How to Publish with Submittable: An Infographic

November 23rd, 2015 by

How do literary magazines and publishers use Submittable? We recently created an infographic that shows you how an organization can use Submittable to accept and manage content, from creating your call for submissions to publishing and promoting your new issue. Along the way, you can get our help promoting your calls on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog, and save trees from untimely deaths. Wins all around.



Want to sign up for a free 30-minute demo? Please email our sales team at or sign up directly on our demo calendar.

Late November Submission Opportunities

November 20th, 2015 by














11/20/2015  Apocrypha and Abstractions – FLASH FICTION – GENERAL

11/20/2015  Arts Council of the Valley – artVISION 2015: K-12 Student Show

11/20/2015  Conceptions Southwest – Creative Nonfic, Photography, Poetry, Short Fic, Vis Art

11/20/2015  Craft ACT – Emerging Contemporaries 2016

11/20/2015  Deerfield Valley Inn – Deerfield Valley Inn Essay Contest

11/20/2015  Egress Press and Research – 2016 Edinboro National Printmaking Competition

11/20/2015  Gambling the Aisle – Chapbook Competition

11/20/2015  Gulf Stream Literary Magazine – Art

11/20/2015  Interlochen Arts Academy Creative Writing – December Issue Red Wheelbarrow

11/20/2015  monologging – #FlashTag

11/20/2015  Prescott Gallery – December Exhibition Open Call for Students

11/20/2015  QWF Mentorship Program – I want to BE a mentor!, Give me a mentor!

11/20/2015  Split Lip Magazine – Tip Jar Magazine Fiction & Tip Jar Magazine Poetry Submissions

11/20/2015  Startup Art Fair – stARTup Art Fair Los Angeles: 2016 Artist Application

11/20/2015  TEDxBozeman – TEDxBozeman 2016 Presenter Applications

11/20/2015  The Anne Frank Center USA – Anne Frank Center National Essay Contest

11/20/2015  UWB MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics – Short Fiction

11/21/2015  Austin Poetry Society – APS November Monthly Contest

11/21/2015  Brunswick Music Festival – VARIOUS 2016 STALL APPLICATIONS

11/21/2015  Crab Orchard Review – Poetry, Fiction, Literary Nonfiction

11/21/2015  Crab Orchard Series in Poetry – Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition

11/21/2015  The Arts Center of the Capital Region – The ell project

11/22/2015  Alternating Current – Full Manuscript, Historical Writing, Poetry, Prose

11/22/2015  ArtBridge Projects – XO, Dumbo

11/22/2015  F&M Alumni Arts Review – Visual Art, Poetry, Nonfiction & Memoir, Fiction

11/22/2015  Kellogg Hubbard Library – Proposals for PoemCity 2016 Programs

11/22/2015  Minetta Review – Prose: Fall 2015, Art: Fall 2015, Poetry: Fall 2015

11/22/2015  no tokens – Letter Contest, Judged by Mary Gaitskill, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, other

11/22/2015  Organic Weapon Arts – David Blair Memorial Prize

11/22/2015  Yuma Fine Arts Association – Artists’ Open


11/23/2015  Center for the Study of Women – Thinking Gender: CFP Submissions, Fall Travel Grant

11/23/2015  earthwords – Online Flash Nonfiction Contest, Online Flash Fiction Contest

11/23/2015  IOT Accelerator Bootcamp – IoT Accelerator Bootcamp

11/23/2015  Loco Mag – Issue #20: Hand in Hand

11/23/2015  Tempe Public Art – Call to Artists: Public Safety Memorial

11/23/2015  The Drawing Room Project – Call for Submissions for the 2016 ePamphlet

11/24/2015  Benu Press – Social Justice and Equity Award in Creative Non-Fiction

11/24/2015  Eastern Writers Guild – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction Essays, Plays, Scripts

11/24/2015  Fusion Art – Elemental – Air, Fire, Earth, Water (December 2015)

11/24/2015  New England Young Writers’ Conference – Application 2016

11/24/2015  WonderRoot – Internship Program, Solo Exhibition Proposal

11/25/2015  Antenna – Antenna: Open Call Locals Only, Antenna: Open Call National/International

11/25/2015  ArtSpan – ArtSpan Artist Residency, Art-in-Neighbohoods Exhibition

11/25/2015  BonBon Break Media, LLC – Feature Essays for December’s Theme: Giving

11/25/2015  Seltzer – Prose

11/25/2015  The Eckleburg Project – Visual Art – Fall 2015, Prose – Fall 2015, Poetry – Fall 2015

11/26/2015  IthacaLit – The Lauren K Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize

11/26/2015  Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery – 5th Annual “Animals” Online Art Competition

11/27/2015  Art Center Sarasota – WHAT LIES BENEATH Juried Exhibition

11/27/2015  Center for the Study of Women – Thinking Gender: CFP Submissions, Fall Travel Grant

11/27/2015  Dappled Things – J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction

11/27/2015  SELFISH – issue three – GOOD GIRL

11/28/2015  Writing Maps – The A3 Review’s Monthly Contest #21 (Nov) TABLE MANNERS

11/29/2015  IFAMA – 2016 Call for Symposium Contributions

11/29/2015  Missoula Cultural Council – First Night Spotlight

11/29/2015  Sycamore Review – Wabash Prize for Poetry 2015, Wabash Prize for Fiction 2015

11/29/2015  The Front – Membership

11/29/2015  The Pedestal Magazine – Poetry

11/30/2015  1888 – The Cost of Paper?

11/30/2015  33 Officina Creativa – Artist Residency Spring 2016

11/30/2015  4×4 – 4×4 Winter Poets Project

11/30/2015  A6 (Atelier 6000) – 2015 Print Salon: A6 Artist Member Show

11/30/2015  Adventure Cycling Association – Adventure Cyclist Photo Contest

11/30/2015  Agave Magazine – Artist-in-Residence 2016

11/30/2015  Arcadia – Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Contest (Deadline extended to Nov 30)

11/30/2015  Art Omi International Artists Residency – Art Omi Visual Artist Residency Photo/Video

11/30/2015  Arts Mid-Hudson – 2016 Dutchess County Poet Laureate

11/30/2015  ASBMB Today – NEW: “Coordinates” essay series in 2016

11/30/2015  Baltimore Review – Contest Submissions – Poems, Short Stories, Creative Nonfiction

11/30/2015  Bear Star Press – Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize

11/30/2015  bG Gallery – Grayscale Wonderland (works with limited color, Sculpture-Maze

11/30/2015  Black Lawrence Press – The Big Moose Prize, Poetry Collection, S, Novel, Novella, etc.

11/30/2015  Bocoup – OpenVis Conf 2016

11/30/2015  Carnegie Mellon University English Department – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards

11/30/2015  Carolina Wren Press – Lee Smith Novel Prize, 2015 Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series

11/30/2015  CFCC Portals Magazine – Art 2016, Fiction 2016, Non-Fiction 2016, Poetry 2016

11/30/2015  Chautauqua Institution – Special Studies 2016 Course Proposal

11/30/2015  Cleaver Magazine – Fiction, Flash, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction

11/30/2015  CLMP – Magazines

11/30/2015  CONSEQUENCE magazine – Palestinian Writers in Translation, Israeli Writers in Translation

11/30/2015  Cosmonauts Avenue – CA Poetry Prize

11/30/2015  Crate Literary Magazine – Dramatic Works

11/30/2015  Creative Currents – 2015 PopUp Marché Merchandise Vendor

11/30/2015  Creative Nonfiction – Conference Internship, Apply for a Writing Away the Stigma Fellowship

11/30/2015  Creative Nonfiction Collective Society – carte blanche/CNFC Creative Nonfiction Contest

11/30/2015  Dance Films Association – Dance Film Lab Moderated Screening

11/30/2015  Dew More Baltimore – Youth Poet Laureate 2015-2016

11/30/2015  Digging through the Fat – Community

11/30/2015  Dos Gatos Press – Southwest Persona Poems

11/30/2015  Fourth Genre – Nonfiction

11/30/2015  FreezeRay – Poetry, Fiction?, Art/Photography/Webcomics

11/30/2015  Glimmer Train Press – Short Story Award for New Writers contest

11/30/2015  GNU Journal – 2016 Submissions

11/30/2015  Horror Writers Association – 2015 Anthology, 2015 Collection, and many other awards

11/30/2015  Houston Arts Alliance – Traffic Signal Control Cabinet Mini Mural Pre Qualified Artist Pool

11/30/2015  Hypertext Magazine – Hypertext Magazine’s First Annual Print Journal Submissions


11/30/2015  InkTears – Short Story

11/30/2015  International Print Center New York – New Prints 2016/Winter

11/30/2015  Johnson County Library – Read Local – Poetry: #IHeartU

11/30/2015  Kalyani Magazine – “mother/tongue”

11/30/2015  Lower Manhattan Cultural Council – SU-CASA 2016: Manhattan Application Form

11/30/2015  Lucie Foundation – $2500 & $1000 Emerging Artist Scholarship

11/30/2015  Manchac Review – 2015 Online Edition

11/30/2015  Marathon Literary Review – Nonfiction, Fiction & Flash Fiction, Photos/Artwork, Poetry

11/30/2015  Midwestern Gothic – Fiction Submissions, Poetry Submissions

11/30/2015  Murphy Writing of Stockton University -Poetry & Prose Getaway / Screenwriting Scholarship

11/30/2015  Nashville Film Festival – 30 Minute Pilot – 2016, 60 Minute Pilot, various other film categoies

11/30/2015  Nimrod International Journal – Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction

11/30/2015  Nine Arches Press – Nine Arches Press poetry collection submissions

11/30/2015  Ovenbird Poetry – Poetry

11/30/2015  Pantheon Magazine – FICTION, POETRY

11/30/2015  PEN America – 2016 PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize ($10,000)

11/30/2015  Poetry International – The C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize

11/30/2015  Porkbelly Press – Love Me, Love My Belly zine – Art & Comics

11/30/2015  Prism Review – Short Story Contest, Poetry Contest

11/30/2015  RAIR – 2016 Biggie Shortie Residency, 2016 Standard Residency

11/30/2015  Rattle – Ekphrastic Challenge (online only)

11/30/2015  River Styx – Fiction Submissions

11/30/2015  Room – Cover Art Contest

11/30/2015  Sarabande Books – Flo Gault Student Poetry Prize, Internship Program

11/30/2015  scissors & spackle – god(s), Poetry, Prose, Everything Else, Non-Fiction

11/30/2015  Sediments Literary-Arts Journal – Art, Fiction, Poetry

11/30/2015  SHOCK TOTEM PUBLICATIONS – Novel, Novella

11/30/2015  Southern Writers Symposium – Land of Dreams Student Writing Competition

11/30/2015  Tang Center for Early China – Workshop & Conference Grants

11/30/2015  TAYO Literary Magazine – #SayHerName

11/30/2015  Teachers & Writers Collaborative – 2016 Bechtel Prize

11/30/2015  Teenage Wasteland Review – Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry

11/30/2015  Telepathic – Round Three: Open Submission Period

11/30/2015  Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival – TWF Fiction Contest

11/30/2015  The Burnside Review – Burnside Review Press Book Award

11/30/2015  The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature – Essay,Poetry: Special Topic “Place”

11/30/2015  The Five C’s: Pulp Fiction From Singapore – Cash

11/30/2015  The Gambler Mag – Feeling Lucky – November 2015

11/30/2015  The Ilanot Review – Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry

11/30/2015  The Indianola Review – #NaNoWriMo Submission (Participants Only)

11/30/2015  The Perch Magazine – Visual Art, Poetry, Prose: Fiction & Essays

11/30/2015  The Victoria Napolitano Shopping Network – The Mademoiselle French Collection – V.I.P.

11/30/2015  Tincture Journal – Poetry (Issue Thirteen)

11/30/2015  TL Publishing Group LLC – Poetry, Fiction

11/30/2015  University of Georgia Press – The Georgia Poetry Prize

11/30/2015  Urban Farmhouse Press – Fiction Manuscript – Novella, Short Story, Novel, Science Fiction

11/30/2015  UTS Anthology – 2016 UTS Writers’ Anthology

11/30/2015  Whispering Prairie Press – Troubadours Poetry Award

12/01/2015  A Bad Penny Review – Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction

12/01/2015  African Poetry Book Fund – Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets

12/01/2015  Along These Lines – Along These Lines

12/01/2015  Autumn Hill Books – Poetry or Prose in Translation, Literary Translation Manuscript

12/01/2015  Barely South Review – Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Art, Flash Fiction, Flash Nonfiction

12/01/2015  Beautiful Minds Challenge – 2015-2016 Beautiful Minds Challenge

12/01/2015  Bellingham Review – General Submissions Fiction, Hybrid, Poetry, Nonfiction

12/01/2015  Beloit Fiction Journal – Hamlin Garland Award for the Short Story 2016, Fiction 2016

12/01/2015  Blue Lyra Review – Anthology: The Play is the Thing

12/01/2015  Bluestem – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Artwork

12/01/2015  Breakwater Review – Fiction, Poetry

12/01/2015  California Society of Printmakers – California Society of Printmakers Membership Application

12/01/2015  Clockhouse – Creative Nonfiction, Dramatic Works, Fiction, Poetry

12/01/2015  Cymbals Magazine – Fall 2015 Online Edition

12/01/2015  Data & Society Research Institute – Data & Society Fellows Program, 2016-17

12/01/2015  Denver Center for the Performing Arts – Regional High School Playwriting Competition

12/01/2015  Dewpoint – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction & Critical Work

12/01/2015  Eclectica Magazine – Word Poem Challenge

12/01/2015  Fiction Southeast – 2015 Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize

12/01/2015  Film Consortium San Diego – 2016 Screenwriting Competition

12/01/2015  Finishing Line Press – NO READING FEE NOVEMBER

12/01/2015  Five Points – The James Dickey Prize for Poetry, Essay, Fiction, Poetry, Flash Fiction

12/01/2015  Fjords Review – Alex Dimitrov Guest Edited Edition

12/01/2015  Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment – Nonfiction Contest

12/01/2015  Fourteen Hills – Fiction, Poetry, Flash Fiction, Creative Nonfiction,Cross Genre, Visual Art

12/01/2015  Gallery House – When You Got It You Got It

12/01/2015  Green Mountains Review – GMR Book Prize – Poetry, GMR Book Prize – Prose

12/01/2015  Holy Names University – Prose Spring 2016 Issue, Poetry Spring 2016 Issue

12/01/2015  Hot Metal Bridge – Tip Jar Submissions, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Photo/Art

12/01/2015  Interrobang – Prose, Poetry, Art, Revisions

12/01/2015  Iron Horse Literary Review – IHLR 2016 Trifecta: Poetry, IHLR 2016 Trifecta: Fiction

12/01/2015  IWMF – 2015 Fund for Women Journalists Security Training Grants Application

12/01/2015  Kennedy Center – 2016 VSA Intersections Call for Proposals, Marian Anderson Vocal Award

12/01/2015  Longleaf Press – Longleaf Press Novel Contest, 2015

12/01/2015  lunch – Lunch 11: Domestication [Abstracts]

12/01/2015  Memorious – 2015-2016 Art Song Contest

12/01/2015  NARS Foundation – South-West Brooklyn Exhibition Application

12/01/2015  Nat. Brut – Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Comics

12/01/2015  New Issues Poetry & Prose – New Issues Poetry Prize

12/01/2015  New York School of Interior Design – 2016 NYSID Alumni Exhibition

12/01/2015  Norman Firehouse Art Center – 2016 Chocolate Festival Partnering Business

12/01/2015  Northern California Writers’ Retreat – Northern California Writers’ Retreat

12/01/2015  Ohio University Press – Hollis-Summers Poetry Prize 2015

12/01/2015  Pacifica Literary Review – Creative Nonfiction Contest

12/01/2015  Pelorus Press – General Submissions – Fall 2015

12/01/2015  Permafrost Magazine – Permafrost 2016 Nonfiction Book Prize

12/01/2015  Philadelphia Sculpture Gym – Call for Artists… MULTIPLES (January 2016 Exhibition)

12/01/2015  Photography Competition on “Being Iranian” – “Being Iranian” Photography Competition

12/01/2015  Playwrights Local – Play Submission

12/01/2015  Portland Review – Fiction, Flash Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Artwork & Photography

12/01/2015  Puerto del Sol – Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Reviews/Criticism, Artwork

12/01/2015  Really System – Really System Issue Nine Submissions

12/01/2015  River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative – River Teeth Journal Submissions

12/01/2015  Rose Metal Press – 10th Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest

12/01/2015  Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – SaotharlannG

12/01/2015  Scheherazade Review – Prose, Poetry

12/01/2015  Sierra Nevada Review – Cover Art

12/01/2015  So to Speak: feminist journal of language and art – Fiction Contest Spring 2016

12/01/2015  Soundings Review – Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

12/01/2015  South Dakota State Poetry Society – Annual Poetry Contest

12/01/2015  Spineless Wonders – Little Fictions Call Out

12/01/2015  Spring Creek Project – Shotpouch Collaborative Retreat, Andrews Forest Writers’ Residencies

12/01/2015  St. Lawrence County Arts Council – CALL FOR ARTISTS: “Inspired by Music” Exhibition

12/01/2015  Storyscape Journal – Prose, Poetry

12/01/2015  Studio SoHy – May the Art be with You: A Tribute to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

12/01/2015  Tammy – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, expedited

12/01/2015  Tethered by Letters – Poetry, Short Story, & Flash Fiction Contest

12/01/2015  The Common – Essays, Fiction

12/01/2015  The Evansville Review – Nonfiction, Short Plays, Cover Art

12/01/2015  The Fabric Workshop and Museum – High School Apprenticeship/ Spring 2016 Application

12/01/2015  The Iowa Review – Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction

12/01/2015  The Los Angeles Review – SPoetry, Themed Submissions, Fiction, Nonfiction

12/01/2015  The Nassau Review – Artwork, Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction, Poetry , Voices of NCC

12/01/2015  The Normal School -FICTION, POETRY, NONFICTION

12/01/2015  The Quotable – Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry

12/01/2015  The Rag – Submission Only

12/01/2015  The Sun Magazine – Readers Write: Swimming

12/01/2015  The Unstoppable Woman Conference – The Unstoppable Artist Contest

12/01/2015  The Waywiser Press – Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize Submission


12/01/2015  Third Point Press – Art, Fiction, Poetry, Everything Else

12/01/2015  Tidal Echoes – Artwork, Prose, Poetry

12/01/2015  Topside Press – Speculative Fiction Anthology

12/01/2015  Tuesday; An Art Project – Poetry

12/01/2015  Tupelo Quarterly – TQ9 Poetry Prize, TQ9 Prose Open Prize, Chapter One, Visual Art

12/01/2015  Virginia Quarterly Review – Nonfiction Pitches

12/01/2015  VisArts – Open Call For Exhibitions and Curatorial Projects 2016

12/01/2015  Water Stone Review – Stone Review Prize in Fiction, Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction

12/01/2015  Weasel Press – Red Ferret Press: Knotted

12/01/2015  WNMU Humanities Department – WNMU Writing Contest

12/01/2015  WonderRoot – Internship Program, Solo Exhibition Proposal

12/02/2015  Smack Mellon – Emerging Artist Exhibition 2016 – Images, Video, & Event

12/04/2015  Argus student literary magazine – Argus 2015-2016 Submission (Content)

12/04/2015  BlackRock Center for the Arts – “Handmade: Explorations in Fiber Art” Call for Entries

12/04/2015  Bronx Council on the Arts – Artist Award for Literary Arts, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, etc

12/04/2015  Cave Canem Foundation, Inc. – 2016 Cave Canem Retreat New Applicants

12/04/2015  Fabrik Expo – Fabrik Expo / Art Independent

12/04/2015  HousingWire – 2016 HW TECH100

12/04/2015  Inkubus Publishing, LLC – The Supornatural Collection, Vol. 1

12/04/2015  MTSU Todd Art Gallery – 12 x12: A National Exhibition of Small Scale Works of Art

12/04/2015  New Hampshire State Council on the Arts – Project Grants for Community Engagement

12/04/2015  On The Premises – OTP Mini-Contest #28: Xylophone

12/04/2015  Riprap Literary Journal – Flash Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Short Fiction, Poetry, Artwork


Submishmash Weekly: November 16-23

November 20th, 2015 by

Submishmash Weekly is a weekly human-curated newsletter bringing news and opportunities in publishing and other creative industries to artists, filmmakers, and writers. If you enjoy what you read here, please consider forwarding it. New readers can subscribe here. Thanks!


Publishing & Journalism:

UPPERCASE magazine’s founder Janine Vangool discusses why we need the softness of craft in hard times.

Looking for a writing workout? We like this computer that requires you to punch things in order to type.

BBC News Magazine’s Matthew Syed examines how creativity is helped by failure.

At The New York Times, longtime friends Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gloria Steinem talk to each other about women’s rights.


Some opportunities:

DIALOGIST is an online platform for diversity through discourse. They’re accepting submissions of poetry and visual art.

New York University’s Minetta Review is calling for art, prose, and poetry for their Fall 2015 issue.

North Carolina Writers’ Network is calling for writers in North Carolina to submit reviews, travel articles, interviews, historic pieces, and more to their Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Contest. The winners will receive up to $1000 in prizes.

SELFISH is calling for women to submit visual or written submissions of 2500 words or fewer in any genre, including hybrid visual/written pieces, for their upcoming issue three. The theme is, Have you been a good girl?

No Tokens is accepting submissions in any genre for their Issue 5 Letter Contest. Write a letter or an ode to letters. There is no maximum word count or entry fee. Mary Gaitskill is the judge.


Film & Performance:

Read More »

Guest Post: Where to Publish? Where They’ll Have Me

November 16th, 2015 by

When I finish a poem – and by finish I guess I mean, abandon any prospect of further rewrites – I start to think about where I might want to publish the poem. I look at my list – and by list I mean, a series of Post-it notes strewn about my day job desk – and consider which of the journals I’ve been eyeing might be the most aligned spot for the poem to debut.

My younger self was very concerned with getting the poems published in the most esteemed of spaces. Slightly older me doesn’t care as much about that, mostly because, slightly older me isn’t chasing after the idea of tenure or a named chair of professorship at a university. To be clear, younger me also wasn’t chasing these academic-oriented goals, but, younger me thought that if we had our poems accepted by more renowned journals, then we might finally be able to think of ourselves as a successful poet. Oh, younger me, you were so naïve and foolish! I know now that we get to call ourselves a successful poet only so long as we are regularly writing our poems, and thereafter, aiming to get them out into the world.


Illustration by Joanna Socha

“As though I am the Poet Laureate of my own little town.” (Illustration by Joanna Socha)


Is the latter part even important? The publishing part, I mean? For me, it is. I like making the poems but I have to give them a chance to do their job, which means, I have to try and make them available for others to read. They don’t do any good sitting on my desktop. Sometimes I’ll joke with my best friend Jason and say things like, “Now Jason, when I’m dead I need you to be the Max Brod to my Kafka, and burn all my work,” a comment that I will then punctuate with a wink. “Got it,” Jason will say, “burn everything.” “That’s right,” I’ll say, “destroy it all,” and I’ll wink again. “I’m confused,” Jason will say, “are you winking to tell me NOT to burn everything?” “No, no,” I say, “burn it all, I want it all destroyed” and then once more I wink, until finally Jason will say, “Can you please stop winking at me?  It’s making me uncomfortable.” And then we just play video games.

My favorite part about getting the poems published is sharing them with my “community,” which I do by way of pasting the link onto my Facebook and Twitter feeds (mostly Facebook, I never really got into Twitter, although I understand it’s a poet’s paradise on there). I like all the “likes” that the poems accrue, but what I really enjoy is being able to share my poetry with my wide array of friends, peers, companions, compatriots, etc., many of whom are not poets or writers at all. I don’t know if this is true but it feels true enough that I’m going to say it: I believe that, for a lot of my friends and members of my online “community,” I am the only practicing poet that they know. So in this way, I feel a sense of responsibility, towards the artistic medium to which I have devoted myself, and even imbue myself at times with a (false?) sense of purpose and title, as though I am the Poet Laureate of my own little town, even if the town is actually a small slice of cyberspace.

It’s fun for the ego to get the poems accepted by prestigious places and lordy lordy it feels amazing to win a prize or contest, yes, that’s true. But I really do aim to check in with and lean on the feedback from the many non-writers in my community. They keep me grounded, and their comments are refreshing and honest. I do want my poems to feel brave enough to play and explore with word choice and form, but I never want to forget those people in my life whom I am so often hoping to touch/move/challenge/delight with my work. That’s what I will aim to keep doing, at the fancy spots when they’ll have me and at the less fancy spots as well – wherever the poems are welcome is where I want them to live, as I too intend to live, until the time comes when I die, and Jason burns the remainder of my manuscripts. Wink.


BIO: Josh Lefkowitz won the 2013 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Prize, an Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry at the University of Michigan, and was a finalist for the 2014 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize. His poems and essays have been published at Court Green, The Rumpus, The Huffington Post, Conduit, The Hairpin, Coldfront, Poor Claudia, Ohio Edit, and many other places. He has also recorded humorous essays for NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC’s Americana.


If you have a counter opinion or would like to write anything for us, please send us your work.

Submishmash Weekly: November 9 – 16

November 13th, 2015 by

Submishmash Weekly is a weekly human-curated newsletter bringing news and opportunities in publishing and other creative industries to artists, filmmakers, and writers. If you enjoy what you read here, please consider forwarding it. New readers can subscribe here. Thanks!

Publishing & Journalism:

Neil Gaiman gives NaNoWriMo writers a pep talk.

Yikes. The view of Virginia Woolf’s lighthouse is in danger of being blocked by a new apartment complex.

The Atlantic‘s Nick Ripatrazone looks at why writers run.

“In German, the word for passion is Leidenschaft, which literally means the ability to endure adversity.” The Washington Post‘s Jon Jachimowicz and Sam McNerney examine the problem with following your passion.


Some opportunities:

Harpur Palate: Fiction, flash fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

The Tishman Review is calling for submissions of flash fiction, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and craft essays.

SMP Swerve is calling for book manuscripts for all sub-genres of romance, including erotic, contemporary, paranormal, historical, and more.

A Public Space is accepting applications for their 2016 Emerging Writer Fellowships. Three writers will be selected for 6-month fellowships, which include mentorship with an established author, publication, free optional workspace in their Brooklyn offices, and a contributor’s payment of $1,000.

Creative Nonfiction is seeking essays on the theme of childhood. The editors will award $1000 to the best essay and $500 for the runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication.


Film & Performance:

Nashville Film Festival - 2016


Nashville Film Festival is accepting entries for their screenwriting competition. They offer 21 categories in feature, short, and teleplay lengths. There will be $90,000 in cash and prizes, and semifinalists and finalists win passes for the April 2016 film festival.

Arts Center of the Capital Region

The Arts Center for the Capital Region is calling for unproduced plays for the ell project, a national playwriting contest for women playwrights over 50. The winner receives a $500 honorarium and full production of her play at The Arts Center’s theater in Troy, New York.



IPCNY (International Print Center New York) is calling for original fine art prints for their New Prints 2016/Winter exhibition in New York City.

Storefronts is calling for artists in Washington State to submit artwork for the 2016 Storefronts season. 2D and 3D artwork will be temporarily installed at no cost in street-facing display spaces in Seattle.

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is calling for artists of all media to apply for BALTIC 39 | FIGURE THREE, a 5-week exhibition made up of 10 projects by 10 artists, with each exhibit lasting 5 days. The exhibition will be held at BALTIC 39’s galleries in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.



OCP (Oregon Catholic Press) is calling for music compositions for publishing review.


Creative Job Openings:

Los Angeles Times is calling for applications for their summer internships in reporting, visual journalism, digital editing, and more. Positions are available in Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

The Kennedy Center is accepting applications for the Spring 2016 term of their internship program. They offer a broad spectrum of internship opportunities in the performing arts based in the Washington D.C. area.


This newsletter was put together by Asta, Michael, Laurie, JR, Caitlin, and your team at Submittable. If you have news that you think we missed, please send it to Got high-quality writing or artwork related to publishing or digital media? Consider submitting it to our blog. If you enjoy what you read here, please forward it to help spread the word. New readers can subscribe here. Thanks!

Interview with Clayton Purdom, Editor of Kill Screen

November 10th, 2015 by

Clayton Purdom is the Editor of Kill Screen, a video games, arts and culture company based in Brooklyn, NY. Kill Screen publishes an eponymous website and magazine that seek to explore the intersection of play, technology, and art. Both the magazine and website have been highly praised for their sophisticated writing, far-reaching content, and elegant layout. My colleague Lindee and I reached out to Clayton to find out more about this very cool company.

Clayton - Kill Screen

Sasha: How did you come to work for Kill Screen?

Clayton: I started out as a freelancer. I had an idea for an article that I knew was a great fit for the site and pitched it. I did a couple of reviews after that and then saw they were looking for an editor. I threw my name in the hat and Jamin [Warren, Kill Screen Founder] and I bonded over a shared love of Cam’ron.

Lindee: Why is it important to have a print edition of Kill Screen?  

Clayton: There’s a real hunger out there for not just reporting but curation in the world of video games, particularly small, creator-driven ones. We provide that every day on the site but print offers us an opportunity to do so with greater resources and focus. We’ve been super happy with its success and have some really exciting stuff planned for it.

Sasha: Yes, last week you launched a new Kickstarter campaign with the intent of making the magazine “bigger, bolder, and better looking than ever before.” What prompted the reinvention?

Clayton: Kill Screen has grown a lot since it launched five years ago and it was time to update the print format to match where we (and games) are today.  People seem to be responding, so far!

Sasha: That’s great!  It looks like the campaign is off to a very successful start. How do you select games to review?

Clayton: We look for ones that seem to be trying to do something interesting or new, so that even if they’re not necessarily “good” there’s still value in parsing them. More literally, we just get boatloads of them sent to us and I hand them out to writers to take a look at. If they’re good or at least interesting, we do a review.

Lindee: Do you make a deliberate effort to give attention to lesser-known titles?

Clayton: I think we do end up doing that, but it’s not out of a sense of advocacy for them, but just because we find them interesting. There are so many games out there it’s crazy, and the vast majority of them are terrible. We’re just letting our taste sort through them.

Sasha: What led to your decision to add scores to game reviews?  

Clayton: Two years ago I reinstated scores on the reviews for a bunch of reasons.  In general, I think an arts publication needs a firm critical arm. You sort of have to put your money where your mouth is, taste-wise.

Sasha: What role do you think video games play in addressing social issues?  

Clayton: It’s always great when art of any type is socially responsible, but it’s by no means a factor in my personal enjoyment of it. Star Wars fails the Bechdel test, but, I mean, I like Star Wars. Which is to say that social issues-oriented games are fine by me but their first challenge is aesthetic, not moral. Art can change culture but it’s not art’s responsibility to do so.

Lindee: What three pieces of advice would you like to give to every game developer?

Clayton: Well, I would never do such a thing, because I don’t know anything about game development! If I designed a game it would be some terrible RPG [role-playing game] or something, and no one would ever want to play it. I guess, speaking broadly, I’d always encourage developers to look first and foremost outside of games for inspiration. Great things happen when they do. My other two pieces of advice would be to stay hydrated and buy a cat, just because that’s my advice to everyone ever.

Sasha: What major changes do you anticipate in the world of gaming over the next 5 years?

Clayton: The virtual reality thing is definitely happening in some capacity – whether or not everyone ends up with a headset in their home or something else. It may all be a glorious train wreck but that train’s moving, is my point. The other thing I see is a much wider diversification in the size and type of games. Mid-tier games, i.e. those made from traditional studios but without the enormous budget of something like Call of Duty, will make a comeback, and many studios we currently consider “indie” will grow and start to look a lot like the mid-tier, as well. Small, personal games from individuals and small teams will still be made, as will enormous blockbuster games, but that middle ground will fill out. It’ll be awesome.

Sasha: Many of your staff, including you, have written music reviews for Pitchfork. Being the music fan you are, what game soundtracks have you been most impressed by?

Clayton: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, released earlier this year, is an absolute masterpiece for this very reason. Anything David Kanaga works on is brilliant, particularly this year’s Panoramical. The best soundtracks ever are Sonic 3 and Silent Hill 2.

Sasha: If Hillary Clinton were looking for a game to play between campaign stops, what would you recommend to her and why?

Clayton: My gut reaction is Monument Valley, because it’s beautiful and bite-sized and I recommend that everyone play it. But I guess Frank Underwood did that on the last season of House of Cards, so it’s maybe too obvious a pick. So instead I’ll recommend Bloodborne to Hillary Clinton. I don’t know if she’s into killing piles of snakes with a battle-axe and a shotgun, but if she is she’ll love it.



BIO: Sasha Bell is part of Submittable’s Client Success team. She has a BA in Anthropology from Yale University. When not playing with her bands, Essex Green and The Sasha Bell Band, you can find her driving around Montana gawking at her majestic home state.


BIO:  Lindee Keller is a developer intern at Submittable. She enjoys playing video games, along with writing speculative fiction, listening to live music, training her cat to do tricks, and, of course, coding.

November Opportunities

November 8th, 2015 by















11/06/2015  APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts – CECA Collective

11/06/2015  Bethesda Urban Partnership – Songwriting Awards & Young Songwriter Awards

11/06/2015  Catapult – Catapult Books – Nonfiction

11/06/2015  Chamber Music America – 2016 Residency Partnership Program Application

11/06/2015  Colorado Book Awards – Colorado Book Awards Judge or Selector Application and Guidelines

11/06/2015  earthwords – Online Flash Fiction Contest, Drama

11/06/2015  Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading – General Submissions

11/06/2015  Fractured Atlas – Arts Entrepreneurship Awards Trophy Design Submissions 2015

11/06/2015  Givens Foundation for African American Literature – Emerging Writers’ Mentor Program

11/06/2015  Meat for Tea: The Valley Review – Flash and microfiction, Art, Poetry, Short Fiction, Essays

11/06/2015  monologging – #FlashTag, Monologue Contest: Spoken Word 2015

11/06/2015  Morehead Writing Project – 2015 Writing Eastern Kentucky Conference

11/06/2015  On The Premises – OTP Mini-Contest #27: Amnesia

11/06/2015  Pathos Literary Magazine – Fall 2015

11/06/2015  Pleiades Gallery – Art of Cool Festival Commemorative Poster

11/06/2015  Slideluck – SLIDELUCK Mexico III

11/06/2015  Sound Off! – Sound Off! 2016 Application

11/06/2015  St. Lawrence County Arts Council – “Inspired by Music” Exhibition, Art Market: November 28

11/06/2015  TX/RX Labs – TX/RX Artist Support Grant

11/06/2015  Under the Clock Tower – Video Essays, Video Poems, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Non-fiction

11/06/2015  VisArts – VisArts Emerging Curator Program 2016

11/07/2015  Glimmer Train Press – Very Short Fiction contest

11/07/2015  NVWP Young Writers and Families Programs – Young Writers and Families Workshop

11/07/2015  POL Prize – 2015-2016 Poets Out Loud Prize

11/07/2015  Superstition Review – Art, Nonfiction

11/07/2015  Terrault Contemporary – ‘Special Combo’ | Terrault Contemporary Juried Exhibition

11/08/2015  A.I.R. Gallery – Fellowship – Submit Images, Fellowship – Submit Video

11/08/2015  Cordite Poetry Review – Edit Category: Poetry Submissions to Cordite 53: THE END

11/08/2015  Multiples llluminated – Multiples Illuminated: An Anthology

11/09/2015  AIGA Louisville – The Show – Members (Late Entry), The Show – Non-Members (Late Entry)

11/09/2015  Association of Performing Arts Presenters – Building Arts Audiences “5 Minutes to Shine”

11/09/2015  BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art – BALTIC RYDER COMMISSION

11/09/2015  DEPS – Hokin – The Field Notebook

11/09/2015  monologging – #FlashTag, Monologue Contest: Spoken Word 2015

11/09/2015  Organic Weapon Arts – David Blair Memorial Prize

11/09/2015  Palm Beach Poetry Festival – Palm Beach Poetry Festival Workshop Application

11/09/2015  Ruminate Magazine – Readers Ruminate

11/09/2015  Superstition Review – Art, Nonfiction

11/10/2015  Minerva Rising – Chapbook: 3rd Annual Dare to Be Poetry Contest, Novella

11/10/2015  Montpelier Alive – Art Walk December 2015

11/10/2015  The NOCCA Institute 5 Press Gallery – Greetings from…

11/10/2015  Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation – 2015 VONA SoCal

11/11/2015  ArtBridge Projects – XO, Dumbo

11/11/2015  Dance Films Association – Production Grant 2015

11/11/2015  Writer Advice – Writer Advice’s Fourth Scintillating Starts Contest

11/12/2015  Fort Worth Community Arts Center – TAC Open Call: Small Works Exhibit at ART7 2015

11/12/2015  The Clay Studio of Missoula – International Cup 2016

11/12/2015  The Pacific Art League of Palo Alto – Holiday Art Market

11/13/2015  What the Thunder Said – Poetry Fall 2015

11/13/2015  Yellow Chair Review – Poetry Chapbook Contest, Flash Fiction/Non-Fiction, Photography/Art

11/14/2015  Causeway – Causeway Challenge III

11/14/2015  Concrete Literary Magazine – Prose &  Poetry

11/14/2015  Noble/Gas Qtrly – Fiction, Nonfiction, Short Circuits, Poetry, Tip Jar & Expedited Subs

11/14/2015  Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year – Submit Images & Young Photographer Subs

11/14/2015  The London Magazine – Short Story Competition 2015

11/14/2015  Ventura County Writers Club – 15th Annual Short Story Contest

11/15/2015  [PANK] – Free Submission, Tip Jar Submission

11/15/2015  580 Split – Fiction, Visual Art, Poetry, & Non-Fiction Submissions

11/15/2015  A Public Space – APS Emerging Writer Fellowships 2016

11/15/2015  Arcadia – Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Contest

11/15/2015  Blinders Literary Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, Art

11/15/2015  Bomb Magazine – BOMB – General Submissions

11/15/2015  Broad River Review -Award in Fiction/Poetry, Short Fic., Poetry, & Creative Nonfic. Subs

11/15/2015  Carve Magazine – Premium Edition Contest: FICTION, POETRY, & NON-FICTION

11/15/2015  Chautauqua – Young Voices Submissions, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction

11/15/2015  CMU Pinyon Poetry – Poetry (Commemorative Issue), Fiction (Commemorative Issue)

11/15/2015  Crate Literary Magazine – Dramatic Works, Visual Arts, Poetry, Non-Fiction, Fiction

11/15/2015  Ghost Proposal – General Submissions

11/15/2015  Gorge Literary Journal – Flash Fiction, Essay/Memoir, Poetry/Verse

11/15/2015  Green Fire Press – Strong Shoulders: The Loves and Labors of Women

11/15/2015  Harpur Palate – Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, & Poetry

11/15/2015  Haute Dish – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, & Visual Art submissions

11/15/2015  Humber Literary Review – The Humber Literary Review Fiction Competition – Spring 2016

11/15/2015  Kalyani Magazine – “mother/tongue”

11/15/2015  Kennedy Center – LEAD Call for Proposals, The Kennedy Center Internship Program-Spring

11/15/2015  Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies – ACIS 2016 Submission

11/15/2015  Luna Station Quarterly – Issue 025

11/15/2015  Moon City Press – The 2016 Moon City Short Fiction Award

11/15/2015  New Rivers Press – Many Voices Project: Prose 2015, Many Voices Project: Poetry 2015

11/15/2015  Nightboat Books – 2015 Nightboat Poetry Prize

11/15/2015  no tokens – Letter Contest, Judged by Mary Gaitskill, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, other

11/15/2015  OCP – Convocatoria de Cantos para el V Encuentro / Song Search for V Encuentro

11/15/2015  Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition – Art 365 2017 Non-member, Art 365 2017 OVAC Member

11/15/2015  Philadelphia Stories – Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry

11/15/2015  Pilgrimage Magazine – Winter 2015 (39.3)-Fear

11/15/2015  Prodigal – Poetry, Prose

11/15/2015  Rose Red Review – Art, Photography, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry

11/15/2015  Salt Hill Journal – Philip Booth Poetry Prize

11/15/2015  Salvation Army USA Central – Music & Gospel Arts – Territorial Youth Band Application

11/15/2015  Sammiches and Psych Meds – Sammiches: Original Submission for Upfront Compensation

11/15/2015  Sarabande Books – Flo Gault Student Poetry Prize, Internship Program

11/15/2015  So to Speak: feminist journal of language and art – Visual Art Contest Spring 2016

11/15/2015  Sycamore Review – Wabash Prize for Poetry 2015, Wabash Prize for Fiction 2015

11/15/2015  Tahoe Writers Works – FICTION, NONFICTION & ESSAY, & POETRY

11/15/2015  Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival – TWF Poetry Contest

11/15/2015  The Albion Review – Art, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, & Poetry Submissions for 2016

11/15/2015  The Alcala Review – Fiction

11/15/2015  The Atlas Review – Fiction, Poetry, & Nonfiction

11/15/2015  The Boiler Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, & Creative Non-Fiction

11/15/2015  The Collapsar – Nonfiction, Poetry, Fiction

11/15/2015  The Gateway Review – Fiction (Expedited Response), Fiction (Traditional), Cover Art

11/15/2015  The Olivetree Review – Art – Fall 2015, Poetry – Fall 2015

11/15/2015  The Poetry Society of South Carolina – Various Poetry Awards

11/15/2015  The Quaker – High School Senior Writing Contest

11/15/2015  Tinderbox Editions – Call for Submissions: Lyric Essays

11/15/2015  Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal – Fic., Poetry, Creative Non-Fic., Visual Art, Audio/Video

11/15/2015  UPPERCASE publishing inc – ISSUE 28: READER CONNECTIONS artwork and stories

11/15/2015  VoiceCatcher – Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, & Art

11/15/2015  Washington Writers’ Publishing House – Fiction Prize & The Jean Feldman Poetry Prize

11/15/2015  Wesleyan University Press – BAX 2016

11/15/2015  Whiskey Island – Creative Essay, Poetry, Fiction, Flash Fiction

11/15/2015  Wicked Banshee Press – Winter 2015 Submissions

11/15/2015  Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature – 2016 Windhover Writers’ Festival Submission

11/15/2015  Witness Magazine – Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

11/15/2015  Women’s International Study Center – Individual Fellowship-in-Residence Application

11/15/2015  Writers in Paradise – Poetry, Nonfiction, Novel, Short Story, & Young Adult Writing Workshops

11/15/2015  Yale University Press – Yale Series of Younger Poets

11/15/2015  Zimbell House Publishing, LLC – Anthology: Traveler’s, Anthology: Dark Monsters

11/16/2015  Arts Council New Orleans – LUNA Fete 2015 Community Constellations – Call for Proposals

11/16/2015  Arts Education Program – Utah Arts & Museums – Visual Arts Scholarship Competition

11/16/2015  ArtSpan – ?Resolution: An ArtSpan Exhibition at Arc Gallery

11/16/2015  Crafty Mart – Vendor Application for Cottage Mart 2015

11/16/2015  Creative Nonfiction – Childhood, Childhood: Reading Fee + Subscription

11/16/2015  CSUSM-Student Poster Showcase – Student Poster Showcase Fall 2015

11/16/2015  Gender Reel Houston – Gender Reel Houston Submissions for Visual Art and Performance

11/16/2015  MTSU Todd Art Gallery – 12 x12: A National Exhibition of Small Scale Works of ArtS

11/16/2015  Overland – Short Story and Poetry Prizes

11/16/2015  PORTALS – Visual Art, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Essay

11/16/2015  Promethean – Spring 2016 Submissions

11/16/2015  Shunpike – Storefronts 2016 Call for Artists

11/16/2015  Split Lip Magazine – Memoir Contest, Fiction & Poetry Submissions

11/16/2015  Spring Creek Project – Graduate Student Research and Writing Retreat

11/16/2015  Startup Art Fair – stARTup Art Fair Los Angeles: 2016 Artist Application

11/17/2015  Arts Mid-Hudson – FY2016 Project Grants

11/17/2015  Storefront for Art and Architecture – CALL FOR IDEAS: Designer for CLOSED WORLDS

11/17/2015  The Olivetree Review – Art – Fall 2015, Poetry – Fall 2015

11/18/2015  ArtsWorcester – Grayscale: FAM Collaboration

11/18/2015  earthwords – Online Flash Fiction Contest, Drama

11/18/2015  Quiet Lightning – Quiet Lightning SIX YEAR ANNIVERSARY

11/18/2015  Temenos – Funhouse Illusions: Art and Photography, Fiction, & Poetry

11/20/2015  Carnegie Mellon University English Department – Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Awards

11/20/2015  Conceptions Southwest – Creative Nonfic, Photo, Poetry, Short Fiction, Theatrical, Visual Art

11/20/2015  Craft ACT – Emerging Contemporaries 2016

11/20/2015  Deerfield Valley Inn – Deerfield Valley Inn Essay Contest

11/20/2015  Egress Press and Research – 2016 Edinboro National Printmaking Competition

11/20/2015  Gambling the Aisle – Chapbook Competition

11/20/2015  Gulf Stream Literary Magazine – Art

11/20/2015  Hippocampus Magazine – HippoCamp 2016: Conference Session Proposal

11/20/2015  International Print Center New York – New Prints 2016/Winter

11/20/2015  QWF Mentorship Program – I want to BE a mentor!, Give me a mentor!

11/20/2015  The Anne Frank Center USA – Anne Frank Center National Essay Contest

11/20/2015  Yuma Fine Arts Association – Artists’ Open

Interview with Alex Strickland, Editor-in-Chief of Adventure Cyclist

November 2nd, 2015 by
“I have many bikes.” Alex, editor-in-chief of Adventure Cyclist

“I have many bikes.” Alex, editor-in-chief of Adventure Cyclist

“This building used to be a church,” says Alex Strickland, as he takes me on a tour of the Adventure Cycling office in Missoula, Montana. Founded in 1976 as part of a mass, cross-country bike ride called Bikecentennial, Adventure Cycling is a bicycle travel non-profit that promotes bike-friendly communities and provides bike trail maps, gear, and guided tours to its 49,000 members. Alex is editor-in-chief of Adventure Cyclist, the member magazine for Adventure Cycling. It’s published nine times a year and features bike travel narratives and gear reviews. Their latest issue has essays on bike camping in Norway and cycling while hungover in Albania.

They are the first interview I’ve done where there’s a cartography department. “We have a full-time staff of six mapmakers who are either researching new routes or updating the 45,000 miles of existing route all the time,” says Alex. Many of the bicycle routes run through Missoula, and at the office entrance is a wall of polaroids taken of cyclists who have stopped by the office this year for maps, gear, and free ice cream. About 1200 cyclists visit each summer. Alex has been cycling since he was a teenager growing up in Tennessee. I sat with him recently to talk about what it’s like to be the editor-in-chief of a cycling magazine.

Asta: You seem to have a really cool job, which includes getting hit with a baseball bat while testing gear. How’d you get this gig?

Alex: I grew up in Memphis and came out here for college [at the University of Montana] when I was 18. I graduated from the J-school [journalism school] here and worked in small newspapers for awhile in Northwest Montana. My wife and I both did our undergrads here and then she went to grad school at the University of Utah. When she went to grad school, I made the transition into PR and marketing down in Salt Lake and ended up working in the outdoor and bicycling industries. It was through working in the bicycling industry that I came back into contact with Adventure Cycling. I actually used to live across the street when I was in college…When this gig opened up last year, it was a chance to move back to Missoula…It’s pretty much a dream. To work for a bicycling magazine in Missoula, Montana, it’s absurd. They never told me about this in J-school.

Asta: What was your experience like working at small newspapers?

Alex: It was an incredible learning experience that I would not wish to repeat…That was sort of in the teeth of the recession. The general narrative of newspaper journalism is that newspapers can’t survive and they’re going down the tubes, but the small newspapers still seem to do pretty well financially and they still matter in their communities where nobody else is going to cover the land use meeting or go to the bake sale. It was interesting. Nobody gets rich and they’re always understaffed; you’re the chief cook and bottle washer always…But the thing you can never replicate from a newspaper job is you just have the excuse to call anybody and ask any question and meet interesting people every day.  

Asta: What is your current day-to-day work as an editor like?

Alex: During monthly production, at any given time, we are prepping and posting online content that corresponds with the issue that we’ve already sent to the printer but hasn’t landed in mailboxes yet. So [right now] we’re wrapping up Production Cycle A with online content. We’re in the midst of Production Cycle B, which is the issue we’re getting ready to send to the printer. So that’s working with our lead magazine designer and other staff to try and pull it all together, get it on the page, proofread, that sort of thing. And then we’re also in pre-production for Cycle C, which is copy and photos that are coming in to me from writers, and I’m reviewing those and getting them into queue. We have an off-site copy editor that we use. So I’m coalescing everything and getting them out the door to her and waiting for it to come back and get into the main production cycle. I’m basically a professional cat-herder. That was also not mentioned in J-school!

Polaroids of visiting cyclists at Adventure Cycling

Asta: What do you do when you’re not in monthly production?

Alex: When we have off months, that tends to be a lot of contract writing, trying to plan out the next 12-18 months with our existing pool of contributors, people we’re seeking out and want to work with, and finding great pieces that have been submitted by our members. It’s trade show season for us, so I go down to the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City [in August]… And then there’s Interbike, which is the cycling trade show, in September in Vegas. We’ll go there and say we have 12 road tests that we need to line up for 2016. We’ll find the 12 bikes we want to review, make contact with those companies. As soon as we get back to the office, it’s logistics. When do the bikes come off the boat? When can we get them to a reviewer? Most of the people, ourselves included, that we work with live in the Mountain West, which means that the bicycle reviewing season in September is starting to get very short. So it’s either we’ve got to get them in before December or we can’t really review them until March because it’s going to snow. If that’s the case, if we can’t get a bike until March, that’s all right, but it means it needs to go in, you know, our October issue next year, the way the deadlines push out.

Asta: What kind of writing are you looking for in Adventure Cyclist?

Alex: Mike [Deme, the current design and media director who was the editor-in-chief for ten years], and his predecessors before him, have really put a focus on it being a readers’ magazine — longform stuff, which is awesome. We don’t want to sort of devolve into the listicles and things like that. We usually publish 3 full-length feature stories each issue and feature photographs alongside them. So you’re looking at 2500-word, usually first-person accounts, a travelogue of your bicycling touring experience, in whatever place you’re in. There’s also a gear component — road tests — which we work with professional [reviewers] on. Also, there’s the Final Mile, which is an essay, 1200-1500 words, that can really be about anything…and tends to be a good outlet for people who don’t have pictures [from their bike trip] or who have something really unique to say, which bicycle travelers often do.

Asta: Any new developments coming up for Adventure Cycling?

Alex: With next year being our 40th anniversary, we’re doing all these special 40th events…We run this website called, and the idea is that you don’t have to ride across the country and take 3 months off…Just leave work on Friday and cruise out to a park near you and camp and you can still ride back Saturday and mow the yard. So we’re doing a National Bike Travel Weekend in June 2016. We’re encouraging people around the country [to bike] and providing resources for them–where you are, just go out for the weekend…The weekend of July 15th, we’re doing the Montana Bicycle Celebration [in Missoula]. And that will correspond with the Tour of Montana bike race. It’s that same weekend. We’re inviting people to come to Missoula. We’ll have bike rides here…and a big reunion for people who rode in 1976 [for Bikecentennial]. In September, our third big event is Bike to Your National or State Park Day, which corresponds with the fee-free day on federal lands. We hope that National Bike Travel Weekend and the Bike to Your National/State Park Day end up being annual things for us.

Asta: Why do you like to cycle?

Alex: There is a certain element of — especially in mountain biking — it’s fun to go fast and there’s a certain sort of adrenaline-y thrill-seeking aspect to what I like about it. It, like running or hiking or anything else, is just an interesting, human-powered way to move through the landscape…A lot of bicycle touring in particular — I think a lot of people echo this — is that it’s sort of the Goldilocks medium. It’s quicker than walking. You’re not limited to, say, 20 miles a day. If you need to do 100 miles in a day, you can do that, you can cover some ground. But you’re also approachable. You’re not in a car. You’re moving slowly enough that you can see things, talk to people, interact. And so it’s this nice middle ground. And personally they’re fun to tinker with. I do enjoy the technical aspect.

Asta: What kind of bike do you have?

Alex: I have many bikes.

Asta: How many?

Alex: Oh gosh. I don’t know if I want that printed anywhere…Right now I think I have 7. I had to pare down when I moved back to Montana from Utah. Either bring the couch or bring two more bikes.


asta__MG_6364_ML_color_final_V2 (1)BIO: Asta So is Submittable’s blog editor and editorial director. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana and a BA in English lit from Stanford University. When not writing or sewing, she’s hugging dogs or cooking from her dad’s many Cantonese-style recipes.



If you would like to write anything for us, please send us your work.

Submission Opportunities

October 26th, 2015 by
















10/26/2015  Design Studio for Social Intervention – ExpressingBoston Public Art Fellowship 2015

10/26/2015  Indie Film Loop – HORROR MONOLOGUE SHOWCASE, Short Film Submission

10/26/2015  Lit Camp – The Basement Series: The Sporting Life

10/26/2015  Mississippi State University Department of Art – Best In Show Poster Competition

10/26/2015  PEN America – Emerging Writers Prize $10,000, Socially Engaged Fiction Prize $25,000

10/26/2015  Southern Exposure – Southern Exposure Open Submissions October 2015

10/26/2015  The Arts Center of the Capital Region – Artist in Residency: EXPLORE. CREATE. GROW.

10/27/2015  Digital Photo Pro – The Face 2015 Photo Contest

10/27/2015  KF / CNI – Knight Cities Challenge 15-16 Initial Application

10/27/2015  Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery – 5th Annual “Botanicals” Online Art Competition

10/27/2015  National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures – NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces Grant 2015

10/27/2015  Tulane Review – Poetry Fall 2015 Extended

10/28/2015  Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts – 2015 MFA Biennial

10/28/2015  Memphis Indie Holiday Market – Memphis Indie Holiday Market 2015

10/28/2015  Rosalux Gallery – Open Door At Rosalux Gallery

10/28/2015  Stork Magazine – Fiction Submissions

10/28/2015  The Canary Press – Sporting Stories

10/28/2015  The Gambler Mag – Feeling Lucky – October 2015

10/28/2015  Tucson Pima Arts Council – GOS (General Operating Support) Grant 2015-2016

10/29/2015  Bronx Council on the Arts – 2016 Community Arts Grant

10/30/2015  A.I.R. Gallery – Fellowship – Submit Images, Fellowship – Submit Video

10/30/2015  Association of Performing Arts Presenters – Building Arts Audiences “5 Minutes to Shine”

10/30/2015  bG Gallery – Grayscale Wonderland (works with limited color, Sculpture-Maze

10/30/2015  BonBon Break Media, LLC – Feature Essays for October’s Theme: Inspire

10/30/2015  Carve Magazine – Premium Edition Contest: FICTION, POETRY, & NON-FICTION

10/30/2015  CFCC Portals Magazine – Art 2016, Fiction 2016, Poetry 2016

10/30/2015  Chautauqua Institution – Special Studies 2016 Course Proposal

10/30/2015  Cotton Candy Machine – Brooklyn Biennial Submissional

10/30/2015  Encircle Publications – Bi-Annual Chapbook Manuscript Submissions

10/30/2015  FIRST Future Innovator Award – FIRST Future Innovator Award (FFIA)

10/30/2015  Houston Arts Alliance – Holocaust Museum Houston: The Butterfly Project

10/30/2015  Mid-America Arts Alliance – Artistic Innovations: Letter of Intent (FY17)

10/30/2015  Pop-Up Magazine – Fall Tour Story Pitch

10/30/2015  Roxbury Arts Group – Community Arts Grant

10/30/2015  The Fourth River – Climate Change: Artwork

10/30/2015  The Poetry Society – Poetry News Members’ Poems competition

10/30/2015  U.S. Green Building Council Colorado – 2016 Rocky Mountain Green Proposals

10/30/2015  Weingarten Art Group – Artwork Designs for Main Street Marquee in Houston, TX

10/31/2015  3Elements Review – Photography, Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Art

10/31/2015  Adventure Cycling Association – Adventure Cyclist Magazine Submissions 2015

10/31/2015  Alternating Current – Full-Manuscript, Historical Writing, Poetry, & Prose Contests

10/31/2015  Artists’ Milepost – 2016 Gallery Exhibition Proposals

10/31/2015  Bambaz Press – FRE&D Open Submission


10/31/2015  BYU English Department Contests – Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, & Visual Art

10/31/2015  Catapult – Catapult Books, Website – Fiction

10/31/2015  Chicago Literati – Halloween , Short Fiction

10/31/2015  Cleaver Magazine – Fiction, Flash, & Creative Nonfiction

10/31/2015  CLMP – Independent Press Title(s)

10/31/2015  CONSEQUENCE magazine – The 2015 Consequence Prize in Fiction, & Poetry

10/31/2015  Devil’s Lake – 2015 Driftless Prize in Poetry, 2015 Driftless Prize in Fiction

10/31/2015  Digging through the Fat – Personal Essays – Themed

10/31/2015  Dikembe Press – Dikembe Press–2015 Open Reading Period

10/31/2015  Edible DC – Text Content – Holiday 2015 Issue, Photography – Holiday 2015 Issue

10/31/2015  Eleven and a Half / Eugene Lang College, TNS – Fiction , Non-Fiction, Poetry, Art

10/31/2015  Fabrik Expo – Fabrik Expo / Art Independent

10/31/2015  Glimmer Train Press – Very Short Fiction contest

10/31/2015  Gomma Books Ltd. – Gomma Photography Grant 2015

10/31/2015  Historical Society of Washington, D.C. – For the Record 2016 Submissions – Early Deadline

10/31/2015  Holy Shit Journal – Open Submissions

10/31/2015  Hub City Press – Queries for publication by Hub City Press

10/31/2015  Idiom 23 – CQUniversity – CQ Then and Now: Submissions for 2015

10/31/2015  Iron Horse Literary Review – NaPoMo 2016: Submit Poetry Only

10/31/2015  IthacaLit – The Lauren K Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize

10/31/2015  Long Dumb Voices – General Poetry Submissions

10/31/2015  LRL Textile Series – 2015 Little Red Leaves Textile Series Submission

10/31/2015  Lunch Ticket – Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Fiction, Flash Fiction, YA, Translation, Art, etc.

10/31/2015  Meridian – Flash Fiction Prize

10/31/2015  Metaphysical Circus Press – Short Fiction Open Submissions 2015

10/31/2015  Minor Literature[s] – Flash fiction, Fiction , Non-fiction, Experimental, Poetry, Art

10/31/2015  Monterey Herald – Public Submissions to play monterey bay

10/31/2015  New Flash Fiction – Flash Fiction Submissions

10/31/2015  Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing – Lost Signals

10/31/2015  Persea Books – Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry

10/31/2015  Raleigh Review – Poetry, Flash Fiction, & Short Fiction

10/31/2015  Rattle – Ekphrastic Challenge (online only)

10/31/2015  Seizure – Viva La Editor 2015–16

10/31/2015  Shoreline of Infinity – Science fiction short stories – Autumn 2015 call

10/31/2015  Slideluck – SLIDELUCK Bologna II

10/31/2015  Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing – Poetry, Creative Nonfiction

10/31/2015  Society for Personality and Social Psychology – 2016 Undergraduate Student Poster Award

10/31/2015  Southerly literary journal – CALL FOR PAPERS – War & Peace (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry)

10/31/2015  SQ Mag – 2015 Story Quest Contest: Unlikely partnerships

10/31/2015  St. Michael’s Printshop – Visiting Artist Program

10/31/2015  StoryQuarterly – 2015 StoryQuarterly Fiction Prize

10/31/2015  Superstition Review – Art, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

10/31/2015  Swarm – Poetry, Fiction

10/31/2015  TAYO Literary Magazine – Fiction, Poetry, & Creative Nonfiction

10/31/2015  The Cupboard – The October Open Reading Period!

10/31/2015  The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature – Fiction, February Essay “The Day I Grew Up”

10/31/2015  The London Magazine – Short Story Competition 2015

10/31/2015  The Masters Review – Fall Fiction Contest – Judge Jeff VanderMeer – $2000 awarded

10/31/2015  The Red Line – Underground

10/31/2015  TSR: The Southampton Review – Fiction, Memoir, Poetry, Cartoon and Illustration, etc

10/31/2015  Tu Books – New Visions Award

10/31/2015  Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards – Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards

10/31/2015  under the gum tree – Feature Submission, Photo & Art Submission

10/31/2015  University of Baltimore – Plork Press Chapbook Contest

10/31/2015  University of North Texas Press – 2015 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry

10/31/2015  UPPERCASE publishing inc – ISSUE 28: READER CONNECTIONS artwork and stories

10/31/2015  Washington Square – Translation

10/31/2015  Wick Poetry Center – 2015 Ohio Chapbook Prize

10/31/2015  Wigleaf – Fiction

10/31/2015  Zoetic Press – NonBinary Review Issue #7: The Woman In White, Unbound Octavo, Story 8

11/01/2015  Academy of American Poets – 2016 Walt Whitman Award

11/01/2015  Agave Magazine – ART, LITERATURE, PHOTOGRAPHY

11/01/2015  Alice James Books – The 2016 Alice James Award

11/01/2015  Ambit Magazine – Poetry

11/01/2015  APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts – CECA Collective

11/01/2015  Atlantic Center for the Arts – Morgan Maassen Photography Workshop

11/01/2015  Autumn House Press – 2015 Coal Hill Review Chapbook Contest

11/01/2015  Black Lawrence Press – Poetry & Fiction for the Black River Chapbook Competition

11/01/2015  Brick Road Poetry Press – Brick Road Poetry Book Contest

11/01/2015  Caravel Literary Arts Journal – Fiction , Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Visual Art

11/01/2015  CBC Literary Prizes – 2016 CBC Short Story Prize

11/01/2015  Columbia Poetry Review – Poetry

11/01/2015  Contemporary Verse 2 – Young Buck Poetry Prize 2015

11/01/2015  Darling Magazine – Online Drafts due October 2015

11/01/2015  Dukool – 2016 Dukool Writing Contest (English-Language)

11/01/2015  ELJ Publications – Wild Horses: The Women on Fire Series

11/01/2015  ellipsis… literature & art – Drama, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, & Poetry


11/01/2015  Essay Press – Chapbook Contest

11/01/2015  Fiction Collective 2 – Innovative Fiction Contest/Prize

11/01/2015  Finishing Line Press – 2015 Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition

11/01/2015  Five Oaks Press – Open Reading Period for Chapbooks and Full-Length Collections

11/01/2015  Gulf Stream Literary Magazine – Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction, Graphic Narrative, Art

11/01/2015  Hermeneutic Chaos – The Jane Lumley Prize , The Jane Lumley Prize Tip Jar

11/01/2015  Humber Literary Review – The Humber Literary Review Fiction Competition – Spring 2016

11/01/2015  id Theater – Seven Devils Playwrights Conference 2016

11/01/2015  Individual Artists OK – 2015-2016 Open Call for Artists

11/01/2015  Louisville Literary Arts – Writer’s Block Fiction & CNF Contest

11/01/2015  MIEL and 111O – Work for 111O/9 (spring 2016)

11/01/2015  Minerva Rising – Chapbook: 3rd Annual Dare to Be Poetry Contest, Novella

11/01/2015  Minetta Review – Prose: Fall 2015, Art: Fall 2015, Poetry: Fall 2015

11/01/2015  Nat. Brut – 2015 Flash Fiction Contest

11/01/2015  Nebraska Wesleyan University – NWU Writers’ Workshop and Scholarship

11/01/2015  Negative Capability Press – The Food Issue (Artwork & Literature)

11/01/2015  New Rivers Press – Many Voices Project: Prose 2015, Many Voices Project: Poetry 2015

11/01/2015  Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition – Artist INC Live Tulsa 2016

11/01/2015  paper nautilus – Excavating Honesty: An Anthology of Rage and Hope in America

11/01/2015  Pilgrimage Magazine – Winter 2015 (39.3)-Fear

11/01/2015  PodCastle – PodCastle General Submissions

11/01/2015  Prix littéraires Radio-Canada – Prix de la nouvelle 2016

11/01/2015  Red Hen Press – Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award, Red Hen Press Fiction Award

11/01/2015  RED INK – Artwork, Critical work, Poetry, & Prose

11/01/2015  Reed Magazine – Award for Fiction, Poetry, & for Creative Nonfiction

11/01/2015  Rose Red Review – The “Sideways Girl” (Through the Looking Glass) Header Contest

11/01/2015  Sage Hill Press – Railtown Almanac

11/01/2015  Santa Fe Reporter – 2015 Writing Contest – Fiction, & Personal Essay

11/01/2015  So to Speak: feminist journal of language and art – Poetry Contest Spring 2016

11/01/2015  Spider Road Press – Approaching Footsteps: Four Novellas by Women

11/01/2015  Split This Rock – 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Contest, Judged by Rigoberto González

11/01/2015  Taylor University – Parnassus 2016 – Poetry, Prose: Fiction/Creative Nonfic., Visual Art

11/01/2015  Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival – Fiction Contest, One-Act Play Contest

11/01/2015  The Albion Review – Art, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, & Poetry Submissions for 2016

11/01/2015  The Briar Cliff Review – Fiction contest, Nonfiction contest, Poetry contest

11/01/2015  The Madison Review – Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry

11/01/2015  The Professional Artist – Short Fiction, Poetry, & Creative Nonfiction

11/01/2015  The Rag – Submission Only

11/01/2015  The Rose Library – Rose Library Short-Term Fellowship

11/01/2015  The Sun Magazine – Readers Write: The Backyard

11/01/2015  Tulsa Artists’ Coalition – 2016-17 TAC Gallery Submissions

11/01/2015  Tupelo Press – Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize 2016

11/01/2015  undr_scr review – Youth Editorial Board Application

11/01/2015  Vancouver Island Short Film Festival – VISFF 2016 Submission

11/01/2015  Virginia Quarterly Review – Nonfiction, Short Fiction, Poetry

11/01/2015  Washington Writers’ Publishing House – Fiction Prize, & The Jean Feldman Poetry Prize

11/01/2015  Weasel Press – Weasel Press Chapbook Contest

11/01/2015  Wesleyan University Press – BAX 2016

11/01/2015  Women’s Studio Workshop – Beisinghoff Printmaking Residency

11/02/2015  American Poetry Review – APR/Honickman First Book Prize

11/02/2015  CCP – Judith Stark Creative Writing Contest

11/02/2015  Exile Publishing – Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth and Monster Stories

11/02/2015  Samford Undergraduate Research Journal – Samford Undergraduate Research Journal

11/02/2015  Santa Fe Writers Project – 2015 Literary Awards Program

11/02/2015  Sound Off! – Sound Off! 2016 Application

11/02/2015  Talking Writing – Theme Essays: “Teaching Life”

11/02/2015  The Examined Life Journal – Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction

11/02/2015  the minnesota review – Fiction Submission, & Poetry Submissions

11/02/2015  Twelve Winters Press – The Vachel Lindsay Poetry Prize

11/03/2015  DiverseWorks – The Idea Fund Round 8 (2016)

11/03/2015  Real Time & Space – OPEN CALL — RTS Residency 2015

11/03/2015  Vestal Review – Free Book ads

11/04/2015  AIGA Louisville – The Show

11/05/2015  Aqueous Magazine – Color Visuals Volume 11, Poetry Volume 11

11/05/2015  Florida English Journal – Florida English Journal

11/05/2015  FreezeRay – Lit Came From Outer Space!

11/05/2015  IUPUI Passport – POETRY

11/05/2015  Meat for Tea: The Valley Review – Recipes, Flash, Art, Poetry, Short Fiction, Essays

11/06/2015  Bethesda Urban Partnership – 2016 Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards

11/06/2015  Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading – General Submissions

11/06/2015  Fractured Atlas – Arts Entrepreneurship Awards Trophy Design Submissions 2015

11/06/2015  On The Premises – OTP Mini-Contest #27: Amnesia

11/06/2015  Pathos Literary Magazine – Fall 2015

11/06/2015  St. Lawrence County Arts Council – CALL FOR ARTISTS: “Inspired by Music” Exhibition

11/06/2015  TX/RX Labs – TX/RX Artist Support Grant

11/06/2015  Under the Clock Tower – Video Essays, Video Poems, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Non-fiction

11/06/2015  VisArts – VisArts Emerging Curator Program 2016

11/07/2015  NVWP Young Writers and Families Programs – Young Writers and Families Workshop

11/07/2015  POL Prize – 2015-2016 Poets Out Loud Prize

11/07/2015  Terrault Contemporary – ‘Special Combo’

11/08/2015  Cordite Poetry Review – Edit Category: Poetry Submissions to Cordite 53: THE END

11/08/2015  Multiples llluminated – Multiples Illuminated: An Anthology

11/09/2015  Cincinnati Arts Association – Overture Awards 2016 Applications

11/09/2015  monologging – Monologue Contest: Spoken Word 2015

11/09/2015  Organic Weapon Arts – David Blair Memorial Prize

11/09/2015  Palm Beach Poetry Festival – Palm Beach Poetry Festival Workshop Application

Guest Post: Notable Alumni

October 19th, 2015 by

When my mom brings over the alumni magazine, I sigh, letting it dangle at my side, and consider tossing it into the recycling bin. “Great,” I say. “Just what I need.”

But then, later on, I open it, flip past articles on new buildings and new legacies and turn to the section on notable alumni.

Illustration by Josh Quick

“I have had successes. But am I a success?” (Illustration by Josh Quick)

I study every photograph, looking for that guy, the film major, who moved to California, that girl, the journalism major, who moved to New York City, the people who took American Literature and Poetry and Song and World Music with me. The boy who held my hand as he walked me to my poetry class and then kissed me chastely on the lips. The good friend who ditched classes with me to go lingerie shopping. All of them were such essential parts of my life at one time. And now, in many cases, I can’t even remember their names.

After perusing the photographs, I read the Class Notes. The marriages. The births. The new jobs. I look to see if there are names I recognize. I look to see if they have accomplished more than me. If they are accomplishing more than me. Because while I have done things, I am never sure they are the right things. And I want to know how I stack up against those who walked the same path as me all those years ago. I want to know if they took the things we all had and made something more than what I was able to make.

Because when I look back on what I consider to be my accomplishments, they are never the things that seem important enough to submit via email to the person who puts together Class Notes.

I have had successes. Yes. But am I a success?

When I was hired on as an editor at an environmental engineering firm only two months after graduation, I did not submit a Class Note, because the job was outside my industry.

When I interned at The Feminist Press and they then hired me on as an editorial assistant because they didn’t want to lose me, I did not submit a Class Note, because the job was part-time.

When I landed a full-time editorial job at an academic book publisher, and then moved over to marketing, and then worked my way up the corporate ladder with astonishing speed, I did not submit a Class Note, because the job was not glamorous.

I did not submit a Class Note when I got married. I did not submit a Class Note after going full-time freelance, working as an editor for several online magazines, writing advice columns, co-authoring an ebook, launching my own career coaching business, because I was still living paycheck to paycheck. I did not submit a Class Note when I became the Senior Writer and Editor of a nonprofit organization, managing my own editorial committee, even though I am proud of the work I do there. I did not submit a Class Note when I had my baby girl, even though she is everything.

Even when I feel successful, I wonder if others will see it that way. I feel that how we define success is often tied to how much money we are making or how many people know our name. And even though money does not drive me to do the work that I do—even though money is important to me only insofar as I’d like enough to not feel nauseated every time I have to pay the bills—I worry my successes will be brushed aside if I am not making some pie in the sky amount I imagine others might deem Enough.

Tamara Smith1, meanwhile, submitted a note to announce she was a real estate agent in New York City. She gamely included her email address in case anyone was interested in using her services. Chase Collins submitted a note about the all-cat music video he directed that went viral. Inez Mejia submitted a note about the novel she self-published, her second one. “The novel is available on Amazon,” she wrote helpfully, desperately. Or perhaps bravely. Might there be a lesson in all this about my inability to promote myself? How can all of these people feel so secure about their work? Why is it that I never feel secure?

And still, nothing I do seems worthy. Or I feel as if bragging about it in the pages of my quarterly alumni magazine would be unseemly. What do I have to do in order to feel as if I’ve earned my way into the pantheon of notable alumni? What bullet point do I need to add to my resume? Which publication needs to carry my byline? Or do I need to publish a book? Or launch an online publication that slowly gathers buzz, publishes thoughtful pieces, pieces that blast open hearts and minds and leave them forever changed?

Do I need to change the world?

Sometimes, I am jealous of everything my fellow alumni have done with their lives. Sometimes, I am jealous not of their accomplishments but of their self-assuredness. I scrutinize my life to see if there is something I can share, too. I want to say: “See? I’ve made something of myself.”

I want to feel validated.

After my perusal of my alumni magazine has thrown me into a full-blown panic attack of self-loathing, I toss it into the recycling bin. I walk away.

At this rate, I will be eighty before I’ve done anything even remotely notable.

Eighty… or dead.


BIO: Steph Auteri is a freelance writer and editor who has overshared in Brain, Child; Mamalode; Virginia Quarterly Review; Ploughshares; and other bastions of fine writing. She is also the Senior Writer / Editor for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), and blogs about motherhood for You can learn more at Follow her on Twitter @stephauteri.


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  1. All names have been changed. []