July 2021 News

Our 2021 Fiction contest is live!

Judged by the indomitable Angela Jackson-Brown, author of “When Stars Rain Down.” Deadline is September 30th, so come check out the contest page and enter!

And of course the new issue is out.

As we are switching out printing methods, all in-stock back issues of Typehouse Literary Magazine are 50% off. We’ve pulled out all available copies, so what is in stock is what we have. Use code 50/50 on checkout. (If you were a prior contributor who received a code for your issue, you can use both codes together in the same order.) Shipping not included.

And don’t forget we are looking for 2 Poetry Feedback editors!

And finally, feedback submissions reopen on the 15th of July. Received quality feedback from one of our editors and help support our being a paid market!

Typehouse Positions Open for Issue 23, September 2021

Poetry Feedback Editors – 2
Prose Feedback Editors – possibly 1 depending on submission flow.

No other positions currently open
Email typehouse (at)typehousemagazine.com
Editor Responsibilities:
Read and provide feedback
Edit selected submissions for print in the magazine
Proof finished magazine before going to print

All positions will run through the end of September 2021, and can then be continued for further reading periods to be decided each time. Sadly, this is a for the love of it project, as we are still working to bring up our pay to contributors. However, letters of recommendation, summaries of work performed, and paperwork for using for college requirements and jobs are gladly provided.

Time commitment will vary, but is very part time. The first six weeks are a probationary period to ensure that it will be a good fit for everyone, and that keeping up with the responsibilities will work.

Guidelines for Submission Reading.
We use Submittable for our submission process. http://submittable.com/. It’s very easy to use, and we will help you to become familiar with it.

Feedback Editors (2 Poetry, possibly 1 Prose):
Read feedback submissions, starting with the oldest, and provide feedback. Read “Maybe” submissions and weigh in with your opinion. Readers will be expected to provide feedback on at three submissions a week, as well as weigh in on “Maybe” submissions. (We do ask that you have experience with writing feedback for prose pieces, and we will ask for sample feedback on a test piece.)

Submission responses will be tallied, and EIC will stay in contact. Weeks off for travel or work can be arranged. All editors will be expected to help proof submissions as the end of the period in order to prepare the magazine for going to print.

If you are interested in this position send an email to typehouse(at) typehousemagazine(dot)com. Include information on your experience with creative writing, writer’s groups, providing feedback, etc., and whether the time and reading period commitment required will work for you.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Issue 22 is live!

You can download and order it here! https://typehousemagazine.com/current/

Featuring:

Fiction by:
Ryan Doskocil, Sara Herchenroether, Jessica Evans, Esem Junior, Brittany J. Smith, Wendy Elizabeth Wallace, Christopher Barker, Naira Wilson, David Evan Krebs, Nathan Alling Long, Preeti Vangani, and Michael Williamson.

Creative Nonfiction by:
Alessandra Davy-Falconi, Amy Whiting, and Kimberly Moore.

Poetry by:
Anthony DiPietr, Leanne Drapeau, Julie Allyn Johnson, Molly Williams, Khushi Daryan, Maria Ceferatti, Joanna Cleary, Nate Maxson, C. J. Trotter, and Danielle Fleming.

Visual Art by:
E.E. King, Mark Lee Webb, Megan Denese Mealor, Denny E. Marshall, Joanne Bolling, and Jim Ross.

(Note: For this issue we are using Blurb, but it might shift in a couple of months. All that will mean for you is the link to order might change – all issues will remain the same!)

Writing History, Writing Fiction

Lorin Lee Cary

The following is a guest post by Lorin Lee Cary, whose photography appeared issue 21 of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

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Our view of the past is shaped by the questions we ask of it. As an historian I ferreted out details, pondered the evidence, deduced motivations from actions taken, and then presented my findings. I co-authored two books and wrote numerous articles, but always knew that the story was incomplete. At times characters spoke directly in primary sources (ones created at the time) such as diaries, letters, and court records, but huge gaps remained in the record. As a result, the view of one corner of the past remained incomplete and too often lacked emotional content.

I had no experience writing fiction until I worked with a company creating a computer game based on Dante’s Inferno. I’d been hired to develop historical background materials to enhance “the feel” of the project, but the head of the company liked my reports and said “write a draft of the story.” It was an exhilarating experience. I read Dante closely and imagined the descent into hell as a game. 

For a time after that experience I believed fiction required only imagination. After I joined the Cambria Writers’ Workshop I quickly learned that much more was involved. Point of view. A realistic setting. Plausible characters. A story arc. Active writing. Believable dialogue.

And so on. 

Historians work with an incomplete and fragmented record to get as close to what happened as possible. Fiction writers do research as well, particularly when dealing with the past, but they can create certainty and even introduce dialogue where none has been recorded in the historical documents. 

I found this to be an enormous freedom. One historical study I co-authored took 25 years. Research for The Custer Conspiracy (a humorous historical novel set in the present) took nowhere near as long. I steeped myself in the details of Custer’s reality, and then let my imagination run rampant. Custer aficionados didn’t appreciate the result, but I had lots of fun. My novella California Dreaming required even less research because I wasn’t dealing with an historical figure. In both cases, I learned that whereas I’d previously often had to deduce motivation or relationships, now I could invent them and let the characters have at it.

Questions drove my study of the past, and often that’s the case with the fiction I write too. I once overheard someone say “I was saved four times because I didn’t think it took.” That set off a quarter-ponder and resulted in my story “Saved.” After a critic lambasted someone for overusing clichés, I wondered what it would be like if a character spoke only in clichés—which led to “Silver Lining.” And so on.

The bottom line is that while historical writing and fiction writing are different, both require research and imagination. Enjoy the ride. 

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Lorin Lee Cary once taught Social History at the University of Toledo, wrote historical works and co-authored Slavery In North Carolina, 1748-1776 and No Strength Without Union: An Illustrated History of Ohio Workers, 1803-1980. Both won awards. He also served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Now he creates fictional cause and effect relationships. The Custer Conspiracy, a humorous historical novel set in the present, is one result, the novella California Dreaming, a meta fiction venture, another. Short stories and flash fiction pieces have appeared in Torrid LiteratureCigale Literary MagazinedecomP magazinELit.cat and Short Story, as well as in a couple of now defunct journals. (He did not cause their demise.) Other fiction is being considered by overworked editors. He is also a prize-winning photographer.

From So Little, a Shining Heart

The following is a guest post by Jayne Marek, whose photo “Bright Kelp Cosmos” appeared on the cover of issue 21 of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

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Lying face-down on the dock, I stared into a shallow pond edged with ice. It was February. The surface of the water reflected low winter light. Underneath, plants, leaves, sticks, stones, and bubbles created multiple layers of interest; there were even insects. I hung onto my camera—no dunking!—and tried to capture this complexity.

I was at an artist’s retreat in a remote location, with plenty of solitude to think, write, and take pictures. Back in my room, I sat down with my laptop to consider the pictures I’d taken. It was one thing to adjust exposure to emphasize clouds, shadows, and landforms; it was another to coax depth and definition out of a photo with limited lighting. But I wanted to try a particular tactic. A family friend had told me how he arrived at an abstract image after photographing a stream: he repeatedly cropped and adjusted one picture until a shape emerged that he hadn’t fully noticed.

Simple as it was, that process of discovery seized my imagination. I realized that I could train myself to see designs that an initial glance might miss. And I remembered being intrigued by designs in some of my husband’s photographs—angles and shapes that I had overlooked, say in the green geometry of topiary at a French château, or a boat’s sail almost intersecting a distant sloped roof. I wondered what additional imagery I could find in my shots of the pond.

Photo editors at the time had limited capabilities, and I have never learned any professional programs to engineer sophisticated changes or overlays. Still, with patience, I began to see unexpected colors emerge from the dim subject matter. Sticks and leaves could become abstract masses if I played with overexposure or different sequences of contrast and tone. Snowflakes on ice could be tweaked to resemble constellations. An underwater stub suddenly glowed yellow, a rock’s gnarled heart shone blue.

Ever since, I have learned to ask what else any photograph might reveal. Even the most unpromising might be persuaded to show colors or patterns that break free of simple representation. Light is a trickster, as is water. When I shoot into bodies of water, I know I will always be surprised by some of the results. My cover for Typehouse #21 began with what appear to be drab fronds of kelp and sea lettuce in a tidepool; I was delighted when my experiments brought out shining blue and green shapes, thin blue tracings, red accents, and flecks of dust like stars.

This is why we create art—to surprise ourselves most of all. We write, paint, sculpt, collage, compose, dance to make something out of our inescapable solitude. Now that we are coming out of a year of enforced separation, I appreciate the reminder that our solitary times can push us, sometimes, to flourish.

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Jayne Marek has provided color cover art for Typehouse, Chestnut ReviewSilk Road, Bombay Gin, Amsterdam Quarterly’s 2018 Yearbook, The Bend, and her recent poetry books In and Out of Rough Water (2017), The Tree Surgeon Dreams of Bowling (2018), and Dusk-Voiced (2021). Her writings and art photos appear in One, Eclectica, Salamander, QWERTY, Folio, Gulf Stream, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Grub Street, Spillway, The Cortland Review, The Lake, Bellevue Literary Review, Camas, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere. Instagram: @jayne.s.world

Announcement

Typehouse is undergoing some exciting changes, but that means we are closing to all written submissions until some point in June 2021 to allow us to put them into place. All submissions currently under consideration will receive a response, and Issue 22 will be out in June. Keep an eye out for when we start our announcements!

My Dance With Gombo

Martha Darr headshot

The following is a guest post by Martha Darr, whose poetry appeared in issue 21 of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

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Since childhood, I have been enchanted by words and sounds. I studied foreign languages, played music throughout my years in college, and did field work in various parts of the world as a graduate student. I was sure that I would be among the anointed for a lifelong career in academia. But gradually, I began to face up to a reality – my love for verbal expression belonged in the arts. Poetry found me.

After my focus shifted to the artistic, I was surprised by how comfortable it felt. No guilt or remorse for “not being able to hack it in academia,” just a sense of contentment that I had found my way back home. I could let personal feelings surface in a creative way. As if awakened from a deep sleep, I started attending all the book festivals, conferences and workshops that I could find – anything that I thought might be relevant and would not destroy my bank account. My educational training in African Diaspora Studies also traveled with me and has been a great assist in numerous ways.

When I began to write the poem “Gombo Exaltation,” which appears in Typehouse, I felt a tug. I have always enjoyed eating this amazing dish, usually associated with Louisiana Creole and Cajun cooking, but wondered why it was often, but not always, written as “gumbo.” I decided to go with the variant spelling as part of the title in order to pay homage to a source that has played a less well known role in its history.

During the time of slavery, when blacks were taken to the Americas from West Africa and the Angola-Congo Basin areas, they also brought parts of their culture with them. As one linguistic example among many, the word for okra – a key ingredient in gombo – is kingombo in Kimbundu, a Bantu language spoken in Angola. (Dicionário Kimbundu Português, n.d., pg 132). It’s not too difficult to imagine that the languages in these regions were probably a source for the name of the vegetable, and by extension the dish, regularly consumed in Louisiana as well as other parts of the Americas where similar dishes are prepared.

In addition, the use of the term Holy Trinity refers to three ingredients in the stew, and is familiar to folks who regularly cook and eat it. However, I also chose to include it in the poem as a way to set a reverential tone echoed by a praise and prayer-like closing.

I enjoy focusing on something key in a culture and combining it with the music of rhythm, repetition and metaphor. My goal overall is to compose the kind of poems I hope will stay with the reader, linger a bit. Fortunately, we still live in a time when diverse cultural elements can be blended to make fresh art. It is a privilege to present this kind of work to an appreciative audience. Writing can be an out-of-body experience for me. I never take it for granted.

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Martha Darr is a poet and literary translator.  Her work has appeared in such publications as Typehouse, Star*Line, Fiyah, Penumbra Literature and Art, Exterminating Angel Press, Journal of American Folklore, and a bilingual anthology Knocking On The Door of The White House: Latina and Latino Poets in Washington, D.C.  Martha has received various kinds of funding, including a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

No Objections to Objective Correlatives

Pernille AEgidius Dake

The following is a guest post by Pernille AEgidius Dake, whose short story “Where I Sit” appeared in issue 21 of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

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‘The book is used as an effective objective correlative’ wrote my teacher on a copy of my story now titled ‘Where I Sit.’ Notes from a prior fiction workshop reminded me that an objective correlative defines a particular emotion out of an object, situation, or (chain of) events and then re-evokes the sentiment somewhere else in the story. These were not facts I recalled even subconsciously, I think. The application of Adam Haslett’s novel in my short story was dumb luck; I thought I was experimenting with metaphor.

In Imagine Me Gone, a work of fiction by Adam Haslett, two family members out of five lose out to their battle with depression and commit suicide, leaving the two surviving siblings and the mother to reconcile with the pain. They overcome their grief tenaciously and hauntingly so.

Still, the title led me to imagine a more common, and in most cases, more mellow departure: a breakup. Splits won’t fully take until the breakee gets past being jilted. The (kind) wish of the breaker, or narrator, to not only be gone—but to be forgotten—is expressed in the novel’s title. In the opening of my story, the narrator reads Imagine Me Gone, then the book is also reopened in the end—adding a symbolic play with how the fictitious family suffers real pain, not the narrator. The opportunity to play with the book’s spine and the narrator leaning her back against the bench’s backrest was a bonus.

The support (pardon the pun) of an objective correlative struck me like I’d been given free limitless rides to an amusement park’s bumper cars. The writerly craft gave the story a reference, a definition, like the lip of the floor where the cars race, and within that perimeter, I could spin about and hit everything in sight (many drafts were true bouncing-around-rides with word counts to rival rush hour in Beijing). The Imagine Me Gone-sensibility framed the story and made it easier—I should say safer—to explore: to envision how my two protagonists had loved and squandered, mostly squandered, and misunderstood not just each other, but…. Always will there be misreads: when did who really stray in what parts of the relationship? It comes naturally and seems customary to blame the breaker for all the pain that went before; the last break calls out and sums up all the misery that can rip through a couple’s time together, shakily and deafening.

It’s impossible to hear who’s truly to blame—that relies wholly on perspective! The objective correlative made it easier to make both characters ambiguous, then anchor them to the bench.

Thank you to Typehouse for not benching this story.

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Danish-born Pernille AEgidius Dake was a finalist for Glimmer Train Press 2014 New Writer Award as well as december’s 2015 Curt Johnson Prose Award and has been published in Skirt!, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Glassworks Magazine, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Dime Show Review, and elsewhere. She is an MFA Candidate in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.