Thursday, January 31, 2013

Flash Nonfiction: Review by Example

In the online lit mag, Sweet, William Bradley's review of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction takes a unique approach. Since the book is a guide to practicing the craft, after assessing it's editorial content (contributed by Dinty Moore), Bradley offers three rough drafts of writings he completed based on the exercises in the book. Bradley's writing is inspired by three writers of the form who contributed their insight/instruction, sample essays, and exercise prompts: Carol Guess, Bret Lott, and Patrick Madden. Read the full review with rough drafts: Briefly: Three Short, Rough Drafts and a Review of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction.

Editor Retiring

Editor-in-Chief James B. M. Schick announces in the new issue of The Midwest Quarterly that it is last issue in that position. Having served as editor since the autumn issue of 1981, he has been with the magazine for 31 years. "Over that span the journal has changed in many ways," he writes. "What has not changed is the inspiration countless academics have displayed in their submissions, not all of which have been accepted, and their dedication , as revealed in their willingness to undertake revisions, often of a substantial nature, that I have asked of them."

He ends his note with a thank you to the readers: "I must express my appreciation for your loyalty. To all of you, thank you for making my task more easily accomplished and profoundly more satisfying. I now being a period of phased retirement after teaching forty-five years at Pittsburg State University, a winding-down that will, if taken full term, finish with a half-century of service to this institution.

Toad Suck in 3D

Toad Suck Review's third issue comes with a pair of 3D glasses. Why? Well because the cover, of a shark and a toad, jumps out in 3D. "I messed around with Photoshop and a tutorial on YouTube, and this is the result," says Editor-in-Chief Mark Spitzer. "Thank you, thank you, I am also amazed and amused."

He goes on, "More importantly, though, is what these images happen to frame, particularly our flagship piece, 'Underground in Amerigo.' This is a monumental lost work by Edward Abbey, which even the most seasoned scholars of the Master Monkeywrencher (aka, Cactus Ed, the Father of the Modern Environmental Movement, etc.) don't know jack about. . ."

Contributors to this issue include Gary Snyder, Lew Welch, Ed Sanders, Gerald Locklin, Antler, Jean Genet, Jesse Glass, Rex Rose, Molly Kat, Skip Fox, Tyrone Jaeger, Sandy Longhorn, Dennis Humphrey, Mark Jackson, Chris Shipman, Andrew Hill, Just Kibbe, Drea Kato, C. Prozac, Ben McClendon, and more.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Encourage Young Readers & Writers

Know some young readers & writers? Are you a K-12 teacher? Check out the Young Authors Guide on

This is guide where young authors (as defined by each publication - sometimes it includes college-age) can find places to publish their writing. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a select list of publications in print as well as online that have open submissions with guidelines, an editorial selection process, and a regular print cycle. Some publish only young authors, some publish all ages for young audiences. For more specific submission guidelines, visit the publication's website.

Also included in this guide are contests for young writers. These are carefully selected for quality and sensitivity to not wanting young writers to be taken advantage of (with promises of publication and high entry fees). Almost all are no-cost entry with some awarding scholarship money.

This is not a paid-for page or an advertising page in any way. It is a page I have put together as a resource to encourage young writers in their interest.

If you know of other publications or contests that could be added to this list, please e-mail me with information:

Self-Published Book Award Winners

The Anderbo 2012 Self-Published Book Award brought in close to 100 entries. The winner is Robert Flatt of Houston, Texas for his nonfiction book Rice's Owls. He received a $500 cash prize

Self-Published Book Award Winner
Robert Flatt of Houston, Texas, for the nonfiction book Rice's Owls

Top Finalist Book

Vignettes & Postcards: Writings from The Evening Writing Workshop at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, Paris, Fall 2011, Edited by Erin Byrne and Anna Pook

Two Top Memoirs
Albert Flynn DeSilver of Woodacre, California for the memoir Beamish Boy
Alan Boreham (North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Peter Jinks (Sydney, Australia), and Bob Rossiter (Pyatt, Arkansas) for the memoir
Beer in the Bilges: Sailing Adventures in the South Pacific

Three Top Novel Entries
Shari A. Brady of Vernon Hills, Illinois, for the novel Wish I could Have Said Goodbye
Laine Cunningham of Hillsborough, North Carolina, for the novel Message Stick
Shannon Hamann, of Brooklyn, New York, for the novel Brad Pitt Won't Leave Me Alone

View the full contest results here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sherman Alexie Edited Portfolio

The newest issue of Prairie Schooner introduces a special Native American section, edited by Sherman Alexie. In his introductory note he says, "I don't know what happened to Native American fiction. When I started my writing career in 1989, there were at least thirty Native fiction writers prolifically publishing with large commercial publishers, prestigious small presses, and esteemed university journals. . . . There was an abundance of Indian stories. But now those old-school writers aren't publishing much, if at all, and the new Indian fiction writers either can't find a foothold in mainstream publishing or they don't exist."

However, he claims that "the poetry has never slowed down. Never stopped. In these pages, you'll find some new and amazing young poets (and two fiction writers) and a few old-school bards."

The section contains poetry and prose from Adrian C. Louis, dg okpik, Erin Bad Hand, Esther Belin, Jennifer Elise Foerster, Joan Kane, Laura Da', Santee Frazier, Sara Marie Ortiz, Stephen Graham Jones, and Tacey M. Atsitty.

Annual Iowa Review Awards

This is the tenth year that Iowa Review has been giving out awards for their contest. The process has changed quite a bit since 2003. "Despite all these changes," says Editor Lynne Nugent, "two things remain the same: the care with which entries are read and the difficulty of choosing just one winner and runner-up in each category." The judges were Timothy Donnelly (poetry), Ron Currie Jr. (fiction), and Meghan Daum (nonfiction). The new issue, features the winners:

Poetry Winner
Emily Hunt: "Figure the Color of the Wave She Watched, "As Long as Relief," "View from a Regular Fantasy," "Another Time Stopped," "Last Night of the Year We Remembered Our Desires"

Poetry Runner-Up

Aditi Machado

Fiction Winner
Kyle Minor: "The Principle of the Fragility of Good Things"

Fiction Runner-Up
Emily G. Martin

Nonfiction Winner

Bernadette Esposito: "The Principle of the Fragility of Good Things"

Nonfiction Runner-Up

Marcela Sulak

Monday, January 28, 2013

New Lit on the Block :: ARDOR

ARDOR Literary Magazine is a new triannual digital magazine the publishes short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and short-shorts alongside visual art. Founding and Managing Editor Joseph Hessert says that he launched ARDOR “to fill a niche in the market—offering writers a rapid turn-around time on their submissions and the guarantee of payment for accepted work.” He is very interested in making sure that each writer gets the attention they deserving; he reads each submission through twice so that mood of an editor on a particular day does not sway the decision. “At present I'm the only one reading submissions,” he says, “and despite this fact I managed to respond to over 90% of the work submitted during our first reading period within two weeks, writing many personal replies and notes of thanks to the writers and artists who sent their work to ARDOR.”

Hessert explains the name of the magazine as such: “ARDOR is defined as "a great warmth of feeling; fervor or passion" and can alternatively be defined as "an intense devotion or eagerness." This word seemed a fitting name for our publication as all meaningful writing stands as an example of a writer's burning passion —his or her need to offer a unique vision of the world. As a literary magazine this is the type of work we strive to find, feature and promote: writing that matters.”

Currently, ARDOR can be read online in a digital publishing format that creates links through the magazine and on mobile devices (offers the option of a convenient text-only reading option to eliminate the need to zoom). Hessert says that in the future, they may offer a print version of the digital copy.

Each issue of the magazine features one prose writer and one poet. Personal interviews are included with both authors. “This interview with the writer offers readers additional insight and (we hope) deepens their enjoyment of and engagement with the featured pieces in the magazine,” says Hessert. “These interviews close with craft-advice for new writers and we think this is a nice tribute to our featured writers and a nice thing to offer our readers (many of our readers are writers after all).”

Already, ARDOR is increasing its reputation, first with a short story contest that will offer writers at $500 prize as well as an interview and publication in Issue 3. Veteran story writer Chris Offutt will be the guest judge. In the future, Hessert says he hopes to offer more contests and increase the pay the writers receive. “My hope is that as more people become aware of ARDOR word will get out that we're a professional independent publication that values and respects writers and consistently offers readers stories, essays and poems which matter,” Hessert explains.

Issue One includes fiction by Meagan Cass and Andrew Dutton (our featured prose writer), nonfiction by Heather Price-Wright, Anastasia Selby and Sean Finucane Toner, poetry by Phillip Barron, Ellen Wade Beals, John S. Blake, Nancy Dobson, Nidhi Zakaria Eipe, Howie Good, Peter McNamara (our featured poet), Laurelyn Whitt and David Zaza and artwork by Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Rachel Carbonell, Ines Franco Fatzinger, MJ Forster (cover artist) and Ann Tracy.

ARDOR is open to submissions year-round, and the open reading period of the Short Story Contest goes until the end of March 2013. Guidelines for both can be viewed on ARDOR’s website.

For a review of ARDOR on Screen Reading, click here.

New Design, New Prizes

Green Mountains Review celebrated their 25th anniversary issue last spring with a retrospective poetry issue. With their winter issue, they have decided for a new look, ripping into "a new era." The format is now a smaller design at about 6 by 7 inches, a nice size to hold in the hand.

The winter issue also includes the winning selections for the first-ever Neil Shepard Prizes in Poetry and Fiction. Poetry was judged by Todd Boss, and fiction was judged by Noy Holland. Winners received publication along with $500.

Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry
First Place: Jill Osier
Second Place: Melissa Queen
Third Place: Benjamin Aleshire

Neil Shepard Prize in Fiction
First Place: Suzanne McNear
Second Place: Don Schwartz
Third Place: Kyle Mellen

This issue also includes poetry by Denise Duhamel, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Stephanie Brown, Emilia Phillips, Julianna Baggott, Mark Halliday, James Hoch, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Norman Lock, Adrie Kusserow, Gary Soto, Sarah Messer, Barbara Murphy, Chelsea Rathburn, Chad Davidson, Dana Roeser, Brian Russell, Angela Vogel, Dana Gabrielle Russo, G. C. Waldrep, and Lindsey Alexander; an essay by Timothy Kenny; and fiction by Molly Giles, John Weir, Jason Schwartz, Tom Whalen, James Robison, A. L. Snijders (translated by Lydia Davis), and Patricia Duncker.

Call for Editors

Vine Leaves Literary Journal is now hiring dedicated editors to join their team. Here is a message from their current editors:

"Hurray! Our inboxes are overflowing with YOUR work. Poetry, prose, pictures and more - powerful vignettes that inspire us, excite us, and yeah, sometimes overwhelm us. Trust us, we're not complaining. But as the journal continues to grow, we recognize we can't do it all on our own, not while keeping our mandate of giving each submission the consideration it deserves. So, we're hiring.

Well, kind of. As you know, Vine Leaves is a labour of love and our work is volunteer. For us, it's more important that our contributors get paid (as minor as that is). But, quite frankly, what we don't take in cash reward, YOU give back in immeasurable riches - your support.

We're looking for a couple of passionate, dedicated and vignette-loving volunteer editors to help us navigate our impressive inbox. Interested? Great. We don't need a formal resume, but please email -- vineleaves (dot) editors (at) gmail (dot) com -- your expression of interest along with a paragraph telling us WHY you want to join the Vine Leaves team and WHAT you think you could bring to the journal. We'll take it from there."

The deadline is February 28, 2013.

When is Non-Fiction Fiction?

A question often raised in writing classes around the country. James Frey's A Million Little Pieces and Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea provided us with sensationalized examinations of this issue, and now, from a whole new perspective, Lance Armstrong and his publisher are being sued for advertising the dethroned cyclist's memoirs as non-fiction. The lawsuit claimants charge we now know these memoirs to be packed with lies and untruths. But does this make it "fiction"?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shop Literary Magazines Online

Now you can purchase single copies of a variety of current literary magazines from just one site: NewPages Magazine Webstore

• Find titles you recognize and discover new magazines.
• Browse issue content to find favorite authors as well as new voices.
• Research magazines before submitting your writing.
• Teachers & Students: FINALLY! One site to get classroom reading.
• Support writers and publishers of literary magazines!

Pick and choose single copies from the comfort of your keyboard and have them conveniently delivered to your doorstep.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Glimmer Train November Short Story Award Winners

Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their November Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000. The next Short Story Award competition will take place in February. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

1st place goes to Christopher Marnach of Chicago, IL. He wins $1500 for “Death Week at the Funeral Card Company” and his story will be published in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Glimmer Train Stories, out in March 2014. This is Christopher’s first story accepted for publication. [Photo credit: Amy Leigh Abelson.]

2nd place goes to Joseph Chavez of West Hills, CA. He wins $500 for “Stowaways” and his story will also be published in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories, raising his prize to $700. This is also Joseph’s first story accepted for publication.

3rd place goes to Elise Winn of Woodland, CA. She wins $300 for “After Ida.”

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Deadline soon approaching: Very Short Fiction Award, January 31

Glimmer Train hosts this competition twice a year, and 1st place has been increased to $1500 plus publication in the journal. It’s open to all writers, no theme restrictions, and the word count must not exceed 3000. Click here for complete guidelines.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What I’m Reading: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington is a young adult novel published by Harlequin Teen. Being an “older adult,” my only memories of Harlequin include watching ladies with curlers in their hair read the thin paperbacks at the laundromat mid-week, ignoring the end of the drying cycle until they had finished whatever scene it was that held them so enraptured. So, first I had to get over that preconceived notion.

What drew me to this particular book was the promotional materials, which touted it as a book about teen bullying. My school had just brought The Bullycide Project to our campus for a performance, so I was interested in what kind of light Harrington might shed on this social issue. Considering it was Harlequin, I figured it would be what we have come to expect from that publisher: raw, uncensored detail. I got that part right, but the book actually isn't so much about the issue of bullying as it is about the issue of gay teens coming out and being outed, teen friendships as a matter of survival, and teens treading very tenuous relationships with one another on a daily basis. Teens and sexuality? Sure, but not so much. Bullying? Sure, but only as a course of response to the other issues going on.

In the first few pages of the book, Chelsea, the main character of the story, big-mouth, mean-spirited gossipy Chelsea, drunk at her best friend’s house party, interrupts two male peers in a romantic encounter. Stunned by the discovery, she returns to the party throng and blurts out what she has seen. The two boys, their passions diffused, leave the party, and a group of homophobic jocks follow. And it happens exactly as you hoped it wouldn't:  the jocks beat up one of the gay male teens so badly he’s hospitalized. Chelsea knows who did it. Her best friend Kirsten knows who did it, because it was her jock boyfriend and his buddies. Kirsten demands Chelsea not tell, and Chelsea, weighing out the benefits of popularity and being in the “in” crowd with the guilt of knowing she needs to do what’s right, tells her parents and, subsequently, the police.

The speechlessness that follows all of this gossiping and blurting and outing is Chelsea’s vow of silence, taken to punish herself for being such a loud-mouth, but also, as she discovers, to save herself from the person she was, to allow herself some “think time” to consider who she really wants to be, and eventually, as the story unfolds, to give herself the opportunity to become that person.

Having a main character in a young adult novel being speechless is a bold approach. Instead of being able to see the character through her words to others, readers see her through her thoughts, which are multifaceted, confused, constantly weighing options. This could be disastrous writing - being inside the incessant chatter of the internal monologue of a teenager who is being targeted and ostracized by her peers, dealing with her own guilt, and trying to build new friendships. But Harrington handles it cleanly, without a lot of unnecessary repetition or excessive dead-end angst.

Chelsea begins as a stereotypical superficial teen, but becomes more aware of this as the story progresses, yet she struggles to give it up:
I'm not great at a lot, but I'm good at being Kirsten's friend. Or, I was, until I messed it all up for myself on a stupid whim. I liked it, being in her orbit. Girls wanted to be us. Guys wanted to date us. Even those who hated us wanted a look. I loved that, loved that I mattered, that people were jealous. I loved turning heads. It didn't matter that most of them were looking at Kirsten; I was in their line of vision, and that totally counted for something. Being on that radar at all. It made me more than average. It was everything to me.
Kirsten ditches Chelsea, of course, because Kirsten's boyfriend is now the prime suspect in the assault - thanks to Chelsea "ratting him out." For this, she suffers Kirsten's vengeance and drops from her place on the popularity pedestal to that of being the victim. This is where the bullying comes into the story, and not to define what is or isn't bullying, but this isn't the kind we hear about that causes kids to react in extreme ways - the kind of senseless picking on someone just because of the way the look, talk, dress, for no reason at all, etc. This is one character feeling wronged and taking it out on the other. Teen vengeance. But these vengeful acts also provide a backstory to Chelsea's role as a bully, as she suddenly now becomes the target: ". . . but obviously the past week has, if nothing else, shown that I severely underestimated what it's like to be on the receiving end of Kristen & Co.'s bullshit." Chelsea, of course, having once been a member of the "& Co."

There's no question that Chelsea is the target of harassment, and goes to school fearing for her safety: her locker is repeatedly vandalized with profanity (once right while she stands and watches), her car is vandalized, and drunk-night photos only friends should see get spread electronically and via paper postering throughout the school. Through it all, Chelsea keeps her silence and takes the abuse as her "due," at one point even taunting Kristen to "bring it," but continually blaming herself for outing Noah and his subsequently ending up in the hospital.

The outing and attack allow this story to examine LGBTQ issues among teens. In the interview included at the end of the book, Harrington explains how the National Day of Silence was actually the inspiration for Speechless: "I always thought it was a great exercise, and had me thinking what it would be like for someone who is very verbal to voluntarily give up their speech for an extended period of time - how they might cope and what could lead someone like that to that decision in the first place." We always hope that out of tragedy will come some good, and in Speechless, the attack on Noah leads students at the school to start an LGBTQ support group/safe zone.

That Speechless was promoted as a book about bullying, I have to wonder. This may be a better way to get it into the hands of teens who connect with that issue (or adults like me who do), but I would have made the same connection had it been promoted with the LGBTQ focus. This, however, might make it more challenging to get on the shelves or even some libraries and schools. That the two issues are inextricably woven together in this story shows the complexity of these social issues, and what teens themselves have to face every single day as they navigate through their adolescence.

And, yes, there's kissing and talk about sex - it seems it wouldn't be a Harlequin without it. But it's teen appropriate, exploring, and safe. Above all, the character of Chelsea carries this story through the growth and development of her character. Her silence allows her to finally get to know herself and to develop who she wants herself to be without shadowing others. She gets smarter as the story progresses (enjoying math problems and actually finishing reading assignments), but also wiser about her past and what she no longer wants to be. She is ready to face a future of uncertainty, but a much brighter and more hopeful future as she continues to discover who she is.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flash Fiction in the Classroom

State of Flash and Flash Fiction in the Classroom: NANO Fiction is looking to publish some short essays on teaching or talking about flash fiction in and out of the classroom. Which stories have worked particularly well to generate discussions? Which stories have inspired students? Which stories have inspired you? How has flash fiction changed the way you or your students view writing or the writing process Editors Kirby Johnson and Sophie Rosenblum will accept essays of no more than 1000 words via Submittable.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Digital Monument to the Jewish Community

"The Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands is an Internet monument dedicated to preserving the memory of all the men, women and children who were persecuted as Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and did not survive the Shoah. Every person in the Monument has a separate page commemorating his or her life. This ‘personal page’ gives the person’s most basic personal details. Where possible, it also contains a reconstruction of his or her family relationships. The basic aim is to try to show the circumstances of each individual life. What emerges is a snapshot of the household in 1941 or 1942. Addresses are added, enabling visitors to take a virtual walk through streets and towns. The Digital Monument also contains a good deal of other information. These notes explain how the site has been set up and how it can be used."

South Loop Review Winning Essay

The South Loop Review's newest issue features the winning essay for the 2012 contest, judged by Ander Monson. The winner is Shawn Fawson for "Belongings of." Here's how it starts:

"I'm the one kids come to at the airport or grocery store and say, I'm lost. Usually it starts with a tug on my skirt followed by a tiny voice going shrill, I can't find my mommy. Those first milliseconds I freeze and think, Hey kid, do I look like I know where your mommy is? Then I say and do what anyone would. You always do. You want lost people to be found, a Daddy and Mama to be laughing, a reunion that ends happily..."

Also featured is the wining essay from the 2012 Student Essay Contest, judged by the editors. The essay is titled "Home Sweet Home Sweet Home" by Deb Durham.

Other contributors include Jodi Adams, Doyle Armbrust, Pamela Baker, Tim Bascom, Andrew Breen, Deb Durham, Tom Montgomery Fate, Geri Gale, Theo Greenblatt, Jessica McCaughey, Adriana Paramo, Marc Perlish, Jill Talbot, Thao Thai, Cameron Walker, and more.

Spittoon Winners

Each year, Spittoon magazine selects a winner for each category among those writers that have been published in the magazine that year. "The editors' decisions when choosing writing for Spittoon awards are based on a number of factors, including--but not limited to--editor consensus across and between genres; unsolicited feedback from readers; and how well the piece fits with the stated mission of the journal."

Winners are featured on the website along with a bio. But best of all is that they receive a trophy in the mail--an authentic spittoon!

Best of 2012

Creative Nonfiction

Matthew Lykins: "Adult Situations and Language"


Kristy Bowen: from beautiful, sinister

Nancy Devine: "Line"

Anne Germanacos: "Just me singing"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shakespearian Self-Help

"Researchers at the University of Liverpool found the prose of Shakespeare and Wordsworth and the like had a beneficial effect on the mind, providing a 'rocket-boost' to morale by catching the reader's attention and triggering moments of self-reflection."

Able Muse Contest Winners

Congratulations to the 2012 Able Muse Contest Winners. The Write Prize was judged by Ellen Sussman (fiction) and John Drury (poetry). The Muse Book Award was judged by Mary Jo Salter.

2012 Able Muse Write Prize

Fiction Winner
Adrianne Aron: "Random Sample"

Poetry Winner
John Beaton: "Murmuration"

Second Place
Leonard Kress

John Beaton
Bruce Berger
Thomas Carper
Susan Cohen
Stephen Harvey
Susan McLean
Richard Meyer
Jeanne Wagner
Sarah White

2012 Able Muse Book Award

Frank Osen: Virtue, Big as Sin

Sass Brown: USA-1000
Ellen Kaufman: House Music
Carol Light: Heaven from Steam
Richard Newman: All the Wasted Beauty of the World
Stephen Scaer: Pumpkin Chucking

Monday, January 21, 2013

Elie Wiesel Award Acceptance Recording

The Kenyon Review selected Elie Wiesel as the winner of the 2012 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. "Wiesel is the author of more than fifty books, most famous among them his haunting work Night. His writing deals with the moral imperative of all people to fight hatred, racism, and genocide. He is a Holocaust survivor and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Wiesel accepted the Kenyon Review award in New York City on Nov. 8." The Kenyon Review has made available on its website: a recording of Roger Rosenblatt’s remarks; a recording of Wiesel’s Nov. 8th acceptance speech; a short reading by Natalie Shapero and Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers, the current Kenyon Review Fellows; a link to c overage (with photos) of the 2012 event by Bloomberg News.

Ninth Letter News

With the newest print version of Ninth Letter, the editors announce some very exciting news. In addition to the two print issues a year, there will also be a web version. The inaguaral web edition is now online, featuring short stories and poetry from creative writing students across the country.

Ninth Letter will also be putting forth an iPad app. This will feature selected works from the current issue but will also include selections from the archives and select writing only available on the app subscription.

And lastly, as part of celebrating their ten year anniversary, Ninth Letter will be sponsoring their first ever annual Literary Prizes. Scheduled for spring, they will offer awards in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and literature in translation. Please visit for more details. Contest submissions open in march.

Ireland Focused Issue

The Chattahoochee Review's Fall/Winter 2012 has a special focus: Ireland. Editor Anna Schachner introduces the issue by saying that, "It was through John Fairleigh of the Stewart Parker Trust that we were able to highlight contemporary Irish drama, for he found us quite a few excellent plays, leaving us to choose the two whose powerful, raw language most pulled us in as readers. Meanwhile, The Stinging Fly, an Irish journal after our own literary heart, graciously helped spread the word . . . The Munster Literature Centre and the Irish Writers' Centre referred us to writers and rallied our efforts . . . Such collaboration was, and is, a beautiful thing--I like to think in keeping with this issue."

The issue includes work from Fióna Bolger, Cróna Gallagher, Nancy Harris, Kevin Higgins, Gavin Lavelle, Ed Madden, Orla McAliden, John McManus, David Mohan, Mary Morrissy, Gregory Kirk Murray, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Val Nolan, Márie T. Robinson, Anakana Schofield, Andrew Stephens, Matthew Sweeney, Patrick Toland, Eoghan Walls, Barrett Warner, and Jesse Weaver.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Student Scholarships for CNF Conference

River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative is offering undergraduate and graduate student scholarships to attend their 2nd annual conference, May 17-19 in Ashland, Ohio. Students must be currently enrolled in a writing program. The scholarship includes registration fees; other expenses (travel, room, board) are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. Deadline for application is March 1, 2013.

Brainstorm Poetry Contest

Open Minds Quarterly print their Fall 2012 issue with the honorable mentions of the Brainstorm Poetry Contest, which was held in early 2012. The Spring 2012 issue includes the first, second, and third place winners (D. Brian Anderson's "To Sylvia Plath," Donald W. Boyles "To My Father," and Kristina Morgan's "Excerpt from Shade").

Honorable Mentions

Andrew Boden: "Ladybugs, Electric"

April Bulmer: "Reta"

D. Brian Anderson: "Moving Day"

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Publisher on the (Lit) Block: Dinah Press

Dinah Press recently announced its publishing debut. Based in Los Angeles, Dinah is an editorial collective with a core group of permanent editors. Authors published by the press are invited to serve as guest editors for the year following their publication.

The goal of the new press is to highlight work from underserved groups. According to their FAQ page, they will publish "fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by women of color, trans people, people with disabilities, members of colonized peoples, and other talented writers whose work has been deemed 'unmarketable' by mainstream publishers."

Dinah also stresses the communal nature of writing and publishing. "In building solidarity with individuals across communities and letting writers control the production of their work, we strive to break down the idea that writing is a solitary, isolated, and privileged act, or that publishing is necessarily hierarchical. Writing—especially when one’s voice is not valued in mainstream society—is a necessity, not a luxury."

In the coming months, Dinah Press will begin to accept submissions, and then they will read them year-round. In the meantime, they have announced their first two titles: nomad of salt and hard water, poetry from Cynthia Dewi Oka, and Other Life Forms, a novel by Julia Glassman.

Welcome, Dinah Press!

Arc Virtual Poet-in-Residence

The Arc Poetry Soci­ety is seek­ing pro­pos­als for the pos­i­tion of Poet-in-Residence. This is a vir­tual res­id­ency, so the Poet in Res­id­ence will not be required to relocate. Poet-in-Residence Can­did­ates will be Cana­dian Cit­izens with a strong back ground in the prac­tice of con­tem­por­ary poetry. The Poet-in-Residence will have at least one poetry col­lec­tion pub­lished by an estab­lished Cana­dian pub­lisher (chap­books and self-published books will not be con­sidered).

Kalos Foundation Visual Art Prize

Ruminate Magazine's winter issue features the winners of the Kalos Foundation Visual Art Prize. The juror, Bruce Herman, said he was "impressed by the consistently high quality" of all the entries. "In the end," he says, "I had to go with a gut-level set of choices—a visceral response based upon forty years as a practitioner and professor of art. I attempted to choose the three winning artists from the different stylistic and theoretical contexts represented in the fifteen finalists."

First Place
Laura Hennessy
(one piece from her collection is featured to the right, courtesy of

Second Place

Zacheriah Kramer

Honorable Mention

James Hapke

Jason Ackman
Stephen Mead
Susan Hart
Austin Parkhill
Sueme Jeon
Julie Quinn
Frank Krifka
Sue Gyeong Syn
Olga Lah
Crystal Wagner
Evan Mann
Derek Wagner

Writing in the issue comes from Richard Cole, Michelle Regaldo Deatrick, Joshua Robbins, Kathleen Henderson Staudt, Kait Burrier, Mary Jo Balistreri, Julie Hensley, David Oestreich, Renee Emerson, Don Thompson, Scott Cameron, Luci Shaw, Diane Scholl, Joey Locicero, Jean Tucker, Heather M. Surls, Shannon Skelton, Paul Stapleton, and Linda McCullough Moore.

Third Coast Fiction and Poetry Prizes

The Fall 2012 issue of Third Coast announces and includes the winners for the Fiction and Poetry Prizes.

Jaimy Gordon Prize in Fiction
: Judged by Jaimy Gordon
CJ Hauser for "Abandoned Cars"

Third Coast Poetry Prize: Judged by Major Jackson
Maggie Millner for "Fish Story"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Online Journal :: Peer English

Peer English (ISSN 1746-5621) is a refereed, open-access online journal produced by members of the School of English. Issued once a year since 2006, its remit is to publish leading research from academics at the very beginnings of their careers (graduate study, post-doctoral research) through to those already established within the community. This approach also includes the notion of ‘work in progress’ and the editors welcome contributions of high academic standards from those currently involved in active research, be they doctoral candidates or Heads of Departments. More information is available at the English Association website.

Published annually, Peer English embraces not only the full range of subject coverage within the field of English Studies, but also the increasingly wide range of approaches and perspectives that can be brought to bear upon the discipline. We welcome, therefore, both traditional and modern approaches to the field, from close critical readings of literary texts, to interdisciplinary approaches or cross-subject analyses.

The deadline for submissions for 2013 is 31 August 2013. A style sheet for the journal is available by request.

SRPR Editors' Prize Winners

SRPR (Spoon River Poetry Review) puts out the Winter 2012 issue with the winning selections from the 2012 Editors' Prize. The judge, David Baker, writes that the winning poem is "both of subtle depth and overt wit, managing the difficult combination admirably throughout its forty-five lines."

First Place
William Stobb: "A Moment for Authentic Shine"

Sarah Sousa: "The way you don't have to see"

Honorable Mention
Aviva Englander Cristy: "The Accuracy of String and Measure"
Anna Marie Craighead-Kintis: "Honky"
Veronica Patterson: "The Etymology of Intersect"

The issue also showcases new work by the featured poet, Linda Gregerson, followed by an interview with her. Other contributors include Michele Battiste, Joanna Cattonar, Stephen Massimilla, Gabriel Gudding, Jack Collom, John Fenlon Hogan, Jennifer Militello, Laynie Browne, Gabriel Welsch, Jonathan Skinner, Tyler Mills, Cynthia Cruz, and more.

The Kenyon Review vs. KROnline

Editor David H. Lynn, in the current issue of The Kenyon Review, says that there has been some confusion about the different formats now available for The Kenyon Review. The digital age is making more opportunities for more literature to be available. At one point, Lynn said that they had to decline some submissions that they wanted to publish. This is one main reason that they started looking down other avenues.

Kindle Version: The Kenyon Review is available through Amazon as a Kindle version. This is essentially a replica of the traditional print version of the journal. It is available for only 99 cents a month.

KROnline: This version is completely free at and offers fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and book reviews not found in print or in the Kindle version. Because it is faster to publish on the web, some of these contributions are more timely. Lynn explains, "Pieces may also be shorter, more experimental—more 'out there.'"

Monday, January 14, 2013

AWP Announces Finalists for 2013 Small Press Publisher Award

AWP has announced the finalists for this year's annual Small Press Publisher Award. AWP confers the award annually to honor small presses and their contributions to literary culture; in even years the award is given to a literary journal, and in odd years to a publisher. Each award includes a $2,000 honorarium and an exhibit booth at the AWP annual conference. The winning press will be announced at the Opening Night Awards Celebration at this year's AWP Conference in Boston on Wed., March 6. Tickets to the invitation-only ceremony will be sent to invitees in mid-January.

This year's finalists are:

Bellevue Literary Press, a project of the NYU School of Medicine and the first and only nonprofit press dedicated to literary fiction and nonfiction at the intersection of the arts and sciences. Bellevue’s award-winning titles include Paul Harding’s Tinkers, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and Michelle Latiolais’s Widow: Stories, a best book of the year from Library Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Coffee House Press, a Minneapolis-based press founded in 1984 by Allan Kornblum. Coffee House has published hundreds of titles in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including the recent titles Kind One by Laird Hunt, The Iovis Trilogy by Anne Waldman, Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner, and Netsuke by Rikki Ducournet.

Red Hen Press, founded in Los Angeles in 1994 by Kate Gale and Mark Cull. The press houses the imprints Arktio Books and Boreal Books; issues several literary awards each year, including the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and the Letras Latinas Poetry Prize; and sponsors an outreach program, Writing in the Schools. Red Hen’s authors include John Barr, Douglas Kearny, Eva Saulitis, and Los Angeles Poet Laureate Eloise Klein Healy.

Sarabande Books, based in Louisville and founded in 1994 by poets Sarah Gorham and Jefferey Skinner. Sarabande’s numerous award-winning writers include Lydia Davis, author of The Cows, Elena Passarello, author of Let Me Clear My Throat, Cleopatra Mathis, author of Book of Dog, and Ryan Van Meter, author of If You Knew Then What I Know Now.

“We are excited to present this new award, as the best small press literary publishers often go under-recognized in the publishing world,” said Christian Teresi, AWP’s conference director. “We look forward to acknowledging the outstanding work of independent magazines and presses at our conference for many years to come.”

Congratulations to all the deserving nominees!

Free Online Poetry Writing Class

The International Writing Program of the University of Iowa is presenting a free, online, seven-week poetry writing course in February. This course is "designed for advanced writers with an active commitment to reading poetry and refining their craft, though no previous experience is required." The class is limited to 15 participants, and applications must be sent by January 28th. For sign up information, visit their Facebook page.

The Facebook page already shows 27 people "going," so either the program will be extending its offering, or they may be some disappointed poets. Either way, it would be good to send your information along to IWP so they know of your interest for future offerings.

Real Theme is the Reader

The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review—published at the all-male school Hampden-Sydney College—has put forth their Winter 2012 issue with a special "4x4" feature, the participants of which all happen to be female. "4x4" asks four of the issue's contributors four different questions and features their responses. This issue includes responses from Eleanor Wilner, Karen An-Hwei Lee, Hannah Notess, and Wendy Videlock.

But, as Editor Nathaniel Perry explains, this was not meant to be a special all-women theme. "So what you're holding here is not an issue 'dedicated' to women, or 'about' women, or full of poems on women's 'issues' or 'themes,'" he writes, "but it is instead simply an issue of a poetry journal that happens to have mostly female contributors."

He continues: "So whether or not you even look at the names on the back of the journal, whether you're counting heads or counting feet as you read, you'll have no choice, I think, but to engage deeply with the poems we've weighed out this year. Any gatherings of writers is an experiment, and as you experience the poems that follow this note we hope you'll make your own groupings and assumptions and map out your own conclusions and destinations. The real 'theme' of any journal, after all, is the reader."

Other contributors to this issue include Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, Todd Davis, Paul Dickey, Stephen Dunn, Sarah Edwards, Julian Farmer, Jessica Greenbaum, Lisa Grove, Charlene Langfur, Alexis Levitin, Cleopatra Mathis, Ana Minga, Jacquelyn Pope, Rebecca Givens Rolland, Mary Ann Samyn, Thom Satterlee, Allison Seay, A. E. Stallings, David Thacker, Lee Upton, Carmen Váscones, Jeanne Murray Walker, Lu You and Tang Wan, Valerie Wohlfeld, Liang Yujing, and Linda Stern Zisquit.

Salamander 20th Anniversary

Salamander, founded in 1992, is celebrating their 20th year anniversary. "For the past twenty years, we've remained committed to publishing our favorite writers while continuing to find writers who are new to us," says Editor Jennifer Barber, "a mission we take to heart." The current issue, Part 1, features sixty-five writers, fifty of which are appearing in Salamander for the first time.

This issue also features the winners of the third annual fiction contest, judged by Carolyn Cooke.

2012 Winner
Lynne Butler Oaks: "A Sudden Absence of Sound"

Honorable Mention
Jenn Chan Lyman: "Two Old Fools"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mid-American Review Award Winners

Mid-American Review's most recent issue features the winners of several competitions and awards:

The 2011-12 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award
Winner: Kyle Mellen - "Lighting in You a Tremendous Fire"
Editors' Choice: Todd Seabrook - "The Elf"

The 2011-12 James Wright Poetry Award

Winner: Sarah Rose Nordgren - "When You Are Dead"
Editors' Choice: Jonathan Rice - Two Poems

2012 Fineline Competition

Winner: Diane Seuss - "I emptied my little wishing well of its emptiness"
Editors' Choice: Heather Cox - Two Selections
Editors' Choice: Richard Garcia - "The Expert"
Editors' Choice: Lauren Jensen - "Neighbors"
Editors' Choice: Alexandra Sadinoff - "Symmetry Majors"

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, established to honor Liza Nelligan, is now in its ninth year. Featured in the Colorado Review's Fall/Winter issue, winner Matthew Shaer's story "Ghost" was select by the final judge Jane Hamilton. Here is what she has to say about the story:

"This story is tightly packed—it has a great deal of the characters' history and their private and shared suffering in just eighteen pages—and yet the narrative richness is beautifully contained within the boundaries of the story form. There are so many capably written stories—a lot of writers have the hang of it—but when you come across a story that is nearly as distilled as a poem, where all the parts work together, where the language is precise and lyrical, and when the story has 'an intense awareness of human loneliness,' the quality that Frank O'Connor believes defines the short story—you're likely to say, Here it is. The real thing. As I did with 'Ghosts.'"

This issue also contains writing from Judith Adkins, Peter Balakian, Eric Baus, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Bill Capossere, Maxine Chernoff, Endi Bogue Hartigan, Elise Juska, Erin Kasdin, Alex Lemon, Edward Porter, Tomaž Šalamun, and John Yau.

Book Shelf Ideas

Need more room for your books? A way to show off some of your favorites? Check out Trendhunters 100 Curiously Contemporary Bookshelves.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

What's New with The MacGuffin?

The Fall 2012 issue of The MacGuffin holds a considerable amount of news within the short editor's note. First off is the announcement of the winner for the Poet Hunt contest. The winning poem, selected by Dorianne Laux, is "Like a Scrap of Michigan Sky" by Sharron Singleton. This poem, along with the Honorable Mention poets—Sophia Rivkin and Kevin Griffin—can be read in the Winter 2013 issue.

The MacGuffin also announces that the next year's competition will be judged by 2011-2012 Poet Laureate Philip Levine. Poems from Levine are included in this Fall issue.

And lastly, The MacGuffin welcomes three new members to its editorial staff—Ashley Rossi, Connor Armstrong, and Jeaneth Kirkpatrick. "Their enthusiasm and keen eyes and ears are already serving to select the best short fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry we receive," writes Editor Steven Alfred Dolgin.

Strong Females in Literature 2012

NPR started it with its short list of Best Heroines of 2012, and The Atlantic followed this up with 12 more. Neither list included the publishers, who I think deserve some credit. Several of these are small, independent presses listed on NewPages Guide to Independent Publishers & University Presses, and several are from the literary imprints of major publishers. Click on the story title links to read more about each publication.

NPR Best Heroines of 2012

Sophie Calle: The Address Book by Sophie Calle
Siglio Press

As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 by Susan Sontag and David Rieff
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (MacMillan)

All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (MacMillan)

Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
Simon & Schuster

Antigonick by Sophocles, Anne Carson and Bianco Stone
New Directions Publishing

The Atlantic Greatest Literary Heroines of 2012

Dora: A Headcase by Lidia Yuknavitch
Hawthorne Books

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Little, Brown and Company

Maidenhead by Tamara Faith Berger
Coach House Books

How to Get Into the Twin Palms by Karolina Waclawiak
Two Dollar Radio

The People of Forever are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
Hogarth (Crown Publishing/Random House)

Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
Riverhead (Penguin)

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Crown (Random House)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Press 53 Publishes 100th Title

Press 53 has just published In a World of Small Truths, the debut short story collection from Ray Morrison. This is the 100th book published by Press 53, which celebrated its seventh anniversary in October.

Morrison's book focuses on the Southern city in a state of flux, jumping from backwoods thieves and farmers to professionals and students. Stories from the collection have appeared in Fiction Southeast, Ecotone, Aethlon, Carve Magazine, and Night Train. Morrison won first prize in the short story category of the 2011 Press 53 Open Awards and has twice received honorable mention in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.

Congratulations to both Press 53 and Ray Morrison.

IMAGE Goes Digital

Image magazine is now available on your iPad, Kindle Fire, or personal computer. The subscription is $10 a year, and you can download a free sample here.

Fugue Prose and Poetry Prizes

The Summer & Fall issue of Fugue announces the winner of the 11th Annual Ron McFarland Prize for Poetry. The judge, Rodney Jones, says that the winner, Ansel Elkins, "is a poet we are going to hear from."

Ron McFarland Prize for Poetry

Winner: Ansel Elkins
"Real Housewives"

Finalist: David Cazden
"Midwest Suite"

Finalist: Dylan Mounts
"Bobby Solomon Found Himself the Owner of a Local Community Lawn Services Organization"

The winner of the 11th Annual Prose Prize is also included. The judge, Pam Houston, says that the winning piece is "the most ambitious of all the contest stories." She says, "I was both surprised and convinced by the ending, which is a satisfying combination for any story. This is one ending that will stay with me."

Fugue Prose Prize

: Josie Sigler
"The Watcher in the Woods" [Fiction]

Runner-Up: Natanya Ann Pulley
"The Trickster Surfs the Floods" [Essay]

Fat Characters in Contemporary Literature

In her essay on Contemporary Literature’s Obesity Epidemic, Hannah Rosefield of the LA Review of Books examines "fat characters" in modern literature beginning with this: "...there aren’t nearly as many fat characters in modern fiction as you’d expect, considering how many fat people there are in the world today." Rosefield draws upon Virginia Woolf's "On Being Ill" (1926) to set the analysis of Big Ray by Kimball, Heft by Liz Moore, The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg, and Erin Lange’s young adult novel Butter, each of which "have protagonists who are double or even triple their 'healthy' weight."

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Illustrated Poem: The Nudists by Kevin Simmonds

San Francisco poet Kevin Simmonds sent along this link to his illustrated poem The Nudists about the recent San Francisco nudity ban. The ban goes into effect in February 1, and there are already efforts under way to have the law overturned. The The Poetry Blog published Simmonds's poem and is making it available as a free download.

October Family Matters Contest Winners

Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their October Family Matters competition. This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers for stories about family of all configurations. The next Family Matters competition w ill take place in April. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

First place: Soma Mei Sheng Frazier [pictured], of San Leandro, CA, wins $1500 for “Everyone Is Waiting.” Her story will be published in the Spring 2014 issue of Glimmer Train Stories.

Second place: Eugene Cross, of Chicago, IL, wins $500 for “Miss Me Forever.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing his prize to $700.

Third place: Sofia Ergas Groopman of New York, NY, wins $300 for “A Body, Even.”

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2012 Haiku Year-in-Review

Broadsided's annual Haiku Year-in-Review is now available for download from their website. Readers voted for their favorite haiku to match artists interpretations of four world events from 2012: The Greek Government Bailouts; The Arab Spring; Droughts in the U.S. Midwest; Death of the Last Pinta Giant Tortoise.

"The 2012 Haiku Year-in-Review" broadside features poems by Matthew Caretti, Sarah Martinez-Helfman, Renee Lacroix, Cynthia Gallaher and art by Lochlann Jain, Cheryl Gross, Sarah Van Sanden.

Read, enjoy, download, share!

Online Resources for Higher Ed Job Seekers

This resource comes from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, so there is some content specific to that field, but it otherwise provides a lot of good, general sources for those looking to get a job in higher education

And this essay from Inside Higher Ed: Questions They Might Ask You by Katherine Ellison and Cheryl Ball.