The Ham – Call for submissions

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Hello!

Submissions are now open for issue #2 of The Ham.

We’re looking for short-fiction, poetry, art, and photography based around the theme(s) of ‘Change & Stasis’. Please see the submissions page for guidelines and further details.

Copies of issue #1 of The Ham can now be ordered online. This first issue contains work from a whopping 51 contributors, and is free of charge – you will only be charged for the price of postage.

Finally, we are very excited to announce plans for a launch party to celebrate the release of our inaugural issue. The venue is the wonderful community owned Ivy House in Nunhead, the date is Tuesday 13th December, and we’ll be kicking things off from around 7.30pm. There will be live readings from contributors, and music from the amazing Whiskey Moonface. The event is free, open to the public, and there will be lots of copies of issue #1 to take away for free. Come along if you can, the more the merrier, it should be a great way to meet other lovers of short-stories and poetry,  and to hear some wonderful readings and music. Drop me an email to thehamfreepress@gmail.com if you would like to do a reading of your work too!

Thanks!

Ed (Editor)

http://www.thehamfreepress.com/

https://twitter.com/HamFreePress

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November A3 Review Contest: Playhouse

george_bernard_shaw_greenbuilder3Come and play with The A3 Review (you know you want to!) and write something for our November contest on the theme of Playhouse. Deadline is 26th November.

Here’s some ideas to get you playing and writing: Playhouses are places where ‘make believe’ happens. Imagine situations where a garden playhouse is a place of sanctuary, or safety, or even danger. What happens in playhouses when adults are no longer around?

Write a surreal piece about a playhouse that’s very different when you crawl inside. Think about treehouses, dens, forts and castles made in the woods, on wasteground, fields, railway sidings and rubbish dumps.

What kind of animals or creatures might take over an abandoned playhouse? Take the idea of children ‘playing house’ to explore a deeper, darker theme of children imitating adults. Or a warring couple having to ‘play house’ while friends or relatives visit.

Write about the mid-life-crisis playhouse, or the playhouse you miss, the doll’s house you never had. Write about playhouses you remember, indoors and out.

View our Submittable page for details about how to enter. The deadline is 26 November 2016, so just a few more days to play around with your words!

Each month we choose two winning pieces for publication (The A3 Review is published twice a year). All winning entries receive Writing Maps and contributor copies, while three overall winners for each issue receive cash prizes.

You can get more inspiration by following The A3 Review on Twitter @TheA3Review and sign up for our newsletter here.

Meanwhile, If you’re looking for detailed, knowledgeable and forward-looking feedback on your short fiction, editors KM Elkes and Shaun Levin are offering an affordable critique service for writers. To find out more go here.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – The Real Story – Creative Nonfiction

The Real Story is an Arts Council funded writing organisation devoted to developing creative nonfiction in the UK.

In our online journal, we publish original nonfiction short stories, including personal essays, lyric essays, reportage, narrative journalism and short memoirs of under 3,000 words.

Submissions are free and accepted on a rolling basis (simultaneous submissions ok), accepted pieces will be edited for publication.

See guidelines and submit here: https://therealstory.submittable.com/submit  

Flight Journal Issue 3: Call for Submissions

 

THE CITY: ISOLATION/ TOGETHERNESS

Online fiction journal Flight Journal is now calling for short story writers to submit their micro fiction.  The chosen writers will:

  • Receive £25
  • Have their work professionally published

For this issue, Flight Journal is looking for micro fiction of up to 500 words. The theme for this issue is The City: Isolation and/or Togetherness. We would like to read a range of voices and tones, particularly those which can move or amuse (or both!). Everything else is left completely open for you as a writer to interpret.

In some instances we may choose works that we would like to develop with the author through one-to-one conversations and edits. Please bear this in mind when submitting your stories.

Rules:

  • Published and unpublished writers are both welcome. Any genre or style is welcome. No matter what the genre, we want to hear from you.
  • Your work must be 500 words or less (the emphasis for Issue 3 is on micro fiction), and should not have been published before (on your personal blog, other websites, or in print).
  • Flight Journal accepts submissions written in English from anywhere in the world (however, you must have a UK bank account for payment).
  • One story per submission.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome but please let us know if your work has been accepted elsewhere.
  • Your work must be submitted via Word document (if formatting is an issue please send us it in both as a .doc or .docx and PDF).
  • Submissions will be judged ‘blind’ so please do not include any biographical information or your name within the text, or with your submission.

 

To enter please submit your story via Submittable by clicking here

The deadline is: 31 October, 11.59pm (as in the last minute of 31 October)

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Flight Journal, the brainchild of Spread The Word’s Flight Associate scheme, is an online journal of emerging short fiction. Each year three different editors will come together to select content for the year’s publication. Stories this year will be selected by: Sara Jafari, Shreeta Shah and Marianne Tatepo.

“Wary of backstory”: Claire Hennessy in conversation with Laura Perrem

Photo copyright Marianna Santikou

Photo copyright Marianna Santikou

I sometimes feel all writers should take a turn going through a submissions pile. It makes you so conscious of how to grab a reader’s attention and how to avoid clichéd openings or endings.


The Long Story, Short Journal is proud to present a new interview series which is the initiative of the journal’s Publicity Manager, Laura Perrem. First up is a conversation with Claire Hennessy, the author of October 2015’s story ‘Small Rebellions’.

Laura Perrem: What are you working on at the moment?

Claire Hennessy: I’m working on two ‘big’ projects right now: revisions on a young adult novel and putting together a collection of short stories. I’m also trying to write a couple of personal essays – short things that are finishable within a shorter time frame, basically.

LP: What does a typical writing day look like for you?

CH: There’s honestly no such thing as a typical writing day. Part of me would love to be one of those people who could get up and go for a lovely walk and then sit at the desk for several hours, perhaps stopping to light candles or meditate or whatever. But I think I’d probably end up putting a lot of things in alphabetical order and not actually getting much work done. I write in between other work commitments (I co-run a creative writing school, teach workshops there and elsewhere, and also do some editorial work), and sometimes I’m lucky enough to get a couple of mornings a week to slot in writing (or revising). There’s usually quite a lot of tea, too.

LP: What would you identify as your influences?

CH: I find it really tricky to identify influences – I’ve been writing since I was a kid, so there wasn’t one book or author or ‘literary movement’ that made me decide I was going to Be A Writer. I suppose I’m definitely conscious of Irish women’s writing of the last 15 years especially – both ‘commercial’ and ‘literary’ (my three big favourites are Marian Keyes, Emma Donoghue and Anne Enright) – and American YA fiction.

LP: The first issue of Banshee has just been released, how do you feel that being an active writer affects your input as an editor?

CH: I think it makes you both more critical and more sympathetic, depending on the day. More critical because you know what early-draft stories look like, where a writer hasn’t quite pushed themselves to the next stage (as opposed to a ‘ah sure you’re great for finishing something!’ mentality), and more sympathetic because you know how much work people put into their writing and that sinking feeling you get when an email pings into your inbox with a ‘no thank you’ response.

It impacts more the other way around, though – I sometimes feel all writers should take a turn going through a submissions pile. It makes you so conscious of how to grab a reader’s attention and how to avoid clichéd openings or endings.

LP: You write both short stories and flash fiction. Could you speak a little about your feelings on the specific merits of these individual practices for you as a writer?

CH: Flash fiction is intense and precise. It’s like poetry. It’s easier to try out new things – either content wise or stylistically – in flash. It’s a quick punch and it’s done. Short stories are really hard. They’re miniature worlds and everything matters and you need an awful lot in there, but not too much. It’s such a tricky balancing act. But it’s very satisfying to whip one into shape. You’ve made a thing. That’s a pleasing accomplishment.

LP: When you sit down to write a story, do you sit with a clear map of where your characters are going to go, or do you start at a point and see where it takes you?

CH: It really depends. With ‘Small Rebellions I knew exactly where the end-point was – I think endings are important and I usually have a clear sense of what they need to be at an early stage. You’re always working towards an ending.

LP: Being an Irish person reading ‘Small Rebellions’, I found a familiarity in the use of language that really hit home, especially in the dialogue. Do you consider the ‘Irishness’ of your language as you’re writing or in the editing stages?

CH: I don’t ‘consider’ it but it definitely creeps in there. I’m probably more confident about the Irishness of my work than I used to be – it can feel a bit parochial to capture a particular dialect but on the other hand, all of our characters can’t be earnest Brooklyn hipsters.

LP: ‘In Small Rebellions’, the information that we receive about the characters, especially Lucy, is very much contained to what is happening within the time-frame of the story. Is this a conscious effort re backstory that you made when writing? 

CH: Being wary of backstory is probably one of those things that comes from having an editor-eye on other people’s work. I think it’s a really common thing to see too much backstory, especially on the first page or two of a story, and it always raises the question of, well, if all this interesting stuff happened to the character before this story begins, why are we starting it here? The question of ‘when to start’ is an important one. And then the background information needs to be relevant to what’s happening ‘now’ – so, for ‘Small Rebellions’, it felt like we definitely needed a sense of Conor in his element, to help contextualise their relationship. I think most other things can be implied.


A note from Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Matthews: Thank you to Claire and Laura for what will be the first in a fantastic series of interviews. Writers who are interested in contributing work to Long Story, Short Journal should note that the submissions period ends 31 October 2015. Guidelines here.


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Claire Hennessy is a writer, creative writing facilitator, and editor based in Dublin. She is the author of several novels for young adults and children, and is currently working on a collection of short fiction for adults, supported by an Arts Council bursary. She can be found online at www.clairehennessy.com or on Twitter (@clairehennessy).

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Laura Perrem is a Fine Art graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design. She practices in both visual and written media. Her written practice includes poetry, short stories and art criticism. She has had poetry published in the Belleville Park Pages and is working towards her first collection of poetry.

The featured photo from the October 2015 issue of Long Story, Short Journal is by Marianna Santikou. Marianna Santikou is a 19-year old photographer, living in the suburbs of Athens, Greece. Her interest in photography began in 2009, when she started taking simple photographs mostly of still life and nature. She quickly discovered her passion for portraiture, which she has been practicing ever since, focusing on self-portraits. She has been featured in many magazines and blogs, and her work has been accepted in PhotoVogue Italia. Greatly inspired by the works of Steven Meisel, Tim Walker and Alex Stoddard. View more of her work at http://mariannasantikou.wix.com/msphotography

Launch: The A3 Review, Issue 3 and New Writing Contests

The A3 Review, Issue 3The third issue of The A3 Review has launched. Stories, poems and a comic haiku in our literary mag that behaves like a map. Read more about the lit mag and order a copy by clicking here.

Enter our monthly contests for a chance to be included in Issue 4: Upcoming themes include The Story of a Garden, Table Manners, Yellow Things, Punishment and The Heart. Deadline is 3rd Saturday of the month. Click here for all the details.

All genres are welcome: short stories, graphic stories, memoir, poems and prose poems. Only limit is 150 words. We’re now also accepting artwork and photography; please make sure it fits well into an A6 panel.

Winning entries are published in The A3 Review, Issue #4 and all receive a pack of Writing Maps goodies.

Happy reading and writing!

Call for Submissions: London Journal of Fiction

To celebrate the launch of the London Journal of Fiction, and to make sure we can see as much of your work as possible, we have lifted the reading fee for the month of August. That means it is free to submit to the LJF for the next two weeks!

We print good writing, regardless of style or genre, so feel free to get creative. This includes poetry, short stories and literary essays. You can find our submission guidelines here, or go straight to our submissions portal using the button below.

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Our website will be regularly updated over the coming months with new stories and poems, ahead of the launch of our first issue next year. Submissions will be considered for both the website and the first issue.

Looking forward to reading your work,

The Editors, LJF

That Killer First Page – Submitting to Competitions and Journals

 That Killer First Page – Submitting to Competitions and Journals

Crescent Arts Centre

2-4 University Street

Belfast BT7 1NH

August 5th. 10am-1pm

Tickets: here

PaulMcVeigh short story

This year Paul is judging:

The Penny Dreadful Novella Prize alongside Sara Baume and Colin Barrett. Deadline: Sept 30.

The I is Another Short Story Competiton from Holland Park Press alongside Laura Del-Rivo. Deadline: Aug 31.

The sole judge of the Bare Ficton Short Story Prize. Deadline: Oct 31.

 

Content

You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. You’ll write a short piece and get feedback on that crucial story opening. In a form where every word counts, get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

Focus:
How to get the attention of competition judges and editors
Writing fiction with emotional impact
Writing that killer first page
How to edit your story
Where to send your work

Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in journals inc The Stinging Fly and anthologies and been commissioned by BBC Radio 4. He has read his work for BBC Radio 5, at the International Conference on the Short Story in Vienna, Belfast Book Festival and the Cork International Short Story Festival. Upcoming at Wroclaw Short Story Festival, Poland.

Reviews for his writing:
“Absolutely loved it. The voice of that story is so arresting.” Jackie Kay
“Beautiful and very moving.” Booker shortlisted Alison Moore
“Its such a clever story, gentle, poignant, emotionally straight as a dart.” Vanessa Gebbie
“(one of) Ireland’s most exciting and talented writers.  Incredibly moving; poignant but utterly real, funny and beautifully observant.” BBC Radio 4
“Paul McVeigh’s story stands out. Funny, moving, poignant. Brilliant.” Metro Newspaper

Paul’s short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice and gets 40,000 hits a month internationally. He’s interviewed short story masters like Kevin Barry, Cate Kennedy, Laura van den Berg, Elizabeth McCracken and George Saunders. Paul co-founded and has been the Director of London Short Story Festival for the last 2 years and is Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s leading short story literary salon. He is a reader and judge for national and international short story competitions.

This event sold out in Melbourne at Writers Victoria, Waterstones Piccadilly, London and Cork World Book Festival.

 Comments on this class:

“Fantastic! Practical, targeted advice like this is wonderful!”
“This was my fav course yet! Informative, entertaining, and engaging. Hard to beat.””I emerged from the sleepy hamlet of my writing infancy last Saturday and was sky-rocketed, hurricaned, tsunamied, autobahned and g-forced out of my head by Paul McVeigh’s “That Killer First Page” Masterclass at Waterstones, Piccadilly. He’s on top of his game, gives instinctive, constructive criticism and in a few short hours, had conveyed the essence of how to make a story compelling and unputdownable from the first few lines. Get on one of his courses if you can.”

Paul’s debut novel ‘The Good Son’ is out with Salt Publishing.

‘A work of genius…’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Robert Olen Butler

‘Outstanding.’ Granta Best Young Novelist Toby Litt

‘I was blown away… A wildly important new talent.’ Laura van den Berg

‘One of those characters you believe in with all your heart.’ Booker shortlisted Alison Moore

‘Establishes McVeigh as an important new Irish voice.’ Lucy Caldwell

Places are limited to 20

FOR CONCESSIONS and for discount for taking both his Crescent Arts Centre classes PLEASE EMAIL: paulmcveigh@writer.co.uk

The Writing Maps February Writing Contest: Bicycles

Patti Smith and her bicycle in the Meatpacking District, New York City, 1999. Photograph by Steven Sebring.This is the last contest to qualify for Issue 2 of The A3 Review, due out next month (March 2015).

The prompt for February’s Writing Contest is: Bicycles. The story of your favourite bike; a memorable bike ride; teaching someone to ride a bike; a road trip; bicycles in strange places; bicycle accidents; fixing a bike; a meditation on parts of a bike (frame, brakes, chains, etc); bicycles and suffragists; bike, bicycle, cycle, racing bikes, mountain bikes, Choppers, tandems, portable scooter quarter pipes. Write about bikes as a poem, or in the form of a short story, a graphic story or a snippet of memoir. Fiction or autobiography, SF or mis mem, erotic or academic. Think bike shops, hectic cities, cycle paths, and the open road! Maximum 150 words.

For cycle-writing inspiration, visit us on Twitter throughout the week. Check out some writers and their bikes here.

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here. In brief, the main rules are:

Entry is free. One entry per person.
All genres welcome. All writers welcome.
150 words max.
Deadline is 28 February 2015, which is just a few days from now.
The two winning entries will be published next month (March) in The A3 Review, the Writing Maps Journal. Winners will also receive copies of the 3 City Writing Maps: City of Inspiration, Writing People, and Writing the Love.
Submit your writing through Submittable, here.Good luck and good writing!

image: Patti Smith and her bicycle in the Meatpacking District, New York City, 1999. Photograph by Steven Sebring.

Shooter Literary Magazine Issue #2: Union

While we’re preparing to distribute Issue #1 of Shooter Literary Magazine, we thought we’d get the ball rolling on submissions for Issue #2 and announce the theme, which will be Union.

After fielding stories and poetry that focused heavily on violent actions, death, destruction and difficult dilemmas in response to the first issue’s theme, we wanted to go in the opposite direction for Issue #2 and invite work that contemplates forces and situations that bring people together.

Short fiction, non-fiction and poetry should concern relationships, sex, marriage, romance, connection, bonding, forging disparate elements into a whole, bringing together different political/religious/social groups, and anything else that relates to the theme of Union. The theme can be interpreted either literally or metaphorically, and work that goes beyond the literal connotations of the theme to explore abstract concepts is very welcome. We are open to all genres, but writing should be of a literary standard, with an engaging story and distinctive style. Poetry that inclines to the observational, rather than experimental, end of the spectrum is preferred.

We seek relevant illustrations for cover art as well as the literary content. The deadline is April 1st. For guidelines and information on how to submit, please visit Shooter’s submissions page.

The Manchester Review Issue 13 & Call for Submissions!

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Dear ShortStops readers,

we want to thank you all for your contributions and support in the run-up to the most recent issue of The Manchester Review, which launched on Monday 8th December. The submissions queue truly impressed us and we think Issue 13 is one of our finest volumes to date, featuring fiction from David Gaffney, Chris KillenJim Quinn, Emily-Jo Hopson, Rob McClure Smith, and the co-winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Sharon Millar. That’s all in addition to a fantastic selection of poetry, and artwork by Debbie Goldsmith.

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As we said in the issue’s editorial, there is clearly no shortage of good literary work emerging and being published in the northwest of England and beyond. With that in mind, we will open again to submissions for our Issue 14, slated for next spring, on Monday 15th December – so please do continue to send us your best work!

In the meantime, happy Christmas to you, from all of our editors!

Valerie, Ian, and John.

Writing Maps Launches New Map and October Contest

Writing the Family AlbumThis month’s Writing Maps Writing Contest coincides with the official launch of the new Writing Map, Writing the Family Album, inspired by Sergei Dovlatov’s book Ours.

The prompt for October’s Writing Contest is: Write about a cousin, then and now. In no more than 150 words tell the story of a cousin, yours or a fictional character’s, as they were then and as they are now. As always, you can write this as a short story, a graphic story, a snippet of memoir, a poem, or a prose poem. Fiction or autobiography, SF or mis mem, erotic or academic. In 150 words.

The contest prompt coincides with the launch of our latest Writing Map, Writing the Family Album, in which you’ll be inspired to turn the family album – your own, or the characters you create – into a rich collection of stories.

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here or on the Writing Maps website by clicking here. In brief, the main rules are:

Entry is free. One entry per person. All genres welcome. All writers welcome. 150 words max.

Deadline is 25 October 2014.
The two winning entries will be published in The A3 Review, Issue #2. Winners will also receive two copies of the Writing Map, Writing the Family Album.
Good luck and good writing!

Review of Firewords Quarterly Issue 2

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Firewords Quarterly accomplishes the extraordinary feat of gathering a cacophony of original voices under one title. Each writer featured is very different from the next. This is especially impressive when you consider they have been able to piece these voices together, like some kind of literary jigsaw, into a refreshing little magazine. Even the feel of the booklet lets you know that it’s something special. Inside the magazine, the carefully plotted layouts instantly grab your attention. The illustrations (some hand-drawn some produced digitally) are as varied as the writer’s voices.

Reading Firewords is an education in the types of stories that are up-and-coming right now. Like any literary magazine its aim is to update readers on the state of current and emerging writers. Firewords achieves this with a lively mixture of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

The short stories form the focus of the magazine, with other pieces fitted around them. There doesn’t seem to be any one uniting theme, which is part of the magazine’s charm- refusing to adhere to the current obsession with themes that many literary publications hold dear.

The two stories given the most space are: Five Seasons by Malene Huse Eikrem and The Man of Harim Province by: Peter Davison. They are both enjoyable, but I preferred the grim descriptive passages of Five Seasons; to the Murakamiesque The Man of Harim Province. The latter story is an ironic look at a bizarre ideal world, but it is quite difficult to feel a connection with. Maybe I’m just a pessimist but I preferred the outright Nordic Noir atmosphere found in Five Seasons. Five Seasons is a fascinating and piercing look at real life, though through fairly surreal glasses. However The Man of Harim Province does have some great one liners.

The other highlight of the magazine is the “Short Short Stories” section. This section does have a theme, in the form of a writing prompt (the prompt was: “As the lights went out everything changed”). The short short stories have their intensity multiplied by their brevity. The idea behind short shorts comes from the current craze for flash fiction. Flash fiction tends to borrow features from poetry, quotations and short stories. It has also been linked to twitter and other social networking sites where brevity is essential, and has become a huge part of our daily lives. In the Short Short Stories section of Firewords I especially enjoyed the story My Evil Twin by Alison Wassel. Wassel writes with a mythical slight on the modern world. Her short short is powerful enough to get her imagery stuck in your brain for several days after reading it.

Overall the design and content of Firewords Quarterly is engaging and in parts even beautiful. I look forward to the next issue, which will hopefully maintain the wide, but eclectic, range of fiction in this issue. Buy yourself a copy here.

SARAH GONNET

Sarah is a self-educated journalist, writer and artist, who creates from her shed in a northern village of the UK. Sarah has been experimenting with various forms of writing over the last few years. Recently she has been writing a lot of arts-orientated journalism for The Guardian, The Journal, Luna Luna, Sabotage Reviews, Screenjabber and essays on female artists for The Bubble. She is also working with Survivors Poetry and one of her poems was chosen as their ‘Poem of the Month’ in July. Under the pseudonym Azra Page, Sarah has published two collections of autobiographical pieces: Catharsis and Dull Eyes; Scarred Faces. Carolyn Jess Cooke published several of Sarah’s poems for her blog “On Depression”. Sarah also writes plays which are going through the development process of being performed at scratch nights.

Writing Maps’ July Writing Contest & The Big Gay Writing Map

The Big Gay Writing MapThis month’s Writing Maps Writing Contest coincides with the official launch of The Big Gay Writing Map: Story Ideas for Anyone Who’s a Little Bit Different.

The prompt for July’s Writing Contest is our toughest challenge yet! Write a sex scene without using gender-specific pronouns and without using any punctuation (except a full stop/period at the end, if you want to). This could be a story, poem, graphic story or snippet of memoir. Fiction or autobiography, SF or mis mem, erotic or academic. In 150 words, gender-neutral and punctuation-free. Enjoy!

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here or on the Writing Maps website by clicking here. In brief, the main rules are:

Entry is free. One entry per person. All genres welcome. All writers welcome. 150 words max.

Deadline is 26 July 2014.
The two winning entries will be published in A3, the Writing Maps Journal, and winners will receive 2 copies of the new Writing Map.
Good luck and good writing!

The Manchester Review: New issue and Call for Submissions!

Dear readers,

the editorial team here at The Manchester Review are delighted to announce that Issue 12 is now live – featuring poetry from Rebecca Perry, Jan Wagner, Thomas McCarthy, Igor Klikovac and Theodore Worozbyt, Ian Pople, Gerard Fanning and Peter Fallon; non-fiction from Marci Vogel; and – of particular interest to ShortStops readers – new short fiction from Jane Feaver, James Robison, Martin Monohan, Tendai Huchu, Guy Mitchell, Helen Cross and Christos Tsiolkas. As always, each piece is accompanied by artwork from an emerging artist, and this issue we are pleased to feature work from Liverpool-based practitioner, Sumuyya Khader.

We would like to thank each and every one of you who submitted work for the issue – winnowing down the selection is always tough, and we received some truly excellent short stories this time. We are now open to submissions until Sunday October 5th, and we expect to launch Issue 13 in November 2014. We’re greatly looking forward to reading your work, and we will do our very best to reply to each submission within three months.

The Editors

 

Writing Maps June Contest and Pack of Notebooks

Writing Maps NotebooksWriting Maps, the illustrated posters with creative writing prompts and story ideas, launches its 4th monthly Writing Contest. The June contest coincides with the official launch of the Writing Maps Pack of 5 Notebooks, and this month’s two winners will receive a complete pack of notebooks, along with publication in A3, a new fold-out literary magazine. The first issue will appear in September 2014.

The challenge is to write a 150-word piece in response to the Prompt of the Month.  June’s Writing Maps Writing Contest opens on 21st June 2014. Deadline is: 28 June 2014. Did you know we’re the quickest contest in town – one week between announcement and deadline!

The prompt for June’s Writing Contest is a title. Write a story, poem, graphic story or snippet of memoir called “Ode to My Notebook”. For some extra inspiration, check out Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to My Suit” or Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. As always, we’re looking for pieces that are quirky and intense, that give us a glimpse into private worlds, and that make us feel nicely awkward. In 150 words, show your notebook (or a character’s notebook) some love!

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here or on the Writing Maps website by clicking here. In brief, the main rules are:

Entry is free. One entry per person.
All genres welcome. All writers welcome.
150 words max.
Deadline is 28 June 2014, which is just a few days from now.
The two winning entries will be published in A3, the Writing Maps Journal.