Submission Opportunities (3)

I haven’t posted one of these in over a year and will try to be better about that. Some interesting theme issues with deadlines coming up soon, and one contest of note:

  • Tin House has three themed issues coming up, two with April 1 deadlines: ‘The Ecstatic’ will be their Fall 2011 issue, and ‘Beauty’ their Winter 2011 issue; and for their Spring 2012 issue (deadline Oct 1), ‘Weird Science’–click the link for more details.
  • Make, a very interesting magazine out of Chicago, has a ‘Neither/Nor’ theme (the website doesn’t expand on this, so just go ahead and have fun with it), deadline April 15.
  • Ecotone (a relatively new journal getting a lot of notice) has a ‘Happiness’ theme issue, deadline April 15.
  • Also with a deadline of April 15, Harpur Palate has a theme called ‘Underground.’
  • And, finally, a contest I didn’t see listed in Poets & Writers (usually the best way to stay on top of contests). BOMB is a terrific magazine built around interviews between artists from different fields. Their literary supplement, First Proof, publishes consistently challenging stuff–tending toward the experimental, but still accessible. They’re running a fiction contest judged by Rivka Galchen (Atmospheric Disturbances), deadline April 16.
Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Submission Opportunities (2)

First, a couple of promising-looking new journals gleaned from the latest Duotrope Weekly Wire (a free weekly newsletter on literary markets offered by the site Duotrope: an excellent resource–contribute a little if you can–though their info on simultaneous submissions is unreliable, so always confirm at the journal’s own site): Moon Milk Review (magical realism); Nashville Review (which pays).

And from Duotrope and other sources, a number of upcoming theme issues: The First Line (“Working for God is never easy” / deadline Feb 1–sorry for the late heads up on this one; other themes listed as well); subTerrain (“Signs” / Feb 15); Tin House (“Class in America” / May 1); Confrontation (“Transformation” / June 15); Other Voices Books (anthology, Men in Bed: Women Writers on the Male Sexual Experience / no deadline listed).

And finally, New Pages, a great resource which boasts listings for everything from literary magazines to contests to MFA programs, has a new Call for Submissions page, updated weekly.

Submission Opportunities (1)

First in a series, I’m sure…

I am always on the lookout for upcoming theme issues–literary journals and anthologies–and encourage other writers to do so as well. First, there’s the chance that something you’ve already written is a perfect fit. My story “Call It Beautiful” is a good case in point. An earlier draft had been rejected by a number of journals. When I rewrote it for the New Short Fiction Series, I knew I’d nailed the story. I sent the new draft out to a dozen or so places, but I almost stopped with the journal at the top of my list, New Madrid, and that’s where it was accepted. I just had a gut sense that the theme issue they were putting together, ‘Intelligent Design,’ was a perfect fit.

The other way to look at theme issues is as a writing prompt. My most recently published story, “Fred,” was initially written for the online journal The First Line–where each issue is built around, yes, a given first line. In this case it was something like, Sometimes they give you the wrong name–and I thought, yeah, I can roll with that. Though they didn’t accept my story, I kept fiddling with it, and it was later accepted by a themed anthology (theme: the gift that keeps on giving). Which was in turn canceled–but the story was finally accepted, a second time, by River Oak Review, and there it happily resides.

Where does one get wind of these theme issues? Two places, mainly. The first is Duotrope’s Digest, an indispensable website that provides a searchable database; an online submissions tracker (some friends swear by it–I’m old-school and prefer pen & paper); and a weekly update of upcoming submissions opportunities (click on ‘Newsletter’ at the top). If you’re serious about getting your work out there, Duotrope and their newsletter are indispensable. A caveat: the information on their listings about simultaneous submissions is often incorrect [note to Duotrope: please get this right–it’s important], so confirm at the journal’s website. But it’s an invaluable service offered for free. But of course nothing is really for free: so if you use the service, drop them a modest contribution once or twice a year.

The other place: Poets & Writers. (Non-poets, don’t be scared away by the ‘P’ word.) Again, for the serious writer, a subscription is mandatory. Some things, but not everything, available on the website. Of particular interest is, not only the contest deadlines at the end of each issue, but the harder-to-read-but-essential Classifieds that follow.

Finally, for the truly committed, additional information (as well as consolation and community) can be found at the discussion boards of Zoetrope Virtual Studio and the Poets & Writers ‘Speakeasy.’

So, after all that, here’s what’s coming up in the dog days of August:

  • five by five, a new literary journal with a great name (in radio, the term is used to designate a signal of excellent strength and clarity), declares “return” their theme for Issue # 3 (deadline Aug 25)
  • Six Little Things (already into Issue #15), each issue presents six little (under 250 word) pieces loosely wound around a central theme; due Aug 30: “The Unannounced Guest”
  • As mentioned in a previous post, the projected W.W.Norton anthology of “hint” fiction (less than 25 words): open all of August
  • Gulf Coast presents their 2nd Annual Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose (prose poem, short story, micro-essay–whatever, under 500 words); Aug 31
  • On the Premises (get it?) has a… premise each issue. Coming up: “The Plan.” One or more characters has a plan. Which of course goes horribly wrong. Deadline: Sept 30

As a long-time writing instructor says: Get in the game. Drop a line and share what you’ve done.

Short Story News (3)

  • For a lover of short stories, what better heaven than someone who deigns a single short story worthy of a review? Five Star Literary Stories has been doing this for a while: they invite an editor of a literary journal to submit a story from their archives, recent or not, and introduce it; Five Star assigns an editor, who reviews it; a link to the full story is included. The reader is introduced, quite possibly, to a new story, a new writer, a new journal, and a new reviewer–all in a few quick keystrokes.
  • Then my friend Sage Marsters (write that name down–her Pushcart Prize is just the beginning) tells me her story A Psychic, A Seizure, A Chair (how’s that for a title?) has been reviewed at The Delicate Rhino–which aims to, among other things, “record the experience of reading that story which got into your muscles.”
  • Cliff Garstang offers many things at his Perpetual Folly blog: including capsule reviews of every short story published by the New Yorker. (Cliff has his own collection, In An Uncharted Country, coming out soon on Press 53.)
  • I’ve been making a point of plugging the commitment of indies Dzanc and Press 53 to the short story–but let’s give it up as well to Harper Perennial and Fifty-Two Stories, their story-a-week site featuring selections from upcoming collections from current writers like Alex Burnett and Dennis Cooper–and rediscovered collections from Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Crane, Cather and Melville.
  • Electric Literature is a new player on the litmag scene–making a big splash with a debut edition featuring Michael Cunningham, Jim Shephard and Lydia Millet; and a serious commitment to paying writers real money. Check them out. And by taking them up on their variously affordable options (paperback, Kindle, ebook and Iphone), prove them correct on their gamble of paying good writers good money for good stories. (Thanks to Book Fox for first bringing my attention to this new venture.)
  • Perfect for summer-shortened attention spans: the August submission period for WW Norton’s projected 2010 anthology of “hint” fiction. Yes, there’s sudden fiction, quick fiction, flash fiction–and now hint fiction: stories of 25 words or less that tell a complete story, yet hint at a larger one.
  • A reminder… LA’s live introduction to the best of new West Coast short fiction: the New Short Fiction Series, which this Friday features the stories of Jill Glass.
  • Each month, The Short Review presents a new set of reviews devoted exclusively to short story collections–which this month includes my review of the anthology Visiting Hours.
  • Finally, don’t forget a number of worthy short-story blogs: from The Short Review, American Short Fiction, and One Story among others.