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.

After the Holidays: A Writing Update

There is no rest for the working writer—but I’m not complaining. A lot of good has happened lately. I owe you an update.

I’m going to do this list style. Here goes:

Judging the Teen Poetry Bash

Saturday, December 12, I went to listen to some talented teens speak their piece at the Teen Poetry Bash, held at the Omaha Public Library. Because of my past work with the Nebraska Writers Collective as a Louder Than a Bomb judge, I was asked to be one of the judges for this competition as well. It was such a privilege to be on the panel and to listen to some local talent. I was impressed with all the poets that chose to speak their words. It was a fun event—one that will only keep going if these young ones keep participating, I’m told.

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The finalists are chosen and invited to participate in the second round.

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The winners pose with OPL’s representative.

My Interview with The Other Stories

Thanks to the wonderful editors at Tethered by Letters and writer Ilana Masad, I was recently featured on The Other Stories podcast for my story “When Continents Collide” from F(r)iction #2. It was really fun (and I was super nervous)! You can listen to the story and my interview here.

My Professor Won an NEA Fellowship

I am blessed to be learning from amazing writers and professors at Creighton University. Brent Spencer, Mary Helen Stefaniak, Susan Aizenberg, and—this semester—David Mullins. You may have heard in recent news that David Mullins won a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship. I’m pretty stoked to be participating in his workshop soon. All of my professors have really challenged me so far. I’m so excited to start classes again.

Los Angeles and AWP

That’s right, ladies and gents, I’m going to L.A. in March/April for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. It’s going to be a wild drive there and back (and probably on the L.A. streets). Four of us are going to make the pilgrimage. I’ll live tweet some of the madness. If you’re going to the conference, come check out the Blue River booth and say hello!

Writing for Change Seven

Recently, Change Seven editor Sheryl Monks has asked me to write for their magazine. I will be doing this in addition to my work at Germ Magazine. My work for Change Seven is still in the beginning stages, however, so I’ll have more concrete updates for you as I work on my first assignment.


Well, that’s all folks! I hope all of you had happy holidays (or happy recent days, if you don’t celebrate holidays). As always, thanks for reading (or listening to podcast audio).

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.

A Talented Trio: Creighton University’s First Fair Use Reading

Fair Use Reading, writers, writing, reading, fiction, poetry, Nebraska

From left, our host and fellow writer Shelby Snedeker stands next to our featured writers Amanda DeNatale, Aubree Else, and Quentin Chirdon.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Have you been to an author reading lately? Thursday evening, I went to see three of my talented classmates read some of their work at Solid Jackson Books in Benson. I knew they were good, but I was mind blown by how amazing their writing was.

Amanda DeNatale read first. Her short story was about a young man who is haunted by past addictions. He struggles to find a “healthy replacement” for his lack of stimulants to avoid losing his family. But this poses its own set of problems, which eventually climaxes in an unexpected, strange, and fascinating way. I won’t give away what happens, but remember our fellow writer’s name, so you can be one of the first to read her amazing work in published form.

Aubree Else was the next to read. She read a small collection of poems. Her writing discussed her loves for fall and her childhood home. She even had a poem, cheeky and thoroughly enjoyable, about the end of the world. I found her poems to be thought-provoking and riddled with interesting images and sounds. I’d definitely suggest her work to anyone.

Quentin Chirdon read the openings to two short stories and an opening to a nonfiction essay. I found myself enthralled by the disturbing images in his work and taken aback by the surprise of humor that surfaced in the midst of the strange. His first story I was somewhat familiar with, so it was wonderful to hear a longer excerpt. I definitely want to read the rest of it. His second story was so funny and convincing, even though he made up an art form that actually doesn’t exist, we believed it anyway. His nonfiction essay, another I had a chance to peek at, discussed the space age in an intimate way that was emotionally moving. Definitely give his work a read if you see his name surface in any publication.

Shelby, our host and a fantastic writer herself, treated us to wine, cheese, and festive Halloween candy (side note, I don’t drink, so I just had the yummy snacks) before the event. Solid Jackson Books was a wonderful venue, with great vintage records and reads to peruse, and an open but intimate space for us to gather. Overall, it was an event that I’m glad I didn’t miss, featuring some of Creighton University’s great writers.

The Fair Use Readings are a series of events. Watch for the next one, which will most likely be held in December. We hope to see you there!

The Applejack Festival: A Poem

Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes
Copyright LeeAnn (Holmes) Adams and L. N. Holmes

 

Applejack

By L. N. Holmes

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About L. N. Holmes

L. N. Holmes, author, writer, editor, Nicole Gentles, autumn, Salem College

L. N. Holmes (Photo by Nicole Gentles.)

LeeAnn Nichole (Holmes) Adams writes under the pseudonym, L. N. Holmes. Her fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction have appeared in literary journals and magazines such as Newfound (web), Obra, STARK, Vestal ReviewF(r)iction, and Good Morning, among others. Her longer works include a nearly completed collection of short fiction and the first draft of an ambitious novel (both of which she hopes to finish and publish within the next three years). In addition to her creative writing, she’s written many book reviews, literary journal reviews, interviews, news articles, and more.

Short Work | Books

Holmes has received many honors and awards for her writing. She won the 2012 Katherine B. Rondthaler Award for Poetry, the 2013 Salem College President’s Prize for Creative Writing, and a first place for nonfiction in a literary journal from the North Carolina College Media Association in 2013. She was also a half-fellow in the Creighton University MFA program and her poem, “War Song,” was long listed for the 2016 Wisehouse International Poetry Award.

Graduating from Salem College in 2013, Holmes received a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with minors in English and history. Later she attended Creighton University, where she received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 2017. In addition to formal education, she’s actively sought out other opportunities to learn and has attended writing conferences, workshops, and readings in many different states.

She currently volunteers as a junior editor for Tethered by Letters. In the past, she volunteered as a fiction co-editor for Blue River and, before that, the co-editor of Incunabula. She also has experience working in the editorial departments of other publications and contributes work occasionally to places like Change Seven Magazine and GERM Magazine.

A native of Wilmington, Ohio, Holmes currently lives in Bellevue, Nebraska. She’s married to her wonderful husband, Collin, and has three furry pets—a dog, Cattleya, and two cats, Rex and Hadassah. She’s a Christian who believes in protecting the planet, equal pay for women, and loving your neighbor. She also believes writers should be paid for their work. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—but she’s the most active on Twitter, where she tweets about literary stuff and video games.

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