Writing Re-Enlightenment

My Short Story “Say When” Published

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on January 5, 2013

My short story, “Say When,” has been published at Deep South, an online magazine featuring all things Southern.

As a friend of mine said, when a telephone “brays” in the first line, there is a definite drawl to the piece. But before cell phones and ring tones, that’s what land lines did. The phones were like little donkeys calling out for food and a good petting.

The story may amuse (or horrify) — and it’s free.

Bird. A Southern one. Lura Lee Biddix loved to watch the birds.

Bird. A Southern one. Lura Lee Biddix loved to watch the birds.

 

New 2011 Publishing Stats: Men vs. Women in Major Magazines

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on February 28, 2012

VIDA: Women in Literary Arts has posted its 2011 breakdown of men vs. women publishing in and being reviewed by major magazines. Review the bleak statistics here: http://www.vidaweb.org/the-count

A Sprinkling of Lit Journals That Take Electronic Submissions: G – H

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on February 20, 2012

We’ve reached the letters G and H in our quest to find some intriguing lit journals that accept submissions electronically. For some reason, many big-name literary magazines tied to these letters have not made the jump. For example, the Georgia Review, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, and The Hudson Review still accept only paper snail-mail submissions. But don’t lose heart. Instead, take a look at the following journals that do allow electronic submissions:

Gigantic – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Glimmer Train – in-house submission manager – variable fees – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions.

Note regarding the fees: While Glimmer Train runs contests throughout the year with reading fees of $15 to $20 per story, this journal also allows fee-free submissions of up to three stories per “standard” reading period in January, April, July, and October. Unlike many other journals, Glimmer Train also pays for stories that they accept during these standard periods. And just to give you a “glimmer” of hope that this journal pays attention to fee-free submissions, one story that I submitted fee-free garnered a “this is a good story” from one of the editors, even though they decided not to publish it.

Green Mountains Review – in-house submission manager – no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – variable

Greensboro Review – Submishmash – $3 fee (waived for subscribers) – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Grist – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – July – October submissions

Guernica – e-mail submissions –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

Gulf Coast – in-house submission manager – no fee –allows simultaneous submissions – September – March submissions

Harvard Review – Tell It Slant – $3 fee –allows simultaneous submissions – September – May submissions

Hayden’s Ferry Review – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

Hobart– Submishmash –  no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – variable

Hunger Mountain – Submishmash – $3 fee –allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

A Sprinkling of Lit Journals That Take Electronic Submissions: E – F

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on February 4, 2012

We’re on a roll now, having hit the estimable letters “E” and “F.” Some spiffy journals are included in this group. Publication in one could generate fleeting literary fame or even a paycheck (see Electric Literature and Esquire). So take a look and see if any of these journals are a good fit for your work. And have a good life!

Eclectica Magazine – e-mail submissions – no fee – no simultaneous submissions – variable submission period

Ecotone – Submishmash – $3 fee –allows simultaneous submissions – August – April submissions

Electric Literature – Submishmash – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Elimae – e-mail submissions –  no fee – no simultaneous submissions – year-round

Esquire – in-house submission manager – no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – variable

Failbetter.com – e-mail submissions –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

Fence – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Fiction Magazine – in-house submission manager – no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – September – April submissions

Fifth Wednesday – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Five Points – in-house submission manager – no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – variable

Flashquake – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Florida Review – Submishmash – $3 fee– allows simultaneous submissions – August – May submissions

Fourteen Hills – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – September – January and March – July submissions

Fourth River – Submishmash – $2 fee– allows simultaneous submissions – September – March submissions

Frigg – e-mail submissions –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

Fringe – e-mail submissions –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Front Porch Journal – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Fugue – Submishmash –  no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

PS-Several journals are now calling Submishmash “Submittable,” so there could have been a name change, but it’s the same system.

Web wanderings: Some interesting links

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on January 30, 2012

If you don’t share my obsessive-compulsive tendency to troll the Internet looking for news and information about the wide world of literature and publishing, here are a few good links that you could have missed:

http://janefriedman.com/2012/01/28/start-here-how-to-get-your-book-published/ Great post by Jane Friedman laying out the basics of what writers need to consider on the road to book publication.

http://thephoenix.com/boston/news/133082-gender-bias-at-npr-and-what-it-reveals-about-the “Gender Bias at NPR — and What It Reveals About the World of Literary Fiction: All (Male) Things Considered” I learned about this sad, sobering article at Blog of a Bookslut, which offers great information and insights on the literary world.

http://thereviewreview.net/interviews/bridge-commercial-publishing An interview with the editors of Slice, who also happen to be book editors at Penguin and Hatchett. Particularly Hopeful Words: “We aim to act as a bridge for new writers to make their way into the commercial publishing world. Many of our subscribers are editors and agents and they routinely scout out new talent in Slice.” So might be a good place for many traditional writers try! This is my attempt to provide HOPE after the HELL of the essay by the former Tin House reader. (See previous post.)

http://www.erikadreifus.com/2012/01/friday-find-where-to-publish-flash-nonfiction-micro-essays/ “Friday Find: Where to Publish Flash Nonfiction & Micro-Essays” Might interest creative nonfiction writers as a way to dip your toe in the publishing waters, particularly if you’ve put all your eggs in a single “memoir” basket. As this new post at Talking Writing points out, memoirs are not an easy sell with agents, let alone publishers. FYI, I look at Erika Dreifus pretty religiously (note aforementioned obsessive-compulsive traits) — her website is worth checking out whether you write fiction or nonfiction.

In a last, totally unrelated note, last night my mother told me that her cat “hornswoggled” her. Love. That. Word. I believe it needs to see a resurgence in the under-70 crowd. Who’s with me?

As I tell my younger brother whenever we talk, Have a Good Life!

A Sprinkling of Lit Journals That Accept Electronic Submissions: C – D

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on January 29, 2012

Again, this list is not comprehensive. I consider it a taste — what the cool kids now call an amuse-bouche rather than the appetizer or “app” as identified in the many Applebee’s commercials littering traditional media channels these days — to get you started. If you really want to research the wide array of journals that are out in the world, Duotrope is the gold standard of databases, and Poets & Writers and NewPages both have their strong points as well. Drum roll, please, the letters “C” and “D”! Enjoy.

Calyx – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – October-December submissions

Camera Obscura – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Carolina Quarterly – Tell It Slant – $2 fee – allows simultaneous –year-round submissions (With Tell It Slant, submissions are done directly at its website: https://tellitslant.com/)

Carve – Submishmash – $3 fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Cincinnati Review – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – September-May submissions

The Collagist – Submishmash – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Colorado Review – Submishmash – $3 fee – allows simultaneous submissions – August-April submissions

Contrary Magazine – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Crate – Submishmash – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Crazyhorse – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – September-May submissions

Cream City Review – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – August-November and December-April submissions

CutBank – Submishmash – no fee –allows simultaneous submissions – October – February submissions

Cutthroat – Submishmash – no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – variable

Dark Sky – Submishmash – no fee –allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

decomP – Submishmash – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round

Drunken Boat – in-house submission manager – no fee – doesn’t address simultaneous submissions – variable

An Inside Look at How Literary Journals Read the Slush Pile

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on January 26, 2012

Over at the website Talking Writing, David Cameron has written an essay, “My Stint as a Literary Doorman.” If you’re submitting work to literary journals, it’s a mite depressing to see just how much the odds are stacked against you. However, Cameron’s piece will give you some perspective when you have the myriad, impersonal rejections you’ll receive in hand. After reading it, I want to take a deep breath and keep trying — as opposed to bashing my head against the wall until the urge to write passes (which is how I normally feel by the time a story has been rejected 20 times).

A Sprinkling of Lit Journals That Take Electronic Submissions: A – B

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on December 9, 2011

In the three years that I’ve been submitting to literary journals with some consistency, I’ve collected a number of journal websites. Since many writers now prefer to submit electronically, I thought I’d share some journals that accept electronic submissions. While more journals are making the jump every year, there are still enough that don’t to make a list worthwhile I think.

This list is non-comprehensive, just what I’ve cobbled together, but it may give you a starting point to look for places to submit your work if you are an electronic-only writer. (It also might help you find journals to subscribe to — I don’t subscribe to every journal I submit to, but I do subscribe to a number, as well as reading at the websites of many online journals.)

You’ll note that a lot of journals use Submishmash. The positive about that is that once you have entered your information into the Submishmash system, you use that information with every Submishmash journal so you don’t have to re-enter your contact information again and again. The fees and submission periods I’ve included relate to fiction and creative nonfiction; fees especially are subject to change as more journals are adding nominal charges. I’ve started with journals whose names begin with an A or B:

Electronic Submissions

Adanna Journal – e-mail submissions – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – January-April submission period

The Adirondack Review – e-mail submissions – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Agni – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

American Short Fiction – in-house submission manager – $3 fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Anderbo.com – e-mail submissions – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Arts & Letters –  Submishmash – $3 fee – allows simultaneous submissions – August-January submissions (regular print edition)

Atticus Review –  Submishmash – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Avery Anthology – Submishmash – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable submissions

Barcelona Review: e-mail submissions – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Barrelhouse – Submishmash – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions (mostly)

Bartleby Snopes– Submishmash – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – variable

Bat City Review – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – June-November submissions

Bellevue Literary Review – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – September-June submissions

Bellingham Review – Submishmash– no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – September-December submissions

Best Fiction – Submishmash or e-mail – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – year-round submissions

Blackbird –in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – November-April submissions

Black Clock– in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions –variable

Black Warrior Review – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions –year-round submissions

Boston Review – in-house submission manager – no fee – allows simultaneous submissions – September-June submissions

Boulevard – Submishmash – $3 fee – allows simultaneous submissions – November-April submissions

Literary Journal Publishing Resources / Links

Posted in Uncategorized by Caralyn Davis on November 12, 2011

I put this together for an online writing class. Hopefully it might help you too.

1. Duotrope’s Digest lets you search for journals according to various parameters: http://www.duotrope.com/

2. Poets & Writers allows you to do the same: http://www.pw.org/literary_magazines?perpage=*

3. NewPages Guide to Literary Magazines can be useful, and they have a Calls for Submissions page and literary magazine reviews as well as a blog that announces new journal launches: http://www.newpages.com/literary-magazines/

4. The Review Review has literary magazine reviews: http://thereviewreview.net/

5. The Review Review also has publishing tips such as:

6. Fiction Writer’s Review also has some journal reviews: http://fictionwritersreview.com/

7. Six Questions for… does interviews with journal editors. I think that’s where I first noticed Monkeybicycle, which ended up publishing one of my pieces this past summer: http://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com/

8. Perpetual Folly does a Pushcart Prize-based ranking system of journals. They just came out with:

9. Bookfox came out with a ranking system based on Best American Short Stories last year: http://www.thejohnfox.com/bookfox/ranking-of-literary-journ.html

10. The Rankings has various ranking systems and lists of journals that are included in big-time anthologies: http://therankings.wordpress.com/

11. The Million Writers Award can help you find interesting online journals: http://storysouth.com/millionwriters.html

Is your creativity in tip-top shape?

Posted in writing by Caralyn Davis on August 25, 2009

I’ve been a professional nonfiction writer and editor for about 20 years. So you’d think that I would know how to write pretty much anything. Yet I was one of those people who dreamed about writing fiction instead of actually doing it. Basically I was too scared to try, and reading those ever-present articles about the dedication of true writers didn’t help. You know, the ones that say: “A real writer has to write. It’s in our DNA. We find a way no matter what, or we’d go crazy.”

Meanwhile, I would come close to crying blood as I struggled to find both the time and the creative energy to write a few paragraphs of a short story over a period of months, if not years. So I was pretty sure I would never qualify as a “real” fiction writer.

But then last October, I lost my primary writing contract due to consolidation in the publishing industry, and I decided that my enforced sabbatical was a perfect time to put my vague dreams into more solid form. So I enrolled in a creative writing class at the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville.

I’m now about to start my third straight semester, and I’ve already written more fiction than at any other time of my life. I’ll admit, I’m no _____ (fill in the blank with your favorite literary giant). In fact, I haven’t been able to get a short story published yet.

But even if I never manage to make anyone’s best seller list, I’m better off. Learning to access my creativity, to work with language, and to create a good story that can impact a reader has produced an unlooked-for side effect: All of my writing has improved.

Whether I am writing a blog, a corporate presentation, or a scintillating educational article about technology transfer, I can dip into the creative well to craft a stronger story. It’s also now easier for me to be creative in other areas, such as designing mosaics, because I’ve gotten used to letting my mind flow freely and allowing ideas and inspiration to pop into my consciousness.

The Great Smokies Writing Program has classes in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry — any of which can help anyone channel their creativity and learn to use language in new and better ways. The fall semester may be the program’s strongest yet, according to Executive Director Tommy Hays.

If you live in Western North Carolina, take advantage of this great opportunity. If not, scour your area and find a good program. A lot of people have let their creativity atrophy. (I think the mere existence of Twitter brings that lesson home.) So flex your muscles.

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