News from Descant

Descant (the Canadian literary journal, not the Texas-based one) is currently accepting work for general and themed issues. For the themed issues, they’re looking for original, unpublished poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essays, art and photography on “Fashion” (for Fall, 2007) and “Iran” (for Winter, 2007).

Read the full submission guidelines/payment information here.

Update from The Loft Literary Center

This is a quick note to let you all know about an important development concerning the Speakeasy Prize in Poetry and Prose, administered by The Loft Literary Center, which was announced in the April issue of our Practicing Writer newsletter.

On Friday, April 7, The Loft announced that Speakeasy will publish its final print issue in June. See the press release here.

The information on the contest page has also been amended to include the following:

Because Speakeasy will not publish a print issue after this summer, it is our intention to find another nationally circulated magazine (to be announced soon) that will publish the Speakeasy Prize winners. We are hard at work on the details, and we will post them as soon as they are finalized. If you have already submitted your manuscript, we will contact you at the e-mail or mailing address on your cover sheet with the details and your subsequent options for participation. Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have any additional questions, please e-mail speakeasy (at)

To see that announcement, please click here.

Wanted to let you all know about this right away.

Are You a Lazy Housewife?

A new Web site,, seeks humorous, witty writers. “If you can come up with ridiculous cleaning ideas, such as strapping scrub brushes onto the bottom of your feet to clean a shower stall, and write a clever article about it, we need you!”

Pay rates are quite low ($13/article, maximum), but they are pay rates, and the articles they’re looking for are pretty short.

This is what they’re seeking:

“Silly Cleaning Tool ‘Invention’ Articles”

“Ridiculous Cleaning Articles”

“Fictitious News Stories”

“Funny Stories”

“Ridiculous Cleaning Idea”

“Ridiculous Cleaning Tips”

Note that submissions “should be ridiculous, witty, and creative–in fact, the more ridiculous, the better. This website is not meant to be taken seriously; its purpose is to give housewives (and others) a good laugh. But please remember…there is a difference between ridiculous and stupid.”

For details about the article categories, plus submission information, check the Web site.

Success Story

Well, now I have my own “success story” to share. If you haven’t yet seen my account of writing for family history and genealogy magazines over at, click here to read it.

(If you have a freelance success story to share, be sure to visit the WritersWeekly guidelines to see how you might go about submitting it.)

More from Robert Pinsky

Last week I referred to Robert Pinsky’s review of David Rivard’s new book. This week I’m happy to point to Pinsky again. In Sunday’s Poet’s Choice column in the Washington Post, Pinsky presents a poem, “Urban Renewal,” from Major Jackson’s new book, Hoops. For Seamus Heaney fans, Pinsky connects Jackson’s poem with Heaney’s well-known “Digging.”

Major Jackson is another writer I admire not only for his poetry, but because he’s a genuinely nice person. It’s always nice to see good things happening to good people. I hope Pinsky’s article brings even more attention to Jackson’s already very well-regarded work.

Win a Workshop in Tuscany

If you’ve ever dreamed of spending summer days writing in Italy you may want to take a look at the Like Heaven Writing Holidays short story competition, which I recently saw posted over at

Submit a short story (original, unpublished, 3,000 words maximum) no later than midnight, May 7, 2006. You may submit only one story, titled “Like Heaven.” (Frankly, I’m not sure if this means the story must reflect the subject/theme of “Like Heaven” or not–you may want to inquire about that.) The winning entry and honorable mentions will be posted on the Like Heaven Web site.

The winner also receives an invitation to participate in the “Like Heaven Writing Holiday,” free of charge. This includes accommodation, meals, and workshop participation. The prize does not include transportation costs. From what I’ve read on the Web site, this seems to be a prose-focused workshop.

There is NO ENTRY FEE.

To learn more, click here.

ADDED ON MAY 6, 2006:

Per an e-mail received today, submissions to this competition are now closed.