Newsletter #4: The Woman Who Was Sunday

Dear writers,

Realistically, this is going to have to be a Sunday newsletter rather than a Friday one, and I’ll tell you why. I work as the Head of Social Media for an online literature festival called Lockdown LitFest and it’s a pretty intense 9-5 at the moment. Which leaves a relatively small window for me to write this newsletter – if I’m perfectly honest, I should’ve just picked Sunday in the first place, shouldn’t I? 

This week at LLF has been particularly busy, as I’ve been attempting to branch the brand out to Reddit. Reddit is wild. People on the internet are wild. Someone insulted me using only a Game of Thrones reference – I wasn’t even mad, I was impressed. If I don’t have you on some form of social media and haven’t already demanded you follow our platforms, I definitely commend it to you: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There have been some really great people on the show, and there’s pretty much something for every taste. We also do a quiz every other Wednesday which anyone who subscribes to the newsletter is allowed to join – it may make you feel incredibly stupid, but you can rest assured knowing that I got 12 out of 90 in the last one, so you’ll probably do better than me. 

Human Family’ by Maya Angelou made me weep this week, so you get to read it too. Remember to be kind to yourself and to others. 

The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G. K. Chesterton

Tip #4: Jot down ideas, on anythingI know there are some people out there that always have a notebook on them, and that this seems very glamorous and writer-y. If you think you have the ability to keep a notebook on you – do it. Personally, I seldomly write anything on paper, so it isn’t something that helps me. I also write very slowly, so it’s a bit of a chore and unhelpful when the ideas flit through my brain while I’m about to fall asleep, or when I’m on the tube (it’s never when I’m sitting down to write, naturally. That would be far too convenient). 
Instead, I keep a note on my phone. It’s not quite a leather bound notebook with my initials engraved on the front, but it’s sure as hell better than resigning to losing the idea forever (because, realistically, if you have a notebook/phone-note kind of idea, you’re unlikely to remember it by the time you’re ready to use it for something).
Always jot down your ideas, on whatever is available to you. My phone notes are relatively incoherent, but when I open them and read them, I’m able to recall the train of thought and then go from there. They’re also a fun alternative to code-breaking puzzles.  
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I: The Lascaux Review

Helpfully, The Lascaux Review’s website comes with a pronunciation guide for “Lascaux”, which is apparently said like “sore toe” or “bordeaux”. Arguably even more helpfully, they accept all manner of creative writing. They’re an online journal, and accept anything that falls into the categories of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction (that’s most stuff).

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: Ongoing

Payment: Varied

Submit here

II: Typehouse Literary Magazine

Typehouse Literary Magazine publish prose, poetry, creative non-fiction and visual art – the whole shebang. They are looking for pieces that give a unique insight into the world we live in, though COVID-themed submissions are not going to be accepted. The artwork and covers from previous issues are pretty awesome, so there’s an added superficial bonus to submitting. 

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: 1 August 2020

Payment: $18

Submit here

III: Ocra

Writing these newsletters has been rewarding in a lot of ways, but realising how many wonderful literary journals there are out there is high up on the list of reasons. It makes me want to start one, who’s in? (Given that I started this newsletter by stating how busy I am at the moment, you should have a pretty clear indication of why I’m always busy). Read the excerpts provided on the website for what they’re looking for (and, in general, always do this, to save both time and emotional-bandwidth if it doesn’t quite fit with the platform). They want previously unpublished fiction – either 3 flash fictions of less than 1000 words each in one document, or 1 short story up to 8000 words. 

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: 30 September 2020

Payment: $25-$50

Submit here

IV: Enchanted Conversation

“A Fairy Tale Magazine” – need I say more? Probably a little, I would think, even if it does seem like the kind of descriptor that is either you, or not. It’s for adults, and very particular about what does not constitute suitably enchanted conversation, so read the guidelines carefully – they’re really thorough and helpful. The projects currently accepting submissions are: “Fairy Tale of the Month”, publishing one fairy tale per month from July 2020 for six months; and “Enchanted Essays”, two essays about fairy tales that are either non-fiction or creative non-fiction. The theme is “Angels”. 

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: Each month from July, the window will open for 72 hours to submit for publication the next month. Eastern Standard Times. 

Payment: $100 fiction, $50 essays

Submit here

V: THEMA

I personally tend to sway towards open-themed publications a lot of the time, because I’ve got a lot of stories that need a home. But don’t be fooled into thinking creativity can only flourish without limitations – I think art is sometimes most poignant within constraints. Especially when the same constraint produces the most delightfully varied outcomes. THEMA want art, photography, short stories and essays – many plots, one premise. The next three premises are: The Tiny Red Suitcase, The Other Virginia, A Postcard from the Past.

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: The Tiny Red Suitcase: 1 July 2020

The Other Virginia: 1 November 2020 

A Postcard from the Past: 1 March 2021

Payment: $25 short-short piece, $10 poem, $10 artwork, $25 for cover, $10 for interior page display.

Submit here

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WRITING CHALLENGE

Speaking of writing in constraints, I’m going to start providing writing challenges with each newsletter. This week: write something (anything) about writing constraints. I played around with this and had a lot of fun – I wrote a sonnet about sonnets. Here’s a silly haiku:

Writing in a theme,

Is harder than it might look

Mainly when counting. 


Of course, I want as many writers to read this as possible. We’re all on the same team, and don’t let the competitive nature of the industry make you feel otherwise. So please: share this with all your writer-friends out there. If you are reading this email because it has been forwarded on to you, please subscribe here to receive future Have You Read This newsletters.

Please don’t reach out to me about further details – everything you could possibly need will be available on the links provided. They’re better equipped to answer your questions, anyway! 

Want to unsubscribe? Please do so by responding to this email, and if you have the time, let me know why. I hope it wasn’t something I said. 

Love and best wishes, 

Meg

If I was able to help you get published, or inspire your writing, please consider “buying me a coffee“. I don’t drink coffee, but you need a fancy membership on Ko-Fi to change the wording to “a bag of Percy Pigs”. Keep writing, everyone. You got dis.

Read Newsletter 3: Late Expectations