Before Hurricane Irma descends, we’d like to announce the winners of the 2017 Editors’ Awards. Thanks to the many fine writers who submitted their work and made our choices oh, so difficult. This year’s winners and finalists are:
Allison Adair, “City Life” and “Hitching”
Dana Roeser, “Late July”
Rebecca Morgan Frank, “Gerbert of Aurillac and the Magic Eightball”
Eliza Robertson, “Louise McKinney Correctional Center for Women”
Mike Alberti, “Two Floods”
Lenore Hart, “Thirteen Ways of Living with a Wolf”
Renee Branum, “Bolt”
We hope to publish a profile on each winner and finalist here and in social media as the months progress to next spring’s publication. Congratulations to these fine writers. Next year’s contest will open in January.
Congratulations to Elly Bookman (“Incantation,” TFR 40.1), who has a new poem, “Privilege,” out in The New Yorker, August 21, 2017.
After our first few months of establishing the tone and caliber of Aquifer, we are now happy to open to general submissions. We are seeking top-quality digital stories, graphic narrative, creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Take a look at what we’ve been publishing, and see our Submit pages, starting with General Guidelines. Please note that, while our print-magazine submissions will remain open year-round, our Aquifer submissions will be open on an intermittent basis, depending on how many submissions we receive. Don’t worry–we’ll have at least two substantial reading periods every year. We look forward to seeing and reading your work!
Florida Review author Julie Lekstrom Himes’ first novel, Mikhail and Margarita, is one of twenty-two books on the long list for the 2017 First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction. She won The Florida Review Editors’ Award for Fiction in 2008, and her story “Packing Boxes” was published in 33.2. Mikhail and Margarita, published by Europa Editions, chronicles a love triangle set against the backdrop of Stalinist Russia.
This week, we are waiting for a new issue of The Florida Review to be printed. We are also reliving the horrible day last June when we woke up to news of the Pulse shooting here in Orlando, made all the more acute by another act of senseless and murderous violence in our city yesterday. Although the reaction to Pulse from the literary community arose immediately last year, and poems and essays flooded online publications one after another from across the country, it took us here in Orlando a while to recover enough to write a word about it. In fact, we are still recovering, and we will never recover.
We appreciated the outpouring of support, but felt that our proximity demanded a response, and we decided to publish five pieces in our fall issue related to the Pulse shooting. They have been a source of healing and comfort for the authors who wrote them, for our editorial staff, and for many of our readers. This week, in remembrance of those who lost their lives that day last June, UCF is holding a day of remembrance on campus June 8, and we would like to share these five pieces more widely on Aquifer, one each day from June 6-10. On June 11 and 12, we will be silent, holding our breaths, listening to the whispers of souls.
Welcome to the new Florida Review website, also home to the brand new Aquifer: The Florida Review Online. With Aquifer, we introduce weekly literary features (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and graphic narrative), as well as interviews, book reviews, and digital stories. These will be available free online, and later this year we will open up submissions to these new online categories. We hope to welcome more readers to the Florida Review family and create an even stronger sense of community around the great work we publish and the authors and artists we feature.
This moment has been a long time in the making, and we have many steps to go before the website is perfect. In addition, we have many more possible features in the works that we hope to add over the next year to make Aquifer: The Florida Review Online a fully multi-media arts and letters site. We are truly a work in progress, and we hope you will both forgive us and inform us (at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you notice any problems.
In the meantime, we hope you will begin to enjoy the fabulous work that we will be adding on a weekly basis. We start off our literary features with two love poems by Major and Didi Jackson–to both celebrate the season of love and to focus us all on the nature of hopes and dreams. In addition, we have an online interview with Julie Marie Wade, whose poem “Katabasis” is featured in our current issue (40.2) of The Florida Review in print. Last but not least, we start off with two book reviews, Dana Roeser’s on Elizabeth Powell’s Willie Loman’s Restless Daughter and James Scruton on Kim Addonizio’s Mortal Flesh and Bukowski in a Sundress. Enjoy!
We have more terrific work coming! Check back regularly!