Wow, what a mouthful! The Review Review is an amazing organization that rates and reviews literary journals and magazines. They also provide many other helpful resources for writers.

After F(r)iction #2 came out, David Morgan O’Connor wrote a review of the issue. My short story, “When Continents Collide,” was published in F(r)iction #2, so I was pretty excited to see the high rating for the journal. Because David did such a good job with the review, I’m posting it again on my blog for those interested in reading it.

Here is an excerpt:

This is the type of writing that needs to be published and is probably too truthful for commercial journals. Well done, brave editors, brave writer.

The Other Stories is an excellent podcast featuring many emerging writers. Writers read their stories while original music—created to pair with their writing—plays in the background. An interview with successful author Ilana Masad—who founded the podcast and acts as the host—follows.

After the release of F(r)iction #2, I was interviewed by Ilana for The Other Stories podcast. I read and talked about my short story, “When Continents Collide.” I was super nervous and it showed quite often in the interview, but it was still really fun, and Ilana was (and continues to be) exceptionally nice. I also talked about my faith, which was really hard for me to do. Christianity and religion are difficult topics to discuss openly in the literary world.

I hope you’ll listen to my story! Make sure to check out the other work on the podcast too. Even better—subscribe and support Ilana and her crew! As always, thanks for reading (and in this case, listening).

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.

Upcoming Events and Another Writing Update

Writing Before Work

Finding the time is hard, so I often have to make time. Today, I’m working on revisions before heading off to work.

Can you tell this graduate student is a busy person? I apologize for not updating more often. But don’t worry, this blog isn’t going away. I’m merely working hard on my short stories and novel (and working hard every moment in between). I hope that I’ll have some great stuff to present to you within the next few years.

I wanted to let you know of some exciting upcoming events, but first let me start with some general writing updates.

I have two new projects rolling with Germ Magazine and Change Seven Magazine. One of them is available right now for readers, the other is forthcoming.

For Germ Magazine, I wrote a brief essay on the magical elements present in two books: The Cure for Dreaming and Belzhar. My main goal with this article was to talk about the importance of magical realism and to generate interest among young adults for the genre. Also, I wanted to give a rather brief history of the genre’s origins.

The article for Change Seven Magazine is a forthcoming interview with Ann Pancake. If you’re not familiar with Strange As This Weather Has Been, Ann’s novel, you should put it on your to-read-immediately list. It’s a beautiful work of art. It’s also a successful political novel. If you want to find out more, watch the Change Seven Magazine site for the interview. I’ll also post a link on my Twitter feed when it is available to readers.

As far as my fictional writing goes, I’ve got two short stories I’m revising and I’m working hard on my novel. Workshops for the piece have been intense, but I’m closer to a finished project.

How about you, writing friends? How are your projects going?

Upcoming events:

AWP Conference
The annual conference for the AWP organization will be held in Los Angeles this year. A few of my brave classmates and I will be heading to the sunny city to represent the Creighton University MFA program and Blue River. We hope to see you there!

F(r)iction, Tethered by Letters, AWP, offsite event, 2016, These Days GalleryLiterary Friction
This is an offsite AWP event. I will be reading part of my story that was featured in F(r)iction #2Talented artists like Paisley Rekdal, Campbell McGrath, Lynn Emanuel, Geffrey Davis, Simone Muench, F Douglas Brown, Anders Carlson-Wee, Kai Carlson-Wee, Nicky Beer, and Scott O’Connor will be performing as well.

Pageturners Literary Pub Quiz (Vol 2, Ed 4)
Interested in book trivia? Writer Theodore Wheeler is having another literary pub quiz at Pageturners Lounge and this time the quizmasters are Blue River‘s managing editors.

“When Continents Collide” is now available in F(r)iction #2

L. N. Holmes, F(r)iction, Tethered by Letters, short story, speculative fiction, new story, art

Hello! I wanted to provide an updated link to F(r)iction #2, now available for purchase from Tethered by Letters. You can find my short story “When Continents Collide” in this issue of the literary magazine.

I would encourage you to also consider the other works that are available in this issue—some literary leaning, others genre leaning—that are all high quality. I read most of Rose Hartley’s story before my professor at school asked to borrow the magazine and that story alone is reason to purchase F(r)iction #2. The full-color, commissioned artwork is also amazing!

I hope you will seriously consider purchasing a copy of this innovative and modern literary magazine. As always, thanks for reading!

Check Out My Short Story ‘When Continents Collide’ in Friction #2!

jellyfish, reading, writing, Tethered by Letters, F(r)iction, short story, L. N. Holmes, fiction, read, write, "When Continents Collide"

Hello bloggers, readers, friends, and colleagues! I wanted to let you know that a short story of mine, “When Continents Collide,” will soon be available to readers. You can preorder the issue it will be featured in right now.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you read it! I’d love to hear your opinions. I’m writing to connect with people, after all.

If you guys don’t know about Tethered by Letters, the parent company of the F(r)iction Series, I’d encourage you to visit their site. They offer support to writers and give readers lots of great work to peruse.

As always, thanks for reading.

Weekend Writing: The Animal Messenger

dogs, dog, hunting, countryside, country

The use of animals in literature is often symbolic. Certain types of birds like owls or hawks were used in Shakespearean literature to alert the reader to shifts in mood or upcoming changes in plot. For this prompt, though, the animals are going to have a more direct effect on the story. Are you up for the challenge? #WeekendWriting

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