STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD: TIPS FROM A LITERARY MAGAZINE EDITOR

A guest post by Ashley Moore

A round of fiction submissions really is a beautiful beast: dense, overwhelming, intoxicating, and at its very best, delightful. At SAND journal, Fiction Editor Florian Duijsens and I make our way through at least 600 unsolicited stories each submissions period and are only able to publish around 8–12 of those. That means passionate pleas for our favorites and tough decisions once we’ve narrowed our selection down. But how does a writer get their work into the final rounds of editing? And how can a piece stand out among hundreds – or even thousands – of other stories?

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French writer and Oulipo member Georges Perec once wrote a novel, A void, without using the letter ‘e’.
Photo: Wikipedia

A guest post by Claire Fuller

There’s an exercise I sometimes get members of book groups to do: I ask each of them to draw a picture of the cabin from my first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days (2015). The building is carefully described in the book: one door, single storey, two windows, a stove with a chimney that pokes out through the shingled roof. But each drawing is different. Some have porches, others have back doors and many windows; sometimes even an upstairs. Each reader brings her own imagination, history and knowledge to the cabin she draws, just as each reader brings a different version of the novel to life as she reads it.

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Fellowships for Screenwriters 2018

An essential round-up of fellowships and opportunities for screenwriters in 2018. Deadlines and conditions can change, so please check the relevant websites for full entry details.

PAGE International Screenwriting Awards
were established in 2003 by an alliance of Hollywood producers, agents and development executives. This competition awards a cash prize of $25,000 to a screenwriter who has written the best screenplay in any genre. There are also prizes in ten genre categories. The final date for entries is 16 April.

The Disney | ABC Writing Program
was created in 1990 and is based in Los Angeles. The program aims to place participants as staff writers on Disney/ABC television series and begins with a curriculum designed to better prepare them for this role.  Writers become employees and will be paid a weekly salary. Applications open and close in May (dates TBC).

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
awards up to five fellowships of US$35,000 each year. This international screenwriting competition is open to writers based anywhere in the world, regardless of citizenship. All entrants must be aged over 18. The final entry deadline is 1 May.

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The Business of Tracking Lit Mag Submissions

A guest post by Aaron Gilbreath

In an age of smart phones and cloud storage, few things seem more primitive than a manila folder with a slice of white paper in it, but that’s what I use to keep track of the essays I submit to literary magazines. My system is simple: one folder for each essay I’m submitting, and one sheet of unlined printer paper to write down where and when I sent the piece. Writers with a deeper love of graphs and charts might use an Excel spreadsheet to record this information, but the cave man in me prefers minimalist hard copy.

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Residencies for Writers 2018

Would you like two months in bustling Shanghai to polish on your manuscript? Or perhaps a working cattle ranch in rural Wyoming would provide you with the inspiration you need to start a new project? These residencies provide writers with a chance to escape daily life’s distractions and focus on their work. Each residency has its own terms and conditions, so please read the relevant websites thoroughly before commencing any applications.

Krakow UNESCO City of Literature Residency Program
is dedicated to young and emerging writers from the Cities of Literature of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. It offers a two-month stay at Villa Decius, a historical complex and cultural centre in Krakow. Residents receive a stipend of 2500 PLN (US$730) for travel costs. Applications close on 22 January.

Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship
is an annual award that allows professional writers living in Scotland to enjoy a month-long residency at the Hôtel Chevillon International Arts Centre at Grez-sur-Loing in France with a stipend of £1200. Each year, four writers are invited to spend time with other artists and absorb fresh cultural experiences. Applications close on 31 January.

Visegrad Literary Residency Program
consists of a series of residency stays and literary events for writers of fiction and non-fiction, poets, essayists, critics as well as literary translators, publicists and journalists from the Visegrad Countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia). Applications are open until 31 January.

Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing
 is hosted by Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Named for the University’s renowned literary alumnus and initiated in the fall of 1993, the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing offers up to four months of unfettered writing time,  lodging in Poets’ Cottage and a stipend of US$5000. Applications close on 1 February.

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