Nonfiction by Jade Hidle and Emily Waples; fiction by Remy Barnes, Christine Ma-Kellams, Raquel Olive, and Keija Parssinen; and poetry by John Blair, Asa Drake, Giles Goodland, Aiden Heung, Patrick Holian, Avery K. James, David Klose, and Rooja Mohassessy. Find this issue at the Mag Stand.
Find the Spring 2021 issue of The Writing Disorder at the Mag Stand. In this issue: fiction by Alison Bullock, Jennifer Makowsky, Robert Collings, Wendy Maxon, and more; poetry by R.T. Castleberry, Nicholas Karavatos, Mark DuCharme, Natasha Sharma, Hana Jabr, and John Tustin; nonfiction by Katy Wright, Riley Winchester, and Donna D. Vitucci. Art by Stewart Francis Easton.
The best friend I ever had was my dog Milo. He offered the best kind of love—not unconditional but predicated on the most reasonable conditions. I had to earn his love and could feel good about that, but he didn’t expect me to be perfect. This sensation is nothing new to most people who have had a pet.
In “Honey, I’m Home: Beyond the Rescue Door,” published in the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 edition of Magnets and Ladders, Bonnie Blose reminisces on sharing such a love with the titular cat, Honey, who found her at a local rescue shelter and chose her immediately. Honey had some traumatic experiences in her past that affected her behavior and didn’t make her an easy pet. Blose committed from the very beginning to give her the love she needed, no matter what, for however much time they had together. She did exactly that.
Blose extols her cat’s intelligence and emotion, painting her as almost human—or as Blose would insist, better than human. This is also a relatable mindset for me and other past or present pet owners. They are not mere accessories; they are our friends, our family, our confidantes. Honey shows as much personality in the story as any human character, and one senses that it’s true to life, that Blose isn’t just anthropomorphizing her for dramatic purposes.
Magnets and Ladders is an online magazine for writers with disabilities, and this story won first place in the nonfiction category of the National Federation of the Blind Writers’ Division’s 2020 contest, so the author’s disability is a constant subtext without ever being stated outright in the story. One gets the impression that Blose needed Honey as much as Honey needed her, that their relationship was symbiotic in a way. Many people are so preoccupied with finding romantic companionship to “complete” themselves that they overlook the potential of pets—but in this time when human connection is so limited, they may rediscover an appreciation for the one-of-a-kind bonds that animals can offer.
Take a few minutes, open your heart, and give this story a chance.
“Honey, I’m Home: Beyond the Rescue Door” by Bonnie Blose. Magnets and Ladders, Fall/Winter 2020-2021.
Reviewer bio: Christopher Nicholson is an English 1010 instructor and Creative Writing graduate student at Utah State University. He writes and blogs about all kinds of things at https://www.christopherrandallnicholson.com.
“When the butterfly struggles out of its pupa, for three long hours its wings are wet and as utterly useless as a newborn’s hands.”
In “Life Inside,” found in Issue 211 of Cimarron Review, author Caroline Sutton contemplates the limitations of mortality and motherhood amid the upcoming birth of her first granddaughter. Sutton ingeniously weaves the eager experiences of her pregnant daughter with the vulnerable life cycle of monarch butterflies and their fruitless efforts for survival in a hostile world.
Reflecting on her own complicated pregnancy decades before, Sutton likens the near loss of her infant to the toxic consumption of milkweed leaves. Monarch mothers lay eggs on milkweed plants and milkweed plants alone, for when monarch larvae ingest the plant’s toxic properties, predators avoid the black and yellow creature. Sutton thinks back to her traumatic delivery and questions her blind trust during the delivery, her assumptions that everything would be alright because it always was, because mothers always offered protection. But, in a world strung with chaos and turmoil, perhaps there are some obstacles a mother cannot predict.
Sutton concludes by comparing her daughter’s upcoming delivery with a caterpillar’s metamorphic emergence. Rather than reflecting on the cliché symbol of hope, Sutton contemplates the feebleness of the new creature. Its wings, wet, useless, and unable to defend against predators looking to “attack and devour the butterfly, toxins and all, before the wings ever open fully.” Although monarch mothers provide protection from larvae to pupa, they cannot predict the perils awaiting beyond the chrysalis.
“Life Inside” by Caroline Sutton. Cimarron Review, Spring 2020.
Reviewer bio: Mia Jensen is a graduate student at Utah State University studying creative writing. She loves horror novels, trail running, and her Australian Shepherd.
Deadline: June 15, 2021
Indigo Moor judges the MacGuffin’s 26th Poet Hunt contest, open April 1 through June 15! $500 first prize plus publication; up to two Honorable Mentions will also be published. All entrants receive one copy of this issue. Send no more than five poems per $15 entry fee. Include a cover page that lists your contact info and poem titles. On the following page(s), include your poem(s), beginning each poem on a new page devoid of personally identifiable information to preserve the blind review process. Enter via Submittable, or to enter by email or post, see full rules at schoolcraft.edu/macguffin/contest-rules.
Submissions accepted year-round.
John Updike once said, “Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.” At Driftwood Press, we are actively searching for artists who care about doing it right, or better. We are excited to receive your submissions and will diligently work to bring you the best in full poetry collections, novellas, graphic novels, short fiction, poetry, graphic narrative, photography, art, interviews, and contests. We also offer our submitters a premium option to receive an acceptance or rejection letter within one week of submission; many authors are offered editorships and interviews. To polish your fiction, note our editing services and seminars, too. www.driftwoodpress.net
Don’t forget to check out Issue 8.1 which was just published in January 2021.
Deadline: May 31, 2021
$2,000 in prizes. From March 1 to May 31, Flying South 2021, a publication of Winston Salem Writers, will be accepting entries for prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. Best in Category winners will be published and receive $500 each. One of the three winners will receive The WSW President’s Favorite award and win an additional $500. All entries will be considered for publication. For full details, please visit our website: www.wswriters.org/flying-south.
This annual issue of Rathalla Review is comprised of the best work from the Spring and Fall issues during the pandemic. In these pages, we showcase the best poems, essays, stories, and art we received during a time when all our lives were changing. Gale Acuff, Jay Julio, Bina Ruchi Perino, David Wright, and more. See more contributors at the Mag Stand.
The spring issue of The Shore is now at the Mag Stand, and it’s bursting with breathtaking poetry by Dana Blatte, Jessica Poli, Matthew Tuckner, CD Eskilson, Dakota Reed, Kelsey Carmody Wort, Martha Silano, SK Grout, Hilary King, Babo Kamel, Noa Saunders, Jeremy Michael Reed, Lucy Zhang, C Samuel Rees, Becki Hawes, Kevin Grauke, Jenny Wong, Steven Pfau, Ashley Steineger, Danielle Pieratti, Eric Steineger, Farnaz Fatemi, Scarlett Peterson, Sarah Elkins, Katie Holtmeyer, Robert Fanning, Jean Theron, Heidi Seaborn, Caroline Riley, Sarah Stickney, David Keplinger, Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan, Tara A Elliott, Laren Mallett, Richard Prins and Sam Sobel. It also features dazzling art by Joshua Young.
Radar Poetry’s newest issue features poetry by Geula Geurts, Despy Boutris, K. D. Harryman, Jennifer Beebe, Marietta Brill, Kathryn Haemmerle, Michelle Menting, Julia Paul, Amanda Chiado, Jane Zwart, Meggie Royer, Claudia Acevedo-Quiñones, Janine Certo, Cynthia White, Rachael Inciarte, Josh Exoo, Casey Patrick, and Ruth Dickey, as well as accompany art by artists such as Ethan Pines, Tema Stauffer, Lava Munroe, Honour Mack, and more.
This issue’s contents: “Rogue Valley” by Midge Raymond, “Social Studies” by Stephany Brown, “The Summer of Disappearing Moms” by Kristin Gallagher, “Brooklyn” by Roy Bentley, “survival float” by Rachael Gay, “Touch Starvation” by Rachael Gay, “Last Seen Leaving Campus with Unnamed Male” by Mary Wolff, “A Marriage of Lies and One Truth” by Mary Wolff, and more. Find a full list of contributors at the Mag Stand.