Monday, December 30, 2013

Opportunities in the Great Big Literary World- December 30, 2013

Song of the Day: Chasing the Sun by Sara Bareilles

   Hello all! It's the last Monday of 2013! Is it me or do the years seem to be getting shorter? It's almost as though I don't have enough time to get everything done. That's why it's so important to make the most of everyday. Furthermore, you don't have to wait until the clock strikes midnight tomorrow to start your goals. Write them down today, and get started immediately. If there's one thing I've learned this year, it's that time is of the essence. Make the most of these last couple of days of 2013 and let's strive for a better 2014. Good luck to all my fellow writers. I wish you much success in the coming year!


1. Arcadia Magazine Short Story Contest

Arcadia has opened submissions for the 2014 Arcadia Short Story Contest. Stories should be between 4,000 and 7,000 words. The contest winner receives $1,000 and publication in Arcadia 8. Submissions are open until February 15, 2014.

2. Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction

The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review is accepting submissions for the Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction. Eckleburg is a print and online literary and arts journal housed in Johns Hopkins University, M.A. in Writing Program. Their aesthetic is eclectic—anything from literary mainstream to experimental. They’re in love with fusion forms such as magical realist, surrealist, meta-realist, and anything with an offbeat spin.

Stories should be 8,000 words. Contest fee is $10 and the deadline is December 31, 2013 at midnight.

Calls for Submissions:

1. Bellows American Review

Bellows American Review is currently seeking submissions of fiction. They publish on a rolling basis year-round. Their one guideline is this: it’s got to be good.

2. Motes Books- Motif Anthology Series

Motes Books is now accepting submissions for Volume 4 of the Motif Anthology Series. Volume 4 will center on the theme of WATER. Denton Loving will serve as volume editor. Prose (fiction or non-fiction) submissions should be 3,000 words or less. Poetry submissions may include up to 3 poems. WATER must be referenced or illuminated in the works, directly or indirectly, in significant and artful ways. Deadline is February 1, 2014.

3. Commons Magazine

Commons Magazine is now accepting submissions for their poetry column, UNCOMMON/WORD. Deadline is December 31, 2013 (11:59pm).

4. Composite Arts Magazine

Composite Arts Magazine is now accepting flash fiction and prose poem submissions of no more than 500 words for its Special Issue, No. 15 Still Life. They are looking for snippets of the everyday and all its complexity. Moments that extend far beyond the physical words on the page. They want characters who live between the lines. Language that enchants. Show them how far you can push the idea of a Still Life. Submit up to THREE pieces in a single submission. Each individual piece MUST be 500 words or less. Deadline is February 17, 2013.

5. Stoneboat Literary Journal

Stoneboat Literary Journal seeks submissions of poetry, fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction, photo essays, and black and white art for its Spring 2014 issue.

   As always, Black Fox Literary Magazine is accepting submissions of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, art and photography. The last day to be considered for the Winter Issue is tomorrow! Happy Writing! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Song of the Day: Baby Please Come Home by Mariah Carey

Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! If you don't celebrate Christmas, then Happy Holidays! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Opportunities in the Great Big Literary World- December 23, 2013

Song of the Day: Merry Christmas Baby by Hanson

   Hello all! It's been a LONG time since I posted the opportunities. It's the end of the year, but why give up now? Shouldn't we aim to finish strong? Just because it's the end of the year doesn't mean that we should stop focusing on our goals. Sure, you might not finish that short story or novel, but if you keep working, won't you still be that much closer to your goal? You'll still be making progress and you won't be in the same place that you were when you first started. So, writers, in these last few days of December, I urge you to keep striving and keep working towards your goals. Don't wait until next year. Get your butt in the chair and work.


1. Gemini Magazine's Fourth Annual Poetry Contest

The grand prize is $1,000. Second place wins $100; four honorable mentions each receive $25. All six finalists will be published online in the March 2013 issue of Gemini. No restrictions on subject, length or type of poetry. Submission fee is $5 and the contest ends on January 2, 2013

2. River Styx 2014 Schlafly Beer Micro-Fiction Contest

First Prize is $1500 plus one case of micro-brewed Schlafly Beer. All stories should be 500 words maximum per story, up to three stories per entry. Include name and address on cover letter only. Include S.A.S.E. for notification of contest results (to be mailed out in March).Winner will be published in the Spring issue. Reading fee is $20 and includes a one-year subscription (3 issues). 

*OR you may submit contest entries online via Submittable. Please note, they also offer an online-only option to enter this contest for $10, which entitles you to the issue in which the winning stories will appear, rather than a 3-issue subscription. If you wish to choose that option, please submit via the "2014 Microfiction Contest $10" form on Submittable.* Deadline is December 31, 2013

3. Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award Prize 

The Main Street Rag Poetry Award is an annual full-length poetry book contest sponsored by Main Street Rag. Send between 48 and 84 pages of poetry, no more than one poem per page. No restriction on content, style or subject. Winner receives 50 books and $1200. Runners up also considered for publication. Entry fee is $25 and the deadline is January 31, 2014.

4. StoneThread Publishing Short Fiction Contest

StoneThread Publishing is seeking unpublished, original, speculative fiction short stories of 1,000-10,000 words set in a post-apocalyptic world. The world can be Earth or some other world. First place will receive $60 and a copy of the publication in all formats. See the website for prize list. There is no entry fee and the contest will close on March 31, 2014.

Calls for Submissions

1. Carnival Literary Magazine 

Carnival is an online literary magazine featuring poetry, flash fiction, and artwork. They are currently reading for a themed-issue, due to launch in Summer 2014. The theme for the next issue is Magic tricks, Gambling, and Las Vegas. Submission deadline is unclear, but double check their website. 

2. THE BOILER Journal

THE BOILER is accepting submissions in poetry, short stories, and short memoir/essays (prose under 3,500 words) for its spring 2014 issue. Submissions close February 20, 2013

3. Little Patuxent Review

Little Patuxent Review is accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and artwork for the Summer 2014 Open Issue, co-edited by Laura Shovan and Steven Leyva. The Open Issue is LPR’s first un-themed issue, so write with abandon, occupy your imagination, and send LPR your best writing. Submit one fiction piece of up to 5000 words, one non-fiction piece of up to 3500 words, or a maximum of three poems. Deadline is March 1, 2014.

4. CREDO (The Cambridge Writers' Workshop)

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop invites writers of all stripes (Poets! Fictioneers! Memoirists! Journalists! Essayists! Dramatists! Genre-benders!) to submit to CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing. Writers are invited to submit their personal aesthetic philosophies and manifestos for the anthology, writing exercises and prompts that have helped to kick-start their imagination, and short essays on the art of writing, reading, and being creative. Please send us a brief (7 pages max) submission in one of the following categories:

I. Credos

Writing manifestos, rules to live by, artist creeds, hand-written notes to self, aphorisms earned, and personal philosophies on what makes good writing work and why. If you have ever typed or scrawled out a manifesto, we would like to see it. Feel free to send us manifestos for creative writing that you have drawn up for yourself or for your writing group. They accept typed written credos, hand-written lists, and even collages that demonstrate your aesthetic philosophy.

II. Writing Exercises:  

Send writing exercises, prompts, or any practices that have helped energize and motivate your creative writing practice. Is there a daily ritual you do to kick-start your imagination? Are there writing exercises and prompts that you keep on going back to or to use in class with your students? They are interested in your favorite writing exercises. Please send us original writing exercises or prompts, or please write to us about how your favorite published writing exercises.

III. Essays on Writing Advice:  

They are looking for essays that describe the writing process, essays on creative arts communities, salon culture, and advice on creative writing. What has helped you sustain and catalyze your writing career? What has inspired you, from reading the works of your favorite authors, experimenting with new forms, finding communities of writers, experience with social media and writing, etc.? They welcome any essays on creative writing between 5-7 pages.

Please also include: A brief biography of 200 words or less. There is a $5 reading fee and the submission deadline is January 15, 2014.

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

Saturday, December 7, 2013

How I Won NaNoWriMo: Tips That May Help You Too

   Hello all! How I've missed you. For the month of November I usually go into hibernation because it's National Novel Writing Month. This was my fourth year doing Nano and it was a success. I do it every year because it ensures that I write at least one novel a year. Something about NaNoWriMo gives me that extra kick in the pants to actually sit down and write. I thought I would share some tips on how I won Nano this year and maybe, just maybe, it might help you in the future. 

1. Lots of coffee.

I blame Nano for making me into a coffee drinker in the first place. Before my first year of doing Nano, I wasn't a regular coffee drinker. Now I can't put the stuff down. This month I wrote into the late hours of the night and often woke up as early as 4 am to write. Trust me when I say that it could not be done without coffee.

2. Locking myself away.

I spend A LOT of time with my family and go home on weekends. While doing Nano I had to step away, close my room door and write. I would come out for food then retreat back to my writing cave. I would set goals. You will have to find what works for you, but my goals were in 1000-word increments. Every thousand words I got a reward, such as a certain amount of social media time. I'm obsessed with social media so that was motivation enough. Find what works for you.

3. Trusting that I could write in another genre.

I normally write literary/women's fiction. This time, I decided to experiment with YA. It was fun, which is what Nano should be. I think that I'll experiment every year now. I learned that I can write other things and it doesn't have to be perfect. 

4. Unwavering faith.

I never once stopped believing that I was going to finish. Sure, the future often looked grim, but I didn't let it stop me. I kept going and I kept writing.

5. I wanted it badly enough.

Failing just wasn't an option. I wanted to win National Novel Writing Month by any means necessary. I was willing to do whatever it was going to take. 

   National Novel Writing Month is important to me because it's the one time I can be selfish about my writing. It seems as though everything comes before my writing in the previous months of the year--well, not in November. Despite my demanding job, I was able to finish. Nano will be something I do for years to come.