Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zines :: Delaine Derry Green's MSD & NMSD

Thanks to Delaine for sending along recent issues of Not My Small Diary . What a great introduction to this comic zine - a compilation of artists tucked between the covers. Though NewPages lost its Zine Rack when Sean Stewart moved on, and we have tried several times to revive it, we still have a great personal interest in zine culture - some of the most indie of all publishing. If you're not familiar with Delaine's work, check out both MSD and NMSD.

My Small Diary comics, by and about Delaine Derry Green, were initially created in 1993. The strips were initially sent for publication in such zines as The Brave New Tick and the White Buffalo Gazette. The first compilation of My Small Diary strips came out in 1995.

Not My Small Diary, a compilation of other artists' auto-bio comics, was first released in 1996. Still going strong, these comic zines have attracted a diverse contributor base including artists such as Ed Repka, Andi Watson, Hilary Barta, Carrie McNinch, Missy Kulik, John Porcellino, Dave Kiersh, Brian Buniak, Raina Telgemeier, Ayun Halliday, Edward Bolman, Jeff Zenick, Ian Carney, Wil Kane, Dan Moynihan, Donna Barr and hundreds more. The first ten issues had an open autobiographical theme. Issue 11 had the theme of "childhood stories from age 11 & under" while issue 12 had the theme "after midnight - late night stories." Issue 13 has the theme Lucky/Unlucky stories. Issue 14 is the "dating" issue.

Google Lit Trips

Okay, so maybe Google is making us stupid in some ways (though it doesn't act alone...), but in others, I think it's a wonderful TOOL for learning. The latest and greatest: Google Lit Trips. You have to download Google Earth first before you can open the .kmz files, but, once you do, such works as The Road, The Grapes of Wrath, The Kite Runner, The Aeneid, The Odyssey, Hana's Suitcase, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants are mapped out with notes.

Books are divided into grade categories (K-5, 6-8, 9-12, HiEd), some come with slide shows as well as podcasts.

All of this is thanks to (besides Google) contributors who have provided the lit trips. More contributors are welcome, including teachers AND students! What a great class project this could make.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Lit on the Block :: The Broome Review

From Editor Andrei Guruianu: "The Broome Review is a new national literary magazine that seeks to bring further local and national exposure to the Broome County, NY arts community by attracting writers and artists of many genres from across the country and across the world. The journal promotes cultural development in and outside the immediate area through the creation of a wider audience for the works of established and emerging artists."

The annual publication accepts submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and art July-November of each year and currently is accepting works through November for the Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry.

Authors included in Issue Number 1 whose works can also be found on The Broome Review website include Stephen Dunn, Timothy Liu, Katharyn Howd Machan, Carmen Firan, and Katherine Lien Chariott. Also available on the website is an artist gallery of works not found in the publication.

The Broome Review is also active in their community, in cooperation with The Center for Gender, Art & Culture, sponsoring several series of free creative writing workshops through the end of 2008. The workshops are led by magazine editors, and participants' works will be considered for possible inclusion in a perfect-bound collection, titled Our Voices, to be published December 2008.

The Broome Review has really hit the ground running - c'mon everyone, catch up!

Wordstock on the West Coast 11.7-9

Wordstock 2008
November 7-9, 2008
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon

Best known for the Book Fair, other events include a children's festival, live wire radio show, literary feasts each night, and workshops. The 2007 roster included nearly 200 locally- and nationally-known authors.

Wordstock is expecting 15,000 attendees this year, and exhibit tables are still available.

Teachers! Wordstock for Teachers is for teachers of all grade levels. The one-day accredited writing workshop designed to provide teachers with hands-on strategies for the classroom as well as inspiration and tricks to improve their own writing. WFT will be held on Friday, November 7th.

Residency :: Colorado Art Ranch

Colorado Art Ranch and Art Works for the Heart of the Rockies will host five visual and literary artists near Salida Colorado. The residency Begins September 28, 2008 and ends October 30, 2008. Deadline for applications is August 1, 2008. Colorado Art Ranch and partners host 4+ visual and lieterary artists in different towns throughout Colorado. The residencies generally run four weeks. See their website for more information about ongoing opportunities.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Online Lit :: Post No Ills

Editor Kyle G. Dargan, formerly of Callaloo, brings Post No Ills to the online and print lit scene, featuring book reviews, book review interviews (cool concept: reviewing a text via a dialogue between you and another writer/artists who has read the same book), author interviews, live event & exhibit reviews, art & photography, and creative written works.

Already on the site is an interview with Abdel Shakur, editor emeritus of the Indiana Review, and a conversation between literary activist and D.C. icon E. Ethelbert Miller and literature scholar Keith D. Leonard. Uche Nduka's work Eel on Reef is reviewed by Sarah Valentine, and Eve Dunbar reviews Other People’s Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America by Jason Tanz.

The site is set up using a social network platform, so participation and conversation is encouraged. Post No Ills accepts submissions of certain works on a regular basis for online posting and will produce an annual "best of" print anthology.

Photo by Comtesse DeSpair - which inspired Post No Ills to accept other images of stencil artwork and photography for their section called "The Wall."

Toni Morrison Dedicates the First Bench by the Road

Saturday, July 26, 2008, in Charleston, South Carolina, Toni Morrison dedicated the the first Bench by the Road. The Bench by the Road Project is a community outreach initiative of the Toni Morrison Society. It originates in Morrison’s remarks about Beloved in a 1989 interview: “There is no place you or I can go, to think about or not think about, to summon the presences of, or recollect the absences of slaves . . . There is no suitable memorial, or plaque, or wreath, or wall, or park, or skyscraper lobby. There’s no 300‐foot tower, there’s no small bench by the road. There is not even a tree scored, an initial that I can visit or you can visit in Charleston or Savannah or New York or Providence or better still on the banks of the Mississippi. And because such a place doesn’t exist . . . the book had to” (The World, 1989).

'Bench by the Road' Tribute to Slaves
By Dottie Ashley (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Sunday, July 27, 2008

Carrying opened yellow umbrellas, a large crowd filled the dock Saturday at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island, swaying to the rhythm of the Adande Drummers.

On this humid day, more than 300 years after the first boat carrying newly enslaved Africans crossed the Atlantic Ocean and delivered its human cargo barely a mile away, the mood was upbeat but also bittersweet.

When strains of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" burst from the crowd, the melody set the stage for writer Toni Morrison, 77, the first black to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, to come forth and toss a wreath made of yellow daisies into the cove's waters.

This was the Maafa ceremony in remembrance of those 60 million souls torn from their homeland and their loved ones, and brought into a life of pain and misery, and it was also for those who never made it.

As the wreath floated from sight, a black steel bench, a more tangible symbol of remembrance, was set in cement overlooking the cove in a ceremony called "The Bench by the Road."

Placed and maintained by the National Park Service, the bench provides a place to sit and recall the travails of ancestors in a spot where 40 percent of all those who survived the Middle Passage set foot on the North American continent for the first time.

Both ceremonies were outreach programs of the Fifth Biennial Conference of the Toni Morrison Society, an international organization hosted by the College of Charleston for four days last week.

Read more and see video clips here.

Ben Segal with No Record Press

Started in 2006 by "private donations," No Record Press has already made splash in the lit world with its goal to be "an organization dedicated solely to publishing promising literary works by previously-unknown writers that, for various reasons, may find it difficult to interest mainstream publishers."

There's no question that Ben Segal would have found some difficulty getting his first book accepted in mainstream publishing: 78 STORIES: A CROSSWORD NOVELLA. This book is a giant fold-out with multiple puzzles and blocks of text (image from Diet Soap).

About the work: "As the price of oil skyrockets to heaven, NASA flights plummet back to earth, contemporary philosophy runs on dualistic fumes and the National Football League all but forbids end zone dance fiestas, you decided that humanity was officially out of good ideas. But you were thinking in terms of 'left' and 'right.' 78 Stories, unlike the vast majority of the Western hemisphere's chirographic offerings, conceived of the world in terms of 'across' and 'down.' Challenging our core assumptions of textual linearity while tickling our funny bones, Ben Segal's astonishingly original debut pirouettes from the Mayan Long Count, ghost/human romances, seedy Native American hotels, pie-creamed art critic, bears transfixed be cellular phone ringers, and much more. As in an American crossword puzzle, the text is readable in two directions."

For more information about the work, visit No Record Press. Diet Soap has a brief review of the work with photos, and What to Wear During an Orange Alert posted an interview with Ben Segal.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Awards :: Travis Holland Wins for First Novel

Travis Holland wins VCU Cabell First Novelist Award
PR via Tom Gresham
VCU Communications and Public Relations

Travis Holland has won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award honoring the best debut novel published in 2007 for The Archivist's Story, his tale of a prison archivist in the Soviet Union shortly before World War II.

Holland will receive the award at the First Novelist Festival at Virginia Commonwealth University this November. Holland, a Michigan resident whose short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Five Points and Ploughshares, was one of three finalists for the prize, which is now in its seventh year. The other finalists were Jesse Ball for Samedi the Deafness and Joshua Harmon for Quinnehtukqut.

Read more on VCU's website.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hey pal, can I bum a book?

What's Next - Roll Your Own Literature?
By Alison Morris
Publishers Weekly
July 24, 2008

"I'm really not quite sure what to make of this idea.... In 2007 the U.K.-based TankBooks published a series of classic books in small form – cigarette pack-sized form, to be exact – and packaged them in, essentially, cigarette packages. They called this series Books to Take Your Breath Away.'"

Read more on Publishers Weekly.

Pulitzer Legacy in Georgia 10.27-30

The Georgia Review announces The Pulitzer Legacy in Georgia program—a four-day celebration of fine writing and writers hosted by the Jekyll Island Club from October 27th to 30th, 2008. The event features four recent Pulitzer Prize winners, all of whom have an association with the state of Georgia, the University of Georgia, and/or The Georgia Review: poets Stephen Dunn and Natasha Trethewey, journalist and historian Hank Klibanoff, and historian Edward Larson.

Each of these distinguished guests will participate in a variety of activities over the course of the week, including readings, panel discussions, question-and-answer sessions, and informal gatherings with attendees.

Registration for the event is open now and continues through early October or until capacity is reached.

For more information and to register for the program, contact the offices of The Georgia Review at (800) 542-3481 or Lodging reservations should be made through the Jekyll Island Club at (800) 535-9547.

Pan African Literature :: Chimurenga Library

A fascinating and essential global resource of both past and present, reminding me that as the world gets smaller, it just keeps getting bigger. The following is from the Chimurenga Library site:

Curated by the editors and contributors of Chimurenga Magazine, the Chimurenga Library is an online archiving project that profiles independent pan African paper periodicals from around the world. It focuses on cultural and literary magazines, both living and extinct, which have been influential platforms for dissent and which have broadened the scope for print publishing on art, new writing and ideas in and about Africa.

The aim of the Chimurenga Library is not to produce a comprehensive bibliography of periodicals published in Africa; our approach is purely subjective. These are simply objects we read and admire, and which have in one form or another, influenced publishing and editorial choices at Chimurenga.

Some of these periodicals are deep in the postcolonial canon, others smaller and obscure, virtual even. All these projects built on the work of Drum, Presence Africaine, Transition, Black Orpheus and so on but are also alternatives to those monuments. It's a sort of archipelago of counter-culture platforms that impacted on our concept of the paper-periodical, the publishable even.

The Chimurenga Library invites writers, readers and artists to share their personal experiences and perceptions of these and other periodicals through texts, films and multimedia works. Visitors to the Chimurenga Library can join the conversation but adding comments and updating information.

The Chimurenga Library is supported by Lettera27 and Pro-Helvetia and is part of the WikiAfrica Literature project.

Michael Martone in upstreet 4

Martone Fan Alert, from the upstreet blog: "upstreet number four, which is now on sale, features a 24-page interview with Michael Martone, the Indiana-born author of Michael Martone, Racing in Place, and many other works of experimental fiction and nonfiction."

Read more about upstreet here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Humor Times in the Classroom

A great idea for Fall 2008 classes, especially considering the upcoming elections. Not only does Humor Times offer a hefty discount for classroom use (50 copies a month for apprx. $60 per semester), but there are also resources on their site for teachers. From the Humor Times website:

Using the Humor Times and Editorial Cartoons in the Classroom

Here's a not-so-well kept secret many teachers have discovered: Editorial cartoons make great teaching aides! They are naturally entertaining, and therefore can be used to pique students' interest in many subjects, including current events, government, history, social studies, etc. And as every teacher knows, getting a student's attention is the first prerequisite for instructing them in any subject matter.

But getting them interested is just the first advantage of using editorial cartoons. They are also quite educating in their own right. Studying political cartoons will enable students to better understand the importance of current events. The cartoons may be used to help develop both factual knowledge and interpretive skills. Editorial cartoons can stimulate discussion and provide interesting writing topics.

Analyzing editorial cartoons helps to strengthen analytical and other higher-order thinking skills. Cartoons are used to convey not just political, but also social issues. Editorial cartoons can be used in a variety of ways, and can be integrated into any lesson plan. And best of all, students respond quite well to cartoons.

Marge Piercy in Anderbo Online


It's a made-up word, according to Rick Rofihe, Editor-in-Chief. Why? "I didn’t want to ruin an already existing word, so I tried to make up a new one. For example, it used to be that when you said ‘mustang’ people would think ‘horse.’ But now when you say, ‘mustang,’ people think you mean the car built by Ford.”

Far from ruining any word, even a made-up one, Rofihe and his staff (including June Eding, Jennifer Doerr, and Wayne Conti, in addition to over a dozen editors-at-large) have created a respected name in contemporary literature.

The online publication is built on an ongoing cycle of posting and is open for submissions of fiction, "fact", poetry and photography.

The most recent additions to Anderbo include poetry by Marge Piercy, MRB Chelko, and Susan Peters, stories by Wayne Conti, Tom Cregan, and Cindy Jacobs, and a novel excerpt, "Boco Deli Days," by Andre Medrano.

If you're still sittin' on the fence about online literary magazines, Anderbo would be a great first step. You've got nothing to lose, no words in your vocabulary to have tainted, and, if anything, you'll gain a new word to share with your friends.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Virtual Yard Sale :: Creative Nonfiction

EBay, - but never have I known anyone to offer a virtual Yard Sale - now, that's creative!

Creative Nonfiction
First-Ever Yard Sale
July 21 - 28
Save up to 80% on back issues, books, merchandise, subscriptions, and more!

Awards :: Glimmer Train New Writers

Glimmer Train has just chosen the three winning stories of their May Short Story Award for New Writers competition! This competition is held twice a year and is open to all themes fiction (500-12,000 words) for anyone who hasn’t had their work appear in a print publication with a circulation over 5000.

First place: John Walker of Cordova, Tennessee, wins $1200 for “Among the Least of These.” His story will be published in the Spring 2009 issue of Glimmer Train Stories.

Second place: Matthew Mercier of New York City, wins $500 for “Valentine Ave.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing his prize to $700.

Third place: Lisa Abramowicz, also of New York City, wins $300 for “Comings and Goings.”

Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction competition will begin on August 1 for stories not exceeding 3000 words. Submissions online at

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Matt Bell Wins the Million

Congratulations to NewPages Book Review Editor Matt Bell!

The voting for the storySouth Million Writers Award is now over and the winning story is "Alex Trebek Never Eats Fried Chicken" by Matt Bell (originally published in Storyglossia). Matt wins the overall prize of $300, which is provided thanks to the sponsorship of the Edit Red Writing Community. Second place goes to "Friday Afternoons on Bus 51" by Sruthi Thekkiam (Blackbird).

We'll be coming to visit now, Matt - you're buying!

Submissions :: Poetry in a Box - Literally

Some calls for submissions just simply won't fit on our CFS page and deserve their own blog post:

The Atlanta Poets Group is seeking proposals for work for the third issue of its magazine Spaltung. This issue will be packaged in the form of a box. They are looking for poem-objects. Pieces that address/embody the concept or experience of multiplicity/heterogeneity are encouraged.

*Please do not send work at this time.*

Instead, please send a proposal for the piece you propose to include to: Deadline for proposal submissions is September 31. Some parameters to consider in preparing your proposal:

--100 units of the magazine issue will be produced.
--We have not yet decided on the size of the box; in cubic inches it will likely be larger than a breadbox and significantly smaller than a moving crate.
--If your piece(s) require anything beyond mindless, cheap reporduction/assembly, we will likely look to you to provide us with 100 units, fully assembled.
--We are mostly looking for work that is beyond what can be accomplished on 8.5 x 11 inch paper and beyond what can be included on a CD-ROM.
--Proposals should include exact dimensions of the object(s) to be submitted.

You can familiarize yourself with past issues of Spaltung via the blog at

What's Your Inspiration? :: Opium Wants to Know

"Opium has a wildly ambitious idea that we want (need?) you to be a part of. We're inviting every living writer to contribute. All we need from you: a quote told to you by another writer (in person, in email, overheard, while reading) that's inspired or educated your work in some way. The goal is to create a sort of What I've Learned network. Details are here. Fire one over, pretty please, we have big ideas for this tiny project."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Poet Laureate #16 :: Kay Ryan

Thursday, July 17, the Library of Congress appointed Kay Ryan as the Library’s 16th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2008-2009.

Notable Quote: "If there is a [literary] game of sorts, you can win by staying home and doing the writing," Ryan says. "Good work can make its way in this culture."

Ryan's poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, Paris Review, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, Parnassus, and more.

Read more about Ryan and the appointment here.

Kenyon Review Online Gets Sassy(er)

From Kenyon Review Editor David Lynn:

Kenyon Review Online will be a lively and innovative bridge between the world of the very best print literature and the emerging potential of the electronic universe. We’ll be offering innovative and delightful stories, poems, essays, memoirs, and reviews online. They will be renewed and refreshed regularly and then collected into electronic “issues” over time.

By and large, pieces appearing electronically will be distinct from work in the printed version of The Kenyon Review. I like to think of those pages as timeless. After all, readers turn to them for pleasure and enlightenment years and even decades after they first appear.

KR Online, however, will definitely be more timely, published more quickly than we’re able to do with print. And the pieces here will also be a little more experimental, a little more “out there.” Who knows?—maybe a little sassier too.

Of course, despite a new flavor, all the great writing on KRO will be held to the same high standards and expectations as The Kenyon Review. They’ll be considered as carefully, copyedited to our exacting standards. This will truly be the best writing from around the world, brought to you in this exciting new medium. After all, it’s our name, our tradition, our reputation on the line as well.

Online now: Read Bonnie Jo Campbell's "Boar Taint" and Kevin Young's "I Shall be Released" from the Summer 2008 issue of KR. Read new poetry from Christian Ward, an essay on poet Thom Gunn by Alfred Corn, a review of Daniel Hall's Under Sleep by Janet Chalmers, and a review of Sarah Manguso's The Two Kinds of Decay: A Memoir by Daniel Torday.

Internships :: Lilith

LILITH Magazine
Independent, Jewish & Frankly Feminist

Lilith offers summer and semester-long internships to college students and recent graduates. Summer interns are expected to commit to at least two days per week in Lilith’s New York office. School-year internships may vary in their weekly commitment.

Some school credit may be available for a Lilith internship, which includes supervision by senior staff, participation in all editorial meetings, and routine office work relating to the assignment and editing of articles, preparing copy for the designer and printer, covering news of Jewish and feminist interest, ordering books for review, tracking manuscripts, and more. (Plus excellent snacks and good company.)

Sinful Reader :: Bechdel Comes Clean

This special comic of Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel appeared in the 100th issue of Entertainment Weekly, where her memoir Fun Home was listed as number 68 of “new classic” books from the past 25 years. The strip begins:

Authors, bless me for I have sinned.

It’s been three months since my last novel. And I didn’t even finish that one.

For my penance I swear I’ll finally read something by Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike...

For fans who weren't able to find a copy of the magazine, Bechdel received permission to reprint the strip on her site. Read it in full here. No doubt some of you will identify with the situation - I know I did!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Question of Funding for Lit Mags

Susan of Rock and Sling recently wrote to inform me that they will be suspending publication of the magazine due to funding issues. As an independent non-profit, Rock and Sling is not alone in this struggle.

Susan writes: "Over the last few months we have been trying not to make the hard decision to suspend publication of Rock & Sling — pending procurement of long-term sustainable funding (tell me there is such a thing!). The problem of finances for independent presses runs deep. Without university backing to absorb some of the costs, the independent press must put an inordinate amount of time and energy into finding funding. We have found ourselves without sufficient partners and subscriptions alone haven't proved to be enough. Suspending publication will allow our (all volunteer) staff to spend their time in the donations, grants, and endowments world more effectively.

"It seems a shame to have gotten this far and feel like we have established a niche for ourselves, only to have to stop production and turn all attention to finding support. I suppose any business major would have seen it coming from the get-go. Perhaps on your blog you can throw out the question of how independent presses can maintain financial stability. Where they can find funding—is govt. funding the answer? How does a journal like Rock & Sling (with a Christian bent to its content) get past the hyper vigilance of separation of church and state? Clearly we don’t want to be under any denomination—so church monies are not to be had."

Susan also humorously added that it should be the law that writers who submit to lit mags should have to subscribe to at least one (another ongoing issue...). But, are subscriptions even enough in this day of increased postal rates and overall higher costs?

Any comments/advice? I'm sure this is an issue of concern for many. And, I already know what some will say - that even publications with university affiliation are not guarnteed funding. So, where does the money come from?

New Press Seeks Poetry

Tilt Press in North Carolina is looking to print three chapbooks a year and is currently open for submissions (July 1 - Sept 30, 2008). No strangers to verse, editors Rachel Mallino and Nicole Cartwright Denison have joined together in this venture to support as yet unpublished poets. For more information, visit the Tilt Press website.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lit Mag Start-up Advice

From blogger Noel P. Mariano of The Acadmic Masochist: I went to school for this?

So you want to start your own magazine?

I had been kicking around the idea of starting up my own online literary journal. One of the graduates of the masters program that I'm in had started one up and it's become very successful garnering some nominations for the Pushcart as well as other awards including Best of the Web.

I sat [and] talked to him about some of the advice and some of the things he considered when starting and here's what Niel had to say...

Read the blog post on The Academic Masochist.

Holocaust Memoirs Wanted

Appeal for Previously Unpublished or Unavailable Memoirs by Survivors of the Shoah
Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) has launched a worldwide appeal to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their families to submit previously unpublished or unavailable memoirs to a worldwide electronic collection.

This collection is being established in cooperation with Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Mémorial de la Shoah/Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, the Jewish Historical Institute, the Holocaust Survivors' Memoirs Project, and many other Holocaust organizations in countries around the world.

Duffer Sighting :: Chicago Lit Examiner

Long-time supporter of and intermittent review writer for NewPages (when he's not doing a hundred other things!), Rob Duffer has embarked on a new endeavor: "I'm the Chicago Literary Scene Examiner."

Rob explains:

Examiner is a community news source with 'examiners' giving the low-down on a specific scene. Examiner has expanded into 60 cities with over 6 million users. Dave Clapper, founder and editor of SmokeLong Quarterly, is the Seattle Lit Examiner. Its Chicago market is only two months old. It's new, I'm newer, and I'm trying to get people involved.

My intention is to make the site a comprehensive resource of everything literary going on in and around Chicago. Promoting events; featuring authors, editors, agents, lit journals, presses, reading series; interviewing literary folk; reporting lit news; suggesting writing prompts or playing local lit trivia—pretty much anything to do with the written word in Chicago.

So what can you get out of it? Exposure. Promotion. Tapping into a growing network of sometimes disparate literary groups. One place to get reliable literary news in Chicago and nationwide.

The first author to be featured on Examiner will be Stephanie Kuehnert.

Send me your news, put me on your newsletter, add me to your RSS feed, forward this message to anyone who wants another venue to promote their writing. Check out the site. Email me at

Thursday, July 17, 2008

VOTE TODAY! 2008 Million Writers Award

Today is the last day to cast your vote in the storySouth 2008 Million Writers Award. The top tens stories have been selected, and reader votes will determine the #1 online story of the year!

Top Ten Stories of 2007:

"Do Not Hate Them Very Much" by Matthew M. Quick (Agni)
"Friday Afternoons on Bus 51" by Sruthi Thekkiam (Blackbird)
"Postcards from my Brother" by Paul Yoon (Memorious)
"We Never Talk About My Brother" by Peter S. Beagle (Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show)
"The Ethical Dilemma of a Sandwich Down the Pants" by Kelly Shriver (Pindeldyboz)
"The Hide" by Liz Williams (Strange Horizons)
"Alex Trebek Never Eats Fried Chicken" by Matt Bell (Storyglossia)
"Grinder" by X.J. Kennedy (StoryQuarterly) Note: free registration required to read this story.
"The Surgeon's Tale" by Cat Rambo and Jeff VanderMeer (Subterranean)
"News About Yourself" by Scott Wolven (Thuglit)

Submissions Page Updated July 17

Heads up for blog readers - a day's advance notice! Visit the NewPages Calls for Submissions page for new listings. Sponsor listings are at the top of the page; scroll down to see all others. Expired listings removed regularly. For listing consideration, please e-mail information and/or website link to:

Cadillac Cicatrix California Fire Response


Dear Friends …

I write to you with an update on the third issue of Cadillac Cicatrix and with news about our recent evacuation due to the encroachment of wildfires upon our office.

As some of you know, the recent spread of California wildfires has been difficult and exhausting for many communities and fire fighters. Our office has been threatened for the past two months by not only one fire but now a second, more serious fire.

On Saturday, July 12, we were persuasively evacuated from our offices because The Basin Complex Fire had come within potential striking distance of the community where we are located. The Basin Complex is the same fire that threatened Big Sur two weeks ago and has since moved northeast toward Carmel Valley through the Ventana Wilderness.

The fire is currently less than a comfortable distance from the Cadillac Cicatrix office and moving ever closer.

This being said, we are optimistic about the outcome, and we are attempting to move forward with our project (now from a satellite location) but it has been difficult – we are in a state of resolute plodding. Our intentions are to continue as we have for the past two years, but many of our files are currently in a tenuous location and it is uncertain when we might be able to access them.

Depending on the weather, the ability of thousands of fire fighters, as well as military and federal authorities, we could be back in our offices within a few weeks. If the worst does come to pass … well, I'd rather not think about it.

In the spirit of good communication, we only wish to inform you of our current situation and that the release of our third issue (in print any way) has been somewhat delayed.

The entire content of the issue – a focus on ADAPTATION – is available free online at We invite you to enjoy the very many talented writers and artists who have contributed to this issue, released July 1.

I look forward to sending you a more positive update soon and thank you for your continued support of our project.


Benjamin Spencer
Executive Editor

21800 Parrot Ranch Road
Carmel Valley, CA 93924

Mag Mailbag July 17

After a couple weeks of "host issues," I am finally able to update the site!

Stop by NewPages Magazine Stand to find publisher descriptions and cover art from our sponsor magazines, and a list of all new issues of other literary magazines received here at NewPages World Headquarters.

Trying something new once again, this page will combine print and online lit mags.

The alternative magazines page has also been recently updated, but as we aren't getting a lot of these coming through NPWHQ, and visitor traffic to this page is discouraging low, this may be the last time this page is updated. (Unless there's some huge public outcry opposed to its elimination...)

If you'd like to be listed, as well as considered for review, be sure we get a copy of your publication (see our FAQ page for more information). For online lit mags, you only need to e-mail notification of when you have a new issue posted online:

NewPages Update :: New Listings

More great finds added to the NewPages ranks. Welcome aboard - give 'em a click!

When viewing our guides, if you know of any links (mags, publishers, bookstores, record labels, etc.) you would like us to consider, please write to me: and send me a link.

New Online Lit Mags Listed
Parlor Journal
Shelf Life
CellA's Round Trip
Road Runner Haiku Journal
Pregnant Moon Poetry Review

New Print Lit Mags Listed
Low Rent
Two Review
Packingtown Review

New Online Alt Mags Listed
Is Greater Than

New Print Alt Mags Listed
Penguin Eggs
Ode Magazine
Good Magazine
Whole Terrain
Our Truths/Neustras Verdades
Social Policy
The Last Straw
Permaculture Activist

New Publishers Listed
Green Candy Press
Firebrand Books

PEN Amercian Prison Writing Awards

Every year, the PEN Prison Writing Program recognizes the work of writers imprisoned throughout the country. Exiled from our schools and society, inmates submit manuscripts in every form to one of the only forums of public expression for incarcerated writers. Presented on the PEN American website are uncensored writings (poetry, fiction, essay, memoir, drama) from this year's Prison Writing Contest winners, as well as one-on-one interviews with some of the most hidden voices in America.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Narrative Medicine

The Program in Narrative Medicine was established in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University in 1996. Its mission statement reads: "Narrative Medicine fortifies clinical practice with the narrative competence to recognize, absorb, metabolize, interpret, and be moved by the stories of illness. Through narrative training, the Program in Narrative Medicine helps doctors, nurses, social workers, and therapists to improve the effectiveness of care by developing the capacity for attention, reflection, representation, and affiliation with patients and colleagues. Our research and outreach missions are conceptualizing, evaluating, and spear-heading these ideas and practices nationally and internationally."

Included in the program are:

Narrative Medicine Rounds
Lecture/reading series with such writers as Mark Nepo, Sue Halpren, Carol Gilligan,

Discussions of literature

Narrative Medicine Workshops
Three-day intensive workshops for health care professionals and literary scholars engaged in narrative medicine practice. The next workshop will be held October 24 - 26, 2008.

Narrative Oncology
Doctors, nurses, and social workers on the oncology unit of Presbyterian Hospital gather bimonthly to read to one another what they have written about their day-to-day clinical experiences.

Student Creative Rounds and Reflexions, a student literary publication, as well as seminars for students at various levels.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Job :: Bookstore Manager

Named "the best campus bookstore in the country" by Rolling Stone, Kenyon College seeks manager to begin next chapter for its campus bookstore with national reputation for its rich literary traditions. Must have experience leading and managing others, ability to network and develop marketing/event opportunities, and interest in relocating to village of Gambier, Ohio or surrounding area. Highly visible (and celebrated) position on campus requires positive, energetic and creative manager with interest in being an active part of the campus and surrounding community. Kenyon College is an EOE. Send a brief statement of interest along with resumé by 7/12 to

NewPages Employee of the Month

If you've ever wondered how the mail processing works at NewPages World Headquarters, here's an image of the first step. Scrappy the Maildog makes a daily walk to the post office to retrieve precious bundles of books, lit mags, and letters, and bring them back to HQ. As you can imagine, Scrappy is an integral part of our work here and earns some of the best food and ear-scratching bonuses of any dog employee. He takes his job seriously and has never once made a "long stop" while working; he feels to do so would be disrespectful to the literature (regardless of the fact that not all humans feel the same way).

As you can see from the image, his bag has suffered through days of hard labor. These are Outward Hound bags, which I would not recommend because of their weak zippers. Although, I suspect cramming some of those heavyweight poetry annuals in there might have had something to do with it; no zipper is a match for free verse. (You can borrow that line; I can see it might be useful in a few other situations.)

To answer the FAQ - I don't know what kind of dog Scrappy is. I adopted him when he was three from a no-kill shelter where he had been housed for nine months. He came with numerous bad behaviors, but with patience, obedience classes (for both of us), and continuous positive reinforcement, he has become a registered therapy dog, a wonderful companion, and a dedicated staff member of NewPages.

To Scrappy, all howl - Ah-rooooo!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Internships and More :: World Literature Today

World Literature Today based out of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, has numerous offering for students, including: WLT Internships, WLT Research Grants, Neustadt Student Fellowship, Puterbaugh Student Fellowship. Visit their website for more information.

Disability Journal Expands Focus

In 2009 the innovative Journal of Literary Disability is moving to Liverpool University Press under the new title Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies. It will continue to focus on the literary representation of disability, but cultural studies will now be added to the multidisciplinary mix.

With an editorial board of 50 internationally renowned scholars, the journal is central to the literary disability movement that is changing the face of literary studies on a global scale.

Special issues have included Representations of Cognitive Impairment, guest edited by Dr. Lucy Burke, Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University; Disability and the Dialectic of Dependency, guest edited by Dr. Michael Davidson, Vice Chair, Department of Literature, University of California; and Disability and/as Poetry, guest edited by Dr. Jim Ferris, Faculty Associate, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin.

The first issue in the new format, JLCDS 3.1: Deleuze, Disability and Difference, will be a special issue, guest edited by Dr. Petra Kuppers, Associate Professor of English, Theatre, and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan; and Dr. James Overboe, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University. Many disability scholars have been wary of utilizing poststructuralism as a means to disrupt ableism. But there is much nuance in poststructuralist thought and its relation to representational politics, and JLCDS 3.1 hopes to push disability studies further along its journey into this territory.

Collaborative Autobiography :: The Grand Piano

An interesting concept, especially in its decades-long planning and the use of sequencing in each volume. I've not seen a copy of this - anyone who has is welcome to comment. From the website:

The Grand Piano is an experiment in collective autobiography by ten writers identified with Language poetry in San Francisco. The project takes its name from a coffeehouse at 1607 Haight Street in San Francisco where from 1976 to 1979 several of us programmed and coordinated – and all of us participated in – a weekly reading and performance series.

The Grand Piano is centered on the 1970s when we first met and collaborated. Yet we all engage issues beyond that time, and the project adheres to no prescribed set of themes. Originally, each author was to follow the prompt of the previous. In the event, many sections have been written out of order, and the project's development has been nonlinear even as it is being published in serial form. Rae Armantrout, Steve Benson, Carla Harryman, Lyn Hejinian, Tom Mandel, Ted Pearson, Bob Perelman, Kit Robinson, Ron Silliman, and Barrett Watten write The Grand Piano.

New volumes appear several times a year. The complete series will comprise ten volumes, with the ten authors appearing in different sequence in each volume, according to the following grid:


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Meridian's Lost Classics a Great Find

Meridian, the semi-annual from the University of Virginia, celebrates its 10th Anniversary with its May 2008 issue. In it are selections from the first ten years of Meridian. One of the regular features of Meridian is the "Lost Classic" - which is exactly as it sounds.

The retrospective includes a list of the twenty classics, a brief explanation as to "why it is important," for some "what happened to it," and an excerpt of the text. A few listed classics: Letters from Jack London to Louis A. Augusin; Zora Neeale Hurston: Unpublished Writing from the Federal Writers' Project and a Lost Interview; Two Uncollected Works by Robert Frost; A special Portfolio by Jane Kenyon; A Letter from Edgar Allan Poe to Washington Irving.

This issue of Meridian's "Lost Classic" is "Stephen Crane's Deleted Chapters from Red Badge of Courage." The introduction by Jeb Livingood as well as the chapters are available on Meridian's website. A number of the previous issues' Lost Classics are also available on their site.

A wonderful feature for reconnecting and reconsidering works and their authors.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Giveaway :: Indiana Review Funk Trivia

To celebrate Indiana Review 30.1 (summer 2008) - The Funk Feature - Associate Editor Nina Mamikunian let me know about the "Five Hump Days of Funk" going on at Under the Blue Light, IR's blog.

"Here's how it's going to work: on Wednesday, we'll ask a question, you'll answer it an an e-mail to us, and we'll select a winner based on response accuracy first, and then on response speed. The following Monday, we'll announce who gets the copy of the issue."

Click quickly, and get your free issue - it's a dandy!

Awards :: Margaret Atwood

A neighbor recently loaned me her copy of Atwoods's short stories, Moral Disorder, which I am slowly making my way through - one story a night before bed: my nightcap. It is a collection claimed to be as close to autobiography as Atwood has written in her fiction. More poignant: I find it to be a reminder of what it is I admire and appreciate in a "good story." The book, BTW, with a 2006 copyright, and a first edition, is already a victim of "discard" from a public library. *sigh* That's another blog story...

Canada's Margaret Atwood Wins Spanish Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature
Excerpted from China View

Canadian writer Margaret Atwood has won the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters, the jury said Wednesday in Oviedo, northern Spain.

"We decided to bestow the award on Margaret Atwood for her outstanding literary work that has explored different genres with acuteness and irony, and because she cleverly assumes the classic tradition, defends women's dignity and denounces social unfairness," the jury said.

The poet, novelist and literary critic was born in 1939 in Ottawa. She received international recognition with her novel "The Edible Woman" (1969), followed by "Surfacing" (1972-1973), "Lady Oracle" (1977), "Life Before Man" (1980), "Cat's Eye" (1988) and "The Robber Bride" (1993).

Atwood is considered to be the greatest living Canadian writer and one of the most eminent voices in the current scene. She offers in her novels a politically committed, critical view of the world and contemporary society, while revealing extraordinary sensitivity in her copious poetic oeuvre, a genre which she cultivates with great skill. The plot of her novels usually focuses on the figure of women.

The literature award attracted 32 candidates from 24 countries this year. It is one of the eight that the Prince of Asturias Foundation gives out yearly since 1981. Other categories include scientific research, sports, arts and humanities. Each carries a 50,000-euro (77,00 U.S. dollars) cash stipend, a sculpture by Catalan sculptor Joan Miro, a diploma and an insignia.

Graffitti Documentary :: Bomb It

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jobs :: Various

The Professional Writing Program, English Department, at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Creative Writing: Drama beginning August 2009. Dr. Heather H. Thomas, Chair, Tenure-Track Creative Writing Faculty Search Committee.

The English Department at Washburn University is seeking a poet to join a vital undergraduate writing program with colleagues in fiction and creative nonfiction writing. Howard Faulkner, Chair. September 29, 2008.

Emory University. Two-year Creative Writing Fellowship in fiction undergraduate English/Creative Writing Program, beginning fall 2009. November 14, 2008.

Promote Poetry in Your Community

It's not too late to ask your local or student newspaper to start running this column, or to add it to your own publication. There are two levels of permissible use, with publications only needing to register online (it's easy); personal use/classroom use need not register.

"American Life in Poetry is a free weekly column for newspapers and online publications featuring a poem by a contemporary American poet and a brief introduction to the poem by Ted Kooser. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry, and we believe we can add value for newspaper and online readers by doing so. There are no costs or obligations for reprinting the columns, though we do require that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration, along with the complete copyright, permissions and credit information, exactly as supplied with each column."

In addition so seeing so many of my favorite poets in this project, I have also discovered many new voices. I was also pleased to see two of my friends and colleagues featured: Jeff Vande Zande for his poem "Clean," and Rick "Anhinga Rick" Campbell, of Anhinga Press, for his work "Heart."

Web Find :: Asian American Writer's Workshop

Established in 1991, The Asian American Writers' Workshop, a nonprofit literary arts organization based in New York city, was founded in support of writers, literature and community.

Operating out of our 6,000 square-foot loft, AAWS sponsors readings, book parties and panel discussions, and offers creative writing workshops. Each winter they present The Annual Asian American Literary Awards Ceremony to recognize outstanding literary works by Americans of Asian descent. Throughout the year, they offer various youth arts programs, including the Where I'm Calling From youth workshop.

The AAWW also offers internships in a number of areas. Application deadline February 1 of each year, then on a rolling basis until all positions are filled

Also included on the site, "The Million Dollar Book Contract: How to Get (the BEST) Agent" - a transcript of a panel discussion held on April 25, 2006, featuring four top literary agents sharing their expertise on how to land a book contract.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

NewPages Update :: Book Reviews

New Book Reviews have been posted on NewPage. Stop by and take a look at what our reviewers had to say about: Best of the Web 2008 :: Knockemstiff :: Distance Makes the Heart Grow Sick :: Seal Woman :: Alluvium :: Little Brother :: Clear All the Rest of the Way :: Spilling the Moon :: Girl on the Fridge

Creative Nonfiction Forum :: Fourth Genre

Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction (published biannually by the Michigan State University Press) includes a forum on their website of articles from past issues: "We like to think of Fourth Genre as a learning community, a place where writers and readers can meet and engage in conversations, ask questions, experiment, test boundaries, offer advice, and share insights into literary nonfiction. The following excerpts, drawn from past issues, capture something of the range and complexity of that conversation."

Currently, the Forum on Nonfiction includes:

Interview with Scott Russell Sanders
Roundtable Discussion: Literal versus Invented Truth in Memoir
Bret Lott, "Toward a Definition of Creative Nonfiction"
Lee Gutkind, "Why I Chose the Creative Nonfiction Way of Life"
Nancy McCabe, "The One That Got Away: On Memory and Forgetting"
Michael Steinberg, "Finding the Inner Story in Memoirs and Personal Essays"
Interview with Richard Rodriguez
Capsule Book Review by David Cooper

Looking For Good Foot 7

An interesting request: Anyone have a copy of Good Foot Issue #7 you would be willing to give up? I've got a "shot in the dark" request from someone who was published in it who never received a copy of the issue - it was the last published - and we can't track down anyone associated with the publication. Said author now needs a copy of the mag for professional reasons. NewPages never got a copy of issue 7, so we can't help out on this one. Anyone? If you have one and will part with it, please send it our way: NewPages, POB 1580, Bay City, MI 48706. I'm sure some good literary karma will come your way as a result...and don't we all need more of that?

E-mail me and let me know:

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

New Online Lit Mag :: Cella's Round Trip

CEllA's Round Trip publishes poetry, flash fiction/non-fiction, digital poetry, digital art, photography (digitally altered or au naturale), collage, drawings, paintings, shockwave, movies, etc. Favor given to the experimental and creative use of the digital medium; art that creatively utilize words and language; experimental and precise creative writing that utilizes visuals to enhance meaning.

Issue #01, Summer 2008, includes Barry Graham, Christophe Casamassima, Sara Crowley, Craig LaRotunda, Ava C. Cipri, Valerie Fox, William Doreski, C.L. Bledsoe, Jon Pineada, Gwendolyn Joyce-Mintz, Elizabeth Kate Switaj, Vernon Frazer, Cheryl Hicks, Glenn Capers, and more.

Special Calls for Issue #02
.swf or .mov files: "We want good stories that literally move."
Broadsides. Design the art around your text or the text around your art.

The Future of FC2

Our gal Brenda Mills, managing editor at Fiction Collective 2, had some things to say in the most recent company newsletter (04.08) about changes at FC2. In sum, due to budget cuts at Florida State University (FC2's home), Brenda's job will be cut in August. Moreover, when Brenda leaves, she was told to take FC2 with her.

That sounds pretty bad.

However, in the literary world, when one falls, there is often someone else there holding the net. In this case, Jeffrey Di Leo, founder of symploke, editor of ABR, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at the U of Houston-Victoria, and long-time friend of FC2, offered to fund several positions at UHV to become the new Brendas (we knew it would take more than one to replace her!), and offered FC2 a home.

That sounds pretty good.

Additionally, UHV is planning to establish an endowment fund to provide for FC2's future, kicking up promotional activities in their new home area, and will be joined by Matthew Kirkpatrick (of Barrellhouse fame) to add a vast expanse of knowledgeable experience to the work.

That sounds really good.

So far so good for FC2. I'd say a lucky break in the fall, but I know there had to be a lot of people doing a lot of negotiating and paper pushing to get this all to happen so quickly and, seemingly, so smoothly. No doubt, our gal Brenda was - and will be - workin' it all the way to the end.

Oh, yeah, Brenda.

No, she will not be moving with FC2. With a family in Tallahassee, a move to Texas was not possible. Golly gee whiz, we're going to miss Brenda. Her insatiable appetite for experimental fiction and unending enthusiasm for her work really made the public face of FC2. She was one of the first people I met at the very first AWP I attended oh so many years ago, and I still have the promotional Barbie Doll leg as a keepsake. Since then, she and her cadre of authors have been one of the greatest highlights of the conference for me, and so I'm sure, for many. What now? I suppose time will tell, but I hope for all her hard work and dedication, something good comes her way.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New Lit on the Block :: Oval

The Oval is a brand new literary magazine from the University of Montana published by undergraduate students.

Oval's website says they are "devoted to the publishing of writing and artwork from the University of Montana," and the first issue features UofM students exclusively. However, future issues are open to submissions from undergraduate college and university students in the U.S. Their mission: "to provide a fresh outlet for new and young artists to express themselves, their ideas and passions to the world through the medium of print."

Oval accepts e-mail submissions year-round: poetry (translations welcome), short stories, creative nonfiction, short plays, interviews, and visual art (such as photography, paintings, drawings, prints, cartoons, and graphic literature).

The Spring 2008 inagural issue is available online (pdf) and includes "Buss, Buss" by poet Laura Anne Nicole Foster, "Just Fine" by author Crystal Corrigan, and "Wolverine and Rabbitt" by artist Eli Suzukovich III.

What's this thing you call Type Writer?

Here’s a story that comes from my friend Sue about her 14-year-old daughter, Corby:

Corby is spending the weekend at my dad's. My dad is in the process of trying to clean out the house for a future sale (which is a WHOLE other story). So he, Corby and my stepmother are going through the troves of junk in the basement. They find my handy, dandy MANUAL typewriter. Corby calls to report this "ancient" find.

She then begins to question me. "How does it work. I see the stick thing (the stick thing???) goes up into the middle of the machine. But how does the letter get on the paper?"

I try to explain.

She says she's pressing on a key and it just isn't hitting anything. I tell her she must punch the key harder. She still can't figure it out. My husband, Dennis, asks, "Does she have paper in it?" Surprisingly enough, she did.

She asked what the black ribbon was for. I explained. Then she punched the key harder – and miracle of miracles – it worked (I can't believe the ribbon hasn't dried out – this thing has got to be at least 30 years old).

She asked me why I had this typewriter. I told her that I had to type papers for school on it. Her comment: "That must have sucked." She has no idea...

She hangs up so she can play with the ancient piece of technology.

Dennis and I were having a good chuckle over the fact that I had to try to explain how a manual typewriter works. My phone rings again.

"Mom? How do I turn the Caps Lock off?"


And I thought having the Birds and Bees talk would have been difficult!