Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ashland University MFA at AWP

Ashland MFA faculty members and alumni are represented on multiple panels at the AWP Conference in Washington, DC, February 8-11, 2017. 

Below is a list of conference sessions involving our Ashland writing community. Know of a book signing, reading, or other event that we’ve missed? Please let us know so we can add it to the list:

We’ll be at Booth #167, so stop by and say hello. Students, faculty, and alumni who would like to help man the booth for an hour or so, please contact Cassy at 
See you in Washington, DC!

Thursday, February 9

R196. A 25th Anniversary Reading by CGU's Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award Winners 
Thursday,12:00 pm- 1:15 pm
Location: Room 206, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Claremont Graduate University’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is one of the most prestigious prizes a contemporary poet can receive. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award was created in 1993 to both honor a poet and provide resources to allow literary artists to continue honing their craft. These past recipients of the Kingsley Tufts Awards showcase the breadth and depth, as well as geographic and aesthetic diversity, of the poetry that CGU’s Tufts Awards supports and celebrates.

Book Signing: 
Moon City Press Table (125)
Thursday, 2:00-3:00 pm
Ashland MFA graduate Sarah Freligh will sign copies of her award winning poetry collection Sad Math at the Moon City Press table. 

Thursday, 3:00-4:15 pm
Location: Room 202A, Washington Convention Center, Level Two

As fiction writers, we often feel pressure to write inside the confines our own experience, as defined by our ethnic identity, gender, sexual orientation, economic class, and so on. This panel explores the edges and interstices of that pressure. In what contexts is it acceptable to write outside such confines? In what contexts is it not? What does "diversity" mean when creating a fictional world? As writers, who has cultural permission to press past the confines of one's own identity?

Thursday, 4:30 pm- 5:45 pm
Location: Marquis Salon 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Illness and health, injury and healing, life and death: medical subjects carry drama and our core humanity. No wonder ours is a golden age of nonfiction by physicians and nurses. Five college and MFA faculty present the literary strategies of medical authors they love to teach. How do these scribes portray patients with diseases, the vicissitudes of treatment, the healer’s empathy, the toll it takes on all? How do we teach our students the art and craft of reading and writing medical narrative?

Friday, February 10

Friday, 9:00 am- 10:15 am
Location: Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
"When the vein of jade/is revealed in the rock," Lu Chi writes in his classic The Art of Writing, "the whole mountain glistens." Likewise, a single detail can reveal the meaning and mystery of a scene, an essay, or a book. Practitioners of various nonfiction forms, from journalism to hybrid, each choose a particular detail from a well-regarded nonfiction and show how it becomes—by its context, its imagery, its power to—the vein of jade that allows the whole to glisten.

Friday, 10:30 am- 11:45 am
Location: Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level One
The internet is the most significant advance in writing and publishing since Gutenberg, and it's also one of the defining subjects of contemporary literature. It can be a powerful tool and a supreme distraction, an interruption or inspiration. Writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction talk about how the web has influenced their work and working lives, and discuss the internet as a subject, compositional instrument, publishing platform, and (sometimes troubling) extension of the writer’s brain.

Friday, 10:30 am- 11:45 am
Location: Archives, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Writing with empathy in mind, especially in nonfiction, can create texture in our work and be transformative for both writer and reader. On this panel we explore various angles of perspective: scenes where narrators show empathy toward other characters—especially ones who are unlikeable—and vice versa, reflections that suggest empathy of a memoirist for a younger self, as well as techniques for showing empathy, as a writer, for the reader, and from both reader and writer for the nonhuman world.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
Location: Salon F, Washington Convention Center, Level One
When we talk about the structure of narrative, it is often by using the Freytag pyramid: rising action, plateau, denoument, climax, and so on. This panel will discuss the reality of plotting/structuring a novel, often using criteria that has little or nothing to do with Freytag. Structure can be based on criteria unconcerned with plot and plot can go far from structure. What possibilities exist and how might we offer such possibilities to ourselves and our students?

Friday, 3:00 pm- 4:15 pm
Location: Liberty Salon N, O, & P, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
How do writers follow the thread of a thought through the maze of events in an essay or memoir? What is the art of reflection? Writers of nonfiction may have more latitude than poets or fiction writers to tell as well as show in their work, but the challenge is to keep these ruminations from becoming dull, simplistic, or moralistic. Panelists examine the way writers keep ideas lively and offer techniques for effectively weaving the thread of thought into the fabric of nonfiction.

F268. The Village of Your Novel 
Friday, 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
Location: Room 207B, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Rebecca Smith,  Carole Burns,  Robin Black,  Margot Livesey
Jane Austen advised that three or four families in a country village was the very thing to work on. Two hundred years since the publication of Emma, the idea of the village of your novel can help you manage a cast of characters, build tension, and create a sense of place. This international panel looks at ways writers create villages (inner city or rural) and demonstrates practical methods and exercises for leading readers into a convincing world, utilizing its spaces and playing with its rules. 

Friday, 4:30 pm- 5:45 pm
Location: Marquis Salon 6, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Robbie Maakestad, Speer Morgan, Jodee Stanley, Sarah M. Wells, Joel Hans
As readers increasingly turn to the internet for literary content, journals face a serious question: print or digital? For The Missouri Review, River Teeth, Ninth Letter, Cartridge Lit, Fairy Tale Review, and Phoebe, the answer has been a mixture of both mediums. Editors discuss solutions, such as audio/podcast platforms, online issues, digital chapbooks, blogs, and digital archival, which their journals have implemented to fit the evolving literary landscape.

AWP Ashland Gathering
Friday, 5-6 p.m.
Location: Shaw's Tavern 520 Florida Ave NW
Join us for refreshments and socializing!  

Offsite Creative Nonfiction Reading
Friday, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm 
Location: Shaw's Tavern 520 Florida Ave NW
Join Under the Gum Tree, Fourth Genre, and River Teeth for a happy hour. Three magazines publishing exclusively nonfiction are partnering on this event to  bring you a line up of previous contributors. Grap your happy hour drink of choice from the cash bar and toast to some true stories. Readers will include MFA Faculty Steve Harvey. 

Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands Pre-Publication Party/Reading
Friday, 7:00 pm 
Location: Renaissance Hotel
Alumni Joseph Hess will read as part of the pre-publication event for the forthcoming Nuclear Impact Anthology: Broken Atoms in our Hands. Joe will have three poems in the collection which comes out in February. 

Saturday, February 11

Saturday, 9:00 am- 10:15 am
Location: Marquis Salon 3 & 4, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
This panel of Hudson Whitman authors—first-time and established—will read from their books, demonstrating that a small independent press—devoted to books on nursing, health care, education, and the military—can be a smart, vibrant, and alternative publisher of socially relevant nonfiction.

S180. The Path to Publishing a First Story Collection. 
Saturday, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
Location: Liberty Salon M, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
(Erin Stalcup,  Robin Black,  Lori Ostlund,  Melissa Yancy) 
Four authors discuss their different paths to publishing their first books. One of the panelists got an agented two-book deal with a big New York house, one got an unagented contract with a small university press, and two won contests: the Drue Heinz Prize and the Flannery O’Connor Award. They’ll share their stories, and provide resources and handouts to help audience members understand ideal and realistic possibilities, and navigate their own journeys to publication.

Saturday, 3:00 pm- 4:15 pm
Location: Room 203AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Do poets who translate produce a new poem that imitates the source material, or do they bring across the idiom and word in the full definition of the word "translating"? Are poets vehicles for the work they translate, or are they called on to recreate? If the latter, what is permissible within the context of literary translation? The following languages are used as examples in this panel: Danish, French, Hebrew, Kurdish, and Romanian.

Saturday, 3:00 pm- 4:15 pm
Location: Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Many essayists have employed speculation throughout the form’s history, relying wholly on speculation (relating nothing verifiable) rather than engaging “fact.” Virginia Woolf’s “Death of a Moth,” for example, does not require a verifiable moth to achieve its power. But what are the limits to speculation? Must essayists always signal their speculative intentions? Can an essayist delve into the traditional realm of the fiction writer, overturning traditional notions of point of view in the essay?

Click here to see the complete AWP Conference schedule.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Calls for Submission - November/December

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 submission

Journal Submissions

Tammy Journal is reading (all lengths, all forms, all genres) for its seventh issue.  Founded in 2009, Tammy is a print journal and chapbook press publishing work from the esteemed fringes and unguarded egresses of American letters. Deadline is December 1, 2016.

Riprap Literary Journal is now accepting submissions for issue 39. Calling all poets, short fiction, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction writers, photographers, and artists. Deadline is December 2, 2016.

The Woven Tale Press welcomes unsolicited submissions. Since their mission is to grow traffic to noteworthy artists and writers on the World Wide Web, they want to be able to link back your work; you must have a blog or website address. 

The Tarpaulin Sky Press biennial reading period for manuscripts in any genre is open. Two manuscripts will be chosen for publication — one by guest judge Bhanu Kapil, the other by TS Press editors. In addition to publication, each author will receive $1000. The books will be published in spring 2018, in time for AWP Tampa. Deadline is November 30, 2016. 

The Southern Review’s submission period is open, with submissions for poetry remaining open until February 1, 2017 and submissions for prose remaining open until December 1, 2017. They accept mail submissions in all genres and online submissions in fiction and nonfiction.
Arts and Letters Journal’s general reading period is now open. Send them your poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions to be considered for an upcoming issue. They would also love to read the flash fiction stories you have lying around! Deadline is January 31, 2017.

Fiction International will accept submissions in response to the theme of Fool from October 1, 2016 to February 15, 2017. Fiction International publishes an award winning annual print journal that emphasizes formal innovation and social activism.  Each issue revolves around a theme and features a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, indeterminate prose, and visuals by leading writers and artists from around the world. Interested writers are invited to visit their submission guidelines page at:

Catfish Creek, the national undergraduate literary journal published by Loras College, is now reading for our seventh edition, to be released in spring of 2017. We welcome submissions of fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction. Any student currently registered in an undergraduate program is eligible to submit.

Arkana, the new, online journal of the Arkansas Writers MFA Program is excited to begin accepting submissions in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Illustrated Narrative. They are particularly interested in the voices of emerging writers and artists. For this inaugural issue, Arkana encourages writers to submit work that reflects their mission: to seek and foster a sense of shared wonder by privileging art that asks questions, explores mystery, and works to discover and uncover the overlooked, the misunderstood, and the silent.  The deadline is February 1, 2017.

The Southeast Review is currently accepting poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and book review submissions for issues 35.1 and 35.2. They seek quality writing from a range of traditions and styles, with an emphasis on work that pushes boundaries and uses its craft to evoke emotion while making the strange seem familiar and the familiar, strange.

CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, accepts submissions of poetry, short fiction, visual art, essays, reviews, and interviews annually from October 1 - December 31. They are always open for submissions of art and book reviews.

Rabbit Catastrophe Review is now open for submissions and publishes original poetry, prose, and art. They are dedicated to publishing writers marginalized from mainstream literary communities. The journal is reading for issue #12, due out in July 2017.  The deadline is December 1, 2016.

The Rush is a new literary magazine created and run by the MFA creative writing students at Mount St. Mary's University in Los Angeles, and they are reading for its first publication. They’re looking for high-energy pieces that reflect the rush of life.  They are accepting submissions October 1 through December 1, 2016. Send submissions and see guidelines here:

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 or visit

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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]tionsissues 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.

JuxtaProse is accepting submissions in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, art, and photography. We pride ourselves on providing a venue where emerging writers can find a voice alongside some of the most respected names in world literature.

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: Submit ONE piece of writing (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction) of up to 750 words or 25 short lines as a Word document email attachment 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.

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 For guidelines, visit:

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, Dazed Magazine, CBC Radio 'As It Happens’,, The Plaid Zebra, and many more. 

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.

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. 


The 2017 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival's Writing Contests are now open for submissions! The top nine finalists for all contests will receive a panel pass ($75 value) to the Festival (March 22-26, 2017), and their names will be published on the Festival's website. Deadline for the one-act play contest is November 1, 2016; deadline for the poetry contest is November 15, 2016; and the deadline for the fiction contest is November 30, 2016.

The 9th Annual Nâzim Hikmet Poetry Competition is open for submissions. Winners will receive an award of $100 and will be invited to read their poems at the 9th Annual Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival, which will be held on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at Page-Walker Arts & History Center in Cary, North Carolina. Winning poems will be published in the Festival anthology and on the festival web site. Deadline is January 15, 2017. 

Shelterbelt Press is now accepting submissions for its first Poetry Prize, which being judged by Ada Limón! The winning book will be published by Shelterbelt Press in the fall of 2017. Winners receive a $500 award, 25 copies of their book, plus a trip to the University of Illinois Springfield for a reading and launch party.

Permafrost’s Book Prize in Poetry is now open for submissions. Their judge is Jericho Brown, author of Please and The New Testament, which won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Winners will receive $1000 and publication and distribution through the University of Alaska Press. Permafrost prefers that manuscripts are at least 50 pages long. Deadline is January 15, 2017.

Enter Writer Advice’s SCINTILLATING STARTS Contest for fiction, memoir, and creative nonfiction. Grab and hold them with your opening paragraphs. Send up to 1000 words of your first chapter by December 1, 2016. Guest judges will be last year’s winners Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Kevin O’Keefe. If your work is shared on Writer Advice, you’ll be able to tell prospective agents, publishers, and book buyers that you were one of the winners of Writer Advice’s Scintillating Starts Contest. A cash award of $210 will be split among those whose work is shared.

Glimmer Train’s annual Family Matters contest is now accepting submissions. They are looking for stories about families of all configurations. First place winner will be published in Glimmer Train and will receive $2,500 and 10 copies of the issue. Second and third place winners receive $500/$300, respectively. The deadline is January 1, 2017.
Australian Book Review, Australia's premier literary magazine, is accepting entries for their 2017 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. The winner receives $5,000, and shortlisted poets receive $500. All the shortlisted poems are published in the magazine. The judges this year are Ali Alizadeh, Jill Jones, and Felicity Plunkett. The deadline is December 1, 2016.

Tupelo Quarterly is currently having a contest for poetry, hybrid writing, and cross-disciplinary projects. They are particularly interested in work that exists as a conversation, and the poetry contest theme is “Call and Response.” TQ11’s Poetry Contest will be judged by Darcie Dennigan. The winning entry will be recognized with a cash honorarium and publication in TQ11. The deadline is December 1, 2016. 
Bodega Magazine's first annual contest is now live and accepting entries in poetry and fiction! Winners get $250, publication in Bodega, and the opportunity to conduct an interview one of the amazing judges--Jay Deshpande​ for poetry and Tracy O'Neill​ for fiction--which will also be published in the magazine. Deadline is November 30, 2016.

Cosmonauts Avenue is thrilled to announce that their 2nd annual Poetry Prize is now open for submissions! CA’s judge is the one and only Eileen Myles! The winner will receive $500, second place $150, and third place $50. All three will be published in an upcoming issue of Cosmonauts Avenue. The deadline is November 15, 2016.
Bayou Magazine is pleased to announce its 2016 contests in Poetry and Fiction. The judge for this year’s Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry is Myung Mi Kim. Deadline is January 1, 2017. The James Knudsen Prize for Fiction will be judged by Anne Raeff. Deadline is January 1, 2016.  Winners of both contests receive $1,000 and a one-year subscription to Bayou Magazine.  For more about the poetry contest, visit: For more about the fiction contest, visit:  

Crosswinds Annual Poetry Contest is open for submissions. From all submissions, approximately 100 poems will be accepted for publication. First prize winner receives $1,000; second places receives $250; and third place receives $100. The deadline is December 31, 2016.

The Poet’s Billow, an organization dedicated to increasing the exposure of poetry, is extending their deadline for the Atlantis Award to November 1, 2016. The award is given to a single best poem. The winning poet receives $200 and will be featured in an interview on The Poet’s Billow web site. The winning poem will be published and displayed in The Poet’s Billow Literary Art Gallery. Up to five finalists will be considered for publication.  
Cosmonauts Avenue is thrilled to announce that our 2nd annual Poetry Prize is now open for submissions! Their judge is Eileen Myles, and the deadline is November 15, 2016.  The winner will receive $500, second place $150, and third place $50. All three will be published in an upcoming issue of Cosmonauts Avenue.

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.

Conferences, Workshops, and More

The Baltic Writing Residency is currently accepting applications for a month-long residency in Stockholm, Sweden. The deadline is January 15th. The BWR provides $1,000, and a cottage in Stockholm for one poet, playwright, or writer of fiction working in English. Though, neither the writer nor their project need be connected with SwedenApplications can be sent via submittable (

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 To access this rate, you must pay by a valid credit card. 

The 2017 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival's Writing Contests are now open for submissions! The top nine finalists for all contests will receive a panel pass ($75 value) to the Festival (March 22-26, 2017), and their names will be published on the Festival's website. Deadline for the one-act play contest is November 1, 2016; deadline for the poetry contest is November 15, 2016; and the deadline for the fiction contest is November 30, 2016.
More information and full guidelines 

Something to add? Send it to 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...