Tuesday, December 13, 2011

20 places you can submit your creative writing to before the end of the year

Arroyo Literary Review is an award-winning national magazine with a West Coast orientation.  Looking for:  fiction, flash fiction, poetry, essays, and translation for our fifth issue.  Reading Period / Deadline:  Open reading period from December to May 31st.


OccuPoetry is seeking poetry about economic justice/injustice, greed, protest, activism, and opportunity. Submissions need not be limited to Wall Street’s greed nor US-based poets; we consider the Occupy Movement a world-wide movement for a more just world. OccuPoetry accepts formal and free-verse, mail art, and collage poetry. 

Silver Boomer Books seeks submissions for an anthology on the widowhood experience. They are interested in all aspects of widowhood—grief, memories, glitches, triumphs.  Either prose or poetry is acceptable. You can even send a 6-word memoir if you like. Submissions will be read between December 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012.

Street Stories is looking for stories under 1000 words.  They will publish one great story each quarter.  Pays $20 upon publication.

GOT TRUTH?  THE TRUTH ABOUT THE FACT International Journal of Literary Nonfiction is looking for literary nonfiction essay, memoir, commentary 1000-5000 words, literary nonfiction narrative poetry, black & white art and photography.  Submission Deadline December 31.

Crate is looking for fiction and non-fiction (up to 7500 words), poetry (up to 5 poems) and short dramatic works (10 minute plays). Submission deadline is January 1, 2012.  Deadline for all submissions is Sunday, January 1st. 

LQQK Magazine is a new science fiction magazine currently looking for new writers. They are interested in stories that speculate about the future of contemporary phenomena like social networking, mobile devices, filesharing, hacking, and online lifestyles. They are also interested in far-out, surrealist, or anarchic stories in general, with or without lulz

Peripheral Surveys is a monthly literature and arts magazine with assorted pieces focused on a certain theme.  Deadline: December 20.  They are looking for poetry, prose (fiction and nonfiction) and photography submissions.

The anthology, Submitted: Women Finding and Leaving Extreme Religion (to be published by Seal Press in Spring, 2013), will chronicle the lives of women from a variety of restrictive religious backgrounds who chose a religious path only to eventually reject it or alter it in whole or in part. 
They are seeking contributions from women of all faiths, as well as all ages and backgrounds. 

Mandala Journal is open for poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and art submissions from October 15 through February 15.  Please refer to the submission guidelines on their website for information about this year's theme.

The Meadowland Review will be considering submissions of poetry, fiction, photography and art pieces from December 1-February 1.

burntdistrict is now accepting poetry submissions for our inaugural issue to be published Winter/Spring of 2012. 

The Indian River Review is currently soliciting submissions for its inaugural issue slated for publication in late spring 2012. The theme for this issue is "Time and Place." The deadline for submissions is
January 15, 2012. Genres include short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, critical essays, black and white photography, and book reviews.

CavanKerry Press will be having an open submission period from January 1-31, 
2012 for its Laurel Books imprint.  LAURELBOOKS are collections of poetry or prose memoirs that explore in depth poignant and critical issues associated with personally confronting serious and life-threatening physical or psychological illness. CavanKerry seeks work written from a personal perspective by the individual who has experienced the illness or by the individual personally and deeply involved with the person who suffered from the illness.

Little Patuxent Review call for Submissions: Audacity Issue. LPR invites you to explore the various aspects of audacity ("audacity defines the best and worst within us. It is boldness or daring, accompanied by confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought or other restrictions. It is also effrontery, insolence or shamelessness") for their Summer 2012 issue. Submit well-crafted poetry, prose, artwork or photography between December 1, 2011 and March 1, 2012

Valparaiso Fiction Review, which has just released its inaugural issue, is now seeking works of short fiction for its upcoming Spring and Fall 2012 issues. VFR publishes two editions a year, in December and in May, and it features fiction from established or emerging writers. 

straight forward is a new online poetry journal looking for clear, concise, emotionally honest poetry. They are taking poetry submissions, with no restrictions on form, length, or style, for our debut March 2012 issue. 

The Vermillion Literary Project (VLP) is now taking submissions for our Spring 2012 issue of the annual VLP Magazine. This is a student-produced journal sponsored by the VLP, the University of South Dakota's only student literary and creative writing organization. We are seeking  submissions of poetry, short fiction, essay, and black & white art.   The deadline is 12/30/11, and there is no reading or submission fee.

Conclave: A Journal of Character is a literary and arts journal that focuses on great characters. They strive to print the best poetry and fiction submitted by emerging and established writers.

cream city review is a non-profit literary magazine devoted to publishing memorable and energetic fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and comics that push and undermine the boundaries of stable definitions of “literature”. The magazine also features reviews of contemporary literature and criticism, as well as author interviews and artwork.  

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Jobs for writers

Many people come to LA Writers Group with writing jobs looking for writers to hire.  Sometimes they are corporations looking for in-house writers or freelancers, sometimes they are individuals looking to hire a writer.  To that end, we've decided to create a database of the writers on our list so that we can screen them and then connect our writers with those who want to hire them. 

Once you join our database of writers, your information will stay within LA Writers Group and won't be passed on to anyone unless we contact you first.    

If you are interested in getting part-time, full-time, contract, or freelance writing jobs, please enter yourself into our database so we can submit you for future jobs.

2012 Writing Workshops Scheduled

We have some writing workshops for January 2012 are now scheduled and open for enrollment:

West Hollywood writers group
Glendale / Glassell Park writers group
Hermosa Beach writers group

Have questions?  Leave a comment or email us at lawritersgroup@gmail.com

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Poetry Book Review: A Journey Taken in Grace Toward Love Where Bodies Again Recline by Harry Northup

A review by Sanora Bartels

Where Bodies Again Recline by Harry Northup takes up where his last volume of poetry Red Snow Fence left off.  In 2006, I reviewed that volume and wrote this about the last section of the book:

While the first two thirds of the book is grounded in the physical daily realities, the last third of Red Snow Fence takes us on a journey of night visions, which seem to me to be part memory, part premonition.

In Where Bodies Again Recline the premonition is realized and we are taken to the next level of evolution. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the title poem where bodies again recline:

in the primacy of law, the bootleg
version, there will be no superiority
of money, of celebrityhood, of
loss, lack, ignorance, rigidity, simple
down home rootedness

there will be listening to one another
recognition of brotherhood, a will-
ingness to see past vertical mobility

Straightforward enough — but that is always the way of spiritual truth.  The ideal is simple, the practical application, more difficult.  This yearning for kindness, for meaning, for a way to hold on and let go all at once, plays out in much of Northup’s poetry as in gifts:

it rained as it always does for a
funeral — careers die, youth dies,
trust dies, money decays brotherhood

all holiness must die & be reborn
in new roads, new rains, — memory
remains blackness itself
memory strengthens kindness

The voice is one that has lived a life full of love, full of connection, both to friends and family, knowing that loss is often necessary for growth.  In the second section of the book, titled “white bird above fire”, that loss is no longer limited to the individual. It is a communal loss that may feel overwhelming, where recovery feels nearly impossible as expressed in single white bird above fire:

fires burning, crowns across the
sea — plane, with burning wing, flies
a star hoisted, props the plane,
cradles it — through all our arms,...

…we elect parts of ourselves & deny

blessings; the golden city on an island
does not include our neighbors’ vote
should he be less wealthy, less like our
desire — we measure hearts with ring

sizes — for often hearts are rubble…

…knives of light surround our descent
what was killed remains hidden — it
tears at freedom — columns fall,
tumble, & a long crescent, like

antlers, forms a cradle around the

blue light moon — …

The poem ends with:

deliver me, white bird, white house
forgive the ache, the one long sharp
arrow on fire, cross, field burning

It hints at an America that, years later, is still reeling from attack, steeped in cynicism, in a defensive posture and Northup asks for the ability to move forward with grace.

What struck me throughout the volume were the sweeping images, the visuals soaring and then swooping along the horizon of the reader’s imagination. If Red Snow Fence invoked passing memory, then Where Bodies Again Recline lifts that memory into what can only be called a collective consciousness that kindles spiritual epiphany, as in what was lost, gained:

all ways everlasting, revelations,
glory, earth, river — sky with golden
explosions — one turning diamond in
fire, body compressed, human-like,
with propellers, triangles turning
spinning out most of blackness, stars

The repetition of arrows, of light, of wings, and always the spinning activity, lifted me into ether, that moment of possibility, that snapshot of motion — the eternal “now” in like a breeze the final caress:

a crown, nest revolving, upward
path shoots & two horizontal half-
circles meet, waterfall wings
tree-like motion spins

red grapes, clusters around golden
center, night with stan getz playing
“alfie,” breeze, no high humidity,
“what a difference a few degrees

This poetry is a balance of memory and that certain future we visualize, forget, but then somehow hold dear - figure, human-length rises:

white light above many figures
heart, soul, words, real gold, sorrow
nowhere, death nowhere, nothingness
white light out of opened coffin
sprinkling gold dust, death joy

A word of warning, I have not taken you step by step through each section, I have not stayed true to the path of the poet in his manuscript.  Instead, I have been like the hawk in blue final

hawk flies, white propeller moves
like shark in blue waters, smooth
& turns quickly — long white wings
in wind’s lit path — hurries home

The poet takes us on a spinning spiritual journey, populated by wings & arrows & stars and then turns toward home. Harry Northup ultimately leads us to Where Bodies Again Recline, toward grace and joy and most important, toward love.

Where Bodies Again Recline by Harry Northup is published by Cahuenga Press and is Harry Northup’s 10th book of poetry.

Sanora Bartels received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from North Dakota State University and her Masters of Professional Writing Degree from University of Southern California.  She is a co-founder of www.LAwritersgroup.com and runs a weekly writers’ group. Her chapbook of poetry is titled The Order of Things.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to Participate in Real-time Storytelling

The weekend draws to a close, and you don’t want to watch the same shows with the same plot and the same characters:  A moody, down-on-his-luck dude meets a gorgeous manic pixie dream girl.  One or both of them are photographers.  They find themselves stuck in an elevator, and hilarity ensues.  Boring!

Well, what to do on a Sunday night?  Answer: Go watch Writer Monkeys!  A Literary Improv Show this Sunday, December 4 at 7:00 PM.  This is our last performance of 2011!  The Monkeys will be playing at Mission Improbable’s Westside Comedy Theater on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.  This mad experiment in theater is the creation of our own Nicole Criona and J. Keith van Straaten, who produced and hosted the Fix-Up Show and performed in programs like Beat the Geeks, Sit ‘N’ Spin, The Liar Show, Pinata, Rant & Rave, Tongue & Groove, and Word Salad.

“Improv?”  You ask.  “Like Who’s Line is it Anyway?”  Nope.  Even better.  The writers take audience suggestions and compose literary pieces on-stage while the comedy rock band Throwing Toasters entertains the audience.  After the writers read, improv actors create scenes, taking inspiration from the pieces.  Sometimes the results are funny, dark, or poignant.  Rinse, repeat, and you have a full, entertaining night of stories you have never seen or heard.  Even better, you had a hand in creating them.  If you always wanted to hear tales about Russian circus bears advancing science as furry NASA engineers, go to the show and shout out those suggestions.  We can realize your dreams that easily.  Until then, be our friend on Facebook.  We promise not to judge your drunken photos.

Writer Monkeys! A Literary Improv Show
Sunday, December 4, 2011 @ 7:00 PM

Westside Comedy Theater
1323-A 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(the alley between 3rd and 4th Streets)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

January 2012 writing workshops schedule coming soon!

Photo of our West Hollywood writers' group
Our 2012 writing workshops are coming soon!

We've already scheduled the West Hollywood January 2012 writers group.

We are also in the process of restarting our writing craft book club.  Our first meeting will be in early January so be sure to click over to our meetup so you can buy the book and join us either in person or virtually via our message boards!