A Long Time Coming

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Here I am with some of my classmates after the hooding ceremony at Creighton University.

How’s it going, friends? How’s your writing and reading life? Feel free to post in the comments section about your own journeys.

In the meantime, I’ll give you an update on where I am with my journey. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on my blog, so I feel as if there is a great deal to catch up on. That being said, I’ll give you the condensed version—we all have a lot of reading and writing to do, right?

Graduation

As of mid-May, I’m officially an alumna of the Creighton University MFA program. It was an honor and a privilege to study under Dr. Brent Spencer, Professor Mary Helen StefaniakProfessor David Mullins, and Professor Susan Aizenberg. Each of them taught me important things about the craft in their own ways.

I was exceedingly grateful to put together a collection of short fiction for my thesis with Mary Helen’s guidance. I’m hoping to have a few more of the individual short pieces published—but my thesis project overall may be a collection I eventually submit to publishers for consideration. More revision would be involved before any such decision could be made with certainty.

My longer works, however, continue to be problematic. Two of my novels died in the MFA program—or rather, I filed them away for now to work on my current novel. That being said, I learned a great deal about my particular weaknesses and hope to overcome them with my new project.

I’ve finished with my Blue River responsibilities. It was an interesting start to a journal that I hope will continue to be published by the Creighton MFA program. The latest issue recently came out, so don’t forget to snag a copy.

Post-graduation life is, simply put, calmer and more manageable.

The Day Job

After an intense summer internship last year, I started working as a contract employee for Tethered by Letters. It’s been a learning experience—I’ve never worked as anything other than a regular employee before—but the challenges have helped me grow as a writer, editor, and publisher. I’m currently the publishing assistant for TBL and I work as the editorial assistant for F(r)iction—TBL’s triannual literary and art journal. Broadly, my responsibilities concern everything from intermediate updates to the website, to social media marketing, to F(r)iction assginments and editing, to pretty much everything F(r)Online.

F(r)iction recently was picked up by Barnes & Noble and other select chain, independent, and college bookstores—so we’re in the brick and mortars nationwide (and Canada too)! Pick up a copy of the journal at a bookstore near you and check out the amazing art and literature that we publish.

Recent Published Work

My most recent publication, “One Woman’s Junk,” is a flash fiction story that was featured in Newfound‘s web issue: Vo. 8, Other Worlds. I’ve read and admired the flash fiction Newfound has published for some time now—so to have my work published by them is quite an honor. The editors are also incredibly kind. Be sure to check out and support this wonderful nonprofit publisher.

In January, my flash fiction story, “Force Play,” was published in issue #1 of Obra. This excellent digital magazine, produced by the MFA of the Americas, makes for a great read. I was thankful to work with the considerate editors on staff. Go check out what great literature and art they have to offer.

The online and print versions of Vestal Review #49/#47—in which my flash fiction story “Trace” was published—are also now available to read. Vestal Review has been publishing flash fiction since 2000 and are “the world’s oldest magazine dedicated exclusively to flash fiction.” They also recently published their fiftieth issue, which you can read here.

Up Next

This summer is shaping up to be a busy one. I’ve been submitting many of my short stories and flash fiction creations to journals and magazines. I’ll be participating in workshops in Omaha and online—because quality critiques often lead to better work. I’m working on that novel—consistently, desperately. And when things get overwhelming, I’ll be playing in my garden dirt.

Thanks for stopping in again, friends. And as always, thanks for reading.

Update: New Writings and Current Projects

F(r)iction #5, Tethered by Letters, literary journal


typewriter-1031024_1920Whoever said the summer months were for vacation probably wasn’t a writer (or an editor). My graduate school classes don’t start up again until late August, but I’m as busy as I’ve ever been. Don’t misunderstand—I’m not complaining. This past month especially has been wonderful! What’s more, I have some new published stories up and some fantastic opportunities to share.

New Flash Fiction Stories:

As some of you already know, I have two new published stories that are now available to read online.

  • “Trace” can be found at Vestal Review online (issue 49) and it is forthcoming in print (issue 47). This story deviates greatly from my normal style. I wrote this to see if I could stretch myself as a writer. Though it may not be what you expect, I hope you enjoy it.
  • “Spacefall” is the fourth installment of a Dually Noted group writing project. The writers used the phrase “Hold this—it’s supposed to relieve stress” as a prompt. It was really fun to write and I hope you enjoy it. It’s a personal favorite of mine.

Other Available Writings:

  • “Articulating Agony: The Writer as Antihero” is up on the Blue River blog. While my attempts at being funny may be somewhat laughable… I hope you enjoy it anyway. I would encourage everyone to read the writings of my fellow staff members as well.
  • Helly Luv: The Pop Star Fighting ISIS has surfaced on GERM Magazine. I found this spectacular woman via social media and decided to do a brief feature. She’s a pretty cool artist.
    • As a note: My women’s college and women writers series will be continuing according to one of the editors. You can find a complete list of my GERM Magazine contributions here.

Forthcoming Writings:

  • Interviews:
    • Roger May at Change Seven
    • Molly Rose Quinn at Tethered by Letters
    • Tyler Barton at Tethered by Letters
  • War Song” in The Stark via Wisehouse/Editorial l’Aleph
  • Book Reviews:
    • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders at Tethered by Letters
    • UHaul by Emily Ramser on my blog

Opportunities for Readers and Writers:

I’ve had some exciting adventures with Tethered by Letters lately. As a summer intern for this amazing nonprofit, I have seen first hand how wonderful Dani, Leah, and the staff are to their writers, readers, and business partners. If you’re curious check out what they offer:

  • Readers, participate in the #LitStory Series giveaway for a chance to win a copy of F(r)iction #2, #3, or #4! Here are the details.
  • Free Editing Program: The FEP is a great opportunity for writers. Feedback from an editor is often hard to come by and it can help a writer transform a piece from a fifth draft to a polished work. This program is indeed free once you join the Tethered by Letters community (also free). Here are the details.
  • F(r)iction #5: The anticipated release of this beloved journal of fine art and literature is about to happen—and let me tell you, it is gorgeous. Tell your friends. Tell your friends’ friends. Tell the dude crossing paths with you on the sidewalk—you get the idea. The Kickstarter is up!
  • Dually Noted: Do you want to be part of a group writing project? Submit your story by Friday for your chance to be part of the current TBL story cycle. Submissions are voted upon by a select group of editors and then the chosen story is posted on the website for readers. Try your luck, writers! Submit your awesome 500 word addition—details here—and tell them I sent you.

As fiction editor for Blue River, I’ve been reading some exciting work from graduate students that have submitted to our journal. The great news is that there is still time to submit for the chance to win the Blue River Editors’ Award of $500 (USD). The editors will be giving feedback for each submission. We’re looking for great stories from graduate writers for the first issue and—if you’re a writer in a graduate writing program—we hope to see your work!


Thanks for tuning in and, as always, thanks for reading!

Where You Should Be and When: Urgent Literary Events

Blue River, book drive, donations, literary journal, literary magazine, booksHi friends! There is an explosion of awesome literary events happening in my neck of the woods (and a few other places) that you need to know about. Here’s a quick run down, starting with the most urgent.

At the University of Nebraska Omaha (Omaha, NE):

Tonight 7 pm, Twyla M. Hansen and Tim Hunt will give a reading at the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center. Learn more here.

At Salem College (Winston-Salem, NC):

Tonight at 7 pm, Incunabula is releasing their newest installment of the magazine. Go support some emerging writers if you’re in the area. Learn more here.

At the Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE):

The last Fair Use Reading of the year will be at the Joslyn Art Museum tomorrow night. Get there at 6:30 pm for seats. Make sure to bring books for Blue River‘s book drive! Meredith Spears, Nathan Sindelar, and Shelby Snedeker will be reading.

Enter to win an autographed copy of Pas de Deux: Part One (online):

You’ve got about a day before this opportunity is lost. Put your name in that hat. Also, check out Wynter S.K. and Pas de Deux.

At Salem College (Winston-Salem, NC):

A collegiate publications and journalists conference? Who dare take on such a momentous task? None other than Emily Wonder Woman Ramser of course. Check out this great opportunity coming up April 30. You can learn more here and—never fear—still register by emailing Emily at emily.ramser@salem.edu.

At Pageturners Lounge (Omaha, NE):

Another installment of the literary pub quiz is happening May 4 at 8 pm. Don’t forget to bring your books to donate to Blue River‘s book drive! Learn more about genius and event organizer Theodore Wheeler and about the event.

A Flash Fiction Class for $0.99 (online)?

Yes, the rumors are true, so hurry and sign up. Ilana Masad is teaching this course. Learn more about it here.

Blue River Book Drive (Omaha, NE):

Blue River is seeking book donations for an upcoming fundraiser. Please help us out if you can. Drop them off at Creighton University or at the Fair Use Reading or during the Literary Pub Quiz. Thanks for supporting literature!

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.

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Francine du Plessix Gray, art, reading, writing, life, The Monday Post, links, readers, writers

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

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The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Francine du Plessix Gray, art, reading, writing, life, The Monday Post, links, readers, writers

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

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Garbanzo Literary Journal Volume 5 Now Available for Preorder

literary journal, L. N. Holmes, short memoir, writing, reading, Garbanzo Literary Journal

[The cover art is by Ava Dawn Heydt, co-editor of Garbanzo, a.k.a. Mrs. Garbanzo]

“Old Betsy’s Obituary,” which won a first place prize from the North Carolina Media Association Statewide College Media Awards (LeeAnn Holmes/”A Death in the Family”/Incunabula/Salem College), will be featured in volume five of Garbanzo Literary Journal.

If you want to read some of my writing, the journal is now available for preorder from Seraphemera Books. Part of the story is available for preview on the website.

Much appreciation to those who share this post and thanks to all of my followers and readers for your continued support!

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Maya Angelou, writing, reading, quote, advice, The Monday Post

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

Continue reading

The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Maya Angelou, writing, reading, quote, advice, The Monday Post

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

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Weekend Writing: The Raven

The raven has a bad reputation. In literature, it’s considered an ominous sign that points to death. This most likely has to do with the birds’ diet of carrion and their gleaming, black feathers. But there have also been positive representations of the raven throughout history, although they may be less known. So how would you write about the raven? That is this week’s challenge. Are you up to it?

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Novel Research: Mermaid Mythology and Siren Song

novel, research, mythology, mermaid, siren, fountain, KnowledgeNuts, writing, reading, literature

Whether fiction or nonfiction, literary or genre, something that consistently creeps into literature is that of mythology. Many, even the most scientifically-minded in our society, have a fascination with the epic stories of civilizations from humanity’s past. For some, the mystery behind the story, and unraveling that mystery, is enough to drive the interest. Others appreciate the story as is, without trying to discredit it, allowing for a certain immersion into the tale that some cannot obtain. Still others attempt to find symbolism or implied meanings that allowed for some exertion of power or influence over the people of the past.

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The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

C. S. Lewis, reading, books, writing, literature, stories

Inspired by a similar type of post found on Electric Literature‘s website, The Monday Post is a collection of articles for writers and readers as well as a sampling of interesting works and publications from across the internet. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post. In addition, each new month will feature a new and interesting quote from an established expert in the literary field.

Writers and readers may find additional links and featured writers in The Monday Post archive. Please follow my blog for writing prompts, commentary, reviews, and more!

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Another Important Discussion for Diversifying Literature: Religion in YA

While reading the article “How to (Effectively) Show Support” by Dahlia Adler, I noticed a very curious link under point three of the article titled “Promote other people’s promotions.” It was a discussion of religious young adult books spearheaded by Karen Jensen and Ally Watkins in the School Library Journal. At first I was so excited by this possibility of discussion in religion that I almost didn’t believe it to be real.

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The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

C. S. Lewis, reading, books, writing, literature, stories

I am continuing a series (inspired by Electric Literature) where I post important links for writers and readers on Mondays. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post.

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Book Review: Sister’s Red

Jackson Pearce, Sister's Red, fairy tale, little red riding hood

Scarlett and Rosie March hunt the creatures known as Fenris–werewolves with voracious appetites–since the death of their beloved grandmother. The same Fenris that devoured their grandmother also left Scarlett with ugly scars all over her body. Accompanied by Scarlett’s partner, Silas, the trio kill the dangerous, blood-thirsty creatures relentlessly. But a foreboding message about a new werewolf has the trio temporarily moving out of the small town of Ellison and into Atlanta. Surrounded by new dangers and mysteries, Silas and the March sisters must work together to prevent the deaths of more young women.

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Attempting to Ascend the Ladder of the Greats

writing, stairs, ascending, moving up

Writing is difficult, publishing your writing is even more so. I’ve won some hard fought victories, but at great cost. Time is the number one cost, money the second. So is it worth it?

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The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

ice, winter, writing, editing, reading, edited from original, http://pixabay.com/en/abstract-blue-cold-crystal-drop-22122/

I am *continuing a series (inspired by Electric Literature) where I post important links for writers and readers on Mondays. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. I’m also adding a few new categories. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post.

*AUTHOR NOTE: Readers I would love to hear feedback. Do you enjoy reading a certain type of article? What were some of your favorite featured works? Do you have a creative piece you’d like to see featured (email me, must be in a literary journal, must not be your own work, genre must be evident)?

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The Monday Post: Links for Readers and Writers

Copyright L. N. Holmes, truck, old, black and white photography, J. K. Rowling, quote
Copyright L. N. Holmes

I am continuing a series (inspired by Electric Literature) where I post important links for writers and readers on Mondays. They may be old links or new links, but they’ll be ones that I find the most interesting or helpful. If there are any particular topics you’d like to read about, please feel free to suggest them in a comment on this post.

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Book Review and Exclusive Offer: Winter Woven

Written by Garrett Curry and illustrated by Kyle Ragsdale. Copyright Garrett Curry and Kyle Ragsdale, fine artist, children, adults, multigenerational, Winter Woven
Written by Garrett Curry and illustrated by Kyle Ragsdale. Copyright Garrett Curry and Kyle Ragsdale.

[Copyright Garrett Curry and Kyle Ragsdale and associates.]

The day after Christmas, a package arrives for Piper. She is not excited about it. Great Aunt Fran sends her something every year that contains an item that’s itchy and handmade, which she is then forced to wear. This year she gets a scarf. This year will be different from all the others.

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Artist Interview and Giveaway: Angela Scott

Angela Scott, Anyone?, Evolved Publishing, author, YA, Young Adult, books, novels

Copyright Angela Scott


L. N. Holmes: “Where is your hometown?”
Angela Scott: “My hometown is Farmington, Utah, and I live on the benches of the Wasatch Mountains. I love it.”


L. N. Holmes: “What is your chosen artistic profession?”
Angela Scott: “Writer. I love to write. I love all things artistic, but writing is probably the only artistic thing of which I’m half-decent, though I can draw a pretty mean-looking stick figure and I can finger paint like no other. ”

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3 Scholarships and 3 Fellowships for Writers

As a writer, I am always looking for new opportunities. These may be opportunities to help myself, other individuals, or organizations that I believe in. This time I am covering a handful of scholarships and fellowships my research has caused me to find. I hope it can be of some use to other aspiring writers. All the information provided is according to each organization’s website. Please do your own research before submitting your work or personal information.

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5 Writing Contests with Nearing Deadlines

A writing friend of mine recently asked where she could find more writing contests. I suggested she look to Poets and Writers, which lists many in their online database. Here are a few directly from their website with nearing deadlines. Check out Poets and Writers for more.

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Short Story Review: ‘The Apple Tree’

By Jimoshikato (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Jimoshikato

[image by Jimoshikato]

This is no ordinary apple tree. In fact, it is a dead tree. The main character strings apples from its branches and decorates it with paper. She also spatters her lawn with raw meat and sprinkles the grass with pieces of bread.

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My Latest Publication: ‘How to Love Again’ in GERM magazine

L. N. Holmes, Nicole Gentles, author photo, How to Love Again, poetry, poem, GERM magazine
L. N. Holmes (Photo by Nicole Gentles)

[Photo by Nicole Gentles]

Here is the newest update of my personal progress as a professional writer.

GERM magazine is a bright place, full of wonderful people, places, and things. Along with articles on love, life, style, inner and outer beauty tips, and other topics, GERM magazine has a literary section. As soon as I saw the lovely work of other writers that was featured, I knew I wanted to be a part of this gorgeous publication.

As I saw they accepted previously published work (if the author has the rights) I offered my poem “How to Love Again,” which was originally published in Incunabula and won the Katherine B. Rondthaler Award for Poetry in 2012. To my great relief and delight, they accepted it.

You can find the poem here:

“How to Love Again” by L. N. Holmes

Please feel free to read, review, and share with others. Thanks for your support in advance. Even Jennifer Niven, founder and editor-in-chief of GERM magazine, recommends it:

 

 

I hope you enjoy it!