Now Taking Submissions and Announcements for the Arkansas Country Writers Circle Website

Phil Slattery portrait

Phil Slattery
March, 2015

I will consider articles, short stories, and poems for publication on the Arkansas County Writers Circle website. Please feel free to submit at any time. I will try to post your work as soon as I can. Of course, preference will be given to writers from Arkansas and particularly from Arkansas County. There is no pay other than having the distinction of being published and having another bullet for your writer’s resume.

I am looking for short, flash, or micro fiction that demonstrates the art of writing, whether it be prose, poetry, one-act plays, or any other form of literature of any genre.  I want to showcase literature in all its subtlety, beauty, intelligence, art, horror, terror, suspense, and gruesome detail.  I also want to push its limits with the challenge of staying under 2,500 words while making an intellectual and emotional connection with the reader. Do your best, most imaginative, most professional work.

I am also looking for non-fiction articles on the art of writing.   Please keep these to under 2,500 words as well. All rights will remain with the author. If you would like to submit an article or book/movie review on the art of writing horror fiction or just on the art of writing, please send it to philslattery87410@gmail.com.  Everything must be submitted by e-mail either in the body of the e-mail or a Word document (.doc or .docx).  There is no pay for any submission at this time (maybe after I win the Pulitzer or Nobel, but probably not before then).

In addition, I am taking announcements about works of literature of any genre.  If you are an author with a book-signing coming up or you will be giving a public talk somewhere or you have a book (or film) with a definite release date, announce it here.  If you have anything related to a creative work of literature that you would like to publicize, draft an announcement and send it in.  I reserve all editorial rights however to make any needed changes for clarity, etc, and to ask questions if the announcement isn’t clear on some point.  There will be no charge for this, at least initially, but I do reserve the right to charge fees later, if a lot of announcements start to flood my inbox.

Mark Twain

However, note that I will not do advertising for any product.  I want to publicize creative works and to help authors, poets, film makers, and others jump start their careers.  I am not a merchant.  As to where the line is between advertising a product and publicizing a work, that will be my subjective decision.  So if you want to sell pens, notebooks, software, or any other concrete product, try Amazon.com.

Fiction will probably be published on Fridays and articles on other nights as I feel appropriate.

You may submit stories and articles in languages besides English, but it must be in one of the languages in which I have at least some minimal ability. These are primarily German and Spanish, though I can read French to a degree. I need practice in all three.  Shorter articles will fare well here as I do not want to spend all day with a dictionary and grammar ensuring that the writing is up to par. Odds of these being accepted are sort of low, but if I can read them easily enough, I will consider them.

I reserve the right to change my mind as I develop this site.

Specifically, in terms of creative works, I am seeking:

  1. Articles under 2,500 words on the art of writing (fiction of any length, poetry, screenplays, etc.) or on writing in general  Articles on foreign literature are encouraged.
  2. Book and movie reviews, the more recently published or distributed the better.
  3. I will consider reviews of articles on literature in other countries.  These must also be under 2,500 words.
  4. Translations of articles, stories, or poems from French, German, or Spanish are considered, but the original article/story/poem and its translation must not exceed 2,500 words.
  5. Poetry (under 32 lines) or articles on poetry.
  6. Flash fiction (i.e. under 1,000 words).

Guidelines

  1. Be professional.
  2. Use standard manuscript format.  The easier it is for me to simply copy and paste into WordPress, the more likely you are to be published.
  3. Tennessee Williams, 1965
    Tennessee Williams, 1965

    With submissions include your website, twitter handle, or any other social media identification you like.  A short bio of 100 words or less (including a list of previous publications) is nice, but not required.   Knowing your publication history won’t influence whether or not you are accepted, but it might be nice for the readership to know.  If you don’t want to include any social media contact info, don’t include it.  Pseudonyms are fine, but please state them as the byline and include your actual name and contact info in the top left of the first page of the submission per standard manuscript format.

  4. In the subject line of your e-mail state whether this is an article or review or poetry of fiction submission, your name, and the work’s title.  For example:  Article by Phil Slattery  “Poe’s Raven: an Analysis”
  5. No hardcopy submissions.  Everything must be submitted by e-mail either in the body of the e-mail or attached as a Word document (.doc or .docx).
  6. I would like to reach as large an audience as possible, so please keep profanity to an absolute minimum.
  7. I will try to respond to submissions as quickly as possible, but please allow at least a couple of weeks before querying about your article/story.
  8. There is no pay other than the honor of being published on this website.
  9. I am not taking multiple submissions or simultaneous submissions.  Once you have submitted one article/story, please wait about a week before submitting another.
  10. You may submit on piece of artwork or a photo to accompany your article/story.  I will edit it (mainly re-sizing) as needed to fit the space available.  I will not publish any form of what I deem pornography or in bad taste.  If you do not submit artwork or a photo, I may select something appropriate.  JPEGs, TIFs and other formats accepted by WordPress are okay, but keep the number of bytes to a minimum.  I have only a limited amount of space available.
  11. Artwork and photos may be submitted on their own and you must own the copyright to them or they may be from the public domain (please state so if they are).  There is no pay for these either.  If I do not use these right away, I may keep them until a use arises, but please let me know if this is okay.  If you no longer wish me to use them, please let me know as soon as possible.
  12. Kate Chopin, 1894
    Kate Chopin, 1894

    Do not send advertising (no matter how cleverly veiled it is).  It won’t be published.

  13. Gratuitous sex, extreme violence, violence to children or animals, rape, excessive profanity, and anything else that offends my personal sensibilities will not be published.  Anything that seems to reflect an actual crime (past, present, or future) will be immediately turned over to the proper authorities.
  14. If I like your submission, I will publish it as soon as possible.  This will depend on the backlog of submissions and other factors.   Don’t ask for a time-frame.
  15. Reprints are okay, but you must tell me when and where the article/story/poem was first published.
  16. I do not want fan fiction.
  17. Always re-check the guidelines before submitting.  I may change them at any moment without prior notice.

I will update these guidelines as time allows and events warrant.  This page was last updated on June 4, 2019. Please contact me via philslattery87410@gmail.com with any questions. Thoughts?  Comments?

Update: November 12, 2019, Busy Weekend and Veteran’s Day

Writing at IHOP, 2019. Photo by Fran.

Working late at night at an IHOP in Midland, TX, May, 2019

Saturday and Sunday,  I spent a lot of time organizing my house after the recent move. I wanted to write, but as my wife notes, I feel more like writing in a clean environment. I had never noticed this until she mentioned it sometime back, but she is absolutely right.  I spent two days cleaning and organizing and come Monday evening, I really felt the drive to write.

During most of the day on Monday, however, I spent exploring the local area up to Stuttgart looking for places to hold writer circles meetings for the Arkansas Writers Circle that I am trying to establish. Not much luck on that front. No Starbuck’s in this area and the one coffee shop I found in DeWitt (420 and Turnrow is the name of the shop) closes at 7:00. It is a very nice place though and I hope to go there when I can. It is a nice, clean environment for relaxing and writing.  The arts center in Stuttgart was closed when I arrived. I will try contacting them later.

I did visit the Stuttgart and DeWitt campuses of the Philips Community College in DeWitt and Stuttgart. I hoped to contact their English professors, who I thought might know of any writers groups locally, if any one does. No one from the English department at either was there when I arrived, but I left a card. This afternoon Professor Liddell (of both campuses) called and left a message saying that there are no writers groups in the area to his knowledge. He also said that he would help spread the word about mine and that I could call him with questions. That is a big step for this project. Thanks, Professor Liddell.

I ran a couple of errands and ended up in Dumas. There I went to El Toro Mexican restaurant to write up some notes and get some delicious tortilla soup (the weather here was cold and rainy all day). I spent a couple of hours there and then went home. At home, I spent quite a few hours, typing up the new material I had concocted at El Toro into Shadows and Stars. I ended the night’s writing about 2:00 a.m., but still have a little to do when I go home tonight. My original goal was to make Shadows and Stars reach between 80,000 to 100,000 words. I am now over 91,000. I am trying to wrap this up. I will probably have between 100,000 to 110,000 by the time I finish. This will be the first draft. Then I polish the first draft until I am satisfied, which may be a while.

Also, yesterday I received an email from Austin Macauley publishers saying they had received Bobby the Brown Pelican.  It should be about three weeks before I hear something.

This morning as I was prepping for work, I came up with a few more ideas for children’s picture books. I remembered that I had started another call Alison the Odd Little Alien about a little girl named Alison, who travels to another planet, where she learns what it’s like to be the foreigner/alien in another land. I got the idea from one of my wife’s pupils, who suggested I write a story about aliens after I read Bobby the Brown Pelican to them. It shouldn’t take long to finish it. Probably less than three weeks. If Austin Macauley accepts my work, maybe I will submit Alison… next.

The Arkansas County Writers Circle Ad is Up

Selfie with Lotus in background near Arkansas Post, September 4, 2019

The ad announcing the Arkansas County Writers Circle on Arkansaswriters.com was posted on Monday.  Check it out at: https://arkansaswriters.com/new-writers-circle-forming-in-arkansas-county

Arkansas County Writers Circle

I am considering starting a Writers Circle for Arkansas County in Arkansas just as I did in Farmington, NM. That group is still thriving. Here is a link to the Farmington Writers Circle, so you can see how it is doing.

Just as in Farmington, the Arkansas County Writers Circle would focus on publicity and marketing of the participants’ works. Anyone involved in writing as an art or profession or as a hobby is invited. We would welcome writers of all genres and styles from non-fiction to horror fiction to science fiction to young adult to authors of children’s books to romances to poetry to comics to journalism to whatever you can imagine.

Most writers circles focus on the art of writing,  This group is for writers who are interested in marketing or publicizing their works. Each meeting would be a round table discussion preceded by a reading of 30 minutes or less from one of the members.  The group would then offer their constructive criticism on the work read.  The meetings would last however long they last, but in general they may last up to an hour or longer depending on how many people attend.

I have not decided upon a meeting location yet, though it would probably be in Stuttgart at a coffee shop or at the Arts Center or maybe in DeWitt.  The meeting times and dates would be set at the first meeting. In New Mexico, we met on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm for the reading followed by the discussion at 7:00.

There would be no dues or cost to participate. All you need to do is show up and join the discussion.

The group might even develop their own networking events and participate as a group in local events such as readings, book signings, etc.  We did this in Farmington and it worked well.  During one Art Walk in Farmington, our members participated with  a local art gallery and read from their works, sold some of their books, signed several books and made contacts with other writers, both amateur and professional.

If you live in Arkansas County or its environs, please let me know if you would be interested in participating.

Update: September 6, 2019, Marketing and Publicity and other Writing Demons

Selfie with Lotus in background near Arkansas Post, September 4, 2019

So far I have spent a small part of the day posting ads for my works for every day up to October 6. I neglected to do so for August and the few sales I have had show that.

Last night I went to dinner at Hoot’s Barbecue in McGehee, AR. The food is good. Hoot’s seems to be the social navel of the county and surrounding area. It’s the hot spot on the weekends. I happened to be in Dumas running errands as the time for the dinner approached.  To go from Arkansas Post to McGehee, my co-workers had to pass through Dumas. We arranged to meet in the Mad Butcher (yes, that is a business. Inexpensive meat) parking lot. As I had about an hour to kill, I went to the nearby El Toro Mexican restaurant and had some iced tea and jotted down notes about Shadows and Stars. I think I came up with a really good twist for the end of the story. Something hopefully unpredictable and jaw-dropping that will make readers drop their margaritas and stand up to scream “Of course!” to the heavens.

I like El Toro. I may go there to write when I can. The food is also good. Surprisingly, there is a good Mexican restaurant called Ameca’s in DeWitt. If you find yourself in this area, I recommend it highly. I had the combo Fajitas Hawayanas (Hawaiian fajitas). It contains the usual beef, chicken, and shrimp plus pork and pineapple and a light cream-like sauce, whose name I don’t recall. It was really tasty and plentiful. Prices are reasonable.

Yesterday, I visited the public library in Dumas. It’s a very small affair behind the police station. It has maybe ten free-standing bookshelves at most, some bookshelves lining the walls, and about half a dozen computer terminals. It also has a small display of Egyptian statues that a deceased patron collected on her trips to Egypt and bequeathed/donated to the library. The labels were accurate as far as I could tell. However, the display also included some foreign currency.  One bill was a 100-drachma note from Greece (I read some Greek). However, it was labeled as one Egyptian pound. I found the Egyptian pound taped to the side window (of course inside the case). I told the librarian on duty about the mix up and she said she would mention it to someone. She seemed rather indolent to me.

I went to Stuttgart, AR, on Monday. It’s a nice little town about 40 miles from here. It has an active little arts center. I may get involved there and try to establish another writer’s circle. It’s a little closer than Pine Bluff.