All posts by Emily Littlewood

2022 Poetry Contest


STREETLIGHT’S 2022 POETRY CONTEST August 15 to October 31 1st Prize — $125 2nd — $75 3rd — $50 Entry Fee: $10 FOR UP TO 3 POEMS CONTEST GUIDELINES: Up to three of your best, previously unpublished poems. Any subject. Multiple submissions are fine. This is a blind contest. Please remove all personal information from the story pages. We encourage simultaneous submissions but if your piece is accepted elsewhere, inform us at or, right away. Contest deadline is Monday, October 31, 2022 midnight EST. Competition winners will be announced November 14, 2022. Only … Continue reading 2022 Poetry Contest

Cottonmouth by Ron Stottlemyer

Photo of open-mouthed cottonmouth

Cottonmouth As the boat eased out on the pond, there was just enough light to see pale ribbons of sky rippling in the water. Dad paddled ahead with slow, heavy strokes, but the lives watching from trees, listening in the grass knew what had just arrived. As he rested the paddle on his knees, the boat glided on as if it knew where it was going, pulling a wide scarf of quiet behind it. Then the first deep croak sounded in duckweed near the far bank. When he dipped the paddle over the side to … Continue reading Cottonmouth by Ron Stottlemyer

Book News and More . . . by Virginia Pye

Photo of pile of open books

Hello Book Lovers! I’m happy to share that my novel, The Book Lovers, will be published in October 2023 by Regal House Publishing, a small, highly congenial press that specializes in literary fiction. Set in Gilded Age Boston, The Book Lovers tells the story of an author of romance and adventure novels who becomes a champion of the working women who are her faithful readers as she takes on the male literary establishment. It’s also a love story—about people and books, and about how revision on the page can mirror revision in life and vice … Continue reading Book News and More . . . by Virginia Pye

Sarah and Anna by Emily Littlewood

Two girls on a swing

My sister and I have always loved each other, but we really didn’t like each other until I moved out of the house. During a few of the rare occasions we were “getting along”, we created a number of stories about a pair of sisters whose strained relationship reflected our own. The infamous Sarah and Anna series. In every iteration, Sarah was the obvious parental favorite, while poor Anna suffered in her shadow. That’s it. There was never any type of redemption for Anna, her situation always stayed the same. Whether she was left at … Continue reading Sarah and Anna by Emily Littlewood

Three Things You Should Know Before You Publish Your Book by Lauren Sapala

Photo of one star shaped balloon

I’ve published five books (three nonfiction and two fiction) and there’s so much I wish I would have known before publishing, that I now know through the long, hard road of experience. Whether you’re going the traditional publishing route, or you’re choosing to self-publish, there’s definitely a learning curve to becoming a new published author. My hope is that I can save you the headache of figuring it all out on your own so that the whole process goes a bit easier for you. Everything Takes Longer (Sometimes Much, Much Longer) Than You Think It … Continue reading Three Things You Should Know Before You Publish Your Book by Lauren Sapala

Here’s One Quick Secret Writers Can Use to Conquer Self-Doubt Forever by Lauren Sapala

Picture of mirror by bookcase

Do you constantly compare yourself to other writers? Do you set goals for yourself as a writer and then somehow fall short of them every time? Do you start new writing practices full of enthusiasm, but then sooner or later you dread sticking with it? If you’re like so many other writers out there, the answer to these questions is sadly, “yes.” And every time something like this happens to you, you end up in a pit of despair, right? You question yourself, your writing talent, and your ability to make your dreams happen. It’s … Continue reading Here’s One Quick Secret Writers Can Use to Conquer Self-Doubt Forever by Lauren Sapala

Dawg Towne: A Review of Alice Kaltman’s Novel by Nancy Ludmerer

Cover of the book Dawg Towne

There are silhouettes of dogs cavorting on the cover, barking and begging, and a misspelled title. Was it so foolish to assume that the first-person narrator at the start of Alice Kaltman’s beguiling new novel Dawg Towne (word west press, 2021) is a canine? Given that some of my favorite stories have dog narrators—from Chekhov’s Kashtanka to Kafka’s Investigations of a Dog—and that I myself have written dog-narrated fiction (Head of A Dog in The Hong Kong Review), was that so wrong-headed? Dawg Towne begins: “You wouldn’t know me now, if you knew me then,” … Continue reading Dawg Towne: A Review of Alice Kaltman’s Novel by Nancy Ludmerer

5 Best Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers by Lauren Sapala

Photo of pen writing in notebook

I get emails and messages from aspiring writers all the time asking me for the one thing they should know, or the one thing they should do, in order to be a successful writer. Well, there’s never just “one thing,” but I’ve taken all my very best writing advice and distilled it down into five things that will help any aspiring writer along on their way to success. Stop Trying to Control Everything This is a big one. Writers are anxious people and we like control. It makes us feel safe and like we can … Continue reading 5 Best Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers by Lauren Sapala

Becoming Vegetarian by Nick Barta

Photo of highland cow

“A vegetarian walked into a bar. . . . I only know because he told everyone within two minutes.” That joke perfectly encapsulates why I never tell anyone that I am a vegetarian. I either hypocritically write a blog about it, or I am introduced by my mother as such, “Nick is a vegetarian . . .” and then leaning forward a bit she clarifies, “that means he doesn’t eat meat.” Reactions can range from wild ecstasy to tepid disdain. One friend solemnly nodded her head and then proceeded to rub my back as though … Continue reading Becoming Vegetarian by Nick Barta

Shopping in Pandemic Times by Nick Barta

Photo of blurry red lights

It was late December, and I was heading to downtown Vienna during a pandemic. As I reflected on the task ahead of me, buying Christmas presents for my mother and grandmother, the mayhem inherent in completing that task manifested itself in the form of a gentleman who, having worn a mask into the subway car, proceeded to pull it down once he was seated. Not wanting to undertake this monumental task alone, I had decided to meet up with a friend. Upon encounter, the ritual “kiss-kiss” greeting was relegated to an awkward bump of elbows … Continue reading Shopping in Pandemic Times by Nick Barta