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1. Poems New and Collected

One of only 13 women to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (out of 111 total laureates), Polish poet Wisława Szymborska (pronounced vees-WAH-vah shim-BOR-ska) was awarded the world's highest literary honor in 1996. A career-spanning work that features poems from eight separate collections, Poems New and Collected offers some four decades of the poet's finest [...]

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2. Notes on the Aesthetics of New American Stories


Ben Marcus's 2004 anthology The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories is a wonderfully rich collection for a book of its type. I remember first reading it with all the excitement of discovery — even the stories I didn't like seemed somehow invigorating in the way they made me dislike them. I've used the book with a couple of classes I've taught, and I've recommended it to many people.

I was overjoyed, then, when I heard that Marcus was doing a follow up, and I got it as soon as I could: New American Stories. I started reading immediately.

Expectations can kill us. The primary emotion I felt while reading New American Stories was disappointment. It's not that the stories are bad — they aren't — but that the book as a whole felt a bit narrow, a bit repetitive. I skipped around from story to story, dashing in search of surprise, but it was rare. I tried to isolate the source of my disappointment, of my lack of surprise: Was it the subject matter? No, this isn't quite Best American Rich White People. Was it the structure of the stories? Maybe a little bit, generally, as even the handful of structurally adventurous stories here feel perfectly in line with the structurally adventurous stories of 50 years ago, and somewhat tame in comparison to the structurally adventurous stories of 80-100 years ago. But that wasn't really what was bothering me.

And then I realized: It was the style, the rhythm. The paragraphs and, especially, the sentences. It wasn't that each story had the same style as the one I'd just read, but that most (not all) of the stories felt like stylistic family members.

And then I thought: What this book really demonstrates is the deep, abiding, and highly dispersed influence of Gordon Lish. Lish's shadow stretches across the majority of tales in Marcus's book, as it did the previous book, and understandably so: not only is Lish a good candidate for the title of the most influential editor of "literary" short fiction in the US in the second half of the twentieth century ... but Marcus was nurtured by him, with Lish publishing quite a bit of his early work in The Quarterly and then publishing Marcus's first book, The Age of Wire and String. (The title of both the Anchor Book and New American Stories is a bit of a give-away, too: the subtitle of Lish's The Quarterly was "The Magazine of New American Writing".) The effect feels more repetitious in the new book, perhaps because I'm now a decade older and have all those more years of reading short stories behind me (including readings tons for the Best American Fantasy anthologies); but also, I expect, because the new book is more than 200 pages longer, and so the opportunity for repetition is greater.

It's not that either the Anchor Book or New American Stories is an anthology of stuff from the School of Lish (as Sven Birkerts called it back in the '80s). Some of Lish's students are, indeed, in these books — in the new one, I know that Sam Lipsyte, Joy Williams, Christine Schutt, and Deb Olin Unferth all studied and/or were edited by him, and Don DeLillo is a good friend and admirer of him. Plenty of the writers in the book may never have even heard of Gordon Lish. The influence is easily picked up from the writers Lish not only guided or influenced directly, but venerated by publishing them or saying good things about them to the world. Lish didn't just teach people to write in a particular way; he taught them to value particular moves in texts.

The writers in New American Stories are all different in their approaches and backgrounds, certainly, and at least a few of them are writers whose work Lish would not himself value, but there's a bit of an echo between them, the echo of the Lishian sentence (the best analysis of which is probably that of Jason Lucarelli in "The Consecution of Gordon Lish"). These are stories that (overall) value straightforward diction, relatively simple sentence constructions, and conversational tones and syntax. They prefer the concrete and the active. Many are built with odd repetitions and quirky juxtapositions.

You can feel it in the first lines — Lish famously calls first sentences the "attack sentence" and reportedly tells students, "Your attack sentence is a provoking sentence. You follow it with a series of provoking sentences."

Here are some opening sentences from New American Stories (I'll identify the writers later):
1.) Davis called, told me he was dying.
2.) "What you got there, then?"
3.) "Just let me out of here, man," said Cora Booth. "I'm sick. I'm dying."
4.) Four of them were on one side of a dim room.
5.) Like in the old days, I came out of the dry creek behind the house and did my little tap on the kitchen window.
6.) "What are you doing?" a guy asked her.
7.) It was the day before his cousin's funeral and Del ended up at the Suds washing his black jeans at midnight.
8.) Once, for about a month or two, I decided I was going to be a different kind of guy.
9.) "I don't know why I committed us to any of those things," Otto said.
10.) The day I got my period, my mother and father took me to pick my madman.
11.) I know when people will die.
12.) Root canal is one fifty, give or take, depending on who's doing it to you.
The first six of those are the entire first paragraph of the story. All of the sentences are pretty short, with the longest being #5 at 24 words. (And #3 is actually 3 sentences.) The diction is simple, with most of the words being one or two syllables, and none more than three syllables. Four of the openings are direct dialogue, with implied dialogue in others (e.g. #1). All of the openings are about people. The word guy appears more than once.

I chose these openings pretty much randomly by flipping through the book, and I only organized them to put the ones that are a paragraph unto themselves together. The 20 other stories that I have not sampled here would generally seem similar. From those 20 other stories, here are the opening sentences that, to my eyes and ears, seem most different from those above:
A.) Father comes home after many years of forgetting us, of not sending us money, of not loving us, not visiting us, not anything us, and parks in the shack, unable to move, unable to talk properly, unable to anything, vomiting and vomiting, Jesus, just vomiting and defecating on himself, and it smelling like something dead in there, dead and rotting, his body a black, terrible stick; I come in from playing Find bin Laden and he is there.

B.) Though alien to the world's ancient past, young blood runs similar circles.

C.) After they shot the body several times, they cut its throat with a scaling knife; after that, they pinched its nostrils and funneled sulfuric acid into its mouth; while some set to yanking the body's toenails out with a set of pliers, others fashioned a noose from a utility cord they had found in the trunk of their car.
A and C are longer than 1-12 (behold: semi-colons!), and B is not quite about a human being. Interestingly, they're all about bodies, bodily fluid, and, in the case of A and C, pain, death, suffering. A is notable for its lyricism, B for its weirdness, C for having the only 4-syllable word that I've noticed among any of these opening sentences ("utility"). These are, then, the most extreme and radical opening sentences in the book.

Most of the writers of all of these sentences, whether 1-12 or A-C, likely do not know Gordon Lish's commandments for writing attack sentences. But I suspect we see the influence of Lish in two ways here: first, in how Lish has influenced Marcus's taste, since the one thing we can say about all of these stories is that Ben Marcus valued them; second, in how Lish's protégés have gone on themselves to influence the perception of what is "good writing" in the lit world.

Let's look at who the writers are:
1.) Sam Lipsyte
2.) Zadie Smith
3.) Wells Tower
4.) Jesse Ball
5.) George Saunders
6.) Maureen McHugh
7.) Donald Ray Pollock
8.) Kelly Link
9.) Deborah Eisenberg
10.) Lucy Corin
11.) Deb Olin Unferth
12.) Charles Yu
A.) NoViolet Bulawayo
B.) Rachel B. Glaser
C.) Kyle Coma-Thompson
(It's amusing to note that the two writers whose opening sentences include the word "guy" are Maureen McHugh and Kelly Link — writers who admire each other, and Kelly Link's own Small Beer Press published McHugh's [excellent] story collections. There's nothing to say about this coincidence except that Ben Marcus apparently likes opening sentences that include the word guy.)

The only Lish students I know of among those writers are Lipsyte and Unferth. But sentences 1-12 seem to me more similar than different in their approach. To know how much of this is just Marcus's own taste selecting stories that have such sentences and how much is stylistic similarity between the writers generally, we would have to examine collections of each writers' stories and see if they tend to begin their stories in the same way. That work is more than I can do right now, but it would be an interesting research project.

Compared to most of the writers in New American Stories, the writers of A-C have fewer books published by major publishers and fewer awards (though NoViolet Bulawayo won the Caine Prize and her book, from which the story "Shhhh" is taken, has done very well — still, until recently she was not part of the big lit machine), and I think this matters. One of my disappointments with New American Stories is how much it reprints writers who have been published by major publishers and won major prizes. I had had hopes that the book would be more eclectic and surprising than this. For all his attempts at variety, what Marcus has given us overall is a bunch of stories that are valued by the kinds of people who give out major literary awards. And they are good stories — I don't mean anything I say here to reflect badly on any of the individual stories, many of which are extraordinary and all of which are in some way or another interesting. But the range of stories in the book is more narrow than I had hoped for.

Coming back to Lish, what's interesting is how his taste has so defined what I think of as the establishment avant-garde. We should put "avant-garde" in quotes, though, because it's not really out in front, and it's not particularly innovative anymore — indeed, it's the establishment because its structures and rhythms are passed down through writing workshops, editorial decisions, and awards committees. You can see this in the case of somebody like Gary Lutz, a Lishian who may not be well known to the general public, but who has had a significant influence on a lot of contemporary short story writers in the lit world, as well as on creative writing teachers, particularly through his essay/lecture "The Sentence Is a Lonely Place" (which I've myself recommended to some advanced writing students because it demonstrates to an overwhelming degree the depth with which one can think about sentences).

The effect of all this is to create a relatively narrow range for what is recognizable as "quality" in a short story. The familiar replicates itself. What a discourse community can perceive as good and bad, effective and ineffective, quality and kitsch depends very much on what it has previously seen as good, bad, effective, ineffective, quality, kitsch. Sometimes, that can be liberatory — Charles Yu, Maureen McHugh, and Kelly Link might be dismissed as writers of genre fiction if their tone and style was not close enough to that of the other writers in the anthology to sound familiar and thus be recognizable as part of the family of quality. I love that they're part of this book, but to understand why they fit so well in it, we don't have to speculate about the growing acceptance of genre content in the lit world, but simply note the similarity of tone, syntax, and diction to what is also here.

There's a long history to the particular qualities celebrated by Marcus and most of the writers he likes, and it's a history that predates Lish — if these stories feel like they have a lot of family resemblances, then it may be because they are the stylistic grandchildren of Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway. (Or, to make a different comparison, the music they seem to favor is that of chamber concerts and small indie rock bands, not jazz clubs. Indeed, the echoes I couldn't hear at all in these stories are the echoes of jazzier writers like Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin. Maybe I'm tone deaf.)

So perhaps it is best to think of New American Stories as a kind of family portrait, a reunion of the offspring (whether they know it or not) of Grandma Gertrude and Grandpapa Ernie by way of Daddy Gordon (and maybe Mama Amy Hempel), along with a couple of kids who seem to have wandered in from the neighbor's house and who are nice to have around because they liven things up.  New American Stories is a good anthology, well worth reading, full of interesting stuff. It is not, though, a broad representation of what short stories can do or be, and for all its writers' concern with tone, resonance, and rhythm, the songs they play sound more alike than not.

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3. The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature, Edited by Russ Kick | Book Review

Part of the remarkable Graphic Canon Series, The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature brings together a diverse range of contemporary writers and illustrators who give their own take on well-known works from an international selection of children’s literature.

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4. Over the Hills and Far Away: a treasurey of nursery rhymes, collected by Elizabeth Hammill

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5. Interview: Jeff McComsey Talks Going to War with the Latest FUBAR Kickstarter

The FUBAR comic books might not be familiar to the traditional Wednesday Warrior, but they’re a major player in the growing zombie and anthology markets. Even though the one time it strayed from its anthology roots its Kickstarter raised over $95,000, FUBAR is committing to sharing a selection of short stories by a variety of creators. Next up are FUBAR: By The Sword and FUBAR: Declassified, exploring zombies during different periods of wartime. I spoke to the founder of FUBAR Press and major contributor to the series, Jeff McComsey, about crowdfunding the two graphic novels.

Special Ops

Art by Steve Becker.

Congrats on the success of the new Kickstarter! Did the stories collected in this campaign start before or after FUBAR: Mother Russia?

The stories in By The Sword and most of Declassified have been a long time coming. We’ve been publishing quite a few By The Sword stories as issues first, in the two-issue miniseries FUBAR: By the Sword and then in the Guts & Glory one-shot. Mother Russia’s success moved back the Kickstarter for By The Sword just because we needed a little more time to wrap up that campaign.

Sword 1

From FUBAR: By The Sword. Art by Chris Peterson. Story by Shawn Aldridge.

What made special ops and the periods of history covered in By The Sword the logical next projects for FUBAR?

The Special Ops stories are mostly made up of stuff Steve [Becker] and I wanted to draw and we just kind of came up with a reason afterwards. By The Sword was a natural extension of our American history volume. Plus we wanted to draw some swords and shields [laughs].

Ops 1

From FUBAR: Special Ops. Art by Steve Becker. Story by Jeff McComsey.

You’ve covered so much of world history at this point. What’s left to explore next?

We’ve got a whole music-themed issue that has already been unlocked as a stretch goal for the current campaign. After that, who knows!

7ca705e3eb00d9b243b0761ea2f62cdf-fubar-mother-russia

FUBAR: Mother Russia. Art by Steve Becker.

All the FUBAR campaigns have done well, but what do you think made the Mother Russia Kickstarter in particular such a huge success?

Well, I think the standalone story nature versus the anthology is one aspect. Another would be I think it’s a neat story that we were able to convey with the little info you can when doing a Kickstarter. Kickstarter was also kind enough to feature us in one of their “Projects We Love” email blast and that really set the campaign off.

I wrote a piece awhile back about how Kickstarter was making anthologies possible again, but the standalone long form nature definitely seemed to have been a positive factor for Mother Russia. Has it made you consider doing more graphic novels?

I always have one or two ideas for OGNs going at all times. I have a few projects I’ll be finishing up until summer but after that, if something crazy doesn’t come up, I’ll be working on one of those OGN ideas.

il_570xN.492053729_8ppi

American Terror by Jeff McComsey.

FUBAR-related or no?

Well, Mother Russia 2 is one of them. I have a pretty fleshed out idea about where things go after the first volume. American Terror is another option. I also have a hankering to do a bio comic.

Would you use Kickstarter for all of those?

Most definitely. I plan to Kickstart projects until people stop backing them.

Ops 2

From FUBAR: Special Ops. Art by Steve Becker. Story by Jeff McComsey.

How do you think your career would be different without Kickstarter?

It’s hard to say, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to get nearly as many books on the shelf.

Alterna

Alterna Comics.

What makes Alterna Comics a good partner for FUBAR?

Alterna has a great business model for small press creators that are willing to help push their work. Alterna gets us into shops, book stores, ComiXology. It’s up to us to then get people to pick up those books and enjoy them.

At this point, after some really impressive Kickstarters, how much would you say FUBAR is a business and how much of it is a hobby for you and other contributors?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me it’s a business. Publishing, Kickstarters and all the other ephemera that pops up is itself a full-time job. Then I still have to get freelance work done. It can be tough. My love/need of drawing comics is only seconded by my love/need to publish/make comics.

Sword 3

From FUBAR: By The Sword. Art by Chris Peterson. Story by Shawn Aldridge.

Check out the latest FUBAR Kickstarter, which ends Sunday night. Follow Jeff at his website and on Twitter.

0 Comments on Interview: Jeff McComsey Talks Going to War with the Latest FUBAR Kickstarter as of 3/17/2015 5:16:00 PM
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6. Discontent and Its Civilizations

In this expansive book of essays, the author of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia takes us deep into his world spanning New York, London, and Pakistan. Hamid explores the intersection of life, art, and politics in an age of increasing globalization, making for a unique, thought-provoking collection. Books mentioned in this post [...]

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7. Call for Essays for Anthologies: In Fact Books

In Fact Books is seeking new essays for two upcoming book anthologies--tentatively titled, Beyond "Crazy": True Stories of Surviving Mental Illness and Becoming a Teacher.

Beyond Crazy: 
Every year, one in four American adults will endure the trials of a diagnosable mental health disorder. But although many Americans have experienced a mental illness, either firsthand or through a family member, friend, or colleague, the stigma surrounding mental illness remains. We believe that the most important tool we have for defusing the power of this stigma is sharing true stories and revealing the real people beneath labels.

In Fact Books seeks original stories for an upcoming anthology tentatively titled BEYOND "CRAZY": TRUE STORIES OF SURVIVING MENTAL ILLNESS. Stories should combine a strong and compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element, reaching beyond a strictly personal experience for some universal or deeper meaning. 

We’re looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice; writing should be evocative, vivid, and dramatic. All essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate. Everything we publish goes through a rigorous fact-checking process; editors may ask for sources and citations. Authors of accepted essays will be awarded a modest honorarium upon publication.


Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,500 words. Multiple entries are welcome, as are entries from outside the United States.
See submission guidelines are available at our website
Deadline: February 9, 2015

********
 

Becoming A Teacher:
For a new anthology, In Fact Books is seeking true stories exploring and reflecting on the process of becoming a teacher. 


Education is a hotly-contested subject, but too often the voices of teachers themselves are left out of the discussion. This fall, approximately 3.5 million full-time teachers headed into classrooms in the United States. What motivates them to enter, and to stay in, this demanding profession, and how are their daily lives affected by ongoing changes in the education system? "Becoming a Teacher" will present readers with the world of education from the perspective of elementary and secondary school teachers, recalling and reflecting on the most salient moments of their careers. 


We're looking for stories that, collectively, represent a wide variety of teachers and teaching experiences--in public or private or religious or charter schools, in cities or suburbs or rural areas, with typically-developing students or those with special needs, at home or internationally. Stories should combine a strong and compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element, reaching beyond a strictly personal experience for some universal or deeper meaning.


We're looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice; writing should be evocative, vivid, and dramatic. All essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate. Everything we publish goes through a rigorous fact-checking process; editors may ask for sources and citations. 


Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,500 words. Multiple submissions are welcome, as are entries from outside the United States.


See submission guidelines are available at our website.
Deadline: March 9, 2015

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8. Loitering

Loitering, Charles D'Ambrosio's new collection of essays, feels like a confession — a secret you aren't supposed to share but are unable to keep to yourself. He writes with such an urgent immediacy that the words seem to vibrate, unable to be contained by page or cover. Books mentioned in this post Loitering: New and [...]

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9. Call for Historical Crime and Mystery Fiction Submissions for Anthology: Darkhouse Books

Darkhouse Books seeks stories for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction. For the purpose of this anthology we are defining historical fiction as, those works set more than a few decades prior to the present and written by someone without direct experience in the setting and events of the story. But should a truly superb story happen to stray from the above strictures and cross our threshold, we would happily consider it.

The submission period is now open and will remain open through 11:59pm (PST), December 31st, 2014.


We are seeking stories in the 2500 to 7500 word range, though if it’s knockout material, we’ll consider any length.

 
The anthology will contain between twelve and twenty stories, depending on the overall length. Authors will share equally fifty percent of royalties received.

 
We accept MS Word .doc and .docx files. Submissions must be in standard manuscript format. Previously published work will be considered, provided the author has the power to grant us the right to publish in ebook, audio, and print versions, and that it has not been available elsewhere more recently than January 1st, 2014.


Submissions may be sent to:

submissionsATdarkhousebooksDOTcom Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Please leave “Submission-“ in the subject line and add the name of your story.


Now available "The Anthology of Cozy-Noir"!

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10. Call for Submissions of Experimental Writing: Best American Experimental Writing 2015

Best American Experimental Writing 2015, to be published by Wesleyan University Press next fall, is now accepting unsolicited submissions. Fully 20% of the 2015 anthology will comprise unsolicited works selected blind by the series co-editors, Jesse Damiani and Seth Abramson, and this year's guest editor, Douglas Kearney. 

Interested poets and writers can read the guidelines and access Wesleyan's Submittable page here

The deadline for submissions is November 1st. We look forward to reading your work!

Jesse Damiani
Seth Abramson
Series Co-Editors, Best American Experimental Writing


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11. Call for Submissions to Anthology: My Brush with Death

Deadline--January 31, 2015
 
Rain Drop Press, is reading for its first anthology, Life is a Journey. . . not a destination: Topic: My Brush with Death. Rain Drop Press  strives to share stories of those who survived a harrowing experience and are willing to leave their story as a legacy of their emotional journey.
 
My Brush with Death stories are inspirational, true stories about ordinary people facing extraordinary experiences; stories that will open the heart and rekindle the spirit. They are personal and filled with emotion and drama. For some who have had a personal brush with death, reading this anthology will be a moment of reflection and realization of their own mortality. For others, it will be a realization of how fragile life can be.
 
Read the complete guidelines here.
No Entry Fee

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12. Call for Submissions of Historical Crime and Mystery Fiction for Anthology: Darkhouse Books


Submissions remain open for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction

Darkhouse Books seeks stories for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction. For the purpose of this anthology we are defining historical fiction as, those works set more than a few decades prior to the present and written by someone without direct experience in the setting and events of the story. But should a truly superb story happen to stray from the above strictures and cross our threshold, we would happily consider it.

The submission period is now open and will remain open through 11:59pm (PST), December 31st, 2014.

We are seeking stories in the 2500 to 7500 word range, though if it’s knockout material, we’ll consider any length.

The anthology will contain between twelve and twenty stories, depending on the overall length. Authors will share equally fifty percent of royalties received.

We accept MS Word .doc and .docx files. Submissions must be in standard manuscript format. Links to formatting guides are available here.

Previously published work will be considered, provided the author has the power to grant us the right to publish in ebook, audio, and print versions, and that it has not been available elsewhere more recently than January 1st, 2014.

Submissions may be sent to:

submissionsATdarkhousebooksDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Please leave “Submission-“ in the subject line and add the name of your story.

Andrew MacRae
Darkhouse Books
www.darkhousebooks.com
Now available "The Anthology of Cozy-Noir"!

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13. Call for Essays on Becoming a Teacher: In Fact Books

Becoming a Teacher 

Deadline: March 9, 2015 


For a new anthology, In Fact Books is seeking true stories exploring and reflecting on the process of becoming a teacher. 

Education is a hotly-contested subject, but too often the voices of teachers themselves are left out of the discussion. This fall, approximately 3.5 million full-time teachers headed into classrooms in the United States. What motivates them to enter, and to stay in, this demanding profession, and how are their daily lives affected by ongoing changes in the education system? "Becoming a Teacher" will present readers with the world of education from the perspective of elementary and secondary school teachers, recalling and reflecting on the most salient moments of their careers.


We're looking for stories that, collectively, represent a wide variety of teachers and teaching experiences--in public or private or religious or charter schools, in cities or suburbs or rural areas, with typically-developing students or those with special needs, at home or internationally. Stories should combine a strong and compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element, reaching beyond a strictly personal experience for some universal or deeper meaning. 


We're looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice; writing should be evocative, vivid, and dramatic. All essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate. Everything we publish goes through a rigorous fact-checking process; editors may ask for sources and citations.


Guidelines: Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 4,500 words. Multiple submissions are welcome, as are entries from outside the United States.


You may submit essays online or by regular mail:


By regular mail


Postmark deadline March 9, 2015
Please send your manuscript; a cover letter with complete contact information, including the title of the essay and word count; and an SASE or email address for response to: 


In Fact Books
c/o Creative Nonfiction Foundation
Attn: Becoming a Teacher
5501 Walnut Street, Suite 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15232


Online
Deadline to upload files: 11:59 pm EST March 9, 2015
To submit online, go here.

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14. Call for Flash Fiction: "Baby Shoes" Anthology

Thank you for wanting to be a part of the “Baby Shoes” anthology. We’re excited about this and hope you will be too.

Top – Level Concept

There aren’t enough flash fiction anthologies in the world, and those that are tend to focus on a specific genre. We want a little bit of everything, from a little bit of everybody.

For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Used. Will feature 100 pieces of flash fiction from 100 different authors. All genres are open. No holds barred in terms of content or language (within reason – you’ll get rejected for child porn or needless hate speech, for example).

We’re funding the project via Kickstarter to make sure we can hire top editors, get awesome cover art and pay all of our contributors.

What we want from you

#1: A piece of awesome fiction less than 1,000 words long. We want it by the 5th of December sent as a .doc file you’ve already spellchecked and gone over for typos.

#2: Your help making the Kickstarter campaign go viral. You don’t have to contribute, but if each contributor gets two friends to back the book we’ll be well over our goals.

#3: Your help promoting the anthology once it’s released. You’ll probably do this anyway since you’ll be jazzed about being in print, but we’ll help you do it well.

What you get from us:

#1: You get paid up front, assuming the Kickstarter succeeds.
Authors already professionally published get to choose between (a) $10 and an electronic contributor’s copy and (b) $5 and a print contributor’s copy.
Authors for whom this will be the first professional publication choose between (a) $5 and an electronic contributor’s copy and (b) a print contributor’s copy.

You’ll see some mention of other arrangements for our “anchor” authors – rock stars like Joe R. Lansdale, Larry Brooks and Linda Needham who have graciously agreed to be involved. Don’t let that hurt your feelings. You and I aren’t at that level…yet.

#2: You receive some royalties.
Half of the profits from the anthology go to the publisher. Half of the remainder goes to the anchor authors. The remaining quarter gets split between the other contributors.
Fair warning: There are 100 authors involved and we don’t expect to sell millions of copies. Your cut of the profits will not amount to a whole lot more than bragging rights and a few bucks in your PayPal account. Don’t buy a new car on credit just because you got into the anthology, okay?

That’s the basics. We plan to launch the Kickstarter in early November and receive the submissions in late November/early December. If all goes well, we’ll print in time for Christmas.

If you’re as excited as we are about this, just shoot me a line at:

brickcommajasonATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

and we’ll get you started.
 

Jason Brick, editor

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15. Call for Submissions: Literature for a Cause Anthology

Literature for a Cause anthology

The Literature for a Cause program at the Miami University regional campuses is seeking submissions of provocative literary fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and art work for a chapbook anthology focusing on perspectives on mental illness. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to local nonprofits in the mental health field.

With this anthology, the editors hope to inspire discussion and education in the classroom and among broader audiences about mental illness and its related issues. Specifically, the editors seek compelling creative work that addresses mental illness from a variety of perspectives, including patients, doctors and other professionals, and friends, family, or other witnesses. They are especially interested in work that moves beyond self-expression or the purely inspirational, and that can foster meaningful dialogue by exploring mental illness and related issues from unique or underrepresented angles. Questions driving the creative might include how mental illness is conceptualized and understood, and its impact on ways of thinking, speaking, and interacting in everyday life.

Please submit a cover letter and work in ONE of the following categories:


--Poetry: 3-5 poems, traditional or untraditional, any length, (though shorter is better).
--Art: 3-5 pieces of two-dimensional art, black and white preferred but not required.
--Fiction: one story, double-spaced, 12 point font, 4,000 words maximum.
--Creative nonfiction: one essay, double-spaced, 12 point font, 4,000 word maximum. 


The editors prefer unpublished work, but will accept previously published work provided the author owns the rights to the work. Please notify the editors where each piece was originally published in your cover letter.

Email written submissions in a single .doc, .docx, or .rtf attachment, and visual submissions as separate .jpg or .png attachments to:


melbyeeATmiamiohDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

To avoid having your work automatically deleted by an email spam filter, write “L4AC” followed by your last name in the subject line. Deadline for submissions is March 6, 2015.

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16. Call for Poetry Submissions to Anthology Dedicated to Nelson Mandela: Cherry Castle Publishing

CHERRY CASTLE PUBLISHING SEEKS POETRY AND ESSAY SUBMISSIONS FOR SONGS FOR A PASSBOOK TORCH: HANDS UP, AN ANTHOLOGY DEDICATED TO NELSON MANDELA AND THE EXPLORATION OF SIMILARITIES BETWEEN POLICE BRUTALITY UNDER APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA AND POLICE BRUTALITY UNDER APARTHEID IN AMERICA. 

SCHEDULED FOR PUBLICATION IN JUNE OF 2015. 

Songs for a Passbook Torch: Hands UP, edited by Truth Thomas and Melanie Henderson, will explore and celebrate the life of the late anti-Apartheid freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela and more... 

Submit up to five previously unpublished poems to:

songsforapassbooktorchATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

All work submitted should have some relationship to Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, the Mandela family, and/or the past and present fight for racial justice in South Africa. In light of the ongoing lynchings of people of color in the United States, we are broadening the scope of this call. We are also calling for poetry and essays (3,000 word limit) that address the similarities between the systematic murder of black people by police in South Africa, and the pathological murder of black people by police in America. 

Payment will be in the form of one contributor's copy. Please direct questions to:

editorATcherrycastlepublishingDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . ) 

The submission period for this anthology is currently open ended. Decisions for inclusion in the anthology will be made on a rolling basis.  

Cherry Castle Publishing
where words grow mighty trees

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17. Call for Poetry Submissions to Anthology: Accents Publishing

CFS: Wild Women Poetry Anthology
DEADLINE: APRIL 1, 2015 

Accents Publishing seeks submissions for Circe’s Lament: An Anthology of Wild Women. Edited by Bianca Spriggs and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, we welcome poems by authors of all genders about goddesses, gun-slingers, shape-shifters, blues-singers, oracles, and scandalous divorcees, or any wild woman you know, including yourself. 

Email 1-3 poems to: 

circeslamentATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

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18. Call for Submissions for Anthology on Fracking: Ice Cube Press


Ice Cube Press is inviting submissions for Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America. We are looking for new prose and poetry that speaks to the complexity of fracking, conveys a sense of place, and includes personal experience. 

No fee to submit. Deadline June 1. Visit the publisher's website for guidelines:.
 
 

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19. Call for Submissions to Anthology: Destination: Mystery!

Call for Submissions - Destination: Mystery!
An Anthology of Destination Mysteries

Darkhouse Books is seeking stories for “Destination: Mystery”. A collection of mystery and crime stories set in locations popular for vacations.

We are looking for stories residing on the cozy side and that highlight the attraction and appeal of the setting – though please, no puff-pieces. We prefer stories with locations where average people vacation, including sandy resorts along Lake Michigan, log cabin lodges in the Adirondacks, quaint, coastal towns on any coast, and legions of other places forever enshrined in generations of family photo albums. Since we want the locations to be recognizable, stories should not be set prior to mid-twentieth century.

The submission period is now open and will remain open through 11:59pm (PST), March 31st, 2015. 


We are seeking stories in the 2500 to 7500 word range, though if it’s truly knockout material, we’ll consider any length.

The anthology will contain between twelve and twenty stories, depending on the overall length. Authors will share equally fifty percent of royalties received.

We accept MS Word .doc and .docx files. Submissions must be in standard manuscript format.

Previously published work will be considered, provided the author has the power to grant us the right to publish in ebook, audio, and print versions, and that it has not been available elsewhere more recently than January 1st, 2014.

Submissions may be sent to:


submissionsATdarkhousebooksDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Please leave “Submission-Destination-“ in the subject line and add the name of your story.

Andrew MacRae
Darkhouse Books
 

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20. Writing Competition: The Winter Anthology Writing Contest

THE WINTER ANTHOLOGY WRITING CONTEST
Final judge: Srikanth Reddy 

Entry fee: $10

 
Deadline: January 31

 
Please send up to 50 pages in any genre (a book or book-length manuscript somewhat over 50 pages is acceptable). Send writings of which you are the sole author and that were not written earlier than 1999. Published and unpublished writings are equally welcome. Two or three poems or a single story or essay are as welcome as entire books. 


To get a sense of our aesthetics, see our previous volumes. All work will be read by the editors, with finalists judged by Srikanth Reddy. Multiple entries are welcome, as are entries including a mix of genres. We accept entries until January 31st. The final decision will be announced here in late winter 2015. In the event that none of the entries meets our standards, no winner will be declared. 

The winner will be published in Volume 5 of The Winter Anthology and receive a $1000 honorarium. Finalists will also be considered for publication.
To enter electronically, use our Submittable page.

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21. Call for Submissions: Anthology of Poetry, Short Prose Responding to Baga, Boko Haram Attacks

Call for Submissions: Anthology of Poetry, Short Prose Responding to Baga, Boko Haram Attacks

You've written poems for Ferguson, Gaza, Hong Kong, Palestine, and, most recently, Paris. Now is the time to write for Baga (the town where Boko Haram massacred 2000 people on the Nigerian-Chadian border).

Nigerian poet Damilola Michael Aderibigbe is editing an anthology of poetry and short prose responding to Baga and the atrocities committed by Boko Haram. This anthology will be published by Unbound Content, an independent publishing house founded by Annmarie Lockhart and based in Englewood, New Jersey.

Send 5 poems or 1 piece of short prose, in plain text, to Damilola Michael Aderibigbe at:

dammyg1989ATliveDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . ) 

Deadline: February 27, 2015

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22. Writing Competition for Anthology: Stories of Resilience

Family Shelter Service Writing Contest: "Stories of Resilience"

Wheaton, IL -- Family Shelter Service recently published a new book entitled Hope Grows Here, a compilation of stories and artwork by survivors of domestic abuse, available online through Amazon and CreateSpace.

In recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the greater community is invited to add their voices to this exploration through the "Stories of Resilience" contest. Submissions are being sought that reflect the broad impact of abuse — through stories, personal essays or poems. Submissions will be considered for Volume II of Hope Grows Here.

Bestselling author Adriana Trigiani, whose best-known books include The Shoemaker's Wife and Big Stone Gap, will judge the contest submissions.

The "Stories of Resilience" contest will offer a first prize of $500 and two second prizes of $100. Entries will be accepted through October 20th, 2014 and winners will be announced at an event on November 6th, 2014. For submissions and contest details, please visit our website.

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23. The Rude Burl of Our Masks

One day when I was 12 years old and setting off on my newspaper route after school my mom said will you stop at the doctor's and pick up something for me and I grimaced and said something almost rude but not all the way rude and off I went on my bicycle. In autumn [...]

0 Comments on The Rude Burl of Our Masks as of 9/30/2014 4:33:00 PM
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24. Call for Political Poetry for Anthology: Sundress Publications

Sundress Publications Seeking Political Poetry for Anthology 

In September 2014, NPR writer and critic Juan Vidal wrote an essay whose titular question, “Where Have All the Poets Gone?” provided a platform for various musings regarding the political state of contemporary American poetics. According to Vidal, “For centuries, poets were the mouthpieces railing loudly against injustice. They gave voice to the hardships and evils facing people everywhere... What has happened?” He further suggested that poets writing today have failed to create work that carries the same “weight” as the poems written by their literary forefathers.  

Should American poets still be trying to write "Howl"? Are Neruda, Kerouac, Baraka, and the rest of the Beat Generation the only viable prototypes for political literary expression in American culture? How does the influx of identities, voices, and life experiences that are now expressed in mainstream American letters potentially create and communicate new political vision(s) -- vision that may sound or appear different from Ginsberg's poetic/political tour de force, but is no less necessary, compelling, challenging, or iconoclastic? What do we even mean when we talk about the weight of a political work? How is that weight both carried and expressed by poetry today?  

To address these questions, Sundress Publications is now accepting poetry submissions for a new anthology on the politics of identity, to showcase the substantial amount of political writing that is being done today. This print anthology, edited by Fox Frazier-Foley and Erin Elizabeth Smith, will include multimedia features: we are open to submissions in audio/visual media (e.g., video files of ASL poetry, audio files of spoken word poetry, etc).  

This anthology is looking for submissions that contemplate ideas about race, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, educational background, different life experiences, etc. and how our identities shape and complicate how we see ourselves in the world.  

To submit, please send 3-5 poems and a bio (no longer than 75 words) to:

anthologyATsundresspublicationsDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Previously published work will be considered. If you send previously published work, please note where it first appeared.  

Submissions for this project are rolling.
Deadline: December 31, 2014, at 12:00 midnight PST.

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25. Call for Poems about Food and Eating: Richer Resources

Richer Resources, based in Arlington, VA, seeks poems about food and eating for an anthology to be published in 2015. Send up to 3 original poems. Simultaneous and previously published OK. Include full contact info and a brief bio in the body of an email to:

poetryeditorATRicherResourcesPublicationsDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Attach poems in Word or Rich Text. Replies in 2 months. Contributors receive one copy. Deadline: Nov. 1. Sally Zakariya, poetry editor.

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