March 9, 2017 § Leave a comment
A guest post from New Ohio Review editor David Wanczyk:
Last year, I wrote a post for Brevity about what I seek in Creative Nonfiction as the editor of New Ohio Review. It was 605 words, but it could have been three: Intensity, Ambivalence, Nostalgia.
Essentially, is there a conflict in the essay/memoir? Is there hard thinking and debate with oneself? And are there detail-rich descriptions that enliven a scene (potentially from 1986)?
I thought I’d been somewhat clever, laying out a writing schema that was not quite as general as a daily horoscope or as specific as an Ikea manual.
But it turns out that these three key concepts were only the product of cleverness inasmuch as they were basically cribbed from Phillip Lopate, one of my favorite writers, and New Ohio Review‘s 2017 Nonfiction Contest judge.
On intensity/conflict, he writes, “I was always waiting for life to become tragic, so that I would merely have to record it to become a powerful, universal writer,” and in that recognition of a desire for dramatic struggle, which he plays as partially naive, he reveals that it isn’t necessarily conflict that makes a good piece of nonfiction.
On ambivalence, he writes, “Personal essayists converse with the reader because they are already having dialogues and disputes with themselves,” and there he teaches me that self-debate helps us communicate; but at the same time, Lopate writes with absolute directness, refusing to dwell in any muddle. He’s not speaking from a place of ambivalence for the sake of it; the thing he’s chewing on is what’s important, not necessarily the mode of chewing.
On nostalgia, he writes, “One has to guard against the tendency to think of one’s youth as a time when the conversations were brighter, the friends truer, and the movies better.” With this, he would seem to pooh-pooh my suggestion that essayists should infuse their work with a sense of wonder about the past, and yet he consistently writes, in a lovely way, as though he were a documentary filmmaker of his own memory, even admitting that he occasionally felt like a cameraman when he was young: “I wanted life to have the economy and double meaning of art,” he admits. “But more often I simply felt torn by a harsh, banal pain that had no cinematic equivalent.”
Lopate’s work—searching, funny, and sometimes uncomfortable—stays in that space between artistry and banality, and because of that, we feel like we’re with a friend on his smartest day, a friend who, like us, doesn’t quite fit in.
“I believe in the aesthetically impure as an accurate reflection of reality,” he wrote in his book Getting Personal, and, as I look back at Lopate’s work I’m happy to go along with that idea, too. For this year.
Intensity, Ambivalence, and Nostalgia? Eh, maybe.
But for all you Scorpios and Tauri out there in the Brevity community, maybe we should shoot for an impure reflection of something true, first and foremost?
If this sounds intriguing, please send New Ohio Review and Phillip Lopate your brightest impurities, your canniest reflections, your things-that-don’t-fit.
Deadline: April 15th
Prize: $1000 and publication in NOR 22.
All submissions will be considered even if they don’t win, and the entry fee—$20—gets you a one-year subscription to the magazine. We’ve also got fiction and poetry contests, and we’re at https://newohioreview.submittable.com/submit
February 13, 2017 § 1 Comment
Redux, the online journal of previously published work, is accepting submissions of fiction/poetry/essays during an open reading period: February 15 to March 15. We’re looking for literary work of high quality that has been previously published in a print journal but that is not available elsewhere on the internet. Our mission is to bring deserving work to a new, online audience. Preference will be given to older pieces (i.e. published before 2012).
No novel excerpts, poems that appear in chapbooks, or pieces published in anthologies…even if these books are presently out-of-print.
Please read our guidelines for important submission information. If your work is accepted, you will also be asked to write a short “story behind the piece” essay a la the Best American series. Pieces must be available in a Microsoft Word file.
Authors we’ve published include Margot Livesey, Sandra Beasley, Robin Black, R.T. Smith, Michelle Boisseau, Kelle Groom, Erica Dawson, Catherine Chung, Walter Cummins, Lee Martin, Dave Housley, and Terese Svoboda.
We look forward to seeing your work!
November 30, 2016 § Leave a comment
From our Friends at Slag Glass City:
November 28, 2016 § 1 Comment
From Slag Glass City:
CRACKS IN THE SIDEWALK: What Fractures Our Cities?
Slag Glass City, a digital journal of the urban essay arts edited by Barrie Jean Borich, seeks inventive and beautifully made nonfiction work from across artistic discipline that circles, questions, contradicts, aggravates, decries, implores, or offers remedy to the experience of URBAN FRACTURE—including: election protests, police violence, gentrification, racism, classicism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, religious intolerance, immigration tensions, guns, domestic abuse, protest, development, neglect, loneliness—or anything from micro aggression to cataclysm that creates fissure, disconnection, and brokenness.
We are accepting submissions November 20, 2016 – February 20, 2017. You may submit nonfiction prose, graphic memoir, video, sound, image + text, photography, mixed media, or any other form of the nonfiction essay arts. The work our 2016 editorial board selects will be published in the online journal AND considered for our miniature print editions.
To SUBMIT TO THE CITY for this themed call go to: http://tinyurl.com/SlagGlassCitySidewalkCracks
To visit the journal itself, go to: slagglasscity.org
If you have QUESTIONS please email this address: email@example.com
November 21, 2016 § Leave a comment
As we move toward the reality of Donald Trump’s pending presidency, many artists are responding, and Rock & Sling wants to produce a cross-section of that work, to be released at AWP in D.C., two weeks after the Inauguration.
We are looking for any kind of artistic reaction to the election and the weeks that have followed. Photo-documentary, essay, allegory, graphic shorts, fiction, satire, poems, visual art: we want it. What are your fears or frustrations? Your hopes or hesitations? We want to hear from the whole spectrum, all of the kinds of reactions we see. We want to hear from undocumented artists and from Christians, from Muslims and artists of color, and from conscientious conservatives.
Rock & Sling is a journal of witness. We believe that the power of witness, of truth-telling, is a good human act and a good human outcome, enabling the reader to enter the life of another self and thus to grow in empathy, compassion, and understanding.
Submissions information can be found here:
November 21, 2016 § Leave a comment
From The Woven Tale Press Editor-in-Chief Sandra Tyler:
The Woven Tale Press is an interactive online literary and fine arts magazine, and our mission is to grow traffic to noteworthy writers, photographers, and artists across the World Wide Web. By growing this Web traffic, we aspire to garner the interest of galleries and literary agents who may turn to our pages seeking new talents. Today, WTP has a combined following of 9,000 and over 2,700 site hits per month.
Since its inception in 2013, The Woven Tale Press has been through quite an evolution. While I knew it would be Web-based, my initial focus was to feature noteworthy bloggers; I had been blogging for a couple of years, and was frustrated with how quickly posts were relegated to my archives, how my Web presence was largely obscured by the vastness of cybersphere.
This obscurity on the Web can seem analogous to that of the lone writer or the artist in his studio, and for me, to my own mother; growing up, I witnessed how she persevered through self-doubts and disappointments to hone her own unique statement as a visual artist, and quite literally, in the obscurity of our cellar—The only truly bright light was a reflective one, off of a canvas, fresh paint glistening in the dull glow of a single overhead lamp. That is how I remember my mother’s paintings, quite literally luminous in an otherwise dark space.
My mother’s years of painting in that cellar can serve as an apt metaphor for what we strive for at WTP: To bring to light works by writers and artists who otherwise may be toiling away in their own “cellars.” For every artist’s or writer’s website, there is that creative soul persevering in isolation, to hone his or her own unique statement, be it on a canvas, the page, or in any other medium. And it is a perseverance often plagued with doubts: Am I any good? Am I just wasting my time?
These are age-old questions with every new rejection, and for many, these questions may go unanswered. But validation in creative endeavors is much about being seen or heard; artists and writers long for an audience, and in this digital age, recognition in cybersphere is rivaling that in the brick and mortar world. As editor-in-chief of The Woven Tale Press, I am always seeking out others toiling away, to illuminate those talents hidden in the shadows across the World Wide Web.
Besides our magazine, we have much to offer on our site: features ranging from interviews and cutting-edge videos, to book, art reviews, and even website reviews. We also offer guidelines to how to get your own website up and running within an hour — this is a prerequisite for publication in our magazine; our way of nudging serious artists and writers to develop a Web presence if they haven’t already. A must in this digital era!
Your literary nonfiction is welcome, whether it be an excerpt from a memoir or a piece of short or flash nonfiction. Like the Brevity Blog, we would also love to publish your reviews or works about your own artistic process.
Take a look at our latest issues at www.thewoventalepress.net and consider submitting at http://www.thewoventalepress.net/how-to-submit/. Any questions can be directly to me at editor(at)thewoventalepress(dot)net.
November 16, 2016 § 4 Comments
A note from The Think Write Publish Science & Religion project:
As part of our effort to facilitate dialogue between these two ways of knowing the world, Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology magazines are seeking original narratives illustrating and exploring the relationships, tensions, and harmonies between science and religion—the ways these two forces productively challenge each other as well as the ways in which they can work together and strengthen one another.
We welcome personal stories of scientists, religious figures, or (just as important) everyday people seeking to explore or reconcile their own spiritual and scientific beliefs.
Editors of both magazines will award up to $17,500 in prizes, plus publication.
With little more than a month to go before the deadline of December 12, I hope you’ll consider sending in work, as well as sharing information about this opportunity with others.