what to read next…

November 18, 2014


Each year since 1965, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) has “presented annual awards to recognize excellence in writing from the Pacific Northwest.” The Award committee today announced its shortlist of 15 titles for the 2015 PNBA Award. See the list, read a book…and congratulations to these local writers!

deadlines alive!

October 24, 2014


If you’re thinking about submitting your work (and you should be, of course), here are a few upcoming deadlines (click on the publication name to go to the guidelines):

November 30, 2014A River & Sound Review welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and humor.

December 1, 2014Bellingham Review encourages submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, author interviews, and black-and-white photography.

December 1, 2014Soundings Review welcomes submissions of high quality, accessible poetry, fiction (including genre such as fantasy, science fiction, or mystery), nonfiction, and writing for children & young adults.

December 1, 2014Whatcom WRITES! invites submissions of poems, fiction and non-fiction on the theme of competition. (Guidelines posted on Facebook; may be posted on website later, so check back.)

December 5, 2014 (at 11:45pm!) – Labyrinth Literary Journal invites words and artwork on the theme of Who’s Not Speaking? Examining The Internals and Externals of Identity Marginalization.

December 5 (or 15), 2014Pacifica Literary Review invites poetry (contest has earlier deadline), nonfiction, fiction, photography and visual art, and author interviews.

December 15, 2014Crab Creek Review solicits poetry, short stories, and essays for the 2015 spring issue.

There are also a number of locally-based (but not local!) publications that have open submissions or submission periods ending in 2015, including Cascadia Review, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, Cirque Journal, Clover, A Literary Rag, Image, The Other Journal, Poetry Northwest, Raven Chronicles, The Seattle Review, StringTown Magazine, Switched-on Gutenberg, Willow Springs, Windfall and no doubt others we’ve missed but would love to hear about!


Are you a poet who has made a substantial contribution to the poetry community? Are you at least 18 years of age and a three- (or more) year resident of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana or Washington? If so, get thee quick to the Poetrynight website and put in your application for The Ken Warfel Fellowship.

Ken Warfel, for whom the fellowship is named, was (among other achievements) one of the original five Alaska Flying Poets and the author of three books of poetry: Fow and Other Fingerprints, the Sunnyside Vinegar Works and A Fine Hotel.

NOTE: the application deadline has been extended to Saturday, June 21, 2014.

talk to the Raven…

April 5, 2014

Raven Chronicles ravens

The Raven Chronicles, which publishes work that reflects the cultural diversity of the Pacific Northwest, Cascadia and other regions, invites you to submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction or artwork for their Summer 2014 issue. The theme is Personal Sound Tracks: Soundscapes ~ The Sound Track of Your Life. Read more on the theme and the complete guidelines and submit your work by the deadline, April 15, 2014.

calls for poetry…

January 18, 2014

three opportunitiesHere are several calls for submissions from regional organizations:

Richard Hugo House invites residents of Washington, Idaho, Oregon or Montana to submit a previously unpublished poem, short story or personal essay of no more than 1,500 words on the theme “Some Like it Hot” for the Hugo House New Works Competition. Entries must be received by Friday, January 31, 2014. There is an entry fee of $10. The contest will be judged by novelist/memoirist Peter Mountford and poet Kary Wayson.

As part of the celebration of National Poetry Month (April), the Seattle Public Library invites submissions for the second annual Haiku Hullabaloo. Children, teens and adults may enter haiku on the theme “Celebrate Seattle.” Submissions are open between February 1 and 5 p.m. Friday, February 14, 2014. View the guidelines and submit poems on the Library’s Haiku Hullabaloo web page.

Finally, those who live on Bainbridge Island or have a strong island connection are invited to submit poems on the theme “Don’t be afraid” for the Poetry Corners competition. The entry fee is $5 for students, $10 for adults, and submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 28, 2014. Complete guidelines and submission details are posted on the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council Poetry Corner web page.

O, pen

January 7, 2014

open sign with snowPerhaps you’re fully recovered from the holiday season, or maybe you’re still regrouping and having a little trouble getting back on track. Why not launch the new year by sending off some poems to literary journals? Here’s a short list of some Pacific Northwest regional publications that are now open (or as noted). Click on the publication name to go to the submissions page.

A River & Sound Review is open from February 1 to May 31, 2014.

Cirque Journal is open for Issue #10 Summer Solstice 2014 submissions through March 21, 2014.

Clover, A Literary Rag submissions open officially between February 1 and April 30, 2014, but “unofficially, right now is a great day to submit your work for our review!”

Floating Bridge Press seeks previously unpublished poems for Floating Bridge Review #7 on the theme Help Wanted: The Poetry of Work by March 31, 2014.

Labyrinth is accepting submissions on the theme Communities (un)Bound through January 10, 2014. (The link takes you to a submission form; find Labyrinth on Facebook.)

The Monarch Review accepts submissions year-round.

Pacifica Literary Review is open through May 7, 2014.

Poetry Northwest welcomes unsolicited submissions of poetry, original or in translation, through March 15, 2014.

Raven Chronicles is currently closed, but indicates the deadline for the Summer 2014 issue will be “sometime in Feb/March” so keep an eye on the website.

The Seattle Review publishes long poems, novellas, and long essays and accepts submissions online year-round or by mail between October 1 and May 31.

Shark Reef is open for submissions of fiction, creative non-fiction prose, poetry, dramatic writing and artwork through March 31, 2014.

Soundings Review, published by the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, writing for children & young adults, and genre fiction for the fall/winter issue through May 1, 2014.

Switched-on Gutenberg is accepting poetry submissions on the theme weather through April 30, 2014.

Always read and follow submission guidelines. For more extensive listings of publications and deadlines, visit New Pages, Duotrope (by subscription only) or Poets & Writers.
. . . . .
open sign

mapping the year ahead…

January 2, 2014


Now that all that’s over, it’s time for a New Year of writing. Here are a few regional highlights for your map of 2014 writing events. Please note that some of these events require advance registration and may fill up early, so if you’re interested, follow the links for more information. For a much more extensive list of events, please visit the CALENDAR page; check back regularly — it’s updated daily!

All locations are in Washington unless otherwise noted.

January 27 – February 1 ~ 30th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada

February 26 – March 1 ~ The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference & Bookfair in Seattle

March 1 ~ Children’s Literature Conference at Western Washington University in Bellingham

March 4-9 – The Victoria Spoken Word Festival in Victoria, BC

March 14-16 ~ There won’t be another Whidbey Island Writers Conference until 2015, but the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts offers the 2014 Writers Lockdown Retreat at the Captain Whidbey Inn on Penn Cove in Coupeville

April 5-12 – Verses Festival of Words in Vancouver, BC

April 10-13 ~ April Poetry Symposium at Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend

April (date not yet confirmed) ~ 9th Annual Ferndale Poetry Festival in Ferndale

April (date not yet confirmed) ~ Get Lit! Festival at Eastern Washington University, Spokane

May 1-4 ~ Cascadia Poetry Festival in Seattle

May 15-18 ~ Skagit River Poetry Festival in La Conner

May 16-18 ~ Write On The River writers conference at Wenatchee Valley College

May 30-June 4 ~ Vortex: Hedgebrook presents a weekend salon at the Whidbey Institute

June 27-28 ~  Chuckanut Writers Conference in Bellingham

July 7-13 ~ 27th Annual Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers at Wallowa Lake, Oregon

July 10-20 ~ The Port Townsend Writers’ Conference at Centrum, Fort Worden State Park

July 13-20 ~ The Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop at Reed College, Portland, Oregon

July 17-20 ~ Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) summer conference (location not yet announced)

July 19-22 ~ Sun Valley Writers’ Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho

September 26-28 ~ LiTFUSE in Tieton

October 3-5 ~ Write on the Sound writers conference in Edmonds

November (date not yet announced) ~ Northwest Bookfest in Kirkland

November (date not yet announced) ~ Northwest Writers’ Weekend in Port Orchard

If you are planning a reading, workshop or other event in the Pacific Northwest, please leave a comment (on any post) with the details and a link (required) where people can find more information.

Lineup online

November 1, 2013

Skagit River Poetry FestivalIf the lineup of poets is any indication, the Skagit River Poetry Festival, May 15-18, 2014, promises to be inspiring. The complete schedule will be available in January and tickets go on sale at that time. Meanwhile, take a look at all the pretty poets!

the countdown has begun…

October 17, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

It’s mid-October and that means it’s time to sharpen your pencils, wipe the dust off your monitor, stock a few extra typewriter ribbons or stack up the rocks and flints. However you write, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) — an opportunity to hammer out 50,000 unedited words that will take shape as your next novel. (Though the focus is novel writing, plenty of poets use NaNoWriMo as a framework for producing quantities of poetry that will be available for editing in the coming months and years.)

There are forums, meetups, Tweets, prompts, word tracking and plenty of swag to keep you encouraged. There were 102,827 official participants in 2012 and numerous novels started during NaNoWriMo find their way to publication.

Here are a few links to get you going: the NaNoWriMo home page ~ the NaNoWriMo blog ~ NaNoWriMo on Facebook ~ the NaNoWriMo Pinterest page ~ NaNoWriMo on YouTube ~ the NaNoWriMo Bellingham forum ~ the NaNoWriMo Seattle forum ~ the NaNoWriMo West Sound (WA) forum ~ NaNoWriMo forums for Everett & Snohomish County, Lewis County, Olympia, Pullman, Moses Lake, Skagit Valley, Snoqualmie Valley, Spokane, Tacoma/Pierce County, Tri-Cities, Vancouver (WA), Walla Walla, Yakima, and Elsewhere (WA). For other regions, including nearby states, Canada and other countries, see the Regions page. The forums list local events and some of them are in need of a Municipal Liaison, if you’re particularly enthusiastic.

Get some writing done this November!
. . . . .
graphic by Jake Fleming

Poet, submit!

September 15, 2013

Cascadia map - Sightline InstituteAutumn is poetry submission season for many literary journals. While this does not profess to be a complete list of publications from the Cascadia region, it’s a healthy start. In some cases, regional is just an accident of the magazine’s home base; in other cases, it defines either the audience or the writers who are invited to submit.

For each publication, we’ve linked to the Submission page. (We’ve also provided a Facebook link, if available, because some publications update Facebook information more often than web pages.) You’ll also find links to each of these publications in the NW lit scene links in the right-hand column of this page.

Before you submit your work, read the publication and, of course, read and follow the submission guidelines carefully. (Please note: dates are gleaned from publication sites; some are closing dates, some opening dates, some inclusive.)

A River & Sound Review ~ “Serious Literature with an Unpretentious Soul” publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, humor, podcasts, music and more. Reading period is August 1 to November 30. A River & Sound Review on Facebook.

Bellingham Review ~ The literary arts magazine affiliated with Western Washington University. General submission period is from September 15 through December 1Bellingham Review on Facebook.

Cascadia Review ~ Poetry of place by residents of the bioregion that includes California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Alaska, along with fragments of Nevada, Wyoming and Yukon. Submissions for Issue 4 open today, September 15. Cascadia Review on Facebook.

LAST CHANCE – closes soon! Cirque: A Literary Journal for Alaska and the Pacific Northwest ~ Publishes stories, poems, creative nonfiction, translations, plays, reviews of first books, interviews, photographs and artwork. Issue #9 — Winter Solstice 2013 submission deadline is September 21, 2013. Cirque Journal on Facebook.

CLOVER, A Literary Rag ~ A biannual print literary anthology. Deadline for December edition is September 30, 2013. Clover, A Literary Rag on Facebook.

Conversations Across Borders (CAB) ~ A monthly online literary magazine that envisions a world of increased mutual understanding and connection across borders of all kinds. Accepts submissions year-round. Conversations Across Borders on Facebook.

Crab Creek Review ~ A perfect-bound print literary journal. Submissions will open in October 2013; watch site for details. Crab Creek Review on Facebook.

Image ~ A quarterly journal of writing and artwork informed by religious faith. Does not have a formal set of guidelines, but welcomes unsolicited submissions. Image on Facebook.

The Monarch Review ~ Seattle’s literary and arts magazine. Reads submissions year-round and publishes online weekly as well as a print edition biannually. The Monarch Review on Facebook.

Pacifica Literary Review ~ A small literary arts magazine based in Seattle, with print editions in winter and summer. General submission period is from September 15 to May 7. Pacifica Literary Review on Facebook.

Poetry Northwest ~ A poetry print journal published semi-annually in April and October, plus new work online, including poetry, reviews and essays. Regular reading period is September 15 – March 15. Poetry Northwest on Facebook.

Raven Chronicles ~ A print journal of art, literature and the spoken word. Postmark deadline is October 1, 2013Raven Chronicles on Facebook.

Seattle Review ~ University of Washington print journal wholly committed to the publication of longer works of poetry, novellas and lyric essays. Accept submissions by mail between October 1 and May 31. Seattle Review on Facebook.

Soundings Review ~ A magazine of creative writing published through the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Reading for the spring/summer issue (published in May) closes on January 1.

Switched-on Gutenberg ~ Online poetry journal with themed issues. Currently closed to submissions; usually opens December 1.

Willow Springs ~ Print and e-book literary journal of Eastern Washington University (Spokane). Submissions are open September 1 through May 31Willow Springs on Facebook.

. . . .
Sightline Institute map of the Cascadia region drawn by Cynthia Thomas