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 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 North Koreans, South Koreans, and other Balkanized Citizens of the World,
Yorick Magazine is winding up its first harvest of the year for its Spring 2013 issue, which will be due in some time in late March or early April. We’ve gotten dozens of lovely pieces from writers and poets from around the world. If you like to submit writing to magazines, now is your chance to add your story into the frothy broth of our submission soup.
Deadline for submissions is March 18th, 2013.
We take poetry and short story submissions. We also take novel excerpts. We also take clown memoirs, disco aftermaths, parade streamers, Hawaiian treaties, and constitutions from legitimate countries (and not those threatening to blow us the hell up!)(Even though we’d do the same to you, you scary world).
If you have an eye for aesthetics, or even if you don’t, please feel inspired to submit photography. The moments you capture will be released within the confines of Yorick, so if they’re incredibly dangerous, do not worry. We do have the technology for such fine work. If it’s revolutionary, we will make grilled cheeses for the partisan warriors of the resistance.
You should submit art, too. Yorick beckons for original artwork, as the menaces of the image scribe tend to delegate wonderful nuances in image councils, who bear good will to the image world. Did you detect the metaphor their? The image metaphor? No? Yes?
Are you quibbling? Don’t! You’re doing us a favor by providing our phantasmagorical magazine with your poetry, art, photography, and short story submissions, along with the other fancies that you hide in your trunk of work. We are looking for tales in words and images (aha!), stories within walls, people in places we never thought they could roam. It’s a challenging proposition, but we mean it. We want your best, and we’ll accept your best.
Fair warning: if Kim Jong-Un submits his poetry to us, we will accept it bar-none. Sorry folks.
Remember, March 18th! March 18th! Submit everything! All of it!
– Alex, Editor-in-Chief