Diana Spechler, photo by Lyndsey Belle Tyler
Our friend Diana Spechler (Skinny, Harper Perennial, 2011) recently won the Baltimore Review’s “How To” contest, a creative nonfiction contest whose winners are published in full online. Spechler’s piece, “How to Love a Telemarketer,” deals with a familiar but vivid portrait of teenage naivete:
On the days he doesn’t call, wither like a neglected plant. Stay silent, curled on the Salvation Army couch with your new friends. Take sullen bong hits. When he calls, feel watered back to life. On days when you know you’ll see him that night, smile so much, you’ll need Burt’s Bees lip balm, and pay people compliments that land in a unique way because you mean them. You mean them. You have enough love in your heart for all the world.
You are starting to gather intel: There was some muddying of things, a girl he loved fiercely who left him, a father who died while he watched, a dropping out of college in Oregon, a getaway to Colorado. He never sits down to tell you the whole story; he feeds you tiny pellets, plant snacks.
Practice telemarketer telepathy: Sit across from him on your bed and with as much force as you can muster, send the message I love you from your brain into his so he’ll boomerang it back to you. Remind yourself that telepathy takes time.”
Read a short bio of Spechler below, then head over to the Baltimore Review to read it in full!
Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who by Fire and Skinny. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Esquire, Glimmer Train Stories, The Paris Review Daily, Slate, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. A seven-time Moth StorySLAM winner, she has been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, The Moth podcast, and NPR. She teaches writing in New York City and for Stanford University’s Online Writer’s Studio. Learn more at www.dianaspechler.com.
Thank you so much to everyone who submitted their fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry during our open reading period. Our submissions period is officially closed and we are currently in the process of reading your work. We will be reaching out to authors about selections later this year. Thank you for entrusting us with your manuscript.
If you purchased one of our discounted books with your manuscript submission, we will be mailing those out later this month.
Our reading period is still open until July 31st, 11:59 PM. Submissions of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry are all welcome. For guidelines and more information, head over to the submissions page. If you’re already familiar with our guidelines, don’t wait! Click the button below to be redirected to Submittable. We look forward to reading your work!
“Ripple Effect on Water” courtesy of Sergiu Bacioiu, Wikimedia Commons
Augury editor Kate Angus’s article on The Millions today discusses the audience for poetry (wider than people often think!) and strategies that independent presses such as Augury are using to increase sales. In her article, Angus shares the idea that because of the increased capability of reading poetry outside of a bookstore or a library, Americans might in fact be reading more poetry than ever. Things like the “Poetry in Motion” project in New York, along with the increase of sharing poetry through social media, have sparked a higher readership in the US, and people have access to more poetry than they did in the past.
Thanks to the ease of sharing poems through email and social media, it’s possible that poetry’s audience might be greater now than ever. According to The Academy of American Poets director Jen Benka, the Academy’s Poem-a-Day has over 300,000 readers, so large an audience that the Hearst Corporation recently partnered with the Academy to include the poems in their online and print newspapers and magazines.”
While the readership for poetry might have increased, book sales are down overall when it comes to people wanting to actually buy poetry. In her article, Angus outlines some of the ways that smaller presses are trying to keep poetry sales alive, such as widening readership in general by branching out to publish other genres in hopes that someone reading a short story might see what else a press has published, therefore becoming interested in the published poetry.
Our hope is that readers who like the prose we publish may discover, as they poke around our catalog, that they like the poetry too (and vice versa). “
For more on poetry readership, as well as many other ways that presses are trying to increase the sale of poetry, check out Angus’ full article here.
Only 10 days left in Augury’s reading period – Submit your manuscript now!
We are a little over halfway through our reading period, which is still OPEN through July 31, 2014. We accept full-length manuscripts in the categories of Poetry and Prose. The new Prose category includes Short Fiction Collections and Creative Nonfiction Manuscripts.
See our Submissions Page for length requirements and other guidelines, or find out everything you need to know (including our discounted book specials for those submitting!) on our third-party submissions manager, Submittable, where you can also submit your manuscript.
We can’t wait to read your work and find out who the authors of our 2015 books will be. Thanks to all of you in advance for sharing your work with us, and thanks to those who have already submitted their work this summer!
If you would like to know more about our aesthetic to see if your work might be a good fit for Augury, visit the Books and Orders page to see what works are already in our catalogue.
Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and Follow this Blog (link in bottom corner) for continued updates about the rest of the reading period and information about our next publication and finalists!
“Time in The Family Cannon,” by Shena McAuliffe, from Quarterly West issue 82
Quarterly West is a literary journal put together by the PhD writing program at the University of Utah. The most recent issue houses a review of Halina Duraj’s The Family Cannon (Augury, 2014) by Shena McAuliffe, who has detailed time and possession of memory in Duraj’s book graphically (chronology pictured above). McAuliffe relishes the emotional weight that Duraj’s stories hold:
“At the end of each story, I had to take a break before moving on to the next—a break from the disappointed desires, the steadfast self-sacrificing mother, the madness and the ghosts, the struggle to remember, to say things just as they should be said. In the end, what is most striking about Duraj’s book is how it moved me; it exhausted me in the way that a good story should.”
Alongside McAuliffe’s review in the summer issue is a creative nonfiction piece by Augury editor Kate Angus. Read both and learn more about the journal at the Quarterly West website.
More on THE FAMILY CANNON
Augury Books’ reading period is open — Submit your manuscript!
This retreat will help you discover, nurture and support your own creative potential by providing you with yoga and writing tools that unravel the writer within. The retreat will take place in the world famous yoga retreat center Prana del Mar — located in the southern tip of Baja, Mexico — from Saturday, May 31st to Thursday June 5th, 2014.
Find out more here!
More on Halina Duraj
Submit your manuscript to Augury Books — Our reading period is open!
Our reading period is now OPEN through July 31, 2014. We are accepting submissions of full-length manuscripts in the categories of Poetry and Prose. The new Prose category includes Short Fiction Collections and Creative Nonfiction Manuscripts.
See our Submissions Page for length requirements and other guidelines, or find out everything you need to know (including our discounted book specials for those submitting!) on our third-party submissions manager, Submittable, where you can also send us your manuscript.
We can’t wait to read your work and find out who the authors of our 2015 books will be. Thanks to all of you in advance for sharing your work with us.
Want to find out more about our aesthetic before submitting? Visit our Books and Orders page to order books or read synopses, reviews, and press material about the books in our catalogue.
Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and Follow this Blog (link in bottom corner) for updates about the reading period and announcements about our next publications and finalists.
It’s almost time to start polishing up your full-length manuscripts to submit to Augury Books for publication in 2015.
This year, we will be accepting manuscripts for publication in two categories: Poetry and Prose. Our new, expanded Prose Category includes both Short Fiction Collections and Creative Nonfiction Manuscripts. Augury’s reading period will open via Submittable on midnight of May 1, 2014, and remain open until 11:59 on July 31, 2014.
For you early birds who want to know what’s in store, here’s a peek at our upcoming guidelines:
FOR FULL-LENGTH POETRY MANUSCRIPTS:
- Submissions should be 45-80 pages. This page requirement does not include any front and back matter your manuscript might contain (title page, table of contents, dedication, acknowledgements, notes, about the author, etc.).
FOR FULL-LENGTH PROSE MANUSCRIPTS:
- Submissions should be 150-220 pages, double-spaced, with 1″ margins. This page requirement does not include any front and back matter your manuscript might contain (title page, table of contents, dedication, acknowledgements, notes, about the author, etc.).
- The prose sub-category in which you are submitting — Short Fiction OR Creative Nonfiction — must be clearly stated in your Submittable Cover Letter / Bio field AND on the first page of the uploaded manuscript itself.
FOR EVERYTHING, ACROSS THE BOARD:
- Brief (approx. 300-word) bio is required, pasted separately from your uploaded manuscript on the Submittable form.
- Multiple submissions, either within or across categories, are welcome, but must be submitted separately with separate reading fees.
- Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please withdraw your MS immediately if it is accepted elsewhere, up until the time we announce our selections in the fall.
- Except under special circumstances, we are unable to accept submissions from international authors. Contact us for more information if this applies to you.
- Acceptable formats for uploaded manuscripts are PDF, DOC, and DOCX.
AND … WE’RE RUNNING A SPECIAL!
- All those submitting will have the option of getting a discounted book from our catalogue along with your submission. Find out more about the discounted titles when our reading period opens. Fee for submission without a book purchase: $10 per submission. Fee for submission with a book purchase: $18 per submission.*
Check back with us on May 1, when we will publish the link to our Submittable Campaign on our SUBMISSIONS PAGE, as well as here on our blog. We can’t wait to see you then and read your work!
Check out our current catalogue to get a feel for our aesthetic.
*Discount is only available with a Submittable submission. One book per submission. Your decision to submit with or without a book purchase has no bearing on our consideration of your manuscript. All funds Augury Books receives through Submittable will go toward the titles’ production fees and the maintenance of our catalogue. Complimentary copies will be available to authors of accepted titles.