issue two, “alchemies”, is live!

Now that the April frenzy is over, we finally had time to… well, what do you do after you get your ducks in a row? Knock them over? Feed them bread crumbs? Whatever it is, we managed to do it this weekend, and muscle through to get Issue Two live. This is our first themed issue, on the subject “Alchemies”, so we weren’t sure what to expect; but the submissions pile was full of pleasant surprises and interpretations on the theme, with settings from the fantastic to the ordinary and styles from the conversational to the ecstatic. We also got visual art submissions, which we were thrilled to see, and hope those will continue in the future.

Please click the “current issue” button at the top of the page to get to the works by, *ahem*, Sylvia Ashby, Susan Chast, Gabrielle Freeman, Nicole Nicholson, Sara Norja, Francine Rubin, Scott T. Starbuck, John Vieira, and Barbara Young. And while you’re clicking up there, you ought to think about clicking “submission guidelines” as well, since we are still reading for the next issue until 10 June! We thank you all for your continued support, and hope that you’ll help us grow this little corner of the blogosphere into something truly special. Cheers and enjoy!

extending the deadline…

Hey all!

In case you’re not aware, Tessa and I have been pretty nuttily doing NaPoWriMo daily challenges for the month of April, she at her blog and I at mine, which means this blog has been a bit quiet. BUT, that doesn’t mean we aren’t reading your submissions and craftily plotting the release of our next issue in about a week.

First of all, we are looking to finish sending responses for what we’ve received already by tomorrow or Saturday. So if you did submit to Alchemies and haven’t heard yet, please stay tuned.

However, the slush pile was also pretty light this time around, and we are still open to additional submissions, beyond our original deadline of this past Sunday. So, let’s say… if you get us something by Monday, 28 April, we are willing to consider it for the second issue. We know a lot of you have been doing daily challenges for the month as well, so if anything you’ve written can connect to our theme — poems, stories, artwork, or other media that relate to transformation, change, harmony and disharmony, actual alchemy, lead, gold, beasts, symbols, or however you want to interpret the theme in a way you think we’ll like — please send it! Monday is definitely the hard deadline, though, as we still expect to get this thing out next weekend, lightweight or not.

We are also accepting submissions for the next unthemed issue, but that’s not the fun one. We know you want to send in for the one about to launch. So what are you waiting for? :)

~ from Joseph

one week later…

Hey everyone,

First, we’ve been thrilled to see the response from the blogosphere to CSHS; thanks very much for your support! We’re proud to have offered some kickass poetry that’s been well-received, and we hope we can continue to do so. Of course, that means we need…

Submissions. Currently, we have need for submissions related to our second issue’s theme, Alchemies. Please check out our post on what the theme entails: really, it’s a lot more flexible than you may think. We welcome short stories, prose poems, and artwork that expresses the theme as well! But there’s only three weeks left to submit, and we haven’t yet filled our plate with as many options as we’d like, so we exhort you to send things in. (With National Poetry Month around the corner, hopefully some of you will be generating fresh work in the next couple weeks that can tie in to the theme…)

And yes, we will be accepting for our unthemed Issue #3 starting Tuesday. But we’d really like to get an Issue #2 in there first. :)  (The theme for Issue #4 will be released before too long as well, we’re sure…)

We appreciate any signal boost you can give us, both to share the fine poetic work that’s already up, and to get your friends, enemies, or frenemies to send us more. Please also keep an eye on this blogspace for treats during National Poetry Month. Reach out and touch us!

one week left…!

Just a friendly reminder that we have one week remaining in the submissions period for the first issue; hope you’ll consider sending something in! And remember that after that, the submissions period for our first themed issue, Alchemies, will be running through late April; you’re welcome to submit to both.

Check out our submission guidelines and lob something our way. We’d love to read it!

announcing theme: alchemies

So, as some of you may have noticed, we have the submission period listed for our second issue, Alchemies. As mentioned before, we’ll be alternating between unthemed and themed, so you have a bit more time for this one. When sending your submissions, if you intend to submit to a themed issue, please include that in your email! Otherwise, we’ll assume that you’re aiming for the next unthemed one.

We did the plural of alchemy because we figured it opened the door a little wider to interpretation. On its own, the term signifies quite a bit, but it’s still intimately tied to the idea of an arcane proto-scientific process. You could go in lots of directions with the medieval concept alone: the search for eternal life, the drive for wealth, the combination of mysticism, religion, and observations of the natural world, etc. But taken as a metaphor, it becomes a broader signifier of change, transformation, and even growth, in ways that are not necessarily painless or comprehensible. “Transformation” seemed too facile, and “change” seemed too broad; we want to see the pangs and rough edges of change. Think of the melting-down and confusion of substances that the messy diversity of alchemy truly encompasses; consider the motivations and chance discoveries along the way.

You can interpret that as you will: whether you want to go literal, and take some photos of old alembics and crucibles/write a story about the old hunt for the philosophers’ stone, or play out your line a little bit and write a sestina about modern struggles using the language of alchemy (and there is some beautiful such language out there), we’re open to ideas that meet our brief. As always, we want to see work that holds our interest, and particularly in the case of themes, takes the theme in unexpected directions (which still resonate and sing). And the reading period will be running for another two months, so there’s plenty of time for you to mess around with some ideas; at this point, we’re still pretty focused on Issue #1, but soon enough we’ll be thinking about the next.

Speaking of Issue #1: you’ve got sixteen days left! Send us your work!