Archives for posts with tag: prose

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Thank you, thank you, thank you to the 118 writers from around the world who participated in our MY FRONT DOOR Poetry & Prose Series, which ran from March 18-May 20, 2020.

Many thanks to the following authors for taking us through their doorways — and helping us feel connected during these challenging days.

Suzanne Allen
Cynthia Anderson
Alicia Austen
Jane Berg
Alice Venessa Bever
Shelly Blankman
Rosemary Boehm
Steve Bogdaniec
Anne Born
Nancy Brewka-Clark
Gregory Brooks
Kelsey Bryan-Zwick
Charis Buckingham
Karyl Carmignani
Patricia Carney
Jan Chronister
Tricia Marcella Cimera
Joan Colby
Clive Collins
A.S. Coomer
Joe Cottonwood
Neil Creighton
Isobel Cunningham
Michelle D’costa
Subhankar Das
Michelle Davies-Brown
Howard Richard Debs
Ashini J. Desai
Steven Deutsch
Julie A. Dickson
Katherine Edgren
Joseph A. Farina
Vern Fein
Jennifer Finstrom
Lourdes A. Gautier
Midge Goldberg
Vince Gotera
Vijaya Gowrisankar
Uma Gowrishankar
Anita Haas
Tina Hacker
Mark Andrew Heathcote
Jennifer Hernandez
Veronica Hosking
Stephen Howarth
Temidayo Jacob
Andrew Jeter
P M F Johnson
Joseph Johnston
James Ross Kelly
Phyllis Klein
Tricia Knoll
Laurie Kolp
Judy Kronenfeld
Jennifer Lagier
Mary Langer Thompson
Barbara Leonhard
Joan Leotta
Laurinda Lind
Rick Lupert
Tamara Madison
Shahé Mankerian
Ruthie Marlenée
Betsy Mars
Lindsey Martin-Bowen
Devika Mathur
Mary McCarthy
Daniel McGinn
Linda McKenney
Alice Morris
Leah Mueller
Priyanka Mukherjee
Robbi Nester
Maria Nestorides
Cristina M.R. Norcross
Carolyn O’Connell
Robert O’Mochain
Erin Parker
Martha Patterson
Apoorva B. Raj
Patrick T. Reardon
Kevin Ridgeway
Belinda Rimmer
Jeannie E. Roberts
Mary Rohrer-Dann
Kerfe Roig
Alexis Rotella
Sarah Russell
Kimberly Sailor
d.r. sanchez
Wilderness Sarchild
Jame Schwartz
Shloka Shankar
Sheikha A
Kashiana Singh
Leslie Sitter
Massimo Soranzio
Carol A. Stephen
Robert Strickland
Lesley Strutt
Jacque Stukowski
MK Sturdevant
JC Sulzenko
Debi Swim
Terrence Sykes
Jo Taylor
Alarie Tennille
Thomas R. Thomas
Wren Valentino
Alan Walowitz
Dylan Ward
Lisa Lerma Weber
Elaine Wesson
Kelley White
Lynn White
Lin Whitehouse
Kim Whysall-Hammond
Jonathan Yungkans
Joanie HF Zosike

Please check out our current call for submissions at the link below:

WEARING A MASK Poetry & Prose Series (May 31, 2020 deadline)

Photo of house in Palm Springs, California, by Don Stouder on Unsplash.

Haas door
A B-Movie Birthday
by Anita Haas

I listen at my front door — dare not open it nowadays. Once-friendly neighbors watch for infractions. Leave only for food or medicine. Always alone. Masks, gloves, shopping trolley, distance. Cross over the road. Look away.

Stories of chivatos (tattlers) and “balcony police” abound online.

Has he been caught? Fined? Would they say his errand wasn’t “essential”? Several thousand euros would be a lot to pay for a birthday cake.

Stories of power-hungry cops and soldiers abound online.

At last I hear footsteps on the stairs — elevator buttons not safe. I open the door a crack and super-hubby slips in, panting. “We are living a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers!” I giggle “Yes, The Curse of Covid-19!” “Felicidades, cariño! Your cake!” He presents it to me proudly. “Gracias! My hero! Quick! Mask off! Wash your hands!” I spray alcohol over the parcels, relieved.

Stories of infection and death abound online.

Eyes lined, lashes lengthened, hair curled, careful not to show the roots. Chic top and earrings, track pants and slippers. Our backs shun the front door, the same one we opened wide to welcome last year’s guests. We grin into the phone, me holding the cake and he the selfie-stick. We bet on the number of likes we’ll get. Confined but connected!

Happy birthday stories abound online.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When this whole craziness began, I knew, as a writer, that I wanted to capture the fear, the uncertainty, and the hilarity that we were all experiencing. Madrid, at this point is still one of the hardest hit places, with most residents strictly confined to small apartments. My little birthday celebration and the front door theme helped tie it all together.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anita Haas is a differently abled, Canadian writer and teacher based in Madrid, Spain. She has published books on film, two novelettes, a short story collection, and articles, poems, and fiction in both English and Spanish. Publications where her work has appeared  include Falling Star Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Tulane Magazine, Literary Brushstrokes, and Adelaide Magazine. She spends her free time enjoying tapas, flamenco, and B-movies with her husband and two cats.

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For the time being, many of us are required to wear a mask in public — or we choose to wear one for safety. Over the years, most of us have worn a variety of masks, in the literal or figurative sense. Let’s write about our experiences in the WEARING A MASK Poetry & Prose Series.

PROMPT: Tell us about wearing a mask (in the literal or figurative sense) in a poem (any reasonable length) or prose piece (300 words or fewer — this word limit also applies to prose poems).

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems or prose. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish the piece on social media. We are a nonprofit blog and offer no monetary compensation to contributors. If your piece was previously published, please tell us where/when so we can credit the original publisher.

WHEN: We’ve already received a range of contributions, and on Thursday, May 21, 2020, will begin to feature the poems and prose in the Silver Birch Press WEARING A MASK Poetry and Prose Series on our blog.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem or prose piece to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, email address, one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name. Write “MASK” in the subject line of the email. Please send a photo of yourself in a mask of any variety — or a photo of a mask you’ve worn. Send the photos as separate jpg attachments.

SUBMISSION CHECKLIST

To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include a one-paragraph author’s bio, written in the third person. You are encouraged to include links to your books, websites, and social media accounts — we want to help promote you!

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/prose or creative process written in the first person (this is optional — but encouraged).

5. If available, send a photo of yourself in a mask, or a photo of a mask you’ve worn, as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). If possible, also send an additional author’s photo (without a mask). Title the photos with your last name (e.g., Jones1.jpg, Jones2.jpg).

7. Email to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com — and put  “MASK” in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, May 31, 2020

Photo by Dan Formsma on Unsplash.

front door

Our Red Front Door
by Linda McKenney

My mother’s choice, our red front door was unique on our block. This solid, wood sentinel served as our blockade for any strangers wishing to gain entry into our home. We’d surreptitiously raise one of the Venetian blind slats to see who was ringing the doorbell. If it was an unwanted caller, we’d pretend we weren’t home.

These types of visitors were an anomaly in our quiet town, where everyone was a trusted neighbor, watching out for one another. We felt safe. Until . . .

It was late afternoon, when my mother would be home preparing dinner. But, not feeling well, my father had taken her to the doctor.

The intruders kicked in our crimson bulwark and lay siege to our home. Upstairs, they found my father’s antique handguns. Shots were fired into one of the pillows in my parents’ bed. In each of the bedrooms, a fire trap was set. A book of matches on the bed, one bent up and lit. It burned down to ignite its fellow matches and all of the bedding. Flames then hungrily consumed the rest of the room. We knew this, because for some reason, this technique failed in one of the bedrooms.

The first thing my brother noticed, when he returned from delivering newspapers, was the large boot print on the destroyed front door. Heading to the back door, the upstairs window exploded with glass shrapnel, barely missing him. He saw flames shooting out and licking the roof. He ran inside, calling our mother’s name. When he verified she wasn’t there, he grabbed the small amount of cash downstairs and his sister’s parakeet.

We lost personal, irreplaceable possessions. But even more, we lost trust, that feeling of safety and my mother’s red front door.

Photo found on Pinterest.

our house

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This fire happened in 1973. The photo of the house is our house today. It has new owners. You can see how close it is to the one next door. That is the alley my brother started down when the window exploded. The red door photo is not our original door.  We don’t have one.

Linda-McKenney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda McKenney is a storyteller, writer and actor, bringing historical women to life. Her most recent work is published in Silver Birch Press, 101 Word Short Stories, The Survivor’s Review, The Rush, and Helen: A Literary Magazine. She has an alter ego at  Susanbanthony.live.

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For the time being, many of us are required to wear a mask in public — or we choose to wear one for safety. Over the years, most of us have worn a variety of masks, in the literal or figurative sense. Let’s write about our experiences in the WEARING A MASK Poetry & Prose Series.

PROMPT: Tell us about wearing a mask (in the literal or figurative sense) in a poem (any reasonable length) or prose piece (300 words or fewer — this word limit also applies to prose poems).

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems or prose. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish the piece on social media. We are a nonprofit blog and offer no monetary compensation to contributors. If your piece was previously published, please tell us where/when so we can credit the original publisher.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems and prose in the Silver Birch Press WEARING A MASK Poetry and Prose Series on our blog starting in May 2020. We’ll also feature the work on Twitter and Facebook.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem or prose piece to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, email address, one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name. Write “MASK” in the subject line of the email. Please send a photo of yourself in a mask of any variety — or a photo of a mask you’ve worn. Send the photos as separate jpg attachments.

SUBMISSION CHECKLIST

To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include a one-paragraph author’s bio, written in the third person. You are encouraged to include links to your books, websites, and social media accounts — we want to help promote you!

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/prose or creative process written in the first person (this is optional — but encouraged).

5. If available, send a photo of yourself in a mask, or a photo of a mask you’ve worn, as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). If possible, also send an additional author’s photo (without a mask). Title the photos with your last name (e.g., Jones1.jpg, Jones2.jpg).

7. Email to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com — and put  “MASK” in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, May 31, 2020

Photo by Dan Formsma on Unsplash.

Coomer

Scuffed but Shining
by A.S. Coomer

     The front door’s red with an old-fashioned twist doorbell that chimes like a music box. Twist it and watch every head inside turn towards the sound. It’s the first thing people visiting comment on when they arrive.
     We’ve talked about painting it, red’s never been one of our favorite colors, but haven’t found the time or the right replacement color. Plus, the red matches the brick and the rocks in the flowerbed. Red can mean any number of things: love, anger, jealousy, lust. This coat, fading and getting fainter, a pale puckered cherry sitting in the sopping remains of a sundae, is easy on the eyes and has come to stand for something akin to relief. Seeing the door, weary from the world outside, brings a comfort. It’s means the end of a journey, or the beginning of another.
     It’s a barrier, sure, but it also calls to be used.
     “Come in,” it says in its silent way.
     Or, “Go on out.”
     The golden doorknob glints in the spring sunshine, worn with use, scuffed but shining. The stained glass, which takes up the top-half of the door, tints the light passing through into blue and green and more red, casting the colors down onto the white tiled floor. I let my bare feet pass through the refracted light and strain to feel the difference in shade. Sometimes, I believe I can.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A.S. Coomer is a writer and musician. Books include Memorabilia, The Fetishists, Shining the Light, The Devil’s Gospel, The Flock Unseen, and others. Find him at www.ascoomer.com and @ascoomer

(Author portrait by Adrian Lime.)

 

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In Bruges
by Michelle Walshe

An early morning in January, Charleroi train station, Belgium, in a brain fog induced by budget airline scheduling, bleary eyed, headachy, vaguely nauseous and freezing cold I paid for a train ticket and shoved my wallet back into the top of my handbag. I remember him bumping into me as I boarded the train. Then I noticed the open zip on the bag. My heart sank. I wasn’t carrying much cash. I know better. Despite my lapse of concentration, I am an experienced traveler. It was the wallet. It was red leather, from Paris. I had photos of my deceased father in it, of my nieces and nephews, my credit cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, all the cards it takes to live a modern life! It was soft, elegant and well…French! And it was gone.

I walked up and down the train hoping he had discarded it. I reported it, in halting French, to the conductor. And then I sat in disbelief as the Belgian countryside rolled by. My first stop in beautiful Bruges, the Venice of the North, was not the Clock Tower or the canals or the Chocolate Factory, but the police station. Paperwork, telephone calls, signatures. No sign of the wallet.

My mother, who has an instinct that fortune tellers would die for, reckoned the wallet would turn up. I scoffed the idea, it was gone. But, she was right. About a week after returning home I received an email from Frederique in Belgium who had found my wallet on the train, looked through it, found my business card and emailed me to get my postal address. One week later, my red wallet, photos, cards, everything – except the cash – arrived in the post! I sent her Irish chocolates, whiskey, and a big card to say thank you.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The wallet featured in the story. I bought it in Paris in 2010.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Walshe is a teacher in Dublin, on career break, traveling, reading, writing, playing tennis and eating! Basically, doing what she does on the weekends, only full time, for the moment! Find a recent article at irishtimes.com.

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The 97 contributors to the Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press, October 2016) are sending photos featuring the book in their home environments for a series we’re calling “Nancy Drew Around the World.” Author Tricia Knoll provided this photo taken at the poetry box outside her house in rainy Portland, Oregon, with the remnants of holiday decorations. Tricia contributed the poem “The Secret at Shadow Ranch,” featured below, to the collection.

The Secret at Shadow Ranch
     —the fifth Nancy Drew volume

Oh give me a home

where shadows share
mirror limbs and leanings

whisper, weighing
nothing, casting backwards.

In slipshod light, gallop me
somewhere new.

When shadows evaporate
at corners, play hide and seek.

When they beg to race,
saddle up. Stow your secret

watch, find the red-rock cave,
listen to the old woman’s wisdom.

Stretch me longer
than before.

Find the Nancy Drew Anthology at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet whose work appears in many journals and anthologies. Her chapbook Urban Wild focuses on human interactions with wildlife in urban habitat. Ocean’s Laughter (2016) combines lyric and eco-poetry to look at change over time in a small Oregon North Coast town. Her website is triciaknoll.com.

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We extend our appreciation to the 51 writers — from 17 states and 15 countries — who participated in our  MY IMAGINARY SKILL Poetry & Prose Series, which ran from June  5 – June 25, 2016. Many thanks to the following authors for a wonderful series! We started with a poem about imaginary juggling by Steve Klepetar and ended with a poem about juggling by Sunil Sharma. How’s that for symmetry!

Jan Alexander (New York)
Tobi Alfier (California)
Elizabeth Alford (California)
Magdalena Ball (Australia)
Shelly Blankman (Maryland)
Mark Blickley (New York)
Rose Mary Boehm (Peru)
Jane Burn (England)
Jacalyn Carley (Germany)
Sylvia Cavanaugh (Wisconsin)
Tricia Marcella Cimera (Illinois)
Lew Colgan (Colorado)
Mike Dailey (North Carolina)
Steven Deutsch (Pennsylvania)
Emma Filtness (England)
Vijaya Gowrisankar (India)
torrin a. greathouse (California)
Mavis Gulliver (Scotland)
Geosi Gyasi (Ghana)
G. Louis Heath (Iowa)
Ryn Holmes (Florida)
Derek Kannemeyer (Virginia)
S.I. Kerns (Japan)
Sofia Kioroglou (Greece)
Steve Klepetar (Minnesota)
Jennifer Lagier (California)
Joan Leotta (North Carolina)
Ellaraine Lockie (California)
Maggie Mackay (Scotland)
Betsy Mars (California)
Erica Gerald Mason (Georgia)
Mary McCarthy (Pennsylvania)
Catfish McDaris (Wisconsin)
Linda McKenney (New York)
Scott-Patrick Mitchell (Australia)
Alice Morris (Delaware)
Leara Morris-Clark (Massachusetts)
Robbi Nester (California)
Lee Parpart (Canada)
James Penha (Indonesia)
Patrick T. Reardon (Illinois)
Jeannie E. Roberts (Wisconsin)
Sunil Sharma (India)
Sheikha A. (Pakistan)
Leslie Sittner (New York)
Neha Srivastava (India)
Maureen Sudlow (New Zealand)
Virginia Chase Sutton (Arizona)
Dorothy Swoope (Australia)
Vincent Van Ross (India)
Lynn White (Wales)

 

MOVED SERIES1

OVERVIEW: Moving from one location to another can bring about a range of emotions and experiences — and we want to hear all about it in the Silver Birch Press WHEN I MOVED Poetry and Prose Series.

PROMPT: Tell us about a memorable move in a poem (any reasonable length) or prose piece (300 words or fewer — this word limit also applies to prose poems).

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems or prose. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish the piece on social media and in a potential print edition.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems and prose in the Silver Birch Press WHEN I MOVED Poetry and Prose Series on our blog starting in August 2016 . We’ll also feature the work on Twitter and Facebook.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem or prose piece to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, contact info (including email address), one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name (and only your last name). Write “Move” in subject line of email. If available, please send a photo of yourself at any age — and provide a caption for the photo (when, where). (Photos taken during a move-in or move-out would be ideal!)

SUBMISSION CHECKLIST

To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, mailing address, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include an author’s bio, written in the third person.

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/prose or creative process (this is optional — but encouraged).

5. In the same MS Word document, include a caption for your photo (including where, when and/or date taken).

6. If available, send a photo of yourself at any age — as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones.jpg). Also send a current photo to accompany your bio.

7. Email to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com — and put MOVE in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, August 15, 2016.

IMAGE: Ad for U-Haul‘s 70th anniversary in 2015 (with our series title added).