Lit­er­ary MAG­NET

Poets and Writers - - Trends - –DANA ISOKAWA

In Au­gust, Cat­a­pult will pub­lish PEN Amer­ica Best De­but Short Sto­ries 2017, fea­tur­ing twelve de­but sto­ries that won PEN Amer­ica’s in­au­gu­ral Robert J. Dau Short Story Prizes for Emerg­ing Writ­ers. Judged this year by Kelly Link, Marie-He­lene Bertino, and Nina McConigley, the $2,000 prizes are given an­nu­ally for de­but sto­ries pub­lished in lit­er­ary mag­a­zines in the pre­vi­ous year. The an­thol­ogy, which pref­aces each story with a note from the ed­i­tor of the jour­nal that orig­i­nally pub­lished it, shows how lit­er­ary mag­a­zines are of­ten a prov­ing ground for new voices. “A lit­er­ary mag­a­zine puts a writer in con­ver­sa­tion with other writ­ers and, de­pend­ing on the mag­a­zine, with a com­mu­nity, with a lin­eage or tra­di­tion,” says Cat­a­pult’s Yuka Igarashi, who edited the book. Be­low are five of the jour­nals in­cluded in the an­thol­ogy.

“Writ­ers need to de­cide for them­selves who they are in con­ver­sa­tion with, what their ge­neal­ogy is,” says Igarashi, “but there’s al­ways a new and ex­cit­ing en­ergy when an ed­i­tor or some other out­side cu­ra­to­rial force says, you and you are in­ter­est­ing to think about and read to­gether.” This cu­ra­to­rial force is on dis­play in Epiphany (, a bian­nual print jour­nal based in New York City that prides it­self on pub­lish­ing es­tab­lished writ­ers along­side emerg­ing writ­ers, such as Ruth Ser­ven, whose story “A Mes­sage” ap­pears in the an­thol­ogy. Ser­ven’s story first ap­peared in the Fall/Win­ter 2016 is­sue of the jour­nal, which also show­cased work by poet Pa­tri­cia Smith and fic­tion writer Ly­dia Davis. Epiphany pub­lishes po­etry, fic­tion, and non­fic­tion; sub­mis­sions are open via Sub­mit­table un­til July 1. uu The ed­i­tors of the Sum­mer­set Re­view (sum­mer­se­tre­ don’t seek out de­but fic­tion, but they do end up pub­lish­ing first sto­ries by two to three fic­tion writ­ers each year, says ed­i­tor Joseph Levens. Es­tab­lished in 2002, the jour­nal, which is pub­lished quar­terly on­line and oc­ca­sion­ally in print, is based in Smith­town, New York, and pub­lishes po­etry, fic­tion, and non­fic­tion. “We’re suck­ers for en­gag­ing first-per­son nar­ra­tives, and es­pe­cially those that make us em­pathize with the pro­tag­o­nist and root for the un­der­dog,” says Levens in his in­tro­duc­tion to Jim Cole’s “The Aspho­del Meadow,” which first ap­peared in the Fall 2016 is­sue of the Sum­mer­set Re­view. Sub­mis­sions are open year-round in all gen­res via e-mail or postal mail. uu “We read about 1,500 un­so­licited short sto­ries each year, al­ways with an eye for work by new writ­ers,” say pub­lisher Vern Miller and guest fic­tion ed­i­tor Rachel Swearin­gen of Fifth Wed­nes­day Jour­nal (fifth­wednes­dayjour­ Miller and Swearin­gen pub­lished An­gela Ajayi’s “Galina,” about a daugh­ter vis­it­ing her mother in Ukraine af­ter spend­ing a decade in Nige­ria, in the Fall 2016 is­sue. Based in Lisle, Illi­nois, the print jour­nal is pub­lished twice a year along with a sep­a­rate on­line edi­tion. The ed­i­tors de­voted the forth­com­ing Fall is­sue to work by im­mi­grants and chil­dren of im­mi­grants from Mid­dle Eastern and North African coun­tries. Sub­mis­sions in po­etry, fic­tion, and non­fic­tion for the Spring 2018 is­sue of Fifth Wed­nes­day Jour­nal open on Au­gust 15. uu San Fran­cisco–based jour­nal Hy­phen (hy­phen­ pub­lished Laura Chow Reeve’s de­but story, “1,000-Year-Old Ghosts,” in June 2016. The mag­a­zine, which orig­i­nally came out in print two to three times a year, is now ex­clu­sively on­line, pub­lish­ing po­etry and fic­tion each month. Launched in 2003, Hy­phen—which also pub­lishes news, crit­i­cism, and in­ter­views—is de­voted to con­vey­ing the “enor­mous rich­ness, con­tra­dic­tion, and vi­tal­ity that de­fines the Asian Amer­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence.” Ed­i­tor Karissa Chen says about Reeve’s story: “It ex­em­pli­fies what we’re look­ing for when we se­lect fic­tion—lyri­cal writ­ing, in­ven­tive­ness of plot, a point of view touched by the Asian Amer­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence, and, most im­por­tantly, a story in­fused with deep em­pa­thy and heart.” Sub­mis­sions in po­etry and fic­tion are open year-round via Sub­mit­table. uu Katherine Mag­yar­ody’s “Gold­hawk,” a story about a fe­male im­mi­grant working in the of­fice of an IT com­pany, stood out to the ed­i­tors of the Mala­hat Re­view (­hat) be­cause of its sub­tle de­pic­tion of the mod­ern workplace’s “sub­li­mated misog­yny and xeno­pho­bia,” says ed­i­tor John Barton. Housed at the Uni­ver­sity of Vic­to­ria in Canada, the quar­terly print mag­a­zine pub­lishes po­etry, fic­tion, cre­ative non­fic­tion, and trans­la­tions by mostly Cana­dian writ­ers (though the jour­nal is open to work from writ­ers from any coun­try). Es­tab­lished in 1967, the jour­nal also ad­min­is­ters sev­eral con­tests each year, in­clud­ing the Con­stance Rooke Cre­ative Non­fic­tion Prize—the award, given for an es­say, comes with $1,000 Cana­dian (ap­prox­i­mately $730)—which is open un­til Au­gust 1. Gen­eral sub­mis­sions in all gen­res are open year-round via Sub­mit­table.

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