Celebrate our finalist!

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Lisa Carroll-Lee, who’s been in one of my writing groups for more than two years, has landed another short story as a Finalist in the Austin Chronicle 2009 Short Story Contest. The Chronicle has a really lean word limit, but Lisa has made it to the Top 10 with her story, Monsters of Nature.

We saw Monsters in October at our manuscript group meeting and gave her our responses to her flight of fancy about furry children. Congratulations to Lisa, and best of luck in the finalists’ round. As they say at Oscar time, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

Lisa has made the finalist cut before on the contest. The Chronicle will publish the top three of this year’s 2,500-word gems on Feb. 13.

Submissions, Part 2

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Some literary publications never make it to paper. The Web world hosts untold numbers of what are sometimes called “zines.” It may not be any easier getting your writing published in an online lit mag. But there are more of them out there than the printed versions — and getting a look at the finished editions happens much faster. The lag between reading time and publication is shorter when there’s no printer or distribution in the process.

One of the pieces of paper from my 2006 AWP tour:

Just a simple business card, instead of a postcard printed in four colors.

Carve is named after the short story titan Raymond Carver. You can read their magazine online at carvezine.com. They have a yearly contest, judged by a PEN Award winner, with a top prize of $1,000. Unlike paper lit mags that are run by college students, Carve and these online pubs don’t have a formal reading period.

The odd part of the story: Carve Magazine doesn’t accept online submissions yet. Yup, postage and paper to get you in the door. For now, as most of the lit mags say.