Archive for November, 2010

Two Sisters and a Glimmer of an Idea

In 1990 two sisters, Susan and Linda, decided to start a literary journal because of their love of reading and had just come from a successful business venture.  Today Glimmer Train is one of the most respected literary journals and  this fall 6 Glimmer Train stories appeared as notables in the 2010 Best American Short Stories second only to the New Yorker.  They offer a contest each month of the year with a reasonable entry fee and prefer online submissions.   Their journals are beautifully bound with personal touches.  LA Carlson


Literary agents read journals

I believe literary contests should be entered in moderation partly because these places have a reading/submission fees and those fees add up.   If you’re going send submissions pick ones that have a durable reputation and have been around for a while.  Recently, an article in Poets & Writers makes reference to the journals that are on literary agents radar.  Glimmer Train, Ploughshares, Tin House, Fence and N+1 received high marks. LA Carlson

Franklin and Eleanor, An Extraordinary Marriage

What makes this memoir particularly worthy of a slow read is the progressive marriage of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.  It’s clear they were way ahead of their times when it came to relationships and community.  Author Hazel Rowley writes beautifully about their life in times frames and there’s plenty of political insights for those of us who adore history.  But it was their welcoming commitment to others that formed an extensive inner circle which supported, loved and protected them regardless of where the Roosevelt’s were in their public and private lives.  LA Carlson

Iowa Review

The Iowa Review publishes poetry, fiction and nonfiction three times a year; April, August and December and they accept unsolicited work in September, October and November with no reading fee.  Their contest is one I consider every year because to win is considered prestige.  There is a Minnesota connection for the 2011 contest. Patricia Hampl will judge non-fiction.  No email submissions are accepted and there is a $20 entry fee. An additional $10 will get you a year-long subscription to the magazine.  LA Carlson

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

Allison Hoover Bartlett has written the true story of thief John Gilkey.  Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the country.  He steals for the love of books  and his drive to have them, not to make a profit on them.  This quietly written narrative also give insights into the lives of antiquarian book dealers and the facts regarding rare, beloved books.  A first trade edition of  The Tale of Peter Rabbit can sell for $15,000.   As the Boston Globe states; books are objects of meditation, desire, touchstones of memory and talismans with almost magical powers.  I agree.  LA Carlson

Narrative Magazine Fall Story Contest

Narrative Magazine was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of literary works in the digital age.  They want to connect writers and readers around the world.  This contest has a cap of 15,000 words, entry fee of $20, offers 1st-3rd place and the first 10 finalists prize money.  Surprise?  Submissions are only accepted online by November 30, midnight, pacific time. Winners announced at the end of December.  LA Carlson


Veterans Airlift Command provides free transportation to wounded vets and their families using 900 volunteer aircraft pilots in 45 states.  The video on their website; says it all.  LA Carlson