Our 2015 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest Winner has a COVER!

Happy Friday, friends! If you follow us on social media (find us on Facebook and Twitter!), you may have gotten to see the sneak peek of Katie Schmid’s upcoming poetry chapbook cover for forget me, hit me, let me drink great quantities of clear, evil liquor but we’re still so excited about it (the cover AND the book) that we wanted to share it again and talk a little about the process:

forget me cover_ 2_edited-1

My sister, Jayme Cawthern is a visual artist who works in a variety of media.  Growing up, we always thought about doing books together–when I finally published one, she’d obviously do the cover (this is still the future plan). I think we once even sketched out a children’s book together sometime in college. I knew she and I shared the same aesthetic and could obviously work well together, so I asked her to work on the cover. I sent her the manuscript to get a feel for the themes of the chapbook, and then I sent the author (Katie) and Jayme some samples of covers I liked. This is where we started.

From there, Katie shared what she liked about the covers/vibe, and Jayme and I brainstormed and mocked up several ideas until we found one we really loved and thought Katie would love too. The cover was created with layered oil pastels and hand lettering (no canned fonts here!). We sent the first draft to Katie with some questions–and she had a few thoughts/tweaks–and from there, we arrived at this final, beautiful draft.

For writers, having your first book is part of THE DREAM. And as an editor, it’s so important to me that the reality of someone’s book look like their dream. It’s important to me to work closely with our authors so they can be as much in love with their book as possible. And it’s important to me to make books that are as beautiful (or dark or wild) on the outside as they are on the inside.

Katie won our Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest for 2015. I’m sharing this process because submissions have opened up for the 2016 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest.  Not only do you get to work closely on your chapbook (a real book with an ISBN and everything), you also get $100 advance and 20 author copies. And this year’s contest judge is the amazing Sara Lippman, and the entry fee is only $10. The contest is open until January 16, 2016–we hope you’ll send us your amazing books because we look forward to working with you!

SUBMIT HERE.

xx,

Amanda

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IT’S CONTEST SEASON! Turnbuckle Chapbook and Livershot Short Memoir Contests

We here at Split Lip are thrilled to announce not one, but TWO contests launching today. In addition to another year of our highly successful Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest, we are launching the first ever Livershot Memoir Contest.

This is an exciting year for our chapbook contest because we’ve lowered the entry fee (from $12 to $10) and also are lucky to have a brilliant guest judge signed on to make our final selections.

sara lippman split lip

Sara Lippmann is the author of the story collection, DOLL PALACE. She was the recipient of an artist’s fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and her stories have appeared in Slice Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Joyland, Wigleaf and elsewhere. For more, visit saralippmann.com

We are so thrilled to get the chance to work with her, and excited to publish her selection! So get those chapbooks in, friends! You have until January 16th, 2016.

The Livershot Memoir Contest is the idea of our Memoir Editor, Matthew Dexter.  Like most writers and editors, he abhors fees (we do too, even though they’re still often necessary to do what we do), so he wanted a contest that was free, but that still rewarded a writer with more than just an online announcement or publication. So the contest was born:  $200 prize + publication for the best piece of memoir 750 words or less.  More details below.  THERE IS ONLY A ONE MONTH SUBMISSIONS WINDOW–SO GET THOSE ENTRIES IN!


turnbuckle split lip

LivershotMemoirContestGraphic

We can’t wait to read your work! Thank you so much for supporting small presses and letting us support you.

–AKM

Split Lip Welcomes New Poetry Editor

Split Lip gets the most poetry submissions by far compared to fiction and memoir, and I’m so grateful to our former poetry editors, Christina Drill and Tafisha Edwards, for doing an amazing job with the summer issue. While they’re moving on to bigger and better things (we’ll keep you posted!), we are excited to bring on Sara Biggs Chaney as our new poetry editor.

I have loved Sara’s work for years, and she’s already been part of the Split Lip family for a while–you can read more about her here, and then get to sending her your best poems.

I’m so excited about our team, and all the great things ahead.

xx
AKM

SPLIT LIP UPDATE: Best of the Net 2015, Fall Issue, and Releases

Hello, it’s your esteemed (ish) editor, Amanda.  I have spent this summer moving from Virginia to Pennsylvania in what became sort of a comedy of errors (though it was only funny in hindsight), but I am finally settled in and back to the Split Lip grind. We have SO MUCH going on, and I’m so excited to get back to it.

Best of the Net 2015 Nominations

This was incredibly hard to do because HOLY SHIT, we get to publish so much great stuff. But here are our nominations–congratulations, all!

FICTION
Of Two Minds by Marlene Zadig
 
Smart: A Definition by Kelly Magee
 
POETRY
taking riot selfies with Gina [1] by Sara Biggs Chaney 

Men and Fire by Lauren Davis
 
Just Another Shift by Nicholas Reading
 
Westward by Sandra Marchetti
 
CREATIVE NONFICTION
Eighth Grade Bio by Nina Alvarez
 
NECROLOGY: Gerbils by Chelsea Biondolillo

FALL 2015 Issue

Because I’d fallen a little behind, I thought we were maybe going to do a combined Fall/Winter issue, or have a really small Fall issue, but we’re just going to have our usual amazing online quarterly, only a little later than it usually drops. I can say with authority that it’s our best yet. Stay tuned.

UPCOMING RELEASES FROM SPLIT LIP PRESS

We’ve been hella busy, as you can see, but we could not be more excited to put this work out into the world and into your hands (and brains).

Tom Hunley’s full-length collection of poetry, The State Springfield is In (November 2015)

Katie Schmid’s award-winning chapbook, forget me, hit me, let me drink great quantities of clear, evil liquor (end of 2015)

Jared Yates Sexton’s I Am the Oil of the Engine of the World (early 2016)

SUBMISSIONS 
We are currently in Tip Jar mode, but will be opening free submissions in a few days for Fiction and Memoir (sorry, poets, we’re still catching up with you!). We’ll let you know on Twitter!

Phew, I think that’s all? At least, for now. Back in a day or two with another big, awesome announcement!

xx
AKM

The State That Springfield Is In by Tom C. Hunley Coming November 10, 2015

1coverPreview

cover design by J. Scott Bugher

We are happy to announce Tom C. Hunley will be joining the Split Lip family with his killer collection of poems called The State That Springfield Is In, a full-length book of verse based on the Fox animated sitcom, The Simpsons. Here’s what we have to say about the book. We’re super excited to release it on November 10, 2015.

Inspired by America’s most prominent hallmark of modern pop culture, The Simpsons, poet Tom C. Hunley shares his narratives––autobiographical or allegorical––by channeling the eccentric personae of residents in the animated sitcom’s town, Springfield, and trusting their voices to speak on his behalf, resulting in true poetic entertainment. As author Denise Du Vernay states in the collection’s introduction, “Tom’s interaction with The Simpsons doesn’t follow sitcom or even cartoon rules. He doesn’t have to. Tom follows a mysterious set of rules, completely unknown to those of us without a poet’s sensibilities.” That is the sentiment that defines Hunley as an artist. He is a poet who has a firm grip on poetic formalism (the “rules”), but, as is the case with any true artist––perhaps a guitarist for the sake of a metaphoric example––Hunley knows when it’s time to part from his Eddie Van Halen trickery in exchange for what resonates with those who are unfamiliar with the “rules,” “theories, and “doctrines” of art: gritty power chords strummed in the manners of Kurt Cobain or Johnny Ramone.

While capable of boggling a reader’s mind with poetics only a limited audience bothers to appreciate these days, Hunley has taken to The Simpsons in order to depart from the shoebox diorama boundaries most readers and writers of verse wallow in, and instead reach out to those of us who want to feel aroused by humor and drama rather than feel disoriented by, for example, accounts of lucid dreaming juxtaposed with archaic Polish folklore found in the nationalistic opera of Stanislaw Moniuszko. In short, Hunley wants poetry back on the map as an element of pop culture rather than vaulted property of academia and patrons of Sotheby’s auction house. The State That Springfield Is In may very well be the poetry collection to materialize his bold objective.

 

Save The University of Akron Press

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Hey folks. I’ve been seeing some heartbreaking headlines posted all over social media regarding the University of Akron’s potential to close its book press and couldn’t help but to post an open letter to its top administrators: Scott Scarborough (President), Lawrence Burns (Vice President of Advancement), Mike Sherman (Senior Vice President, Provost & Chief Operating Officer), and Paul Herold (Secretary of the Board of Trustees). It’s posted below. If you feel inclined to learn more and see what you can do to help keep the book press in biz, visit the Save The University of Akron Press’ Facebook Page!

Dear Scott Scarborough, Lawrence Burns, Mike Sherman & Paul Herold––

I am writing with uniformed concern for the University of Akron’s book press, and I say uninformed because I am unaware of the school’s situation in full, and, though a bit speculative, I frankly believe media outlets suppress facts to produce more persuasive journalism. If, however, recent headlines are accurate regarding University of Akron’s plans to halt its book press funding, then I am obligated to ask: would you please consider other means to transpose the institution’s budget from deficit to reclamation?

Akron’s book press has been an essential contributor to the literary arts for thirty years, and its most notable effort, I’d argue, is the esteemed Akron Series in Poetry. On the one hand, through an entrepreneurial lens, I can see how one may justify considering poetry an expense worth omitting since, as a product, it has very little monetary value, and its supply trumps its demand. On the other hand, through an academic lens, there is a fundamental need to preserve and respect poetry since it cannot be forgotten the arts are precursors of the sciences, and if academia believes the arts have been exhausted to the extent of futility, then the academy is, in fact, blaspheming its own being.

The first and foremost duty of academia is to embrace and respect preexisting knowledge, to shelter it in order to promote research and discovery and/or creation of yet-to-exist knowledge. Poetry of the past must remain in the proverbial knowledge arsenal, and the poetry of contemporary thinkers that has yet to be written and/or published must remain in the academy’s diet for even more knowledge. The academy must stay hungry for knowledge and remember an appetite for profit belongs to the entrepreneur’s diet.

While I can respect the business component of university operations, I cannot say I fully understand it since I am a romantic with a fervent desire for academia to get reacquainted with its roots, or to at least aim effort toward doing so. There are valid reasons, I’m sure, that the academy has been pressed to take a more corporate approach to operations, but there has got to be a way to balance things and take a reformative approach rather than a transformative approach by remembering knowledge stockpiles as a result of synergy between multiple domains in both the sciences and the arts.

You claim to function as a polytechnic university––an admirable approach. Your website even defines it to an etymological level: Polytechnic = Polutekhnos, which is Polu (many) + tekhné (arts). By cutting the book press, it seems your approach will deflate to: Ligótera (fewer) + tekhné (arts). Please be kind to your reputation and maintain the purity of your polytechnic approach by preserving your book press.

Thank you,

J. Scott Bugher

Founder & Publisher

Split Lip Press & Magazine

www.splitlippress.com

www.splitlipmagazine.com

A Poem by Split Lip Founder Scotty Bob Steevessffph

We’ve been bad bloggers, so here’s a poem by the guy responsible for all the damage Split Lip has done to the economy, healthcare system, education and federal reserve.

Pills

TREATMENT

Pills fall, sheets of rain into a burrow

of wolves. My crow mind in hiding until dogs are

put to sleep. My life, an infant pear tree,

roots mingling with deadly nightshade underground.

Berries poison the delirium further, the fruit

that left Syd Barrett in his mother’s home until 2006,

the fruit that fed Brian Wilson voices

to harmonize with melody. My mouth is always open

like my mother’s basement door. Every time

I swallow, the crow loses memory of its abductor,

the pears decay before ever ripening.

–– J. Scott Bugher