International Poetry, Niven’s New Book, and More

Holding Up the Universe

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

There have been some exciting things happening lately.

For one thing, my poem “War Song” was placed on the long list for the 2016 Wisehouse International Poetry Award. “War Song” will appear in the first issue of The Stark (a poetry journal published by Wisehouse/Editorial l’Aleph), which will appear in August of 2016. Congratulations to the winner, the finalists, and the other long list poets!

Another exciting development is the introduction of Jennifer Niven‘s new young adult novel, Holding Up the Universe. Contributing content to Germ Magazine (Jennifer’s creation as well) allowed for the opportunity to snag an advanced reading copy from Alfred A. Knopf. I’m really enjoying it so far.

Blue River is working on blog content along with the first issue of the journal. (Graduate writers can still submit to the journal, as the deadline has been extended.) We are also looking into hosting local readings around the Omaha area featuring Nebraskan authors. The last day for the book drive fundraiser is tomorrow, May 14.

I may have some more updates for you soon. Stay tuned. As always, thanks for reading.

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Hey graduate student writers and those who know graduate student writers—are you ready for Valentine’s Day? At Blue River, we’re showing the love by offering a two-for-one special. Here are the details:

Blue River is offering a Valentine’s Day submission special: submit two pieces for the price of one! The two-for-one submission period will run from midnight to midnight on February 14 only. Submit here for a shot at publication and the $500 Editor’s Choice award in Fiction, Poetry and NonFiction. Regular entry fees will resume thereafter.

Blue River is a non-profit literary journal produced by the students in Creighton University’s MFA program. We seek to build a new tradition: to foster and celebrate contemporary graduate-level creative writers by publishing their fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

Our March 1st deadline is almost upon us. Send us your best work!

https://blueriver.submittable.com/submit

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We’re looking forward to your contribution. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Judging for the 2016 Art Young Memorial Award for Poetry

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Art Young (source)

I’m grateful to Marc and Ava (Mr & Mrs Garbanzo) for a great many things. They were the ones who allowed my writing to appear in Garbanzo Literary Journal and then again in Good Morning. So when they asked me to help judge the 2016 Art Young Memorial Award for Poetry, I felt honored.

When I received the poetry packet, however, I found the task to be rather difficult.

I had stumbled upon a pool of talented poets and now had the monumental task of voting for the entry that seemed to “deserve” the prize. I read each poem carefully—studying each word, each punctuation mark, each space, each sensory detail, etc. I was very impressed with the entries. After much painstaking effort and consideration, I offered my votes, which would be added to the votes of the other judges.

I have been on the other end of this process too. I have been the writer submitting work to contests, winning few and losing many. That’s why I so meticulously read and analyzed each poem—because I would want any judge in a writing contest to do the same for me.

January 15, Marc and Ava announced the winners:

The 2016 Art Young Memorial Award for Poetry goes to Terry Severhill for “Beneath the Shadow of the Sun”. An honorable mention goes to Emily Vieweg for “Shadows”. Thanks to all the storytellers who were a part of this event.

Both pieces will appear in the March 1st 2016 issue of Art Young’s Good Morning.

Congratulations to Terry and Emily, and thanks to those who allowed me to read their wonderful poetry submissions.

Blue River Benefit

Blue River, Sam and Louie's, pizza, restaurant, food, benefit, nonprofit, writing, writers, money, pay the writersBlue River began at the start of this academic year, so we’re excited to be open for submissions already. We also introduced the Blue River Editors’ Award, which has a monetary prize.

We seek to support writers and you can too—simply eat out at Sam and Louie’s Pizza (7641 Cass Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68114) anytime November 5.

As a nonprofit organization devoted to elevating artists, we would really appreciate your support. Thanks for considering our cause!

If you’d like to learn more about Blue River and our mission, visit us at our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We hope you’ll consider reading our first issue when it comes out in March.

I’ve Been Nominated for The Liebster Award!

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A few days ago, the kind Brandon Scott of Coolerbs Reviews nominated me for the Liebster Award. It’s a very cool, community-building, “chain letter” award that allows bloggers to be recognized and to recognize others. I’m all for creating community, so I thank Brandon and am excited to feature other bloggers!


Unfamiliar with this award? So was I. Here are the official rules:

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[Check out the above video for some readings!]

The National Book Critics Circle has named their new winners for the previous year. I was so excited to see Claudia Rankine win the poetry category for Citizen and also be nominated for the criticism category, “marking the first time in the history of the awards that a book was a finalist in two different categories” according to the Los Angeles Times. I was also really happy that Toni Morrison won the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than her.

Phil Klay also won the John Leonard Prize. You may remember he won the fiction award at the National Book Awards for the same short story collection. What an accomplishment!

What do you think of the winners and finalists? Do you agree with the outcomes?

You Know, They Won That Award? Major Literary Awards 101

award, literary honor, Daniel Chester French, http://www.pulitzer.org
Daniel Chester French http://www.pulitzer.org

When you look at a cover of a book and you’ve seen that your favorite author has won the Nobel Prize or the Pulitzer Prize then you might assume that’s good. You may also know a bit about the prizes themselves, or have a vague notion of how incredibly difficult it is to win one. But for each prize there is a history, a set of rules for eligibility, and a bit of mystery.

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