• Photograph by William Crawford

    The Spring / Summer 2018 Issue Is Here!

    on Jun 15, 18 with No Comments

    The Spring / Summer 2018 Issue of South 85 Journal is now available online. Creative Work We are pleased to present work by the following contributors: • Artwork – Roger Camp, Richard Corso, William C. Crawford, Ann Schlotzhauer, Louis Staeble, Mauricio Paz Viola, and...

  • Mindful Writing

    5 Prompts for Mindful Writing

    on May 17, 18 with No Comments

    Diana Raab Mindfulness is about living in a very conscious way so that we can devote full attention to whatever we are doing. Mindful writing is a good way to escape from the chaos of our daily lives, and can also help us uncover our authentic voices and inspire the writer...

  • From Short Story to Novel

    on Apr 19, 18 with No Comments

    Gwen Holt Short stories are the bread and butter of the writing industry. They are easy to pick up and read in one sitting, easy to teach in one semester, easy to edit and comment on in a reasonable amount of time. That’s doesn’t mean they’re easy to write. A lot of blood...

  • AWP

    The Newbies’ Guide to AWP: aka 5 Things...

    on Feb 28, 18 with No Comments

    Gabrielle Brant Freeman I do not belong here! If my thoughts were on a t-shirt, this would have been emblazoned across my chest during my first AWP experience way back in 2008 in New York. I was about a month pregnant with my second child, I did not yet really consider myself to...

  • Daughter4254-Leigh-Statham

    Starting a Creative Revolution: Leigh Statham and Daughter4254

    on Oct 27, 17 with No Comments

    Mel Sherrer Leigh Statham, a writer who has served on South 85 Journal‘s staff, is currently touring with her new YA book, Daughter4254, which will officially be released by Owl Hollow Press on November 7.  We caught up with her for a few minutes for a sneak preview of...

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  • Shutting the Door

    on Feb 11, 12 in Blog by with No Comments

    In her essay “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf claimed that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” While Woolf’s essay had more to do with the lack of financial and educational freedom female writers were subject to, the title of this piece strikes upon an essential piece of equipment in the arsenal of any serious writer: a place to write.

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  • Writing Your Way Out

    on Feb 2, 12 in Blog by with Comments Off on Writing Your Way Out

    I tried the exercises. I wrote in different rooms of the house, different times of day. I tried writing something completely unrelated to shake myself out of a rut. I freewrote. You name it; I tried it. But none of it mattered because I’d managed to write myself into a corner. Everywhere I looked, there were obstacles. Somehow I’d worked my way into a scene I couldn’t get past because everything that would come after seemed to hinge upon it. Everything.

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  • Rebooting Your Brain

    on Jan 26, 12 in Blog by with Comments Off on Rebooting Your Brain

    What do you do when you get stuck on a story or run out of motivation or creativity? How do you refresh it? How do you get inspired?

    I’ve been wrestling with these questions lately because my imagination has been quite stingy. Just last week, while I was working on a short story, my brain froze up. Instantly, I felt stupid and incapable of forming complete thoughts. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening or what to write next or how to form the second half of the piece. Every idea I came up with seemed obvious or lame. It was extremely frustrating and I went three days without writing a good word (and this is bad because I have some deadlines coming up).

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  • The Well-Worn Book

    on Jan 22, 12 in Blog by with No Comments

    As a young girl, my grandmother would take me to pick out fabrics for the dresses she would sew for me to wear. My fingers loved to browse through bolts of soft cotton, rough tweeds, linear corduroys, and ethereal gauzes. I would hide within the racks, all the while feeling each pattern, each texture, each subtle pick of fiber. 

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  • The Importance of Writerly Friends

    on Dec 22, 11 in Blog by with Comments Off on The Importance of Writerly Friends

    I have a few hundred Facebook friends. Out of all of them there are maybe thirty or forty who have any semblance of an interest in writing or literature. Fewer still actively write, and I would only consider sharing my early drafts with a handful of them. These ‘writing friends’ are not only writers whose work and opinions on craft I admire, but they have also helped me in many ways. They’ve pushed me through drafts I thought were dead in the water, broadened my reading horizions with books I never would have picked up on my own, and helped me improve my writing as a whole. I’m always happy to look at a manuscript they might be working on, or to be a sounding board for their new ideas for novels or short stories. These kind of relationships are the ones that have gotten me through the more difficult times of being a writer. Not that family and loved ones aren’t great, but there’s no substitute for a friend who is right there with you in the thick of it.

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