- The Bluecast
- Don Belton
“Patrón,” by Oliver Bendorf (poetry)
“Two on a Horse,” by J. Bowers (fiction)
“The Sweeper,” by Jessica Masterton (fiction)
Forthcoming in Winter 2013 IR 35.2:
“Eduardo,” by David J. Daniels (poetry)
“Cartesian Anxiety in a Bleeding I,” by Camellia Freeman (nonfiction)
“Cheek Teeth,” by Annie Hartnett (fiction)
Our fingers are crossed for these exceptional works!
Call for Indiana Review’s Special Themed Folio: MIDDLE SPACE
Bending the rules of craft is not a new thing. Bold steps and subtle transformations are how we move forward in literature, in society, and in ourselves. For a special folio in our Summer 2014 issue, we’re seeking work—in both form and content—that blurs genres and breaks down preconceptions, narratives of transgression that make us question our boundaries of what a literary work is and can do.
Keywords to consider and inspire: boundaries, borders, limits, edges, duality, on the verge, transformation, transgression, travel, movement, bodies, collapse, collage, correspondence, collaboration, middle space.
Click through for guidelines and deadlines!
I love the careful refinement and precision of a good manuscript. But sometimes, when I’m not attending to submissions or screening essays for publication, I just want to lie back, relax, and read someone else’s diary.
“Why do we read a writer’s journal?” Susan Sontag asks in her 1962 essay, “The Artist as Exemplary Sufferer.” Is it, she continues, “because it illuminates his books? Often it does not.”
More likely, Sontag says, we read a writer’s journal “simply because of the rawness of the journal form, even when it is written with an eye to future publication. Here we read the writer in the first person; we encounter the ego behind the masks of ego in an author’s works. No degree of intimacy in a novel can supply this.”
In a recent review of Sontag’s published journals, Rachel Luban suggests that Sontag always expected the eventual publication of her own notebooks and wrote in anticipation of being read. Luban says, “Given [Sontag’s] ambitions, she must have hoped they might one day reach a wider audience. Reading them, we are always looking at Sontag looking at us looking at her.”
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Dear Szymborskca, Dear Milosz, and Oh so dear Neruda, it has come to my attention that the countless nights I spent lying in bed relishing your tender lines were actually spent cheating on you. All this time I thought you were whispering in my ear. Instead, I find that I was really falling in love with the mastery of Ben Belitt, the execution of Jan Darowski, the creative literary rendering of Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak. Forgive me.
From the first moment I read Letters to a Young Poet to the time I spent with the latest issue of Poetry International, translators have been the ones rocking my world. This past weekend I had the pleasure of fraternizing with leading and emerging translators at the American Literary Translators Association Conference (ALTA). Though my translation skills are limited, participants in the ALTA conference roused my ideas about translation.
As we enter the final weeks of the 2013 Fiction Contest, many writers are faced with the question: What does it take to win?
Because submitting work can feel a bit like fishing in the dark with your firstborn child as bait, we asked last year’s winner, CB Anderson, to say a few words about her creative process and to share a few strategies for success in short fiction.
Anderson’s prize-winning story “Mavak Tov” will soon be published in her collection River Talk. The book contains 17 stories — a combination of short and short-short fiction forthcoming from C&R Press in 2014 . Be sure to check it out!
In response to “Mavak Tov,” last year’s judge Dana Johnson writes:
This story haunted me. The main character’s longing and desire for comfort, for a place to be, is so powerful and recognizable, as is the conflict and question this story poses, not just for the main character but for all of us: At what price do we achieve comfort? At what point do we reject what is easy and familiar for something far more necessary, which is true agency and power? This essential question is explored through a beautifully rendered relationship between a mother and her daughter and between the wives of one polygamist man, in gorgeous, unflinching detail.
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Time is running out to submit to the 2013 Fiction Prize! With only three weeks left, we encourage everyone to dive in and submit their stories for a chance to win. In order to make the seemingly daunting task a little easier, we asked this year’s judge, Claire Messud, to offer some advice to aspiring fiction writers.
Claire Messud‘s novels include The Emperor’s Children, which was a New York Times Best Book of the Year in 2006 and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Messud most recently wrote The Woman Upstairs and teaches in the MFA program at Hunter College (CUNY).
She graciously took the time to answer a few of our questions about what makes a story memorable and how to write resonance in “a world of toothpaste and candy bars.”
IR: What catches your attention most in the first paragraph of a story?
It’s hard to pinpoint what, exactly, catches attention. But as a reader, you want to be swept into a world. You don’t need to know everything about that world straight away, but you need to believe in it from the first paragraph. There are lots of ways for a writer to accomplish that — through voice, through detail, through style, through setting. I think it also always helps for a reader to feel that the prose is conveying a lot, is working on different levels, right from the beginning.
It’s that time of year again when nights get a bit colder, pumpkin becomes the go-to flavor option for just about everything, and cardigans become a necessity instead of a choice. Its fall—and you know what that means—submission season has officially begun (again)! This year, instead of cursing your computer and fearing the dreaded “form rejection”—get pumped!
Find the drafts you swore you wouldn’t touch again and remember these tips when the submission drag has you wondering why you wanted to be a writer in the first place.
We could not be more thrilled to announce the winner, runner-up and finalists of the 2013 Indiana Review 1/2K Prize! We received hundreds of fine submissions from all over the country, which were read and reviewed anonymously. The final winner was selected by contest judge Dinty W. Moore.
2013 Indiana Review 1/2 K Prize Winner
“Wal-Mart Parking Lot”
“At Least Ourselves”
We asked 1/2K judge Dinty W. Moore to say a few words about Seuss’s winning story “Wal-Mart Parking Lot.” Moore writes:
“Wal-Mart Parking Lot” offers readers an unexpected vision of American culture filtered through consumer culture and 20th century art history. I love the energy and delicious oddness of the flash essay. Concise and surprising.
Congratulations to Seuss and runner-up Caitlin Scarano on your excellent work! Many thanks to the hundreds of writers who submitted to make the 1/2K contest one of our most successful yet. As always, we appreciate your innovative and provocative work!
Each year Indiana Review receives thousands of story submissions, including hundreds to our annual fiction prize (now open!). And while there is a range of quality, what surprises me most is the high volume of finely crafted prose. To me, this is evidence of hard work. It is proof that writers are rolling up their sleeves, reading great writing, studying craft, and putting ink to the page. In this field of highly competent entries, what differentiates the stories that make it from submission to publication?
In “Three Stories Unlikely to Make it Beyond the Slush,” former Indiana Review Fiction Editor Joe Hiland outlines several attributes that earn stories easy rejections, and he goes on to offer three “types” of stories that often feel too familiar to transcend the slush pile. In “What Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines” from the The Review Review, Lynne Barrett provides an insider breakdown for anyone interested in submitting to literary journals. Yet even though both articles should be considered essential reading for any fiction writer submitting to Indiana Review, they do little to address what makes a story stand out.
Read more after the jump!
In the latest addition to The Bluecast, the wonderful Heather Kirn Lanier reads her “What They Don’t Tell You about a Wet T-Shirt Contest” non-fiction piece, featured in our Summer 2013, 35.1 issue!
Both provoking and humorous, Lanier’s piece grapples with the irony implicit in maintaining feminist ideals while attending a wet t-shirt contest.
Check it out at the link below:
Newest: Eric Smith reads "Redacted Minutes..."
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