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Current Issue

THE PRACTICING WRITER

Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 13, Number 7: August 2016
Editor: Erika Dreifus
Copyright (c) 2016 Erika Dreifus

http://www.erikadreifus.com

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IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Editor’s Note: What’s New
2. Article/Lessons Learned
3. Featured Resource
4. Upcoming/Ongoing Contests, Competitions, and Other Opportunities (NO ENTRY/APPLICATION FEES)
5. Submission Alerts!!! (NO READING FEES)
6. Blog Notes
7. Newsletter Matters
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1. EDITOR’S NOTE: WHAT’S NEW
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Greetings, practicing writers:

In many ways, I’ve been finding it to be a challenging summer — weather-wise, and, too often, news-wise. And I’ve been finding that it is helpful to have work and routine to help keep me steady. So thank you in advance for reading this newsletter, which provides me with a consistent sense of purpose and service to the larger writing community.

Here’s hoping that the rest of the summer will be productive — and peaceful — for us all.

Best,
Erika

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2. ARTICLE/LESSONS LEARNED: A FEW PLACES THAT PUBLISH “CURRENT EVENTS” POETRY
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A FEW PLACES THAT PUBLISH “CURRENT EVENTS” POETRY

By Erika Dreifus

I know that I’m not alone in sometimes writing poems that emerge from what might be best described as “current events.” And I know, too, that I’m not alone in trying to seek homes for that work.

Since we seem to be living at a time of never-ending news stories, I thought that I’d try to gather information on some outlets that seem to be most receptive to such writing. (Unfortunately, since this is something of a niche category, I can’t limit the listings to paying publications only.)

I can, however, note (as I do in the reference to OVERLAND a few paragraphs down) that *some* “current-events” poetry is both relevant and durable enough to endure the longer response times associated with magazines and journals that don’t declare themselves in search of “current-events” poetry, but do invite work on political and related themes.

Similarly, some journals may feature issues themed along the lines of “politics” from time to time. (See #6 below for one current example.) I suspect that we’ll be seeing at least a few more such themed calls as the U.S. election season heats up even more. So keep in mind that you can search out those opportunities, too.

Onward:

1. Each Sunday, RATTLE’s “Poets Respond” feature spotlights a poem written within the last week about a public event that occurred within that same week. “Our only criterion for selection is the quality of the poem; all opinions and reactions are welcome. Selected poets will receive $50…..Any poems sent before the midnights of Sunday and Tuesday will also be considered for bonus postings mid-week.” See http://www.rattle.com/respond/ for more information and past poems.

2. TRUTHDIG, “a progressive journal of news and opinion,” considers poems that offer insight into current events and sociopolitical themes relevant to today’s world. From entries across the nation, Truthdig staff will select poems based on both their artistic qualities as well as the social issues they discuss.” Pays: $75/published poem. See http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/category/poetry.

3. THE NEW VERSE NEWS “presents politically progressive poetry on current events and topical issues.” No payment. No simultaneous submissions. See http://newversenews.blogspot.com for more.

4. PASSAGES NORTH has recently established a submissions category titled “Urgent and Timely Responses.” Per the guidelines: “Use this space for the breath you can’t quite catch. Use this space because your heart can’t hold any more. Use this space to comfort the grieving, or to resist the violence that won’t let up. Responses can encompass any of the genres Passages typically accepts; the only requirement is that they be direct responses to current events. Please indicate which genre you consider the piece to be so we can be sure to categorize it correctly. Submissions will be open as long as there are things to respond to, and will be published online.” See http://passagesnorth.submittable.com/submit/62236 and note that there is no payment indicated.

5. As I suggested above, to the extent that “current events” poetry not infrequently addresses politics, it can also make sense to seek out publications that feature work on political themes and subjects. See, for example, Australia’s OVERLAND, which “publishes emerging, politically engaged poets, printing their work alongside more established national and international progressive contemporaries. The contributors’ budget varies but the minimum payment for poems published in the print journal is $100. The payment rate for poems published online may be different.” See http://overland.org.au/submit/poetry-submissions/ for more information.

6. And as I also noted above, it’s possible to find the occasional politically-themed issue call, too. See, for instance, FORAGE’s current “Poetry of Politics” call. The submission deadline is October 20, 2016. (There is no payment.) Visit http://foragepoetry.com/contact/ for details.

Similarly, remember this Holland Park Press contest, which was featured in THE PRACTICING WRITER back in the April 2016 issue. The deadline is August 31, 2016; there’s no entry fee; and a cash prize will be awarded: http://bit.ly/1Wn95yB.

Good luck to all! And please let me know if there are other venues that you’d recommend adding.

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3. FEATURED RESOURCE: BOOK SALES, BROKEN DOWN
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Lincoln Michel’s “Everything You Wanted to Know About Book Sales (but Were Afraid to Ask),” over on Electric Literature, offers what is probably the closest any of us will get to a digestible explanation of the vagaries of book-sale definitions and numbers.

http://bit.ly/2a12yqE

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4. UPCOMING/ONGOING CONTESTS, COMPETITIONS, AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST
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BRILLIANT FLASH FICTION “SPECIAL DELIVERY” WRITING CONTEST
http://brilliantflashfictionmag.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/special-delivery-writing-contest/
Deadline: September 15, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

For short stories up to 500 words (excluding title). Prompt: “It Came in the Mail.” Prizes: “50 euro first prize (or equivalent amount in your currency); 25 euro second prize; 15 euro third prize.”
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CONCIS PITH OF PROSE & POEM CONTEST
http://concis.io/contest/
Deadline: September 15, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“Submit one entry containing up to two unpublished poems, prose poems, visual poems, flash fictions, micro-essays or what-have-you in using one of the submission forms below.” Note word limits: 200 words for prose and prose poems; 20 lines for poetry. And also note: “No simultaneous submissions for the contest.” Cash prizes ($150/$100/$50), plus publication, plus paper postcards featuring your work. Honorable mentions will receive “publication in a special digital issue.”
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IOWA SHORT FICTION AND JOHN SIMMONS SHORT FICTION AWARD
http://www.uiowapress.org/authors/iowa-short-fiction.htm
Submissions: August 1-September 30 (postmarked)
NO ENTRY FEE

“Any writer who has not previously published a volume of prose fiction is eligible to enter the competition. Previously entered manuscripts that have been revised may be resubmitted. Writers are still eligible if they have published a volume of poetry or any work in a language other than English or if they have self-published a work in a small print run. Writers are still eligible if they are living abroad or are non-US citizens writing in English. Current University of Iowa students are not eligible. The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. We do not accept e-mail submissions. The manuscript may include a cover page, contents page, etc., but these are not required. The author’s name can be on every page but this is not required. Stories previously published in periodicals are eligible for inclusion.” NB: “Award-winning manuscripts will be published by the University of Iowa Press under the Press’s standard contract.”
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KEY WEST LITERARY SEMINAR EMERGING WRITER AWARDS
http://www.kwls.org/awards/emerging-writer-awards/
Deadline: September 12, 2016 (received)
NO APPLICATION FEE

“Three Emerging Writer Awards are presented each year. The Marianne Russo Award, the Scotti Merrill Memorial Award, and the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award recognize and support writers who possess exceptional talent and demonstrate potential for lasting literary careers. Each award is tailored to a particular literary form. The Merrill Award recognizes a poet, while fiction writers may apply for either the Johnson Award (for a short story) or the Russo Award (for a novel-in-progress). Winners receive full tuition support for our January Seminar and Workshop Program, round-trip airfare, lodging, a $500 honorarium, and the opportunity to appear on stage during the Seminar. Runners-up for each award will also be offered financial assistance packages. Poets and writers living in the United States who have not yet published a book with a major publisher are eligible to apply.”
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NEW YORK ENCOUNTER 2017 POETRY CONTEST
http://www.newyorkencounter.org/poetry-contest-2017
Deadline: November 1, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“New York Encounter is sponsoring a poetry contest to celebrate the theme of its 2017 event. The Encounter is an annual three-day public cultural event in the heart of New York City. It strives to witness to the new life and knowledge generated by the faith, following Pope Benedict’s claim that ‘the intelligence of faith has to become the intelligence of reality.’ The Encounter’s poetry contest invites all poets writing in English to submit up to 3 poems (maximum 30 lines each), related in some way to the theme, Reality Has Never Betrayed Me [check the full description for details]. Our guest judge is poet, translator, editor, and essayist Christian Wiman. Cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to first, second and third place poems. The winners will be invited to read their poems on the NYE stage during the Encounter January 13-15, 2017. The first place poem will be printed in the program.” (Thanks to Rita Simmonds, http://www.facebook.com/rita.simmonds, for pointing me to this one.)
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ROTTING POST HUMOR COMPETITION
http://rottingpost.com/contest/
Deadline: August 31, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

The Rotting Post, featuring “the finest in literate snark,” seeks contest submissions (up to 1,000 words). “The best way to see what sort of humor we are looking for is to look through some of the site.” Prizes: “Winner will receive $250 and publication on the blog. Second prize will receive $100 and possible publication.” (via http://WinningWriters.com )
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SLICE LITERARY WRITERS’ CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS
http://slicelitcon.org/apply/
Deadline: August 15, 2016
NO APPLICATION FEE

“Slice’s sixth annual writers’ conference will draw more than 130+ agents, authors, editors, and publishing pros. Our panels and workshops will cover topics from the craft of writing (plotting, dialogue, characterization, poetry, and more) to the business of writing (pitch letters, landing a book deal, and beyond). Top editors, agents, and authors will discuss crucial steps to help launch a writer’s career. But a book deal is just the beginning of a writer’s professional journey. We invite leading professionals to offer trade secrets about how they transform a great story into a bestselling book (and what writers can do to help them get there)….Standard registration includes access to panels and lunch events for one or two days, depending on the ticket selected. Once enrollment is confirmed, attendees have the option to add on 1-on-1 meetings and craft workshops. Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program may be eligible for a scholarship to attend the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference. Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, a writing sample, and demonstrated dedication to writing.” NB: Scholarships “only cover fees to attend conference panels. Regular fees still apply if a scholarship recipient would like to attend any of our one-on-one meetings or workshops.” This conference will take place September 10 and 11, 2016, at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY.
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THE SUN MAGAZINE WRITING RETREAT SCHOLARSHIPS
http://thesunmagazine.org/get_involved/events/43
Deadline: August 5, 2016
NO APPLICATION FEE INDICATED

For its upcoming program (October 21-23) at Esalen Institute in California, “Into the Fire: THE SUN Celebrates Personal Writing,” there will be offered “four full scholarships to writers who would benefit from this retreat but are unable to afford it. Scholarships cover lodging, meals, and tuition for the weekend.”
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SUNDAY TIMES EFG SHORT STORY AWARD 2017
http://shortstoryaward.co.uk
Deadline: September 29, 2016 (6pm GMT)
NO ENTRY FEE

“The prize, worth GBP30,000 to the winner, is an international award, founded in 2010, that is open to any story of up to 6,000 words written in English. Stories need to have been either previously unpublished or only published after 31 December 2015. Five authors shortlisted for the award will each receive GBP1,000. The prize is administered by the Society of Authors. To be eligible, the author must simply have a record of prior publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom or Ireland.”
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YOUNG LIONS FICTION AWARD
http://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/awards/young-lions-fiction-award
and
http://on.nypl.org/1HgEaPt
Deadline: September 2, 2016 (received)
NO ENTRY FEE

“Established in 2001, The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award is a $10,000 prize awarded each spring to a writer age 35 or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories. Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of Young Lions members, writers, editors, and librarians. A panel of judges selects the winner.” Entrants must be U.S. citizens.
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5. SUBMISSION ALERTS!!!
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From APOGEE JOURNAL: “We are seeking fiction and nonfiction for Issue 08, to be published in Fall/Winter 2016….We are not reading poetry for our print issue at this time. Perigee, our blog, is open for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry year-round. Apogee is a journal of literature and art that engages with identity politics, including but not limited to: race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and intersectional identities. We are a biannual print publication featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. Our goals are twofold: to publish fresh work that interrogates the status quo, and to provide a platform for underrepresented voices, prioritizing artists and writers of color.” Deadline: August 15, 2016. Pays: “Apogee is committed to honoring the work and dedication of our contributors with artist payments when possible. Issue 08 contributors will receive an artist fee of $50 per contributor.” Submittable page: https://apogeejournal.submittable.com/submit. (Thanks to http://WritingCareer.com for the tip on this.)
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Until August 20, submissions will be free over on THE PASSED NOTE’s Submittable page (there is typically a submission fee). This is “an online literary magazine of young adult poetry, prose, and art.” The “prose” category includes craft essays and interviews with YA authors. NB: “We currently accept only work created by those over 20, so as to not conflict with our targeted reading audience of 12 to 19.” Pays: “For now, we can pay selected artists and writers an honorarium of ten dollars.” Visit http://thepassednotereview.com for more information.
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“|tap| literary magazine especially aims to publish poetry and prose on trauma, mental health, social justice, and by marginalized voices. We are looking for work that is vulnerable, work that is evocative, and work with risk and emotion.” Deadline for next issue: September 1. Pays: “Upon publication, contributors will recieve $25 via electronic banking means (paypal, venmo, or square cash).” Please visit http://www.taplitmag.com for more info.
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CONTRARY, a “journal of unpopular discontent,” will close for submissions for its autumn issue on September 1. Pays: “For original commentary, fiction, and poetry, Contrary Magazine pays $20 per author per issue, regardless of the number of works or nature of the submission.” Visit http://contrarymagazine.com for more info.
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From THE LETTERS PAGE, a literary journal based at the University of Nottingham School of English: “We want your letters for the next issue of The Letters Page, and we want them soon. We want stories, essays, poems, memoir, travelogue, reportage, conversation, criticism, speculation, illustration, deviation, and more. If you can fit it in an envelope and put it in the post to us at the address below, we will consider it for publication. There is no theme; there are no restrictions. Be smart about it: we are a correspondence-based literary journal with a limited number of pages, and in general shortness and smallness is a virtue. But we are looking for works of literary wonder, and we have no wish to inhibit you. Surprise us.” Pays: “We will pay GBP100 for every submission published.” Deadline: September 25, 2016. Visit http://www.theletterspage.ac.uk/letterspage/index.aspx for more info.
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From the same team that has brought us THE FIRST LINE: “Over the years, we’ve found that ending a story is almost as hard as starting one. All too often we receive wonderful tales that have one more sentence or paragraph than needed, and we’ve kicked around the idea of doing an issue of THE FIRST LINE where we flip the script and give you the last line. But why just one issue? Why not a whole new journal? Well, your wish is our command. If you would like to play along, here’s the next last line: ‘It was hard to accept that from now on everyone would look at her differently.'” Pays: “We pay on publication: $20.00 – $40.00 for fiction (all U.S. dollars). We also send you a copy of the issue in which your piece appears. You’ll receive your money and issue at the same time.” Deadline: October 1, 2016. For full info, please visit http://thelastlinejournal.com.
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ELLIPSIS “is a literature and art journal published each April by the students of Westminster College in Salt Lake City (since 1965). Contributors are paid for their work and poetry submissions are eligible for a prize judged this year by Natasha Saje. We publish well known writers, up-and-coming writers, and never-before-published writers. ELLIPSIS accepts submissions in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama August 1 through November 1. We accept submissions in visual art until January 1.” Pays: $10 per poem/$50 per prose piece, plus two copies. Visit http://ellipsis.westminstercollege.edu for more information.
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THE BALTIMORE REVIEW will reopen for submissions on August 1 (and will remain open until November 30). “Payment for general submissions is Web exposure and a copy of the compilation in which the author’s work appears. In addition, we are now able to provide contributors with a small payment for their work ($40 Amazon gift certificate or $40 through PayPal, if preferred), and we hope to continue this as long as funding is available.” See http://baltimorereview.org/index.php for more information.
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From August 1 to April 1, “the editors of WEST BRANCH welcome submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation. We print only original, unpublished work. For accepted work, we purchase First North American serial rights. Payment is awarded for accepted works in the amount of $40 per submission of poetry, $10/page of printed prose with a maximum payment of $100, and .$.05/word of online prose with a maximum payment of $100. Additionally, we provide each contributor with two copies of the issue in which his/her work appears and a one-year subscription to West Branch.” Visit http://westbranchsubmissions.bucknell.edu.
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THE CINCINNATI REVIEW will re-open for submissions on August 15. Pays: “$25/page for prose, $30/page for poetry.” Visit http://cincinnatireview.com for more info.
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6. BLOG NOTES
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The newsletter is published just once each month, but there’s *always* something new at our Practicing Writing blog: fresh market news, current contest and job listings, links to writing-related articles, newly-discovered craft and business resources, and so much more. Regular blog features include:

–Monday Markets for Writers
–Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer (formerly “Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress”)
–Friday Finds for Writers
–Sunday Sentence

Please visit, and comment! http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing/

And for those of you practicing writers who are interested in matters of specifically Jewish cultural interest, please also visit My Machberet (http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/my-machberet). For the curious, “machberet” is the Hebrew word for “notebook”.
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7. NEWSLETTER MATTERS
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Information contained in THE PRACTICING WRITER is collected from many sources, with the purpose of providing general references. It is researched to the best of our ability but readers should verify information when necessary and appropriate. THE PRACTICING WRITER and its editor/publisher disclaim any liability for the use of information contained within. Thank you for subscribing.
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For updates and additional opportunity listings between newsletters, please check in with our “Practicing Writing” blog, http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing.
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ABOUT THE EDITOR: Based in New York City, Erika Dreifus is the author of QUIET AMERICANS: STORIES, which is an American Library Association Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. A member of the advisory board for J JOURNAL: NEW WRITING ON JUSTICE, she has taught for Harvard University, the Cambridge (Mass.) Center for Adult Education, and the low-residency MFA programs in creative writing at Lesley University, the Northwest Institute for Literary Arts, and Oklahoma City University. In August 2014, Erika joined Fig Tree Books as Media Editor. Please visit http://www.erikadreifus.com to learn more about Erika’s work, and go directly to http://www.erikadreifus.com/quiet-americans/book-clubs/ to arrange for her to visit your book club!
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