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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.
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
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.
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The Los Angeles Review welcomes entries for four new awards: Flash fiction (500 words max.), poetry, creative nonfiction (1500 words max.), and short fiction (1500 words max.) Winners receive $1000 prize and publication in LAR. Entry fee is $20. Deadline: May 1, 2016.
The 2016 Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all writers worldwide. First prize: £1000; 19 additional prizes available. Theme and subject open. Length: 4000 words max. Entry fee: £8 per story. Shortlisted writers published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 9. Deadline: April 30, 2016.
UK quarterly online magazine Novelty seeks submissions for Issue 3. Theme: “Under the skin” — literally (skin as the natural limit of being human) and figuratively (obsession or irritation). Accepts essays, articles, columns, fiction, and art. Deadline: February 8, 2016.
Galleon is looking for fiction and poetry for issue V. Publishes work by Atlantic Canadians or related to the region, but there is room for submissions “from away.” Fiction: 5000 words max. Poetry: 100 lines max. Payment: One copy. Deadline: May 1, 2016.
New podcast No Resemblance (Canada) is looking for stories of lives lived and paths taken that in no way bear any resemblance to everyday life. Seeks authors who want to hear their pieces read aloud in some combination of audiobook and podcast form. Short fiction (max 4,000 words) should be gripping and adventurous, with a taut plotline and compelling, active characters. Any genres welcome. Open to international subs. Deadline: April 30, 2016.
Effervescent Magazine invites submissions for Issue 1. Theme: Juvenescence — “works that illustrate youth, that brim with the ephemeral magic of discovery, of new experiences.” Open to prose, poetry, and random creative thoughts. Deadline: March 25, 2016.
Entries are invited for the Fabula Press Nivalis Short Story Contest 2016. First prize: US$250. All long-listed entries (top 10-15) published in an anthology; non-prize winning published entries paid US$50 each. Theme: None. Genre: Open to literary fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense, and horror. Length: 1500-7000 words. Entry fee: US$10. Deadline: March 31, 2016.
Femmeuary! (UK) is seeking submissions of short fiction, poetry and opinion pieces on the loose theme of feminism. Length: 3000 words max or six poems. Deadline: February 1, 2016.
Quarterly litmag Halcyon Days is accepting for stories, poems, and articles. Looking for peaceful and “keep calm” themes. Deadline: March 10, 2016.
Silent Nights. Edited by Martin Edwards. 2015. Poisoned Pen Press. 298 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Love mystery and detective stories? Love British mystery and detective stories? Treat yourself to this collection of SHORT STORIES edited by Martin Edwards. Each mystery is set during the holidays. So many authors are included in this collection, you're almost sure to find your favorite author. But what I loved even more than finding "favorite authors" was finding new-to-me authors. Edwards introduces each story by providing readers with a little information about the author and the story included. Some of these stories are rare and almost forgotten. All are "vintage" or "classic" stories. I think the most recent being from the 1940s.
The book includes:
- The Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Parlour Tricks by Ralph Plummer
- A Happy Solution by Raymund Allen
- The Flying Stars by G.K. Chesterton
- Stuffing by Edgar Wallace
- The Unknown Murderer by H.C. Bailey
- The Absconding Treasurer by J. Jefferson Farjeon
- The Necklace of Pearls by Dorothy L. Sayers
- The Case Is Altered by Margery Allingham
- Waxworks by Ethel Lina White
- Cambric Tea by Marjorie Bowen
- The Chinese Apple by Joseph Shearing
- A Problem in White by Nicholas Black
- The Name on the Window by Edmund Crispin
- Beef for Christmas by Leo Bruce
Probably my favorite short story was Waxworks by Ethel Lina White. I also enjoyed Cambric Tea by Marjorie Bowen.
Short stories aren't my favorite thing to read. But I do love a good mystery. I thought this one was worth reading because it introduced me to some new-to-me authors. And it talked about what else they'd written--including novels. The book gives readers a taste of various authors and their detectives.
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
Pithead Chapel is a monthly online journal of short fiction and nonfiction. Currently seeking “gutsy narratives” up to 4,000 words. Particularly interested in essays (personal, memoir, lyric, travel, experimental, etc.). Deadline: Rolling.
Exile Publishing seeks stories about climate change for The Goethe Glass: An Anthology of Fiction about Climate Change (Canada). Topic: climate change and its consequences. Open to literary fiction, speculative fiction, science fiction, etc. Length: 2000-7000 words. Stories previously published in a magazine or journal OK. Payment: $0.05/word and contributor’s copy. Deadline: February 15, 2016.
Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal (US) is accepting writing for Issue 1.2 (Spring 2016). Open to flash fiction (250-1000 words), short fiction (1001-5000 words) and poetry. Theme: Winged things (angels, owls, dragons, butterflies, ravens, mosquitoes, faeries, fireflies, pterodactyls, phoenixes, flying monkeys). Aesthetic is “strange and beautiful.” Likes quirky or dark literary fiction, magical realism or realism edged with myth and folklore, light sci-fi and fantasy, and weird tales.
The Word Hoard (Canada) seeks subs for its next issue. Accepts poetry, fiction, non-fiction, academic essays, interviews, and other publishable works. Theme: “Scum and Villainy.” Advice for writers: Characterizations of “scum” or “villainy” interest the editors far more than literary characters as “scum” or “villains.” Prose submissions: 3000-5000 words. Deadline: January 15, 2016.
Tethered By Letters invites entries for the F(r)iction Winter Writing Contests. Three categories: short story (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre), flash fiction (up to 750 words), and poetry (max of three pages per poem). Encourages work that takes risks in theme, content, or aesthetic. Their motto: Publish Weird. Winners published in F(r)iction, (trianually-printed). All finalists will receive free professional editing on their submission and will be considered for later publication. Prizes of US$1000 – short story, US$300 – flash fiction, US$300 (USD) – poetry. Entry fees: $10-18. Deadline: March 31, 2016. Guidelines.
Litro Magazine (UK) is seeking submissions for its March 2016 print issue. Theme: Britishness. “How do you define Britishness in 2016? Is it a passport? An accent? Or is Britishness – like beauty – solely in the eye of the beholder?” Accepts short fiction, flash/micro fiction. and nonfiction. No poetry. Deadline: January 25, 2016.
Ploughshares literary journal (Emerson College, Boston) is open to submissions of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Length: 6000 words. Deadline: January 15, 2016. $3 submission fee.
Biannual British-based illustrated literary magazine, Popshot, welcomes short fiction and poetry submissions for its fifteenth issue. Theme: ‘Adventure’. Deadline: January 20, 2016.
Submissions are open for the DISQUIET Prize for writing in any genre. Winners will be published in Guernica (fiction), Ninth Letter (non-fiction) or The Collagist (poetry). Grand prize: full scholarship, accommodations, and travel stipend to attend the sixth annual DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon (July 3-15, 2016). Runners-up and other outstanding entrants will also be considered for financial aid. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: January 30, 2016.
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The Freshwater Review (US), an annual journal of literature and art, is accepting submissions. $250 each awarded to best poem and prose piece. No entry fee. Deadline: February 15, 2016.