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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.

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