Open for Submissions + December News Round-Up

So to Speak is pleased to open the reading period for our Fall 2013 issue! Submit your best visual art, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry pieces to our online submissions manager from January 1st to March 15th. This issue will feature the winners of our annual art and fiction contests, along with our open reading periods for poetry and nonfiction. For more information of open submissions and contest details please visit our Submit Page and Contest Page. We are excited to see your work!

Fiction Contest

This year’s fiction contest judge is Asali Solomon, the author of Get Down: stories. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and was one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35″ in 2007. Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, O the Oprah Magazine, Essence, Vibe and in the anthologies Philadelphia Noir, Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts and Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums that Changed Their Lives. She has a PhD in English from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Haverford College near Philadelphia.

To enter, submit a manuscripts not exceeding 4,500 words (with double-spaced and numbered pages) and a cover letter through our Submission Manager. The reading fee is $15 and can be paid through our Submission Manager. All entrants will receive a free copy of our Fall 2013 issue.

Art Contest: The “Hybrid” Book

In our 2013 visual art competition we seek entries in all media which the makers consider to represent – in any and all ways – the book experience.

We welcome submissions to this competition including performance, digital and new media, photography and all 2D and 3D visual art forms, as well as sculptural book and artist’s book objects, whether or not incorporating text.

Increasingly digitalized, culturally iconic in its historic codex forms, valued always from Kindle to library as an experience, is the book. What that actually means to each reader/viewer/handler is at a time of highly fluid interpretation. Art, object, and installation as “book” also is a rapidly expanding area of contemporary art.

All entries must be received on-line only (with a cover letter) through our Submission Manager. The submission fee is $15 and can be paid through our Submission Manager. All entrants will receive a free copy of our Fall 2013 issue.

All entries must be in jpg or tif formats at 300 dpi. Please submit individual entries as LastName_Title, and include dimensions if applicable, the materials used as applicable, a brief description of the submission, and a brief artist’s bio. One submission per artist, please.


In other December StS news:

We had a fun month of interviews, lesson plans, and nominations!

We sent our gorgeous 2013 Spring Issue to the printers and look forward to sending all you feminists an amazing journal!

Guest Blogger Sarah Marcus shared her This I Believe inspired lesson plan and showcased 3 of her amazing female student’s brilliant essays here!

Poetry Reader Alicia P interviewed poet Moira Egan. Poet Egan gave us lovely insights into her favorite feminist writers and encouraged us to “(f)ollow your gut, honor your duende, and don’t let other people tell you what you should write or who you should be.”

Congratulations, again, to Robert Kostuck with “If I Had the Wings of a Dove” (fiction), Lauren C. Ostberg with “On Hair” (nonfiction), Adriana Paramo with “QuarterLife of Love” (nonfiction), and Sheila Black with “Migrant” (poetry) who are StS‘s 2012 Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series nominees! Good Luck!

Best to you and your families in the New Year!

Pushcart Nominees!

Happy Holidays, everyone! We are delighted to announce the Pushcart nominees from this year’s issues of So to Speak:

Spring 2012:

Robert Kostuck, “If I Had the Wings of a Dove” (fiction)

Lauren C. Ostberg, “On Hair” (nonfiction)

Adriana Paramo, “QuarterLife of Love” (nonfiction)

Fall 2012:

Sheila Black, “Migrant” (poetry)


Congratulations to the nominees, and our most sincere thanks for sharing your beautiful, engaging work with us.

Two books from contributor Adriana Páramo set to debut

February 22, 2012 by So to Speak · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Announcements, Nonfiction 
Good news! Adriana Páramo, an honorable mention nonfiction contributor from So to Speak‘s current issue, has written to us with exciting news about her new upcoming books:
“Looking for Esperanza,” winner of the Social Justice and Equality Award in Creative Nonfiction, is due out in May 2012. “My Mother’s Funeral,” a creative non-fiction work set in Colombia, will soon be published by CavanKerry Press. Congratulations, Adriana!
So to Speak published Adriana’s essay, “Quarterlife Of Love,” in our current Spring 2012 issue.
To read more about Adriana, including her current adventures in Turkmenistan, visit her blog. Want to check out Adriana’s essay?  Subscribe today to read it in the current issue of So to Speak.

Judge Joanne Omang speaks on Nonfiction Contest Winners

February 1, 2012 by So to Speak · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Announcements, Nonfiction 

1st place—On Hair by Lauren C. Ostberg

This piece showcases an original idea and a droll exploration of a whimsical subject, all factors that make it fun to read. It has original phrasing and images that kept stopping me in admiration. The writer clearly luxuriates in puns and adroit comparisons in a highly personal way, although she keeps the reader guessing about just who this quirky person is and where the piece is headed. The citations of actual research and sociological theory about beards are an admirable surprise that give unexpected depth to the article, adding to the illusion that the writer is just wandering around the subject, poking into a book here and there, musing on her findings and relating them to her life. We’re just along for the ride. And a painless and comfortable ride it is, proving that any subject at all can be made entertaining, even absorbing, in the hands of a skilled and thoughtful wordsmith. I want more from this budding talent, and soon.

Honorable Mention —A Quarterlife of Love by Adriana Páramo

So if radioactive particles have an energy half-life, love is so energetic it has quarter-lives, right? The author describes in various ways the various males she loved, again in various ways, in the first quarter-century of her life, exploring love’s “colors, shapes and flavors.” Her pithy thumbnails bring each of them swiftly to the mind’s eye, with rue and acid and sweetness in appropriate doses. If she often conflates sex and love, who hasn’t? Images of wet and dry give every encounter a tactile reality, especially the drunken Jimmy she marries and leaves, and the one she shouldn’t have pushed away. Not quite every word counts here, just as some men count in her tally more than others. They grow more sophisticated as the author does and so do her critiques. Her evocation of Shiva’s consort Parvati hints that she’s alone now, bringing the story full circle. I’d like to see her bring her penetrating eye to a biography, a political issue, a subject in the larger world.

Honorable Mention—Economics of Love by Leslie Tucker

A sixty-ish woman reflects on her lifelong search for connection, finding with amazement that her dynamic second daughter doesn’t seem to need the same kind of tie. Who is that creature I spawned? The author describes her own rebellious youth with free-spirit images right out of Hair, and then the shift to the suburbs her parents clearly programmed her for, the predictable divorce, the lonely interim and the happy ending with the right guy at long last. It’s a three-hanky story just made for the silver screen, and daughter #1, all but born in a backpack, seems to have taken it to heart. But the restless mother dismisses her in half a sentence (“Lisa was married and living in Illinois,”) focusing on daughter #2,  child of the suburbs, who now has other ideas. Pride in the daughter’s moxie wars with anxiety over her love life. I look forward to future pieces where the author gets a bit of distance and focuses her analytical talent on a subject beyond herself.

The New Issue is Here!

January 27, 2012 by So to Speak · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Announcements 

The long anticipated beauty of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art has arrived in So to Speak’s Spring 2012 Volume 21, No. 1 issue! With cover art by Nahid Navab, this season’s magazine features the lyric sentiment of our poetry contest winners Anne Marie Rooney, Shevan Brannigan, and Faith S. Holsaert judged by Claudia Rankine and original whimsies of nonfiction contest winners Lauren C. Ostberg, Adriana Páramo, and Leslie Tucker judged by Joanne Omang, plus many more fantastic, funny, and visually striking pieces.

Look forward to artist statements and interviews on the performance of craft and innovation by our contributors in the weeks to come.

To purchase a copy of the issue visit our Subscribe page for a subscription form. And while you’re at it, submit to us your best work for our next issue! For a full list of our contributors, visit our Issues page.

Happy reading and writing!

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