Another Writing Sample

She turned over the bottle in her hand. White. Sterile. Left over from some forgotten medical event, it had occupied the shelf for as long as anyone could remember. As to what they were intended to do, she couldn’t recall, but she knew what they were capable of, if the remainder were to be taken all at once.

Pain. They would stop the pain. It seemed that was the only thing she felt those days, the only emotion, the only sensation. Her mother told her it was a phase, but that was easy to say from three thousand miles away on the other side of a phone where life was sunny, beautiful, and painless.

Still, she turned over that bottle in her hand. The kids would be home from school soon, taking the bus for the first year they were deemed old enough to look out for each other. They would be so proud of their accomplishment. They would want to tell their mother all about it.

Her husband would be home from work, or at least, he was supposed to be, but that never meant he would be, those days. Ever since she found out that there were no extra meetings, no “super-urgent deadlines”, she’d stopped carrying when he came home. It caused too much pain.

She could hear the bus pull over at the stop that was just down two buildings. Her children would be getting off. She set the bottle in her hand back on the counter and closed the door to the bathroom.

Maybe another day.


Copyright Process: Entry 1

Two days ago, I went onto the US Copyright Office’s website and registered for eCo, the online copyright registration service. Literally in less than half an hour, I’d filled out the forms, completed the payment ($35 for online literary work submission) and even uploaded the files involved in the copyright.

The case was open within 24-hours.

I’m still waiting, but I want to let you all know how quick and easy it is to do these forms. I took a look at the print form as well, just to see, and I really encourage you do to it online. It’s a lot more clear, and you can even indicate that you want to be contacted by phone or email about the copyright, whatever you prefer.

Like I said, quick and easy, and not at all painful.

Seriously, these guys should teach the other government agencies how to do forms (cough, IRS, cough).

Also, if you haven’t checked out my novella yet, I really want to encourage you to at least go to my Smashwords page and check out the description. If it’s not your taste, that’s cool, but it’s a quick read, and I’ve even put up a coupon for you guys in the announcement of publication on this blog! (That makes it $1.60; if that’s still too expensive, drop me a message and I can work something out, because I really want to share this with you all).



Those We Trust Published!

Those We Trust, my novella, has been published on Smashwords! The coupon code JE64M can be used to get it for 60% off until November 26th!

In other news, I’m going through the copyright process now, so I’ll let you know how that goes…

Thank you, faithful readers!

Catalog of Literary Magazines and Journals

I promised I would publish the results of my findings as to the Literary Magazines and Journals I’m considering. Unless otherwise specified, there are no fees for online entry. All will have links to a submissions guidelines page, or something similar. I hope this proves helpful to some people.

These are in no particular order. I focused on prose, so if you’re interested in poetry you may need to look for a different list. All notes are my own personal notes about each place. Some have more notes than others. If you don’t see the information you want for a place, you may be able to find it on their website, or by contacting the magazine or journal.

If any of these links are broken or you notice information has changed from what’s listed in my notes, I’d appreciate it if you let me know so I can adjust the post.



The New Yorker:

-fill out submission form

-fiction attached as a pdf file


-regular submissions ~5k words (no more than 6k)

-PShares Singles submissions 6k-25k words

-Reading period June 1- Jan 15

-Only one work at a time, don’t send second until hearing back about first

-Mail or email ($3 for online submissions)

-If no response in 5 months, get in touch

-Payment: $25/printed page, $50 min per title, $250 max per author, w/ 2 copies of issue & one-year subscription (upon publication)

The Atlantic:

-mail submissions only

-see site for mailing/formatting details


-Reading period is Sept 1 – May 31

-Mail or use online submission form

-If no response in 4 months, get in touch

-Payment: $10/printed page prose, $150 max, a year’s subscription, and for the print magazine 2 contributor copies and four gift copies of the issue

The Boiler:

-less than 2,500 words

-Times New Roman

-Include a short bio

-One submission at a time


-Reading period Sept 1 – March 1

-No name or contact info on the manuscript

-1-2 submissions per issue

-5k words or less

-Notifications by mid-May

-Payment: complimentary copy to author


-Submit by mail with self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE)

Prairie Schooner:

-Double space manuscript

-If no response in 4 months, get in touch

-One submission at a time

-Reading period Sept 1-May 1

Tin House:

-One submission at a time

-Less than 10k words

-If no response in 3 months, get in touch

-Reading period Sept 1-May 31

-Write a cover letter including word count of manuscript and genre (i.e. fiction)

-Author’s name on every page of manuscript

-Number each page

-Have a title page (be sure the numbering starts here!)

-Write ‘end’ on final page

The Paris Review:

-Mail in submissions only

-One submission at a time

-Include a phone number and email address

-Include a SASE

The Georgia Review:

-Reading period Aug 16- May 14

-No simultaneous submissions (this means that if you send a work to them, you can’t send it anywhere else until you hear back)

-If no response in 3 months, get in touch

-Mail in submissions only

-Include SASE

-One submission at a time

-Double space

-Include a cover letter

-Payment: $50/printed page

Gemini Magazine:

-If submitted by email, in the body, no attachments

-If submitted by mail, include SASE

-If no response in 30 days, get in touch

-No compensation

-Year-long reading period

Otis Nebula:

-Submit by email, paste in body -Include a brief cover letter and bio

-Email address is

-Subject of email: Full name and genre (i.e. fiction)

-If no response in 3 months, get in touch

The Southern Review:

-Reading period Sept1-Dec 1

-Mail in only

-Include SASE

-Include cover letter

-One submission at a time

-Include email address and phone number on manuscript

-Less than 8k words -No more than 2 submissions per reading period (even if you hear back twice)

-If no response in 6 months, get in touch

-Payment: $25/printed page, max $200 for prose, 2 copies of issue, one year subscription

Pithead Chapel:

-Flash fiction, less than 1k words

-Short fiction, less than 4k words

-If no response in eight weeks, get in touch

-Name, email address, and phone number on first page

-Double spaced, twelve point font

– .rtf, .doc, .docx files only

-Pages numbered

-One story at a time

-Submit via submittable (should be a link on the site)

Gettysburg Review:

-Mail in only, with SASE

-Payment: $30/printed page, complimentary copy, one-year subscription

-If no response in 5 months, get in touch by mail w/ SASE

Crossed Out Magazine:

-Reading period in November (submission deadline Oct. 31st)

-15oo word max

-3 submissions max

-Double spaced, 12 point font, pasted into body of email

-No attachments

-Email to

-Payment: $20/story

The Cincinnati Review:

-Reading period Aug 15-April 15

-Can submit online

-Double spaced

-Less than 40 pages

-Include name & contact information at the beginning of the manuscript

-Payment: $25/page

The Yale Review:


-Mailed in with SASE

-If no response in 3 months, get in touch

The Hudson Review:

-Less than 10k words

-If no response in 6 months, get in touch by mail with SASE

-Mail in submission with SASE

-Reading period Sept 1-Nov 30

Prism Review:

-Short stories: one at a time, 2k-5k words

-Flash fiction: up to three at a time, 1k words or less

-Payment: One free copy

-Online submissions only

-If no response in 4 months, get in touch


-Include a brief cover letter

-Electronic submissions

-Payment fluctuates

-If no response in 9 months, get in touch

Northwind Magazine:

-3k-8k words

-Online submission form


-12 point font

-Times New Roman

-1-inch margins all around

-Numbered pages (at top)

-Top of first page: author name, address, phone number, email address

-Other pages: page number, title, author’s last name

-Brief cover letter optional

-If no response in 10 weeks, get in touch by email

-Payment: $150 for featured story only

Connecticut Review:

-Mail in w/ SASE

-Less than 4k words

-Send 2 copies, letter sized paper (8.5×11), MLA style.

-First page, upper left corner: Author’s name, address, phone number, email address

-Include a brief bio statement

-Return address on the outer envelope, and label envelope by genre (i.e. fiction)

-Reading period is Sept 1-May 15

-If no response in 5 months, get in touch

-Payment: 2 contributors copies

The Highs, The Lows, The Inbetweens (A Review)

This book of poetry, by Sarwah Osei-Tutu, can be purchased for $1.99 here.

Sadly, I don’t have the $1.99 to purchase a download (when I say ‘starving college student’, I’m serious about how broke I am), so I read just the 20% free sampling. BASED off that, I highly recommend you check this out if you like poetry at all.

Osei-Tutu is a woman writing poetry on life experiences. It’s not life-changing. It’s not something that will open your mind to a whole new way of looking at the world. BUT her representations of familiar experiences that many woman have faced or will face in their lives, the explications of the hopes and fears and love and joy and pain, are so raw and real and familiar that they can’t help but stir something in the reader.

More than sixty pages of poetry, you’re really getting a bargain. More bang for your buck than a Taylor Swift song on iTunes, of equal or better (certainly more mature) quality.

So go check it out! You can also find her here on WordPress. Her username is Sarwah2012.



(PS, this whole having done my first official book review feels sort of awesome)

Why I Like LinkedIn

No, I’m not using LinkedIn for dozens of job offers or networking in that respect. Maybe someday it will be useful for me that way, but as I’m still young and virtually inexperienced, it’s not working wonders for me in that respect.

Despite what my parents would say about me, I’m patient. It’s fine that my recently erected LinkedIn profile is not yielding immediate and abundant results. I’d be a bit shocked and suspicious if it were.

What I use LinkedIn for, though, is networking with other authors and aspiring authors. There are some great little communities going on, and there are so many different and vibrant discussions going on that I recommend this sort of interaction as highly as AQ Connect! There are plenty of practiced professionals to learn from and newbies to share your own budding knowledge with, and simply bunches of people to bounce ideas off of! It’s a great, healthy community, and who knows? Maybe I’ll make some new friends.

If you’ve not got a LinkedIn profile for writing, I have to encourage you to build one. For one thing, the more you get your name out there the better. It’s good to have yourself established before you even put out your first work. First work(s) already out? GET ON IT! 😀



The Mind of a Writer

My mother has a very specific pear-canning-season activity: She sits on the couch with her little knife that she only uses to peel, half, core, and remove bad parts of the pears. then she sits surrounded by the pears from the backyard, puts out the tub she collects the bits that will be tossed, a pie pan that the bits go into before being put in the tub, and the mason jars she cans the pears in. Then she turns on the television and watches the same show for hours on end: Murder, She Wrote.

It’s a great show, I confess, and I’ve gotten to the point throughout my life where I’ve started recognizing most of the episodes between pear canning season and the regular weekend marathons of it on the Hallmark Channel. I’m not a mystery writer, but there’s something appealing about watching a writer go through her life, whether in her home environment or dealing with editors, publishers, promotional tours, and even doing ‘research’ in fancy places like Martinique. Obviously the likelihood of becoming a best-selling author over night and never writing a flop are pretty unrealistic, but it makes for good television and allows her to accomplish things other characters might not.

The other day, the main character, J. B. Fletcher, played by the fabulous Angela Lansbury, was working out the last bits of who the killer was and means and motive and all that, and she was saying it out loud to herself in a room full of people. One of them asks what she was saying, and she apologizes for talking to herself, says that it’s a writer’s habit.

My mother looked at me and said, “that explains so much.”

I admit it. I talk to myself.

Every night before I go to bed, I talk out the dialogue, even block some of the actions, of various scenes. Lately it’s been the scenes I’m picturing for my A Song of Ice and Fire fan fiction. It’s usually a scene that’s been plaguing my brain all day. The scenes in my fan fiction It’s For You of Sirius and Olivia walking the streets of Muggle London on their mission were talked out as I walked to and from work a couple of years ago.

I adamantly refuse to believe that this makes me crazy. The best way to get natural dialogue and movement is to act it out, to say the words out loud. If they don’t feel natural and friendly on my tongue, they get changed, twisted, or tossed altogether. It’s so much easier to feel comfortable about dialogue (which I have a lot of) if I’ve had that same dialogue, worked through the nuances, and still like it. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, long before I was ever really doing my own creative writing, when it was all in my brain, but it was very well-developed for things that were never written down, just a lovely oral tradition of my own.

If this is how you write, you’re not crazy (probably)! How many of you do this talking to yourself? What other methods do you use that make you a writer?