Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie: Who Cares if You're Black or White?

Song of the Day: Black or White by Michael Jackson

   Even if you haven't seen The Hunger Games movie, you've probably heard about the controversy surrounding the characters. Apparently, we are still living in a world that is quite backwards. This post will not contain any spoilers about the movie. Rather, I want to address the issue regarding the characters.

  Several racist comments were made via Twitter about the characters that were chosen to play three of the roles. The role of Cinna was played by Lenny Kravitz. First, I cannot for the life of me imagine anyone having a problem with Lenny Kravitz. I mean come on, it's LENNY KRAVITZ! I thought he fit the role and played it well.

   The other two characters, Rue and Thresh were also black characters. If the idiots who tweeted racist remarks would READ CAREFULLY, they would know that both these characters were described as having dark skin. Someone actually tweeted, "I was pumped about The Hunger Games. Until I learned that a black girl was playing Rue." Another said, "Eww Rue is black? I'm not watching." And the worst of them all, the most DISGUSTING in my opinion, is this one: "Sense when has Rue been a nigger."

   First, let's at least be grammatically correct if we know our tweets are going to get attention. And two, the fact that people still think it's okay to say the "N" word to describe a black person is just repulsive. I cannot believe that people are still thinking this way. I know that I shouldn't be surprised. I tend to look at the world through rose colored glass, at least that's what people that are close to me tell me. And I may have thought that this was possible, but I didn't think people would actually come out and say such horrific things on a social media network. What a set back for ALL human beings.

   The sad thing is that these people clearly didn't read the book thoroughly, which tells me something about their level of intelligence. I feel sorry for them, really. To have a mind that is so closed is a shame because you're missing out on so much. Our energies can be better spent doing things that actually matter.

   This is part of the reason I do not address race in my own writing. I strive to make my characters universal. It shouldn't matter if my character is black, white, purple or pink. I do believe that disclosing race is sometimes necessary, but you have to be telling a very specific story. For me, my characters are race-less. I was taught not to see color and that is the way I write.

   I originally read about this in another blog post at If you want to read the original article and see the other tweets you can find it here. I'll warn you that the post contains spoilers. I didn't comment nearly as much as I wanted because I didn't want my post to include spoilers. I urge you to read the post. I hope that the rest of us (people with common sense) can find a way to take something away from this. Society should be at a point where we are helping each other, not dragging each other down over something as petty as skin color.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Opportunities in the Great Big Literary World- March 26, 2012

Song of the Day: If I can Dream by Elvis Presley

   Hello all! So, who saw The Hunger Games Movie this weekend? I did! I love getting to see a good book come to life. You have all of your own images in your head when you're reading and to finally see some of those images take form is awesome! I must say, I wasn't picturing Peeta like the actor chosen to play his part. And if that's how he looks, well then I'd go with Gale. Man, was he cute! I thought the movie did a pretty good job of depicting the book. Most (not all) things were accurate. I have never thought that a movie was better than a book and rarely do I say that they were equal. I'm going to have to say that the book was better than the movie, though I'm satisfied with the movie.

   Suzanne Collins is also set for life after this weekend. I heard on Saturday that a ticket to The Hunger Games was being sold every ten seconds online! AND it beat Harry Potter's record! WOW! I'm always thrilled for writers who have this kind of success. Helps us all keep hope alive. It can happen to anyone! Here are the opportunities. Take Advantage of them because you never know...


1. The Saturday Evening Post's Fiction Contest

The winning story will be published in the Jan/Feb 2013 edition of the magazine and on the website. The winning writer will receive a payment of $500. Five runners-up will be published on our website and receive payment of $100 each. Entries must be character or plot-driven stories in any genre of fiction that falls within the Post's broad range of interest. Stories should be 1,500-5,000 words in length. The entry fee is $10 and the contest ends July 1, 2012.

2. The Elixir Press 2012 Fiction Award

Elixir Press is sponsoring a fiction contest open to all writers writing in English. Both short story collections and novels are eligible. The prize will be $2000, publication by Elixir Press, and 25 copies of the book. Entry fee is $40 and the contest closes May 31, 2012.

3. The Elixir Press Antivenom Poetry Award

Elixir Press is sponsoring a contest for a first or second book of poetry. The winner will receive a prize of $1,000. The winning manuscript will be published by Elixir Press. All entries will be considered for publication. There is an entry fee of $30 and the contest will end on March 31, 2012.

4. The Fugue Prose and Poetry Contest

Fugue is proud to announce its 11th annual writing contest. This year they will be accepting submissions of poetry and prose (fiction and nonfiction). First place winners receive $1,000, publication and a year's subscription. Runners-up will be considered for publication and will receive a year's subscription. The entry fee is $15 and the contest deadline is May 31, 2012.

5. 2012 Annual Pocataligo Poetry Contest

Yemassee Journal is accepting submissions to their 2012 Pocataligo Poetry Contest through March 31. A prize of $500 will be awarded to one poem.  Entry fee is $10. INSIDER INFO: They only have around 30 entries so far, which gives you pretty good odds at that prize.

Calls for Submissions:

1. Lunch Ticket

Lunch Ticketa biannual journal published by the MFA community of Antioch University of Los Angeles, is officially open for submissions for their debut issue. The theme is "Occupy," but they will consider submissions of all thematic content for inclusion in the publication. They are accepting fiction, non-fiction, young adult fiction, poetry and art.

2. Extract(s)

Extract(s) is looking for submissions for their Poems, Stories, and Haiku features, as well as excerpts from upcoming novels, memoirs, and poetry and story collections.

3. Diverse Voices Quarterly

Diverse Voices Quarterly is open to poetry, short stories, and personal essays/creative nonfiction submissions.

   As always, Black Fox Literary Magazine is accepting submissions of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art. Last day to be included in the Spring 2012 issue is March 31, 2012! Happy Writing!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Exercise: It Does a Writer Good!

Song of the Day: Pump It by The Blackeyed Peas

   Hi all! T.G.I.F. Enough said, right? What a week it's been! I hope yours was less stressful than mine. Yesterday was so stressful that I thought I'd hit the gym to clear my mind. I tweeted, "Going to take my frustrations with today out on the gym. Plus, it does a writer good." I thought, "Hey, why don't I write a post on the benefits of exercise to writers?"

   We make so many excuses. We don't have time, we're tired, we just don't feel like it, blah, blah, blah. Not only is exercise good for your health, but it's good for your mind and your writing. Here's why.

1. You can think while you exercise.

Picture yourself pumping away on the elliptical machine. It's a kind of movement that's mindless and doesn't require your full attention. Start thinking about that novel or short story. Was there a problem with a character or a glitch in the plot? Well, it may suddenly start making sense. If you keep exercising you'll start to find that your fiction problems can be solved and they sort of just fix themselves. All you needed was time to think. In a way, when you're exercising you're forced to be alone with your thoughts.

2. You can multitask.

If you're on one of the cardio machines, most of them have a spot where you can rest a book or magazine. Why not bring the latest copy of Writer's Digest with you? How about that novel you've been reading for two weeks? Another good idea might be to listen to writing or reading related material on your iPod. You can listen to a book or a podcast on writing. I used to listen to "Three Chicks on Lit," on Blog Talk Radio, while I ran around the neighborhood.

3. It relaxes you.

Ever have Writer's block? Well, for me, there's nothing like a good run to help clear up some of the clutter in my mind. They say that exercising releases "feel good" endorphins. Have you heard of the runner's high? It really does exist. It's that euphoric feeling you get after endorphins are released. Wouldn't you love to sit down at your desk and begin to tackle your novel in that state of mind?

   Exercising is good for both the body and the brain. Whenever I'm stuck on something in my writing, or when I get a rejection, I like to hit the gym. It never fails me. I always come back to my desk refreshed and ready to write.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Opportunities in the Great Big Literary World- March 19, 2012

Song of the Day: I Have a Dream by Abba

   Hello all! How was the weekend? I had a pretty productive one. Saturday I spent the day working for a floral arrangement company. Random right? The company often has to set up centerpieces for weddings over the weekend. Sometimes, they have three to four weddings in one day and not enough help. That's where I come in. It's an interesting job. I get to see beautiful weddings being put together and well, it sure beats being trapped behind a desk!

Who is ready for The Hunger Games movie? I hope it's just as good as the book! I'm dying to see it! I'm thinking about going to the midnight screening since I don't work on Fridays. While I was at Wal-Mart the other night, I noticed a girl buying the book. I commented on how good it was. She hadn't read the book yet, but said that she read a previous series by Suzanne Collins and loved it. I didn't even know that Suzanne Collins had written something else. It just goes to show that you can't give up. Your first book may not be successful, but who's to say your second or third won't be the next The Hunger Games or The Help? In the meantime, here are some opportunities to take advantage of.


1. 2012 RopeWalk Press Editor’s Fiction Chapbook Prize

RopeWalk Press will award a prize of $1000, publication, and 25 complimentary copies for the best fiction chapbook. Page limit: 45 manuscript pages (double-spaced) per each individual submission. These pages may be comprised of a single short story, multiple short stories, novellas, or stand-alone novel excerpts. Entry fee is $20 and the contest closes June 15, 2012.  

2. Passages North Fiction Contests

Passages North will host two fiction contests:

Waasamode Short Fiction Contest
Judge: Caitlin Horrocks
Prize: $1000 first place
Entry fee: $15 per story

Just Desserts Short Short Fiction Prize
Judge:Roxane Gay
Prize: $1000 first place
Entry fee: $15 for up 1-3 short-shorts (up to 1000 words each) 

Calls for Submissions:

1. Phantom Limb

Phantom Limb is currently accepting poetry and queries for book reviews. They are also looking for permanent staff reviewers for each issue. If interested in reviewing, send a writing sample (a sample review is preferable) and a CV/resume to Evan Chen, Interviews & Reviews Editor, at

2. New Mirage Journal

New Mirage Journal is now open to short story submissions. They are interested in high quality work that dares to speak of race, the human condition, the "struggle," in fresh new ways. Stories should be inspired by reality, mythology, folklore, or fairytales.

3. Cave Wall

Cave Wall is currently accepting submissions of poetry and art. Reading period ends March 31, 2012.

4. MARY Magazine

MARY: A Journal of New Writing, is in search of new work to publish. They're calling for poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction for the 2012 issue. Writers selected for standard publication are awarded $50.

   As always Black Fox Literary Magazine is accepting submissions of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art. We also have new staff members! Stop by our website and meet them. Happy Writing! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Introducing...New Staff for Black Fox

Song of the Day: Introducing Me by Nick Jonas

   Hello all! I remember it was just a short while ago that I was blogging about the start of Black Fox Literary Magazine. In under a year, we have experienced a tremendous amount of growth, something that was quite unexpected. The magazine is constantly changing. Submissions are increasing, more people are learning who we are and the work we publish continues to surprise our readers.

Our latest progress has to do with the expansion of our staff. We couldn't be more thrilled to have three newest additions. Quita, Pam and I are pleased to introduce Syl, Claire and Helen. Get to know them and help us welcome them to the Black Fox family!

Syl DeLeon lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and writes edgy literary fiction with a commercial bent. She also bakes delicious cookies and coaches kids’ soccer. Read more at or follow @SylDeLeon. 

Claire Rudy Foster lives in Portland, Oregon. Her short stories have been recently nominated for an AWP award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Best of the Web award. Her fiction has appeared in Vestal Review, The Ink-Filled Page and Fogged Clarity, among others. She is a graduate of Reed College and the MFA in Writing program at Pacific University. In a perfect world, she would spend her life sitting in a comfortable, sunlit chair for hours with a stack of books and a sandwich.

Helen Dring is a fiction writer from Liverpool, England. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing and is currently writing her first novel. She likes fairy tales, ghost stories and modern history.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Opportunities in the Great Big Literary World- March 12, 2012

Song of the Day: Follow that Dream by Elvis Presley

   Hello all! How was the weekend? I had a relaxing and busy one, if that makes any sense. I got to catch up on some reading and also some editing. At the same time, I got some MUCH needed sleep. If you haven't seen it already, Black Fox Literary Magazine now has a blog! The first post went up last week and it was called, "Writers: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going to the Next Party." The post was written by our newest blogger, Syl DeLeon. If you have a free moment, please check it out. 

We're almost midway through March, have you submitted to any markets? It's never too late to start getting your work out there. Take a look at the opportunities for this week.


1. 34th Annual Nimrod Literary Awards:
    The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction & The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry

The contest is open to either fiction of 7500 words or poetry that's 3-10 pages in length. First place wins $2,000 and publication and second place wins $1,000 and publication. Entry fee is $20 and the contest closes April 30, 2012.

2. 2012 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

The first-place winner will receive $1,500 and publication of his or her winning story in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. The second and third place winners will receive $500 each. Honorable mentions will also be awarded. The entry fee is $15 and the contests ends May 1,2012.

3. The 971 Menu Prize for Short Fiction, 2012

A prize of $200 and publication in the Prize Issue will be given to one short story. The first runner-up will receive $100 and publication in the Prize Issue. The second through fourth runners-up will receive recognition and publication in the Prize Issue. The entry fee is $3 and the contest ends April 1, 2012.

Calls for Submissions:

1. The Man Date: 15 Bromances

Prime Mincer Press, publisher of Prime Mincer Literary Magazine, is seeking submissions of short fiction for an anthology titled The Man Date: 15 Bromances, to be published in early 2013. The editors are looking for original, unpublished short stories ranging from 1,500-6,000 words concerning bromances—work that in some way comments on or deals with male friendships and relationships, and/or plays on the idea of the buddy story. The final selection will be a mix of emerging and established writers including Rick Bass, Pinckney Benedict and Alan Heathcock, among others. Deadline is June 1, 2012.

2. Orange Quarterly

Now accepting submissions of fiction, essays, poetry, art work and photography for their Spring issue. The theme is "Face." Deadline is March 15, 2012.

3. Cairn Press

Cairn Press is currently seeking remarkable, completed, fine-tuned fiction manuscripts. They prefer novels, but great short story collections are always welcome. Genre driven materials are not favored. Visit their site for more information. Deadline is April 30, 2012.

4. Mason's Road

Mason's Road is looking for submissions for its latest issue. They accept fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama, art, craft essays, and audio drama. The theme for the fifth issue is "Characterization." Deadline is May 15, 2012.

As always, Black Fox Literary Magazine is accepting submissions of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art. Happy Writing!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Opportunities in the Great Big Literary World- March 5, 2012

Song of the Day: Dreamer by Chris Brown

   Hello all! It feels like just yesterday I was saying, "Can you believe it's February?" Now it's March! Anyone else feel like the year is zooming by? Today, I'm organizing and analyzing my progress on my goals, especially my writing goals. I'll probably do a check-in this week, as I haven't done one since January.

   I only have a few calls for submissions today, but they are good ones! Regardless of your genre or type of writing you should be able to find something on this list. I encourage everyone to keep submitting your work. If you've never done it, then try it. I really believe that getting published in a literary magazine (no matter how small) is a good way to help build platform.

Calls for Submissions:

1. Denver Quarterly

Denver Quarterly is now open to submissions of fiction, essays, interviews, reviews and poetry. The current reading period will end May 15, 2012.

2. Journal of MicroLiterature

Accepting fiction and non-fiction between 1 and 1000 words.

3. Curbside Splendor

Curbside Splendor is seeking submissions of fiction, poetry and photography/art.

4. The Monarch Review

Accepts fiction, poetry, essays, visual art and music.

5. Necessary Fiction

Necessary Fiction is looking for "bold stories told with poetic precision." Stories should be no more than 3,000 words.

6. Misfit Magazine

Misfit is open to flash fiction between 500 and 1000 words. They offer a payment of $10 for accepted stories.

   As always, Black Fox Literary Magazine is open to fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art submissions. Look out for the launch of the Black Fox blog this week! Happy Writing!