Skip to content

How Do You Spell Yemassee? Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y

Since 1993, students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of South Carolina have produced Yemassee literary journal.

In little more than a generation, Yemassee has thrust itself into the national spotlight, becoming not only a community anchor by hosting events and readings around the Columbia area, but also establishing a presence at national writing conferences and allowing its students access to literary professionals around the country.

Yemassee runs three annual contests, awarding prizes for the best poem and best short story. The annual Chapbook Contest awards $1,000 and publication to a poetry chapbook.

Published twice a year, one issue is always devoted to the contest winners. The second issue is not themed. Recent authors include a mix of new and established writers.

According to the rag’s Facebook page, “notable writers who have been published in this journal include James Dickey, Susan Ludvigson, Robert Coover, Virgil Suarez, William Price Fox, Kwame Dawes, Ron Rash, Nikky Finney, and many others.”

You can purchase a printed back issue for $5, or subscribe for one year for $10 (two issues) or two years for $18 (four issues).

To purchase an issue or subscribe, click here.

Interested in having your work appear in Yemassee? They accept submissions year ’round. It’s free to submit, or you can pay $3 for an expedited response.

Yemassee accepts flash fiction and nonfiction up to 1,000 words; fiction and nonfiction up to 5,000 words; and 3-5 poems per submission.

There’s no better way to figure out what Yemassee editors like than to read a few back issues. That said, they do offer some general guidelines on their website.

They prefer poems that “give us reason to pause, poems that shake something loose from the ether and ask us to come closer, press against them with a listening ear.  We want poems that leap somewhere strange and take us along.  We want lines that strike and flash, that haunt us when we’re alone.”

The editors prefer prose that is “honest, insightful, bold or funny. We look for fiction that asks questions and attempts to navigate the human experience. Prose stands out when it is engaging, both in tone and pace, and when it uses language in a compelling way.”

To submit, click here.

Along with Facebook, Yemassee is on Twitter and Instagram.

2018 Conroy Legacy Award Winner: Kwame Alexander

From our friends at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance:

COLUMBIA, SC–Kwame Alexander, the Virginia-based poet, educator, and New York Times bestselling author, has been selected as the first recipient of the Conroy Legacy Award.

Created in honor of the example set by the beloved Southern author Pat Conroy, the Conroy Legacy Award was established in 2017 to recognize writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community, demonstrating support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general, writing that focuses significantly on their home place, and support of other writers, especially new and emerging authors.

“I met Pat once,” said Alexander on being informed of his selection, “He was witty, connected, caring, and a brilliant storyteller–as much in person as he was on the page. He was all the things a writer should want to be. All the things I’ve wanted to be. I am filled with wonderment and humbled deeply to be honored in his remembrance.”

Kwame Alexander was chosen to be the first Conroy Legacy Award winner by a jury of Southern independent booksellers. Alexander is the author of twenty-four books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages and believes poetry can change the world.

“Kwame Alexander is at the forefront when it comes to mentoring the next generation of writers, not just in the US but worldwide,” says Hillary Barrineau, of Hooray 4 Books in Alexandria, Virginia. “He won a Newbery Award [2015], which means not only The Crossover but also many of his other twenty-three books (essays, collections, poetry, and novels) are in every school and library in the US. Notably, they are set in Virginia, where he was born and raised, but clearly resonate with readers everywhere.

“When he visits schools across the country, he makes a point of coordinating when possible with the local indie bookstores to provide the books at his events. The year he won the Newbery, he attended our bookstore’s ‘Grand Expansion Party,’ driving here directly from his daughter’s wedding earlier that day.”

Alexander also spearheads the Page to Stage Writing Workshop, which has created more than 3,000 student authors in nearly seventy schools in the US, Canada, and Caribbean, and he recently led a delegation of twenty writers and activists to Ghana, where they built and stocked a library and trained 300 teachers to promote literacy in that country.

“We are thrilled to have Kwame Alexander as our first Conroy Legacy Award recipient,” said SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell. “He is exactly the kind of writer the award seeks to honor. Our booksellers love his books, his support of independent bookstores is well known, his commitment to his own community and to fostering a love of writing and literature–especially among young people–is legendary. I think Pat Conroy would be very pleased.”

Both a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and a donation to a literary entity close to the heart of the writer will be made in the name of the Legacy Award recipient.

National Book Awards Longlists

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781476714851The 68th National Book Awards have announced the longlists in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.

Two authors based in Durham are among the finalists: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean and The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson, both in the category of Nonfiction.

Other Southern notables include Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied, Sing in the category of Fiction.

Finalist will be announced on October 4. The winners will be announced at an awards gala on November 15.

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a non-profit organization. Each year, the Foundation selects a total of twenty Judges, including five in each of the four Award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. Historically, Judges are published writers who are known to be doing great work in their genre or field, and in some cases, are past NBA Finalists or Winners.

Each panel reads all of the books submitted in their category over the course of the summer. This number typically ranges from 150 titles (Poetry) to upwards of 500 titles (Nonfiction). The NBA began announcing a Longlist in 2013.

Finalist receives a prize of $1,000, a medal, and a citation from the panel at a private Medal Ceremony. Immediately following the Medal Alice Walker, 1983Ceremony, all twenty Finalists read from their nominated books at the Finalists Reading. The four Winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature are announced the following evening at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, where each Winner receives $10,000 and a bronze sculpture.

For more information, click here.

Join us Saturday for the NCPS Fall Meeting

Every September, we look forward to having a presence at the annual Fall meeting of the North Carolina Poetry Society in Southern Pines.

This year’s event takes place Saturday, September 16, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities. Registration begins at 9:15 am, and the meeting will be called to order at 10:00 am.

It’s always an honor to present the winner and finalists of the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. This year’s winning poem, “Relics of the Great Acceleration,” by Lisa Zerkle, will be read by Alice Osborn. First Runner-Up Eric Smith will also read.

Alice is the Vice President of NCPS; she is also the Secretary for the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Writers’ Network and a longtime regional rep for Wake County. It’s hard to imagine a better representative for the Network on Saturday than Alice, and we’re grateful.

Other programming includes readings from the winner and finalists of the Brockman Campbell Book Award—including NCWN members Alan Michael Parker and Katherine Soniat, as well as NCWN trustee Julie Funderburk.

NCPS will also host a tribute to North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Kathryn Stripling Byer and Susan Laughter Myers; a catered lunch; and a reading in the afternoon by Philip Shabazz.

The Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities houses the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. It also hosts Writers-in-Residence, and serves as a beautiful event space throughout the year.

For more information about the NCPS Fall Meeting, click here. It is open to the public for a reasonable fee.

Teach.Write: Where Good Writing Is Never an Afterthought

“Writing for publication should be a top priority for every composition teacher at every educational level,” says Katie Winkler, founder and publisher of the new literary journal Teach.Write. “Doing so reminds us of what a struggle good writing is—to find an idea, narrow it down, compose, revise, edit, proofread, and most of all, become vulnerable to criticism.”

Teach.Write is a lit mag featuring writers that are or have ever been writing instructors at a college, university, public school, or through any continuing education program.

The inaugural issue launched September 1. A PDF version is available for free; readers may also order a print version.

The maiden voyage of Teach.Write features poets Brenda Kay Ledford, Kenneth Pobo, and David Radavich; fiction by Tom Hooker and Bill Vernon; and nonfiction by Tamra Wilson, among others.

Teach.Write accepts flash fiction under 1,000 words; short fiction under 5,000 words; poetry up to 100 lines; and creative nonfiction up to 2,000 words. Submissions for the Spring, 2018 issue open October 1. For complete submission info, click here.

Writing teachers stop writing themselves for many reasons: fatigue from grading papers and editing other people’s work; lack of time; fear of rejection. But Katie Winkler, who also serves as co-rep of the Henderson County regional group of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, argues that none of these are reasons to quit writing.

Our own writing should never be an afterthought. And good writing is the standard of excellence for this new, necessary literary journal out of Western North Carolina.

Visit Teach.Write on the web at www.heymrswinkler.com/teach-write.

Arts as Integral to our Everyday: Chautauqua

The Chautauqua Institution on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state is a community that “celebrates, encourages, and studies the arts and treats them as integral to all of learning.”

Every summer, this community that has has received awards and recognition for heritage, sustainability, and management of the local environment hosts opera, symphony, theatre, dance, visual arts, and more. Grounding it all is a fundamental belief that “everyday life should integrate leisure, education, fine arts, and spirituality.”

Chautauqua literary journal is an off-shoot of the instituion and reflects the same core beliefs, a way of life that “encompasses all of the ways we enrich our lives: learning on vacation, leisure in work, and passion for art and life in all activities.”

Published annually not as a standard literary journal but more like a high-quality book, Chautauqua produces themed issues offering poems, short stories, personal essays, and flash prose pieces. Recent writers include Robert Cording, Cristina Garcia, Charlotte Matthews, Gerardo Mena, Christopher Merrill, Anna Scotti, and Ashley Warlick.

Chautauqua has two reading periods: Feb 15 – April 15 and August 15 – November 15. The magazine also offers an annual Editor’s Prize. Flash Fiction and Micro Essays should be under 750 words; longer prose has a max word count of 7,000 words; and poets may submit up to three poems. Click here for the full submission guidelines, and to submit.

How does a community in New York state produce a literary magazine in coastal North Carolina?

In 2007, the Writers’ Center and Department of Education at Chautauqua Institution partnered with the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Each year a group of graduate and undergraduate students work as members of the editorial team. They read and discuss submissions, fact check and edit, search for art, and participate in the artistic process of building a book.

Chautauqua will launch its new issue, “Invention and Discovery,” on Thursday, September 21, at 6:00 pm at the Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th St., in Wilmington. The event is free and open to the public.

Visit them on the web at www.chq.org/season/literary-arts/literary-journal or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

September 6 is National Read a Book Day

You can make the argument that every day is “Read a Book Day,” because, as writers, we need to be constantly reading both inside and outside of our chosen genre(s). But today, you can really let your freak flag fly and read books in public without shame: it’s “National Read a Book Day.”

While this may sound like a made-up holiday—one of 1,500 national holidays we might choose to celebrate in any given calendar year—it’s still one worth recognizing.

So, if you need an excuse to ignore that pile of laundry, that inbox overflowing with e-mails, or your knee-high lawn, grab a book and read for as many hours as you’d like. It’s your day. Read silently to yourself; read to a child or loved one; read to your houseplants.

And if you’re so inclined, let the world know how you’re partying with book in hand by using the hashtag #NationalReadaBookDay.

Are you between books? Why not pick up the newest titles from our Master Class instructors at our upcoming Fall Conference, November 3-5, in Wrightsville Beach?

It’s a special day. Let’s celebrate.

NCWN at Bookmarks on September 9

The signing lines started early in 2016

For staffers here at the Network, the second Saturday in September marks the unnofficial beginning of Fall.

For years now, we’ve had a booth at Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors. Memories abound. There was the afternoon tempest that washed away all the exhibitor booths several years ago. There was blinding heat, last year, which sent exhibitors cowering beneath the shade of our tents like vampires afraid of the sun.

There have also been amazing talks by Lev Grossman, Robert Morgan, Jason Mott, and many, many more. And it’s a relaxed way to catch up at length with old friends.

Rain or shine, Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors always turns out to be one of the most fun days of the year.

The 2017 festival happens September 7-10. Saturday, September 9, offers a free, all-day event outside the Rhodes Center for the Arts in Downtown Winston-Salem.

Our Executive Director, Ed Southern, will moderate two Slush Pile Live! panels, at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm on the Downtown Stage, with esteemed editors Steven Kirk (formerly of John F. Blair, Publisher), Robin Miura (Carolina Wren Press), and Julia Smith (Bull City Press). Slush Pile Live! lets editors respond to anonymous submissions read out loud, as if they had come across the submission in an slush pile. (We host something similar every year at our Spring Conference.) Always a rolickin’ good time!

At 12:15 pm in the Calvary Moravian Sanctuary, Ed will moderate a panel celebrating fifty years of the North Carolina Arts Council, featuring North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductees Allan Gurganus and Jaki Shelton Green, and bestselling author Jill McCorkle.

Other highlights include:

  • A Flash Fiction Workshop with Greensboro author Steve Cushman at 1:30 pm on the second floor of the Rhodes Center (free, but registration required)
  • A “Fictional Retellings” panel at 10:45 am in the Rhodes Center with friends of the Network John Claude Bemis, Charlie Lovett, and Stephanie Powell Watts
  • North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Margaret Maron in the Calvary Moravian Sanctuary at 3:45 pm
  • And a whole lot more!

For the complete schedule, click here.

The Network will have a booth—Booth 29, to be exact, along Spruce Street. We’d love to chat with you. If you’re around in the morning, be sure to stop by and introduce yourself to our new membership coordinator, Deonna Kelli Sayed!

For more information about Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors, click here.

Announcing Recipients of NCAC Artist Fellowship Awards

Trace Ramsey

The North Carolina Arts Council has announced the recipients of the 2017–2018 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the categories of literature, musical composition, and songwriting. These nineteen artists will receive $10,000 to support creative development and the creation of new work.

In the interest of space, we’ll list the literary recipients below, but if you’d like to see the full list, click here.

In alphabetical order:

Bryn Chancellor, Charlotte
“Among my abiding interests as a reader and a writer are stories about characters who tend to go unnoticed, both in the world and in literature: those who live in marginal places, who are overworked, whose daily lives are, on the surface, ordinary” says writer Bryn Chancellor. “Those are the voices I am most interested in putting on the page.” Her books include When Are You Coming Home?: Stories, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and Sycamore: A Novel, which received a pick of the week designation from Publisher’s Weekly. She received a 2015 Jentel Artist Residency, Banner, Wyoming; a 2014–15 Literary Arts Fellowship, Alabama State Council on the Arts; a 2004 David R. Sokolov Scholarship, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference; and a 2004 Tennessee Williams Scholarship, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, among others. www.brynchancellor.com.

Elisabeth Lewis Corley, Pittsboro
“Like most poets, poetry for me remains a practice,” says writer Elisabeth Lewis Corley. “I work in more than one form, but it is poetry that is in some ways the most elemental and the most demanding. Work that emerges through that practice comes from the most central concerns, often arising from the unconscious. Without that element, I don’t trust it.” Corley’s work has appeared in Cold Mountain Review, New Haven Review, mahmag.org, BigCity Lit, Feminist Studies, Southern Poetry Review, and Carolina Quarterly. A great deal of her work in recent years has come out of wrestling with war, specifically her father’s experiences in Vietnam and the experiences of her family around his military service. www.piedmontperformancefactory.org.

Mark Cox, Wilmington
“Poetry, for me—art, generally—is a reckoning with time,” says poet Mark Cox. “An understanding of the self within time and perhaps, ultimately, some reconciliation with it.” Cox’s volumes of poetry include Smoulder, Thirty-Seven Years from the Stone, Natural Causes, and Sorrow Bread: Poems 1984-2015. Readiness, a new book of prose poems, is slated for release in 2018. Cox has a 30-year publication history in prominent magazines, and has received a Whiting Writers Award and a Pushcart Prize, among others. “It goes without saying that rhythm, syntax and sound should be inseparable from meaning,” he says. “One seeks that elusive treasure—the poem that exists as a beautifully made object, but which seen, and heard, from the right angle becomes transparent—an emotional and psychological experience transcending its construction.” www.markcoxpoet.com.

Angela Davis-Gardner, Raleigh
“My subject is past trauma–either in a character’s childhood or in an historical event (the bombing of Hiroshima)–and its crippling effect on the present,” says author Angela Davis-Gardner. “My aim is to portray characters’ emotions in the most accurate words possible.” Her two most recent novels, Butterfly’s Child and Plum Wine, had their inception in her life-long interest in Japanese culture and Japanese-American relations. Her other novels include Forms of Shelter, which won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and Felice. In 1982, Davis-Gardner received the first fellowship award granted to a writer of fiction by the N.C. Arts Council; this marks her second award. www.angeladavisgardner.com.

Patrice Gopo, Charlotte
“We live in a time when many in society seek to confront issues of racial injustice and acknowledge the presence of global hierarchies,” says writer Patrice Gopo. “Writing personal essays becomes a way for me to engage in these discussions and consider the way movement, migration, and injustice impact identity formation.” A black Jamaican American who grew up in a predominantly white environment, Gopo gathers reflections and images from her life, and looks for intersection points of the personal with the larger culture in which she exists. Her essays have appeared in a number of publications, including online in The New York Times and The Washington Post. www.patricegopo.com.

Rebecca Gummere, Sugar Grove
Rebecca Gummere calls herself a “professional wonderer” to describe her calling as a writer of creative nonfiction. “When I was 12, I discovered the short stories of Ray Bradbury and the sonnets of William Shakespeare. It was as if someone had pulled back a veil on a secret world,” she says. “Hundreds of books, authors, and decades later, I still feel that sense of astonishment at the beauty and power of language to illuminate the human story with all its big questions and small sacred events.” Gummere’s essay, “Cooper’s Heart,” on dealing with the loss of her infant son, was published in O, The Oprah Magazine, and will be included in the forthcoming anthology, O’s Little Guide to the Big Questions, to be published January, 2018. Her stories, “The Transit of Venus” and “The Departure,” were each nominated for a Pushcart Prize. www.rebeccagummere.com.

Allison Hutchcraft, Charlotte
“My work looks outward to the natural world, particularly to animals and the expansive spaces of meadows and oceans, as well as inward to the landscape of the mind,” says poet Allison Hutchcraft. “Anchoring my poems is a desire to see beyond surfaces—to encounter the thing itself, as well as its creative possibilities.” Hutchcraft’s poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, The Cincinnati Review, Barrow Street, the Beloit Poetry Journal, American Letters & Commentary, West Branch, and other journals. She has been awarded scholarships from the Tin House Writers Workshop, Key West Literary Seminar, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and received a 2016 Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council for the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. www.allisonhutchcraft.com.

Alison Mauldin, Charlotte
“Since childhood, I’ve been drawn to creative pursuits,” says screenwriter Alison Mauldin, “but writing stories is the one constant in my life.” Mauldin has been a writer and producer of short films and promotional videos for organizations including Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, and has also performed the roles of make-up artist and costume designer for films and plays. She spent several years as a teaching artist for StageWorks Theatre/Creative Kids in Charlotte, but it was only recently that she decided to get serious about screenwriting. She was a fellow at the 2016 Sundance Screenwriting Intensive in Charlotte for her screenplay, Youthless, and made it to the second round of the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition for Missy that same year. www.alisonrmauldin.com.

Travis Mulhauser

Travis Mulhauser, Durham
“My fiction tends to center on startling events in small towns where poverty, addiction, and isolation are at the root of most conflicts,” says writer Travis Mulhauser. After writing Greetings from Cutler County: a novella and stories, his novel Sweetgirl was named an Indie Next Pick, was one of Ploughshares Best Books of the New Year, was longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Award, and was #2 on Harper’s List of Best Debuts of Spring. It has since been published/translated in the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, and Brazil. Mulhauser names Ron Rash, Lewis Nordan, Michael Parker, and Kaye Gibbons as his biggest influences. “I write,” he says, “simply because I feel the day has been wasted if I do not!” www.travismulhauser.com.

Trace Ramsey, Durham
“I am drawn to experimental and lyrical memoirists such as Eula Biss and Maggie Nelson,” says writer Trace Ramsey. “But unlike them, I do not have a background in writing, so my style is unorthodox.” Ramsey says he writes in “lightly-tethered vignettes” that both stand alone and flow with a larger body of work. “The vignettes come from all periods in my life and appear in any order that makes sense to me,” he explains. “For example, I break the linear structure and reassemble the stories of my life to make my grandparents, parents, and children into intergenerational peers.” He has written two books, Good Luck Not Dying and All I Want to Do is Live: A Collection of Creative Nonfiction, which earned the 2016 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize from the North Carolina Literary Review. He received the 2015 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant in Literature from the Durham Arts Council. www.traceramsey.com.

Eric Smith, Carrboro
“My favorite poems are poems of permission—the poems that say “yes” to a new order of thinking, that affirm alternative ways of constructing or reflecting a world, that spark in me some sense that I am seeing what I’ve always known in an entirely new way,” says poet Eric Smith. His work has been published in the Indiana Review, The New Criterion, Southwest Review, and the Best New Poets 2010 anthology. He has received scholarships from Convivio and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and is a founding editor of the text-message poetry journal cellpoems. “I feel that my work is at a number of thresholds,” Smith says, “between experiments in both formal and free verse, between the comic tone of my earlier work and the more serious (but still playful) components of the newer work, between my family’s origins in rural Georgia and my own present as an intellectual removed from that place and its history.”

Julie Steinbacher, Raleigh
“Much of my work centers on relationships and identity—finding the self, losing the self, and accepting the self, peripheral to one’s romantic or familial ties,” says writer Julie Steinbacher. “Relationships are one of the most human topics, regardless of whether they involve people, post-human characters like androids or cyborgs, artificial intelligences, or non-human characters.” Steinbacher’s “The Pokémon Game” was a finalist for the 2016 James Hurst Prize for fiction. “Collectors” was a finalist in Beecher’s Magazine’s fiction contest, and “Chimeras” (originally published in Escape Pod, February 21, 2015) was recognized as a Notable Story in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016. “What does being in the body mean, and what could it mean in a future where bodies may be constructed, or may become obsolete?” Steinbacher asks. “How do we live as our fullest, truest selves when those identities may cost us our livelihood or even our lives?” www.julie-steinbacher.com.

Julie Zografos, Statesville
“I’m interested in voice and muteness; in the ways we process loss,” says screenwriter Julie Zografos. “I think as kids, we’ve all experienced the ground falling away suddenly. We’ve all felt that tiny flame inside us gutter, try to stay lit, while the world crashes around us.” Zografos’ feature length screenplay, Dark Quarry, is adapted from her poetry and tells the story of a defiant mute girl, and a boy, haunted by guilt after his brother’s death, struggling with loss, violence, and redemption in a North Carolina tobacco town in 1963. She received the Henry Hoyns Fellowship in poetry writing from the University of Virginia, where she studied and taught under U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. She’s also a Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Fellow, and received a B.F.A. in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. As an undergraduate, she wrote and directed What Remains, which received a Directors Guild of America Jury Award, and went on to be a finalist for the Student Academy Awards®.

The Sun: Independent, Reader-Supported

The Sun, produced in Chapel Hill, recently published its 500th issue (August, 2017). Inside, they devoted “more than half our pages” to excerpts from the archives—as much to offer up historical perspective on the current divisions in our country as to showcase its long tradition of excellence.

The response was so overwhelmingly positive, this special section will continue to be a regular part of the magazine for the forseeable future.

There’s perhaps no North Carolina publication better positioned to offer perspective on the state of our nation than The Sun, which produced its first issue in January, 1974. Billed then as a “magazine of ideas,” The Sun today is a 501(c)(3) non-profit “independent, ad-free magazine.” Over the past forty years, The Sun has established itself as a purveyor of thoughtful writing, penetrating journalism, and a showcase for the creative literary arts.

The entirety of its archives was recently made available to subscribers as part of an overall revamp of their website. This incredible vault makes the yearly subscription fee of $42 (for twelve print issues) seem eminently reasonable.

Another fun, suprisingly moving thing to do, which this author discovered by accident, is to open up the archives and scroll slowly through the cover images. Make sure some kind of lyric-based, emotional music plays in the background (I highly recommend Blind Pilot’s “Packed Powder”). It also helps if its raining outside a little bit.

What occurs is a musical montage for our nation. The photography is simply amazing: portraits, natural forces, and objects of regional fascination are sprinkled with images that seem to capture fleeting moments, that reveal life as it is lived.

Samples are available online. Past contributors include fiction by Joseph Bathanti, Brock Clarke, and Debbie Urbanski; poetry by Ellen Bass, Alan Michael Parker, and Mark Smith-Soto; and “essays, memoir, and true stories” by Brian Doyle, David Guy, and Joy Hewett, among many others.

Recent featured articles include examinations of race, faith, and resistance; living faith; and an interview with Noam Chomsky.

The Sun, with over 70,000 readers, is a paying market for writers. While there’s no minimum word count, they rarely publish anything longer than 7,000 words. Click here for the full submission guidelines, rate info, and more.

Visit The Sun’s website at www.thesunmagazine.org; or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.