Friday, February 21, 2014

Ashland MFA @ AWP Seattle 2014

Ashland MFA faculty members, alumni, and administrators are represented on more than a dozen panels and off-site readings at the AWP Conference in Seattle, Washington February 26-March 1, 2014. Here are the poetry and nonfiction sessions you won't want to miss:

Thursday, February 27
9:00 am to 10:15 am 
R126. What Was Is: The Use of Present Tense in Creative Nonfiction
Room 202, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 2
(Kate Hopper, Hope Edelman, Bonnie Rough, Marybeth Holleman, Ryan Van Meter)
This panel of memoirists and essayists will consider what happens when we write about past events in the present tense. When does present tense provide needed immediacy, and when does it limit an author’s ability to write to the true story? We will explore the benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of using present tense as we craft our lives on the page, and we will discuss how tense affects other craft issues, such as voice, reflection, and structure.

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Sarah Freligh, Book Signing
Stop by Accents Publishing table (AA3) at the AWP bookfair and buy a copy of Sarah Freligh's chapbook "A Brief Natural History of an American Girl" for the low, low price of $5.
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
R209. The I or the Eye: The Narrator's Role in Nonfiction
Room 613/614, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
(Phillip Lopate, Elyssa East, Robert Root, Lia Purpura, Michael Steinberg)
Be it a personal or lyric essay, memoir, a work of journalism, or criticism, writers of literary nonfiction must decide how to craft their narrators to best suit the subject at hand. Why are some narrators situated center-stage as participants (the I) while others locate themselves more offstage as observers (the Eye)? This panel of writers, teachers, and editors will offer rationales for a range of approaches and suggest strategies to determine how best to present their narrators on the page.

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
R270. Protean Poetics in the 21st Century: Redefining Poetry & Place in a Placeless World of Global Communication
Room 613/614, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
(Mark Irwin, Susan M. Schultz, Brynn Saito, Paul Hoover, Chad Sweeney)
What are the advantages or disadvantages of writing about a particular place in an age of placeless, electronic communication? How do particular notions of self, place, and image become more mobile, mimicking the medium or electronic manner in which they are conveyed? How has the content and language of poetry changed through the way that we communicate place? Join these five poets for a dynamic discussion and Q/A.

Friday, February 28
9:00 am to 10:15 am
F107. Switching Genres Midstream: Searching for the Right Match
Redwood Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor
(Richard Hoffman, Mimi Schwartz, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Renee D'Aoust, Thomas Larson)
Consciously or not, writers will shift from one genre to another in order to make a particular piece of writing work. This panel's five essayists and memoirists will discuss and illustrate how two of their memoirs began as novels, a third memoir started as an essay collection, a linked collection of memoirs began as a poem, and how an essay collection evolved into a memoir. Each will describe how a midstream change in genres became the catalyst for finding the form that best suits the writing.

9:45-10:15 am
Mark Irwin, Book Signing
New Issues Poetry & Prose Table

10:30 am to 11:45 am
F162. Poetry of Wonder and Astonishment
Room 303, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 3
(Chad Sweeney, Sherwin Bitsui, Angie Estes, Sandra Alcosser, Mark Irwin)
One of poetry’s powers is to awaken in us a state of wonder/awe/astonishment, as if in the sudden terrible presence of Rilke's angels, or as Emily Dickinson phrased it, as if the top of your head were taken off. But how is this achieved? How do masters like Levertov, Harjo, Merwin, and Dickinson, as well as newer American poets, approach the craft and vision of wonder? Join this diverse panel of poets for an energetic exploration of wonder and astonishment in American poetry now.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
F182. The Researcher in the Room: The Ethics of Immersion Writing.
Room 607, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
(Ana Maria Spagna, Jo Scott-Coe, Joe Mackall, Amanda Webster) 
What are the rules when nonfiction writers immerse in cultures very different from our own? Panelists will discuss their experiences and address thorny questions. How do we frame our intentions with sources, literary audiences, and ourselves? How do we resolve conflicting versions of the truth? Do we ever leave out information to protect privacy or integrity? What consequences stem from our projects? What, in the end, do we owe the people we write about?

F189. River Teeth Anniversary Reading
Room 618/619/620, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
(Sarah M. Wells, Steven Harvey, Jill Noel Kandel, Jon Kerstetter)
This reading celebrates River Teeth’s fifteen years of publishing the best of creative nonfiction. Four of River Teeth’s nationally recognized writers will read from work originally published in River Teeth. These essays were reprinted in Best American Essays 2013, Best Spiritual Writing 2012, and the Pushcart Prize XXXV.

F191. 45th Year Anniversary Reading: The Ashland Poetry Press
Room LL5, Western New England MFA Annex, Lower Level
(Stephen Haven, Nicholas Samaras, Robin Davidson, Richard Jackson, Catherine Staples)
Ashland Poetry Press (APP) authors with books forthcoming in 2013/2014 will read from their work in celebration of the more than 150 titles published since the 1969 founding of the press. The APP Director will introduce the poets and provide a brief overview of the press's review process and publishing interests, selected poems by older poets, an annual best-manuscript publication prize (500 manuscripts submitted each year), and collections by poets over 40 with no more than one earlier book.

1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
F202. From Thesis to Book: The Stretch Run
Willow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor
(Mark Neely, Elena Passarello, Marcus Wicker, Celeste Ng, Bonnie Rough)
Most MFA programs require students to produce a “publishable, book-length” thesis. Some theses go straight to publishers, but usually it takes time and hard work before these projects become published books. We’ll talk about how to turn a thesis into a successful book and about our own paths to publication. We’ll also discuss what expectations students and teachers should have for the thesis. Is a publishable manuscript realistic, or should we be thinking about the thesis in different terms?

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Off-site Event: Plume Reading/ with Anthology Publication.
Tap House Grill, 1506 Sixth Ave. (Between Pike & Pine)
with Jim Daniels, Mark Irwin, Amy King, Jill Rosser, David Rivard, Rosanna Warren, and others.

9:00 pm
Off-site Event: WordFarm and Friends 10-Year Anniversary Confabulation
Hi-Spot Cafe, 1410 34th Ave.
Fast-paced poetry readings from WordFarm poets and friends. Featuring Tania Runyan, Amy McCann, Thom Caraway, Daniel Bowman Jr., Marci Whiteman Johnson, David Wright, Sarah M. Wells, and others.

Saturday, March 1
10:00 am
Bob Root, Book Signing
University of Iowa Press booth, 1901 North Hall of the AWP Bookfair

10:30 am
Mark Irwin, Book Signing
New Issues Poetry & Prose Table

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
S230. Lightening Up the Dark: The Role of Humor in Memoir 
Willow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor
(Mimi Schwartz, Joe Mackall, Phillip Lopate, Suzanne Greenberg, Daniel Stolar) 
Too often we see our lives as simply funny or sad and write in that single mode, limiting the emotional complexity of our narratives. Humor is a powerful tool for changing that—and no need to be Jon Stewart to use it effectively. Our panel of five explores how humor works for them as writers and teachers of memoir and essay. We address how humor deepens perspective, how it seduces readers to our side, and how, by marrying dark material with humor, we create a powerful tension between the two.

S233. Freedom in Translation: Finding Ourselves a New Poetics
Room 3A, Washington State Convention Center, Level 2
(Brad Crenshaw, Gary Young, Stephen Haven, James Brasfield)
Translation re-imagines how language works, revising postmodern poetics that emphasizes conventions linking words to things in the world. Translation insists upon a pluralism of linguistic aims. Panelists working in Asian and Slavic languages will discuss translation, weigh the virtue of literal paraphrase against the value of ambiguity, measure the advantage of cognitive knowledge against the profit gained by an escape from conventional meaning, and exchange control for delight in literary play.

S240. Planning for Surprise: Teaching the Unexpected in Personal Narrative
Room 606, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
(Patrick Madden, Michael Steinberg, Renee D'Aoust, Thomas Larson, Desirae Matherly)
This panel focuses on the vital role that surprise, serendipity, and experimentation play in writing and teaching personal narratives. We'll explore how we and other writers utilize the surprises that arise while drafting and, in turn, how we teach these strategies to graduates and undergraduates. In place of relying on preset stories and structures, we'll offer examples designed to help nonfiction writers learn to trust their instincts and intuitions as they compose their personal narratives.

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
S280. Beyond the Gild: Lyric Imperatives in the Personal Essay
Room LL5, Western New England MFA Annex, Lower Level
(Robert Root, Kathryn Winograd, Laura Julier, Steven Harvey, Jocelyn Bartkevicius)
Personal and lyric essays are sometimes perceived as antithetical by novice writers in creative nonfiction, the personal essay conscripted to linear narrative and the lyric essay to experimental poetics. The personal essayist may embrace poetic language, yet leave untapped elements such as metaphor, symbol, deep image, and associative logic. Writers, mentors, and editors discuss how to discover these “doorways” to broaden and deepen the revelatory journey into self and world.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Call for Submissions - February 2014

Each month, the Ashland MFA Program receives calls for submissions and contest deadlines, which it publicizes in its monthly newsletter. Listed below are this month's calls for submissions.

Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest

Deadline: February 19, 2014
Judge: Alicia Ostriker
First prize: $1,000

The Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this contest. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book or journal publications.

Multiple TQ editors will consider each entry and select 20 finalists. From the finalists, contest judge Alicia Ostriker will select a winning poem and three runners-up. At no time will our judge have any identifying information about the authors.

Results will be posted online in the third issue of Tupelo Quarterly, on April 15, 2014.
For complete guidelines, please click here.

Winter Tangerine Review Call for Staff

We are looking for talented, innovative individuals obsessed with the arts. We want staff members who admire the unknown, who refuse the expected. If you are passionate about creativity, about vivid & vibrant art and writing, we want you to work with Winter Tangerine Review.

We have positions available for readers in Art, Poetry, Prose, and for the first time, Drama.

All work is done online, so as long as you have the time and the wi-fi, you’re eligible. We don’t have any restrictions on age, gender, location, etc. As long as Winter Tangerine’s goals resonate with you, we want to see your application. Applications close February 25th at 11:59PM EST- don’t wait until the last moment, don’t wait a week, a day, even a minute.

If you want to make WTR as electric as possible, apply now!

Five [Quarterly] Call for Submissions

Submit to SPRING ISSUE Guest Editors

Rosebud Ben-Oni is a 2013 CantoMundo Fellow, the author of SOLECISM (Virtual Artists Collective, 2013), and co-editor for HER KIND at VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

Jenny Boissiere is a dancer, performer and Pilates Instructor living in New York City.

John Bussman is a criminal defense attorney in Orange County, Calif.

Flannery James is a high school senior at Newark Academy.

Jason Polan is the founder of Taco Bell Drawing Club.


The 2014 Snowbound Chapbook Award

SnowboundDeadline: February 28, 2014
(postmark or online submission-date)

Final Judge: Ruth Ellen Kocher

$1,000 Prize

The Snowbound Chapbook Award is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this prize, nor are previously self-published books. Employees of Tupelo Press and authors with books previously published by Tupelo Press are not eligible. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book publications. Recent winners include Kathleen Jesme, Anna George Meek, and Chad Parmenter.

Please read the complete guidelines here.

HARMONY: a creative brief

Poets from around the world are invited to submit a single previously un-published poem of a prescribed length in response to the word “Harmony” by March 2014. A selected panel will draw up a shortlist of poems, from which a winner will be chosen.

The winning poem will be performed at the opening night of the International Glass Exhibition at Swansea Waterfront Museum in July 2014. An award of £2000 will go to the winner and a copy of the poem will be displayed for the next year at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Short listed poems will be invited for inclusion in a subsequent publication celebrating the international award among others.

It is anticipated that the winning poet will be invited to be commissioned by the University for a combined piece of work with the winner of the International Dylan Thomas Glass award, as an on-going tribute to Dylan Thomas.

The University would be delighted if the your institution was willing to promote our award as we would love to raise awareness of this exciting opportunity. Details of the award among others being given by the University can be found at:

Barely South Review

Barely South Review, the online literary journal out of Old Dominion University's MFA program, is open for submissions until March 31 for our Fall 2014 Issue, and we encourage submissions from students and faculty in your program. We accept submissions in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. More information can be found on our submission manager (

We are also open for submissions for the 2014 Norton Girault Prize in Creative Nonfiction judged by Claire Dederer. The entry fee is $15 and prizes total $850. The deadline for submissions is March 7, 2014.

Barely South Review is in the process of moving our website from its current location ( back to our original website ( in order to embrace a fully interactive web layout. We encourage submitters to look through our archives, and to know that future issues will be published on, which we think is much more user friendly in accessing all of the great content that Barely South has to offer.

Phoebe Call for Submissions
Phoebe, Journal of Literature and Art is now accepting submissions for our annual fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry contests. Submitting is easy, and you can do it online here.

We've extended our deadline to March 8, 2014

Winning submissions will be published this spring in Phoebe 43.1, and will receive cash prizes. We encourage you to take a look at our past contest winners. We are thrilled to be working with such talented judges: Eduardo Corral is judging poetry, Cheryl Strayed is judging nonfiction, and Ben Percy is judging fiction. Submit online and send us the best you’ve got! 

Gulf Coast's 2014 Gulf Coast Prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction/Lyric Essay, and Poetry
This year's judges are Rachel Zucker (Poetry), Andrea Barrett (Fiction), and John D'Agata (Nonfiction/Lyric Essay)!

The contest awards $1,500 and publication to the winner in each genre, as well as $250 to two honorable mentions in each genre. The winners will appear in Gulf Coast 27.1, due out in Fall 2014, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on our website as Online Exclusives. Four of the last six winners of the prizes have been students from graduate programs in creative writing!

The deadline for entries is March 15, 2014, and all entrants receive a free year-long subscription to Gulf Coast with their entry fee. We will accept submissions both via our online submissions manager and
via postal mail. Please see below for more contest details or visit our website (

The Milton Fellowship

The Milton Postgraduate Fellowship offers new writers of Christian commitment the opportunity to complete their first book-length manuscript of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

During their fellowship time, fellows will have a rich experience of literary and spiritual community: they will interact with their literary mentor, teach in the English department at Seattle Pacific University, represent Image and SPU by giving readings and participating in conferences; and enjoy the lively literary scene in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Each Fellow will receive a stipend each month and is required to live in Seattle, Washington from September 15 through June 15.

Deadline for Application: March 15, 2014

The Southeast Review Contest Season
Florida State University’s nationally renowned literary journal, The Southeast Review, is now accepting submissions for our 2014 contest season in three categories:

1. Narrative Nonfiction Contest--judged by Mark Winegardner (1 piece, up to 6,000 words)

2. Gearhart Poetry Contest--judged by Barbara Hamby (up to 3 poems, 10 pages total)

3. World's Best Short-Short Story Contest--judged by Robert Olen Butler (3 shorts, up to 500 words each)
One winner will be chosen and awarded $500. Additionally, the winning entry and finalists will be published in Issue 33.1, spring 2015. This year’s submission deadline is March 15, 2014, and you can either send your submission and $16 entry fee via snail mail to:

The Southeast Review
Department of English
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306

Or, you can submit electronically by following via Submittable:

2014 Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry

Click here for guidelines.

Brenda Shaughnessy, judge
January 1 - March 31, 2014
electronic or mail submissions accepted.

Publication of a book-length manuscript, $1000.00 honorarium, and featured reading in a New York City event sponsored by Four Way Books. 

Open to any poet writing in English who has not already published a book-length collection of poetry.

Omnidawn Chapbook Contest

Poetry Chapbook Contest

Open to all writers: no expectations or limitations regarding the amount of poetry a writer has published.

Winner receives $1,000, publication, and 100 copies.

Accepting electronic & postal submissions February 1 to March 31, 2014.

click here for more info

Sweet Corn Fiction Contest
Featuring guest judge Dean Bakopoulos, author of three novels
Cash Prize & Publication for 1st & 2nd Place

The Sweet Corn Fiction Contest celebrates short fiction about the environment. We interpret the word "environment” broadly here and encourage work that surprises us with a fresh interpretation. We are looking for fiction that focuses on place, environmental issues, the urban environment, or perhaps characters or circumstances that exist solidly in other disciplines–anthropology, biology, physics or philosophy, for instance. We’re really just looking for a brilliant story. Challenge our conceptions of the environment and environmentally driven work. Above all, surprise us! This contest is open to all styles and genres of fiction, as long as it shocks, moves or affects the reader.To enter the Sweet Corn Fiction Contest, submit one short story (maximum 5,000 words) per submission fee by midnight on March 31. The story must be your own work and previously unpublished. The winning essay and runner-up will be announced May 15, 2014. The winner will receive publication in Flyway, $500, and a box of organic Iowa sweet corn from local farmer Gary Guthrie (shipped to the contiguous 48 US states). The runner-up also receives publication in Flyway and $50.

Enter Our 13th Annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

We're down to the final eight weeks of this year's Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. There's no fee to enter. Jendi Reiter is the final judge, assisted by Lauren Singer. We'll award a top prize of $1,000 and ten Honorable Mentions of $100 each. Winners are published on our website.

This contest welcomes published and unpublished work. Your poem may be of any length. See last year's winners and comments from the judge.

The deadline is April 1. Submit your entry at

Free on-line lit mag at / New Issue 5.1! Submit through our submission manager.

Ghost Town, the national literary magazine of the MFA program at Cal State University San Bernardino, is looking for fearless and inventive fiction, poetry, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation. We publish two online issues per year, deadline is April 1 for the spring issue.

Announcing the 4th annual Enizagam Literary Awards in Poetry and Fiction!

Eileen Myles (“the rock star of modern poetry”) will judge Poetry, and Daniel Alarc√≥n (a Granta "Best Young American Novelist" and one of the New Yorker’s ‘20 under 40’) will judge Fiction.

Winners in each competition will receive $1,000.00 each, blurbs about their work from the esteemed judges, and publication in the 2014 issue of Enizagam, an established and innovative literary journal published by the School of Literary Arts at Oakland School for the Arts. Winners and finalists will be nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Enizagam's editor.

The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2014, and the entry fee is $20. We are also accepting general submissions in fiction, poetry, and cross/multi-genre, fee-free. All contest and submission info may be found at

Contest Information for The New Guard Volume IV:

MACHIGONNE FICTION CONTEST: $1,000 for an exceptional fiction in any genre. Submit up to 5,000 words: anything from flash to the long story. Novel excerpts are welcome if the excerpt functions as a stand-alone story. We do not publish illustrations.

Judged by "Letters to Wendy's" author JOE WENDEROTH.

KNIGHTVILLE POETRY CONTEST: $1,000 for an exceptional poem in any form. Three poems per entry. Up to 150 lines per poem.

Judged by National Book Award Finalist and author of "Fast Animal" TIM SEIBLES.

THE NEW GUARD VOLUME IV contest readers are looking forward to reading your work! You can submit online via this submissions manager. The entry fee is $15. We no longer accept submissions by postal mail.

We accept .doc or similar files–no PDFs, please. We do pay strict attention to word and line count. We accept previously unpublished work only. Any size print run or online publication (including blogs and/or social networking) disqualify an entry. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, provided we're notified upon publication elsewhere. If we accept your story or poem for publication, we trust you will remove that story or poem from all other contests upon our acceptance of your work.

Contest winners and all finalists get one free copy of The New Guard, and each submission will be carefully considered for publication. Final judging is blind.

TNG retains standard first publication rights; all rights immediately revert to the writer upon publication. Please note that TNG cannot return manuscripts. We are presently accepting contest submissions only.

P.O. Box 866
Wells, ME 04090

2014 New South Writing Contest Now Open for Submissions

We’re please to announce the judges of the 2014 New South Writing Contest. Brian Oliu, author of So You Know It’s Me, will judge the poetry category, and Christopher Merkner, author of The Rise & Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic, will judge the prose.

The contest awards $1,000 to one winner in poetry and one winner in prose, and a $250 runner’s up prize in each category. Third place winners will win a three-year subscription, and all will be published in the Contest issue, New South 7.2

(Read the guidelines for the 2014 New South Writing Contest here)

Golden Walkman Magazine

Golden Walkman Magazine is now open for submissions. Information concerning our submission guidelines can be found on our website,

Floodwall Call for Submissions

We are now accepting submissions in fiction and poetry for our fifth issue, to debut this April. Our submission deadline is March 1st but all submissions received after this date will be considered for our Fall 2014 issue. Follow the link to Floodwall to view our submission guidelines. We look forward to reading your work.

Floodwall Magazine is an international journal of literary fiction and poetry that works to serve both the writers it publishes and the literary community of the University of North Dakota. We seek to accomplish this by accepting and publishing the very best in writing, featuring contemporary writers in a twice-yearly online publication. Floodwall is edited and produced by graduate students of the University of North Dakota Department Of English.

The Good Men Project Call for Submissions

The Good Men Project is an online magazine which receives millions of hits every month and is dedicated to “tackling the issues and questions that are most relevant to men’s lives." I am in need of poetry submissions dealing with men, masculinity, or men's issues. Even though the purpose of the site is to focus on “the issue of men’s roles in modern life,” and all submissions should deal with this theme in some way, we enthusiastically solicit submissions not just from men, but also from women and people of other gender identities and expressions.

Every accepted poem gets featured on the site for two days.

We have so far published work from both established and up-and-coming poets, such as William Reichard, Laura McCullough, Jim Cihlar, D. Gilson, and Jim Elledge.

Meet the Team

We're very pleased to introduce our spring 2018 Ashland MFA Faculty. We hope you're as excited about these names as we ar...