Friday, April 20, 2007

Flash Your Tale!

Editors’ Choice Flash Fairy Tale Competition

The quest is simple—write a fairy tale in one hundred words or fewer,* and all the kingdom’s riches shall be yours! The top five stories will be published online and in mini-zine form while being heralded as the most magnificent of all by PSU’s Ooligan Press. The winning authors will also read their heroic stories at a campus speaking engagement fit for royalty.

Does your fable of dangerous dragons, cavorting centaurs, or pesky pixies have what it takes? Submit your entry to by the stroke of midnight on May 7th, 2007. Late entries shall be turned into pumpkins.

*Do you doubt one hundred words is enough? If so, you’ll be surprised to learn the paragraphs above have exactly one hundred words between them!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ink-Filled Page Call for Submissions

Ink-Filled Page
Young Adult Issue

The Ink-Filled Page quarterly literary journal is produced by Indigo Editing, LLC, and showcases emerging writing talent, and one issue per year is dedicated to young adult writers. The journal is published online every three months, and a print anthology is released once a year. Submit your work for a chance to be published!

Literary Submissions:
Fiction submissions can be short stories or novel excerpts. Novel excerpts must be self-contained to stand alone in the journal. The nonfiction section is open to personal narratives and essays. While all genres are welcome, special interests include travel, multi-cultural themes, feminism, and overcoming challenges.

Submit literary pieces in Times New Roman, twelve-point font, double spaced as Word attachments to e-mail. Limit submissions to 3,000 words, one submission per candidate. Authors who submit more than one piece will not be considered.

Artwork Submissions:
Artwork submissions are open to all mediums, but pieces must be submitted electronically. Winning pieces are selected based on composition and originality. We are looking for pieces that highlight the human experience—show us the good or the bad, be surreal or real, but make sure that whatever you submit connects us, human to human.

Limit three submissions per candidate. Artists who submit more than three pieces will not be considered. Submit digital artwork at 300 dpi or higher.

Candidates for the young adult issue must be between thirteen and eighteen years old. Selected candidates will be required to submit a release form from their parents or guardians. All work must be original and unpublished. By submitting your work to the Ink-Filled Page, you are offering first online and print publication rights. Rights revert to authors and artists after publication.

E-mail all submissions to with a 100-word bio, your age, and Fiction Submission, Nonfiction Submission, or Artwork Submission in the subject bar by May 31, 2007. Winners will be announced by the end of June, the online journal will be released in July, and the print anthology will be released in August.

Visit for more details and to view the most recent issue of the Ink-Filled Page.

Monday, April 16, 2007

3rd Annual Burnside Review Chapbook Competition

When I moved to Portland a year ago, this was one of the first local journals—and competitions—I learned about. Check out the Burnside Review's contest page for more information.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Theatre Vertigo's One Page Play Festival

Just as it's wise to read outside your comfort zone, it's also good—and fun—to experiment with your writing as well. If you're not normally a playwright, you may find an upcoming contest from Portland's Theatre Vertigo a great opportunity to exercise those particular writing muscles. Here's the press release:

Words, words, words. Normally, theatres ask you for money when talking about fundraising but Theatre Vertigo is asking for your words. We are rapidly ending our 9th season as "Portland's Premier Acting Ensemble" and would like you to contribute to our next fundraiser. We are holding "The One Page Play Festival" in Portland, OR, Summer 2007 (date and location TBA) and need you to write a play.

Think it might be hard? Well, you only have to write A SINGLE PAGE. That's right. One page. The theme is Dirty Laundry: America's Best Unkept Secrets. Let your imagination take you from there. We are looking for just about any genre, so the sky's is the limit.

Originally conceived by Robert Caisely, Associate Professor at the University of Idaho, the One Page Play Festival allows every playwright to contribute to this exciting event. Don't think you're a writer? You have one page to find out. Please read the submission guidelines below and then write your play. We encourage all skills, ideas, and scripts!

If you would like to submit a play to Theatre Vertigo's One Page Play Festival, please submit your plays to
, following these guidelines:

1. Plays must be no longer than one-page in length (9–12 pt font)
2. Plays must not have been previously produced or published in any form
3. Maximum of 4 characters per script
4. Maximum of 4 entries per writer
5. Plays must address, directly or indirectly, the festival theme of Dirty Laundry: America's Best "Unkept" Secrets
6. Plays can either be comic or dramatic, in any style or genre
7. Plays must have extremely limited production/staging demands, as the play will be produced "without decor"
8. Entries must be submitted via e-mail as an attachment in MS Word format or PDF (and should include the author's name, address, phone number, a brief bio, and one-sentence description of the play in the body of the email. The subject of the e-mail should read as follows:
RE: "OnePagePlays/author's full name" (OnePagePlays/Jessica Rabbit)"
9. All entries must include a cover page (in the same file as the script itself) that includes the title, the author's name, address, phone number, and e-mail address
10. We will notify you when we have received your script and in the following weeks, we notify you if your script has been selected.
11. Deadline is May 1st.

Haiku Slam Classic

If you're in the Northwest and the spring sunshine is making you long for both a trip to the Oregon coast and some poetry, you might be interested in this:


Saturday, April 21, 7:00 p.m.
at Café Mundo, 711 NW 2nd Court in the Nye Beach area of Newport
FREE admission for contestants AND spectators
[No separate open mike this time]

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Nye Beach Writers Series invites poets and curious spectators to participate in the second annual Oregon Coast Instant Haiku Classic. Admission is free and prizes will be awarded to winning performers.

The Haiku Classic is a four-team poetry competition, scored by the audience in a format similar to a diving event where judges hold up scores. All poets are randomly grouped into teams, which may have three or four members depending on the number of people who sign up. Pacific City author MATT LOVE and Newport's mad poet and raconteur ANDREW RODMAN will co-host the event.

Traditionally, haikus are unrhymed, 17-syllable, three-line poems (5-7-5 structure). The Oregon Coast Instant Haiku Classic format retains this 5-7-5 structure, but competition haikus can rhyme. Poets can also expect to write upon a wide variety of subjects, presented to them on the spot by the hosts.

After teams are formed they compete against each other. The host throws out a word or phrase and each member from each team composes a haiku relating to that word or phrase. After one minute is up, the poets recite their haikus, and the judges score them on a 1 to 10 scale. The teams continue competing until the team with the highest total wins the final round and thus, poetic glory.

Prizes will be awarded to the first- and second-place teams. Even if a person does not want to participate in the competition, three volunteer judges are needed for each round. Judges may be selected from the audience. Space is limited to 16 poetic participants. First come and first served. Sign-up begins at 6:45 p.m.; there will be no pre-registration. The competition will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m.

Rick Bartow, one of Oregon's most cherished artists and sculptors, will be performing original songs and traditional Americana music at Café Mundo immediately after the Haiku Slam.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

Unless you've been living under a rock these past few months, you've probably heard of this book (if not the title, at least the word "scrotum.") A book geared for middle grade readers, the author, Susan Patron, got a lot of flack from some communities for using this word in the first chapter, and an entire censorship debate ensued.

In the book, we follow ten-year-old Lucky and her dog, HMS Beagle (named after the ship Charles Darwin used for his scientific discoveries) from one adventure to the next in the desert town of Hard Pan, California. When Lucky's mother suddenly dies, she is sent to live with her father's first wife, Brigitte, who later becomes her legal guardian. This complicated relationship develops precisely because Lucky's father doesn't want her. The impact this has on Lucky can be seen in her attachment to eavesdropping on various twelve step meetings in order to find her "Higher Power" (the power that will explain her life), and in her survival kit backpack she takes with her everywhere in case there is an emergency. Ultimately, it is abandonment Lucky fears most, and when Brigitte talks of going back to her home country of France, Lucky must grow up quickly in order to take control of her own future.

While the subject matter in this book is heavy, Patron never makes the reader feel sorry for Lucky, or be too sad to want to read any more. The power here lies in Lucky's brave and quirky take on life, and in the way she recounts stories that any child overhears and wants to demystify. So when Lucky tells the story of a dog being bit by a snake on the scrotum, it is not indecent or obscene. Rather, it is a child observing and imitating the world around her that is made up of adults who talk about curious things. Censoring such occurrences not only does a disservice to the author, but assumes that kids aren't worthy of being told the truth about the world they live in. Patron's writing shines through clear and bright in this book (it is no coincidence it was a Newbery winner), and will make you wish for the days when you were ten and life seemed so magical, even when it was hard.

-Review by Andrea Deeken

Monday, April 09, 2007

Congratulations to Mark Ellis

Congratulations to Mark Ellis for the publication of his short story "The Beach at Newport" as an Amazon Short. Buy the story for only fifty cents at, and watch for future publication notices of Mark's stories here on Seeing Indigo.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Question: Punctuation and Quotation Marks

Kristin and I have noticed a sudden resurgence of the incorrect habit of putting closing punctuation outside quotation marks. We mused over reasons for this but couldn't come up with much.

Others are seeing it too, though. From The Chicago Manual of Style Q & A section:

Q. I'm teaching a class at the university after a long break and have discovered that most of my students are putting commas or other punctuation outside quotes rather than inside. Is either correct?

A. Tsk—the things kids get up to these days! You have to watch them every minute. Unless you're teaching in the U.K., the punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. (But see CMS 6.9 for exceptions.)

Well, while we can't come up with a reason for the rampant errant commas and periods, we can post a note to those of you who care enough to watch your grammar (as everyone should). So, keep your punctuation inside the closing quotation mark, unless it's a colon, question mark, or exclamation mark (per CMS 6.9).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New Release Spotlight: Better

To keep you up to date on book trends, Indigo Editing offers a book review every week. Some reviews are endorsed by other publishing gurus, and some are the voices of our own editors. Read and enjoy!

New Release Spotlight:
Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
by Atul Gawande

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Surgeon and MacArthur fellow Gawande applies his gift for dulcet prose to medical and ethical dilemmas in this collection of 12 original and previously published essays adapted from the New England Journal of Medicine and the New Yorker. If his 2002 collection, Complications, addressed the unfathomable intractability of the body, this is largely about how we erect barriers to seamless and thorough care. Doctors know they should wash their hands more often to avoid bacterial transfer in the ward, but once a minute does seem extreme. Using chaperones for breast exams seems a fine idea, but it does make situations awkward. "The social dimension turns out to be as essential as the scientific," Gawande writes—a conclusion that could serve as a thumbnail summary of his entire output. The heart of the book are the chapters "What Doctors Owe," about the U.S.'s blinkered malpractice system, and "Piecework," about what doctors earn. Cheerier, paradoxically, are the chapters involving polio and cystic fibrosis, featuring Dr. Pankaj Bhatnagar and Dr. Warren Warwick, two remarkable men who have been able to catapult their humanity into their work rather than constantly stumble over it. Indeed, one suspects that once we cure the ills of the health care system, we'll look back and see that Gawande's writings were part of the story. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publisher: Metropolitan Books (April 3, 2007)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0805082115

Monday, April 02, 2007

Portland Literary Events: Week of April 2, 2007

Monday, April 2
John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry:
In This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future

Where: Bagdad Theater
3702 SE Hawthorne
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: $26 includes admission and a copy of In This Moment on Earth

Tuesday, April 3
Grace by Anne Lamott
Where: Bagdad Theater
3702 SE Hawthorne
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, April 4
The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Where: Powell's City of Books
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Thursday, April 5
Tess Gallagher
Where: Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard
Psychology Auditorium
Portland, Oregon 97202
When: 8 pm
Cost: Free

First Thursday with Susie Horgan and Punk Love
Where: Powell's City of Books
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Congratulations to Kristin Thiel

Congratulations to Kristin Thiel for winning the Ooligan Editors' Choice Award for "Marry Me, Life." You can find Kristin's story, as well as the other winners' stories, under News on Ooligan's new Web site.