Storyscape Journal Seeks Prose Editor

Storyscape Journal is looking to add a new prose editor to our team.

At Storyscape, we play with genre by using the categories: “Truth,” “Untruth,” and “We don’t know and they won’t tell us.” We publish online issues twice a year representing strong, innovative work from a diverse set of authors. We have published two print anthologies and recently launched our very first print chapbook series.

If you’re a prose writer interested in getting involved (and getting a chance to work with some great people!) please email us the following:

– A short example of your own work

– Tell us about a short story or essay that you love

– A brief response to the question: Why are you interested in our categories? What excites you about reworking the boundaries between fiction/nonfiction?

Please note that this is a volunteer position. Duties include: reading and voting on submissions regularly, helping to copy edit the journal, attending occasional staff meetings via Skype. As our staff is a small group of volunteers, we are looking for editors who can help out with other general tasks as they are able, including helping to plan and promote events, post on social media, etc. We understand that availability may fluctuate, but we are looking for editors who want to make a long-term commitment and who know that they have some time to devote to the journal. We especially are looking for editors to pro-actively contribute to the vision of the journal by sharing ideas for new projects, theme issues, soliciting art, etc. We believe our editors should feel empowered to make this journal as awesome as it can be!

Submit applications to storymaster@storyscapejournal.com by Feb 25th. We look forward to getting to know you!

 

Best of the Net 2016 Nominations

Congratulations to all our 2016 Best of the Net nominees!

Fiction

Care, by Jessica Roeder

Rabbits, by Nick Brown

Creative Non-fiction

Happy Birthday, Houdini, by Amelia Skinner Saint

Vow, by Dean Kostos

Poetry

Selections from Sierra Amnezia, by Michael Luis Dauro
If Cygnus Were a Refugee, by Jess X. Chen
The Safety of Women, by Sarah Blake
Spastic Cartography, by Maya Pindyck

What we are even doing

I appreciated reading Barrelhouse editor Tom McAllister’s recent blog post on the ethics of certain practices of literary journals, particularly on charging submission fees. I felt called to respond because it seemed like a good opportunity to share with our readers and with the larger literary world, as Tom says, “what we are even doing.” I’m always curious to see how different journals and small presses juggle these questions as well, and hope to be in dialogue with other editors about this.

Tom takes issue with journals that do the following:

a) charge sub fees
b) don’t pay
c) are online only
d) “can’t promise to respond”

I 100% agree with his assessment of journals that “can’t promise to respond.” Not responding to a submission is ludicrous. Given how easy it is to create a form rejection on Submittable or other software, clicking “reject” to send a form email response is a no-brainer. I don’t know why any lit journal wouldn’t do that. We also have “higher tier” rejections, in which we encourage the author to submit again. That’s standard practice, and also very easy to do.

Storyscape falls in the category of a journal that is online only and does not pay its contributors. We have a tip jar and free reading periods, so for the following periods submissions are free (and you can choose to tip if you’d like; some people do): May 1 – August 1; October 1 – December 1; January 1 – March 1. For any periods that fall outside those dates, the tip jar becomes required, so yes, it is a fee. But I think we set out enough months of free submissions that this system is accessible to most folks. It’s similar to just having open reading periods during certain times of the year, and not reading submissions during other times of the year, which many journals do. We read submissions all year long, and part of that time includes the free submission periods.

In his blog post, Tom also brings up the question of why charge fees for an online journal that doesn’t pay its writers? Specifically he says,

…if a journal is charging fees and not paying writers, then they are either explicitly or implicitly saying they need that money to cover costs. But if the only thing you do is pay for web hosting, a Submittable account, and maybe a Squarespace account, then your annual fees are no higher than $550-600. That cost is covered by the first 200 submissions (which will come in about 3 weeks), and then what? What, exactly, am I paying for?  The time of the editor, who, of his own volition, decided to start a website and call it Sick Hermit Crab Quarterly or whatever?

Indeed, this mostly describes us (minus the Sick Hermit Crab and minus paying editors). The tip jar covers our basic costs: web hosting and our Submittable account. Our journal is free to read. We have published two print anthologies, but other than that, we do not print books. We mostly don’t sell anything (except for those anthologies and some t-shirts!). If there is ever extra money from the tip jar, which occasionally there is, but not a whole lot, we keep it in our account and use it for things like mailing out copies of anthologies or t-shirts.

We are as low key on the business end as we can get. This was a conscious choice. All our editors (and our awesome web designer) are volunteers and have other jobs to make a living. The journal mostly exists outside the realm of capitalism; we keep costs super low. No one will ever be forced to pay a submission fee, and no one has to pay to read the journal. We treat our contributors with respect, we give substantive feedback on pieces that we want to see developed further, we copy edit everything meticulously, and we choose gorgeous cover art for every issue. We now celebrate our contributors’ achievements with quarterly blog posts sharing their good news. We do wish we could pay authors, but the tip jar definitely will not cover those costs. And while I admire journals that have found ways to make enough money to pay authors, we’re a very small operation, and we’re still proud of the incredible work we publish.

We hope that by sharing our practices here other journals will do the same. I think the optional tip jar and free reading periods are a sensible compromise for small journals like us. And you will always, always get a response.

 

Contributor News

María Isabel Alvarez’s prose sestina, “Strawberry Girl,” appears in the 2016 summer online issue of Gulf Coast.

Alison Hicks has new poems in recent issues of Glassworks and Passager.

Kryssa Schemmerling’s first book, Iris In, a collection of poems about films, film history, and her own history growing up in West Hollywood, California, was published in August by Broadstone Books.

Rosebud Ben-Oni has a new poem, “Odisea,” in TriQuarterly’s 150th issue.

Amy Gottlieb’s debut novel, The Beautiful Possible (Harper Perennial) is a Target Emerging Author selection and is included in the Jewish Women’s Archive 2016–17 book list.

Shelly Oria’s story “Ruben,” which she wrote in collaboration with Nelly Reifler, is in Issue 5 of No Tokens.

Shira Dentz’s e-chap, FLOUNDERS, a hybrid of poetry, prose, and visual elements, was recently published by Essay Press and is free and downloadable here.

Rachel Mack published an essay, “On Not Shaving My Head for a Cancer Fundraiser,” at The Billfold.

J. C. Reyes is now Director of Stetson University’s MFA of the Americas Low-Res Creative Writing Program, with residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach and across the Americas.

Jeffrey Boyle’s poem “Agamemnon and Iphigenia” appeared in Issue 3 of the Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, and his poem “King Christ of Dude Mountain” appeared in “Free ______ Poems About _______ (Jesus edition).”

Merridawn Duckler’s poem “Saga of the Grief Journal,” appeared in the summer issue 8 of Rivet Journal, and her manuscript “Given Name” was a finalist at Tupelo Press.

Nicole Rollender’s latest chapbook, Ghost Tongue, is available from Porkbelly Press.

One of Katherine Forbes Riley’s recently published pieces, “A New Law of Nature,” appears in the July issue of The Conium Review.

Joy Ladin is hard at work on an NEA fellowship–funded book of trans readings of the Bible.

Peg Alford Pursell has launched an independent publishing company, WTAW Press, and is interviewed about the press by Litseen.

Tim Hunt’s third collection, Poem’s Poems & Other Poems, has now been published by CW Books.

Stephen Massimilla’s co-authored 500-page volume Cooking with the Muse: A Sumptuous Gathering of Seasonal Recipes, Culinary Poetry, and Literary Fare—which includes hundreds of food poems and essays, along with 150 recipes and 200 color photos—was recently released by Tupelo Press to wide acclaim.

Susan Stiles’s poem on naming, “The Light Box,” appeared in Antiphon (Issue 17).

Contributor News

Congratulations to our past contributors on a slew of awards and publications. You guys rock!

Joshua Bennett’s debut collection, The Sobbing School, was selected as a winner of the 2015 National Poetry Series and will be published by Penguin Books in September 2016.

Rosebud Ben-Oni now writes weekly for The Kenyon Review; check out her essay “The Weight That Will Make Us Planets,” with nods to fellow poets Wendy Chin-Tanner, Adam Clay, Jason Koo and Yesenia Montilla.

Celia Bland’s essays on rereading Look Homeward, Angel and Jane Eyre recently appeared in the New York Book Critics Circle serial, “Second Thoughts.” 

Sarah B. Boyle’s chapbook What’s pink & shiny/what’s dark & hard was published by Porkbelly Press in 2015 and recently reviewed by Meryl DePasquale in The Hairsplitter.

Patricia Caspers’s full-length poetry collection, In the Belly of the Albatross, was published by Glass Lyre Press in November 2015. 

Pamela Davis’s first book, Lunette (ABZ, 2015), was selected by Gregory Orr for the ABZ Poetry Prize.

Adam Deutsch was recently interviewed about Cooper Dillon Books on The Best American Poetry blog.

Mario Duarte recently published short stories in Aaduna and Huizache and a poem in the Madison Review.

Merridawn Duckler has two poems in the Rust Issue of Blast Furnace.    

David Ebenbach’s first full-length book of poetry, We Were the People Who Moved, won the Patricia Bibby Prize and was published this year by Tebot Bach.

Jeff Friedman and Dzvinia Orlowsky were awarded a National Endowment Literature Fellowship in Translation for 2016 for their translations of a selection of poems by Polish Poet Mieczyslaw Jastrun.

Amy Gottlieb‘s debut novel, The Beautiful Possible, was just published by Harper Perennial.

Emily Grelle’s poem, “crab – shell,” was published in Volume 18 of Waterstone Review.

Sam Grieve recently won the Rash Award for Fiction 2015 for a story that will be published in the Broad River Review in the spring.  

zachary scott hamilton’s poem “years in a seahorse” appears in FUR LINED GHETTOS #7 UK.

Will Harris won the 2015 Darwin T. Turner Award for best essay of the year on any period of African American literature, for his essay “Phillis Wheatley: A Muslim Connection.”

Terrance Hayes’s most recent  collection of poems, How To Be Drawn (Penguin 2015), was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.

Kate Kimball’s short story, “Capturing Flight,” was recently published by Fourth River.

Dean Kostos is interviewed about his new collection of poems, This Is Not a Skyscraper, in Guernica.

Joy Ladin’s seventh book of poetry, Impersonation, came out last spring, and in the fall she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship.

Devi Lockwood was interviewed by Public Radio International on her work traveling the world by bicycle and by boat to collect 1,001 stories about water and climate change.

Rebecca Macijeski has poems appearing in the current issue of Sycamore Review.

Lynn McGee’s full-length collection of poetry, Sober Cooking, was released in 2016 from Spuyten Duyvil Press.

Rajiv Mohabir is interviewed by Rigoberto Gonzalez in the latest issue of Poets & Writers on his debut book of poetry, The Taxidermists’s Cut, which won the Intro Prize in Poetry from Four Way Books.

Caridad Moro-Gronlier’s latest work can be found, or is forthcoming, at The Collapsar, Moon City Press, The Cossack Review, and The Antioch Review.

Shelly Oria‘s book of short stories, New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, was recently translated into Hebrew and published in Israel by Keter Books

Maya Pindyck, former poetry editor of Storyscape, has a new book of poems, Emoticoncert, available for preorder from Four Way Books.

Lynne Procope is introduced by Ross Gay for the Poet’s Sampler in the current issue of Boston Review.

Nicole Rollender’s debut book of poems, Louder Than Everything You Love, was published by ELJ Editions in December 2015.  

Diane Simkin’s short story, “Bella,” has been included in a Zimbel House Publication called Dark Monsters, and another story called “Kinky and Gruen” was included in the Tulip Tree Review Winter 2015 Issue #4.

Kenny Williams’s book Blood Hyphen, winner of the 2015 FIELD Poetry Prize, is available from Oberlin College Press.  

Storyscape Pushcart Nominations 2015

Storyscape is pleased to announce our Pushcart Prize nominations for work published in 2015!

Storyscape Best of the Net Nominations

Storyscape is pleased to announce our nominations for Best of the Net 2015!

Poems

Dying, by Nicole Ross Rollender
Still Life with Skateboarding Rapper Orbited by Nerd Paraphernalia, by Cortney Lamar Charleston
The Stranger on Burnside Ave., by Sebastian H. Paramo
Brain Atlas, by Rebecca Macijeski
The Water is Happy to See Us, by Devi Lockwood
Second Round, by Lynn McGee

 

Stories

Seventeen, by Ken Cormier
Seven Pieces at a Time, by Yu-Han Chao

 

Creative Non-fiction

Education, by Rachel Michelle Hanson
The Wolf Closet, by Christina Kapp