Out of 600 entries to the 2020 Lascaux Prize in Flash Fiction, my very own Crashing came in as one of the final three.
Lascuaux has been on my “Must Get In!” list for years. I am beyond tears. I’m in awe of the way things work out. Literally: the announcement reached me as I was
checking email after spending the wee hours (as I too often do) reading prize-winning flash fiction, looking for places to submit. Apropos of nothing (OR SO SHE THOUGHT), I went to the 2018 publication of Crashing, re-reading and thinking how much I loved this piece.
As a finalists, Crashing will appear in the journal’s annual anthology, to publish some time in 2021. Crashing will go live on Lascaux’s site as soon as they finalize the art. Oh, don’t you worry; I’ll let you know.
The Jewish Literary Journal has been publishing since 2013, “here to help foster and publicize the unique(ly) Jewish voice espoused through creative writing (they don’t call us people of the book for nothing!), including those that may be difficult to relate with if one is unfamiliar with the religion or culture.”
In their November issue, The Jewish Literary Journal will reprint one of my favorite pieces, Girl Feelings, originally published in Literary Mama in 2008. Trigger warnings all over this one, you guys: sexual abuse, a parent’s mental illness. Tread carefully.
Survivor Lit is a brand-new and very good magazine run by Kirsten Ott Palladino. I am thrilled to be involved, even in my small way, with a review of the new anthology, Whatever Gets You Through. Visit Survivor Lit for my work; stay for the rest of it.
My heart, am I reveling in the current on-line class I am taking through Boston’s famed GrubStreet creative writing center–a spiritual sister to my beloved Richard Hugo House, in Seattle.
I’m taking the six-week Novel Revision Intensive w/Kate Racculia, author of Bellweather Rhapsody and, most recently, Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts. Naturally, I am ironsmithing my Crappy Second Draft of Crazy Medicine. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve done thus far:
Our first step was to review each other’s opening pages. Next–this was a killer–we each re-read our book and wrote a letter to ourselves describing what worked and what didn’t. Apparently, it’s a Stephen King Thing. We weren’t suppose to edit; although, of course I did. You won’t tell anyone, will you?
Another part of the letter was to “To Do” list of what needed to be done with the subsequent draft. I came up with: splitting in half two chapters; and adding three chapters, one of which is from the point of view of Lena’s love-nemesis, Ella.
We haven’t discussed Ella, you and I. I need her to be more of a presence, but I’m not sure who she is, except that she comes from Donna, Texas, population 9,ooo, and she would be played in the movie by a young Charlize Theron. Oh, and she’s a leggy coke whore who becomes a meth addict. Character arch!
Next, we wrote a synopsis of our novel, up to 3500 words. This as a fantastic exercise for a novel-in-progress. I saw many places where I had to address transitions, character motivation, oh! All sorts of fun stuff. (And some not-so-fun realizations that I’ll get to, in a different post.) Finally, we had to read each other’s synopses and give feedback.
This week, our assignment is to write a query letter for an agent. During all this, we are continuing with our To Do list.
Next week is our final assignment. What will it be, what will it be?
June turned out to be a mega-month for me, with three publications and what looks to be two more acceptances.
Ok, let’s call that 1.5.
One of the acceptances is from a brand new magazine that will debut later this summer. Survivor Lit – does that not have me written all over it? I’m merely doing a book review, but I am pleased to be able review an anthology called Whatever Gets You Through: Twelve Survivors on Life After Sexual Assault.I gave the book a thumb’s up, particularly for the reader who is new to their recovery, or wondering if they are a survivor. (It could be quite triggering.)
The reason I put this piece at “.5” of an acceptance is that the editor has not given it the final-final OK. No counting those little chickies yet!
The other publication given a partial point looks like it has a good chance, but a fairly significant revision has yet to be OK’d. The graphic to the right should give you hint about context.
FINALLY: a most excellent rejection on an essay from The Missouri Review, considered by some to be #15 in the county when it comes to literary nonfiction.
We were delighted to have the chance to consider “Goddess of Mercy! The Painful Durability of Addiction” for publication.
This piece was remarkable, you have a very compelling writing style that we all enjoyed in this piece. The contemporary allusions and journey made us, as readers, feel like we were experiencing someone’s modern adventure gone awry. However, the ending of the story made us feel as though more could have happened. Often in the short stories we most consider, endings that do not go the way our characters envisioned, or a lack of understanding keeps the reader asking questions long after having read it.
Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481