First Prize goes to: C. J Booth for RelentlessSecond Prize goes to: Rose Engelfried for BrakesThird Prize goes to: Tausha Johnson for Small Town Girl
If you’re considering a writing event this year, but are looking for just as much of an opportunity to sit down and write as you are to learn from the pros, then join literary agent, Katharine Sands, and our very own Jessica Bell at the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop
from Aug. 1-7, 2013. It’s held on the beautiful Greek isle of Ithaca which remains unspoiled by the modern world. Even in the height of summer you can find a secluded beach or a rustic corner to contemplate your thoughts. On Ithaca you'll discover the island’s rich culture and the reason why it holds such a special place in the hearts of those who have visited its shores. Learn more on the website
Retreat Attendees receive:
- Expert instruction on all topics of publishing
- A comprehensive critique and market recommendations for your work.
- Accommodation at Nostos Hotel with buffet breakfast, two dinners and excursions
- Gift hampers on arrival, filled with traditional Greek goods
Instructors this year are, Katharine Sands, a literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, and Beatriz Badikian-Gartler, a popular performer in the Chicago area who often lectures on women's issues, art, and literature. In 2000, Badikian was selected as one of the One-Hundred Women Who Make a Difference in Chicago by Today's Woman magazine.
Enjoy special Excursions, including a guided walk to Homer's School, dinners, cocktails by the sea, village sightseeing, traditional dance and festivals. All-inclusive! The clear blue seas and lush green valleys and mountains are home to one of the friendliest communities in Greece and the new Homeric Writing Retreat!
Please welcome Julie Haring and Susan Wenograd to Vine Leaves Literary Journal!
Our inbox has been overflowing with YOUR work. Poetry, prose, pictures and more - powerful vignettes that inspire us, excite us, and yeah, sometimes overwhelm us. Trust us, we're not complaining at all. We absolutely love this journal and put all our effort into making it the best it can be. But as the journal grows we've recognized that we can't do it all on our own, not while keeping our mandate of giving each submission the consideration it deserves, and providing feedback on at least 20% of submissions. So, we have added two wonderful readers to our team!
20-something American for whom food may lead to the heart, but literature wins the soul.
A writer and word-lover posing as a businesswoman by day. The correct answers are always chocolate and coffee.
Vine Leaves has switched to Submishmash.
Due to Vine Leaves' growth, we've decided to use Submishmash
for all text submissions beginning April 1st. Before submitting for Issue #07, please familiarize yourself with our updated Guidelines
is a woman of many incarnations. Novelist, teacher, classical musician, dancer, publisher, and editor are only a few of the personae her artistic existence encompasses. A resident of the Outer Sunset (both literally and figuratively), she is and for many years has been an essential voice of San Francisco’s vibrant literary scene. Not only is she one of the City’s most talented writers, she has given voice and exposure to many poets, musicians and artists while elegantly crafting five books of poetry, two novels, and a forthcoming anthology. In a word, she is oracular. Swan Light
is her latest foray into the music of the spheres—a book of collected personal mythologies, autobiographical narratives, lyrical celebrations of the paradox, and elegies to perhaps our greatest sadness: the loss of parents. Eschewing the temptation of Romantic swoon, her collection is no swan song. She bathes the experience of such inevitable departure in luminosity, kaddish, and jubilee.
The book is a wayfaring to the sacred realms of being that are divided into two: the natural world and the quest for it and the deep sentiment it spawns within the confines of urbanity. Many of the poems’ settings are enlivened with the sumptuous details of California flora and fauna. Etched in Snyderian appreciation for redwood forests and the lost coasts so close and yet so distant to the ticky-tacky sprawl, her axis mundi is the mountain enshrouded temple of the Bay Area. And her excursions into and about Arcadia always return us to the sensuality that these places inspire:
swim through the water
the alphabet of your skin.
The poet merges with her subjects. Transmogrification is her and her audience’s destiny. Frank’s appreciation for the exotica of the natural world is effortlessly translated to her fascination with how we process the unbearable lightnesses and shadow lands of being. The mind-altering diversity, both environmental and societal, of a place like San Francisco is the palette for her ruminations that seek to connect the complexity of creation with its elusive capital C with the way it is filtered through the labyrinthine hanging gardens of human mind.
The daily inspiration of living in a place that offers so many possibilities of interpreting our collective being is this poet’s bliss. In “Meditation on the MUNI”, she creates a brilliant poetic characterization, born of her insight as a musician, of what the beautiful mélange of languages become, transforming cacophony into symphony:
Swedish – a wobbling luge.
German and Hebrew – an argument
into the wounds of the previous century.
Nepali – rocks in a river
singing under white water.
Hindi – an amber flow of chanting honey.
French – a casual flirtation
at the painted tables of a café
by the left bank.
The list gloriously continues as her understanding of cadence and melody marks one of the best characterizations of the musicality of language to this date in contemporary American verse. She is no Wordsworth finding Babylon in London; she is a Calliope finding transformation in the word spoken.
What Swan Light
achieves is a type of tonality characteristic of the backlighting of cathedral glass, of the glow of moon on hallowed ground, a sensibility that is aurific. The poems are pilgrimages to her various homes– East Coast origins, fallow Iowan fields, Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, and that one destination known as loss and the detours taken to avoid the abyss of sentimentality and nostalgia.
The power of this new collection recreates a feeling of first flight or vertigo that is inevitable when we risk the deep feeling of grasping the eternally transitory nature of being. Diane Frank takes the reader to places and experiences bathed in sensuality and the knowledge that these moments of ecstasy will one day temporally cease but the journey within them and the mystical unification offered is as dramatically rewarding.. She shows us as a reality greater than the real:
a deeper vision is whispering,
letting you throw
whatever stops you from dancing
into the fire.
She is a visionary whose talent reminds us of the Borges assertion that poetry “remembers that it was first song”. Swan Light
is a book that resounds in philosophical resonance and with it we are graced with desire’s joys and torments, rhapsodically preened.
About the reviewer:
Recent work of Philip Kobylarz's appears or will appear in Connecticut Review, Basalt, Santa Fe Literary Review, New American Writing, Poetry Salzburg Review
and has appeared in Best American Poetry
. His book, Rues
, was recently published by Blue Light Press of San Francisco.
GET WRAPPED UP IN ISSUE #05
It is said that January was named after the god Janus, the two-faced “spirit of opening” with the ability to look both backwards into the old year and forwards into the new at the same time.
How appropriate for Vine Leaves
, as we remember our first year with fondness, and literally float into 2013 on a cloud of success. This experience – from our humble beginnings as a quarterly journal through to the publication of our first anthology – is almost surreal, and it is with much pride, and gratitude, that we launch our fifth issue.
And, oh, how ethereal it is.
Much like Vic Caswell’s “Seaweed” graphic vignette, the artistry in our January issue will entangle you in powerful prose, and pull you into its depths with artwork that explodes with vivid hues, abstract imagery and photographic precision. From Sean Enfield’s brilliant Poem Written in a Gas Station Bathroom
and Derwood Morris’ clever Story of Derwood
, through to the emotional pull of Misty Waters’ Gone, Gone, Gone,
we invite you to get wrapped up in our fifth issue of Vine Leaves.
In the true spirit of opening, please turn the page (or click this link
Hey, have you heard? Co-publishing editor Jessica Bell
has a new book coming out. The Book
. And it's a book you're definitely going to want to get your hands on.
Check out this endorsement:
"Jessica Bell’s surprising risks with language capture a child’s clear vision in a world of adult heartbreak. Indelible. Courageous." -Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger's Glasses
launches February 1, 2013.
And more from the Vine Leaves
team. A book written by co-publishing editor Dawn Ius
was optioned for development of a TV show. While details are vague now (you know how those producer-types are), expect to hear more about this exciting development throughout the year.YOUR TURN!
Got great writerly news? Find an agent? Win an award for best photograph? Or maybe your illustration made the cover of your favourite magazine - *ahem*, your other
favourite magazine. Tell us about it! We'll publish your good news in this newsletter. Please keep your good news to no more than 50 words and email it to email@example.com. VINE LEAVES IS GROWING!
Hurray! Our inboxes are overflowing with YOUR work. Poetry, prose, pictures and more - powerful vignettes that inspire us, excite us, and yeah, sometimes overwhelm us. Trust us, we're not complaining. But as the journal continues to grow, we recognize we can't do it all on our own, not while keeping our mandate of giving each submission the consideration it deserves. So, we're hiring.
Well, kind of. As you know, Vine Leaves
is a labour of love and our work is volunteer. For us, it's more important that our contributors get paid (as minor as that is). But, quite frankly, what we don't take in cash reward, YOU give back in immeasurable riches - your support.
We're looking for a couple of passionate, dedicated and vignette-loving volunteer editors to help us navigate our impressive inbox. Interested? Great. We don't need a formal resume, but please e-mail
your expression of interest along with a paragraph telling us WHY you want to join the Vine Leaves
team and WHAT you think you could bring to the journal. We'll take it from there. Deadline: February 28, 2013
A little over a year ago, Dawn Ius and I started Vine Leaves Literary Journal
. Why? To give the vignette a piece of the limelight. We started it because, not only do we love to push literary boundaries, but as writers ourselves, we were sick of being rejected
by literary magazines due to our work not conforming to preconceived structures. We are good writers. We know what we're doing, and if we want to defy structure it's not because we can't follow rules, it's because WE KNOW HOW TO BREAK THEM
So why does the vignette push boundaries, you ask? Because a vignette isn't a story as such, it's a snapshot of written time. It differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead, the vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It's descriptive, excellent for character or theme exploration and wordplay. Through a vignette, you create an atmosphere.
In one year, we have read approximately 1000 submissions
. (Yep, that's a lot.) And out of those 1000 submissions, we published around 160 online in our quarterly issues
. And out of those 160 that were published online, we chose 'the best' pieces for our annual print anthology. In our very first anthology, The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2012
, we showcase 108 different authors and artists.This anthology launches today in partnership with eMergent Publishing.
And Dawn and I couldn't be more proud and thrilled to have come so far. It is proof that you can do anything you put your mind to. If you really want something, just jump in the deep end and swim for your life.
But do you know what I'm proud of the most? That we have given a bunch of writers, photographers and artists the opportunity to get more recognition for their work. Work that may not have found a home simply because it did not fit in a box. This is the be all and end all.
Ultimately, Dawn and I don't do this for us. We do it for YOU. And this is the way it will always be.
Thank you to all who were involved in making this journal a success, especially Jodi Cleghorn at eMergent Publishing
, for agreeing to partner with us for our annual anthologies, and Nick Panagiotopoulos
for his amazing design skills. We couldn't have done this without you.If you would like to support the vignette, please help spread the word about this anthology today. Here are some quick ways you can help:Share on Twitter:
@VineLeavesLJ Best of #Anthology, #NewRelease out today! Awesome vignettes, incredible talent. Great 4 #xmasstocking! http://bit.ly/VdvIKjShare on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/473682022674900/Tell us, what's one thing in your life that you have done for others, that you are super proud of?~Jessica Bell
Starting with the January 2013 issue, Vine Leaves Literary Journal
will now go live on the THIRD Friday of each publication month. Our submission deadlines
remain the same.
Looking for something to read in the meantime? Make sure you pick up a copy of the BEST OF VINE LEAVES ANTHOLOGY
, or re-read our last issue
. There's plenty of talent between the pages to keep you cozied up by the fire this holiday season.
PRE-ORDER NOW! Editors:
Jessica Bell & Dawn IusOriginal Artwork
: Gary WatersISBN
: 140 X 216 mm (Perfect Bound)Printing
: premium colour on high quality paperPages
: €13.99The Blurb:
In late 2011, Jessica Bell and Dawn Ius founded Vine Leaves Literary Journal to offer the vignette, a forgotten literary form, the exposure and credit it deserves.
The vignette is a snapshot in words, and differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot, instead it focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object.
The journal, published quarterly online, is a lush synergy of atmospheric prose, poetry, photography and illustrations, put together with an eye for aesthetics as well as literary merit. The annual print anthology showcases the very best pieces from across the year.
From the haunting prose of Theresa Milstein and Carrie Mumford, to the controversial and quirky work of H. Edgar Hix and Greg Belliveau, the pathological effects of cigarettes and apple seeds, ice sculptures and mental illness are explored. We meet a lovable old man named Joseph and find out out how the good old washing machine can change one’s life. Oh, and how could we forget a mention of the mother with the scissors?
Each vignette merges to create a vivid snapshot in time and place. Prepare for big stories in small spaces, between and beyond the words.
Read one at a time.
Taste them. Savour them.
Live them.PRE-ORDER to receive your discount on the recommended retail price.Australia $20.99 + postage
(RRP $23.99)UK £9.99 + postage
(RRP £11.50)USA $17.99
(RRP $20.99)Europe €11.99 + postage
(RRP €13.99)Rest of the World $20.99 plus postage
For more than three copies contact sale(at)emergent-publishing(dot)com
for discounts on shipping.
We're proud of the work published in Vine Leaves
and remain committed to giving the vignette its time in the spotlight - so naturally, we dug through our first year of submissions to find a half dozen of our favorite pieces to nominate for the prestigious Pushcart Prize
. Whew! And we thought selecting work for the anthology was tough!
While we could have submitted hundreds of your vignettes, the maximum is six - so please join us in wishing the best of luck to these wonderful Vine Leaves writers/nominees:Broken
- Kathryn RobertsThe Blemish Collector
- Carrie MumfordYou Laughed
- John BieseckerWe Don't Need No Trouble
- Allen TaftAbandonment
- Valentina CanoJoseph
- Christina Tang-Bernas
For more information about the prize, including the nomination and selection process, please visit the website
.Good luck to our talented nominees!