To the Glitter End . . . Get Your Nailpolish Stories Published!

I’ve heard a lot of people wonder aloud who the lucky guy is who gets to invent awesome crayon color names for a living (did you know there’s 120 core Crayola color names?). Seriously, can you imagine coming up with brilliant creative names like “macaroni and cheese” and “mango tango” and getting paid for it? The same goes for nail polish colors. “French Quarter for Your Thoughts,” “Ski Teal We Drop,” and “Barefoot in Barcelona”–what great names! And, as Nicole Monaghan, the founding editor of the flash fiction online journal, Nailpolish Stories, believes, what a great inspiration for a story!Fiction submissions must be 25 words, exactly, not including the title (and the title has to be a nail polish color). Ms. Monaghan is looking for stories that use powerful language, a minimum of adjectives, and that stuff a lot into a little space. Check out the full submission guidelines here.

Even if you don’t end up submitting to the journal, I’d encourage you to use this as a fun writing exercise. There are so many different nail polish colors–you could get lost in the amount of inspiration they offer!–and it doesn’t take long to write a 25 word story. I wrote ten one afternoon and loved the ideas they sparked up. Write a whole bunch and get your creative writing juices flowing! Maybe it’ll end up being the first sentence to your next novel!

Perks of Being A “Jersey Girl”

1. Cheap gas that someone else pumps for me
2. Jersey tomatoes (taste so much better than Pennsylvania ones)
3. Jersey corn (can you tell I’m thinking about summer and gardens?)
4. Jersey Devil Press, an online literary journal that has some really impressive content and one I’m looking forward to submitting to! (Thanks go to Carol Deminski for inadvertently introducing me to the small independent press with her story “The Fortune Teller,” a clever take on the Jersey Devil’s plight and personality.)

For those of you who follow sports, you already know that New Jersey’s only professional sports team, the Jersey Devils, is based off a hugely popular local myth about a monster–“most commonly described as having the body of a kangaroo, the head of a dog, the face of a horse, large leathery wings, antlers similar to those of a deer, a forked reptilian tail, and prominent, intimidating claws”–that stalks the Pine Barren forests of southern New Jersey.

A bit of a rare bird in the literary community, Jersey Devil Press is super up-front, offering all the answers any writer could ever want or need on their website. For example, despite the fact that New Jersey is now and forever associated with Snookie and the Jersey Shore, Jersey Devil Press clearly states that they are not impressed with the association and in fact strive to “publicly decry the downfall of humanity that is Jersey Shore.” Thank goodness! My respect for them improved several notches. (Not that it wasn’t already pretty high, after reading their most recent issue. Seriously, I don’t care if you don’t have time; make time to read “About the Hiding of Hidden Treasure,” by Kimberly Lojewski. It’s gorgeous and probably one of the best things you’ll read this month. No seriously, go read it right now.)

They also answer some more practical things, such as:
What They Want: short fiction stories sub-4,200 words that “straddle the line between speculative fiction and literature.” There’s a more detailed list of what they don’t want, too, so don’t disappoint them.
When They Want It: Anytime, day or night.
How They Want It: Via Submittable (a.k.a. formerly known as submishmash)
Simultaneous Submissions? Yes.

Multiple Submissions? No. Only one story at a time, please.
Accept Previously Published Material? Yes, but share that information in your cover letter. They won’t publish anything that’s already available elsewhere online.
Paying Market? Nope. As they explain, they’re poorer than you are. And if you’re a starving artist, that’s saying something, now isn’t it?

Submission Response Time: Less than twelve weeks. Query if you don’t get a response within that time.

All I Want For Christmas is an Acceptance Letter

It’s not really the only thing I want this year (I’d really like Bank of America to stop dragging their feet–they’re taking so long that paperwork keeps expiring and we have to resubmit things over and over again–and let me buy the condo I’ve been waiting on for months so I’ll actually have a place to live) but an acceptance letter would be a nice gift to receive! I’ve gotten several rejection letters as of late and haven’t been submitting great quantities of new short stories anywhere, but I am still waiting to hear a “yes” or “no” from the following:

Painted Bride Quarterly (date submitted: January 4th, 2011; what submitted: 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction)  Official Response Time:  unknown

Writer’s Digest Young Adult Fiction Contest (date submitted: October 16th, 2011; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: December 31st

Literary Laundry (date submitted: October 1st, 2011; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: 6 months or under

Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest (date submitted: November 13th, 2011; what submitted: 1 fiction) Official Response Time: March 1st, 2012

Press 53 (date submitted: September 24th, 2011; what submitted: 1 non-fiction) Official Response Time: July 1, 2012

I never heard back from skirt.com and on their submission page they state that if they don’t respond within eight weeks, then it’s a rejection. This, I would just like to mention, is my greatest pet peeve as a writer–especially when they don’t even confirm receipt of your submission–so I’m not even sure if someone read my story. Let’s hope that all publications make a New Year’s resolution to use submission managers like submittable from now on!

The Benefits of Being Rejected By the Madison Review

It was a form rejection letter, so I haven’t gained a better idea of what they’re actually looking for, but at least I can share the previously unknown fact that you can expect the Madison Review to get back to you in one month, like they did for me.

In case you are interested in submitting, here is the rest of the information that can make that possible:

What They Want:  Unpublished short stories (max 30 pages) and poetry (max 5 clocking in at a combined 15 page maximum).

When They Want It:  Whenever.  Rolling submissions.

How They Want It:  Via submittable.

Simultaneous Submissions?  Yes.

Archive:  here.

Submission Fee?  Yes, $2.00.

Payment? Nope.

Official Submission Response Time: Unknown

Personal Submission Response Time: 1 month (30 days) exactly

I Won and I’m Sharing the Prize with All of You!

I hope you all participated in the awesome free literary magazine contest Writer’s Relief hosted, took advantage of the super-discounted subscriptions, and are looking forward to a lovely journal coming to a mailbox near you!  After a long week of form rejection letters (I’ll talk about some of them later) it was a welcome surprise to learn that I am one of the winners (make sure you check the list!  Maybe you’re on it and you didn’t realize!) and am now a free-subscriber to Prime Mincer Literary Journal.  It’s a brand new publication that seems to only have one issue thus far–my favorite kind of literary journal to read and to submit to!–so I’m super excited.  It’s a print journal that publishes three times a year (March 15th, July 15th, and November 15th).  To make it feel like we all won, I solemnly promise to write up a summary review of the first issue as soon as I receive it so you’ll get a taste of whether you want to subscribe yourself or have something that would live happily ever after on its pages.  In the mean time, here’s the basic overview:

What They Want:  fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. They “desire first, and foremost, solid, well-crafted and intelligent work, and beyond that are very open minded as far as form and style. Our hope is to push the creative envelope, give artists a place to take risks, and to bring a fresh, modern feel to the world of creative writing. To clarify, this does not mean that we publish only the strange and extraordinary. We love traditional fiction, but want to allow it to breathe and flourish outside of the confines of the creative writing workshop. Prime Mincer is a place to play, explore, create and exhibit, and we invite you to bring your most interesting work forward.”

How They Want It: via submittable (submishmash changed its name).

When They Want It:  The deadline for the winter edition is already done (October 1st) but it seems they have rolling acceptance.

Who They Want It From: “Although we plan on publishing established writers, we are excited at the prospect of getting first dibs on new talent, so submit away.”  (Meh.  I don’t really approve of this selectivity process, especially from new start-up publications who are not affiliated with a university, but it’s a free country so whatever floats your boat.  Just don’t make this your first submission ever, in your life, and try to beef up your publication credits before you submit.  And here’s an example of my own author’s bio.)

Archives: True, they have not published yet, but they have a few things online to give a flavor of who they are.  See here.

Submission Response Time: Unknown.

**Simultaneous submissions are fine (as long as you follow the polite writer rules) but previously published work is not.

 

 

Call for Emerging Western (Region, not Genre) Writers!

For all you writers in the great mid-West and Western sector of the United States who think they have a sense of humor, this themed call for submission is for you!  Even if you don’t live there, have you visited?  Think you can spin a good yarn off your experiences there?  Western State Press, the literary press of Western State College of Colorado, is craving some literary humor submissions that “is focused on western locations and themes.”

What They Want:  Poems, fiction, and creative non-fiction of high quality that makes the editors express the entire range of amusement–from giggles to belly-laughs.  Needs to be set somewhere Western or have Western themes.  25-page limit and PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED WORKS WILL BE CONSIDERED though unpublished submissions are preferred.

When They Want It:  submission period from August 20th-February 10th

How They Want It: via submishmash.

Submit to the Gary Fincke Creative Writing Prize

The competition for The Susquehanna Review’s Gary Fincke Creative Writing Prize is less steep than it is for other literary journals.  Though it’s nationally distributed, it only accepts submissions from current undergraduates.  As I’ve mentioned before, you want to submit to writing contests that narrow down the pool as much as possible, so if you’re an undergraduate don’t pass up this chance!

What They Are: a print and online literary magazine run by the undergraduate students of Susquehanna University.

What They Want: Prose and poetry from non-Susquehanna University students.

When They Want It:  not announced yet.  Expect it to happen in late March or early April.

How They Want It:  via their submishmash account.   You’re instantly entered when you submit to their general submissions.

Official Submission Response Time: n/a

Personal Submission Response Time: 

Entry Fee?  No.

Prize?  Yes, $100 for each (one award for best poem, one award for best prose).

Anybody aware of/recommend any other undergraduate literary contests open to national and/or international submissions?

Keep submitting :]