great weather for MEDIA seeks poetry, flash fiction, short stories, dramatic monologues, and creative nonfiction for our annual print anthology. Our focus is on the fearless, the unpredictable, and the experimental. Please visit our website for guidelines. Deadline: January 15, 2021.
While the pandemic has ravaged our world, certain populations have been impacted more deeply than others. Essential Voices strives to give voice to those who have been silenced. Send us your poems, stories, recipes, or works of art that reflect upon the experience of COVID and COVID related issues in your life. This anthology will be published by West Virginia University Press. Visit us at our website for guidelines before submitting to email@example.com. Deadline: December 31.
Marybeth, Hollister and Jane is a fictional story set in the rural area of Callicoon, New York. The book has a very realistic vibe to it and all the characters seem believable. It follows the journey of a handful of people trying to locate the Eagle Diamond, stolen in the 1960’s. At the start, most of them are from the same organization, LVAJ, whose job is to locate stolen arts, artifacts, etc. and then pass them to someone else. But as the story unfolds, the head of the organization, Peter Reece, is too weak to manage the organization, and eventually all the members separate and begin the search on their own.
All through the journey of reading this book, I was on a rollercoaster. The scenes are sketched out in a way that makes the words leap off the page. All the characters too, are perfect for their roles. Author Vera Jane Cook has done an exceptional job. I particularly like Brock Stanley with his wise, witty, and caring nature (for Jane).The unexpected twist of The Sisters and Jane was my favorite scene from this novel.
The ending could have been much better, though. It winded up too simple and easy and I felt that the story had promised a different sort of end. Nonetheless, Marybeth, Hollister and Jane is a great read, and I will certainly be reading more from this author.
Marybeth, Hollister and Jane by Vera Jane Cook. Chatter Creek Publishing, September 2020.
Reviewer bio: Manasi Patil is a young author with a passion for writing.
Which is more important, the clan or the individual? In Jean Auel’s 500-page series opener, Cro-Magnon Ayla navigates the customs of her adoptive Neanderthal people while pondering what it means that she is “Other.” To assimilate, she must comply with clan rules with which she disagrees. Sometimes she chooses defiance. When her practice of hunting with a sling (a man’s privilege) is discovered, she is placed under a death curse. Ayla isolates in a secret cave, an apt metaphor for the forced solitudes of today’s coronavirus pandemic. As clan political dynamics shift, she must determine whether she can live under the rule of a leader who, despite her valued status as a medicine woman, systematically abuses her.
Since its publication in 1980, the novel and its five sequels in the Earth’s Children series have generated a body of criticism, favorable and unfavorable, around its historicity, feminism, and treatment of race, among other topics. For the quarantined in 2020, though, The Clan of the Cave Bear does what it emphatically must: transport the reader to another world.
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. Penguin Random House, June 2002.
Reviewer bio: Amy Ballard writes and teaches in southern Idaho. Her fiction has appeared in Barely South Review and elsewhere. Find Amy at www.amyballard.com.
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Established in 2000, The Awakenings Review is an annual lit mag committed to publishing poetry, short story, nonfiction, photography, and art by writers, poets and artists who have a relationship with mental illness: either self, family member, or friend. Our striking hardcopy publication is one of the nation’s leading journals of this genre. Creative endeavors and mental illness have long had a close association. The Awakenings Review publishes works derived from artists’, writers’, and poets’ experiences with mental illness, though mental illness need not be the subject of your work. Visit www.AwakeningsProject.org for submission guidelines.
Given to me as a birthday gift, The Friend by Sigrid Nunez is a manifesto on shared solitude and the different ways in which we try to overcome grief. One of the intriguing things about the book is the author’s choice to leave the narrator unnamed along with most of the characters. However, at no point does that choice prove as an obstacle to the reading experience; instead, it renders visible particular details about the personality of the characters thereby allowing the reader to connect more deeply with them.
The book is a fairly easy read about the narrator’s journey of simultaneously losing and gaining someone and the idea of collective grief. As literary fiction, the book is peppered with trivia on various literary writers such as Adrienne Rich, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and Franz Kafka among many others. The characters too draw from the similar flavor of what it means to be a writer and the conflicts attached to the profession of writing.
My favorite part of the book is the bond shared between the narrator and Apollo the Great Dane. Nunez’s take on the human-dog relationship is unlike any other. She is spot-on in her representation of the contemporary nature of company that of being alone, together. She writes, “What are we, Apollo and I, if not two solitudes that protect and greet each other?”
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez. Riverhead Books, February 2019.
Reviewer bio: My name is Jacqueline Williams and I’m currently pursuing M.A in English. My field of interests includes Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and Medical Humanities.
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Deadline: January 15, 2021
Take the challenge and write a short short story using 100 words. Topics: ants, bowling, 1940s, water. 7 cash prizes: Best of Contest ($100), Best of Category ($50), Best Youth Story (authors 14 and younger, $50), People’s Choice ($50). Submission fee: $10. Reading Works is a 501(c)(3) community based literacy program that provides free reading, writing and English acquisition tutoring to teens and adults. Proceeds from the contest support literacy programs. To learn more go to www.reading-works.org.
Deadline: November 15, 2020
Light and Dark is an online literary magazine seeking works of short fiction by both new and established authors. We are looking for stories that grapple boldly with the dichotomous nature of existence: the light and the dark; the pain, pleasure; the joy and sorrow. We pay $15 per story. For our complete submission guidelines, head over to either our website or our Submission Manager at Submittable. We look forward to reading your work!
In the Fall 2020 issue of The Massachusetts Review: fiction by Gwen Thompkins, Alanna Schubach, Andrea Maturana, Kathleen Hawes, and more; poetry by Marcela Sulak, Emily Schulten, Lance Larsen, Esther Lin, Brooke Sahni, C. P. Cavafy, and others; and nonfiction by Karen S. Henry, Ammiel Alcalay, Margaret Lloyd, and more. Plus, photography by Paul Should and a novel excerpt by Giacomo Sartori. Find more contributors at the Mag Stand.
EVENT’s latest offering is jam-packed with a tantalizing assortment of literary goodies. Poetry by Bára Hladík, Alpay Ulku, Alan Hill, Patricia Young, A. Molotkov, Dominik Parisien, and more; fiction by Jason Jobin, Kari Teicher, Fraser Calderwood, and Wayne Yetman; and nonfiction by Scott Randall. Plus, four reviews of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction titles. Find it at this week’s Mag Stand.
Boulevard No. 106, at this week’s Mag Stand, contains a fantastic and diverse slate of great writing, including the winning story from the 2019 Short Fiction Contest by Sena Moon; a Boulevard Craft Interview featuring a conversation between J. Ryan Stradal and Beth Dooley; new poetry from Shara McCallum, Eloisa Amezcua, Molly Brodak, Doug Ramspeck, Katherine Smith, Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet, Dara Elerath, and Jeannine Hall Gailey; new fiction from Ron Austin, Matthew Di Paoli, Christine Sneed, and Adam Roux; essays by Christine Spillson, Jodie Varon, Matt Jones, Brandon Parker, and Min Han; and a new symposium about re-examining history. Plus, fantastic and striking cover art by Xizi Liu!