Girls Right the World is a literary journal inviting young, female-identified writers and artists, ages 14 to 21, to submit work for consideration for the fifth annual issue. They believe girls’ voices transform the world for the better. They accept poetry, prose, and visual art of any style or theme. They ask to be the first to publish your work in North America; after publication, the rights return to you. Send your best work, in English or English translation, to email@example.com by December 31, 2020. Please include a note mentioning your age, where you’re from, and a bit about your submission.
Archives for September 2020
Susanna Clarke’s new novel is much shorter than her wonderful Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but even more challenging to read. It’s completely worth the trouble. Some novels I give away, but some are keepers. This is a keeper.
The man writing the story lives in a huge House of Halls, Vestibules, and Staircases. The House provides him with everything he needs—fish from the Tides that sweep the House, seaweed for food and fuel, and the Kindness of the many Statues that fill the House.
He writes daily journals in these capital letters, and creates directories of the entries. He feels blessed by the beauty of the House. The man knows only one human, whom he calls The Other. The Other has named him Piranesi, but the man knows that is not his name.
Once you have these basics, things begin to seem strange. Piranesi lives like an early tribal person, but analyzes things like a scholar. How would this Piranesi know that some statues are minotaurs? Why does he know what a crisp packet is? The book wasn’t making sense. For a chapter or two, I found that intriguing, but frustrating.
Don’t give up. The answers are more fantastical than the questions. And the answers create more questions. Would you rather be along in a world of mysterious beauty, or live an ordinary life with family and friends? How can we learn to see the beauty and magic in the world? What does it mean to be lost?
In retrospect, I’m glad that I knew nothing about this novel when I began to read it. I suggest you ignore the reviews—some of which are beautifully written—and go on the adventure as alone as Piranesi.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. Bloomsbury Publishing, September 2020.
Reviewer bio: Judith Pratt has acted, directed, and taught theatre. Her plays have been produced internationally. Her novel, Siljeea Magic, was published in 2019. She lives in Ithaca, NY with a husband and three cockatiels.
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I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard or cried so much as in the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio. That’s saying something; I am one of the editors of the poetry section of the online journal Route 7 Review, which features the creativity of worldwide authors and artists. And Wonder is a stunning work of art. It is beautifully woven with introspect and paradigm-shifting opportunities. Palacio masterfully creates a soothing undertone of love and acceptance in a cruel world, while at the same time maintaining a lighthearted, hilarious overtone that digs at the very human essence. Palacio carefully crafts the perfect tones and perspectives for each character she delves into, creating a quick-paced, engaging read.
Wonder discusses the topics of kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance as it plunges headfirst into the world of August, a 5th grader going to public school for the first time. With 27 surgeries to his name and a severe facial deformity, August is highly aware that he attracts unwanted attention. Needless to say, he is terrified to become a public display as he starts school. The book not only follows August through the school year, through the ups and downs and fears and successes, but Palacio also cleverly weaves in the voices of the surrounding characters, adding a deeper level of interest to the novel.
As August’s story unfolds, it is impossible not to love the marvelous characters pushing and pulling against each other. Palacio’s beautiful writing delves into the far reaches of the soul to expose the hidden pieces. There is probably nothing more accurate to say than that Wonder is simply wonderful.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012.
Reviewer bio: I am a Senior at Dixie State University and am an editor for the poetry section of DSU’s online journal, Route 7 Review. Submissions are open now until November 6.
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The Fall 2020 issue of Valley Voices can be found at this week’s Mag Stand. The issue features poetry by Paul Mariani, Gary Fincke, Janet McCann, Luci Shaw, Marge Piercy, Ted Kooser, D. S. Martin, Walter Bargen, Virginia Sullivan, Ed Madden, Le Hinton, Joseph Pearce, Jean-Mark Sens, John J. Han, and more; memoirs by Billy Middleton, Frederick W. Bassett, and Carol Coffee Reposa; and articles & interviews by Bruce Boyd Raeburn, Adam Gussow, Joseph Millichap, Janet Greenlees, Dominic Reisig, John J. Han, Gab D. Smith and Thomas H. Sayre, and David Tisdale.
The autumn issue of The Shore features gorgeous and dynamic poetry by Melissa Crowe, Lisa Ampleman, Susan Rich, Taylor Byas, Joely Byron Fitch, Emma Aylor, Jill Mceldowney, Samuel Adeyemi, Taylor Fedorchak, Susan Moon, Owne McLeod, Oluwadare Popoola, Isaac George Lauristen, Duncan Mwangi, Adam Day, Natalie Young, Dan Wiencek, Andy Keys, Vincent Poturica, Katherine Fallon, and more. The issue also features digital art by Joe Lugara. Find more contributors at this week’s Mag Stand.
Deadline: October 9, 2020
We are seeking visual art, performance art, short films, spoken-audio pieces, creative fiction and nonfiction, poetry, hybrid work, photo essays, graphic novels, and more by women of ALL ages and ALL walks of life. OyeDrum is committed to presenting diverse and inclusive work. Our current theme is sex! Women’s ability to talk about sex and our own sexual desires are still largely influenced by our patriarchal-based society. We want to emphasize that we are accepting all types of work connected to the subject, and want to know how the writer/artist individually interprets sex. See our website for submission guidelines.
The “Facing It” issue is at this week’s Mag Stand. In this issue: first fiction from Tim Erwin and Tim Loc. Featuring Kay Cosgrove, Allison Pitinii Davis, Bruce McKay, Sahar Mustafa, Katey Schultz, Daniel Stolar, and Nicholas Yingling. Plus: J.D. Ho and Richard Terrill on the nature of sound.
Take the time to enjoy and be nourished by the art and writing in this new issue of Leaping Clear. There is humor, poignancy, power, ecstasy, calm, and beauty to be found in essays by Elizabeth Fletcher, Liz Woz, Ranjani Rao, and more; fiction by Taffeta Chime; and poetry by Alan Cohen, Carla Sarett, Fran Markover, J. P. White, Linda Parsons, Sandra Fees, Wayne Lee, and more. See more contributors at the Mag Stand.
Deadline: November 20, 2020
Waymark Literary Magazine is an online and physical literary magazine dedicated to publishing the works of an individual’s waymark; their footpath in life. Anyone can submit as long as they have a story to tell. We are looking for nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and art submissions to be published in our biannual publication.
Here is a born creative writing teacher generously imparting dollops of warmth, humor, and wisdom in three sections that combine to resemble no other book in this crowded genre.
“The Shapes of Fiction” is the first section, where Stern vividly demonstrates his ideas in original and artful little storylines often featuring engaging dialogues. The first three shapes “show (you) how to handle thoughts, dialogue and action—techniques you’ll use over and over.” In “Iceberg,” a writer focuses on what characters choose to express or choose to keep in mind:
Brian thought, Oh God, here it comes. My Principal. The Pig That Walks Like a Man. “Hello, sir. What a fine day.”
Eiswold nodded. “What’s that on your tie, boy? Your lunch?”
“Oh, goodness,” Brian said, “I hadn’t noticed. Thank you, sir.”
A dynamic interplay between thought and speech unfolds, and it should be noted that fulsome conveyance of thought is where fiction triumphs over film.
Other shapes include “Bear at the Door,” “Onion,” “Visitation,” “Aha!,” and “Explosion,” the last of which advises you to blow the rest of the advice to smithereens and exclusively celebrate your own brilliance. The point: these are Stern’s insights (culled from decades of teaching at tertiary level), not cumbersome rules.
In the second section, “A Cautionary Interlude,” Stern points out common pitfalls on narrative journeys. Find out how to avoid “Population Explosions,” “The Banging-Shutter Story,” “The Hobos-in-Space Story,” and more.
The final section, is a comprehensive alphabetical rendering of writing terms, some universally known, others, like ‘intrigant,’ less so. The terms are deftly cross-referenced, making it a pleasure to follow related strands.
Befriend Jerome Stern! His wisdom and generosity will enrich your writing.
Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern. W.W. Norton & Company, November 1991.
Reviewer bio: James Gering is a poet and short story writer from the Blue Mountains in Australia. He welcomes visitors at jamesgering.com.
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Now more than ever it’s important to find the beauty in whatever is around us. As writers, as artists, and as humans struggling through a traumatic period of time, it’s necessary to find bright spots. The Fall 2020 issue of Still Point Arts Quarterly puts this into practice, the theme of the issue being “The Secret Life of Objects.”
Throughout the pages, writers and artists look at what’s around them and capture their beauty. Adrienne Stevenson writes an ode to a “Kitchen Timer,” an appliance one doesn’t have to think much about until it’s gone. Kathleen Miller draws pared-down sketches of telephones, boats, pitchers, eliminating the details to follow Georgia O’Keeffe’s sentiment of “get[ting] at the real meaning of things.” Most of MJ Edwards’s compelling photography focuses on treasures of trash found on the beach, as they wonder about the “untold stories” the objects carry with them.
Art can be found in the everyday items around us, the objects easily overlooked. Don’t forget to look around you and find the beauty and inspiration they can hold.