Why Literary Magazines Need More Attention (and Submissions!)

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Earlier this week, I came across an article from Writers’ HQ discussing literary magazines: why people should submit work to them and why they matter. You can read the story from novelist Alex Clark here.

As some of you know, I am currently a guest editor for a literary magazine, Headcanon, and have been the content marketing manager and former contributing writer for HEAL(er) Mag. I never understood the impact of literary magazines until I was in college. I had a poem published in my community college’s literary magazine my very first semester and, in time, began writing and submitting more works. For me, literary magazines got me writing. They also exposed me to the kinds of magazines, anthology projects, and more that are always looking for submissions. Through reading Poets & Writers, I’ve since learned how vast the literary magazine world is.

However, there are also the concerns that take away from the bigger picture. Yes, submission fees and not being paid for your work can be a downside depending on where you look. But, if you stumble upon a magazine you really like, why not submit? You never know how it’ll turn out unless you give one a chance. Also, even if you get rejected, you can learn how to improve your writing and find a better home for your work.

A tool I usually get in my email every day is called Freedom with Writing. They send you daily emails with lists of books, anthologies, magazines, and more that are actively looking for submissions. Some of them pay-per-project too! They also have the deadlines listed so you can plan ahead and keep track of your submissions. If anything, literary magazines will get you writing again and keep it fresh.

Don’t forget that Headcanon is still open for submissions for Issue 1: The Bells until August 20 so get your submissions in soon!

Summer Reading Ideas

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I can’t believe it’s the final weekend of June! Summer is, also, officially underway.

You know what that means? Time to hunt for the beach reads! Here are a few suggestions courtesy of Hallmark:

Tweet: @HallmarkPublish

Also, with July around the corner, it’s a good time for a Christmas in July read. Hallmark’s latest book, A Down Home Christmas, is out Tuesday.

Another place to check out is the recent winners of The Inspy Award. The winners were announced last night! For those who don’t know, the Inspys was created by bloggers to recognize the very best in Christian literature. Check out their list for your next read.

Happy reading!

Birthday Weekend Reflections

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Tomorrow marks my 26th birthday. With that milestone, I am saying goodbye to my first 25 years of life and beginning the next quarter. I’ve had the pleasure to read many amazing books over the years: beloved children’s books to classics and today’s bestsellers. Reading has been my constant friend throughout my life and that won’t be changing any time soon.

To celebrate my 26th, I’m sharing twenty six of my favorite books with you. Some titles may be familiar from my previous Top Ten list series, others not so much. Feel free to revisit some classics and discover new books!

Enjoy the first full weekend of summer!

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Villette by Charlotte Brontë

Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song, and the Power of Perseverance by David Archuleta

Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury

Ocean Star: You’re Designed to Shine by Christina DiMari

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Circe by Madeline Miller

The Reason by William Sirls

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Love Locks by Cory Martin

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Dater’s Handbook by Cara Lockwood

Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh

Calling All Writers!

Hey everyone! I have an exciting announcement to share!

Headcanon Magazine Instagram

I am sharing this submission call with you all because I will be the Guest Editor for this issue! I am quite excited for this opportunity and want to thank Headcanon Magazine and Editor-In-Chief, Anushka Bidani, for having me. You can send in your poems, reviews, character studies, and more starting today!

Issue One is titled “The Bells” and focuses on the Brontë sisters. For this issue, your submissions will focus on the famous works of the authors from Jane Eyre to Agnes Grey, their poetry and more. For submission guidelines, click here. The submission period closes on August 20th so you have the whole summer to get creative and send in your work. Don’t delay and send in your best pieces today!

What is Headcanon magazine?

From the website: “Headcanon Magazine is a literary & art journal started in 2019 as a response to the lack of legitimate spaces providing recognition, & opportunities for publication to artists creating art inspired by various books & comics & films & music & etc. We accept & curate creations ranging across fan-fiction, art-works, & social commentaries & reviews on comics/films/books/etc.”

If you’re a pop culture fan, then this is the place to give your work the home it deserves. Also, if you’re an artist you can submit your art! Want a place for your fanfiction? This is the place to go! Feel free to also give the magazine a follow, too, on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates on submissions, calls for contributors, and more.

We cannot wait to see what you guys submit!

Happy writing and Happy Father’s Day weekend to all the dads and father figures!

My Reaction to the Barnes & Noble Sale

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Avid readers and the book industry alike were stunned yesterday upon the news of Barnes & Noble being sold to private equity firm Elliot Management. Like many of you, I’ve wondered myself what this news could mean for one of the last remaining bookstore chains in the country.

Some of you may recall a post I wrote earlier this year expressing my frustration about the shrinking Christian Fiction section at Barnes & Noble during my most recent visits. I’ve also been frustrated at the elimination of the kiosks a couple years back that helped you look up a book when an employee wasn’t nearby. Anyone remember those? Other than that, Barnes & Noble was still my go-to place for my next read despite frequenting my local Christian bookstore and indie bookstores more often.

At Barnes & Noble, I would walk in and be in a happy place. Browsing the new releases and latest bestsellers, finding unexpected treasures in the bargain priced sections, snagging some great deals, and even revisit a few books I forgot about. One of my most recent purchases at the store included a nice coloring book for Mother’s Day that I happened to stumble upon in the bargain section. Another visit included the purchase of two books I’ve read before: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and The Little French Bistro by Nina George. I would also find the Barnes & Noble Classics Series edition of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy for five dollars! Barnes & Noble, ironically, would also become the place I discovered my first Christian Romance novel: My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade. Chances were certainly higher that my local Christian bookstore had the title at the time. However, finding it in Barnes & Noble when I least expected it certainly made the find all the more special.

What does the future hold? Like you, fellow reader, I’m not sure myself. In this digital age, it’s scary. Day after day, we read headlines of stores that have been around for years going out of business, struggling, merging, and the like. I’ve followed some of Barnes & Nobles’s struggles of late, too. This news? Not surprising, but all the sadder.

I might just swing by tomorrow to grab a book. Even though I have too many to read right now. Even though I don’t need any more. Because I still love the store. As I’m sure you do too.

Let’s hope for the best for Barnes & Noble.

When You Open a Book…

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This week…I have a thought I’d like you to consider. Books, when we open them, take us to places that we may have visited, lived in, or desired to see. They inspire us, make us laugh and cry, and think.

But what else can they do? Ponder that this week and feel free to share your thoughts here.

I’ll go first to start off.

When you open a book…

You will never be the same after the final page is read.

Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to stock up on books for summer beach reading season!