Two more contests, Dialogue, and more

Kent posted last week about the Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel contest. It’s a good contest, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to hit the deadline unless you already have a novel in the drawer. So here’s two more contests to consider entering (after you finish your Monsters & Mormons submission, of course) plus some other things worth checking out…

Sunstone writing contests

The deadline is Oct. 31*. Winners will be announced no later than Feb. 28, 2011. Full details on Sunstone’s Facebook page. One of the great things about this contest is that it includes a prize for short-short story (less than 1,500 words) in addition to short story (fewer than 6,000 words). I heartily applaud Sunstone’s commitment to the short-short form.

LDS Film Script Contest

The LDS Film Festival has also announced its contests, and this year there will be a Feature Script Contest.  R. Don Oscarson has also put up $600 in prize money (three scripts will win $200 each). Scripts are due Nov. 15.

AMVers in Dialogue

Dialogue has been very good to AMV-associated folks the past few years (and I guess you could say vice versa). I’m pleased to report that S.P. Bailey has two poems in the Fall 2010 issue, which also features reviews of Jonathan Langford’s novel No Going Back ( Amazon ) and Theric Jepson and co’s collection The Fob Bible ( Amazon ).

Narratives of Family exhibit

Art History student Emily Larsen and BYU faculty member James R. Swensen have curated the exhibit “Nature and Nurture: Narratives of Family” for the B.F. Larson Gallery at the Harris Fine Arts Center. Here’s what Emily says about the exhibit:  “The exhibition … explores the complexity of familial relationships through the art of ten artists with connections to BYU or Utah (8 of the 10 are BYU alumni). The exhibition features the art of well known LDS artists such as Brian Kershisnik and Lee Udall Bennion as well as lesser known LDS artists.” It runs Oct. 5-28 so if you are in the area, do check it out.

Poetry in song from Mormon Artist Group

Song/Cycles is the latest project from the NYC-based Mormon Artists Group. Featuring the work of 6 LDS poets (including Lance Larsen) set to music by LDS composers, the project comes in both a limited edition and a trade paperback. The limited edition version includes audio recordings of performances of the song cycles.

*This post originally had the deadline as Oct. 15 for the Sunstone contests; it’s actually Oct. 31.

Short Story Friday: Separate Prayers by Ann Edwards-Cannon

I wanted to bring you Joshua Foster’s “The Newlyweds” today, which Th. suggested more than a year ago, but Dialogue’s recent website revamping has put the story back in the paid archive (which it should) so for our purposes, that story is going to have to wait. There are a couple of more items in the spreadsheet, but I don’t want to deal with them just yet (for a variety of reasons), so since I’m off from work today, I decided to randomly poke around the 1980s Sunstone mags (since last time I did this, I had poked around in Dialogue’s archives).  I only got two editions in when I found this story by Ann Edwards-Cannon, which received honorable mention in the 1981 Sunstone Fiction Contest. I think it’s worth featuring. Also: we need more submissions so if you have time and interest, click on the links on the bottom of this post and help me find some more stories.

Title: Separate Prayers (PDF file, the story is on page 33 of the file)

Author: Ann Edwards-Cannon

Publication Info: Sunstone 30 (November-December 1981)

Submitted by: Wm Morris

Why?: Wm says: “I’ll be honest here: I was looking for a story that seemed like it fit in to this time period in both American and Mormon literature because we haven’t really featured it much so far. I think “Separate Prayers” very much is of its time (which I don’t see as a bad thing). It’s feminist, but in a downbeat way. It’s a time when fathers — even when they are history professors — can retire as cranky farmers (and resist developers). It’s a time when husbands cook and do the dishes and that fact means something, but doesn’t have quite the weight that it might have had 15 years previous. It’s a time when therapy still could possibly mean Freud. It comes across to me (and I could be totally wrong here) like a post-Doug Thayer, trailing end of second-wave feminism, Sunstone crowd short story. It’s also well-written with several spot on details.”

Participate:

Submit to Short Story Friday

Possible online sources of stories and link to spreadsheet with current submissions

All Short Story Friday posts so far

Stephen Carter on his new collection of personal essays

WhatofTheNight_LGZarahemla Books has recently published What of the Night?a collection of essays by Stephen Carter, Director of Publications and Editor at Sunstone. Stephen was kind enough to answer some questions about the anthology and about his role as a writer and editor and critic in the world of Mormon letters. So read on for his thoughts on being both a writer and an editor, Eugene England, Mormon comics and the craft of writing.

For those AMV readers who haven’t followed your career as it has unfolded over the past several years (and documented on the AML-List), could you briefly explain your journey into creative non-fiction?

I had been working as a news reporter for a few years and having the time of my life, but my wife and I could tell that it was not going to pay the bills. So we made the decision to give our careers a much needed boost by earning MFAs.

I know. Not the smartest way to boost one’s career. But we were young.

So we moved to Alaska with our two young children to go to UAF’s creative writing program. I went in to learn fiction, but the thing that was taking up most of the space between my ears at the time was my relationship with Mormonism. I found myself writing to understand that relationship, going into my past and teasing out the experiences that had brought me to this point.

My first attempts weren’t very good, and my essays turned out to be undisciplined and wandering. Fortunately, my studies in fiction had started to teach me how a story works. Once I learned to use those mechanisms, the essays began to take on a constructive shape and people started to like them. I got rejection letters with handwritten notes attached. And one day, Dialogue decided to print something I had written. Dialogue has always had good taste. Continue reading “Stephen Carter on his new collection of personal essays”

Angela Hallstrom and the Art of Short-Story Arrangement

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This is the third and final entry in this series. The first part of our interview was about Ms Hallstom’s novel-in-stories Bound on Earth. The second was about her editorship of the literary journal Irreantum. This third portion is about the short-story collection, Dispensation: Latter-day Fiction, that she edited for Zarahemla Books (review).

Dispensation:Latter-day Fiction

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Let’s start with what criteria a story had to meet to even be considered for inclusion. What were the ground rules going in to this anthology? Continue reading “Angela Hallstrom and the Art of Short-Story Arrangement”

The Best of Mormonism 2009: An interview with its editor

bestof2009_spine.

When I first heard of this anthology, I did not know it was intended to be a yearly series. So when I noticed the 2009 on the cover I was thrilled.

The anthology includes work from Irreantum to The Iowa Review and points inbetween. A goodly percentage of it is from LDSy publications, but not at all all — just over 50% (I redid my math after the interview, but I’ve put the full contents and their original sources up at The Mormon Arts Wiki if you want to know more.)

The anthology is solid. Not entirely representative of my own taste, but why should it be? I interviewed the book’s editor (Stephen Carter, also the head editor of Sunstone) about this exciting new addition to Mormon letters — one I hope lasts a long, long time.

Someday I hope to have a full shelf of these babies in all different colors. Continue reading “The Best of Mormonism 2009: An interview with its editor”

Short Story Friday: interlude — what’s cooking?

Because it’s summer, and we are all feeling a little lazy and languid. And because there’s already been a bunch of talk about short stories this week (apologies to non-Irreantum subscribers who don’t get to get in on the action — of course, there is a remedy for that). And because there’s simply a lot still to talk about with the posts that have been posted so far this week. And because I’m curious. This is what Short Story Friday is this week:

What’s going on?

Anybody enter the Irreantum fiction contest? Sources* tell me that the stories were heavy on the speculative fiction and sex. I’m not quite sure how to take that. How about the Sunstone contests? Anybody else have anything cooking that they can talk about right now**? Anybody have something to say about The Mormon Short Story? Continue reading “Short Story Friday: interlude — what’s cooking?”

“Our Refined Heavenly Home”

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Elder Douglas L. Callister of the Seventy wrote a delightful article in this month’s Ensign, “Our Refined Heavenly Home.” I’m ashamed to admit that I might never have read it had not my dear wife told me I should. (I keep saying I’ll stick the Ensign in the bathroom where it will actually get read, but it seems weird to have all those pictures of Jesus on my toilet, Backslider or no Backslider.) The article is adapted from a BYU devotional Elder Callister gave in 2006 which is about 1800 words longer and has even more dandy quotations. (Frankly, it’s tempting to just lift all his quotations and anecdotes and place them here for discussion, but I can’t quite feel good about that.)

The article has three main thrusts, language, literature and music, with an everything-else category to finish things off.

For brevity’s sake, I will take a short excerpt from each section to comment on, but in your comments, feel free to reference any part of his talk. Continue reading ““Our Refined Heavenly Home””