Four Palaces Publishing is currently open to submissions for their fiction anthology contest. They are searching for short stories between 2,000 and 6,000 words long. They will also accept up to three flash fiction pieces. The theme of their anthology is “Desire to Escape.” The author of the winning story will receive $1,000 and a mentorship from guest judge Ivelisse Rodriguez, whose short story collection Love War Stories was a 2019 PEN/Faulkner finalist and a 2018 Foreword Reviews INDIES finalist.
Founded in 2021, Four Palaces’ goal is to promote and publish works by previously unpublished writers from underrepresented communities.
Frederick Tran is the executive director and publisher of Four Palaces. Emily Townsend is the managing editor, and her nonfiction piece “Consider the Honeybee” appeared in Issue 19 of Superstition Review.
Submissions close August 31, 2022! Go here to submit your story.
Randon Billings Noble has compiled a diverse array of writers for a remarkable collection of lyric essays published by the University of Nebraska Press in October 2021. A Harp in the Stars: An Anthology of Lyric Essays “show lyric essays rely more on intuition than exposition, use image more than narration, and question more than answer.” Although no one summary can begin to capture the essence of these essays, one can expect revelation through flash, segmented, braided, and hermit crab forms, plus a section of craft essays. This collection also features a number of past SR contributors including Dinty W. Moore, Lia Purpura, Sarah Einstein, Elissa Washuta, Julie Marie Wade, Eric Tran, Heidi Czerwiec, and Michael Dowdy.
Randon Billings Noble was featured in Issue 11. If you would like to see even more of Noble’s work, it is featured on her website and she can also be found on Twitter.
I’ve been searching for a book like this for over twenty years. Its remarkable dazzle–a sharp, eclectic anthology combined with whip-smart craft essays–carves out a fascinating look into the bright heart of what the lyric essay can be.
Aimee Nezhukumatahil, author of World of Wonders
A Harp in the Stars is available via the publisher, Amazon, or anywhere books are sold.
‘You’re home early,’ and he says, ‘Yes I am.’ He fumbles through boxes in the basement.
There is a 35-millimeter Nikon FG-20 buried in here somewhere, beneath football jerseys and an antler chandelier she’d made him take down.
All through dinner she asks questions about work. To pacify her, he says he has managed to collect some overdue funds from Hitachi, one of the ‘majors.’ This is an outright lie. The tree book sits on the hall table, waiting.”
Announcing Transatlantic, the first anthology from long-running London literary magazine Litro, Transatlantic collects together some of the best stories – and the biggest names – to have passed through its pages.
Litro magazine has always taken a global view of the literary world, and this collection is no exception. There are stories from authors on both sides of the Atlantic, spanning locations as far apart as Ithaca and Nairobi – and even the surface of the moon. What connects them is the strength of their voices, and the vibrant originality of their storytelling.
Transatlantic contains disturbed choristers and post-apocalyptic survivalists, aspiring rock stars and morally bankrupt nuclear power plant workers – but more importantly, it contains some of the most exciting and unique new voices to have appeared in modern fiction over the last few years.
Transatlantic: The Litro Anthology collects some of the best writing to have passed through the pages of Litro magazine, including stories by Anthony Doerr, Sean Beaudoin, Nikesh Shukla, Lucie Whitehouse and Jenn Ashworth.
It also introduces Reece Choules and Iain Robinson – the first two authors to sign to Litro’s bespoke literary agency, Litro Represents.
Why not join the Litro community and connect with like minded people and support our efforts to find new ways of looking at the world through stories, as well as providing opportunities and exposure for emerging writers, perhaps kick-starting their careers.
A membership to Litro will help us to continue to support our many emerging writers, and who knows, your support could be the one that helps launch the next great literary talent!
Membership to our Book Club gives you access to a community of writers, as well as the following:
Four times a year you will receive an advance copy of the featured book in the post (worth more than £50)
See your book reviews published online and have the chance to enter special Book Club member writing competitions
Exclusive author access including face-to-face events in London and online Q&As
And much more “Members Only” content including special reader gift offers from our many partners
Other Membership Options:
With our all-access UK membership, you get Litro Magazine delivered to your door: 10 issues of Litro Magazine a year, plus exclusive access to hundreds of short stories from past issues in our digital archive.
Get in on our quarterly Book Club: four new books a year from our Book Club, plus access to live author Q&As, and the chance to see your reviews published on litro.co.uk. Discounts on Litro Live! events: 50% off Litro Live! events and priority booking.
With our all-access International membership, you get all the same benefits as for UK readers, but at a small additional cost to cover postage and packaging.
Our Student membership gives you the same benefits as a full membership, but at a discounted rate. You will be asked to show proof that you are a student of a school or university in the UK.
The room is a hot squeeze: words bounce and echo with the clank of mugs, the hiss of steam, the scrape of chairs. On the walls, there is artwork for sale, nailed against galvanized metal sheets or perched on wooden shelves. Behind the counter, a chalkboard menu. This is the kind of coffeehouse that serves organic foods and homemade pies, that hangs up rotating artwork and anti-racism signs. Nestled between a grimy convenience store and a tattoo parlor in central Tucson, its most frequent customers by day seem to be students and professors from the university, or people who make soap to sell at farmers’ markets, or tattooed elites. Once a month, it stays open for this poetry slam, which is regularly packed with high school students from all over southern Arizona, their families, teachers, passersby.
I got here early, and I’m sitting in a corner. I’ve got paper, but I am not, like so many of the young people around me, scribbling inspired lines of poetry or working thumb pads overtime on my phone. Instead of spinning out poems, I am drawing details – the mood, what poets say to each other, what they slam about, how they respond to their scores. I’m writing a dissertation about these poets. It’s a study of youth discourse, art, and activism, and I argue for the poets’ use of rhetorical strategies as suggestive of a specific kind of youth coalition. It’s hard for me to write such words, to work my mouth and ear around academic terms, but this is what I try to do now.
The first time I came to this poetry slam, I didn’t listen. I looked for craft. Pristine lines. I had the MFA ear, so precious. I did not want to hear explicit teen angst. I was with my friend, a writer who is working on a mystery novel. She is a PhD student with three children who supports her family on her own, and she runs at least a dozen miles every morning so she needs to eat constantly – she totes cartons of blueberries and bags of spinach, bagels and nuts.
We are both researchers on a grant that is funding work with local youth organizations, and this poetry slam is one of them. Our interdisciplinary research collective meets in a building on campus that is far from my English department home. This is how far: I was shocked when someone suggested that I could ask for undergraduate help in transcribing and coding my research data, and then I got access to a bright, clean room with a refrigerator where I could place my lunch without admonishment from tenured faculty. In this research collective, we talk about the problems and activism of marginalized Tucson youth who have suffered from increasingly restrictive policies in Arizona, such as the ethnic studies bill, the parents’ bill of rights, and the anti-immigration law. We sit in clean white rooms with bright lights and melodramatic air conditioning and expensive technology. We sit, and we try to figure out how this room squares with all the other spaces of Tucson.
This doesn’t tell you what I am trying to tell you, which is that my friend hears what is beautiful about this space long before I do. That first time, she, also, has brought paper, but, while I listen for gems, she hears the pulse. She nods and furiously writes, transcribing as many lines as she can. We squabble over awarding points because we have been asked to judge. Before the slam, we were handed a binder with scorecards numbering 1-10. At poetry slams, judges are chosen randomly from the audience, and no one is assumed to be an all-knowing critic. Or, everyone is an all-knowing critic because poetry is supposed to be public. After each poem, my friend clutches her heart and wants to give everyone 10’s. I wrinkle my nose frequently and insist upon a lower score, but no lower than 8.5 or we’ll get a big boo from the room. Sometimes she tosses up a 10 before I can object.
The problem with me is that I cannot yet bring myself to be generous, to love what is happening here. Writing has become a cool endeavor. For years, it has been difficult for me to look at my writing, at others’ writing, and be moved. This is not meant to be a quotidian lament about MFA programs, or the “workshop story,” or whatever else is, of late, a concern in creative writing. It is meant to suggest a simple question: how can writing move you (me), again?
Long ago, a New York Times columnist came to my MFA program, read one of my essays, and informed me I could not write a sentence. His pencil crawled over every line. I had felt that my essay was poetic. It had no meaning, no direction, sure, but it was a vivid narrative with comets and cornfields and a school field trip to the planetarium. Look how I’m undermining it. And the way I bowed to that creeping pencil. The way I agreed. The way I said it didn’t bother me while other students were weeping (he had done the same to all of us chosen to work with him). The way I thought my first publication worked because my favorite professor told me it was Chekhovian, and how that was the reason I figured I would submit it somewhere. The way I fool with myself. The way I can shrug at writing I’ve spent days, or years, producing. The way I learned to pause, to sip the sentence, close my eyes, approve of its warmth. And then the way the sipping could dismiss.
A poetry slam is not for sipping. You have to chug. It took a few slams for me to begin to learn how to listen, to be open to what moves these youth poets. There’s as much posturing in professional slam as in “literary” work, but this local slam is a different space. There are so many lines here, less the kind of lines that split than the lines that flow, a river of lines, a cacophony of lines, a supernova. Lines about racial tropes, familial bonds, the ideologies of citizenry, the notion of other. Lines tracing what it means to listen, to be heard, seen, felt. Lines of what it means to be young, genderqueer, gay, brown, white, poor, suburban, defined, confused, certain. Lines that cross, squiggle out past straight, open up the possibility of multifaceted identities, temporal identifications, complex humans. They write these lines before the slam, during the pre-slam workshop, or as the slam unfolds, anticipating their turn, almost-but-not-quite getting cold feet. They come here to write, to listen. They text each other after poems they like, or poems that baffle them; they give each other post-performance hugs. It’s not like the poetry readings of literary treasure. It’s not about “mmmm” or “mmm-hmmm,” the sharp intake of breath at a precious line, the expected silence or pregnant pause that signals we all are wandering in our separate, wooded brains. These lines often call me to reconsider what it means to write and act. They write as if there were no time for anything else, as if their lives were not scrolls just beginning to unfurl.
For the past year, Treehouse has been dedicated to exhibiting pleasantly unusual and interesting writing that is short enough to read on a coffee break but good enough to linger over. We feature previously unpublished work from emerging and established writers alike. We accept writing no longer than 1,000 words in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry genres. Simultaneous and multiple (up to three) submissions are accepted. Submissions are read on a rolling basis (unless otherwise noted).
To celebrate our successful first year, Treehouse is proud to present our First Annual Literary Loot Contest for Unusual Prose! In addition to publication in Treehouse, the contest winner will also receive: a one year subscription to Barrelhouse, Booth, Carolina Quarterly, Ecotone, Gigantic, Gulf Coast, [PANK], and REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters; two new Fall titles from brand new (but no less awesome) indie press A Strange Object, two new titles from Dzanc Books and a six-month subscription to their e-book club; a copy of Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard) and First Year (an MLP Anthology) from Mud Luscious Press; and a t-shirt from A Strange Object and [PANK].
Our favorite non-winning contest entries will also be published in Treehouse.The rules:
We’re interested in prose that does unusual stuff. In the past we’ve published stories in the form of to-do lists, invisible text with footnotes, survival guides, landlord-tenant correspondence, recipes, and also all kinds of inventive work that was linguistically, but not necessarily structurally, experimental. So if you think your story, essay, prose poem, or genrebender fits the bill, send it our way. (Sorry, no poetry with line breaks for this one.)
Entries are to be a maximum of 750 words.
All entries must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30. Preferred format is .doc, but .docx and .pdf are also acceptable.
Subject line of contest entries must say: CONTEST ENTRY. Otherwise, they will simply be filed as regular submissions and will have zero chance of receiving cool swag.
Your name MUST NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON YOUR PIECE. Since we often get writing from people we kind of know, either via real life or the internet, we want to be extra careful that everything is getting read blind. We’re even going to implement our ultra-secret “assigning numbers to stories and then not telling anybody what the numbers mean” system.
In the interest of fairness, we can’t accept submission from editors at any of the magazines or publishing houses that are participating. UNCW students may submit work, so long as they’re not currently on staff at Ecotone.
Former Treehouse contributors are invited to submit work.
We also can’t accept submissions from anyone who has gotten past second base with any member of the editorial staff. (In this case, “second base” refers to urban second base; rural second base is okay.) However, if you have gotten past second base with a member of the editorial staff: why don’t you call us already? It’s been more than three days.
One of the main things we’re trying to communicate with this contest is that literature is a community. We picked out the journals and publishing houses we’re most excited about because we wanted to share them with you—our favorite readers. (And pretty much everybody we asked to participate eagerly agreed.) As such, we’ll be featuring a different participating magazine or indie house every week. Please check out their sites and consider subscribing or buying books—not because they’re helping our contest, but because they’re sustaining a thriving literary community that you’re not going to get from mainstream publishing. And because they publish cool shit!
We really believe in doing as much as we can without getting money involved. So even if you can’t afford to subscribe to any of our partners’ publications, consider spreading the word—about the contest and/or about any of the publishers you see that tickle your fancy—via facebook, twitter, or other social media. Or, you know, your mouth.
Our authors have been featured in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best New American Voices, Best American Mystery Stories,and Best American Fantasy. In the past year we’ve published new work from acclaimed young writers like Roxane Gay, Matt Bell, Patrick Somerville, Marie-Helene Bertino, and many others.
We look forward to reading your work! To support Treehouse, you can read the magazine, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!