We are proud to announce that past Superstition Review intern Jessica Marie Fletcher and current intern Jacqueline Aguilar were interviewed for ASU’s New Innovation Happens Podcast Series. The podcast is centered on their work with Iron City Magazine, the innovation the magazine brings, and the positive impact of prison education. Congratulations to the two! Podcast: https://universitydesign.asu.edu/podcast/iron-city-magazine
We are happy to share news that Iron City Magazine is currently accepting submissions for their third issue.
Iron City Magazine is, as put by Jessica Fletcher — former Superstition Review Intern and Iron City Magazine’s fiction editor — a “journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world.” The journal publishes these works to help show that prisoners are not solely defined by their crimes, but are human also. Submissions are limited to current and former inmates, prison volunteers, and staff.
The submission deadline is April 15th, 2018.
Iron City Magazine can also be supported through donation here.
For greater detail about Iron City Magazine’s mission and submission guidelines visit the Iron City Magazine’s website.
Reading submissions for Superstition Review allowed me to think about the stories I love to read. I’ve found that the best stories have a character I can connect with, and also an interesting problem.
There are so many elements that can make a piece of writing good. The first thing that comes to mind is characterization, which means creating round characters, with both internal and external struggles, and a full life that exists outside the page. My sister says that when she finishes a good book, she sometimes misses the characters and the time that she’s spent with them. One of my professors will always remind us in class not to say the word character, because writers are actually creating souls.
But it’s not enough to have an interesting character sitting in a room doing nothing. What makes a character truly endearing and relatable is their problems and how they choose to deal with them. Even Nick Carroway and Jay Gatsby without their dramatic love affairs would likely not hold a reader’s attention very long.
This is where I feel we get the human experience: when we read about someone relatable that has a problem foreign to us. Or someone that is completely foreign to us, and how they’ve overcome their problems (or not). Stories are about what a character wants and what they are willing to go through to get it. These struggles create an empathetic connection between the reader and the outside world.
Scientific American recently highlighted a study that found reading literary fiction helps young students to learn empathy. The experiment presented young groups with various types of reading; literary fiction, genre fiction, nonfiction, and nothing. The young readers that read literary fiction were significantly stronger at inferring others’ thoughts and emotions. Through seeing someone else’s trials and tribulations, a person is able to learn better how to interpret other people.
Interesting souls with interesting problems create the basis of fiction that empathetically moves readers. These are the kinds of stories that I love; stories that help to build an understanding of the world around us.
Bio: John Chakravarty is an undergraduate student at ASU majoring in English and Creative Writing. He is the Fiction Editor at Superstition Review. He also interns at Four Chambers Press reading submissions. When he graduates he hopes to write, edit, and publish for the comic book industry.
We want to hear from you!
During the month of April, SR will be featuring spotlights on past interns on our social networks and blog.
Please Facebook, Tweet, or email us and tell us about your current career!
All past interns who reach out to us will be entered to win a Starbucks gift card.
To me art must tell a story, whether it is a complex one or a simple one. Looking at a piece of artwork and having an emotional response means the artist did his or her job. One of my favorite leisurely activities is to go to an art museum with my dad and try to figure out the story behind what the artist is conveying through the piece. Whether we come up with serious stories or sometimes silly ones, everyone sees art differently and that is what I love about art: it speaks to us all in a different way.
I enjoy a variety of mediums when it comes to art, but the two I enjoy a little more are photographs and oil paintings. Photographs can take you back to a memory you long to relive and a gorgeous oil painting can make your wildest dreams take flight on a canvas.
There is a beauty to complex pieces of art as well as beauty in simplicity. Picasso said, “Everything you can imagine is real.” So create it- any way imaginable. Tell a story in the craft, complexity and simplicity of it all.
Ashlee Cunningham is a sophomore at Arizona State University pursuing an undergraduate degree in Intermedia Art. She is the Art Editor for Superstition Review and has loved growing her knowledge of art. When she is not in class you can find her capturing life through the lens of her camera.
Ashlee Cunningham, Art Editor for Issue 19 of Superstition Review.
Afternoon, everybody! It’s not just Superstition Review’s contributors who are busy doing amazing things these days. Right now, if you swing by MADE Art Boutique, on 922 N. 5th St. right here in Phoenix, Arizona, you can check out the work of Superstition Review’s very own blogger extraordinaire John Chakravarty. John’s work will be hanging from now ’til March 13th, where he will be showing a selection of 4″ x 6″ watercolor paintings as part of his series Postcards From Space. Says John, “My idea was to put modern, everyday people and problems in fantastic extraterrestrial settings.” Also, don’t miss the chance to check out John alongside his work at MADE this next First Friday, and as always, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below.
A selection of images from John’s Postcards From Space.
The flyer for John’s show at MADE Art Boutique.
Editorial Preferences in Fiction: H. Rae Monk (Spring 2017)
I remember fondly an Advanced Fiction class, where my peers and I workshopped two previously published short stories. The first piece took up only a few minutes of discussion, because everything about the craft, the content and the emotion was air-tight. The second, with many a swiftly moving editing pen and several hands risen, in need to remark on this or that took much, much longer to finish with. I think the instructor had us do this exercise for multiple reasons, however I remember the experience, because I couldn’t help asking, “Why did so-and-so publish this when it’s so obviously not a fully realized draft?” I think there has to be an honesty contract between editors and those who submit. I won’t push a story for consideration because it’s just “good enough”, but I’ll advocate for stories that I believe in, from the title to the final punctuation mark.
I love short literary fiction because there are no places to hide; unnecessary information is erased, prose are polished, and a truth about genuine human experience and emotion remain. I search for fearless, relatable, fully-formed stories that keep me engaged from the first sentence to the last. I tend to focus on stories with clean, well-paced writing, attention to detail, sentence variation, as well as situations and interactions that subvert my expectations. E. Annie Proulx writes, “I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story.” I look forward to working with, and helping put the concise beauties of submitting contemporary authors out into the public eye.
Bio: Student Fiction Editor H. Rae Monk is a Wyoming native and an almost graduate of ASU’s Creative Writing program. When she isn’t reading every book that comes under her nose, she enjoys creating short fiction driven by characters that see the world through the lens of their abnormal vocations. She also enjoys strong coffee, bouldering, traveling on a tiny budget with a big backpack and engaging with her local literary community. Her future plans are constantly changing, but she is considering both MFA programs and jobs in publishing.