Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award: A Publishing Contest for Fiction Writers‏

This contest announcement came to me via email from Amanda Wilson the public relations manager at Create space.  I felt that this contest was important enough to publish separately from our regular announcements.  Please note that the window for submissions is only six days beginning February 2, so do not delay. Best of Luck, Joellen Kubiak-Woodall Editor The Write Room   The Contest Recently, and Penguin Group (USA) announced the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA), an international competition seeking fresh new writing voices. One Grand Prize winner will receive a full publishing contract with Penguin including a … Continue reading Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award: A Publishing Contest for Fiction Writers‏

Michael Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. His work has appeared in more than 280 publications and in over 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Turkey, Fiji, Nigeria, Algeria, Africa, India, United Kingdom, Republic of Sierra Leone, Israel, Nepal, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Finland, and Poland internet radio.  Audio MP3 of his poems are available upon request from the writer. Johnson’s new poetry chapbook, From Which Place the Morning Rises, and a new photo version of his The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom are both available  here on  … Continue reading Michael Lee Johnson

Pet Peeves

by Gina Gareri-Watkins It’s early Saturday morning and the dogs have apparently eaten the one remaining holiday assortment of chocolate candy and dried fruit. Having just walked into a morning and living room literally filled with crap, I’m once again reminded that pets do not lower your blood pressure in my house: Family pets have historically given me nothing but headaches. This past month I flushed the family fish, the box turtle escaped its outdoor pen, and my youngest daughter’s mouse died after three years and one last spin on the wheel while I was dusting its cage. To make … Continue reading Pet Peeves


by Vanessa Knauf “I love you.” “What?” Desiree can’t hear out of her right ear, so I often have to repeat myself. “I love you!” I shout. She frowns. “Love will tear us apart.” “Why do you say that?” “It’s like that Meat Loaf song—sooner or later you’ll be screwing around.” “I won’t do that.” “What?” “No! I won’t do that!” Desiree sighs and picks at her fuchsia stockings. Since she lost her hearing she has dressed in bold bright colors, perhaps hoping that the louder she dresses, the better she’ll hear. I grab the end of her teal scarf, … Continue reading Desiree


…Berenika by Micheal Lee Johnson Do what I tell you to do your face is like flour dough your nose like a slant directionally unknown like an adverb- tossed into space. Your hat is like an angel wedding gown draped over vodka body like a Christ shield protecting you in innocence. It is here I kiss your lips as a total stranger; bring myself closely to your eyes; camp out on your narrow lips and wait for the morning before I slide like a sled deep snow, away. Continue reading Berenika

Tiny Sparrow Feet

Tiny Sparrow Feet by Michael Lee Johnson It’s calm. Too quiet. My clear plastic bowl serves as my bird feeder. I don’t hear the distant scratching, shuffling of tiny sparrow feet, the wing dances, fluttering, of a hungry morning’s lack of big band sounds. I walk tentatively to my patio window, spy the balcony with detective eyes. I witness three newly hatched toddler sparrows, curved nails, mounted deep, in their mother’s dead, decaying back. Their childish beaks bent over elongated, delicately, into golden chips, and dusted yellow corn. Continue reading Tiny Sparrow Feet

A Break in the Day

   A Break in the Day by Sean Patrick Leary I am a goofy foot. So, I step up with my right foot, and push the board with my left. I push maybe a bit more ambitiously than I should. I’m running late again, and tell myself I need to hurry. But what I really need is to feed my spirit with a break in the day between work and study So I park at the top of the garage and without plotting, dive into the downhill. It all slides by, the breeze rejuvenates, and my eyes begin to blur … Continue reading A Break in the Day

God in a Box

God in a Box  by Sean Patrick Leary He keeps God in an ornate mahogany box, with an intricate, hand carved, heavy lid. The box sits on a shelf, on display, next to photo albums, memorabilia, sentimental items and trinkets. Occasionally he pulls the box down to peek inside.  Sometimes he even leaves it out overnight, around holidays, when certain family comes to visit, and particularly when he wants something not to be.  The lid is usually closed. It wouldn’t be right to let God hear his language, read his words, see his deceit, or listen to the illicit carnal … Continue reading God in a Box


ACC WRITERS STUDIO THE 5TH ANNUAL LITERARY CONTEST. $250 first prizes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for unpublished work. Colorado residents only. Deadline: February 2. Winners honored at the Writers Studio Literary Festival in April. Submission guidelines at Writers Studio Web site: E-mail: Phone: (303) 797-5815. PLAN B PRESS 5TH ANNUAL POETRY CHAPBOOK CONTEST. Prize: $225 plus 50 copies. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: March 1.For details and prospectus call (215) 732-2663 or visit AMERICAN POETRY JOURNAL 2009 BOOK PRIZE.  For a full-length collection, 50-65 pages. $1,000 plus publication; all entries considered for publication. Deadline: February 28. … Continue reading CONTESTS and AWARDS for JANUARY 2009