Champlain Writer’s Newsletter

Welcome to the Champlain Writer’s newsletter! Each edition features a new selection of places to submit, tools for writers, and prompts (for those suffering from the dreaded writer’s block). Check out the upcoming events to see what’s happening on or around campus.

It’s NaNoWriMo!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) “is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing,” and it happens every November! Starting November 1, participants are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. It is, without a doubt, a challenge, and we’re headed into the home stretch.

Need Some Inspiration?

NaNoWriMo has a NaNo Prep section, featuring everything from NaNo Prep events to community forums to their NaNo Prep resource library. Check these out for a little bit of help:


Where Can I Submit My Work?

Some of the featured magazines accept genres other than what they’re listed under. Check out their full submissions guidelines to see all of the options. Be sure, when submitting, that you carefully read through the submissions guidelines, as well. Many literary magazines are strict about submission format.

The MacGuffin: A national literary magazine based out of Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Published three times a year, MacGuffin is actively seeking short fiction pieces, no longer than 5000 words.

Cactus Heart: A metaphor for how they believe literature and art should be. Looking for pieces that will shock, wound, and delight them. Wants stories in which the editor can “see the crash … see the sky light up.” No specified length.

The First Line: A literary magazine that serves as a creative exercise for writers. The First Line gives writers a starting point, which they use to stem in different directions. For the purpose of nonfiction, they are looking for 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work. Rolling submissions. No reading fee.

Palooka: An international literary magazine that seeks to publish unique pieces of writing. Open to various voices, forms, and styles. Submissions may be one essay or up to three flash essays. Submissions must be no longer than 12,000 words. Rolling submissions. Reading fee is $2.50.

Narrative Northeast: Currently seeking submissions for a women’s-themed issue that are by women, about women, and explore the inner and outer lives of women and/or girls. Submit 3-4 poems. Rolling submissions until the issue is filled. Reading fee is $3.

Quiddity: A print journal of a larger multimedia arts venue. Seeks exemplary prose from emerging and established writers. Submit up to 5 poems per submission period. Deadline is December 15, 2016. Reading fee is $3.

Not what you’re looking for? No sweat! Check out Poets & Writers list of literary magazines to find one that’s a good fit for you.

Tools For Writers



Writing: As Told by Published Authors


If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.

–Somerset Maugham

Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.

–Ayn Rand


A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer.

–Joseph Conrad

Poetry creates the myth, the prose writer draws its portrait.

–Jean-Paul Sartre


Current Writing Contests

Because we can’t feature every single contest, here’s a more complete list for you to take a look at. This site lists deadlines and provides links to submission guidelines.

  • Free Verse Poetry Contest: Fanstory is looking for free verse poetry submissions. (Free verse poetry are poems that don’t follow any structure or style.) Winner will receive a $100 cash prize. Entrance fee is $9.95. Deadline is November 27, 2016.

  • Fall Story Contest: A prize of $2,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a short story, a short short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a longer work of prose. A second-place prize of $1,000 and publication in Narrative is also awarded. Looking for works with “a strong narrative drive, with characters we can respond to, and with effects of language, situation, and insight that are intense.” Submissions must not exceed 15,000 words. Entrance fee is $24. Deadline is November 30, 2016.

  • Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition: Looking for short stories in 1,500 words or less. Winning author is awarded $3,000 cash, publication in Writer’s Digest, and a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference. Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2016.


This Week’s Prompts


Write a story with a character who’s a writer (it may not be as easy as you think). Your character has lost all ability to distinguish between reality and the worlds they’ve created for their own stories. Everything starts to blend together.



Long walks at night— 
that's what good for the soul...
           —Charles Bukowski, And The Moon And The Stars And The World

What happens to your soul when you take a walk at night? Does it grow peaceful? Fearful? What do you observe and feel at night that you don’t normally during the day?

Upcoming Events


Willard & Maple Meeting: Every Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the editorial staff of Willard & Maple will be meeting in Ireland 217 to do a poetry/prose selection for the next edition. Come for the full meeting, come late, leave early. Stay for what works with your schedule and have a voice about what goes into the next issue.

Maple Book Signing: For all you food-enthusiasts and emerging food writers, author Katie Webster will be signing copies of her cookbook, Maple. There will be samples of some of the featured treats, as well as a meet and greet with Webster. The event will be on November 26 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Phoenix Books in Downtown Burlington.

Header image designed by Emma Reed.