Journal of Writing & Environment

May Day Web Rove

May Day, May Day—Summer Has Arrived

By Tony Quick

This time of year always puts me in a distracted mood. Possibly, it’s the reemergence of steady sunshine, the march towards warm months. In that spirit, this webrove is all over the place—an ADHD extravaganza.

Boom” by Kimberley Jean Smith

You’ll see the winners of the Sweet Corn Fiction Contest in the fall, but until then you can check out their fiction at other venues. First-place award winner Kimberly Jean Smith’s short story “Boom” brings us into second person POV with a mother who has lost her son to an unfortunate encounter with a firework.

“Where will your ex-husband have been at that very moment? Across the way ordering milkshakes, he will tell you at the hospital, while the doctors try to put your boy’s face together. At the time, it will seem like there can be nothing worse than having a boy with no face. Then they will tell you your boy is dead, and you will see that there is something worse, and you are now living it.”

Blown Glass” by Catherine Torres (from Escape Into Life)

“Blown Glass” by our runner-up, Catherine Torres, is the winner of Escape Into Life’s inaugural fiction contest, selected by Pulitzer winner fiction writer Robert Olen Butler. It features a domestic servant, so overworked and underappreciated she forgets her own birthday.

“Come to think of it, how old did that make her? She’d heard Mrs Q tell her friends on her birthday—there had been dainty little cakes that looked like little jeweled boxes and coffee that spurted out of a gleaming machine that had sparked a shouting match between Mrs Q and her husband when she bought it—that she’d stopped counting the years when she turned 30. When did she stop counting?”

Science Ends on a Backstreet in Rural Oklahoma” by Jade Sylvan (from The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review)

The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review features a poem by Jade Sylvan, winner of the 2011 Bayou Editor’s Poetry Prize and author of The Spark Singer. Her poem “Science Ends on a Backstreet in Rural Oklahoma” carries along whimsical carnival electricity:

“The phenomenon started in the South—the so-called “Quantum Mechanics,” ex-carnies who drifted along old circuits carrying boxes labeled “Schrödinger’s Cat.” Each had a shtick. Bill the Wild Bohr wore a sheriff’s badge and carried flyers, Siamese mug shots that read, “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” Planck’s Constance took bets on her tabby’s heartbeat.”

Oberlin College Press FIELD Poetry Prize

Have you been sitting on a poetry manuscript? Oberlin College Press has announced their 17th annual FIELD Poetry Prize competition, judged by editors David Young and David Walker. They’re looking for manuscripts between 50 and 80 pages. The winner is published and awarded $1,000 plus royalties. Definitely worth looking at for aspiring and published poets alike.

Prada International Short Story Contest

This next one is for fiction writers. Flyway staff has its fair share of snappy dressers. I’m not one of them. I’ve been wearing the same pair of Converse sneakers for three years and my idea of dressing up is wearing a shirt with two colors in it, instead of my usual monotone. So maybe I’m not the target audience for the Prada international short story contest. But maybe you are. It’s judged by Italian publisher Feltrinelli and has a whopping prize of 5,000 euros—roughly $6,558 American.

The guidelines are a bit strict though:

“Stories must not: be sexually explicit or suggestive… be profane or pornographic… promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous…”

Like I said, I’m probably not their target audience but if you are, submit!

Interview with Eric Carter (from The Missouri Review)

The Missouri Review has an ongoing series on working writers, men and women who haven’t won major awards and have few publications but are gunning for the keyboard and writing while navigating the working world. This particular interview is with Eric Carter, a self-taught writer and freelance editor who received an honorable mention in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition in 2005.

“I studied architecture at Illinois Central College for a few years and dropped out. It wasn’t the creative discipline I had hoped for, I guess. I remember using the college library to check out books by Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury, Edith Wharton, Brian Moore, and Anne Sexton… This was when David Foster Wallace was teaching across town at Illinois State University, but I didn’t know anything about him either. I didn’t know anything and had no one to guide me, but I knew I wanted to write because I was already doing it.”

And now that we’ve run the gamut on the online literary scene it’s time to part ways. Join us next time and keep reading, Flight Patterns—the official blog of Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment.