The Autumn 2019 issue of The Gettysburg Review is featured on the NewPages Magazine Stand this week. Included in the issue is a selection of paintings by Anne Siems; fiction by Cody Harrison, Gary Amdahl, and Kathryn Harlan; essays by Valerie Sayers, Geoff Wyss, and Floyd Collins; poetry by Gregory Fraser, Robert Gibb, Adam Tavel, G. C. Waldrep, Connor Yeck, Kathryn Nuernberger, Alison Pelegrin, Todd Davis, Alice Friman, Nancy Carol Moody, Edward Mayes, Averill Curdy, Joyce Sutphen, Sarah Kain Gutowski, and Stanley Plumly.
January officially ends next week. That just doesn’t seem possible, does it? Several states have been hit pretty hard weather-wise, so it’s a great time to grab a mug of coffee, cocoa, or tea and dive into your writing and submission goals.
Looking to find a literary journal or a press that’s currently accepting general submissions? Keep reading!
January Submission Deadlines
Annual literary magazine Girls Right the World closes to submissions from female-identifying writer between the ages of 14 and 21 on January 31. They seek poetry, prose, short stories, lyric essays, and visual art. There is no fee to to submit.
Haunted Waters Press is seeking stories of exactly 20 words for Penny Fiction, a regular feature of literary magazine From the Depths. There is no fee to submit. Deadline is January 31. [Read more…] about Weekly Roundup for Calls & Contests :: January 24, 2020
A new Book Stand is available at NewPages! Visit for new and forthcoming titles in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, anthologies, and children’s/YA. Our New & Noteworthy section features six titles this month.
Americans Are trump by Randall G. Nichols explores the mindset of Americans who support our current president.
Dispatches from the End of Ice by Beth Peterson “is part science, part lyric essay, and part research reportage.”
In HULL, Xandria Phillips “explores emotional impacts of colonialism and racism on the Black queer body and the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement in urban, rural, and international settings” in their debut collection.
Orison Books has released their fourth anthology, “an annual collection of the finest spiritually engaged writing that appeared in periodicals in the preceding year.”
Someone You Love Is Still Alive by Ephraim Scott Sommers has been called “a gorgeous and dangerous book” by Jericho Brown.
Thirty-six writers share their worst reading experiences in What Could Possibly Go Wrong? edited by Richard Peabody.
Mary Birnbaum’s nonfiction piece “Owosso” caught my eye in the latest issue of Crazyhorse, not only because it’s the winner of the Crazyhorse Nonfiction Prize, but because it’s a familiar name (though a surprise to see in a national literary journal); the tiny town in Michigan is a mere hour away from where I’ve lived my whole life. It’s also where Birnbaum’s grandfather lived, she learns as she reads his obituary at the gym. This discovery leads her on an exploration of the concept of ghosts and hauntings.
Across the country, Birnbaum writes of the ghostly characters of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and personal ghost stories shared by two friends. This leads her to look at the ghosts of her own life. These are not supernatural beings haunting the darkness, but are her father and her grandfather, two strangers removed from her life.
Birnbaum’s thoughts about her father and grandfather are complex and complicated. She breaks her ideas apart into small chunks, making them easily digestible as she bounces back and forth between ghost stories, the “what-ifs” of finding and confronting her father, and her discovery at the gym. At one point she wonders, “if it’s worse to be a ghost or to be haunted. I wonder if both are possible in me,” leading me to consider the ways in which I myself am a ghost or am being haunted in my own life.
As the essay wraps up, Birnbaum decides to label Owosso a mythical location. But while the small city is something separated from herself, it did conjure up from the shadows a tiny, welcomed connection between writer and this reader.
Alyssa Quinn’s “Transcendence: A Schematic”—Meridian Editors’ Prize 2019 winner—explores her efforts to process the loss of her brother. Weaving together a pilgrimage to Walden Pond, her memories of her brother, and her own beliefs and doubts, Quinn probes the hollowed out spaces, searching for a truth she can hold in the absence of her brother.
The exploration of emptiness leads Quinn to consider the places others turn to for truth. She explores science, religion, and maps, searching for a space where she can find her brother. Even in form, Quinn demonstrates absence as she creates a schematic, seeking answers from figures that do not exist. As Quinn tries to present an answer to her questions about death, transcendence, and reality she can only state with absolute uncertainty, “Perhaps the center is just as elusive as the beyond; matter as problematic as spirit.” In death, Quinn’s brother has shattered Quinn’s understanding of reality.
While the essay pulses with the agony of living in an emptied reality, Quinn recognizes that even her writing has been reformed by the loss of her brother. Quinn must confront the fact that “Syntax cannot convey true absence—say ‘I miss him’ and there he is again—there is no language for loss, for such awful missing.” Her work plunges into the loss of her brother, and emerges with the knowledge that Quinn must create a space to hold her brother within her own words.
About the reviewer: Shaun Anderson is a creative writing student at Utah State University.
Magazine Review by Katy Haas
The Fall 2019 issue of the Missouri Review invites readers to wander away from the ordinary into a world that’s a little bit “off” in its feature. In “Dream Logic: The Art of Ten Contemporary Surrealists,”Kristine Somerville offers a brief history of the surrealist art movement.
While we learn the history, we also see full-color images of surreal artwork, including embroidered mixed media images by Robin McCarthy, clay sculptures by Ronit Baranga, collages by Rodriguez Calero, and more. Indeed, these all carry dreamlike qualities as they challenge our expectations. Each piece grabs the eye and forces it to take in new, creative perspectives. Baranga’s work features grotesque human features emerging from delicate teacups. Gensis Belanger’s work seems to showcase the ordinary until you blink and realize a stool is supported by four large cigarettes instead of regular legs, and the foot inside the sandal that rests on the stool is actually a hot dog. Whimsy and dream logic reign in this feature. The provided history grounds us, though, giving a clear lens through which we can examine the art.
Somerville closes with the reminder, “surrealism provides an outlet for creativity and spontaneity and an escape from the tyranny of the real.” Allow yourself to escape for a moment and wander into the dreams of the surreal artists found in the Fall 2019 issue.
January is half over with already. I swear that the older a person gets, the faster time seems to fly. Thus…never put off submitting your work today! Before you know deadlines could very well pass you by. I keep saying I will get around to submitting and then another year has gone and my writing just sits in a pile of proverbial dust.
Don’t be like me! Keep your submission goals on a role with these journals and presses currently seeking submissions.
January Submission Deadlines
If you are a younger female-identifying writer between the ages of 14 and 21 or know a writer who fits that bill, don’t forget annual literary magazine Girls Right the World is open to submissions through January 31. They are on the lookout for poetry, prose, short stories, lyric essays, and visual art. There is no fee to to submit. [Read more…] about Weekly Roundup for Calls & Contests :: January 17, 2020
Caoilinn Hughes talks with Mary Cregan about her new book The Scar. …But this book is far more than a memoir: it is the result of decades of research on the medical history of the diagnosis, as well as the classification and treatment of depression and melancholia. To this rigorous and fascinating scholarship, Cregan has added the work of a variety of artists—from the ancient Greeks to Leonard Cohen. No surprise, then, that she teaches literature at Barnard College.
For a long time I couldn’t figure out how to write the book because the subject is seen by most people as “depressing.” How does one not write a depressing book about depression? Add to that the trigger of the death of an infant, and it seemed a daunting thing to invite readers to enter into. Death, grief, suicide, illness: these are subjects that a lot of people prefer to avoid thinking about.
NewPages has sent out our monthly digital eLitPak to current newsletter subscribers this afternoon. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here: npofficespace.com/newpages-newsletter/.
Besides our monthly eLitPak featuring fliers from literary magazines, independent presses, and creative writing programs and events, we have a weekly newsletter filled with submission opportunities, literary magazines, new titles, reviews, and more.
Check out the current eLitPak below. You can view the original newsletter email here. [Read more…] about NewPages January 2020 Digital eLitPak
In A Short History of Presidential Election Crises (City Lights Publishing), Constitutional scholar Alan Hirsch addresses these issues with urgency and precision. He presents a concise history of presidential elections that resulted in crises and advocates clear, common-sense solutions, including abolishing the Electoral College and the creation of a permanent, non-partisan Presidential Election Review Board to prevent or remedy future crises.
Literary magazine The Massachusetts Review is kicking off the new decade with a special issue, the first of its kind for them. They seek new Native-authored fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for their first-ever issue with a Native focus.
Scheduled for publication in December 2020 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth Landing, guest editors include Tacey Atsitty (Amenorrhea), Laura Furlan (Indigenous Cities: Urban Indian Fiction and the Histories of Relocation), and Toni Jensen (From the Hilltop). Send queries and submissions for this special issue to MRPlymouth400@gmail.com.
MR, celebrating 60 years of publication, is a journal committed to social justice and equality and regularly publishes poetry, fiction, artwork, and essays. Check out their current call for submissions as well as their website to learn more about them.