Category Archives: Literature

I’m writing literature

Sliver of Stone – “La Adivinación”

Well, things still manage to be published, and I am extremely proud of the story, “La Adivinación,” which currently appears in the 16th issue of Sliver of Stone. The story is about a somewhat clueless American tourist who winds up getting to know a Chilanga mystic. It’s about the stories that bring us meaning and define us.

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Our Mission

Sliver of Stone is a nonprofit online literary magazine. Our mission is to provide for a web-based environment for outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art from around the globe. We want to expand the influence of these genres beyond their traditionally academic audiences.

We take special pride in the editorial aspect, offering suggestions and critiques for the submissions that we feel need and deserve that “extra push” toward publication. While we do not take ourselves too seriously, we scorn cliché, lack of craft, or craft over substance.

We invite submissions of unpublished or (exceptional) previously-published works which have not appeared online and for which the rights belong to the author. No unsolicited manuscripts, pleas

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Existere – “Fingerprints”

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Fingerprints is an awesome story, loosely inspired by a dear friend of mine who I love. I am thrilled to have it appearing in the latest issue of Existere, a publication I have been submitting to for years. Definitely another milestone for me, and I am so happy to be considered worthy by the fine folks at Vanier College in Montreal, Quebec. Digital copies can be purchased online for less than a dollar.

From the issue’s description: “Through life’s next adventure, we are faced with withstanding the heavy weight of another’s gaze. In Annie Raab’s “The Artist” and Ben Leib’s “Fingerprints,” we are shown the effects of other people’s opinions and narrow-mindedness in two vastly different ways. With Raab’s piece, we are shown the internal struggle and aftermath of inner turmoil, whereas with Leib’s piece, we watch a woman choke down her pride and principles to survive in her troubled world.


Copies of 37.1 are now available on Kobo!

Existere exists as a venue for emerging and established talent from York University and around the world. We publish poetry, fiction, visual art, interviews, reviews, essays, photographs, art, and much more from established and emerging talents. We also debut new writers, poets, and artists.

Existere publishes biannually. Contributors come from as close as Montreal to as far away as the other side of the planet.

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Existere is a nationally-distributed literary magazine. It was founded and first published in 1978 as a student-run journal covering literature and poetry. In 1980, the journal began publishing regular issues. Over nearly three decades, Existere has largely published as a quarterly, but in recent years has published semi-annually. Content, focus, and presentation has varied widely over the years, but has always included poetry and short stories as its core. Photography, reviews, art, essays, and postcard stories, novel chapters, and much more have appeared on our pages. Existere will continue to be a student-run journal and publish fiction, photography, and art, but will also add more non-fiction, reviews, and criticism as we grow.

How do you pronounce Existere? It depends who you ask. Our name comes from Latin and means “to stand out” or “to stand apart.” Therefore is should be pronounced ex-iss-TAIR-AY. However, being that Latin is not in as common usage as it once was, many refer to our name as EX-ISS-STAIR. Either is fine. We’re just happy to have you pick up a copy and enjoy our contributors.

Existere has a listing on Wikipedia (help us with our history), a fan site on Facebook (post your comments, we want to hear from you), and a Twitter account (ExistereJournal).

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Blacktop Passages – “Always the Lucky One”


The online literary journal, Blacktop Passages, has just published my short story “Always the Lucky One,” about the narrator’s superstitious descent into lucklessness. I enjoyed writing this story, and am proud to have it published by Blacktop Passages, the publication that has, in my humble opinion, the best name of all.

About Blacktop Passages:

Founded in early 2013, Blacktop Passages is a literary journal dedicated to the open road. We want to serve as a home for the stories, essays, poems, and images of transition that are often overshadowed by our destinations. We want thoughtful writing, full of feeling, conflict, and desire. If you have a great piece that reflects this ethos, Blacktop Passages would love to have your work in our pages.

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Emrys – “Aluxes”


I have been submitting to Emrys for years, and am happy to announce that they’ve accepted my story, “Aluxes,” to appear in Volume 33. In the words of Wikipedia, “Alux is the name given to a type of sprite or spirit in the mythological tradition of certain Maya peoples from the Yucatán Peninsula and Guatemala. Tradition holds that aluxo’ob are invisible but able to assume physical form for purposes of communicating with and frightening humans as well as to congregate. They are generally associated with natural features such as forests, caves, stones, and fields but can also be enticed to move somewhere through offerings.” That said, this story has nothing to do with aluxo’ob, aluxes, or any other mythological figure. It’s about two friends who elicit local help to locate a cave in a rural region of the Yucatan Peninsula.

To read this story, you will need to purchase a copy of Emrys. I highly recommending doing this, because all of the writing that appears in the issue is brilliant. I hope you enjoy.

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Emerys Mission Statement:

Founded in 1983, Emrys (a Welsh word meaning “Child of Light”) has sponsored music competitions, concerts, art exhibitions, conferences, creative writing awards, poetry workshops, and lectures. The Emrys Journal, our group’s signature literary publication, has appeared annually since 1984. Emrys Press, launched in 1995, primarily publishes poets of outstanding merit. Our Reading Room has brought writers and audiences together since 1990. Our Writing Room has provided professional instruction for writers at all stages of their craft since 2006 and begun in 2011, our Open Mic, which has provided a venue for writers of all skill levels to present their work to an enthusiastic and supportive audience.

Based in Upstate South Carolina, the Emrys Foundation was awarded the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2004 in recognition of outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina.

➢ Emrys nurtures creativity among emerging and established writers.
➢ Emrys seeks to expand the impact of the literary arts.
➢ Emrys collaborates across a broad variety of art forms to give voice to the written word.

We invite you to join our award-winning organization.

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Emerys History:

On the night of April 2, 1981, a special musical performance took place at Furman University. Everyone involved had ties to Greenville: the librettist, Keller Cushing Freeman, the musical composer, Sally Wyche Coenen, and the singers. The event was the premiere performance of an original song cycle called The Death of Arthur: a Requiem for Six Voices. The singers represented important characters in the life of the legendary king of the Round Table.

The Death of Arthur was the first public appearance of Emrys, but it had its real beginning when two friends dreamed, planned, and worked to make some ambitious ideas come to fruition. Who better to tell about this than one of the co-founders, Keller Cushing Freeman:

“It wasn’t quite the first act of Puccini’s La Boheme, where a cluster of young artists and poets shared their dreams and a bottle of vin ordinaire in a Paris garret. But it was close. Our setting was a basement apartment on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C.  Serving up the cabernet was Dan Coenen, a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Blackmun. Tossing the salad was Dan’s wife, Sally Wyche Coenen, a native of Greenville, S.C., currently taking photography courses and continuing her study of piano with Spencer Fellows. Sally also harbored ambitions as a composer, although 1980 was not a year when the world clamored for the music of emerging young composers—male or female. To date Sally had not had even the nibble of a commission.

“I was the fortunate dinner guest that icy winter evening, warmed by more than 20 years of friendship with Sally and the Wyche family. Like Sally, I, too, had a closet stuffed with dreams. Although teaching philosophy was my day job, I wrote poetry on the sly. Recently I’d completed a series of poems based on the legends of King Arthur. The material seemed made for music, so I labeled the poems lyrics and set off to find a composer to collaborate on a song cycle. Sally was my first choice.

“That evening over melting bowls of ice cream we reflected on the obstacles confronting writers, composers, and artists who were in sore need of a place to present their work, an audience to receive the work, and a patron to subsidize the projects. Without realizing it, we had begun to articulate the mission statement for the organization that was to become The Emrys Foundation—to promote excellence in the arts, especially literary, artistic, and musical works of women and minorities.

“Nearly a year later we felt ready to present our first collaboration, a song cycle for piano (later scored for chamber orchestra), narrator and six voices.

“To choose a name for our new partnership we turned to Welsh lore that had inspired our first collaboration. Learning that King Arthur’s sorcerer, Merlin, was actually named Emrys, we agreed that this rather mysterious word had a special ring to it. When we discovered that Emrys was translated Child of Light, we felt certain that this was a name of good omen.”




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Little Patuxent Review – “The Augury”

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I am happy to announce that my piece, “The Augury,” has been printed in the 19th issue of Little Patuxent Review. The narrator of the short story reflects on his experience in a foreign country, during which he’d come into fleeting contact with the alterity of another culture’s myth and folk lore. I love the piece – it’s brief and was written in transit, and at the present time it reminds me of adventure and unfamiliarity when life is beginning to seem oppressively familiar.

Little Patuxent Review is an amazing magazine out of Maryland. It’s a print publication, and a copy of issue 19 costs $12. You can order the issue or subscribe to Little Patuxent Review here.

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About Little Patuxent Review:

Little Patuxent Review (LPR) is a journal of literature and the arts, publishing poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork. LPR welcomes most US-based contributors and prides itself on supporting both up-and-coming and well-established artists and writers. Please see our submission guidelines for more details.

LPR’s mission is to promote the tradition of literary and visual arts through our:

LPR reflects and draws upon the creativity and diversity of the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond by promoting the literary and visual arts in print and throughout the region’s community and educational venues.

Each subscription to LPR supports the arts in your community. You get two amazing issues per year for only $24. Subscribe today!

Water over stone: Little Patuxent River, Spring 2012 (Photo: Lynn Weber)

LPR was named for Little Patuxent River, one of the three major tributaries of the Patuxent River. Like LPR, the river flows over stones — the Algonquin word “patuxent” means “water flowing over smooth stones” — through Howard County, Maryland, gathering strength as it carries content to the Chesapeake Bay and out toward the larger world.

LPR was founded in 2006 by a group of local writers — Mike Clark, Ann Bracken, Ann Barney, Brendan Donegan — to fill the void left when a periodical of the same title, founded by poets Ralph and Margot Treital, closed a quarter century ago.

They envisioned LPR as a forum for area writers and artists. In doing so, LPR not only provides readers with a diverse array of local offerings, but also attracts contributors of national repute.

LPR has featured poetry from Donald Hall, Poet Laureate of the United States and Michael Glaser, Poet Laureate of Maryland. In addition, from Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award winner Stanley Plumly, the late Lucille Clifton, winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Poetry and recipient of the Robert Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Society of America and Joy Harjo, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.

There has been fiction from Edith Pearlman, whose collection Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award,  Michael Chabon, whose Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Rafael Alvarez, whose screenwriting contributed to the critically acclaimed television series Homicide: Life in the Streets and The Wire, and Manil Suri, whose The Death of Vishnu became an international bestseller.

There have been myriad early efforts from writers and artists who will look back on Little Patuxent Review as the publication that gave them their start


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On the Premises: “Tenderness”

I am thrilled to report that the story “Tenderness,” is now available to read in Issue #26 of On The Premises, “Straightforward”. According to the introduction to the issue: “All stories had to be told in strict chronological order, with no flashbacks (scenes that take place before previous scenes) and no flashforwards (glimpses of a future which then return the story to its present). We received 216 contest entries and chose six stories for prizes. Two of our authors have been published in OTP before. For one of the others, this issue represents a first fiction sale.”

Tenderness is a story about a couple of friends who are struggling to care for each other despite propensities towards self-destruction. The story is a good one, I think, and On the Premises is a publication that I am extremely proud to contribute to. Please have a look.

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On the Premises’ editorial team:

Tarl Kudrick: The founder, co-publisher and chief editor of On The Premises. You can look him up on LinkedIn if you like. In his day job, he provides strategic human capital consulting to public and private sector clients for a big consulting firm. He was successfully self-employed as a consultant for two and a half years before deciding it’s better to join forces with other smart, capable people than to do everything by himself.

Tarl has sold fiction to a variety of paying markets, including ChiZine back when it paid professional rates for fiction. About 2/3 of the stories he’s sold aren’t “in print” anymore. Here are three that are: Hot Fudge and Whipped Cream, A Pocketful of Silence, The Ogre King and the Piemaker. Tarl’s not sure what to do with his old published fiction. An ebook? Would anyone be interested? Write him at if you think it would be worth doing.

Quite some time ago he designed an adventure add-on to a computer role playing game called Blades of Exile. His adventure, Tatterdemalion, won first prize. Google it!

Bethany Granger: Bethany is our magazine’s other co-publisher. She contributes heavily to overall story selection, story editing, and also helps critique stories. She comes up with quite a few contest premises, too. In her day job, she is a proposal manager for what is currently the world’s largest architectural and engineering consulting firm. She loves reading fiction but has never seriously attempted to write any.

Frank Dutkiewicz: Frank has been a two time finalist in the Writers of the Future contest, has appeared twice in Daily Science Fiction, and has a bunch of other works of speculative fiction published in a dozen other places. He reviews currently for Diabolical Plots, and serves as an assistant editor for the annual humor anthology Unidentified Funny Objects. He has appeared three times in On The Premises and was a constant submitter to the contest. Making him a full time judge was the only way the editors could get him to stop. [From the editors—but mostly, we find his critical takes on our top ten stories to be highly valuable. Seriously, we can see why other magazines also use his talents.]

In Addition to the Regular Crew… We enlist the help of amateur short story enthusiasts to help us select winning stories. We’ve had anywhere from four to nine prize judges for any particular contest, and we usually have either five or six. Why do we ask for such help? Because we want to publish fiction that can be enjoyed by a wide range of audiences. This magazine was never intended to be Stories Tarl Likes Even If Nobody Else Does. Any story that can get through our fairly diverse crowd of fiction lovers is likely to be enjoyed by most of our readers, and we think that’s the best a fiction magazine can hope for.

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Marathon Literary Review – “Stout of Heart, Bereft of Mind”

“Stout of Heart, Bereft of Mind” has been included in Issue 8 of Marathon Literary Review, and is now available to read online. This story is a slice of offshore life. It is about the mental deterioration of its narrator, who finds himself spending more time living on a boat than he bargained for. I am thrilled that the piece was chosen for publication by the talented creative writing students of Arcadia University

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Marathon Literary Review is a literary journal affiliated with Arcadia University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. The journal aims to publish an eclectic range of contemporary work, including art, fiction, flash fiction, poetry, photography and multimedia pieces. Marathon asks for first North American serial rights only, meaning copyright reverts to the author upon publication.

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Sein und Werden – “Centrifugal Momentum and the Points to which We’re Affixed”

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I have a new piece, “Centrifugal Momentum and the Points to which We’re Affixed” that has just been released in Sein und Werden’s “Mappa Mundi” issue. Sein und Werden is a small publication out of the UK, but the work that their editor, Rachel Kendall, manages to dig up is consistently interesting and intelligent, and I’m thrilled to have work appearing in their most recent issue.

“Centrifugal Momentum and the Points to which We’re Affixed” is a story primarily about a woman who’s driven to live her life according to a set of personal guidelines that differ from societal proscriptions, and who thereby refuses the material trappings that bind most of us. It’s also kind of a love story? Or there’s a kind of love in it. And there’s a man. Anyways, the story is built on the turn of phrase in a way that I think has a poetry to it, and I hope you enjoy.

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‘Sein und Werden’ is a quarterly online and print journal published by  Manchester’s ISMs Press. The title comes from the Expressionist concept of Sein und Werden – ‘being and becoming’, the notion that we are born as nothing and only through experience do we become who we are (an idea shared with Sartre in his work ‘Being and Nothingness’). Using certain techniques of cinematography to create lengthened shadows, twisted stairways and a distorted mise-en-scène, the Expressionists were able to depict a nightmare world that would later influence a number of other cinematic developments, such as film noir, aswell as leading artistic movements. One such group who owed much of their technique to Expressionism were the Surrealists, who played with these concepts to create bizarre images of the subconscious, making use of dreams and automatic writing. The goal of ‘Sein und Werden’ is to present works that evoke the spirit of the Expressionist, Existentialist and Surrealist movements within a modern context, which I like to call ‘Werdenism’.

The aims of Sein und Werden are to:

– Publish a quarterly collection of multidisciplinary work that incorporates elements of Expressionism, Existentialism and Surrealism, both online and in print.

– Accept submissions that broaden and emphasize the ideas behind Werdenism. As it stands there are a core group of artists whose work I feel embodies the concept of “Werdenism”. However, we are always looking for new blood and we are always open to submissions of new work as long as it exhibits the Werdenist gestalt. All work accepted shall remain copyright of the author/artist.

– Provide a theme for each issue (suggestions for future themes are encouraged). Submissions will not be restricted by the theme, although themed pieces will take preference and any other material may be held for use in a future issue, with the artist’s permission.

 MAPPA MONDAY by Helen Frank

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Bitchin’ Kitsch – “The Embarcadero”

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This story is entitled “The Embarcadero” and it’s been published in a lovely little zine called The Bitchin’ Kitsch. It’s to be found in the May 2014 issue, on page 16. “The Embarcadero” isn’t exactly a break up story (though it’s enough of a break up story that an editor or two has informed me they prefer not to publish break up stories). Rather, in my mind, it’s more about a missed connection. I think most people have seen love thwarted by circumstances that would otherwise seem peripheral. We have experiences in which we just can’t seem to get the timing right. The story is also just a moment, and I will never stop being thrilled by the narrative potential of small and insignificant acts.

 The Bitchin’ Kitch lives up to its name. The zine’s progenitors are two people, Chris and Dana Talbot-Heindl. These humans are of nebulous age and origin, but I like to imagine them with dual work stations set up in a basement apartment of some Midwest suburban triplex, living beneath a grandmother (possibly one of their own) and expelling a lot of creative energy. As you can see in their bios below, they cover a broad swath, from graphic design, to creative writing, to dub step, and even from afar their passion is infectious (I want them to be my friends). They also make a bitching calendar (which was, I admit, partly what prompted me to seek publication with them – I still haven’t submitted my photo for consideration, but I intend to.)

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The Bitchin’ Kitsch is a zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say. it exists for the purpose of open creativity.

If you have something you want to share, please email it to Are you a video or music artist? Submit your YouTube link or original file to All submissions are due on the 26th for the following month’s issue. Please review the submission guidelines on our Submissions page before submitting your work.

The Talbot-Heindl Experience is just that – an escapade of exposure to the sophisticated knowledge of a Talbot-Heindl.

The background of each Talbot-Heindl is expansive and ever-growing. Feel free to explore the links provided to see just some of what a Talbot-Heindl is capable of.

Contact with a Talbot-Heindl is a unique experience in that there are only two beings in the known universe of that name and when you work with one, you get the complete package – work, personality, and wit.

With each new episode of exploit with a Talbot-Heindl, you are guaranteed a good humored, creative, but also professional job well done.

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Chris Talbot-Heindl: I was born in a relatively benign city to a relatively benign family and should have grown to become a relatively benign person. However, my penchant for reading novels about the downtrodden in America and political/social events in my life has shaped me into an indignant person and artist. As a person whose wool has been undeniably pulled from my eyes, I feel an unquenchable urge to run around pulling the wool from others’ – to help other people realize that the government and society of this nation does not give a rat’s ass about the individual, but as individuals, we cannot afford to conform. The only answer to America’s conformity is disobedience, and I intend to disobey wherever humanly possible.

Dana, aka McFishenburger, enjoys long walks on the beach, David Hasselhoff, and Beavis and Butthead, aheh-heh. He is big into video games, making electronic music, artistic endeavors, and one-upping MacGyver. In his spare time, he beta tests unreleased video games, dismantles and rebuilds computer equipment in a never-ending battle agains the BSOD, creates thumptastic wubwub, and makes sassy comments and art. He hopes to one day become a creative director for EA Games, travel overseas, and to live in a warmer climate on an art commune.

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Serving House Journal – “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights”

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The story is titled “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights,” and it is published in Issue 9 of Serving House Journal. “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights” is about a conversation with a methamphetamine addict in a bar in Santa Cruz at a time when I was too young to patronize bars. The heart of the piece is derived from staging and ambience. If there’s a deep truth to be plucked from this story, it might have something to do with the ways that our hedonism blinds us, or puts us in harm’s reach. It might also be about a man willing to put himself halfway in danger, but never all the way.

The Serving House Journal is amazing. I’ve been very lucky with some of my publications thus far, and though the Paris Review hasn’t been kicking down my door, journals like Serving House keep finding room to include my work. Not only is this publication showcasing superb contemporary literature, they have an editorial staff whose talent hurts my brain – Duff Brenna, Clare McQueen, and Thomas E. Kennedy (who has work appearing beside mine in Issue 9) to name a few. (Honestly, if you’re reading this Duff, Clare, edit all of my fiction for me forever.)

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Serving House mission statement:

Serving House Journal endeavors to publish works in the literary and visual arts that will surprise, rivet, amuse, charm, enchant — even electrify— our readers.

Our mission is to play an international role in fostering and preserving the best of what the literary arts are capable of doing: writing that may impel others to become writers themselves; writing that will add to and enhance the dialogue of the arts; writing that reaffirms our belief in the inspiring possibilities of the written word.

We celebrate the imaginative voice, the authentic attitude towards the status quo “world of letters.” We like lean-edgy-elegant writing that takes on the stupefying realities of our challenging times, our thorny relationships, the political chicanery that exhausts our patience, the contraries between men, women, children, and friends.

We’re looking for work that strives to eclipse clichés, stereotypes, and mass-market formulas gleaned from what has become more and more a “reality show,” a “sit-com,” a stultifying Wal-Mart of the mind. “Expect poison from standing water,” William Blake once told us. “The cistern contains; the fountain overflows.”

Inscribe the flow of the world as you see it. Send that world to us. We promise you a fair reading.

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