Qu Up for Qu

September 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

quWe thought it might be a good idea to Qu you in to a new publishing opportunity:

Qu: A Literary Journal will be accepting nonfiction submissions (as well as fiction, poetry and script excerpts) from September 15-December 15.

Qu is the magazine of the Queens University’s MFA program. We publish and online and spring edition each spring, and we look for writing that is provocative, original and reflective of contemporary culture.
Since our program is low-residency, we will also include articles on subjects that are of interest to working writers. Tentatively titled “The Writing Life,” this series could address the challenges almost all writers face in trying to balance their craft with everyday demands.

To submit, visit Qu.

JStor Daily Hits the Digital Stands

September 2, 2014 § 3 Comments

J_Mag_275x275We recently ran across an interesting new nonfiction market (still in beta, in fact) that we wanted to share. JSTOR Daily is a paying market, looking for feature, columns, and bloggers. If you’ve used JSTOR, the digital database of scholarly journals, you’ll recognize the name. According to the editors:

JSTOR Daily is an online magazine that offers a fresh way for people to understand and contextualize their world. It features topical essays that draw connections between current affairs, historical scholarship, and other content that’s housed on JSTOR, a digital library of scholarly journals, books, and primary sources. In addition to weekly feature articles, the magazine will publish daily blog posts that provide the backstory to complex issues of the day in a variety of subject areas, interviews with and profiles of scholars and their work, and much more.

The magazine makes the content on JSTOR, which most people access via university libraries or other institutions, freely available to the general reader by highlighting timely or otherwise compelling content, and providing free links to that content.

Think of JSTOR Daily as a cross between The American Scholar, Arts and Letters Daily, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Pacific Standard, and a general culture magazine like The Atlantic or the New Yorker. It will embody a Lingua Franca, but will not take the Academy as its subject. Rather, the subjects the magazine takes up will draw on the research that’s been conducted by scholars and archived on the JSTOR platform.

See what they’ve posted so far for a better idea. The notion of accessible narratives pointing to deeper research and scholarship is an interesting one, and we’re curious to see where it leads.

Bluestem Seeks Nonfiction Submissions

August 19, 2014 § 1 Comment

logoAn announcement and call for submissions from the editors at Bluestem, a literary journal that New Pages praises for publishing “refreshing and strong” work ina broad spectrum of styles and aesthetics”:

We are pleased to announce our new Nonfiction Editor, Daiva Markelis, professor of English at Eastern Illinois University. Her short stories and creative nonfiction have been published in the New Ohio Review, Cream City Review, Other Voices, Oyez, Pank, Crab Orchard Review, The American Literary Review, and Fourth River, among others. Her memoir, White Field, Black Sheep: A Lithuanian-American Life, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2010.

Bluestem submissions open September 1st.  Bluestem welcomes submissions across the full range of creative nonfiction: memoir, personal essay, profile, travel writing, etc. We value the thought-provoking, the entertaining, the lyrical, and the finely crafted. We look forward to reading your best work. Please visit our website for more details: http://www.bluestemmagazine.com/submit/.

 

Remember In November Nonfiction Contest

July 21, 2014 § 3 Comments

Tin can stiltsThriving indie journal Hippocampus announces their fourth annual Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction. Entry fee is $10 and judging is blind. There’s a $500 prize for the winner and smaller cash prizes for runner-up, honorable mention and reader’s choice, as well as some literary swag to the Participation Award winner.

(You know, when I hear Participation Award, I want to go back in time to Field Day, strap on my soup-can stilts and awkwardly stomp my way across the elementary school playground into eleventh place. I’m pretty sure my mom still has that ribbon. Thanks for the memory, Hippocampus!)

Check out the full rules and details here.

That Summer! Flash Essay Contest

July 8, 2014 § 2 Comments

86684ad914c128476e14b7a80626f8aeOur friends at Biographile have joined with Paste to launch a nifty flash essay writing contest with the theme “That Summer!”

Paste is looking for nonfiction essays between 500 and 600 words long. To enter the contest, send Paste your summer story by July 23rd, but first read the full contest rules here.

If you are looking for inspiration, by the way, Biographile has recruited fifty celebrated authors to share their own summer tales, and they’re running them all month.

Some Highlights So Far

When Driving Was Everythingby Jojo Moyes

Suddenly One Summer: Ireland, Whiskey and the Devil’s Disguiseby Thomas Cahill

A Call Center, a Camper, and One Vampire Weddingby Alissa Nutting

Stromatolites and Crime in the Canadian Arctic, by Margaret Atwood

 

The 2014 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

June 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

From our Friends at Gulf Coast: Now accepting entries for the 2014 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose.

amy-hempel-e1387027539340-300x226The contest is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions receive $250 and will also appear in issue 27.2, due out in April 2015. All entries will be considered for paid publication on our website as online exclusives.

Amy Hempel will judge this year’s contest. A recipient of awards from the Guggenheim and United States Artists Foundations, and the Academy of Arts and Letters, Amy Hempel is the author of four collections of stories. Published in Harper’sVanity FairTin HouseGQ, and many more, her Collected Stories was named by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2007.

Entries are due August 31, 2014. All entrants receive a free one-year subscription to Gulf Coast with their $17 entry fee.

Visit www.gulfcoastmag.org/contests for more information, or to read last year’s winning pieces, chosen by Robert Coover.

 

Why Don’t We Essay in the Road?

June 2, 2014 § 3 Comments

Jill Talbot discusses the ideas behind the upcoming special “road” issue of Sundog Lit, featuring “creative nonfiction and other works that blend genre, that bend and experiment, that rumble down new roads.” July 1 deadline. Full submission guidelines can be found at the end of the interview.

  1. What inspired the theme for this issue, (Letters from) the Road?

easyWhen Justin L. Daugherty, the editor of Sundog Lit, announced that Brian Oliu would guest edit the first theme issue, Games,  I e-mailed Justin to ask if I might guest edit at some point, and in keeping with the one-word theme, I suggested Roads.

I write overwhelmingly about the road and connect with essays that do.  It would appear your editors do as well. Roxane Gay’s “There Are Distances Between Us,” Brenda Miller’s “Swerve,” Bob Cowser Jr.’s “By A Song,” B.J. Hollars’s “On the Occurrence of March, 20, 1981 and on the Occurrences of Every Night After,” Sven Birket’s “anti-road” essay, “Green Light,” Sean Prentiss’s “Tonight (the Big Dipper, You Leaving,” Steven Church’s “Overpass Into Fog,” and my own, “Stranded,”  all appeared in Brevity.

Every chance I had in graduate school, I got on 84 west out of Lubbock. Yet the moment I discovered I was drawn to roads in literature happened while reading a road scene in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, and if you’ve read that novel, you know it’s a road of destruction and drunkenness. Desperation.

In fact, the tag line on the Easy Rider film poster in 1969 read: “A man went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere.”   And Steinbeck, in Travels with Charley: In Search of America, declares, “I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found,” as he acquires the Wolfean knowledge that You Can’t Go Home Again.

I like the way the road can be the catalyst for self-inquiry, how William Least Heat-Moon in Blue Highways discovers: “I had learned what I had wanted to know because I hadn’t known what I wanted to know. But I did learn what I didn’t know I wanted to know.”

Road narratives are imbued with a search for what may not be found.  They’re a desire not to leave, but to leave something behind.  And because it’s a genre derived from the Western, a chord of violence or its threat trembles at least once within each narrative: Thelma and Louise. Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing (or The Road). Don DeLillo’s Americana.  More recently, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.  Mary Miller’s The Last Days of California.

But it’s not all threat and edge. It’s also contemplative, ruminative. And for Virginia Woolf, a haunting—“For if we could stand there where we stood six months ago, should we not be again as we were then?”—just one of the questions she poses in “Street Haunting: A London Adventure.”   The road narrative offers side roads we never intended, but find.  For this reason, it is essayistic.

I worried announcing the special Sundog Lit issue as simply “Roads” would invite either clichés or Kerouac imitations, and I’m invested in the ways in which writers modify, innovate, and deconstruct conventions (essay and road).  So I wondered, “What would imply a voice of distance, of then/now, here/there, Wolfean/Woolfean wisdom?” And then I had it:  “(Letters from).”

  1. Some people claim every essay is an experiment, given the root word assay, or “to try.”  So what, in the current state of the literary essay, makes an essay experimental?  

The essay foregrounds thought, what Phillip Lopate refers to as “an intuitive, groping path” which, paradoxically, is carefully crafted by the writer.  The essay is a sleight of hand.

So in that way, the experiment is the reader’s—we start reading, and we don’t know where we’re going, and we hope to be taken aback by what we find. What did Eric LeMay say on this blog not long ago?  Oh, yes:  “An essay, by its very nature, isn’t finished by an essayist; it’s finished by a reader.”

But I also think an essay is an experiment when it expands our thinking about the possibilities of the essay (form).  Dinah Lenney. Marissa Landrigan. Ander Monson. Always, always, Marcia Aldrich.

Jill Talbot

Jill Talbot

As to the experiment of the “(Letters from) the Road” issue: I’m seeking essays, first person fiction, prose poems, photographs, and digital work in order to usurp genre with mode and create an essayistic issue.

For example, one of my favorite journals is Smokelong Quarterly because each story takes essayistic turns.  Some examples:  Kevin Sampsell’s “True Identity,” Jeff Landon’s “Thirty-Nine Years of Carrie Wallace,” and Jennifer A. Howard’s “Amateur Trailmaking for $1600.”

I recently discovered Anders Carlson-Wee on a night when he read his poems to a hushed room, and I whispered out loud with awe: “Those are essays.”

So my aim for the issue is to expand and extend the idea of “essay” beyond the boundaries of genre.

  1. Which do you like better, Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” or the Beatles’ “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road?”

I am more (“Whiskey River”) Willie than I ever will be Beatle, that’s for sure, but this is an excellent opportunity to highlight the tone of Sundog Lit, a journal that “publishes writing that scorches the earth.”

So if you’re not familiar with the “rusty-nail” writing Sundog Lit publishes, listen to Paul McCartney wail “Let’s Do It In the Road”—his voice a rage, a ruin, the last mile of a day-long, desert-heat drive.

FULL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES TO SUNDOG’S SPECIAL ROAD ISSUE.

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