Roxane Gay

Submissions to our 2014 Fiction Prize are open from September 1 to October 31. Our judge is the fabulously talented Roxane Gay. Here, Gay answers questions asked her about her favorite short stories, the critical importance of the title, which “writing rule” she’s wary of, and what she’d be up to in Ina Garten’s kitchen.

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Thank you to everyone who submitted to our Twitter contest with your 13 word stories!

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We know it isn’t easy to write a story in such a small space, something submitters to our 1/2 K Prize are currently experiencing firsthand. Plus, we threw in the monkey wrench of associating the image to some frankly eyebrow-raising images. All of our wonderful followers rose to the challenge, and we are here to announce the winners of our awesome prizes.

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We just hit 13,000 followers on Twitter!

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Since the 2014 1/2 K prize has compression on our minds, we’re going to celebrate with a little contest featuring our lucky number 13. Below, there are 13 images. Select one and tweet us @IndianaReview with your chosen image and a story of exactly 13 words by 5pm Monday, August 4. Be sure to use the hashtag #13wordstory so we will see it. Also, feel free to use other hashtags such as #IRrocks or #IRURmyfavorite. It won’t necessarily help your chances, but it can’t hurt.

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The August 15 deadline for submissions to the 2014 1/2 K Prize is fast approaching. We know this is equal parts exciting and terrifying, so please try to remember to breathe.

In the meantime, check out this interview with our current 1/2 K Prize judge Carol Guess.

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Carol is a professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Western Washington University, but as novelist and poet herself, she understands the plight of the struggling author in a fiercely competitive publishing world. You can find her excellent piece, co-written with Kelly Magee, “With Fox,” in our Winter 2014 issue. She graciously answered a few questions here about what she looks for as a judge and what advice she has for aspiring writers.

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Caitlin-Scarano-e1395083194898-250x300There are just over three weeks left to submit to the 2014 1/2 K Prize.  Before you find yourself panicking in front of a blank page take a few minutes to gain some insight from Caitlin Scarano. Her rich, assured “No Men in the Title, a Poem to Birds and Places” was a finalist for our 2013 1/2K Prize. Here she responds to questions posed to her about the prose poem form, discussing the distillation of language, the value of hybridity, and interrogating cliché.
How did the byline you included, “A crack in a boulder can never be an entrance to a cathedral”—a line from poet Eduardo C. Corral, inspire or otherwise inform this poem?
I was taken by that line because it made me consider how people can be born into limitations, for example, a cycle of abuse or poverty. There are some circumstances, places, histories, and experiences we can never fully transcend. Even if we overcome those circumstances, we cannot erase the influence and consequences of them. This is why my poem cycles in on itself and negates its own assertions. We cannot be what we are not. I am a product of my family and its history, which, metaphorically speaking, is more crack in a boulder than cathedral – nowhere near divine or pure – but beautiful and compelling in its own way.
 

DianeHeadshotThere’s no question: Writing short can be difficult.  And short is what our annual 1/2K Prize is all about. There’s the limited word count (500 words) and the unlimited genre constraints (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, short-shorts, prose poetry–a welcome collapse of genre). We asked Seuss to tell us more about her excellent piece, “Wal-Mart Parking Lot,” which won our 1/2K Prize in 2013 and appears in our Summer 2014 issue. Here she divulges which Wal-Mart inspired her, her approach to writing the piece, and the challenges and triumphs of the compressed form.

We hope this helps all you current and prospective Half-K authors. Submissions for this year’s contest are now open through August 15th. Click here for a full list of guidelines.

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Judge Eileen Myles has selected “2006,” by Cecilia Woloch, as the winner of Indiana Review‘s 2014 Poetry Prize! Her poem will appear in the Winter 2014 issue of Indiana Review. We received more than 1000 poems of impressive quality and range, all of which were read anonymously by our editors. We’re happy to also announce the runners-up and finalists.

 

2014 Indiana Review Poetry Prize Winner

“2006″

Cecilia Woloch

On why she chose Woloch’s poem, Myles writes:  It’s “2006″ no question.  I like the incantatory structure and it’s full of timely modal shifts to season (Spring) and nature becomes a train.  It rhymes with itself to create a somber effect and glints with dark humor just when you want it. And then it slides away with anonymity and beauty.  It’s sad like history and nature is sad. It’s a profound and simple poem and very rich and kinetic. I admire it a lot. This is a very smart and talented poet.

Runners-Up

“Passport”

Emily Wilson

“To the Falcon Next to Me on Qatar Airways Flight 835″

Emily Mohn-Slate

 

Congratulations to our winner and runners-up and thank you to everyone who submitted. We truly appreciate your thoughtful and excellent work.

Finalists

Caitlin Scarano, “The City that Taught You”

francine j. harris, “canvas”

Joshua Bennett, “Still Life with Best Friend”

Talin Tahajian, “Aviary”

Samiya Bashir, “Universe as an Infant: Fatter than Expected, and Kind of Lumpy”

Danez Smith, “Pitch for a Movie: Dinosaurs in the Hood”

Brandon Rushton, “Portrait of the Body with Bear Trap”

 

Just uploaded: “Cartesian Anxiety in a Bleeding I” by Camellia Freeman! Listen to the author’s voice by following the link.

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What does Descartes have to do with Camellia Freeman? Listen to her non-fiction piece to find out.

 

Camellia Freeman is an Oregonian living in Columbus, Ohio. She received her MFA from Ohio State, and her nonfiction has appeared in Cream City Review.

 

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Thanks to Mike Notaro and the Bishop Bar, we have provided the recordings of the readings and Super Regal’s set above. The order from top to bottom: Super Regal, Stacey Lynn Brown, Kiese Laymon, and Kathleen Rooney.

Last Saturday, March 29th, Indiana Review hosted the fourth annual Blue Light Reading Series at the Bishop Bar, and we’re still nursing our literary hangovers—this year’s readers delivered some of their most inebriating prose (gotta love extended metaphors), and we feel compelled to gush about the night.

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(Poster design by Jack Pochop)

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Editors cheesin’ with Kathleen and Kiese

On Friday afternoon we pre-gamed with dynamo author Kathleen Rooney at her “Poems While You Wait” workshop. After weeks of scavenging for as many functional typewriters as possible, we finally acquired enough to set an early twentieth century vibe for the presentation, typewriters poised atop desks with some o’ that fresh new ink. Still, those of us familiar with the concrete box that is Ballantine were not as quick to romanticize the setting as Kathleen was. (But thanks, Kathleen, for the refreshing new perspective!)

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Alissa Nutting, another of our featured readers for this year’s Blue Light Reading (3/29), shared some really interesting opinions and insight on media, women, and fiction research. Check it out:

IR: Was your first story collection, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, inspired by an “unclean” job that you had at one point?

AN: More generally it was inspired by being a girl in our society, and then a woman–two very unclean jobs, in my opinion.

 

IR: What initially got you hooked on writing about a teacher-student relationship (for lack of a better word) in your novel Tampa?

AN: It’s an act that seems to be happening so often currently, really proliferating–once I started paying attention to cases of female teacher/male student relations, I literally had a hard time keeping up with them all. What interested me were the ways the scenario is glamorized and in many ways accepted and championed in the media and society. Given the cultural factors, it doesn’t seem odd to me that it keeps happening.

 

IR: How did you prepare/research for Tampa? Did you talk with a female predator(s)?

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