Category Archives: Blog

Is Your Poem Ready for Submission? by Roselyn Elliott

black and white computer keyboard
 

So, you’ve read a literary magazine’s guidelines, you’ve even read its sample poems available online, or ordered a recent copy of the magazine to learn about what they publish. Maybe you’ve taken a class/workshop in which your poems were critiqued by peers and a popular teacher. But, how is it that some of our poems we have toiled over to the point that they are strong and seem to be the best they can be, do not get selected for publication by the journals where we’ve chosen to send them? As a poetry editor, I’ve … Continue reading Is Your Poem Ready for Submission? by Roselyn Elliott

Geoffrey Stein Updated

Inked silhouette of Trump on Stop sign
 

                                                              I paint to find out what I think about the world; to discover the things I do not have words for. With collage, I love the randomness of the snippets of text and photographs appearing and disappearing that becomes the subject’s likeness. Even as photos and text become part of the pattern of lights and dark that create a coherent likeness, they also retain their … Continue reading Geoffrey Stein Updated

A Runaway Life by Mariflo Stephens

Train running on mountain
 

I live a runaway life. I’m a writer, a wife, and a mother and, like a lot of women who tire of the multi-layered duties that come with that combination, I need to get away. Right now, what I’m running away from is a story. That could be funny since I’m a short story writer, a comedic one at that. But it’s not funny. Usually I run away to Washington, D.C. I ride the train from Charlottesville and settle in the quiet car. The train sways slowly from side to side. It’s like being calmed … Continue reading A Runaway Life by Mariflo Stephens

Announcing the 2019 Short Fiction Winners

Necklaces with pendants of different shapes
 

Co-judging the annual fiction competition with Suzanne Freeman is a little like being each other’s plus-one at a silent auction. We independently review the wares that are displayed on a virtual table, offerings as distinct as intricate necklaces and catered dinners for twelve and bulky Irish sweaters. You never know what you are going to come upon next. Suzanne and I look and re-look and then rank those manuscripts that speak to us most. Then we compare. While one woman’s masterpiece is another’s Ikea instruction manual, there is always overlap. Which is so interesting. Are … Continue reading Announcing the 2019 Short Fiction Winners

Journaling with Jenny by Jenny Patton

Sharpened pencils pointing up
 

When I was seven, I made my own journal out of legal pad paper—a little book that sparked a lifelong passion for writing down my thoughts, feelings and desires. E.M. Forster asks, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” Here’s my take: “How do I know who I am until I see what I think?” Journal writing has been proven to combat stress and help treat eating disorders, depression, addiction and other psychologically rooted problems. People who write about past traumas show stronger immune systems. After my mom died, … Continue reading Journaling with Jenny by Jenny Patton

Guarantees by Elizabeth Meade Howard

old obsolete gravestone without inscription
 

    The gravedigger called, annoyed that I was not at the cemetery where he was waiting to lay my father’s stone marker. I’d expected his call en route and said I would get there as fast as possible. It was a steamy, late summer day some years ago and the cemetery was a 15-minute drive. My father’s ashes were encased in a black plastic box beside me. He’d died in 2000 and since then, the heavy, half empty container had collected dust in a corner of my office. He’d requested the scattering of his … Continue reading Guarantees by Elizabeth Meade Howard

The Strangeness of Being Here at All: Franz Wright’s Redemption Story By Alex Joyner

Blurry photo of group of people
 

There are days I wake up in sluggish wonder, newly aware, as a last dream image drifts away, of the marvel of my beloved still beside me in the bed, the fan beating time through the air, and the persistence of this body and mind. Or as the poet Franz Wright would put it in a prayer: You gave me in secret one thing to perceive, the tall blue starry strangeness of being here at all. —The Only Animal “It is strange to be here. The Mystery never leaves you alone.” The Irish priest-poet John … Continue reading The Strangeness of Being Here at All: Franz Wright’s Redemption Story By Alex Joyner

A Craft Talk by Katherine Smith

Sun shining though hole in red leaf
 

ALLOWING THE LEAF For an ultrasound exam, I ran on a treadmill and then was hooked up to a machine that showed my heart pumping blood. It was an incredible thing to see my heart keeping perfect time, beating with a precision, grace, and power I never knew I possessed. It’s almost embarrassing just to mention the word “heart” in a poem, and yet my heart, indifferent to its embarrassing lack of originality, keeps me alive. Heart Monitor was inspired by my echocardiogram. The heart monitor helped me see what’s always there. At around the … Continue reading A Craft Talk by Katherine Smith

Comings and Goings by Roselyn Elliott

Colors in calligraphy message
 

These past two years and three months, since May 2017, have been a special period in my life that I hadn’t expected to experience. During my tenure as poetry editor, it has been my honor to share this labor of love with a group of editors who go way beyond the expectations readers may have of a group of volunteers. Yes, Streetlight Magazine, like so many literary magazines, is produced by a 100% volunteer staff who are dedicated to not only publishing a good looking, accessible lit mag, but to growing the website and its … Continue reading Comings and Goings by Roselyn Elliott

How to Fight the Self-Doubt that Comes with Writing Your First Book by Lauren Sapala

Photo of paper with messy writing on it
 

Writing my first novel was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It took me two full years to get through the first draft, and I felt like I was slogging my way through the entire time. I would write sections of the book and read over what I had written and cringe. Sure, I also had days where I felt like I had actually written something good, but most of the time I was full of self-doubt. I had never written a book before, so I had no idea what I was doing. I tried … Continue reading How to Fight the Self-Doubt that Comes with Writing Your First Book by Lauren Sapala