Elaine Fletcher Chapman’s Hunger For Salt

hungerSalt

I’ve spent this week slowly reading Elaine Fletcher Chapman’s beautiful collection Hunger For Salt.  Elaine describes her own writing style as minimalist. She says she’s in love with the white space. I can’t argue with that.  Certainly, most of the poems are very short in length. I believe the shortest, a poem titled “Still Mourning” is a mere three lines.  But to describe Elaine’s writing or these poems as minimalist doesn’t paint a full picture because each poem is so realized.  Elaine’s choices are so precise and thoughtful, even short poems feel very full.  So many of these poems feel meditative, and that tone is strengthened by spiritual references.  Her poem, “Searching,” is one of my favorites in the collection, and in it, she tells us that she borrows phrases from the Buddhists.  Read the poem below:

Searching

Still trying to accept loss,
I borrow phrases from the Buddhists:
a bowl and a spoon, a single robe,
chop wood, carry water.
Name this one room studio
Holy place of contemplation.

Last week I stepped into the stone labyrinth
and immediately heard, go home.
For a week I asked, Where is home?
I open the door to hear the rain
and distant thunder. I pour
a cup of freshly brewed tea, add ice
and fresh lemon. I ask again,
Where is home?
I return to Basho,
and St. Teresa of Avila:
interior, interior.

Another of my favorite poems is “Anticipation of Blossoms.”  Instead of copying the poem’s text here, I’m going to attempt to embed a video of the poem that was created by the very talented Laura Lipson. (If the embed doesn’t work, please see the link to Elaine’s webpage below.)


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/211019399″>Poetry Video: Anticipation of Blossoms</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/elainefletcherchapman”>Elaine Fletcher Chapman</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Laura created 3 poetry videos from Elaine’s work, and they’re each beautiful.  They would also be very useful for teaching purposes. I hope you’ll take the time to visit Elaine’s website where you can view all of the poetry videos as well as a great trailer about the collection: http://elainefletcherchapman.com/poetryvideos.html.  I’m glad to have had this book to help me through this past winter week.

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Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s No Way Out But Through

One of the great pleasures of my graduate studies was the opportunity to work with Lynne Sharon Schwartz. She was a tough reader and a firm critic—not ungenerous at all—but she was not the kind of person who suffered fools or foolish writing. She was one of the best mentors I could have asked for.

LSS and Denton

I learned a lot by working with Lynne Sharon Schwartz, but I have probably learned almost as much from reading her work. I read her novel, The Writing on the Wall, after my first semester with her. Later, I read her memoir, Ruined by Reading: A Life in Books. I loved it so much that I bought copies for many of my friends who were writers, knowing they too would see the beauty she describes in her life-long relationship with reading. It wasn’t until after I finished my graduate work that I also realized this excellent prose writer was also a skilled poet.

nowayoutbutthrough

I have loved everything by Lynne Sharon Schwartz that I’ve ever read, and her latest collection of poetry, No Way Out But Through, is no exception. So many of these poems are elegies—elegies for her parents, her sister, her youth, even for the Brooklyn where she grew up but that’s gone now, forever changed. Even in the poems examining death and the loss of her closest friends and family, there’s something beautiful, almost hopeful, in the way Schwartz shows how we remain connected to those who have passed. But among these poems of loss, there is also great humor. Schwartz has a brilliant eye for seeing what’s askew, and even when she’s deadpan in her delivery, the note is always just right.

Here is a poem from the collection, “Forgetting,” which originally appeared in Narrative. You can view the original publication here: http://www.narrativemagazine.com/issues/poems-week-2014-2015/poem-week/forgetting-lynne-sharon-schwartz.

Forgetting

Absence rarely makes the heart grow
fonder, or so my mother said, popping
a blackberry into her mouth—
we’d raided the patch at the far edge
of the woods. Absence, she said,
begets forgetting. And while you mightn’t
so swiftly forget a blackberry’s taste
or a thorn’s prick, or a cloud’s sheep shape
skimming low like a darning needle
over a lake, how fast the lineaments of face
or voice or touch vanish, like that!
She snapped her fingers,
bolted down the berry.

Rachel Hadas reviewed No Way Out But Through for the Los Angeles Review of Books, describing Schwartz’s poetry like this: “She’s an archivist of memories, a celebrant for the forgotten or nearly forgotten, who also writes eloquently of the undertow of oblivion. She’s an anthologist of anxiety dreams. Irritated by Cordelia and partial to the Fisherman’s Wife, she’s a contrarian reader. At all times, Schwartz’s poetic voice is piercingly honest. Her tough-minded intelligence leaves plenty of room for questions and regrets.” You can read the entire review here: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/times-technique-on-lynne-sharon-schwartzs-no-way-out-but-through/#.

As I mentioned, Schwartz has an excellent sense of humor. One of the many poems where that comes out is in this poem about sex.

What the Poets Never Write about Love

The actual words murmured: not
Ah, your silken thighs, your breasts
like tender hills, but, Shit,
my zipper’s stuck. My arm
is getting numb, please move. Wait,
I’ll do the sleeve, and no, it hooks
in front not back. Hold on a sec,
I have a hair in my mouth, and move your ass,
I can’t breathe this way. Remember,
I asked you once before to cut your fingernails?
Not to rush you or anything but
I can’t stay in this fucking position another minute.

This act they say displays our animal nature
yet we’re not, after all, like animals in love,
who finish, pant, grunt, saunter off.
They do not lie together after, or kiss,
laughing at their words of love, awkward
intimacies of bodies getting in their own way
on the tumbling, humbling path to bliss.

The voice of each poem is so strong, and Schwartz’s characteristic wit constantly shines through. I look forward to coming back to these poems again and again. I’ve enjoyed them as a reader. I’m learning from them as a writer. And I’m excited to think about Schwartz will write next.

Submission Calls for Writers 1/2/2018

submissions

If we want our work to be published this year, then most of us will have to spend some time sending out submissions.  Here are a baker’s dozen opportunities for writers to get the year started.  Good luck! And Happy 2018!

 

Necessary Fiction

Necessary Fiction publishes a new book review each Monday, a featured short story each Wednesday, a contribution to our Research Notes series each Friday, and occasional interviews, essays, and other surprises. Send us unpublished fiction, not reprints, up to 3000 words.

http://necessaryfiction.com/info

 

The Believer

The Believer, a five-time National Magazine Award finalist, is a bimonthly literature, arts, and culture magazine. In each issue, readers will find journalism and essays that are frequently very long, book reviews that are not necessarily timely, and interviews that are intimate, frank, and also very long.  The Believer will consider unsolicited nonfiction manuscripts and pitches. We review books of all types, as well as non-literary items with some interesting linguistic element. We accept 3-5 previously unpublished poems per submission.  Please do not send fiction.

http://www.believermag.com/contacts/

 

The CDC Poetry Project

The CDC Poetry Project seeks poems that use all seven of the words that have been forbidden in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documents for 2018 (“vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based”). Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon started this project in response to the news reported in the Washington Post on December 15 that the CDC has been banned from using these words. One new poem per day will be published on the site starting January 1, 2018.

https://cdcpoetry.wordpress.com/submission-guidelines/

 

Lunch Ticket Amuse-Bouche: Spotlight

The Lunch Ticket Amuse-Bouche: Spotlight showcases a single writer or artist every other week, and publishes all genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, flash prose, poetry, literary translation*, YA (13+), and visual art. Pieces selected for Amuse-Bouche: Spotlight are featured for two weeks and promoted through our social media networks with the same enthusiasm as our regularly published issues. After the showcase, Amuse-Bouche: Spotlight features remain on Lunch Ticket. We accept prose up to 5,000 words. Flash pieces are 750 words or less. For poetry and micro-flash (fiction or CNF under 400 words), please submit no more than THREE pieces in a single document, with each piece clearly titled. We will be open for Amuse-Bouche submissions until January 31 or when we reach 350 total submissions.

http://lunchticket.org/about/submission-guidelines/

 

Nashville Review

The Nashville Review reads three times a year, and one of those periods is between January 1 and January 31, 2018. We welcome flash fiction, short stories, and novel excerpts of up to 8,000 words. We welcome creative nonfiction up to 8,000 words. We’re open to anything: memoir excerpts, essays, imaginative meditations. Send us up to 3 poems per reading period.

https://as.vanderbilt.edu/nashvillereview/contact/submit

 

2018 Nelson Algren Literary Awards

Stories must be fiction and must not have been previously published. Stories must be written in English, double-spaced, and no longer than 8,000 words. Entrant’s name must not appear anywhere in the Story. Contest entry deadline is February 7, 2018. There is no entry fee.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/literary-awards/ct-algren-contest-rules-20171107-story.html

 

Midwestern Gothic

We’re looking for pieces featuring or inspired by your time in the Midwest. Our goal is to collect the very best in Midwestern writers and writing in an effort to compile a definitive resource on the region and its influences.  We’re dedicated to featuring work about or inspired by the Midwest, by writers who have lived here, passed through, or found themselves connected to it in some way. Please submit short fiction, creative nonfiction or essays of up to 8,000 words, or no more than three poems. Submit by February 28, 2018.

http://midwestgothic.com/submissions/

 

Spirit First Meditation Poetry Contest 2018

Our 9th Annual Meditation Poetry Contest is currently underway. Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must have a theme of Meditation or Mindfulness. Poems may reflect any discipline, any faith, or none. Poems must be previously unpublished (self-published accepted). Poems not on the themes of meditation, mindfulness, stillness, or sacred silence will NOT be included in this meditation poetry event.  You are welcome to enter up to three submissions. After three submissions, no other poems will be considered. Please submit your poems by email. There is no cost to enter this contest. Submissions must be received no later than February 28, 2018.

http://www.spiritfirst.org/poetry_contest2018Entry.html

 

Tinge Magazine

TINGE, Temple University’s online journal, seeks submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The journal is edited by the graduate students of Temple’s M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing. Our current reading period runs from January 1 to March 1, 2018. For fiction, submit one short story, up to 25 double-spaced pages. Novel excerpts will be considered if they can stand alone.  For nonfiction, submit one personal essay, memoir, or interview up to 25 double-spaced pages. No book reviews or criticism. Send up to three poems.

http://www.tingemagazine.org/submission-guidelines/

 

Off the Coast Poetry

Off the Coast is a biannual online journal. Our mission is to provide space for diverse and marginalized voices, particularly poets of color, disabled poets, LGBTQIA poets, woman poets, and poetry in translation. We aim to be Maine’s international poetry journal. Send 1–3 previously unpublished poems, any subject or style. We read quarterly, and our next deadline is March 15, 2018.

https://offthecoast.submittable.com/submit

 

Adroit Journal

Since inception, the Adroit Journal has been listed for extended periods among Duotrope.com’s 25 Fastest & Most Challenging Poetry and Fiction Markets, and has been the #1 Poetry Market with the Most Submission Responses Reported for the past two years. We are currently open to submissions of poetry and prose until April 1, 2018. Submit up to 3 pieces of prose at a time, 3,000 words maximum (per piece). Send up to 6 poems at a time, no length limits.

http://www.theadroitjournal.org/general-submissions/

 

Passages North

Passages North, the annual literary journal sponsored by Northern Michigan University, has published short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction since 1979. Send us up to three short-shorts (fiction, nonfiction, prose poems, whatever blend of that you do), all pasted into one document. We’re looking for all manner of well-written, innovative creative nonfiction including, but not limited to, lyric essays, personal essays, memoir, and literary journalism. Send us up to five poems in one document. Passages North is open for submissions for Issue 40 until April 15, 2018.

http://passagesnorth.com/submissions/

 

Southern Indiana Review

Short stories, film scripts, or short novel excerpts are accepted. Submissions should be double-spaced. Creative essays may be personal, critical, historical, nostalgic. They may be reviews, profiles, interviews, or discussions regarding social or intellectual history or ideas. Poetry may be on any subject or in any form. Please send no more than five poems. We accept manuscripts through April 30, 2018.

https://www.usi.edu/sir/submission-guidelines

My 2017 Reading List

Some year, I’m going to read 100 books within a space of 12 months.  It wasn’t 2017 though.  My list for this past year is so short, I’m almost ashamed to show it.  But here it is anyway.  Several of these books were read in manuscript form and aren’t available on the market yet.  Look for them in 2018.

I’ve talked a lot about how problematic I find J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy.  And I never skip a chance to say again what a bad book it is. Beyond that, I recommend so many of the beautiful books on this list for various reasons.

I suppose the book I’m most proud of reading this year is Cormac McCarthy’s The Orchard Keeper.  I started this book about 15 years ago–maybe longer.  I suppose I wasn’t read y for McCarthy.  And though I’ve read several of his other novels in the past decade, The Orchard Keeper sat on the shelf, never finished.  Going back to it this year, I found it to be a really beautiful book, and I was glad I had kept it around all those years.

I’d love to hear what your favorite books were from 2017, or the one you’re most proud of reading. Let’s all read more this new year.

Here’s my full list:

1. Jim Wayne Miller – The Mountains Have Come Closer
2. J.D. Vance – Hillbilly Elegy
3. Alison Stine – Ohio Violence
4. Lincoln Michel – Upright Beasts
5. Ron Houchin – The Man Who Saws Us in Half
6. Iris Tillman Hill – All This Happened Long Ago – It Happens Now
7. Blas Falconer – A Question of Gravity and Light
8. Claudia Emerson – The Late Wife
9. Charles River Editors – The Library of Alexandria and the Lighthouse of Alexandria
10. Gerry Wilson – Crosscurrents and Other Stories
11-18. 8 manuscripts for a poetry contest
19. Mark Wunderlich – The Earth Avails
20. Timothy Liu – Don’t Go Back to Sleep
21. Anais Duplan – Take This Stallion
22. Peter LaBerge – Makeshift Cathedral
23. Jeanne Bryner – Both Shoes Off
24. Keith Lesmeister – We Could Have Been Happy Here
25. James Arthur – Charms Against Lightning
26. Ocean Vuong – Night Sky with Exit Wounds
27. Sean Frederick Forbes – Providencia
28. Clifford Garstang – Everywhere Stories Volume 2
29. Jenson Beach – Swallowed By the Cold
30. Adam Clay – Stranger
31. Joanne Nelson – If Not For the Mess
32. Katlin Brock – The Dead Always Stay OR Between the Wounds
33. Wes Sims – Taste of Change
34. Mark Powell – Small Treasons
35. Carol Grametbauer – Homeplace
36. Cormac McCarthy – The Orchard Keeper
37. Richard Hugo – The Triggering Town
38. Donald Morrill – Beaut
39. Lynne Sharon Schwartz – No Way Out But Through

Submission Calls for Writers 12/15/2017

submissions

Here are a dozen new submission opportunities just waiting for your work. There’s only a couple of weeks left to submit to a few of these excellent journals, so pay close attention to those deadlines.  This is likely the last of these postings for the year.  Thanks to all of you who have used and shared these lists.  Best of luck submitting, now and in the new year.

Foundry

Foundry is always open for general submissions (free). Please submit 3-5 original, previously unpublished poems through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. We pay $10 per poem. Foundry publishes a range of styles and forms, from short lyric poems to prose poems and longer narratives. We are committed to inclusivity and warmly welcome submissions from marginalized voices.

http://www.foundryjournal.com/submit.html

 

Split Lip Review

Split Lip Review is open for FREE submissions during the months of December. We’re a literary journal of voice-driven writing with a pop culture twist. We publish online monthly and in print yearly. We accept fiction between 1,000 and 5,000 words, flash fiction under 1,000 words, and memoir up to 2,000 words.  We accept only one (yes, just one) poem at a time. Please do not send us more than one poem. Send your best poem, but only one. We mean it.

http://www.splitlipmagazine.com/submit

 

Barrow Street

Our open reading period is from December 1st to December 31st. There is a $3 charge per submission from January 1st to March 15th. Submit up to six poems or eight pages. Response time is one week to four months.

http://barrowstreet.org/press/submit/

 

the museum of americana

the museum of americana is open to submissions of prose and poetry from until December 31st. We seek work that engages with or repurposes the complex cultural history of America.

https://themuseumofamericana.net/submissions/

 

Folio

FOLIO is a nationally recognized literary journal affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences at American University in Washington, DC. Since 1984, we have published original creative work by both new and established authors. For Volume 33, FOLIO is particularly looking for work responding in some way to the theme of “crossroads and intersections.” All we ask is that you send us your best work that brings us to the place where two ideas, two paths meet, converge, collide, or divide. Submit fiction up to 5,000 words, nonfiction up to 4,500 words, or up to 5 poems.  Deadline: Jan 2, 2018.

https://foliolitjournal.submittable.com/submit?mc_cid=84b9946a5c&mc_eid=508eb4b613

 

Brevity One-Minute Memoir

The Brevity Podcast is seeking submissions for our One-Minute Memoir episode. We’re looking for ultra-flash nonfiction of 100-150 words (on paper) and up to one minute (recording time). Accepted pieces will be broadcast in our February episode and receive a $25 honorarium. Deadline for submission is January 6, 2018. You may submit in one of two ways: 1) Text only. Submit a .doc. We will record accepted pieces in the Brevity studio. 2) Audio file. Submit an MP3 or WAV of your own recording PLUS a .doc with the text. Recordings should be a maximum of 60 seconds.                  Brevity publishes well-known and emerging writers working in the extremely brief (750 words or less) essay form. We have featured work from two Pulitzer prize finalists, many NEA fellows, Pushcart winners, Best American authors, and writers from India, Egypt, Ireland, Spain, Malaysia, Qatar, and Japan. We have also featured numerous previously-unpublished authors, and take a special joy in helping to launch a new literary career. Over the past year Brevity has averaged 10,000 unique visitors per month. The Brevity Podcast launched in 2016, and has featured interviews with Andre Dubus III, Dani Shapiro, Rick Moody, and other nonfiction notables.

https://brevity.submittable.com/submit

 

The Stinging Fly

We publish new, previously unpublished work by Irish and international writers. We have a particular interest in promoting the short story. We also welcome submissions of poetry and prose in translation.

No more than one story and/or poetry submission should be submitted during any one submission period. For poetry submissions, all poems should be included in a single file. Short stories and poems should always be just as long (or as short) as they need to be. Our next open submission period will run until Thursday, January 11, 2018. This will be for our Summer 2018 issue.

https://stingingfly.org/submissions/?mc_cid=84b9946a5c&mc_eid=508eb4b613

 

Outlook Springs

Send us stories we can’t put down. Our emphasis is literary fiction, but we aren’t biased against genre. Send poems that ooze with sonic pleasure and stagger from line-to-line with an animated corpse’s lingering bravado. As for nonfiction, send us your travel narratives, your lyrical essays, your personal essays, and everything in between. If it’s real, if it’s interesting, if it’s well-written and gives us a new and exciting way to see the world (or – even better—inside your head), then we’ll publish it. Our current reading period ends January 15, 2018.

https://outlooksprings.submittable.com/submit?mc_cid=84b9946a5c&mc_eid=508eb4b613

 

The Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry Award

Minimum 3 pages; maximum 10 pages. Maximum 1 poem per author. Doris created new worlds with her unexpected poetics. Following upon her spirit of creative invention, engaging wit and ingenious playfulness, discovery in construction, and radical appropriations based on classical forms, pastiche, etc., and love, the Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry Award is given to a poet with a truly inventive spirit. The winning poet will receive $500 and publication in the Spring 2018 issue of Fourteen Hills. Poems not chosen for the award will be considered for publication in Fourteen Hills. Deadline is January 15, 2018. There is no submission fee.

https://fourteenhills.submittable.com/submit/23931/the-stacy-doris-memorial-poetry-award?mc_cid=84b9946a5c&mc_eid=508eb4b613

 

Cincinnati Review

The Cincinnati Review welcomes submissions from writers at any point in their careers. We read until March 1, 2018. Please submit up to six poems or a total of ten manuscript pages at a time. Fiction submissions should be no more than forty double-spaced pages. We’re interested mostly in pieces of nonfiction less than twenty double-spaced pages, though you can try us for longer pieces if you think they’ll knock our socks off.

http://www.cincinnatireview.com/submission_guidelines/

 

Anastamos

Anastamos is a modern interdisciplinary journal. Each issue focuses on a single topic with diverse perspectives on the human experience, weaving together creative, scientific, philosophical, historical, and social perspectives on common shifting themes. We live in a world frequented by sets of binaries. One such set is between order and chaos, or as we are naming it for the third issue of Anastamos: DIS/ORDER. We seek submissions that explore the complex relations that come out of this deceptively simple set. Disorder is often bound up in deterioration and decay, but through this decline life emerges, new opportunities swell. Structures change and order and sense are inlaid upon a new world. Tell us about the order of things, probe the structures and boundaries of your work. Submissions for issue 3 close March 23, 2018.

https://anastamos.chapman.edu/index.php/submit/

 

Sycamore Review

Sycamore Review is looking for original poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. POETRY manuscripts should be typed single-spaced, one poem to a page, up to five poems. PROSE should be typed double-spaced, with numbered pages and the author’s name and title of the work easily visible on each page. NONFICTION should be literary memoir or creative personal essay. Sycamore Review does not publish scholarly articles or journalistic pieces, though we do publish experiential journalism with a memoir bent. We are interested in originality, brevity, significance, strong dialogue, and vivid detail. There is no maximum page count, but remember that the longer the piece is, the more compelling each page must be. Our general reading period runs now through March 31, 2018.

https://sycamorereview.com/submissions/

Recommended Reading 12/12/2017

The year is slipping away, but here are a few last-minute reading recommendations.  Enjoy!

Megan Culhane Galbraith has a short essay about sex, virginity, and Planned Parenthood online at Boink: http://boinkzine.com/2017/11/10/losing-it/.

Linda Michel-Cassidy’s essay, “This Snow, This Day,” (originally published at Harpur Palate) has been republished at Entropy: https://entropymag.org/this-snow-this-day/.

Rosemary Royston has two poems in the new issue of museum of americahttps://themuseumofamericana.net/current-issue/two-poems-by-rosemary-royston/.

Brian Tierney’s poem, “Morning in Galilee,” is online at Cincinnati Reviewhttps://www.cincinnatireview.com/samples/morning-in-galilee-by-brian-tierney/

You don’t want to miss this fascinating conversation in real pants, “HALF REVEALING, AND HALF CONCEALING THE SOUL: BARRETT WARNER INTERVIEWS CASSIE PRUYN”: https://realpants.com/half-revealing-and-half-concealing-the-soul-barrett-warner-interviews-cassie-pruyn/.

And Christian Whitney’s story, “Acceptance,” was a finalist in the summer fiction contest at Gulf Stream Literary Magazine.  Check out the story here: https://gulfstreamlitmag.com/acceptance/.

Keegan Lester’s “A Psalm against J.D. Vance”

I’ve written and spoken much about my disgust for media darling J.D. Vance and his book, Hillbilly Elegy.  If you don’t already know my position, you can check out my review of the book in issue #189 of Meredith Sue Willis’s Books for Readers.  There have been far more articulate arguments against Vance’s terrible book, but up until now, most of those responses have been in the form of reviews and op-eds.

I was excited to discover that Keegan Lester responded in a beautiful poem, published recently online at Anastamos and well worth the read.

A Psalm against J.D. Vance by Keegan Lester

Spill a little lighting for Ryan & Marcus, Natalie, &
my great grandfather. Spill

a little lightning for Tom & Jason & Joe & Teresa.
Graveyards round here full

of people cause there’s a thousand ways into the mine,
a thousand ways to be

killed in the mine, cause the American coal miner
can only be seen in light

when they’re dead. The only time the media has a big interest
is the day after & one day a hundred years will pass

& they wont even love nature anymore,
& they will say what we did to the natives was genocide

& they will say what we did to those cities was apartheid
& they will say what we did to Appalachia was colonialism,

we treated them as if not our people, but things
to bring ore up out of a mountain,

& one day they will use the word slave
& one day they will let Appalachian children speak for themselves

& one day they will let Appalachian children into colleges
& not ask them to denounce the place they came from

their culture, their religion, their hands,
& one day they will let Appalachian children speak

& the Appalachian children will say you can’t lose but so much blood,
then the body

shutting down; it was cheaper to destroy a mountain
than put up a man to work underground,

my brother’s body mangled in such a way,
every bone crushed, I could not recognize him,

that’s what they gave us back
of the miners up at Upper Big Branch,

Don Blankenship’s employees, they were our friends, beneath the surface.
They were brave men at work.

Submission Calls for Writers 11/20/2017

submissions

Here are twelve new opportunities for writers with deadlines as soon as next week and as far away as May.  I hope there’s something here for everyone.

Here’s a shout out to Marc Swan of Portland, Maine, who dropped me a very kind note recently to say that he finds these lists helpful.  Thanks for letting me know, Marc!

As always, please feel free to share with your fellow writers. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine

Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine once again seeks tight, gripping prose and poetry. Our author guidelines are tabbed to our home page. We use Submittable and all submissions need to come through that system so our first-reader staff can evaluate them as a team. Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine publishes 120-200 poems and short prose pieces annually. We judge each piece on its merit rather than author biographical information.

https://postcardpoemsandprose.wordpress.com/submit-2/

 

Visible Poetry Project

The Visible Poetry Project (VPP) partners thirty filmmakers with thirty poets to create visual interpretations of original and classic poems. The VPP will match filmmakers and poets, provide experienced production assistance to the creative teams, and guarantee an audience for the selected works. Every day during National Poetry Month, VPP premieres a new short film based on a poem. Last year, contributors included Neil Gaiman and Tato Laviera. The VPP is now open for submissions form poets and filmmakers for the 2018 season. VPP especially seeks submissions from underrepresented artists.

https://www.visiblepoetryproject.com/

 

Oxford American

The Oxford American welcomes fiction submissions from new writers. We are eager to feature a writer in our 100th issue who has not yet published fiction in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000 copies. Stories under 10,000 words will be considered, and the selected writer will be paid $1000. The 100th issue will be on newsstands starting March 2018. Our primary consideration is quality, though we would be especially pleased to include the work of an author with ties to the South and/or a story that furthers our mission of exploring the complexity and vitality of the South. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, though we ask that stories are immediately withdrawn from consideration following acceptance elsewhere. (There is a $2 processing fee.) Deadline is December 1st.

http://www.oxfordamerican.org/about/submission-guidelines

 

Slice Magazine

SLICE magazine welcomes submissions for short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We’re looking for anyone with a fresh voice and a compelling story to share—basically any work that really knocks our socks off. We’re not drawn to experimental or heavy-handed genre fiction. Our reading period is currently open through December 1, 2017. All submissions during that time will be considered for Issue 23, which will be released fall 2018. The theme for that issue is “Flight.” The maximum word count for submissions is 5,000 words.

https://slicemagazine.org/submit/

 

Baltic Writing Residency

The Baltic Writing Residency is currently accepting applications for a 3 week long residency in Stockholm, Sweden. The deadline is December 15th. Applications are accepted via submittable (http://balticwritingresidency.submittable.com/submit). The BWR provides $1,000, and a cottage in Stockholm for one poet, playwright, or writer of fiction working in English. Though, neither the writer nor their project need be connected with Sweden.

http://balticresidency.com

 

Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets

As writers, we often learn by reading and enjoying the work of other writers. Art itself can be the artist’s best teacher. This idea was foremost in our minds in 2010, when we compiled Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets (Southern Illinois University Press), an anthology of essays that considers the elements of poetry through practice. The essays reveal the insights poets gained while writing or reading a particular poem or set of poems. Each essay ends with a prompt that challenges readers to consider their own understanding of that poetic element. We are now preparing to launch Mentor and Muse online. Working in our new electronic format, we hope to give more poets access to the published essays, offer a wider range of topics, and have more flexibility in both the style and medium in which poets engage their subjects. Each essay submission should consider how a poem—yours and/or someone else’s—has helped you to better understand a specific poetic principle. We encourage potential contributors to begin where they are most compelled, with the poems that act as touchstones, poems that they return to again and again for inspiration, solace, and guidance. Our first deadline is December 15, 2017; however, we will continue to accept essays for future issues beyond December 15.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/mentor-and-muse-essays-from-poets-to-poets/call-for-submissions/1965001160454759/

 

Pittsburgh Poetry Review Call for Submission

The Pittsburgh Poetry Review is now open to regular and tip jar submissions through 12/15/17 for poems for PPR #7 to be published online in April 2018. Please note that the Pittsburgh Poetry Review is becoming an online journal effective with PPR #7. Also, we are pleased to announce that PPR is now a paying market, offering $25.00 for each poem we publish. Please submit 3 poems, exactly 3 poems, no more, no less, in a single .doc or .docx file. IMPORTANT! We read blind, so please do not put any identifying info in the submission document, or the file name, but only in the “Cover Letter” portion of the form.

https://pittsburghpoetryreview.submittable.com/submit

 

2018 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

Press 53 offers a $1,000 advance plus publication, awarded to an outstanding, unpublished collection of short stories.  There is a reading fee of $30. Enter before December 31, 2017. Press 53 Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Kevin Morgan Watson will judge. Winner and finalists announced by May 1, 2018.

www.Press53.com

 

Faultline

Faultline welcomes previously unpublished submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations, and art. We read submissions through January 15, 2018. Send up to five poems.  For fiction and creative nonfiction, we consider one submission at a time, up to twenty pages.

http://faultline.sites.uci.edu/submit/

 

Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest

The Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University is proud to present the Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest. We are looking for stories that illustrate, explore, or illuminate the impact of climate change on humanity and/or the Earth. We invite submissions in all genres of short fiction. Work will be judged by renowned science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times-bestselling author of the Mars Trilogy, 2312, and New York 2140. The winning story will receive a $1,000 prize, and nine finalists will receive $50 prizes. Selected work will be published by Arizona State University in an online anthology, which will be free to download, read, and share. Submissions must be 5,000 words or less, and must be original, previously unpublished work. There are no reading or submission fees for this contest. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2018.

https://climateimagination.asu.edu/clificontest.

 

A Public Space

We accept unsolicited submissions through April 15, 2018. Please submit only one (​1) story or essay at a time; or up to five (5) poems. There are no word or poem limits. Novellas and novel excerpts are always welcome.

https://apublicspacedemo.submittable.com/submit

 

Denver Quarterly

Denver Quarterly is the literary journal housed at the University of Denver, currently in its 50th year of consecutive print publication. Unsolicited manuscripts of fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and poetry are welcomed from now until May 15, 2018. Poetry submissions should be comprised of 3-5 poems; fiction and non-fiction manuscripts should generally consist of no more than 15 pages.

http://www.du.edu/denverquarterly/submissions/

Responding to a Reader: 10 Small but Great Journals

Thanks to Tom Tenbrunsel who recently left a comment on my blog in reference to some of the publication opportunities I have posted. Here’s what Tom wrote.

Denton – I have tried a dozen of your suggested posts sifting through their stated themes, meeting their deadlines, even paying some to no avail. I fear your suggested posts might be less for beginners as all mine did and more for esoteric publishing. Do you have any down to earth, plain talking good ole boy publishing sources for someone who is from the hills of Appalachia with a story or two and a lesson perhaps as good or bettern’ highfalutin writers?

Tom is right that I post a lot of top-tier journals in my lists.  Not all, but a lot. Top-tier journals receive a large number of submissions, often from excellent writers.  These journals are very competitive in terms of quality, but they are also very competitive in terms of quantity.  Some journals receive as many as 6,000 to 10,000 submissions for a single issue. However, every editor is eager and universally open to writers looking for their first publication.

One reason that I started making these publication lists was to encourage friends (and myself) to aim high when submitting work.  I personally wrack up a lot of rejections, but I know that it’s par for the course.  I expect it, and if you want to be a published writer, you should expect it too.

There are hundreds if not thousands of literary magazines and journals out there though.  And for every top-tier journal, there is a smaller journal who doesn’t receive as many submissions and is still excellent.  I put together a short list of 10 such journals, thanks to Tom’s prompting. Note that several of these publications are especially interested in writing about Appalachia.

I want to be clear that just because these publications are smaller does NOT mean that they will accept sub-standard work.  I personally know and have worked with the editors at most of these journals, and they are dedicated to publishing the highest quality writing. That’s why it’s important to make sure your submission is the best it can possibly be.  To get it to that place, ask yourself a few questions. Are you sharing your work with other good writers (such as in a critique group)?  Have you attended any workshops and conferences where you can study with published writers?  Are you following each journal’s submission guidelines?  And have you read the journals to be sure that your submission matches their aesthetic?

You’re only ready to submit when you’ve done all of these things.  If that’s you, then good luck!

 

Appalachian Journal

We accept manuscripts from a variety of disciplines, as long as the work focuses on the Appalachian region. Major fields of interest include anthropology, art, cultural studies, ecology, economics, education, ethnography, film, folklore, health care, history, gender studies, geography, literature, media, music, political science, sociology, and studies of sustainability. We like well-documented, well-developed articles that feature primary source research.  We also publish poetry.

https://appjournal.appstate.edu/writers-guidelines

 

Birmingham Arts Journal

The Journal is operated without profit by passionate volunteers, who believe that exceptional works by the famous, not-yet-famous, and never-to-be-famous deserve to be published side by side in a beautiful and creative setting.  We accept Fiction and Non-Fiction up to 1,000 words. Excerpts and quotes of fewer than 1,000 words from longer works are published, too. We accept all types of Poetry up to 50 lines. Shorter works are preferred.

http://www.birminghamartsjournal.com/submissions.html

 

Fiction Southeast: An Online Journal Dedicated to Short Fiction

The editors of Fiction Southeast are interested in short fiction (approximately 1500 words or less). We are also interested in interviews with authors of short fiction, articles concerning fiction craft, as well as reviews of short story collections (preferably, but not limited to, collections of flash or micro shorts).

https://fictionsoutheast.submittable.com/submit

 

Floyd County Moonshine

Floyd County Moonshine invites you to submit poetry, short stories, essays, and artwork in a digital format. We accept literary works addressing all manner of themes; however, preference is generally given to those works of a rural or Appalachian nature. A bi-annual publication, Floyd County Moonshine has been in production about five years, publishing a variety of home-grown Appalachian writers in addition to writers from across the country.

http://www.floydcountymoonshine.com/submissions.html

 

HeartWood Literary Magazine

HeartWood is an online literary magazine in association with West Virginia Wesleyan’s Low-Residency MFA program. We publish twice yearly, in April and October. Our inaugural issue will go live April 2016. We accept submissions year round and welcome previously unpublished poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, from both established and emerging writers.  We do love Appalachian voices, but we enthusiastically encourage writers from all backgrounds to submit.

http://www.heartwoodlitmag.com/submit/

 

Main Street Rag

Main Street Rag Publishing Company has been publishing our print magazine, The Main Street Rag, uninterrupted since 1996. Among its features are poetry, short fiction, photography, essays, interviews, reviews, and commentary. Submit Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction up to 6000 words.  Submit up to 6 pages of poetry. That can mean one long poem or as many as 6 one-page (or shorter) poems. No Simultaneous submissions.

http://03c9c48.netsolhost.com/WordPress/magazineliterary-magazine/

 

New Southerner Annual Literary Contest

We accept submissions of previously unpublished poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for our annual literary contest. Although the contest theme is open, we are especially interested in work that relates to our mission, which is promoting self-reliance, environmental stewardship, and local economies. Winning entries, as well as finalists and semifinalists, are published in The New Southerner Literary Edition, available in print.

http://www.newsoutherner.com/contest/

 

Pikeville Review

Submit fiction and creative nonfiction up to 5000 words. All prose should be double spaced and in standard font. For poetry, send up to 5 poems. Poems may be single spaced. Open Submission period: October 1 – December 31. Notifications will be sent in late January and publication will occur in March.

http://www.upike.edu/pikevillereview

 

Souvenir Literary Journal

“A Journal to Help Remind You Of Where You’ve Been & The Places You’d Like To Go”

http://www.souvenirlit.com/submissions/

 

Town Creek Poetry

William Wright, Editor

The editors of Town Creek Poetry tend to favor poems that use the natural world in an original way, particularly in a way that elucidates deeper human issues. Our preferences lean toward the narrative and lyric. We wish for a tightly paced story, and we like poems that put something at stake. Please send up to three poems at a time.

http://www.towncreekpoetry.com/submissions.htm

Recommended Reading 10/9/2017

Here’s a quick list of some of the wonderful poetry and nonfiction that I’ve found online in the last couple of weeks.  This list is woefully short of fiction recommendations, but I’ll try to fix that soon.  In the meantime, enjoy these pieces:

Joanne Nelson has a new essay, “Just Leave the Damn Thing Open” online in the new issue of museum of americana: https://themuseumofamericana.net/current-issue/just-leave-the-damn-thing-open-nonfiction-by-joanne-nelson/.

Linda Michel-Cassidy interviewed Louise Marburg for Why There Are Wordshttps://www.wtawpress.org/louise-marburg-interview?platform=hootsuite

Megan Culhane-Galbraith and Walter Robinson both have work listed as Notable Essays in the Best American Essays 2017.  Megan’s piece, “Sin Will Find You Out” was originally published at Catapult: https://catapult.co/stories/sin-will-find-you-out.  Walter’s essay, “This Will Sting and Burn,” was originally published at The Sun: https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/481/this-will-sting-and-burn.

Didi Jackson has a beautiful poem, “Signs for the Living,” in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/02/signs-for-the-living.

Corina Zappia has a brilliant new essay in Catapult about growing up in Texas, and a lot of it sure reminds me of what it’s like to live in Tennessee: https://catapult.co/stories/places-loving-hating-and-being-from-texas.

Cassie Pruyn’s poetry collection, Lena, has been reviewed by Lambda Literary Review: https://www.lambdaliterary.org/reviews/09/13/lena-by-cassie-pruyn/ .

Emily Mohn-Slate’s poem, “Landscape with Ex-husband Lingering,” has been nominated for a Best of the Net Award by Gulf Stream Literary Magazine: https://gulfstreamlitmag.com/landscape-with-ex-husband-lingering/