Two Sylvias Press Summer/Autumn Newsletter, 2023
Join Us For An Exclusive Salon With Writer Maggie Smith!
Hello Friends of Two Sylvias,
We can’t believe how quickly summer has come and gone here in the Seattle area! We hope the past couple of months have been relaxing and rejuvenating for you—especially when it comes to your creative life. September might be calling you back to your writing routine, sending out submissions, attending readings and workshops, so we are here to offer you some autumn inspiration!
Below are upcoming events for our Weekly Muse subscribers, our Fall Online Poetry Retreat, our annual Wilder Prize, our new book release, and a prompt to inspire a new poem!
More Exciting News from the Weekly Muse
Kickstart your autumn by becoming a paid subscriber to our bestselling resource for poets, The Weekly Muse. Receive weekly prompts and submission opportunities, AND we’ve added FREE Zoom salons/conversations with Maggie Smith (The New York Times bestselling poet/author) and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Diane Seuss (these are two separate salons/conversations). We are also offering a year of free classes for our subscribers with Susan Rich, January Gill O’Neil, Jane Wong, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Kelli Russell Agodon, and Jeannine Hall Gailey.
Become a paid subscriber by Sept. 25th to join the special autumn Zoom salon with Maggie Smith in October.
Our Muse Subscriber Community is continuing to grow! We have hundreds of subscribers who are motivated by and benefitting from the inspiring material offered in each week’s issue of the Muse.
What is the Two Sylvias Weekly Muse?
Each Sunday in your inbox you will receive:
A Poetry Exercise and a Poetry Prompt
Ask the Editors Column and Exclusive Interviews with Well-Known Poets
A Creativity Reflection Question for Journaling
Where to Submit Your Work—a list of journals and book/chapbook prizes that are currently open for submissions
Inspiration and Helpful Tips on Living Life as a Creative Person—the latest information and studies on creativity, art, and writing.
Insider Info on Navigating the Publishing World
An Optional Facebook Group providing community support
FREE Zoom Classes and Exclusive Salons with notable poets and writers
Lisa B., a Weekly Muse subscriber, writes to us:
“How did I not know about the Weekly Muse?! A friend of mine was telling me about how she subscribed to this thing called "Two Sylvias Weekly Muse" and how much easier her writing life has become for her. She said she was writing more and had several poems picked up from journals and anthologies you recommended. Each week when your Weekly Muse arrives, not only do you have a list of places to submit (and some I would have *never* known about!) as well as poetry prompts (which have already inspired many new poems), but also the joyful and inspiring content you include. I actually wrote a poem inspired by your "Muse Trivia" segment on Beatrix Potter's bunny—was not expecting that on my 2023 bingo card! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I'm a Weekly Muse subscriber for life. Amazing, Two Sylvias! This is improving my poetry world in so many ways. I'm awestruck and thankful for your press and the Weekly Muse."
We invite you to read a recent issue of the Weekly Muse (July 2, 2023, Issue 62) free of charge. We hope you enjoy it! Click here: https://twosylviaspress.substack.com/p/two-sylvias-weekly-muse-july-2-2023
Make your writing life a priority! Sign up for the Weekly Muse and join us for our FREE salons and classes!
The Two Sylvias Online Fall Poetry Retreat
It’s back for the 8th year! Our annual (and popular!) Fall Poetry Retreat is open for sign-ups: https://twosylviaspress.com/online-poetry-retreat.html
We send you poetry prompts, example poems, creativity suggestions, and reflection questions to inspire your writing—ALL VIA EMAIL. At the end of the retreat, have one of your poems critiqued by the editors of Two Sylvias Press, Kelli and Annette.
October 2nd - October 29th
* Please Note: The material for the Fall Retreat is the same as that of the Summer (July and August) Retreats.
Join us for a month of writing new poems! Space is limited! Please visit our website to register: https://twosylviaspress.com/online-poetry-retreat.html
Publication News from Two Sylvias Press
Available in September from Two Sylvias Press: The Call of Paradise by Majda Gama, Winner of last year’s Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize!
The speaker of Majda Gama’s The Call of Paradise is a “[b]ride of many cities, daughtered by the East & mothered by the West,” with poems placed in Beirut and punk L.A., Bab Makkah, the Al-Ain Oasis, and “in the red, backhoed dirt of Virginia,” the Red Sea and “the summer / Shoreline in America,” visible and invisible, her hair both black and neon pink, occupying the edge but “unable to submerge.” Even the poems’ forms, at times, feature parenthetical weavings, and ghazal-like shifts and dualities. The result of this fluid positionality is nuanced, hushed witness, oud-scented ritual, and deep artfulness. The speaker may not arrive in paradise, but at the termination of this beautiful sequence of poems, she hears its call. ~Diane Seuss, Contest Judge, and author of frank: sonnets
Majda Gama was born in Beirut, Lebanon to a Saudi father and an American mother. She grew up in both her parents’ countries, and languages, as well as in Egypt and England. For the past twenty-two years she has divided her time between Dubai and the Washington, DC suburbs where she has roots in the underground music scene. She has performed her poetry on panels at the PEN/World Voices festival in New York City, the Lit Crawl in San Francisco, and Split This Rock in Washington, DC. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart, Best New Poets and Best of the Net, she was an honorable mention in the 2020 RHINO Founders Prize, and a finalist in the Hayden’s Ferry Review inaugural poetry prize. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming nationally, and internationally, in journals such as The Adroit Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cordite, The Fairy Tale Review, Four Way Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, POETRY Magazine, RHINO, Room, and Wildness. During the pandemic she stepped away from editing Tinderbox Poetry Journal and into co-hosting the Café Muse literary salon founded by The Word Works. She is based in Northern Virginia where she plays Dungeons & Dragons and tends to a native plant garden that has been certified as a home wildlife sanctuary by the Audubon society. The Call of Paradise is her first book.
For more information on purchasing The Call of Paradise please visit our website: https://twosylviaspress.com/the-call-of-paradise.html
The Two Sylvias Press Wilder Poetry Book Prize
We are open for submissions on Friday, September 1st!
Enter the Two Sylvias Press WILDER PRIZE: a poetry book contest for women over 50. The Wilder Series Book Prize is open to women poets over 50 (established or emerging poets) and includes a $1000 prize and publication by Two Sylvias Press.
Women submitting manuscripts may be poets with one or more previously published chapbooks/books or poets without any prior chapbook/book publications.
Previous winners of the Wilder Prize: Carmen Gillespie, Adrian Blevins, Dana Roeser, Erica Bodwell, Gail Martin, Michelle Bitting, Gail Griffin, and Tiffany Midge.
Submission Dates: Sept. 1, 2023 – Dec. 31, 2023
Please view the complete guidelines here: https://twosylviaspress.com/wilder-series-poetry-book-prize.html
We look forward to reading your manuscript!
The Excellent and the Horrible
Write a poem that mentions the title of a well-respected novel and the title of a very bad movie. Here are possible novel titles to choose: To Kill a Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, The Handmaid’s Tale, Beloved, The Scarlet Letter, Of Mice and Men. And here are some horrible movies: Killer Tomatoes Eat France; Santa with Muscles; Help! I’m a Fish; Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death; Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers; Space Zombie Bingo; Rabid Grannies. Mention a good novel and a bad movie, and compose your poem in couplets. If you need a theme, consider writing about a difficult relationship or a boring day at home where you did some reading and movie watching.
Thank you so much for your support of our small press!
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Kelli & Annette
Kelli Russell Agodon & Annette Spaulding-Convy
Cofounders & Coeditors of Two Sylvias Press
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