Wednesday, April 20, 2016

MFA Summer Residency Week 2 Themed Workshops

During Week 2 of our Summer Residency, some of our instructors have opted to focus on a specific theme. You will still be workshopping each others' writing samples, but much of the discussion will focus on the below themes.  

Fiction Week Two Themes

Writing Your Obsessions
We all have certain topics that we return to again and again in our writing. Somehow, we can't escape our own core interests and obsessions. And, of course, it's your obsessions that set you apart from every other writer. In this class, we'll explore your obsessions and work to get them on the page. Be prepared to let go of your writing inhibitions. 

Personal/History
Fiction is an art of invention, but research is still a useful tool to help us sharpen our rendering of what we know and help us write about what we don't. But how does one translate research into vital prose and characters? In this workshop, we will explore how fiction writers can transform researched fact into their fiction, through character, setting, plot, dialogue, etc. Reading excerpts from recent award-winning novels and stories that incorporate historical fact in fictions--including work by Lily King (Euphoria), Monique Truong (Book of Salt), EL Doctorow (Book of Daniel), and Randall Kenan (Let the Dead Bury Their Dead)--we will practice rendering research in various forms to suit your projects and explore the pleasures and perils of taking history personally.

Unthemed
to be determined

Creative Nonfiction Week Two Themes


Essaying the Image: Ekphrasticize Yourself
Images often inspire writers and impel them to essay and memoir. Family photographs trigger remembrance and reflection; art works provoke contemplation and analysis; posters, dust jackets, album covers all set off chains of thought. In this workshop, with references to books like A Postcard Memoir by Lawrence Sutin, Half in Shade by Judith Kitchen, A Moment with Strangers by W. Scott Olsen, and Leap by Terry Tempest Williams, we’ll rummage through our own collections of images both personal and impersonal to interrogate them, inhabit them, and investigate their impact on us through journal entries we share and discuss and finding impetus for further writing of essays, articles, blog posts, and memoir.

Load, Lessen, Level
Taking paragraphs and short sections of nonfiction prose, I show how writers emphasize (load), subordinate (lessen), and balance (level) elements of style, grammar, word choice, cohesion/coherence, narrative, statement, theme, and more. A writer makes these choices to set up variable patterns of emotionality, drama, and exposition. The rhythmic substance of prose, both narrative and expository, comes from the degree of play with repetition, variation, and stability. This intentional design is the primary shaper of the work’s meaning. 

The Mnemonics of Personal Nonfiction
Memory, coming to us as a strange concoction of thought and dream, is the source of memoir, personal essays, and other forms of creative nonfiction.  Some memories come unbidden, others emerge in the writing process, and some reluctant ones need to be teased out.  The primary focus of the class will be the daily workshop sessions on student writing, but we will also study a range of techniques to bring memories, even the shy ones, into consciousness and see them vividly enough and in enough detail to use in a memoir or essay. Students should bring paper and a pen even if they plan to use a computer to write.  We will use passages from my memoir, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder, which I will send to students as a word document.


Poetry 


There are no pre-set themes for Week Two Poetry Workshops, but specific topics may be selected according to student interest. 



Calls for Submission - April

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.

Journal Submissions


Upstart literary journal tiny poetry: macropoetics seeks submissions for its second issue. While small, its journal is unique and edgy and has already featured luminary American writers. They are looking for space-based poetry that focuses on the relationship between self and nature, self and items (such as household items, books, etc) and self and other (love, friendship, relationship). They want to curate ten total poems for each issue, twenty-five image poems (macros) and five poems surrounding animals, specifically cats. Send all submissions with an author bio to to macropoetics@gmail.com.
macropoetics.com.

Platypus Press Wildness wants work that evokes the unknown. Platypus Press publishes its online edition every two months. A print anthology will be released once a year. Rolling submissions. No minimum length for poetry and prose, but please keep stories under 2,500 words and each poem under 80 lines. They currently only accept unpublished works; this includes website and personal blogs.
http://readwildness.com/submit

Palaver was recently named one of Flavorwire’s hybrid magazines to follow. They are asking for Creative or Academic Submissions that defy the confines of a single discipline and have accessible language. The written academic work should be typed, double spaced, and follow MLA guidelines. Due to the volume of submissions Palaver receives, they ask that the academic pieces run no longer than twenty-five pages, and they do not accept previously published work-- be it print or online.
http://palaverjournal.com/submit-to-palaver/

Eternal Remedy is an online journal dedicated to creative writing surrounding the topics of existentialism, love, psychology, philosophy, religion and the human condition in general. In its third year of operation, the journal is looking to expand its writing selections.
http://eternalremedy.com/submissions/

Front Porch Journal, the online literary journal of Texas State University’s MFA program, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The journal publishes three times a year, highlighting emerging and established writers, reviews, and interviews. They are looking for new stories, essays, poems, flash, artwork, and graphic narratives.
http://frontporchjournal.com/submissions/

Trigger Warning is now accepting submissions for its first edition. This new literary magazine will focus on works that convey what it is to overcome personal struggles and which accurately illustrate the nature of the human experience. They accept personal essays, memoir, fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and hybrid works. They read year round and publish their journal three times per year. Reading fee is $5. Accepted writers receive $25.
http://www.triggerwarninglit.com/

Small Po[r]tions is accepting submissions for Issue 6! They aim to curate cross-genre, experimental and multi/intermedia work and hope to offer a shared space for experimental creative fiction and nonfiction, lyrical fiction, poetry, and multimedia pieces. Small Po[r]tions issues have a print component with a focus on book arts and an online component featuring selections from the print issue along with media work. Please submit up to 1000 words [up to 5 pages] or one multimedia work.
submissions@smallportionsjournal.com

Lunch Ticket, a twice-yearly literary and visual arts journal published by the MFA community of Antioch University of Los Angeles, is accepting submissions for their Summer/Fall 2016 issue in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Literary Translation and Multi-lingual Texts, Poetry, Young Adult, Flash Prose, and Visual Arts. The deadline is April, 30, 2016.
http://lunchticket.org/

Profane is now open for submissions. Profane is an annual print and audio journal featuring poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. They record every poem and piece of prose they publish in the author's own voice. Their reading period runs from April 1st until August 1st. They publish in the winter. There are no strict guidelines with respect to form or content. As their name suggests, they’re open to those pieces that transgress the boundaries of what some may consider "decent." At the same time, they encourage you to interpret "profane" as broadly as you like, and they do consider work of all kinds, profane or not. Profane is also accepting submissions for reviews, interviews, and cover and interior art.
profanejournal.com

Submit writing to "Inklight," a meeting place of creative writing and photography published on the website of Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism. For this unique project, photographers submit original work, which is selected to be posted on the Afterimage web site. Writers then submit original creative writing inspired by one of the images on the web site. New Inklight features will be posted on their web site regularly and archived indefinitely. For the current selection of photographs, please visit: vsw.org/afterimage/inklight/gallery/. Submit ONE piece of writing (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction) of up to 750 words or 25 short lines as a Word document email attachment toafterimage.inklight@gmail.com with “Inklight Writing” in the subject line, and include in your email the title and name of the artist of the work you are responding to. No critical responses, please.
vsw.org/afterimage/inklight/


Golden Walkman Magazine, a literary magazine for your ears, is accepting submissions. Send your best poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and craft essays. Work can be sent to submit@goldwalkmag.com. For guidelines, visit: http://goldwalkmag.com/submit/


Found Polaroids is looking for flash fiction to accompany their collection of “found polaroids.” While submitted stories are unpaid writing projects, the exposure that students would gain from their stories is widespread. Found Polaroids has been featured on such news outlets as BBC World Radio, The Guardian.com, Dazed Magazine, CBC Radio 'As It Happens’, MutantSpace.com, The Plaid Zebra, and many more.
http://www.foundpolaroids.com/

Glassworks publishes nonfiction, fiction, poetry, hybrid pieces, craft essays, new media, and art both digitally and in print. We also publish flash fiction, prose poetry, and micro essays in our online edition Flash Glass monthly. Submissions for Flash Glass are accepted on a year-round, rolling basis. www.rowanglassworks.org

Foothill: a journal of poetry invites graduate students to submit up to six unpublished, English-language-based poems composed in any poetic genre or form. They accept simultaneous submissions, and they read them year round. As compensation for publication, authors receive one free copy of the print journal. Foothill is published by Claremont Graduate University.
http://www.cgu.edu/pages/9078.asp

Autonomous Press/NeuroQueer Books just released its call for submissions for the second Spoon Knife Anthology. The theme for the next anthology is "Test Chamber." Spoon Knife 2 focuses on neurodivergence and disability as they intersect and interact with queer issues. This includes queering disability and neurodivergence, as well as discussing how neurodivergence functions or fits with other aspects of a queer identity. The deadline is August 8, 2016.
http://autpress.com/2016/03/call-for-submissions-and-guest-editor-announcement-for-spoon-knife-2-test-chamber/


Contests


The 5th Annual Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest is now underway, and they’re scouting for talent. Each year, they discover new voices – many from MFA programs, including Celeste McMaster, 2016 winner, for her short story “Zelda Burning” and West Moss winner of our 2015 contest with “Omeer’s Mangoes.” The winning story will be published in the January/February 2017 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, and the author will receive $500. Five runners-up will each receive $100 and their stories will be published online. Deadline is July 1, 2016. www.saturdayeveningpost.com/fictioncontest

Rabbit Catastrophe Press is introducing its first annual single poem contest, Real Good Poem Prize. $2,000 for the winning poem, plus 25 original limited edition broadsides and publication in Rabbit Catastrophe Review. Finalists may also be published in RCR. Send up to three (30 line limit for each individual poem) REAL GOOD POEMS. Deadline is June 30, 2016.
http://rabbitcatastrophepress.com/contests/#/real-good-poem-prize/

Profane's Nonfiction Prize will be judged by Brevity editor and author Dinty W. Moore. The winner will receive $1,000 and a blurb from the contest judge, and finalists will be announced and considered for publication. There is no theme. Send your best flash, essays, journalism, or narratives that will spoon out some space in our guts and take up residence there. For more information visit:
http://www.profanejournal.com/contests.html

The First Annual Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Book Contest is open for submissions of poetry manuscripts. The contest is offering a $1,000 cash prize, 50 author copies of the book, and all revenues from the sale of the book. Deadline is June 30, 2016.
https://exophidiapress.submittable.com/submit

Breakwater Review, an online literary journal run by University of Massachusetts Boston MFA students, is seeking submissions to the 2016 Peseroff Prize Poetry Contest and the Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. Both contests have a $10 submission fee. The winning poem and story will each receive a $1,000 prize and publication in their journal. The final judges will be poet Jill McDonough and author Askold Melnyczuk. May 15 deadline for both contests.
breakwaterreview.com

Momaya Press’s Short Story Competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and offers the opportunity for winners to be published in the Momaya Annual Review 2016. Entries are accepted now through 30 April 2016. The 2016 theme is “Ambition”. While entries for the short story competition may be on any topic, the review gets its cohesion from stories and artwork focusing on our central theme, interspersed among the contest winners’ stories. For more guidelines visit:
http://momayapress.com/momaya-short-story-competition/

Conferences, Workshops, and More


Indiana University Writers' Conference 2016 is held each year at the beautiful Bloomington campus! They would love for students and writers to join them this year from June 4-8. They have a stellar faculty including Dana Johnson, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, and Wesley Chu leading workshops! The conference includes workshops, classes, and readings (including student readings) and is one of the most affordable in the country. Plus, they offer scholarships. Workshops include: Fiction by Dana Johnson, Poetry by Gabrielle Calvocoressi, and Science Fiction by Wesley Chu. There will also be classes for Fiction, Poetry, and Non-Fiction lead by Salvatore Scibona, Amelia Martens, and Walton Muyumba and David Crabb. For any questions, email writecon@indiana.edu.
http://www.iuwc.indiana.edu/registration/

The Times Literary Supplement weekly journal is offering a special price to students in MFA Writing Programs. The regular subscription price is $185. But they have just instituted a discount price limited to students in MFA Writing Programs of just $92.50, payable in monthly installments on a credit card of just $7.70. That saves almost 85% off the regular price. To subscribe, simply go to www.mfa.tls-subscription.com. To access this rate, you must pay by a valid credit card.

Elk River Arts & Lectures is accepting applications for its 2016 summer workshop at Chico Hot Springs in Montana’s Paradise Valley. This second annual event runs August 8-11, bringing prominent writers together with advanced writing students for four days of seminars, workshops, lectures and readings in a small group environment. Deadline to apply is June 1. Three scholarships are available -- scholarship deadline is May 1. This year’s faculty includes 2016 Henry David Thoreau Prize winner Linda Hogan, two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Craig Lesley, PEN award-winning author Nina McConigley and bestselling novelist Jamie Ford.. Rolling admissions will close when full or on June 1, whichever comes first
ElkRiverWriters.org

The 5th Annual River Teeth Nonfiction Conference is now open for registration! Speakers for this year are Dinty W. Moore, Elena Passarello, Jill Christman, Hope Edelman, Steve Harvey, Kate Hopper, Sonya Huber, Tom Larson, Patrick Madden, Bob Root, Mike Steinberg, Ana Maria Spagna, and of course River Teeth co-editors Joe Mackall and Dan Lehman. River Teeth is excited about this bunch and we hope you are too! Information about registration discounts, deadlines, and more can be found on the website.
http://www.riverteethjournal.com/conference

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is thrilled to announce its Summer Poetry Writing Retreat, which runs from Friday, May 27th to Sunday, May 29th, 2016. The three-day, two-night camping retreat will be held on SAFTA’s own Firefly Farms in Knoxville, Tennessee. This year’s retreat will focus on generative poetry writing and include break-out sessions on publishing, kicking writer's block, and much more! A weekend pass includes one-on-one and group instruction, writing supplies, food, drinks, transportation to and from the airport, and all on-site amenities for $200. Tents, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment are available to rent. Payment plans are also available!
Reserve your place today at: https://squareup.com/market/sundress-publications


Something to add? Send it to mfa@ashland.edu. We're especially interested in opportunities that cater to new and emerging writers.

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...