Editorial Preferences in Nonfiction: Anahí Herrera

Let me be honest here, growing up I greatly disliked nonfiction. My reasoning? Well, I never once thought you could be creative with the real. Reality to me was boring, so utterly mundane. I couldn’t seem to fathom the appeal to it. Fiction, on the other hand, held all the mysteries in the world. But gradually, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that the real is so beautiful and heartbreaking. Becoming the Nonfiction Editor for Superstition Review has truly given me the space to appreciate the craft behind what is real. What is that I want out of nonfiction? Feeling. Make me feel something. The strongest of essays not only open your eyes to new perspectives, but they suspend you in time and bring you right back down to reflect upon your own life. I’m looking for raw connection between the reader and the writer. Like my Advanced Fiction professor states: Tell me your truth. Remind me of something I’ve forgotten, or something I’ve never known. When you write, allow me to enter your space and experience a snippet of your life with you. Tear at my heart with something so deeply personal that I am left breathless and disrupted. I want to see lyricism, musicality, and strong attention to detail. I want all of my senses to be activated. Construct sentences that sing off the page and paint me right into your life. I want stories to linger in my mind for days to come.

Anahi Herrera

Nonfiction Editor Anahí Herrera is a junior majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Film & Media Studies. She is also the current Fiction Editor at Lux Undergraduate Creative Review, a student run literary magazine funded by Barrett, The Honors College. It’s Anahí’s dream to one day write with the same fervor as Ray Bradbury and to pursue a passionate life of writing, book editing, and prose experimentation with film.

Authors Talk: Bryn Gribben

Today we are pleased to feature author Bryn Gribben as our Authors Talk series contributor. The topic of Bryn’s podcast is “finding your voice.” She begins by saying that “Everything you do before you find your voice matters,” and, to demonstrate this truth, describes her own journey of discovery as a creative writer and poet.

In the beginning of her college experience, Bryn states that she “was more interested in learning than in creating.” However, after discovering that she “just wasn’t having enough fun,” she began to pursue the creation of poetry. She says that “the feedback I was getting at the time made it seem like I had to choose between two paths: the academic and the creative,” but as she continued to find her literary voice, she realized that she didn’t have to make a choice. She just, as she says, “had to find a different audience.” She emphasizes that nowadays, she is still “pulled constantly between those two modes of being,” the analytical and the creative; for, as she says, “both modes of being engage my best self.”

You can read Bryn’s essay, “Divorce Closet,” in Issue 21 of Superstition Review.

Contributor Update, James M. Chesbro: A Lion in the Snow

A Lion in the Snow CoverToday we are proud to announce news about past contributor James M. Chesbro. James’ collection of essays titled A Lion in the Snow has been released and is available for purchase through Amazon here. The synopsis reads as follows: When his wife was pregnant, James M. Chesbro started having daydreams of seeing a lion in his street, padding toward his house through the snowflakes of a New England storm. He felt more like a son, still grieving over the early loss of his own father, rather than a prepared expectant-dad. In these essays, Chesbro finds himself disoriented and bewildered by fatherhood again and again as he explores the maddening moments that provide occasions for new understandings about our children and us.

James’ essay, “From the Rust and Sawdust,” which first appeared in Issue 12 of Superstition Review, is included in the collection.

Congratulations, James!

Authors Talk: Jo Scott-Coe

Jo Scott-CoeToday we are excited to feature author Jo Scott-Coe as our Authors Talk series contributor.

Jo discusses how her essay, “The Other Spencer Girl,” led her to write her recently published book, MASS: A Sniper, a Father, and a Priest. About “The Other Spencer Girl,” she notes on the visual contrasts between the lives of Cleveland Elementary School shooter, Brenda Spencer, and Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer. About MASS: A Sniper, a Father, and a Priest, she talks about UT shooter, Charles Whitman, and how his intense catholic upbringing has not been fully explored. Jo ends her talk by illuminating the question that arises from both of her mentioned works: “What if there is something we need to learn, something really awful that is hiding in plain sight, in ourselves, in the places we think we are safe, in the places we are comfortable and self-satisfied either collectively or alone?”

The Other Spencer Girl” can be read in Issue 14 of Superstition Review. MASS: A Sniper, a Father, and a Priest can be purchased from Pelekinesis now.

#ArtLitPhx: Community Creative Writing Workshop for Fiction or Nonfiction with Jennifer Spiegel

 

Join local author Jennifer Spiegel (Bell) for a free community creative writing workshop every Monday at Phoenix College! The class will take place in room B-126.

The focus will be on getting down the basics and hitting the hot topics. Jennifer will lead prospective writers of every skill level through a different topic each week.

List of topics:

3/26 Taking the community pulse: Fiction or nonfiction, writing goals, and basic principles.

4/2 Character and Point of View

4/9 Show don’t tell

4/16 Descriptive language

4/23 Dialogue

4/30 Beginnings and ends

5/7 Hot topics, publishing, writing in the age of #metoo, and the writing life.

Contact jenniferbell@phoenixcollege.com to RSVP or to ask any questions!

Jennifer Spiegel is mostly a fiction writer with two books and a miscellany of short publications, though she also teaches English and creative writing. She is part of Snotty Literati, a book-reviewing gig, with Lara Smith. She lives with her family in Arizona.

 

Contributor Update: Kirsten Voris 3rd place in Tuscon

Kirsten VorisWe are happy to announce that Kirsten Voris took third place in the 2018 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards in non-fiction for her story, “With Vampires, There Were Rules.” The full announcement can be read online at Tuscon Festival of Books.

Kirsten, whose poetry is featured in Issue 18 of Superstition Review, was recently featured on the blog for “Swimming with Headscarf Ladies” which can be read here.

Congratulations, Kirsten!

#ArtLitPhx: Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference is three days of craft talks, panels, workshops and presentations at Arizona State University. With more than 50 sessions from over 25 faculty members in multiple genres and fields, the goal is to provide writers with opportunities to make personal and professional connections, advance their craft, and deepen their engagement with the literary field. View the full conference schedule here.

About the conference from the host, The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing:

“We are committed to creating an accessible and inclusive space for writers of all backgrounds, genres, and skill levels. Conference faculty and programming encompass many genres which can often go under served in the literary field, including Young Adult, Science-Fiction/Fantasy, Crime Fiction, Translation, Graphic Novels, Hybrid, and more.

Special topics like climate change, social justice, and other contemporary issues also feature prominently.

Publishing, editing, agents, and other aspects of the business of publishing are included as well.

Beyond sessions, attendees can also participate in receptions, discussion groups, after-hour socials, and other opportunities to connect with fellow conference-goers, develop relationships, and build community.”

The 2018 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference will take place from Thursday, February 22 through Saturday, February 24. Writers of all backgrounds and experience levels are encouraged to attend. Register here.