think critically and read critically, you will begin to write with more awareness. You’ll start hiking with a map instead of relying solely on instinct.”

And then there were the memories…

“My favorite Spalding memory? Just one? Probably just hanging in the Brown Hotel’s lobby bar. Eating, drinking, connecting, and laughing with other exhausted and excited writers.”

Whitney graduated from Spalding’s low-residency MFA program in 2018. Her short story collection Big Bad (Sarabande Books, 2021) won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Her work has received a 2020 Pushcart Prize, a 2020 Pushcart Special Mention, and a Best American Short Stories 2022 Distinguished listing. Her second collection, Ricky & Other Love Stories, is forthcoming next year.

Spalding University Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing logo
Spalding’s Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing is now accepting applications for an early-decision deadline of February 1. Email [email protected] to request an application fee waiver code and save $30 when you apply.

Students can begin their studies with Spring residency (May 27 – June 3 in Louisville) or Summer residency (June 25 – July 3 in Québec City). Or apply by August 1 for the Fall semester (November-April).

Learn more at Spalding’s website, or email if you have any questions.


BIO: Katy Yocom is a Spalding alum, associate director of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing, and author of a prize-winning debut novel, Three Ways to Disappear.

Discover Oracle: Fine Arts Review

Oracle: Fine Arts Review was established in 2003 and is supported by the University of South Alabama Student Government Association, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Departments of English and Visual Arts.

Run by students, this literary magazine publishes work from national and international writers and artists and is open to submissions every fall. Stop by their listing on NewPages to learn more about them.

2022 Chesapeake Writers’ Conference

Chesapeake Writers Conference 2022 event poster

Enjoy a week of craft talks, lectures, panel discussions, and readings (not to mention daily workshops in fiction, poetry, songwriting, or creative nonfiction) at the 2022 Chesapeake Writers’ Conference. This year’s conference takes place June 19-25. Registration is rolling. They do have college credit and scholarships available for participants.

Work closely with award-winning faculty Jerry Gabriel, Patricia Henley, Matt Burgess, Matthew Henry Hall, Elizabeth Arnold, Crystal Oliver (Brandt), Angela Pelster, Nadeem Zaman, and Heather Green and practice a wide range of genres and styles. Presenters include Sara Goodman and Kayla Lightner with Tre Johnson as guest author.

Sign up today!

Carve 2022 Online Classes Announced

CARVE has announced their upcoming 2022 schedule of online classes.

Short Story Writing: Fundamentals consists of five lessons on Character & Plot, Point of View, Dialogue, Inner Monologe, and Description. The course runs for 6 weeks. Available dates are January 3 – February 13, March 28 – May 8, June 20 – July 31, and September 12 – October 23.

Short Story Writing: Techniques is also a 6-week course comprised of 5 lessons on Use of Senses, Imagery, Metaphors & Similies, Rhythm & Pacing, and Threading. Available dates are February 14 – March 27, May 9 – June 19, August 1 – September 11, and October 24 – December 4.

Each class needs to have at least five students and there will be weekly deadlines to completed writing exercises and provide peer feedback. There is no instructor feedback for these courses.

Subscribers to CARVE can receive a 10% discount on these classes. Learn more at CARVE‘s website.

Biology and Connection: An Interview with Lauren Taylor Grad

The Woven Tale Press – Volume 9 Number 9, 2021

Lauren Taylor Grad’s work was featured in Woven Tale Press Volume XI Number 9. Jennifer Nelson, WTP feature writer interviewed Taylor Grad recently on the meaning and thought processes behind several of her works along with her pursuit of an MFA.

From using found items to create sculptures to utilizing her undergraduate work in biology to create paintings, Taylor Grad’s work is diverse. One of the most interesting pieces is Tethered which is comprised of used clothing made to create two concrete boulders and a connecting line between them. She also created a video art piece to accompany the sculpture about moving these boulders around a curving path.

Nelson: Why did you feel it was important to earn an MFA?

The decision to go to graduate school and earn my Masters in Fine Arts was not one that I took lightly. It is a huge investment, both in time and money, and I wanted to be sure that it was the right path for me to take before I made that leap. I personally really enjoy academia; I think that the amount of growth and nurturing that occurs in an individual throughout art school in such a short amount of time is transformative, and unlike anything that you can get elsewhere.

Taylor Grad also talked about taking time off after earning her undergraduate degree to try out being a living artist and other avenues before ultimately going back to earn her MFA so that she can also become an art instructor.

Read the full interview here and look at some of Taylor Grad’s amazing work.

Open Editorial Positions Available at MAYDAY

screenshot of MAYDAY's call for volunteer editors
click image to view PDF

magazine-news-MAYDAYEditorialPositionsAfter a year of rigorous expansion, online literary magazine MAYDAY seeks to share its updated format and expanded vision with new audiences. To do this, they are expanding and diversifying their editorial staff to include new intellectual and cultural backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and points of view.

MAYDAY is a volunteer organization composed entirely of unpaid volunteers who can work anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection.

They are open to applications for production editors, social media editors, culture editors, translation editors, and visual arts editors through October 15, 2021.

Take a look at their redesigned site and content and consider joining their team. View the PDF for more information.

Carve’s Short Story Writing: Fundamentals Starts Monday, September 13

And there’s still time to register! The Short Story Writing: Fundamentals class consists of five lessons: Character & Plot, Point of View, Dialogue, Inner Monologue, and Description. The best part is that each weekly lesson can be completed on your own schedule.

The lessons also include detailed explanations, examples, Carve short stories to read and respond to, and up to two short writing exercises. You are also expected to provide peer feedback to at least two other students (minimum of 5 students required for the class).

The class will run September 13 through October 21. If you’re interested, register here.

If you are interested more in help with Techniques, their next class for that starts October 25th.

Variety Pack Mini-Mega Pack

cover of Variety Pack's Mini-Mega Pack 6x6

If you didn’t already know, literary magazine Variety Pack will release what they call “Mini Packs” on occasion. On August 30, they released Mini-Mega Pack: 6×6. This features six poems from six separate poets to whet your appetite between the releases of Issue 5 (don’t forget to check that out!) and Issue 6 (due out at the end of October).

The six poets featured in the Mini-Mega Pack are Kayla Keyes, Will Cordeiro, Ben Nardolilli, John Sweet, Peter Mitchell, and Adrian Sobo. So jump online and check this mini delight out and don’t forget they are accepting submissions through September 15.

The Boiler Under Pressure

Online literary magazine The Boiler has an exciting interview series “Under Pressure.” This series highlights previous contributors and focuses on elements of craft and process – excellent reading for both writers and readers.

You can currently find interviews with Dana Alsamsam, Esteban Rodriguez, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Jenny Molberg, Stephanie Cawley, Alyse Bensel, Dorothy Chan, Anthony Cody, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Marlin M. Jenkins, Todd Dillard, K-Ming Chang, Michael Torres, Dorsey Craft, Tatiana Ryckman, Alan Chazaro, Malcolm Friend, Sara Lupita Olivares, Roberto Carlos Garcia, Melissa Wiley, Jody Chan, Naima Yael Tokunow, Kelly Grace Thomas, and Jessica Abughattas.

“The Purpose of Translingual Poetry Centers on Going Beyond”: A Conversation between Haoran Tong and Ilan Stavans

On August 17 literary magazine The Common featured a conversation between Ilan Stavans and Haoran Tong on poetry and the use of multiple languages. Besides talking on how language is used and how they consider it in their own work, you also get to learn how they grew up and learned their languages from it being completely natural with no dominance of one language over the other to acquiring a new language as being an invasion.

My English education, in contrast, focused more on practical dialogues than on literature. English was taught to me as a useful tool to acquire more knowledge, but Chinese was me. This probably explains my initial reluctance to use English elements in Chinese poems, or vice versa. Moreover, I seriously scrutinized my poems, out of guilt, for any “latinized” syntax that sounded “unChinese.”

Stavans and Tong also talk on “decidophobia” and how common it is now when in societies today choices are constantly demanded and their is always the underlying fear that you may make the wrong one.

Decidophobia is a common social trait, especially in capitalist societies: we are constantly demanding ourselves to make a choice. This, obviously, comes with the fear of making the wrong one. Is it possible to have too many choices before us? Should one try to avoid such a situation? Probably not.

And if you are interested in translation versus translingualism, Stavans and Tong have a lot to bring to the table on the subject as well: “Whereas translation tells, explains, or instructs, translingual writing shows, infuses and liberates.” Check out the interview in it’s entirety.

Lynne Nugent Named Editor of The Iowa Review

picture of a woman with short hair and glasses, smiling

On July 27, it was officially announced that Lynne Nugent will be officially taking over the editorship of literary magazine The Iowa Review. Nugent is the seventh editor in the journal’s half-century history and is the first nonwhite person to hold this position.

Nugent was the acting editor for the past year before being officially moved into the position. Katie Berta will now be taking Nugent’s vacated managing editor position.

The Iowa Review produces issues three times a year and has been in continuous publication since1970. Don’t forget to support the journal by subscribing or purchasing single issues.

Masters Review Winter Short Story Award Winner & Anthology X Finalists Announced

Phew, August has found The Masters Review making a lot of announcements.

First, they announced that Dean Jamieson is the winner of their Winter 2020-21 Short Story Award for New Writers. His winning story, “Straight to My Heart” can be read online. Plus, they also have an interview with Dean.

Corey Flintoff’s “Collection Of The Artist” took home second place. The story and an interview with Corey is also available.

Then they announced the ten finalists selected by guest judge Diane Cook for publication in The Masters Review Anthology X.

The Bird Rattle by Chelsy Diaz Amaya

Atlas, Bayonet, (War) Correspondence: An Abecedarian by Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt

Limbs by Megan Callahan

Do Not Duplicate by John Darcy

Resurrection by Hilary Dean

Comfort Animals by Travis Eisenbise

Persimmon by Elissa C. Huang

All That Is or Ever Was or Ever Will Be by Eliana Ramage

A String of Lapis Beads by Greg Schutz

Sugar by Francis Walsh

And finally, they have announced that Nick Almeida’s Masterplans has won their inaugural chapbook contest. The book is forthcoming in Fall 2021 and you can read the titular story right now as a preview of what’s to come.

MFA at The Ohio State University Opening to Fall 2022 Applications in September

That’s right! On September 1, The Ohio State University will begin accepting applications for their MFA program in creative writing. The deadline to submit applications is December 6 for domestic applicants and November 29 for international applicants.

All admitted students are fully-funded for the entire length of the three-year program and they also receive a graduate teaching associateship, a graduate school fellowship, or a combination of the two. The program also allows students focusing on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry to cross over into other genres.

Besides the workshops and tutorials, there are some other amazing opportunities for students. The program offers an Editors Panel, a public performance showcasing creative work by third-year MFA students called Epilog, two student-faculty readings each semester, Mother Tongue evenings where MFA students get to read their work to their peers, and a Native Craft Reading Series.

Check out all the program has to offer and start getting your application materials ready.

Test Your First Line Prowess!

The First Line typewriter

Literary magazine The First Line recently realized they haven’t asked their readers and writers to supply first lines in a few years and decided to change that with The First Line 2022 First (and Last) Line Contest.

You have until September 15 at 6PM EST to submit up to three first lines and one last line. These must be original and unpublished. Those whose first or last line are selected will receive $100 and five copies of the issue inspired by their line. Pretty cool, huh? Oh, and there is no fee to enter!

Also, The First Line is giving away 22 one-year PDF subscriptions. All you have to do is enter you’re first and last lines and you’ll be put in the running for the subscription, too.

Michener Center for Writers Alumnus Success Stories

The Michener Center for Writers recently shared some great success stories from graduates of their MFA program.

Nathan Harris’ debut novel The Sweetness of Water was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. The book was released on June 15 from Little, Brown and Company and it has also been longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize. It follows two brothers in the waning days of the Civil War as they are hired by homesteaders who have lost their own son in the war.

Plus, fiction alum Rachel Heng had her story “Before the Valley” published in The New Yorker. The story follows a woman in a senior-living facility in Singapore as she discovers something unexpected about the career of a fellow resident. New Yorker editor Deborah Treisman interviews Heng about the story and her inspiration.

This made me consider the various ways in which callousness and cruelty are built into our society, in the name of pragmatism or some other utilitarian goal, and the toll this can take on the vulnerable, the elderly, the forgotten.

The Michener Center for Writers is the “only MFA program in the world that provides full and equal funding to every writer.” The program is three years and fully funded. Writers are admitted in a primary genre and also study a secondary genre. There are no teaching duties so fellows can commit themselves fully to their writing. As of Fall 2020, they are no longer requiring GRE scores to apply.

Contemporary Writers Series at Mills College

Mills College’s graduate programs in creative writing and literature present a “balance of traditional academic disciplinary training with cutting-edge work in new media, critical theory, and diverse cultural traditions.”

Not only do students have access to outstanding faculty, but they also become part of a greater writing community and get to produce and promote the college’s Contemporary Writers Series. This series features monthly readings and talks by emerging and renowned writers. All of these readings are free and open to the general public. During the 2020-21 academic year, these were held online.

Recent writers include Layli Long Solider (Chromosomory, Q Avenue Press), Melissa Valentine (The Names of All the Flowers, The Feminist Press at CUNY), mai c. doan (water/tongue, Omnidawn), and Aiden Thomas (Cemetery Boys, Swoon Reads).

January 15 is the priority deadline to apply for the fall semester. After that, they conduct rolling admissions on a space-available basis until July 15. The MFA in creative writing (poetry or prose) does also accept spring enrollment with an October 15 deadline.

Mills College and Northeastern University are currently making progress in making an alliance with one another.

Carve’s Short Story Writing: Techniques Class Begins August 2

CARVE‘s next online group writing class will launch on August 2 and run through September 12. This is a six week course which includes five weekly progressive lessons building a greater understanding of craft. Each of the lessons includes detailed explanations and examples, readings from the CARVE archive, and short exercises. The creative writing exercises are shared by class participants for peer feedback.

Lessons include Use of Senses, Imagery, Metaphors & Similes, Rhythm & Pacing, and Threading.

With this online class there is no scheduled meetings or instructor-led feedback. Coursework is online and remote. There is still some time to enroll. If you’re a current print or digital subscriber to CARVE, you can receive a 10% discount.

Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program Opening to Creative Nonfiction & Fiction Applications in Fall 2021

Northwestern Litowitz MFA+MA logoThe Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program will open to Fall 2022 applications this fall with the deadline date to be announced. They will be accepting applications in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction only. Poetry applications will be automatically rejected.

They will no longer require nor accept GRE scores as part of the application to the MFA+MA program. Besides the online application form, the department also requires supplemental materials including an official transcript from each institution attended, two-three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a creative writing sample, and sample of writing on a literary topic.

The Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program MFA+MA in Creative Writing and English offers intimate classes, the opportunity to pursue both critical and creative writing, close mentorship by renowned faculty, and three fully supported years to grow and complete a book-length project.

Current faculty include Chris Abani (graduate director) and Eula Biss (visiting artist).

Frontier Poetry Prose Poetry Lab

screenshot of Frontier Poetry websiteOnline literary magazine Frontier Poetry is offering a lab on prose poetry this summer. This lab will be completely virtual and asynchronous. Writers will be paired with award-winning poets Jihyun Yun, Felicia Zamora, or Jose Hernandez Diaz.

You can submit up to 10 pages of poetry. They recommend 5-7 being the sweet spot to get the most out of your editor’s time. Since this is a prose poetry lab, they can only be prose poems. The deadline to submit is July 31, but you can contact the editor about an extension. They have reserved 4 scholarships for BIPOC authors on a first come, first served basis.

There is no phone calls or zoom meetings. Materials will be sent to the editors and they will be in touch with feedback for you.

At the beginning of August they will send out all the learning materials while the editors work on writing feedback. Depending on the number of participants, final editorial feedback letters will be sent out in September or October and they will also be sending out letters on a rolling basis before then, too.

Reunion Online 2021 Features

While you await the release of Reunion: The Dallas Review‘s 2021 issue, don’t forget about Reunion Online. There they feature a new piece from talented writers each month.

In May they featured Kevin Brown’s “A Good Story to Tell”; in April Teresa Sutton’s “Venus Wishing for More than a Half Shell”; and in both February and March they featured Ra’Niqua Lee’s “What Cures Us (Part One) and (Part Two).

If you haven’t done so already, grab a copy of Volume 10, 2020, too.

They will reopen to submissions on October 1. All submissions are considered for print publication as well as online publication.

The Fiddlehead YouTube Channel

screenshot of The Fiddlehead's YouTube channel

Do you love being able to see writers reading their work? Did you know that literary magazine The Fiddlehead has its own YouTube channel where it uploads authors reading their work?

They do! There you can watch readings by acclaimed up-and-coming and established Canadian writers. Their last featured reading is of Lee Maracle who shared two of her poems “Belly Bulging” and “Old Tapes.” Swing by the channel to see more readings with Nicole Breit, Barbara Pelman, Margo Wheaton, Susan Musgrave, and more.

In other news, their 2021 Fiction Contest just opened to submissions last month. Deadline to enter is September 1. This year’s judge is Yasuko Thanh.

Consequence Forum Monthly Features

Screenshot of the June 2021 featured events, articles, and pieces of Consequence ForumBesides publishing the annual literary magazine Consequence in print, they also feature work on their website each month. On June 28, they released a new story by Cynthia Boorujy titled “Strange Teacups.” Besides reading the story, you can also listen to an audio recording. Also, don’t forget to check out the visual art series “I’m An Animal” by River LaMer for some stirring food for thought.

Consequence will open to submissions again on July 15! They are particularly interested in nonfiction and translations, but would love to receive any quality work centered on “the human consequences and realities of war or geopolitical conflict.”

Colorado Review Podcast: In Conversation with Brandon King

Screenshot of Colorado Review PodcastPodcasts are still all the rage and literary magazines are supplementing the work they feature in print and online with podcast series. Colorado Review has it’s very own podcast series available in Apple Podcasts or the iTunes store.

They list the archive of their episodes, dating back to 2011, online. The most recent episode, posted on June 7, features podcast host C Culbertson sitting down with Brandon Krieg, author of Magnifier and winner of the 2019 Colorado Prize for Poetry. They talk ecopoetics, environmental thought, and how the practice of walking calls on us to notice the world around use.

To start with the walking. . . it’s such a practice for renewal of my own sort of mental state. It helps me get out of my head in a way. . . . You’re moving through a landscape, you’re noticing, you’re in your senses. . . it’s a way of getting out of thoughts for me.

You can also hear Krieg read a few poems from his book Magnifier.

Don’t forget to read the Spring 2021 issue of Colorado Review & subscribe today if you haven’t already.

Radar Poetry Issue 30 Virtual Launch

Radar Poetry is celebrating the launch of Issue 30 on Thursday, July 15 at 7PM EST via Zoom.

The event features 15 contributors reading their work: J’Anet Danielo, Romana Iorga, Brendan Constantine, Justin Rigamonti, Amy Lerman, Carolyn Supinka, Carolyn Oliver, Robert Krut, Lisa Creech Bledsoe, Melanie Kristeen Robinson, David Donna, Ruth Williams, Amy Dryansky, Ann DeVilbiss, and William Fargason.

Editors and co-founders Rachel Marie Patterson and Dara-Lyn Shrager will be moderating the event.

The Zoom link will be emailed the day of. While it is free, you do need to register via Eventbrite by 6:30 PM EST on July 15 in order to attend.

The Powow River Poets Anthology II Authors’ Reading

Able Muse Powow River Poets Anthology II Reading bannerAble Muse is hosting a reading with the authors of The Powow River Poets Anthology II on Sunday, June 27 from 3-4PM EDT. The anthology was published by Able Muse Press in January 2021.

The Powow River Poets are a gathering of widely published, award-winning New England Poets, centered in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Their members are also from the Boston area and as far away as New York and Maine. 27 of these writers, including Rhina P. Espaillat, A.M. Juster, and Deborah Warren, are represented in the second edition of this anthology.

The reading is hosted by anthology editor Paulette Demers Turco and features Rhina P. Espaillat, Michael Cantor, M. Frost Delaney, Jean L. Kreiling, Alfred Nicol, and Anton Yakovlev. There will also be a Q&A session with the editor and authors.

The reading is free to attend via Zoom, but you do need to RSVP.

QPlayaz | QPride : @Salon 2021

Literary magazine Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, edited by Duriel E. Harris, is now the host and curator of @Salon. Founded in 2011, @Salon is an interdisciplinary event welcoming artists and art enthusiasts to come together for conversation, poetry, spoken word, music, sound, performance, and visual and digital art. Obsidian‘s @Salon welcomes Black writers and artists and their allies to come together for conversation and exchange.

This year’s event QPlayaz|QPride @Salon 2021 will take place virtually viz Zoom on Tuesday, June 22 starting at 5:30PM PT/7:30PM CT/8:30PM ET.

Obsidian @Salon 2021 banner

Interdisciplinary artist and writer Ronaldo V. Wilson is the Play Leader and Playaz include Vidhu Aggarwal, Lucas de Lima, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Angela Peñaredondo. This event launches Obsidian‘s call for Genderqueer/Genrequeer Playground special issue curated by Wilson with an interactive poetry reading and mixed-genre queer conversation.

QPlaya-ground will feature rounds of verbal four square, double d-iz-utch, and tag between participants. RSVP here (did I mention it’s free?).

Sponsor Spotlight :: Cutleaf

Cutleaf is an online journal published twice monthly. It’ a project of EastOver Press, an independent literary press specializing in collections of short stories, essays, and poetry. The first issue officially launched in February 2021 with “How Gretel Gets Her Groove Back” by Lauren K. Alleyne, “Sliders” by Wesley Browne, and “Eat Before You Go” by E.C. Salibian.

They feature fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and cross-genre work by both new and established writers. Issue 10 published in June 2021 features poetry by George Ella Lyon, fiction by Kevin Fitton, and nonfiction by Matt Muilenberg.

They will reopen to submissions in September 2021. Until then, browse their current issue and their back issues for an idea of what they are looking for.

Stop by their listing on NewPages to learn more.

Sponsor Spotlight :: Change Seven

Change Seven logo

Change Seven is a volunteer-run online literary journal founded in 2015. They publish four issues a year featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork. Their book section features interviews with writers (by writers) as well as reviews.

They host two reading periods a year and are currently open to submissions through June 30. They do charge a $3 fee.

The Spring 2021 issue features fiction by Liz Başok, Eesha Dave, Naira De Gracia, Ann Liska, Eric Maroney, Olive Mullet, Ken Post, Shira Richman, Ellen Sollinger-Waker, and Sara Staggs; poetry by Melissa Helton, Ace Boggess, Megan Bracher, Heather Frese, Ryan Harber, Mary Imo-Stike, and Jane Sasser; with nonfiction by Susan Bonetto, Charles Clark, James Cochran, Susan Narayan, and Paul Rousseau.

Stop by their listing on NewPages to learn more & don’t forget to read through this issue and go through the archive of past issues, too, to see what you’ve been missing.

CRAFT 2020 Creative Nonfiction Award Winners

craft logo on dark blue backgroundCRAFT has announced the winners and finalists of its 2020 Creative Nonfiction Awards judged by Joy Castro. The winning pieces and editors’ choice selections will be published this month, so stay tuned!

Winners

Tammy Delatorre: “The Ties That Bind”
Clare Fielder: “What You Don’t Know”
Liz Harmer: “Catalogue for a Coming of Age”

Editors’ Choice Selections

Sara Davis: “The Untimely Collaborators”
Marilyn Hope: “Face, Velvet, Church, Daisy, Red”

Congratulations to the winners and finalists.

The 2021 Creative Nonfiction Award will open in the Fall. They are currently accepting entries to the First Chapters Contest through June 30. The judge is Masie Cochran of Tin House.

Hippocampus Announces HippoCamp 2021 is a Go!

HippoCamp logo on light purple backgroundHippocampus Magazine and Books has announced that they will be hosting their annual 3-day creative writing conference this summer in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

If you haven’t heard about HippoCamp before, it is geared toward creative nonfiction writers of all skill levels and backgrounds and is formatted “in the style of a professional development, industry conference.” They feature solo presenters passionate about their topics rather than panel discussions. There you can hone your craft, explore publishing options, and find ways to balance your writing and real life while meeting new friends to learn from and share with.

This year’s conference will take place August 13-15, 2021.

They offer additional pre-conference workshops you can apply to as well as add-ons, like book sale space. As of this writing there are 102 spots remaining, so if you’re interested in nonfiction and learning more and honing your craft, don’t forget to register soon.

 

Sponsor Spotlight :: Wildness

Wildness logoFounded in 2015 by Michelle Tudor and Peter Barnfather, Wildness is an online literary magazine devoted to publishing poetry, fiction, and narrative nonfiction. They currently publish on a quarterly basis with new issues appearing in February, May, August, and November.

In December of 2019, they released the Wildness Omnibus through their parent company Platypus Press. This print anthology celebrates work published in their first twenty issues from Hanif Abdurraqib, Ruth Awad, S. Erin Batiste, Abigail Chabitnoy, K-Ming Chang, Leila Chatti, Chen Chen, Nina Li Coomes, Kyle Dacuyan, Geffrey Davis, Dalton Day, Shastra Deo, Theophilus Kwek, Peter LaBerge, Tariq Luthun, Irène Mathieu, Anis Mojgani, Mary Mussman, Patricia Patterson, Janel Pineda, Jeremy Radin, David Rompf, Omar Sakr, Raena Shirali, Clint Smith, Maggie Smith, Bethany Swann, An Uong, Marco Yan, and Sylvia Watanabe.

Stop by their listing to learn more.

Chatham University & Fourth River to Launch Jeffrey “Boosie” Bolden Series

Screenshot of Fourth River WebsiteThe MFA Program in Creative Writing at Chatham University and literary magazine The Fourth River have announced the creation of the Jeffrey “Boosie” Bolden Series. The first publication will be a special anthology called Black Visions. This anthology was conceived of and will be edited by the MFA Emerging Black Writers in Residence Cedric Rudolph and Caitlyn Hunter along with alums Samantha Edwards and Nicole Lourette.

About this anthology: Are you a black writer, or a writer who is black?

Black artists everywhere are all too familiar with this question and label on their work. Why are Black artists always called upon to write about the Black experience, about Black pain? Where are the discussions about craft, form, and futurisms? This anthology was born out of the need to create more space for Black voices; all Black voices. We want to see how your medium amplifies your voice and who you are as an artist, without the limitations of formality, genre, or subject. We are looking for the musicality, depth, and vibrancy that is Black art.

The anthology is accepting submissions through 11:59 PM on Friday, June 18 with expected publication in fall of this year.

The series is named after Chatham MFA alum and former Fourth River editor Jeffrey “Boosie” Bolden who refused to write prose or poetry restricted by genre and pushed himself to create hybrid flows fusing prose and rap. His mixtape-memoir Wolves was released in November 2020 after his passing in June of 2020.

There is no fee to submit to this anthology and accepted writers will receive a copy of the book and $50 honorarium.

Sponsor Spotlight :: River Heron Review

watercolor painting of a river heron

River Heron Review is an online poetry journal first envisioned in New Hope, Pennsylvania by Robbin Farr and Judith Lagana. They wanted to serve the literary community through publication, readings, workshops, and bringing the written word to life in as many ways as possible.

RHR publishes two digital issues a year (in February and August) online along with a contest issue and a supplemental issue. Speaking of the contest issue, the River Heron Poetry Prize is currently open to submissions through May 31. The Winner receives $500 and publication. This year’s final judge is Shankar Narayan who won the 2020 prize.

RHR also offers affordable digital workshops. Upcoming workshops include the Summer 2021 AWA Creative Writing Workshop with editor Judith Lagana, Telling the Story – Poetry with editor Robbin Farr, and (Re)Discovering Your Writer’s Voice with editor Judith Lagana.

Stop by their listing on NewPages to learn more!

Job Opening :: Ruminate Seeks Editor

Ruminate is currently seeking an editor! Founded in 2006, Ruminate is dedicated to “cultivating authenticity through nourishing conversations while spiritually sustaining life together through action and art.” Besides the award-winning quarterly literary magazine, they also have the online publication The Waking and serve the local and broader community with online and in person events.

They seek an editor who will uphold their mission of supporting their community of artists, seekers, and readers seeking spiritually nourishing conversations as well as one who can expand the range of editorial and contributor voices to “reflect a growing and changing audience” and help them grow beyond their original roots in the Christian community.

Learn more about this opportunity here.

Event :: Tinted Tales. reading across cultures

Screenshot of Tint Journal's flier for their Spring 2021 Virtual Tinted Tales Reading
click image to open full-size flier

English as a second language literary magazine Tint Journal will be hosting a virtual reading “Tinted Tales: reading across cultures” on Saturday, May 22 at 7PM (CEST). This international, multicultural, and cross-genre event will be broadcast live from many parts of the world via Tint Journal’s YouTube Channel.

The event will be moderated by Lisa Schantl (Editor-in-Chief) and Matthew Monroy (prose editor). Tint authors Catia Dawood, Satvik Gupta, Marlene Lahmer, Héctor Muiños, Chourouq Nasri, and Iva Ticic will be taking the virtual stage along with spoken word artist Seher Hashmi who successfully applied to an open slot.

The event will be musically accompanied by Soulparlez, a female-only a cappella ensemble.

Check out the trailer & set your reminders so you don’t miss out on this virtual reading!

Mudfish 22 Virtual Launch

Literary magazine Mudfish is celebrating the launch of issue 22 with a virtual reading featuring Stephanie Dickinson, John Yau, Paul Wuensche, Jill Hoffman (Mudfish editor), Erica Jong (judge of the Mudfish Poetry Prize), Mark Schimmoeller, Cornelia Hoogland, James Trask, and more.

This event will take place via Zoom on Thursday, May 13 from 7-8 PM EST.

Register for your spot today, it’s free!

New Letters Volume 87 Numbers 1 & 2

woman looking at a poster for a ballet performanceLiterary magazine New Letters publishes two double issues a year in print. Their Winter/Spring 2021 issue is now available for purchase and features fiction by Blair Hurley, Robert P. Kaye, Kirstin Scott, Anthony Varallo, and Leslie Blanco; essays by Carolina Avarado Molk, Emily Howorth, and Michaela Django Walsh; and poetry by Rebecca Foust, Jennifer Perrine, D.S. Waldman, Ted Kooser, Mihaela Moscaliuc, and Liane Strauss.

Also in this issue find the winners of their annual literary awards!

  • “Indigent” by Elizabeth Robinson, winner of the Editor’s Choice Award
  • Two poems by Mark Wagenaar, winner of the Patricia Clearly Miller Award for Poetry
  • “Lobu Hoteru” by Jacob R. Weber, winner of the Robert Day Award for Fiction
  • “Joan” by Rebecca Young, winner of the Beasley Jr. Award for Nonfiction

Their current awards in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction are open to entries through midnight CST on May 18! Check out the 2020 winners and don’t forget to pick up this issue and support the journal by subscribing!

Sponsor Spotlight :: Neon: A Literary Magazine

black and white photograph looking up at a wind turbineNeon: A Literary Magazine is a tiny biannual journal and chapbook press. It is one of the longest-running independent literary magazines in the UK which focuses on slipstream fiction, poetry, and artwork. They publish work that is fantastical, surreal, and which crosses the boundaries between science fiction, horror, and literary fiction.

Neon publishes in print and a range of digital formats. They allow you to set your own price for a digital copy. When you purchase a print subscription (they ship to anywhere in the world!), you can addon on of their chapbooks, too. Subscribe today!

Plus, if you’re a writer, Neon is currently open to submissions. The theme of the next issue will be “Cities.” They are a paying market.

Drop by their listing on NewPages to learn more.

West Trade Review Volume 12 Available for Preorder

West Trade Review Volume 12 cover

West Trade Review, formerly Encore Literary Arts Magazine, is accepting preorders for its 12th print issue due out in May of this year.

This issue features fiction by Sophie Nau, Reshmi Hebbar, Lex Chilson; poetry by Mercury-Marvin Sunderland, Tesa Flores, Hunter Boone, Stephanie Dickinson; plus art, interviews, and reviews. Check out their preview and don’t forget to order a copy today.

Plus, don’t forget to swing by their listing on NewPages to learn more about them.

The Masters Review Announces Inaugural Chapbook Award Finalists & Winner

The Masters Review has announced the finalists and winner of their inaugural Chapbook Award judged by Steve Almond. The winning manuscript is Masterplans by Nick Almeida. His chapbook is set to be published in the fall.

Finalists were Deep Blue by Jay Allison and Oscillations by Tanya Perkins.

Don’t forget their Anthology Contest closes to entries on March 28 at midnight PST.

Creative Nonfiction Offering 12 Classes This Spring

Literary magazine Creative Nonfiction has currently announced their Spring 2021 courses. They are offering a total of 12 to help people achieve their writing goals.

Currently available courses are the Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp (5-week or 10-week); Thirty-Minute Memoir; Advanced Historical Narratives: Crafting the Best Material; Advanced Memoir: From First Sentence to Resolution; and Advanced Personal Essay: Finding a Way Through. The advanced courses do require you meet pre-requisites before enrolling.

These classes are offered completely online and will run April 12 through June 20, 2021.

Happy 5th Anniversary Leaping Clear

Leaping Clear - logoCongrats to Leaping Clear! The online lit mag is celebrating its fifth anniversary this spring.

With this special occasion, the masthead is welcoming in new editors Simon Boes and Jen Schmidt.

Readers can celebrate with the magazine by checking out their brand new Spring/Summer 2021 issue. Instead of the usual format, this issue is published as a weekly Showcase Feature which will highlight one contributor from the past five years each week until the 2021 Fall issue is released in September. This week’s showcase is “Call and Response” by author and artist Deborah Kennedy.

Virtual Launch Reading for Able Muse Winter 2020/2021 Edition

Picture collage with blue background and pictures of several peopleLiterary magazine Able Muse is celebrating the release of its new print edition with a virtual reading and Q&A session with the contributors and authors of Issue Number 28.

The event is hosted by poetry associated editor Nicole Caruso Garcia and will include fellow editors Alexander Pepple, Richard Wakefield, Karen Kevorkian, and N. S. Thompson. Contributors/readers include Bruce Bennett, Anna M. Evans, Dan Campion, Estill Pollock, J.C. Scharl, John Beaton, Susan McLean, Nageen Rather, L.M. Brown (who will be reading the winning story of the 2020 Able Muse Write Prize for Fiction), and N. S. Thompson.

The launch event will take place virtually via Zoom on April 3 from 3-4PM EDT. Attendance is free and everyone is welcome to join that wishes, too. You just have to register for the event first.

The Magic of Making a Decision

Alma’s MFA in Creative Writing director Sophfronia Scott offers decision-making advice for students approaching the graduate school application season.

There’s a wonderful quote by the Scottish mountaineer William Hutchison Murray about making decisions. Specifically he’s talking about getting to that first step of a climb. The quote goes like this:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

Note he says “committed,” which means you have to make a firm decision before the assistance shows up. Why? Continue reading “The Magic of Making a Decision”

Flash Frog Delivers Flash Fiction Weekly

screenshot of Flash Frog website

Online literary magazine Flash Frog delivers up one story under 1,000 words weekly with an accompanying original artwork created just for that piece.

Founded just this year, their focus is on “language that jumps off the page” and “stories that linger for days” as they like their stories as they like dart frogs: small, brightly colored, and deadly to the touch.

Recent stories include “And This is How You Fade Away” by Tyrel Klessinger; Shannon Layne’s “All the Ways We Tried to Kill My Father”; and “Man on the Moon” by Patricia Q. Bidar.

They are open to submissions year-round and do not charge a submission fee. Hop on over to their listing on NewPages to learn more.

Literary Magazine Ailment to Launch Podcast in 2021

blue hexagon with Ailment written under it in capital lettersIt’s March which means a new issue of literary magazine Ailment: Chronicles of Illness Narratives will be launching a new annual issue soon. The prompt for the 2021 issue was “Hope is…”.

Besides their annual issues and blog Telling, they have announced they will be launching a podcast in 2021 called Cellular Bodies “where voices connect around chronic illness, creativity, and healing.

The podcast is aimed at discovering the relationship in reflective contemplation of artistic works, exploring the role creativity plays in chronic illness, and examining transformation amid loss, grief, unknowing, hope, faith, and joy.

Silk Road Offering Issues Online & In Print

Silk Road Issue 22 cover artDid you know that literary magazine Silk Road is offering its issues online beginning with Issue 17? You may not find 100% of the work featured in Issues 17 through 20, but starting with Issue 21 you can view all the content online.

Check out these archives and the Spring 2020 issue and don’t forget to order a print copy or subscribe to the journal to help support them.

Silk Road is a literary magazine run by undergraduate students at Pacific University. They are now a paying market, too! Writers receive $10/page up to $250 while artists receive $30 for each piece of art featured. They are currently open to submissions through May 1. There is a $2 fee to submit.

15th Mudfish Poetry Prize Winners

The 15th annual Mudfish Poetry Prize was judged by Erica Jong, author of The World Began With Yes (Red Hen Press, 2019).

The grand prize winner is Mark Schimmoeller from Frankfort, Kentucky with his poem “Benediction.”

First honorable mention is Cornelia Hoogland’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” and the second honorable mentions is James Trask’s “Springtime and Single Again.”

First place winner and the two honorable mentions will be featured in Mudfish 22 which will soon be available and don’t forget to stay tuned for news announcing the 16th annual Mudfish Poetry Prize deadline and guidelines.

Finalists:

Madeline Artenberg
Kew Gardens, New York

Adrian Blevins
Waterville, Maine

Paola Bruni
Aptos, California

Cornelia Hoogland
Hornby Island, Canada

Daniel Liebert
St. Louis, Missouri

Tim Louis Macaluso
Rochester, New York

Samuel Oguntoyinbo
Solon, Ohio

Mark Schimmoeller
Frankfort, Kentucky

Don Schofield
Thessaloniki, Greece

Deborah Schupack
Croton-on-Hudson, New York

James Trask
San Marcos, Texas

Laurie Zimmerman
Los Angeles, California

MFA Spotlight :: Saint Mary’s College of California

red background with Saint Mary's College of California in whiteThe Saint Mary’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree program offers a campus environment that feels like a writing retreat within the San Francisco Bay Area. The two-year MFA program at Saint Mary’s offers concentrations in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, combining a studio writing workshop component with an analytical component. SMC MFA faculty are award-winning writers, poets, and committed teachers who offer decades of experience mentoring emerging writers.

Each year the MFA program invites Visiting Writers to work with MFA students. These groundbreaking writers add to the program’s inclusive community with their diversity of experience. Recent visitors include Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Ada Limón, and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. Learn more…

Hippocampus AWP 2021

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (aka AWP) will have their annual conference and book fair this year and it will be completely virtual. Hippocampus Magazine an Books will be participating. Besides being available during regular Book Fair hours, they are hosting two author meet and greets. The first is with Rebecca Fish Ewan on Friday, March 5 from 4-5:30 PM EST. The second is with Sam Chiarelli on Saturday, March 6 from 2-3:30 PM EST. You can even pick up some virtual AWP-exclusive downloads and enter to win swag at their virtual booth.

If you aren’t a subscriber to their newsletter yet, what are you waiting for? They hope to announce an official update soon about their annual creative nonfiction conference HippoCamp. Plus, you can keep on top of the latest issues of the journal as well as cool events they host, like their recent Doodles & Discussion with Rebecca Fish Ewan.