It’s No April Fools Joke

On April 1st, 1980, the BBC reported that Big Ben would go digital.
On April 1st, 1980, the BBC reported that Big Ben would go digital.

Seriously, our submission deadline for the revival of Word Fountain is April 1st, 2016. Yeah, we did that. Maybe we should have said March 31st, so you wouldn’t think this was some kind of April Fool’s joke. But hey, look it as an extra day, and how appropriate is it that this extra day is a day that celebrates all sorts of fools and foolishness, including writers and writing?
Maybe the thought will inspire you to be daring, “foolish” enough even, to send us something.

Are you still not sure what to send to us? Well, for inspiration we offer the following admittedly random quotes about foolishness, writing, and creativity:

“To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.” — Anne Rice

“No one ever found wisdom without also being a fool. Writers, alas, have to be fools in public, while the rest of the human race can cover its tracks.” — Erica Jong

“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” — Ronald Dahl

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” — Joseph Chilton

“He is a fool who is not for love and beauty. I speak unto the young, for I am of them and always shall be.” — Phillip James Bailey

Maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch, but only if you are thinking of love and beauty in a Valentine’s-Day-greeting-card sort of way. How can one be real, on the sidewalk, in the dirt, and yet write with a glimmer of hope? How does one explore the reality of pain, anger, regret and fear, and yet write love? How does one write beauty without risking sentimentalism, sap and cliche?

Maybe all this gives you an idea of what we’re really hoping for in submissions to Word Fountain. We want works that inspire as well as provoke. We are the production of a public library, and born of a desire to promote literacy, writing, and the arts. We are library workers who labor daily in a changing and challenging environment, because we believe our work matters, makes a difference even, and because, most importantly, we love it.

Still unsure what to send? Well, we don’t want to make this sound like there is a formula, but hopefully you’ve gotten an idea from this post about the spirit of the work we are looking for.
This is our first issue back from a two-year hiatus, with four new editors who, while grateful for the work done by the previous team, probably have a whole different range of tastes. Still, taking a look at past issues is never a bad idea.

And keep in mind our guidelines and call to submissions for this issue. We realize that our short story requirement is on the short end of short, but we are looking to provide some real bang and diversity in a mere forty pages in our come-back issue. Think public library. Think gourmet dining on a budget. Think how the largest eagle emerges from an egg. And realize that it’s okay to leave us hanging; tension done well can be a satisfactory conclusion.

Finally, keep this in mind, while we require brevity, we are open to everything from memoir to ten-word-stories, free-verse to haiku. So surprise us. Make us smile. Make us angry. But give us a glimpse of something just beyond despair. Go ahead, let them say you’re foolish for trying. Even if we don’t end up publishing your work, we’ll be grateful that you gave us the privilege of considering it. The deadline is in two weeks and you’ve got nothing to lose. Seriously, no foolin’.

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One thought on “It’s No April Fools Joke

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  1. Reblogged this on The Dad Poet and commented:

    In 2013 two of my poems were published in Word Fountain, the Literary Magazine of the Osterhout Free Library. In 2014 the editors left. I would like to think those two events are not connected. At any rate, at the end of 2015 I found myself happily employed as one of the Branch managers for the library, where now, along with three others I have the honor of working to bringin Word Fountain to life again. Send us something of yours to consider by April 1st, would you? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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