On Thursday 11/9, Lit Cleveland and Gordon Square Review hosted a launch party and celebration for GSR's newly published inaugural issue. The event drew a large crowd to Happy Dog's Underdog venue, where issue contributors read prose, poetry, and non-fiction pieces to the audience. Thank you to all who contributed and read, and to all who bravely submitted work to Gordon Square Review's first issue!
We're grateful to have received so much fantastic coverage of Gordon Square Review's celebratory launch party November 9th at Happy Dog West. Here's a quick press round-up:
Literary Cleveland debuts Gordon Square Review literary journal Thursday (Cleveland.com)
Prepare for launch: Lit Cleveland's Gordon Square Review makes its debut (freshwatercleveland.com)
Literary Cleveland introduces new online literary magazine Gordon Square Review (coolcleveland.com)
Literary Cleveland launching inaugural issue of Gordon Square Review (news-herald.com)
Literary Cleveland hosts magazine launch party at Happy Dog West next week (clevescene.com)
Literary Cleveland launching inaugural issue of Gordon Square Review (morningjournal.com)
And here's more on Gordon Square Review's launch party and what to expect from GSR's debut issue:
Literary Cleveland, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help create and nurture a vibrant literary arts community in Northeast Ohio, is hosting a launch party for the Gordon Square Review on Thursday, Nov. 9th from 6:30-9 pm at the Happy Dog at 5801 Detroit Ave. The event will feature readings from contributors and contest winners, networking, and a raffle for Lit Cleveland swag. Tickets are $8 (free for issue contributors and Lit CLE members).
Gordon Square Review is a new online literary magazine published biannually to showcase emerging writers nationwide, award editorial mentorships, and provide a venue to spotlight Northeast Ohio writers. The inaugural issue will go live the first week of November at www.gordonsquarereview.org.
“Getting published in literary magazines offers writers a way to get their work noticed and can be a launchpad for further publications,” says Lee Chilcote, Director of Lit Cleveland. “We’re very excited about the inaugural issue of Gordon Square Review, which features innovative work from writers across the country and in Northeast Ohio, work by writers who benefited from editorial mentorships, and of course featured pieces by our contest winners.”
“In our debut issue, you’ll find imaginary ponies, smoke signals, Greek mythology, gymnastics, smuggled champagne, heat waves, and hawks,” says Laura Maylene Walter, an award-winning writer who serves as editor-in-chief of Gordon Square Review. “These poems and prose pieces offer a startling range of creativity and innovative form, and we couldn’t be prouder of this issue.”
Prose writer Matt Weinkam (MFA in fiction, Northern Michigan University and managing editor of Passages North Literary Journal) serves as Gordon Square Review’s prose editor. Ali McClain (candidate in poetry, Northeast Ohio Master’s in Fine Arts program and director of West Side Community House’s Summer of Sisterhood program) is poetry editor.
Gordon Square Review received over 800 submissions (no, that’s not a typo) from around the globe, including contest entries. Ultimately, the editors selected 10 poems and 8 pieces of prose to be published. Here they are:
Poetry contest winner: “On the Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings” by Mimi Plevin-Foust (($250 prize plus voucher for one free Lit Cleveland class)
Prose contest winner: “The Difference Between Me and Paige Pendleton” by Shannon Ready ($250 prize plus voucher for one free Lit Cleveland class).
Issue contributors (poetry): Bethany Brengan, Jenelle Clausen, Donna Hunt (NE Ohio spotlight), Jen Karetnick, Bill Lythgoe, Paula Persoleo, William Solden (NE Ohio spotlight), Mary Weems (NE Ohio spotlight), Stephanie Choi (editing mentorship)
Issue contributors (prose): Joe Kapitan (NE Ohio spotlight), Christen Kauffman, Hannah Lackoff, Phyllis Levine (NE Ohio spotlight), Christine Langley Mahler, Carol Pang (editing mentorship), Nan Wigington (editing mentorship)
For more info about GSR and to check out their first issue, please visit www.gordonsquarereview.org.
Click here to register for Thursday's party.
On Thursday 10/26, Ohio fiction authors Robin Yocum, Shelley Costa, and Casey Daniels gathered at Market Garden Brewery to discuss how they transform the real events of their lives into fiction. Each author read a passage of recent work - Yocum from A Brilliant Death, Costa from A Killer's Guide to Good Works, and Daniels from Smoke and Mirrors, set to be published in November - before taking questions from the audience.
Interestingly, each author replied differently to the question of how their life experience informs their fiction. Offering stories of the small Ohio town he grew up in, Yocum explained that he imbues a bit of himself into each of his protagonists. Costa similarly spoke of fiction as "the art we make of truth", a kind of creative memoir (she then joked that she hates memoirs). Daniels instead described fiction as a form of "time travel", explaining her personal life rarely makes it into her books. When asked why they enjoy writing about Ohio, each author alluded to the state's rich, gritty, and ethnically diverse history.
Like all Read Ohio events, Fictionalizing Truth was presented in partnership with Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library and supported by the Gund Foundation.
Last month, Literary Cleveland teamed up with Dana Norris of Story Club Cleveland for a workshop that focused on telling personal stories in compelling and entertaining ways. The month long workshop, which met Thursdays in September at Loganberry Books, allowed people to examine interesting, amusing, traumatic, harrowing, or in some other way defining moments of their lives, and craft stories out of those experiences.
The class was capped off with a staged reading of the pieces in front of a live audience. The performance, held at Forest City Brewery on Thursday, October 12, featured Theodore Pavlich, Polina Guth, Alana Meyers-Kio, Christina Morris, Mike Toro, Nick Cohen, Kristen Zajac, Laura Rocker, and Marchaé Grair telling their stories to an an audience who also enjoyed craft beers, food, and festive Halloween decorations.
Five of Cleveland’s most talented young writers presented their work to a crowd of nearly 100 people at the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern on Tues. Sept. 26th. The room was filled with Lit Cleveland members and supporters, as well as family and friends of the five readers. Special shout out to the Dutton family who traveled all the way from Texas to see Alys Dutton perform at the event! Readers Raja Freeman, Sara Shearer, Alysandra Dutton, Angelo Maneage, and Angel Cezanne presented a diverse and exciting selection of poems, essays and flash fiction to a lively crowd who enjoyed good writing, hot dogs and tater dots, and of course beer. The night also included networking games and a raffle for Lit Cleveland swag.
"Let's Murder Somebody," read the PowerPoint at the front of the room during "Motive, Means, and Opportunity," a mystery writing class led by local writers Shelley Costa and Casey Daniels this month at Cleveland Public Library's Memorial Nottingham branch in North Collinwood. Over the course of three Saturday morning sessions, participants learned how to tell the difference between mystery sub-genres, how to create a compelling sleuth, and how to plot a gripping book. By the end of the course, writers left with ideas for their own mystery novels as well as the first draft of an important scene: the sleuth discovering the first body.
This mystery writing class starts up again for round two beginning Saturday, September 30 where topics will include finding an agent and writing a book pitch. If you're interested in signing up you better move fast, people are dying to get in.
Early September was a great time for readers and writers in Northeast Ohio, as the second-ever Cleveland Book Week invited the literary community to explore and discuss works by Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners as well as celebrated the city's young writing talent.
Hosted by The Cleveland Foundation, this year's Cleveland Book Week featured a series of special events, including the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, a free Art Book & Zine Fair, and readings from internationally recognized authors Isabel Allende, Karan Mahajan, Tyehimba Jess (see photo above), and others. Check out a portion of Tyehimba Jess' reading here.
August was an exciting time for Literary Cleveland as well. As part of our monthly Between the Lines series spotlighting local authors, we hosted celebrated writer Thrity Umrigar and novelist Sarah Willis at the east-side Happy Dog. The event featured Thrity reading from her newly published novel Everybody's Son before chatting with Sarah and the audience about her approach to writing fiction. In late August, Lit Cleveland also hosted a workshop titled Freelance Writing: Crafting the Perfect Pitch with freelance writer and journalist Annie Zaleski. We were delighted to hear that a participant submitted a successful pitch to a magazine soon after attending the class!
The past couple weeks reminded us of the breadth of talent and diversity in Cleveland's literary community. We're excited to build on this momentum by offering quality programs, highlighting talented local authors, and encouraging aspiring writers to continue developing their craft.
Lit Cleveland caps off successful Cleveland Inkubator week with day-long literary conference at Cleveland Public Library
This year's Cleveland Inkubator literary arts festival culminated in a free day-long writer's conference at Cleveland Public Library's Main Branch downtown. The conference -- which followed a week of free literary events, including author talks, performances, a book swap, and open mic -- was a great success, drawing nearly 300 readers and writers from Northeast Ohio. Participants attended an array of writing workshops and craft talks on topics ranging from flash fiction to memoir writing to zine making and beyond. The conference also featured inspiring performances by the writers of Lake Erie Ink and a Resource Fair staffed by local literary arts organizations.
Click here to watch Dan Chaon's keynote reading and conversation with D.M. Pulley
And here for performances by the talented youth of Lake Erie Ink
Click here to check out our Inkubator news roundup
All in all, this year's Inkubator drew nearly 500 people and helped further our mission of creating and nurturing a vibrant literary arts community in Northeast Ohio.
Thanks again to our sponsors Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Cleveland Public Library, Ohio Arts Council, OverDrive, Cleveland Colectivo, Mac's Backs Books on Coventry, and Loganberry Books for helping make this incredible week possible. And thanks to all who attended for proving again just how vibrant and diverse Northeast Ohio's literary community is.
A number of local news organizations were kind enough to cover this year's Cleveland Inkubator literary arts week. Check out links to the full articles below, and join us this week at one of many free events!
Cleveland.com: Literary Cleveland kicks off a week of events uniting local writers
Ideastream: Literary Cleveland Rallies Northeast Ohio Writing Community
freswatercleveland: Summertime workshops spark a hot mess of creativity
news5cleveland.com: Cleveland Inkubator celebrates the comeback of literary arts in our city
The News Herald: Literary Cleveland plans free festival for writers and readers
To create a strong community of readers and writers in Cleveland, Ohio through workshops, classes, readings and other events.