Hack Writers

My fondness for searching out new (to me) online magazines and exploring their contents led me this week to http://www.hackwriters.com. This online portfolio includes travel, lifestyle and fiction pieces from new and established writers. According to the website’s About page, their material is archived by the British Library and boasts several awards from the North American Travel Journalists Association. Their homepage banner includes this designation, “The International Writer’s Magazine.”

I perused the travel page (Hacktreks) but found nothing about Ireland, to my dismay.

Hackwriters began in 1999, and there’s something satisfying about a group whose roots went down as the century turned, especially in light of all that Y2K silliness going on at the time. It suggests a willingness to plunge into the void with optimism.

The magazine is free and pays no fees to authors whose work they accept for publication. Submissions are accepted across topics and genres. Their submission page includes these caveats…no sexism, racism or other forms of discrimination in the content. They strive to discover high quality writing that is thought provoking without being offensive.

Word limits for submissions are presented as a guide rather than an absolute; between 1200 and 2200 words are preferred. The editors ask that writers considering submitting to their magazine first read previous work they’ve accepted and published. Seems a reasonable request.

Current fiction pieces can be found at http://www.hackwriters.com/Dreamscapes3.htm
The site offers an enormous selection of short fiction from which to choose. I read a few and, while I’m not even close to having read half of the stories available, I haven’t yet found a stinker in the bunch. Most of their authors have several stories in the 2013 issue. They include Oswaldo Jimenez, Martin Green, Abigail George and Michelle D’Costa. Stories are longer than what I’ve grown accustomed to reading lately in Flash Fiction magazines.

I prefer the flash format, but found reading Hackwriters’ offerings a happy diversion this week.

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Every Day Fiction (redux)

Every Day Fiction is a flash fiction magazine that publishes one story daily on their web site, http://www.everydayfiction.com. Founded in 2007, this group of talented Canadians celebrate their 6th anniversary this month. They accept all genres of fiction with a 1,000 word limit for submissions. EDF has a relatively large audience of more than 10,000 subscribers and annually publishes an anthology of the best 100 stories of the year. Every Day Fiction is considered by many as one of the best online literary markets.

This month my story, “Kin” will be published on Friday, September 6. It’s the story of a family reunion and the gathering of the last harvest in the home place’s orchard.

This is the second story I’ve submitted to Every Day Fiction and had accepted for publication. The first was “Tag, You’re It,” published in May of this year.

You can read and comment on my stories on their site. Or become an email subscriber, like me. I’ve discovered several up and coming authors whose stories are published on the Every Day Fiction site and whose blogs I’ve begun to follow here on WordPress.

I appreciate you, my readers, following or just visiting my blog and would love to hear your comments about my story. Thanks for stopping by again!

Study Abroad

In May, 2013, the University of Limerick’s International Education Division’s Summer School hosted our MOSAIC group, which consisted of students from Maryville University, Columbia College, and Central Methodist College in Missouri. We joined students from colleges and universities across the United States attending UL summer school. Students chose from six different courses taught by UL faculty, including classes in Irish Literature, Sociology, Law, Film and media, History and Creative Writing. The apartments they shared, each with private rooms and en suite bathrooms, were located in Cappavilla Village on the north campus, overlooking the River Shannon, and included full kitchens with daily breakfast service and housekeeping. Students were provided with vouchers for lunch and supper that could be used at any of the on-campus cafes and restaurants.

Excursions to major Irish attractions were provided by UL, including a trip to the nearby Craggenowen and Bunratty castles, Limerick Milk Market, and more distant excursions to the Burren, the Atlantic shoreline at Kilkee, the Flying Boat museum in Foynes, the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, and to Dublin, where students visited the Guinness Storehouse, Croke Park Stadium (home to the Gaelic Athletic Association), and the Book of Kells in Trinity College. Two of our MOSAIC students attended one of the World Cup 2014 qualifying matches between Ireland and the Faro Islands while in Dublin. We were also hosted with food and drink vouchers to attend the UL annual Party on the Plaza, celebrating the university’s accomplishments during the previous year.

Our MOSAIC sponsored excursions included a trip to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, and the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. Students participated in a photography contest sponsored by the University. Our MOSAIC students, Gabrielle and Mack, took first and second place respectively. Gabrielle’s first-place photo from her trip to the Dingle Peninsula can be seen on the UL International Education, Summer School web site.

MOSAIC students also received credit for our Maryville University study abroad course, “Exploring the Culture of Ireland.” Examples of their essays and photo essays included reflections on The Troubles, GAA Irish sports of hurling and soccer, the fallout from the Celtic Tiger economic bubble, Bloomsday and the books of James Joyce, and the Irish diaspora. For 2014, UL will again offer courses in Irish Literature, Sociology, Law, Film and media, History, and Creative Writing, and they will add two new courses: Irish Myths and Legends, and Nursing.

Ireland is known internationally as the Land of a Thousand Welcomes, and the faculty and staff at University of Limerick demonstrated that sentiment every day of our experience there. I strongly recommend this study abroad opportunity for undergraduate students who want to earn 6 hours of credit and experience three weeks immersed in Irish culture. For more information, visit the MU Study Abroad web site: http://www.maryville.edu/globaled/study-abroad/

Smokelong

Smokelong Weekly is an online, weekly short story publication with 10 years of history as a literary vehicle. Newsletter Subscriptions are free via email and accessible from their website, smokelong.com/home.asp The name describes the typical length of pieces they publish, long enough to finish a smoke.
Smokelong Quarterly is their seasonal compilation of stories, interviews and art.
Submissions are limited to 1000 words or less, and they ask contributors to limit submissions to one story at a time. Their submission site resembles most others online.
They recommend submissions be more than stories with a twist or punch line at the end; they ask for honest work written in language that surprises. Weekly Stories are selected by guest editors. Their editorial board selects the Quarterly’s content. To get a feel for the editors, visit their blog page where you’ll find photos and bios for guest editors, many of whom are previously chosen authors.
Their archives page offers links to scores of stories chosen for publication, giving would-be contributors an opportunity to get a sense of what fits.
I read several stories I liked, stories that I found myself thinking about again. The story I liked best was “On Behalf of the Class,” about a group of school kids at a museum. The author exquisitely captured the children’s predictable selfishness as they disappointed their teacher and failed to see the exhibits through any other lens than their own childish concerns. And who can blame them for being more interested in what was happening in the here and now, as their classmates jockeyed for attention and status, over a bunch of dusty old relics?
The author was Elisaa Kahn, an MFA student at Western Michigan University.
I recommend this site for literary fiction writers and readers.

Everyday Fiction

I received notice today from Everyday Fiction, an online publication for flash fiction, that they have accepted another of my short stories. The story, entitled Kin, is scheduled for publication in September. The EF editorial team praised Kin for its blend of description and story, and the way the two compliment each other. The story is under 500 words in length yet provides a complete story arc. Find the story next month at http://www.everydayfiction.com

An Updated List

A few months ago I indulged myself in listing the publications where I’ve had poetry, fiction and non-fiction work published. Since then, a few more submissions have been accepted and published.

Here’s my updated list:

Watermark

Earth’s Daughters

River Styx

Solana

FOCUS / Midwest

Nail Polish Stories

FreeFlashFiction.com

Communique

Everyday Fiction

Transient Publications

Magnolia