No explanation will make this issue seem any better. Sympathy for David Pinkwater?
Dear Lovers of the Aubade who fight to never leave,
We’ve had a slight jumping off since the summertime. Many of you have emailed about when the new issue will be coming out. Many have wondered why we haven’t had as many posts as usual. Many have developed new-found passions for optometry and are pursuing a lucrative career in the medical field. To all of you, I apologize.
Tragedy has hit many members of our staff lately. It has convinced us to grab onto our knees and dig our nails into the skin. Loss begets nothing more than reaching for a glass and having it drop before you can catch it. It’s the unfair it could have been different than this circumstance.
Know that what we’ve seen will make us better for you. What drives us to serve you is the love for art and communication and to make your experience on this lovely, lonely planet the best it can be. While we won’t be in full capacity until 2014, don’t forget about us. We won’t forget about you.
Today marks the publication of Yorick Magazine‘s fifth issue. We have harbored 44 unique writers and 9 artists since we began in 2011, and we are dogged to harbor more. Enjoy this new issue. It’s pretty.
Dear Wendigos and Other Beasts of Folklore,
I hope you’re doing well out there in the Blogosphere. I’ve heard it’s cold sometimes.
The poems, stories, artwork and photography we’ve imprisoned in our first issue from this year are screaming to get out and into your heads! If you haven’t seen our literary brig, go to our ISSUES section and take a gander at our literary magazine.
Here’s the fun part of this post—and definitely not the self-marketing in-your-face advertisement blurb—as I’d like to make a shout out to some literary œuvres de grandeur (see that! French!) that you should know about. They’re all very, very cool publishers of the best, the best of the best, and the best of the best bests, and deserve 96% of your attention. The other 4% can be zoned out. That’s totally fine.
Click on the pictures to visit their websites!
1. The Gap-Toothed Madness
This lit mag based in Sacramento, CA is already a strong contender as a fantastic and sophisticated compilation of work from around the world. One of their featured writers is actually a Yorick alum, Fred Pollack, one of our Spring 2013 issue’s poets. With amazing cover art and a printed magazine you can order here, this publication has a lot to smile about. This madness is currently accepting work.
With a cryptic “Welcome Home” that makes me rethink where I’ve been these past two decades, Undergroundbooks.org deals in the cryptic and the utterly wonderful. Featuring eclectic poets and several neat ebooks, this online publishing house of silken onyx has scored a subterranean following as well as my heart. Some types of prose and poetry you may submit are prison diaries (if you’ve recently been to prison), poetry made through animated gifs, and children’s books, which will be tested on the editors’ children, among the more typical stuff. This underground dwelling is currently accepting work.
3. Hobo Camp Review
A four-season camp full of weathered raconteurs, this magazine is in its seventeenth issue. If you’re looking to read earthy realities and salient truths, come here. Some notable work to mention is by Melissa Prunty Kemp and James Tyner, among an amazing camp of “road-weary storytellers” that will surely send your dreams to the forest. This hobo camp is currently accepting work.
4. Miracle E-zine
Sporting gorgeous artwork, poetry, fiction, film reviews, writing contests, and other special features (I particularly like the “Writer’s Guide to Reading” in Issue 6), Miracle is a miracle—not that its talented staff and writers can put together such great work, but that we can have such a beautiful publication to grace our existence. For their writers’ group, click here. This miracle is currently accepting submissions.
5. Decades Review
This is the kind of lit review you look for when you sink back in your couch, pull up your laptop, and browse for good, meaningful writing. The Decades Review is inspiring, full of great management, interviews, and, of course, pieces of fine literature and artwork. I hope this publication runs for years. This decade is currently accepting submissions.
Thanks for reading, folks! Support these magazines with your time, love, and memory. Reading the work of others, comrades, is as important as submitting your own work.
It’s a monster of a world without friends. Even for a wendigo.
Dear Spider People and People Spiders,
Yorick, your friendly neighborhood literary magazine, is here again at the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference in, well, Philadelphia. Specifically the Wyndham Hotel on Race Street. If that even matters. It’s raining like a king who can’t spell, or who’s crying too much in his zeppelin above the city. So that part’s awful and relatively lends itself to a bildungsroman story. Oh rain.
But! The first session of Carla Spataro’s Short Story class was a great start to the conference (Ed Rendell was the real beginning, but unfortunately I was being a senseless consumer and bought a cup of coffee at the Starbucks down the road during the speech). Carla is not only the Creating Writing MFA director at Rosemont College, but she is also the editor-in-chief of Philadelphia Stories, a wonderful publication with powerful fiction, poetry, artwork, and photography. It’s awesome. So with that introduction to this fine instructor, let’s start off with a few pointers she had to provide about the lugubrious art of short storytelling.
1. A successful short story is structured as follows: conflict, complication, more conflict, then resolution. Carla addressed the old adage that literary fiction is strictly character drive, but what’s very important to realize is that literary fiction must still have a plot. Even though writers stigmatize genre writing as being trite and unintelligent because its stereotypically undeveloped characters, plot should still be a realized part of any good piece of short fiction. To be fair, genre fiction is not the bugbear that professionals think it to be. There’s a reason that genre fiction sells.
2. A successful short story is also structured as follows: exposition, development, and drama. Yet another road towards the same Rome. This theory, developed by Frank O’Connor in his guide to writing, The Lonely Voice, helps us determine if our story can even stay afloat. Carla had us write a sentence for these sections for a hypothetical or working story. If one section proves difficult, then that section needs improvement. Short stories, though they need not be outlined, should have a strong logical foundation. Without such, a story becomes a couple at a bar talking about nothing and going home. Have things happen! Create conflict!
3. A successful short story is also structured as follows (tired of this yet?): you’ve heard of Freytag’s Pyramid, the traditional five-act structure that progresses from exposition to the rising action to the climax to the falling action and then to the denouement, that vague French term that comes close to meaning some sort of resolution. Carla informed us, however, of the contemporary story structure, which starts in media res, or in the middle of the story, and continues to the exposition and then the inciting action. With the following rising action leading to another conflict and falling action, the structure looks like a surreal checkmark mountain range, going up, up, up. Most postmodern fiction comes in this form nowadays. It eliminates excessive exposition, which Carla said “makes her want to poke her eyes out.”
4. There are about 157 million ways to approach a short story. But my advice, friends, is to simply write your story, then analyze it for its flaws. A zeppelin with a king inside can’t get off the ground if the king cries too much about the whole damned thing (full circle, eh?) Anyhow, I don’t want to steal too much of Carla’s thunder. Consider her program if you’re serious about creative writing and submit to her wonderful magazine.
Here’s a question: what stories are you working on? What do you think needs to be fixed? But give yourself some credit. What do you like about your story? You always need something to like; otherwise, what’s the point?
Signing off (for now),
Dear Folks, Yolks, and Volkswagens,
The new issue of Yorick Magazine has been placed on Earth by divine touch.
It’s true! We mean it!
After hours of deliberation, editing, loitering, lawyering, confrontation, galactic battle, voyeurism, and pandas, the fourth issue of Yorick Magazine is here! The Spring 2013 issue has been published, featuring the work of several wonderful poets, fictionists, and artists, including Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto, Jeremiah Walton, Matheus Fialho Fiuza, and James Colville. Take a gander, take a peek; send it to your friends, your uncles, your deer; serve it to your local Democrats Club for lunch, or feature it as the 19th hole of your town’s miniature golf course.
Excited? Enjoy your literary exploration. Don’t forget to like it on the Issuu page!
Thanks to all contributors! All acceptance decisions were tough to make. However, we feel that the pieces we chose were exceptional beyond the starry limit that we set.
Thanks also to you, our wonderful readers. You are members of a beautiful community. You support a work of love with your thoughts and eyes. Your warmth shimmers. For that, we’re grateful.
Dear Congress, Bacon-Lovers, and All Others Who Enjoy Pork,
The staff of Yorick emerged from our doomsday bunker unscathed, finding that our native country had barely survived running over an oddly placed cliff.
Anyhow, as we promised, we are open for business! Send us your best short stories, poetry, flash fiction, novel excerpts, dramatic scenes (10 pages and under), flavored gametes, and Oxford commas. We want them. We lust for them. We’re the magazine that believes in publishing to a fine standard. Whether that standard is kosher or not, we’ll stand by it with whatever metaphorical legs we possess.
Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You probably won’t regret it.
– Alex, Editor-in-Chief
You dear fine people! Avast, she comes to us in silver dreams:
Thank you for the wait. Enjoy poetry by Regina Lloyd and Joe Stokes, along with fiction by Matthew Myers, Christina Schillaci, Christopher King, and Christian Belland. Artwork is provided by Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Elisabeth Stonaker, and Jenea Turner.
Read this issue. Consume this issue. Let us know what you savor the most.
Yorick Magazine will be back in Spring 2013. In the meantime, keep your eyes upon us! We’ll be adding new and interesting content in the coming months (which may feature flying ducks and couture ash trays). Don’t hesitate to submit your finest work to email@example.com. Be a part of this exciting and frivolous piece of raw humanity.
Until next time, stay safe from the aqua bears.
– Alex, Editor-in-Chief
Dear Readers, Writers, and Scarecrow Junkies,
This last weekend I had the grand opportunity to attend the 64th Annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. What an amazing experience! I personally chatted with bestselling authors Jonathan Maberry and Caridad Pineiro, while meeting dozens of other accomplished and aspiring writers who came together to find their community. At the corner of 4th and Arch in Center City, we found those that mean so much to us, that we never knew, that we had lost in some dramatic separation at birth.
I’ve been dreading the composition of this post, mainly because I want to include the entire torrential downpour of knowledge I barely floated above. Here are a few droplets that I think are useful:
1. Facade (credit to Merry Jones, author of the Zoe Hayes mystery series)
The facade of a character is the exterior combating the feelings within; essentially it is a struggle between persona, a character’s front, and true desire, an internal driving force that influences a character’s intentions. Many writers find trouble in developing characters that are round, psychologically complex and interesting because of it. Understanding a character’s facade, and even knowing how to eventually expose this character’s dark side, makes for a dramatic underlying conflict that, in fact, is not contrived.
2. Platform (credit to Randall Brown, editor-in-chief of Matter Press and director of the MFA program at Rosemont College/credit to Caridad Pineiro, bestselling author of The Lost)
Becoming a successful writer requires developing a fanbase. Developing this fanbase means selling yourself in every combatant zone of the social media spectrum: this is your “platform.” This requires making cards with your information, having a website (with a real domain name), having a Twitter, blogging, Youtubing, reading at coffee shops, imitating snow crab, whatever. If a publisher is considering two manuscripts, and both are tantamount in quality, said publisher will Google Search those authors’ names and find out which one has a better platform. If you are putting yourself out there for publication, go all out. When a publisher searches your name, they better find you at the hailed Number One spot.
3. Questions to Answer in Writing a Contemporary Short Story (credit to Simone Zelitch, author of Louisa, as well as co-director of the Poets and Writers Series and professor at the Community College of Philadelphia)
In order to write a great story in these times, you have to ask yourself a few questions about your main character, either before you start or during the revision process:
- What does your main character want?
- What does your main character do to satisfy that want?
- What stands in your main character’s way
- Dramatic questions: will your character achieve his/her desire? What will come of it?
The premise of these questions is considerably simple, but greatly effective.
4. Positivity and Negativity Towards Other Writers (credit to Jonathan Maberry, bestselling author of the Joe Ledger books)
When you discover or receive a writing opportunity (whether you’re trawling online, attending a conference, or even scratching a goat’s chin hair), never feel that you should hide that information from another writer. You may think that you’re gaining the upper hand. You may think, “Wow! I have something that they don’t, and if they know, then everyone will know!” And that’s absolute horseshit. In Maberry’s fitting opening speech, For the Love of Language, he said that “if we help each other, more of us will get in print. Negativity doesn’t do us any good at all. Positivity does.” Share the love of the craft with your fellow escritores! The act may help you in the long run.
5. The One Story (credit to Jason Hall, Editor and Producer at Keystone Pictures, Inc.)
Some have said that there are ten stories ever told.
Some have said that there are two stories told: a hero goes on a journey, and a stranger comes to town.
Jason, an aspiring writer like myself, had a sage observation. Every story involves a fish out of water. Whether that fish is a detective, a hobbit, a typical Raymond Carver archetype, a monster (hell, an obvious example is Arthur Dent from A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) You could argue it’s too ambiguous, but you’d also be arguing against something so simple that it’s painful not to think about. Consider what forces your main character out of the water. Or, darker, what intentions your character had in leaving the water.
Hope this helps in the least! Thanks to all teachers, intentional or unintentional in their instruction.
Thanks also to the cyber cockroaches for not eating this post.
Fahrenheit Bradbury: the temperature at which minds are inspired. Thanks to Dane for bringing this to my attention!
UPDATE: How sad it is that we posted this video the same day Ray left us for Mars. One more for the road.
An interview with the dying Borders enterprise (hell, it wasn’t dying back in ’08). King mentions a few great pointers about the art of short story writing, though there’s an odd cut-off at the end. Pay no heed.