The springtime brings a sense of renewal: feeling the sun beginning to heat up and shedding the cocoon of cold winter nights. Spring offers the opportunity to get out and discover something new. At Chestnut Review, we are also experiencing a turn, a closing our second volume and anticipating our third. This issue features work by Cutter Streeby, Gretchen Rockwell, Rebecca Poynor, Zackary Medlin, Lorette C. Luzajic, Satya Dash, Fatima Malik, and more. See a full list of contributors at the Mag Stand.
Deadline: May 15, 2021
Carve Magazine‘s Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is open April 1 – May 15. Accepting submissions from all over the world, but story must be in English. Max 10,000 words. Prizes: $2,000, $500, $250, + 2 Editor’s Choice $125 each. All 5 winners published in Fall 2021 issue and reviewed by lit agencies. Entry fee $17 online. Guest judge Leesa Cross-Smith.
A new issue of Beloit Fiction Journal is at the Mag Stand. Contributors to this issue include Sean Williamson, J. T. Townley, Casey McConahay, Andrew Bertaina, Paige Powell, Kathryn Henion, Maura Stanton, Caryn Cardello, Sara Heise Graybeal, Sam Gridley, and more.
In this issue, find special Memoir as Drama feature “Dialogue Box” by Debbie Urbanski. Also in this issue: stories by Emily Mitchell, Elizabeth Stix, Cara Blue Adams, JoAnna Novak, and more; essays by Emma Hine, Catalina Bode, Nicole Graev Lipson, and Josh Shoemake; and poetry by Emily Nason, Rose DeMaris, Dorsey Craft, and others. Find more contributors at the Mag Stand.
Michael Keenan Gutierrez explores the meaning of truth and the power of fiction in his essay “Lies I’ll Tell My Son.” Gutierrez starts the reader grounded in fact. His great grandfather, Red, was a bookie: “This is true.” Then the details of Red’s life grow murkier. The story of Red winning a WWI draft card in a poker game sounds dramatic enough it might have come from a movie. Red’s birth certificates and draft cards have different dates and names. Gutierrez’s uncle proclaims, “They were all a bunch of fucking liars.”
Gutierrez has heard that we aren’t supposed to lie to children “except about Santa Claus and death.” But what is the purpose of the lies that build such fantastic family lore? The tales are in contrast to a more recent generation that lived “the standard formula of work, retirement, and death.” The lore of Red paints the world as “more magical than a paycheck and a mortgage.”
Gutierrez resolves to tell his son the tales of his family and “shade the truth in fiction.” What about the hard truths about life and death? Well, Gutierrez explains: “I’ll let him figure out heaven on his own.”
“Lies I’ll Tell My Son” by Michael Keenan Gutierrez. 805 Lit + Art, February 2021.
Reviewer bio: Elle Smith is a graduate student at Utah State University.
“We don’t know much about Mr. Otomatsu Wada of Unit B in Barrack 14 in Block 63 of the Gila River Relocation Center,” Eric L. Muller admits at the start of his essay, “The Desert Was His Home.” This lack of knowledge does not deter Muller from examining the pain and power of absence, as well as how deep research becomes an avenue for creative discovery.
Throughout this essay, Muller lays out the facts about this one Japanese-American, among many, held prisoner in the U.S. during World War II. Muller uses what little is known of this man to sketch out a rough but potent portrait of his life. Most notable was Wada’s “two-year-old mystery” marked by the refrain “We don’t know” that Muller uses until Wada’s fate is revealed.
This essay demonstrates how seamlessly and naturally a story can incorporate the many don’t knows and can’t knows inevitable in research. It is even possible, as “The Desert” shows us, how the gaps in a subject’s life can become the story. This piece can be found in Issue 74 of Creative Nonfiction.
“The Desert Was His Home” by Eric L. Muller. Creative Nonfiction, Winter 2021.
Reviewer bio: Mark Smeltzer is a graduate student in Utah State University’s English Department. His area of specialization is in poetry.
december Magazine seeks submissions for our 2021 Curt Johnson Prose Awards in fiction and creative nonfiction. Prizes each genre: $1,500 & publication (winner); $500 & publication (honorable mention). $20 entry fee includes a copy of awards issue. Submit 1 story or essay up to 8,000 words from March 1 to May 1. For complete guidelines visit our website.
Flying South 2021 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.
Carve Magazine‘s Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is open April 1 – May 15. Accepting submissions from all over the world, but story must be in English. Max 10,000 words. Prizes: $2,000, $500, $250, + 2 Editor’s Choice $125 each. All winners published in Fall 2021 issue and reviewed by lit agencies. Entry fee $17. Guest judge Leesa Cross-Smith.
View the full April 2021 NewPages eLitPak newsletter here. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get weekly updates on lit mags, presses, writing programs, literary events, and more along with the monthly eLitPak newsletters.
NOMADartx is an emerging global creative network dedicated to sharing and amplifying creative potential, regardless of genre. NOMADartx Review curates fresh voices that address creativity and creative process via visual art, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, interviews, critiques, and reviews. Our “Industry Specials” column also provides a place for contemporary creatives to share wisdom about building success in their fields of practice. We currently consider work that addresses these themes in any way, and we have a special call currently for work that contemplates the idea of “maintenance.” More information at our submissions manager.
Deadline: May 31, 2021
Oyster River Pages is a literary and artistic collective seeking submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts that stretch creative and social boundaries. We believe in the power of art to connect people to their own and others’ humanity, something we see as especially important during these tumultuous times. Because of this, we seek to feature artists whose voices have been historically decentered or marginalized. Please see www.oysterriverpages.com for submission details.