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This Week in Words – June 9

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Ray Bradbury died this week at the ripe old age of 91, as Jean wrote about on Wednesday. The New Yorker featured a sci-fi issue this week (a lot of great work in this issue, both regular features and within the sci-fi theme). Bradbury was of course included, and he discussed his inspiration for “The Fire Balloons.” Also, in honor of Bradbury, The Huffington Post gathered a collection of 11 of Bradbury’s best quotes.

Interview of the Week
The Review Review recently interviewed Stephen Corey, editor of The Georgia Review. Corey rose through the ranks over 25 years from his starting position as assistant editor to his current position as editor, which he has held since 2008. In the interview, he talks about how he got to where he is, what he likes to see in writing, and how a writer’s work is treated when it’s submitted to The Georgia Review (for example, he forbids use of the phrase “slush pile”). He also offers advice to students or writers who want to start their own literary journal: mainly, “Be ready to work for love rather than money. Publish only the writing and never the writer.”

Lit Mags that Aren’t Us
Electric Literature has started a new project called Recommended Reading, in which they publish both previously published and unpublished work chosen by writers or editors. The editors told The L Magazine the project’s purpose is to “distinguish extraordinary pieces of fiction through personal recommendations.” The stories are all long-form fiction pieces published on a weekly basis. This week, they’re featuring “North Of” by friend and contributor to Treehouse, Marie-Helene Bertino. With three different formats to choose from (online, ePub, Kindle), there’s no excuse not to read it.

Southeast Missouri State University Press is hosting two contests for their publication Big Muddy. The Mighty River Short Story Contest offers a $500 prize with publication in Big Muddy. Stories should be no more than 30 pages, previously unpublished, and accompanied by a $15 reading fee (which also pays for a copy of the issue in which the winning story will appear). For those who favor flash fiction, the Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest is accepting submissions of short-short stories no more than 500 words apiece, with a $10 reading fee. The winner receives $300 and publication in Big Muddy. The deadline for both contests is October 1, 2012, and winners will be announced in January 2013.

Novella Month
Because someone had to do it, The Emerging Writers Network has designated June as Novella Month. They have a number of features honoring the novella, including a list of 100 novellas to read compiled by Treehouse contributor Kyle Minor. Thanks to his suggestions, my own list of books to read is 80 items heavier and the better for it.

If for some reason you find Minor’s list leaves something to be desired, Nouvella Books offers their own “starter list” of novellas to read. Some of the titles overlap, but there’s bound to be something for everyone on one of these lists.

This Week in Words – June 2

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

In-House Info
First things first: On behalf of the staff here at Treehouse, I want to thank everyone who helped out with last week’s Jesus’ Son Retrospective. We are oh-so-lucky to have had fabulous contributors, plentiful readers, and supportive friends and fans who helped spread the word. We appreciate you guys!

Interview of the Week
The Review Review interviewed Mary Akers, editor of online literary journal r.kv.r.y. Akers inherited the journal from its founding editor via Facebook and, like the Treehouse crew, she and her staff are all volunteers (and writers). The journal follows a theme of recovery, but they try to keep to recovery stories that are less personal catharsis and more saying “something about the human condition.” As far as themes go, recovery seems to be one with no shortage of subscribers. “I think that if you’re alive,” Akers says, “you’re recovering from something, and if you haven’t been at the bottom of some awful place, you will be.” It’s a dark way of looking at things, but it’s far from inaccurate.

Lit Mags that Aren’t Us
In my endless quest for Twitter followings, I came across three lit mags I didn’t know existed. The first is called Matchbook and it features “stories quite short plus critical thoughts.” Less succinctly put, Matchbook publishes flash fiction and “indeterminate prose” of 1,000 words or less. They’ll publish longer pieces but only if said pieces are “exceptional.” This doesn’t sound far from what we do at Treehouse, but Matchbook adds critical discussions to their published works. If they like your work and decide to publish it, they’ll ask you to submit a critical thought to accompany your writing. Currently, they’re running a piece called “Orphan Shop” by Terese Svoboda.

The other two magazines I stumbled upon come to us from across the pond – Fleeting and 3:AM Magazine. Fleeting publishes fiction, poetry, and interviews. They like “daring, lucid, erudite, amusing, and infectious writing.” The interviews are one-of-a-kind, with questions like, “Are boys meaner than girls, or vice versa?” and “Why won’t the aliens step forth to help us?” What I love most about this magazine is The Clinic – you can submit your work to this “literary consultancy” run by the magazine, to get notes and criticisms about your piece. It isn’t free, but good feedback rarely is. 3:AM is something wholly different. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what it is. They don’t have an “about” page and I am pitifully lost without one (my own blog doesn’t have an “about” page, and I still have no idea what goes on over there). Fortunately, the published pieces throughout the site manage to speak for themselves. And from their submission guidelines, I know they accept poetry, fiction, non-fiction and reviews. As for what they stand for, what they do, or who they are, 3:AM says it best themselves: “Whatever it is, we’re against it.”

The Coffin Factory – one of the coolest-named lit mags on the block – is having a Very Short Story Contest with a submission deadline of August 15. It’s a $10 entry and first prize wins $200 and publication in their fourth issue, with second and third place earning publication in their O-Bits Blog (ha!) and a free copy of the magazine.

Burnside Review is having a Poetry Chapbook Competition ending June 30, with the winner being announced September 1, 2012. The winner will receive $200 and 10 copies of the chapbook.

Glimmer Train is having a Fiction Open ending June 30. It’s $19 to enter, but the grand prize is a whopping $2500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories and 20 copies of the issue. Second prize is $1000 and third is $600. Stories of all themes are accepted, with word counts between 2,000 and 20,000. Results are announced August 31.