The Clockhouse Review

I’m thrilled to be involved in the re-launch of the Clockhouse Review, a literary magazine begun many years ago by my friend and fellow Goddard grad Tim Kenyon with the support of the Clockhouse Writers Conference.

The first issue was published in 2004 and included stories, poetry and non-fiction exclusively by Goddard graduates. It was a wonderful issue and we assumed we would continue to produce an issue each year.

Well, of course, life got in the way. Seven years, two kids, and a move to the Midwest later, Tim, with new managing editor Chris Mackowski, has produced a 2011 issue, again featuring Goddard grads.

Now they are working on the first open-submission issue of Clockhouse, due summer of 2012. Here are the guidelines if you are interesting in submitting your work.

You can keep up to date on CHR at both Facebook and Twitter.

For Goddard MFA grads, even if we didn’t attend the program at the same time, what binds us together is our love of writing and reading.

With Tim and Chris managing the details of CHR, other grads like me are eager to help by reading submissions and suggesting which ones to consider for publication.

Personally, reading submissions helps me keep my own writing focused.

All writers know it in theory – make the opening interesting so readers will want to keep reading – but few translate it to the page. Don’t sacrifice your story just for a good opening – but if the opening isn’t interesting, why is it there?

Most stories can be lopped off by at least a page and be much stronger for it. I know that every time I cut the beginning of one of my stories, I never put it back on. While I HATE cutting anything from my stories, they are always strong after some tough-love editing.

It’s tough rejecting stories that you know the writer poured her/his heart into. I’ve had work rejected dozens and dozens of times. But you have to get beyond the disappointment and keep going. Find somewhere else to send it. I truly believe that if a piece of writing is really good, it will find a home out there.

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