Places to submit

Ecotone magazine invites reimaging place in writing and art

Ecotone’s mission is to publish and promote the best place-based work being written today. Founded at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2005, the award-winning magazine features writing and art that reimagine place, and our authors interpret this charge expansively. An ecotone is a transition zone between two adjacent ecological communities, containing the characteristic species of each. It is therefore a place of danger or opportunity, a testing ground. The magazine explores the ecotones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, modes of thought. Submission guidelines Ecotone, the literary magazine dedicated to reimagining place, welcomes work from a wide range of voices. Please review guidelines before submitting. We strongly encourage writers to read work we’ve published before sending their own. A selection of work from recent issues is featured our website, where you can also order a copy of the magazine. Ecotone is open to submissions, by post and…


Immerse the reader

“Writers can learn a lot from reading comic books and graphic novels, such as about brevity. Of course, comics do have the benefit of imagery. That said, the importance of scene can’t be understated. I’m always telling my students: Show us moments instead of wildly narrating an entire story and describing what’s happening. Try to find ways to immerse the reader.” Roxane Gay, September 2017 Writer’s Digest


Declutter . . . Prompt #337

“When I put my house in order I discovered what I really wanted to do.”  These are words that professional organizer, Marie Kondo, hears repeatedly from her clients. “Their awareness of what they like naturally increases and, as a result, daily life becomes more exciting.” — Marie Kondo, the life-changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing There are a couple of ways you can use this writing prompt: Either clean something out: a drawer, the refrigerator, a file drawer or a file folder, a room, a car, a garage. Or mentally picture decluttering something in your life. Show that it’s not just physically making space, it’s also making mental space, letting go of an old self and making room for who you are now, and who you want to be. Prompt:  Write about cleaning or decluttering and the results.

Book Reviews

The Write Spot To Jumpstart Your Writing: Discoveries

The Write Spot to Jumpstart Your Writing: Discoveries, edited by Marlene Cullen Reading this anthology is like walking into a word bazaar, where the reader is called to taste grief’s shadows, to sample sweet memories. The reader is beckoned by the poetry of human existence, lured to the scents and sounds of places and times. Savor this visit to worlds familiar and unfamiliar. You will leave, feeling satisfied. — Claudia Larson has been published in Tiny Lights, The Write Spot, Searchlights & Signal Flares. Her writing is nourished by nature and her life on the prairies. Marlene Cullen has created a simple, concise format that will instantly inspire you in your own writing. Each collection of poems and short essays will carry you away to different times and places with a hidden gem at the end of every chapter where each author leaves you with “words of encouragement” to help you…

Just Write

Fire Up The Reader’s Brain 

“Once you are clear about how to choose your scenes, develop them to create ‘the dream’ of your memoir. The term ‘fictional dream’ comes from John Garner’s The Art of Fiction in which he writes that we weave a world for our readers with every detail we include —every scene, description, character and piece of dialogue. When we fail to offer continuous cues to scenes in that world, the reader falls out of the dream. The best way to create this dream is to write vivid scenes that stimulate the brain to see, feel and taste that world. Research in the neuroscience of writing demonstrates that when we read a story with sensual details, our brain fires up in the areas of visualization, taste and sound.” Excerpted from “You Must Remember This” by Linda Joy Myers, The Writer February 2016 Posts about using sensory detail in writing: Use Sensory Detail…

Just Write

Does your memoir have a theme?

Should your memoir have a theme? Yes, according to Brooke Warner. “Your memoir has an atmosphere, the air a reader breathes, and it’s called theme. Its presence is felt in every scene, whether or not it’s explicitly named by the author.” —Brooke Warner, “Back to Port,” The Writers, February 2016 “If your theme is vague, such as transformation, try to articulate what initiated your transformation.”  Warner gives the example of Wild  by Cheryl Strayed and H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, both about transformation while working through grief. Find your theme and tell your story. Read Brooke’s guest blog post, here on The Write Spot Blog: Why Keep Writing When No One Is Listening. Just Write!

Places to submit

CICADA is a YA lit/comics magazine and is . . .

CICADA is a YA lit/comics magazine and is fascinated with the lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens’ truths. We publish poetry, realistic and genre fic, essay, and comics by adults and teens. (We are also inordinately fond of Viking jokes.) Our readers are smart and curious; submissions are invited but not required to engage young adult themes. Especially welcome: works by people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQAI+ folks, genderqueer folks, and other marginalized peoples. Not welcome: cultural appropriation.  Fav writers, YA and otherwise: Sarah McCarry, Nnedi Okorafor, Sherman Alexie, David Levithan, Daniel Jose Older, Holly Black, Kelly Link, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ntozake Shange, Anne Carson, Jacqueline Woodson, ZZ Packer, Angela Nissel, Sofia Samatar, Malory Ortberg, Saeed Jones, Octavia Butler, Andrea Gibson. “There’s room in the world for your dark weird truths.” Associate editor Anna Neher on what Cicada wants.    The above is excerpted from Cicada’s Submission Guidelines….


Rewrite “What I Did This Summer” . . . Prompt #336

Today’s writing prompt is excerpted from Everyday Creative Writing, Panning For Gold in the Kitchen Sink by Michael C. Smith and Suzanne Greenberg. Ben Johnson, a seventeenth-century English writer and scholar, characterized poetry as “What has been oft thought but ne’r so well expressed.” In so saying, Johnson relieves poets of the obligation of coming up with new ideas and focuses on the perhaps infinite number of ways that ideas can be expressed. To illustrate this idea, consider that most of us were required to write a “What I Did This Summer” essay at some point in our school careers. While the subject matter for these essays is largely the same among classmates – camp, swimming pools, summer jobs – the ways in which we wrote our stories those details we chose to highlight and those we chose to omit, are what gave each piece its own flavor and originality. For…

Guest Bloggers

How to catch the ideas that flit by.

Today’s Guest Blogger post is from one of my favorite authors, Rachael Herron. Rachael writes: A comment by David Sedaris on a podcast gave me an a-ha moment recently, and I wanted to share it with you. I’d always wondered how he got his essays so brilliantly specific—filled with the kind of particulars that put you right into the spot where he stands. From Me Talk Pretty One Day, “For the first twenty years of my life, I rocked myself to sleep. It was a harmless enough hobby, but eventually, I had to give it up. Throughout the next twenty-two years I lay still and discovered that after a few minutes I could drop off with no problem. Follow seven beers with a couple of scotches and a thimble of good marijuana, and it’s funny how sleep just sort of comes on its own. Often I never even made it…