• HCWP: Hub City’s Literary Hub

    on Feb 14, 19 with No Comments

    Katie P. Sherman On the corner of King and W. Main Street, in a renovated Masonic Temple, you’ll find the home of The Hub City Writers’ Project (HWCP). The building — which houses a coffee shop, bakery, independent bookstore, and the Hub City Press offices — is...

  • Reading period

    We Can’t Wait to See Your Work!

    on Feb 7, 19 with No Comments

    It’s that time again! South 85 Journal is currently reading for our Spring / Summer 2019 issue, which will come out June 15, 2019.   We are seeking fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. We are especially interested in work that conveys a sense of place,...

  • After A Deep Dive in Writing, Don’t Be...

    on Jan 1, 19 with No Comments

    Andrea Marcusa You’ve just done a deep dive into difficult material: the death of someone dear, a trauma from childhood, a failure that cuts deep. Your editor, professor, and writing colleagues — those carefully honed beta readers — were moved by your work. You were...

  • Pineapple by Roni Rae Robbins

    Finally! The Fall / Winter 2018 Issue!

    on Dec 15, 18 with No Comments

    We know you’ve been waiting for it. The Fall / Winter 2018 issue of South 85 Journal is now available online! Flash Fiction Contest Winners In October, we announced the winners of the 2018 Julia Peterkin Award for Flash Fiction. Now, you can read the stories! • Winner...

  • The Passing Landscape by Ezra Koch

    The Passing Landscape

    on Dec 6, 18 with No Comments

    Ezra Koch “I don’t want a drink,” Camille repeated. “Suit yourself,” Ernest said, and walked the short distance from the couch to the fridge shakily, his high bony hips jimmying side-to-side. Camille felt nauseous. She didn’t ordinarily get motion sickness, but then,...

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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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  • Life on Mars with My Father-in-law

    on Dec 16, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    A fellow-writer once told me that the ending of a story should be “surprising yet inevitable,” meaning unexpected, but not outside the realm of possibility. I’ve found in my own writing that the easy part is to come up with a good start or interesting concept but wrapping it up takes much more than a few hours, or days, or even months.

    I was reminded just how important a clean ending is over the last two months or so. Every Sunday my father-in-law made me, my wife, and my mother-in-law watch a show called Life on Mars. It started as an alternative to watching him watch NASCAR but quickly moved to a ritual we looked forward to. Since the whole series only has 17 episodes, we moved through it fairly quickly.

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  • Queuing Up Quiet

    on Dec 3, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    My husband and I were driving home from dinner the other night, our toddler snoozing in her carseat behind us, when the shuffle on my husband’s phone queued up one of my favorite songs, the Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four.”  As I sang along (a little too enthusiastically), one of the lines struck me as it hadn’t before.  McCartney suggests that on Sunday mornings, he and his partner could “go for a ride.”  Suddenly, I was trying to remember the last time I took a car ride recreationally.  The closest thing I could think of was a few years ago during our house-hunting phase, but even that was goal-oriented driving.  Not even our annual Christmas lights cruising really counted since we always have a plan, an agenda. 

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