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Children’s publisher Annick Press (Canada) is seeking true stories of bravest moments for a YA non-fiction anthology. The format of the testimonial can be in one of many different mediums (prose, poetry, photography, illustration, etc.). Contact Robbie Patterson at email@example.com for full details.
Print & digital journal Litro Magazine (UK) is accepting submissions for its October issue. Theme: India and the Global South. Accepts short fiction, flash/micro fiction, and nonfiction (memoir, literary journalism, travel narratives). Length: 4000 words max. Deadline: August 18, 2016.
Room Magazine is accepting entries for their annual Poetry and Fiction Contest. Prize in each genre: $1000 plus publication. Judged by Marilyn Dumont (poetry) and Doretta Lau (fiction). Room’s contests are open to women, trans*, two-spirited, and genderqueer people. Deadline: July 15, 2016.
Syntax and Salt, which publishes 13 magical realism pieces a season, seeks submissions for Issue 2. Length: 3500 words max. Likes old stories told in a new way and new stories told in an old way, plus well executed sad endings. Pays $10/story. Deadline: June 15, 2016.
WILDNESS (UK) wants work that evokes the unknown. Now seeking poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for their fourth, fifth and sixth issues. Deadline: Rolling.
Biannual independent arts & lit journal The Quilliad (Toronto) seeks submissions for the next issue. Publishes poetry, flash fiction (500 words or less), and short stories (generally 1000-2000 words). Send 5 poems, 5 flash fiction pieces, or 2 short stories max. Payment: $12 honorarium, contributor’s copy, and free admission to the launch party for your issue. Deadline: April 30, 2016.
Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine (NC), which explores the wide spectrum of the senior citizen’s life, seeks pieces for the next issue. Open to poetry, short fiction, creative essay, memoir and book reviews from anyone, anywhere. Welcomes any topic, and in any voice or style. Main criteria: the work needs to be good: it should engage the reader/viewer, enrich our experience. Deadline: June 1, 2016.
Submissions are invited for the Sequestrum Editor’s Reprint Award. Open to reprints of fiction and creative nonfiction in any original format (electronic or print). One $200 prize plus publication. Minimum one runner-up prize including publication and payment. Fee: $15. Deadline: April 30, 2016.
Submissions are open for the debut issue of November Bees, a quarterly online art and literature journal. Currently seeking previously unpublished nonfiction and fiction (including blurred genre hybrid) under 1,000 words, plus poetry and visual art. Deadline: July 15, 2016.
The Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group invites entries from adults and youth for the 2016 Write on the Lake Contest. First prize: $100. Categories: Poetry (3 pages or 1500 words max), fiction (2500 words max.), and creative nonfiction (2500 words max.) Entry fees: Adult – $20 and youth (under 18 years) – $10. Deadline: July 31, 2016.
Entries are invited for the 2016 Arizona Mystery Writers Annual Jim Martin Memorial Story Contest. Entry fee: $15. First prize: $200. Submit mystery, suspense, or thriller stories, 2500 words max. Contest is open to all. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Deadline: June 1, 2016.
Chrysalis (Canada) is creating a gardening zine, “Kill Your Lawn”, with the first print edition set to be released in late May. Seeking creative writing (of any kind), how-tos, and art about gardening, permaculture, self-sufficiency, and homesteading. Also accepting submissions on an ongoing basis for both print and online content. Send submissions to email@example.com. Deadline: May 16, 2015.
The Papermachine, an online multi-genre arts and literature publication, is seeking short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction entries for its inaugural issue. Particularly interested in work that explores themes of place, “home,” and displacement. Word length: up to 3000 words per entry. No fees for submission. Deadline: April 16, 2016.
New print/online independent magazine Chroma (UK) is accepting submissions of poetry, short stories, and articles. Length (prose): 500-1500 words. Theme: Red. Interested in writing that focuses upon love, lust, passion, sex, anger, meat, blood, communism, capitalism and any other red object you can think of. Deadline: April 30, 2016.
3Elements Review is accepting submissions for Issue 11. Theme: reflex, trace, labyrinth. All three words must be used in each submission of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Also accepting art and photography submissions. Deadline: April 30, 2016.
Lost Documents, a literary journal from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, seeks prose submissions for their 3rd and 4th issues. Submit flash fiction and short stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pastures of Heaven. John Steinbeck. 1932. 207 pages. [Source: Library]
This was not my first Steinbeck, but, even so I didn't know quite what to expect. Sometimes I love, love, love his work, and, other times I really almost hate it. The Pastures of Heaven is a collection of inter-connected short stories set in California, spanning several decades, I believe.
I wouldn't consider myself a fan of short stories--usually. The one notable exception being my love for L.M. Montgomery's short stories. But. I found the stories within The Pastures of Heaven to be compelling and entertaining. I read the book all in one sitting, it was just that hard to put down. True, it's not a huge book. But still, it's worth noting all the same. There was a time when I read many books quickly, but, that isn't the case anymore.
The characters. What can I say? Some I really liked. Some I really hated. Some I almost felt pity for more than anything else. I think overall one could easily say that Steinbeck created very human, very flawed, very authentic-feeling characters. Some stories were on the amusing side; others were almost melancholy. I liked the variety. Not just of the emotions within the stories and the types of stories, but, also of the narratives, of the narrators.
I was not a fan of Grapes of Wrath, but, I am a fan of Pastures of Heaven.
He knew that the people who were to be his new neighbors were staring at him although he could never catch them at it. This secret staring is developed to a high art among country people. They have seen every uncovered bit of you, have tabulated and memorized the clothes you are wearing, have noticed the color of your eyes and the shape of your nose, and, finally have reduced your figure and personality to three or four adjectives, and all the time you thought they were oblivious to your presence. (12)
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
Entries are open for the Helen Sissons Canadian Children’s Story Award. Prize: $1000. Submit a short story for young children (up to age 7) that reflects the diversity of the world’s population and values desirable in global citizens. Open to residents of Canada and the Caribbean. Deadline: May 13, 2016.
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Online and print UK journal WILDNESS wants work that evokes the unknown. Seeks poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for their third issue (April 2016). Length: 2500 words or 80 lines max. Deadline: March 4, 2016.
Tumblr site PROM zine seeks poetry, nonfiction, and short stories about prom — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Length: 500 words max. Planning for spring publishing date. All accepted submissions receive a hard copy of the zine. Deadline: March 6, 2016.
First Love. 14 Warm and Glowing Stories Selected by Gay Head. 1963. Scholastic Book Services. 188 pages. [Source: Bought]
First Love is a vintage collection of short stories compiled by Gay Head for Scholastic in 1963. All of the stories chosen had been previously published in magazines. Most of the stories first appeared in the 1950s, though a few come from the 1940s and early 1960s. (If Barbie were real, this is the kind of book I could see her reading.)
The theme of this collection, is, of course, first love or young love. Some of the stories are narrated from the girl's perspective; some are, however, narrated from the guy's perspective. There is a pair of stories "Sixteen" and "Eighteen" that go together. "Sixteen" by Maureen Daly tells the girl's side of the story--how she went skating one winter's day, was suddenly grasped around the waist by a cute boy, and how they skated and chatted together for what seems like hours. He walked her home. He said he'd call. But he never did. "Eighteen" by Charlie Brodie tells HIS side of the story. Most of the stories are not interconnected.
One of my favorite stories is "Prelude" by Lucille Vaughan Payne. Essentially, this is a clean version of Valley Girl that predates the movie by quite a few decades. Nancy Hollister, the heroine, falls for Stephen Karoladis to the dismay of her popular friends. He is an absolute genius when it comes to music, playing the piano, to be exact. Nancy feels about music the same way he does--it's like they are meant to be. But. He is poor--really, truly poor, work after school as a janitor poor. He will never dress like her friends. And he'll never be able to afford to take her out to the places that her friends go with their dates. But the connection they feel is true and deep and strong. What will happen when he asks her to the prom? Will she go with him knowing that her friends will laugh and mock and bully?! This short story doesn't conclude with "Melt With You
" but it ends well all the same! Since I'll never watch Valley Girl again, most likely, I'm glad to have found a clean alternative that puts a grin on my face.
Another favorite story is "Theme Song" by Dave Grubb. In this one, a young girl falls for a soldier with a broken heart or "broken heart." He's received a letter that "his girl" has taken up with someone new. Though there was a time he loved playing "their song" on the jukebox over and over and over and over again...he discovers that the "B side" of the record had never been played....much to Edith's delight. Hearts mend, and new love stories begin...
One of the more unusual stories in this collection, one that brings to mind the Sesame Street song "One of These Things Is Not Like the Other," is Epicac by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. This "romantic" short story is about a machine--a computer--who falls in love. It's more complicated than that. The narrator and the computer both fall in love with the same girl. And it's a science-fiction twist to Cyrano de Bergerac if you will. (The computer writes the poems that make the girl fall for the narrator.)
Essentially readers who discover this vintage, out-of-print, title will discover a LOT of variety. Each story is unique. Some stories are a bit odder than others.
"Blue Valentine" by Mary Gibbons comes to mind! In this story, a guy with great intentions doesn't think through his gift choice. Angelo, the hero of the story, is essentially a good, thoughtful guy. He wants his Valentine's Day gift to his girlfriend to be extraordinarily WONDERFUL, the best of the best, the best that his money can buy. But this gift gets him in BIG TROUBLE with her family. His choice? Well, Gibbons left that a mystery for readers to solve until the last few pages of this short story--probably for some shock value. So I'll do the same.
Another 'odd' story, for me, was The Walnut Trees a story about a girl's BIG, BIG crush on a teacher. (Hint: Don't cut your teacher's yearbook photo out and put it in a heart locket. It is SURE to fall off, open, and HIM be the one to pick it up and hand it back to you!)
Each story has a description of sorts, or tagline. I'll include these for each story:
- Stardust by Virginia Laughlin: Her heart went into orbit when she looked at him...
- A Girl Called Charlie by William Kehoe: She thought that her whole future depended on one date...
- Blue Valentine by Mary Gibbons: Angelo found the wrong gift for the right girl...
- The Walnut Trees by Virginia Akin: A dream can be fashioned from cobwebs...
- Once Upon A Pullman by Florence Jane Soman: Instant charm was not his secret of success...
- Epicac by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: Can a machine fall in love? This one did...
- Sixteen by Maureen Daly: As she saw it...
- Eighteen by Charlie Brodie: His side of the story...
- Prelude by Lucille Vaughan Payne: Music gave her the answer...
- Tomboy by Gertrude Schweitzer: She thought parties were stupid until one special night...
- Bittersweet by Arlene Hale: It takes time to forget...
- Who is Sylvia? by Laura Nelson Baker: Her name was like a haunting melody...
- Theme Song by Dave Grubb: The young soldier might be the answer to Edith's dreams...
- Tough Guy by Peter Brackett: He wore a chip on his shoulder to hide the secret in his heart...
Though the taglines might seem over-the-top ridiculous, the stories in this book were actually quite good and in some ways timeless. Some are better than others, I won't lie. But there were a few I really LOVED. And overall, it was even better than I thought it would be.
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
Publication name: Shirley Magazine seeks stories for Issue 4. Theme is The Four Humors: Blood, Yellow Bile, Black Bile, Phlegm. Open to interpretation. Length: 3000 words max. Likes the sublimely strange and the eerie, the weird, the beautiful. Interested in the body and its grotesqueries, the brain and its tricks. Deadline: April 1, 2016.
New online Tumblr-based zine Violet Rising is accepting nature-inspired submissions. Publishes poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, art, and mixed media. Deadline: Rolling.
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ArtAscent seeks submissions on the theme of “green.” Entries may include fiction, poetry, short stories and other written explorations (up to 900 words). Selected entries published in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal. Open to international writers. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: April 30, 2016.