Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Call for Submissions: phati' tude Literary Magazine wants your stories from the 1960's

Call for Submissions:

phati’tude Literary Magazine announces its SUMMER SIXTIES SPECIAL, which takes a look at the 1960s through the lens of today’s art, culture and politics. We want poets and writers to share their stories from the 1960s or how they equate to contemporary experiences.

Deadline is June 27, 2011.

Pays 2 copies. phati' tude Literary Magazine is available on and other online outlets. Check out submission guidelines at

phati'tude Literary Magazine, established in 1997, is a internationally-acclaimed magazine published by the Intercultural Alliance of Artists & Scholars, Inc., a NY-based non-profit organization that promotes multicultural literature and literacy. A themed, quarterly publication, phati'tude Literary Magazine is an 8" x 10" perfect-bound book that ranges from 130-160 pages. It is a collection of the best poetry, prose, short stories, articles and interviews along with literary criticism, book reviews and biographical profiles by established and emerging poets, writers and artists with a focus on writers of Native American, African, Hispanic/Latino and Asian descent.

Follow phati' tude magazine on twitter: @twitforlit

Friday, April 29, 2011

Writer's Groups and Critique Workshops: What's in it for the Critiquer?

Aside from the obvious, "Because I get MY story critiqued," what exactly do the writers giving critique get out of a critique session?

While eating Mexican food at The Farmers Market other day pre-interviewing a potential writing workshop leader, we were talking about our approaches to our workshops and she said to me, "Well, that's the point of the writing workshop, to get to the point where you don't need it anymore and can self-critique." While I don't entirely agree with that statement, that is partly where where the value lies for the writers who are giving critique to another writer.


In the workshop (or writers group or critique group or whatever you name it) setting, when you are listening to other writers review someone's writing and point out a piece's strengths and weaknesses, you are not just sitting there biding time until it's your turn. You may not realize it, but you are learning how to improve your own writing.

For newer writers, this process is invaluable when it comes to understanding how to cohesively construct a story (structure and continuity). If it is a group like our writers groups, where all genres are welcome, reading a wide variety of genres and skill levels and listening to the feedback helps you to understand what is good and why it is good and what isn't working and why it isn't working so you can go home and apply what you've learned to your own stories or poetry. You learn why character and theme are the most important story elements, regardless of genre. You start to see how much the use of subtext adds to a description or a character, or how important it is that each scene move the story forward in some way. You begin to see the difference between a plot-driven story and a character-driven story. You will notice how another writer constructs beautiful, poetic prose, or you will notice when the writing is so ornate that it actually distracts from the story or feels out-of-sync with the character.

If you are a screenwriter, you learn how to enter and exit a scene efficiently, how to write for a totally visual medium, and how story structure works for a screenplay, which is a completely different and a mostly formulaic process and can be quite different than writing a novel or short story or even a memoir.

For more experienced writers, you gain exposure to new and interesting voices, unique prose, new story ideas. You find new ways to approach your new or existing stories. Your critique of the others' stories teaches them how to critique your stories. In a way, you are training someone to critique your stories the way you want to be critiqued. You may learn how to critique poetry even if you are an essayist. You might learn how to critique a novel if you are a screenwriter, which will come in handy when you try your hand at a novel, and you will one day. You also get the great pleasure of mentoring another writer.

The list is nearly infinite. The more you critique, the more you learn, the better writer you become, the better critiquer you become, the better the other writers become, the better the other writers become helpful critiquers. You elevate each other. Your learning process becomes their learning process.


It doesn't matter how experienced writers are, they are frequently handing their work to someone they trust to look it over. Not all artists do this. I'm pretty sure that painters don't send first draft paintings around for critique, so does that mean that we as writer/artists should be able to judge for ourselves when our 'art' is finished? If you've read in your genre and are an experienced writer, you have to have faith that you will know when your story is its best possible version. Unlike painters, we can't just walk out of the room then walk back in with a fresh pair of eyes. We have to set it down for days, if not weeks, then we have to go back and read it all over again, pretending we're reading it for the first time, which takes a while if you've just written a novel or book-length memoir. We create entire beings and all their complexities (character), their world (description, genre), their life situations (crisis / situation) and their reactions to those situations (conflict) and attempt to transfer that epic inside our heads and put it into a readers' head exactly how we have envisioned it. It is our job to get that reader to see what we see, experience what our character experiences and sometimes that requires a fresh pair of eyes, yours or someone else's who can speak your literary language.

Evaluating our own writing is sometimes like being a therapist and evaluating yourself. It's usually better to get another person's perspective, because we're often too close to look at ourselves objectively. Writers, regardless of experience level, are sometimes too close to their own work to check for inconsistencies or to know when a reader might be pulled out of the piece while wondering how the main character seemed to magically teleport from one scene to another, or when a character is doing something 'out of character'. Some writers can pull off this kind of self-critique, but most can't.

You have sole creative control over your writing. You will know what critique advice to take and what not to take. Here's a hint: if you cringe a little when you hear it, it's probably something you need to reevaluate and your ego knows it, hence the cringing. Just give the feedback some time to marinate and soften your ego's automatic reaction.

I've had writers who've written for television, writers who've sold multiple screenplays, and writers who've had multiple stories and poems published ask me to review a new story. This isn't from a lack of confidence or experience, it's from wisdom. Wise not because they chose me, but because they are seeking several different perspectives, and have the wisdom to know that sometimes even the creator doesn't have all the answers. This is the value of a writing workshop or writers group. Several different third-party reader perspectives, readers who can talk your literary language and help you improve, and by asking them for feedback, you are helping them become better writers as well.

The critique workshop, especially in a professionally moderated environment with someone who is an experienced leader and experienced in giving positive and constructive feedback is an incredible learning opportunity. It may not be a writing class or a lecture environment, but you will be more learned for the experience.

If you'd like to participate in one of our creative writing and critique workshops, check out our schedule. We run our groups throughout Los Angeles, including Hermosa Beach (scheduled), El Segundo (new workshop coming soon), Miracle Mile / Koreatown (scheduled), West LA (scheduled), and Glendale / Glassell Park. Santa Clarita critique workshop coming soon!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Call for Submissions: Global Graffiti

Call for Submissions - Global Graffiti Magazine, an online journal

Before we get to the call, you've got to love their description of graffiti:

Graffiti is…

Why Graffiti? Because it’s public, brash, offensive, suspect, state-run propaganda, boring, art, fucked, defacement, all surface, a style, compelling, loud, ubiquitous, co-opted, selling out, beautiful, illegal, annoying, etc.

How can you not want to submit to a mag who defines their content with such all-encompassing edginess?

... back to our regularly scheduled programming....:
Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives are deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”–Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

Global Graffiti is an online journal dedicated to world literature, arts, and culture. Our first three issues have featured creative pieces and interviews with exciting local and international authors, along with edgy scholarly work.

We are currently seeking creative work (poetry, stories, essays), critical essays (book reviews, academic articles), literary translations, and artwork centered on the theme of our fourth issue: CITIES. We conceive of this theme broadly, encompassing various perspectives of both urban and suburban spaces, lifestyles and experiences.

Please send English-language submissions (foreign language works translated into English also gladly accepted) and your bio/c.v. to by May 15, 2011.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Short short story contest (no fee): Shenandoah

As you may know, we no longer publish writing contests on this blog unless they have no fee. Here is a no-fee contest! Thank you, Shenandoah for not charging writers to submit their work.

The Bevel Summers Prize in the Short Short Story is open to all authors of stories of up to 1,000 words. Stories should be sent to Bevel Summers/Shenandoah, Mattingly House, 2 Lee Ave., Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450 and must be received by March 31.

Send two copies, one with name and contact information, including e-mail address, and a duplicate with no identifying information, along with an sase for notification. The winner will receive a $250 prize and be featured prominently on Shenandoah's first online issue. There is no entry fee for the 2011 contest. A judge has not yet been selected.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Call for Submissions About Women: ADANNA

Call for creative writing submissions about women: ADANNA poetry, short stories, essays, and reviews of books and visual arts:
Adanna: A Journal for Women, about Women will be an annual perfect bound print book publication, first issue Summer 2011.

Editor: Christine Redman-Waldeyer

Guest Editor: Diane Lockward

  • The reading period for this first issue begins on January 31 and closes April 30.
  • Please send your submissions to
  • Adanna accepts poetry, short stories, essays, and reviews of books and visual arts.
  • We welcome both National and International submissions in English.
  • Please submit only unpublished pieces, 3-6 at a time.
  • Please limit prose pieces to a maximum of 2000 words.
  • Submissions should be one file in one attachment.
  • Include your name in the header of each page along with current contact information including e-mail and phone number.
  • Simultaneous submissions accepted.Please notify us as soon as possible of any accepted work.
  • For works accepted, the author will receive a free complimentary copy.
Visit the Adanna Website for additional information: