The A3 Press is Open for Business

a3 press logoThe A3 Press has just launched it’s first two chapbook titles, and three more will be released by the end of March 2019. Created by the folks who publish The A3 Review, The A3 Press will publish 10-12 chapbooks every year.

We are open for submissions, and are looking for prose, poetry and artwork that tackles what it’s like to be alive at this point in history. We celebrate urgent work that might struggle to find a traditional home, work that’s lyrical and intense, a bit weird, hybrid and experimental. We also welcome work that’s traditionally beautiful. Please visit our Submittable page for full details. Deadline for chapbook submissions is 31 May 2019.

You can see our first chapbook titles here.

The A3 Review continues to run it’s monthly contests and to publish two issues every year. To be in the running to qualify for our next issue, Issue 10, enter our February contest on the theme of Romance. Full details here.

We look forward to reading your work, and do get in touch with any queries: a3@writingmaps.com

Three New Things from The A3

A3 press copyThe A3 Review & Press announces its new monthly contest themes: Romance, parties, and whatever the word “top” inspires you to create. Anything from spinning tops to top-shelf magazines. Click here to see all the new themes, each with a deadline on the 4th Saturday of the month.

The current issue of The A3 Review has recently been published and is available to order here. Stories, poems and artwork about fairs, fireworks, and fathers, along with flies and zebras, too. Nancy Stohlman answers questions in the issue’s A6 Q&A.

The A3 Press is soon to launch alongside The A3 Review. The press is looking for manuscript submissions for this new chapbook press. Deadline for submissions is the 20th of November. Do you have a series of short stories, or maybe a long story that can be spread out over several pages? Do you have a combination of drawings and short stories? Or even photographs without text that would fit into our The A3 Press’s map-fold format.

The A3 Press will be a place for work that might struggle to find a traditional home, work that’s lyrical and intense, a bit weird, perhaps, hybrid, experimental. For all the details, please click here.

If you’d like to support the new press, you can also pre-order the first 6 titles via the website here.

12 Writing Tips To Get You Started

As Anne Frank poignantly wrote: “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Writing can be an incredible outlet, but sometimes there are stumbling blocks along the way.

Which is why the team at READ Foundation has put together a list of 12 Writing Tips to Get You Started.

Children writing in a classroom

READ is an education charity which builds schools and enables children from poverty-stricken backgrounds to access schooling. We’re currently running a writing competition for short stories, poems and personal essays which will inspire children in their educational path. Scroll down for more details on how to enter.

The charity has gathered the best tips from well-known writers, blogs and the wider web to help writers in their pursuit of the perfect prose.

  1. Write from the heart. A book without a pulse is like a person without a spirit. – Linda F Rad
  2. We love the tips in this Guardian article on the Top 10 Writers’ Tips on Writing. Particularly this one from Katherine Mansfield: “Looking back I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.”
  3. Enter competitions, send off examples to agents, read up on literacy festivals to attend, join writing clubs either locally or online – research as many places as you can which can help you on your writing journey, whether the aim is to get published, receive feedback, or simply learn more about the writing process from the people who do it professionally.
  4. Write on a computer which is disconnected from the internet (after you’ve finished reading this blog, obviously). It’s a distraction you can do without.
  5. The “show don’t tell” mentality is well-known for a good reason: it’s true. As fiction author Anton Chekhov puts it: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
  6. Oxford Dictionaries has some excellent general advice on better writing, whether it’s a letter, speech, email or something more creative. We like the tip “guide readers through what you write”. The advice is to “help readers understand your message quickly and precisely. To do this, it is necessary to show them clearly how the different parts relate to each other.”
  7. How about a writing tip from a Nobel winning author? Alice Munro, who was given the Nobel for Literature in 2013, has spent most of her writing life focussing on short stories. She said: “Usually I have a lot of acquaintance with the story before I start writing it….stories would just be working in my head for so long that when I started to write I was deep into them.”
  8. Proofread proofread proofread. It’s relly obviously when a sentennce has speling errors in it. If you’re entering a writing competition, judges may penalise you for the errors and it could mean the difference between winning or losing a contest.
  9. Write, even when you don’t feel like it. Get into the habit of writing on a regular basis. If you can commit to writing for a certain amount of time each day, for 30 days, it’ll soon become second nature. About 30-40 days is all you need to make a new habit stick.
  10. Recognise it’s not just your characters that are human – you are too! So if you have periods of struggle, you’re not alone. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  11. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Julie Duffy, founder of Story a Day, says “Don’t wait to write until you’re older/wiser/invited to the party. Don’t wait until you have something ‘important’ to say.” Other experts have revealed their best writing tips for beginners.
  12. Enjoy the process! It’s a journey you’ll be proud you’ve taken. Good luck!

While you’re here, we have some exciting news for you. Education charity READ Foundation is running its very first writing competition and needs people like YOU to take part. Read all about it here. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 10thOctober 2018.

Going Round in Circles?

circlesIf you’re going round in circles, we want to hear about it. This month’s theme is the title theme for our next issue, Issue 9, The Circles Issue.

The A3 Review is looking for stories, poems and artwork about circles of trust and circular logic, running circles around someone and being in or outside the circle. We’d love stories and concrete poems in the shape of a circle or a spiral. See our Submittable page for all the details and more inspiration.

Each month’s 2 winners are published in The A3 Review, receive gifts from Writing Maps, and are in the running to win cash prizes. All the details are here.

Our current issue, Issue 8, is at the printers, and should be on its way out into the world by the end of April. Pre-order a copy here.

Can You Play the Guitar?

a3 guitar contestAnd even if you can’t play the guitar, you’ve probably tried, or know someone who plays, or wanted to play, or serenaded you. The A3 Review‘s March contest theme is: GUITAR. For immediate inspiration, listen to BB King and write the blues.

You could write about a busker who becomes a star, or the family that jams together, or write about your first guitar teacher. Write an ode to your favourite chord: E, Dm7, or maybe C major 7 as a barre chord. Explore guitar-related settings like a Flamenco bar, the campfire on a holiday beach, or being part of the crowd at a music gig. Write about a late-night smoky blues bar in New Orleans.

Have you ever boarded a plane with a guitar? Read Debra Marquart’s beautiful poem “Traveling with Guitar” to trigger your memory.

Click here for more inspiration and ideas, and details about our contests and prizes.

Deadline is Saturday, 24th March.

We invite you to use the language of guitars as prompts for prose or poetry: riffs, licks, hammer, pull, slide, bend, distort, reverb, overdrive. Listen to an album by your favourite guitar band on a loop as you write, imagine being on a festival stage with a wild crowd in front of you, just about to strike your first chord…

The A3 Review publishes short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

Visit our Submittable page for more inspiration and details.

PS. Our Issue 8 is almost ready to launch. Click here to pre-order your copy.

Shooter seeks “Dirty Money” for issue #8

Shooter Literary Magazine invites submissions of short fiction, non-fiction and poetry on the theme of “Dirty Money” for its summer 2018 issue.

Writers should submit stories, essays, reported narratives and poetry on anything to do with dough, whether rolling in it or scrounging for it. We want to read about playboys and girls, corrupt bankers, hard-up students, entrepreneurs, gamblers, thieves, grafters – anyone affected by money in any compelling way. Are riches really the root of all evil, or the key to the world’s delights?

Please visit https://shooterlitmag.com/submissions for guidelines; deadline is April 8th, 2018. Successful writers will hear from us within a few weeks of the deadline, if not before, and receive payment and a copy of the issue. Due to the volume of submissions we no longer send rejection emails.

The 2018 Shooter Short Story Competition is also now open, with a newly reduced entry fee for those wishing to submit more than one story. Find guidelines for entering the competition at https://shooterlitmag.com/competition.

 

6 New Themes at The A3 Review

new themesHappy New Year from the editors of The A3 Review. We’re looking forward to another year of inspiration. There are still a couple more themes – Losing It and Brief Encounters – till we start putting together Issue 8 (The Gold Issue). For prompts and more details, click here to visit our Submittable page.

And already the work on Issue 9 has begun, too… the new themes for Issue 9 (The Circle Issue) are up on our Submittable page. Check out our monthly contests and send us your flash fiction, poetry and artwork inspired by thieves, guitars, wheels, and the moon. We hope you’ll enjoy the new prompts and that they’ll inspire you to try out new themes in your work.

Happy Writing!

Shaun Levin and KM Elkes, Editors, The A3 Review