April News 2014

Good news and Bad news.

We had two recipients for April. The first recipient, however, neglected to submit their copy within the body of the email to the judge. The judge was near willing to overlook this, but the submitter had also failed to include their address. Two, was one strike too many.

The second recipient had been chosen. Fortunately for us and for that person, they caught us in time with the announcement that another venue for publication had been found. We are happy for that individual that publication has come easily.

One of the goals for WhidbeyStudents is the opportunity to give the writing community and emerging writers a paying venue for work. It also gives us, the students, a firsthand experience in what editors and judges look for in a publication. Even ours.

The April Mailbox is open.

Keep on Writing!

March News 2014

Congratulations to Sarina Dorie of Eugene, Oregon, recipient of the Penn Cove Literary Arts Award for February 2014.

The Last Supper

Seven things I was certain of when I woke up Thursday morning to make Easter dinner:

1. Yams are supposed to sit in a dark pantry until used so they don’t sprout. They shouldn’t glow with an eerie green light. Ever. If they do, that serves you right for not buying organic.

2. The dirt in the grooves of the yams that looks like some kind of ancient hieroglyphs should come off quite easily with a scrub brush and some warm water. If it doesn’t, hope it has nothing to do with the glowing.

3. People who imagine luminous vegetables whispering to
them would probably be considered delusional or psychotic by their family members. It really is best to keep these things to oneself.

4. Even if the vegetables insist they be taken back to their home world or else they are going to blow up your planet, they should be ignored. They are yams; do you really think they have access to such powerful weapons?

5. Vegetables do not mind-meld with your husband. Nor do they offer him Tantric sex with fresh, nubile, female yams as barter to be spared from the sacrifice to the great bunny god of your primitive planet. As usual, he should be ignored.

6. Yams make a delicious substitute for pumpkin in pie. Skinned, chopped, pureed and then baked.

7. Who cares if alien laser beams are presently raining down on us if we have this wonderful meal on the table?


News Flash and Pending February Winner

It is the tradition of this publication to give the Penn Cove Literary Arts Award recipient their own blog space with little introduction. That said, the February PCLAA recipient will be announced soon after this posting.

The judge of the February contest announced a winner prior to the AWP, but the editor (ie, me) waited until after the event to make the announcement, pending plagiarism checks, and other admin duties. As it turns out, the original intended recipient failed to put the body of the story into the email’s text, which is clearly stated in the submission guidelines. I was willing to overlook this miscue until it was realized the recipient had neglected to include their mailing address.

I asked the judge if there was another recipient available with the standards that she would approve of. There was. Now, this brings up an interesting observation regarding contests/publications and submissions. Just because one was chosen over another does not (necessarily) indicate one was “better” than the other. When putting out our best work, we should always keep in mind that not only are we submitting our best but we are submitting to an individual. A person reads our work, not a consortium or group. Yes, they will get passed on to others — but they will be individuals as well. one person’s pleasure is another person’s disdain.

It has been my experience that professional editors and readers can see beyond their own inclinations — but they still have inclinations. This is not a commentary on the present situation specifically as it is a commentary on the state of affairs when submitting a piece of work for publication generally.

Read the rules.

Competition, per se, is fierce.

Now prepare to enjoy, Sarina Dorie’s The Last Supper

March Catch-up on AWP and Other Matters

First thing’s first — January did not have a finalist. This editor had made the changes for the February Penn Cove Award but neglected to mention that socks had not been knocked off for the January Award. Thanks to one author who had asked for a clarification.

Other News: AWP was an awesome hit for the NILA group and the students who participated (including this editor) were duly impressed. Lost in the shuffle was the February Award finalist. That stated, a finalist has been chosen and March is now open and we will take submissions. The theme for March is: Thaw.

The winning finalist will be contacted within the next day or two and the winner will be announced by Sunday at the latest. In the meantime,

Write On!

January News 2014

Congratulations to Kimberly Nguyen of Federal Way, Washington, recipient of the Penn Cove Literary Arts Award for December 2013.

The Open Door Policy
by Kimberly Nguyen

The key turned the lock without a click. The door inched open slowly until it thudded against the stopper.

Farrah dropped her backpack off to the side. “Brother? The door was unlocked.” A reproving tone.

“Sorry, sorry, had some guests over.” Floyd looked around quickly and snapped up the plate and cup around his laptop before heading into the kitchen.

Assured that their apartment hadn’t been broken into, Farrah removed the key from the lock and exchanged it with the mail key on the low table. “You haven’t gotten the mail yet, right?”

“Go ahead. Close the door.”

She waits until she gets back inside before looking through the letters. “There’s something from the bank, they say it’s important.” She notes that the only dishes on the rack are newly wet.

“Oh, that,” Floyd turns off the tap and dries his hands before continuing. “The guy who came over, Henry, told me about it. Bank account’s frozen.”

“Wait, doesn’t that mean you can’t take anything out? Are the police coming down on you? I’m in high school, but there’s a limit to how bad of an adult you can be, you know.”

“You of little faith. It’s the bank, it’s a special — no, you wouldn’t get it. They just need to borrow it for awhile and then they’ll return it. I’ve got the exact amount in an IOU right here down to the penny.”

There in the top left is a logo, alternating purple and green on a shield with guarding lions. It’s real ugly. Down near the bottom of a page is a pair of signatures. It’s real ugly, Floyd was in school when cursive was still being taught but it hasn’t made a real difference.

Farrah rubs at the place where her eyebrow ridge meets her nose, feeling how it’s sunken in. So she takes a breath and resets her face. “What was wrong with the old bank? The one that didn’t commandeer our money for no good reason?”

“Our money. Like you have a job. And this bank is tight-knit. We’re family; it’s a community.”

“Like you have a job either, Mr. Freelancer. Is it a cult?”

“What cult has bridge on Sunday evenings? Call dad, he approved it.” With that, Floyd extracts a cell phone from his pocket and extends it.

“No thanks, I have my o- give me that.” She snatches it out of his hand and flops into a chair. Mom’s more likely to be awake at this hour.

“Mom, the bank –”

“Is run by an old family friend. We don’t call it a cult, it’s an organization.”

“So it is a cult. What’s the money for? And how are you supposed to send us money if the account’s tied up?”

“Arthur’s running for offices and he has plenty of capable people to delegate to. You’ll manage for a month. Goodbye.” The screen goes black. Farrah, after some quick thought, flicks it back on and scrolls down the contact list.

“Cynthia, I know I said I’d be fine but if it’s not too complicated for you right now…I think I’d like to stay over for awhile.”