Best of the Net 2019 Nominations

Sweet is excited to present our nominations for this year’s Best of the Net 2019. Be sure to read these again!

For Poetry

Sara Ryan, “My Father Asks If I Was Raised By A Jackal
Published in Issue 11.1 September 2018

Jen Karetnick, “It’s about the dog, but not really about the dog,
Published in Issue 11.2 January 2019

Cynthia Atkins, “House and Home
Published in Issue 11.2 January 2019

Diane LeBlanc, “Expired
Published in Issue 11.2 January 2019

Amanda Moore, “Which Came First
Published in Issue 11.3 May 2019

Meghan McClure, “Remember That Quince Can Burn Like A Star
Published in Issue 11.3 May 2019

For Essays

Jody Kennedy, “Ruger Single-Six
Published in Issue 11.2 January 2019

Vandana Khanna, “The In-Between Girl
Published in Issue 11.3 May 2019

Congratulations to our nominees and best of luck to you!

2nd Annual Poetry Contest Winner

Sweet Lit is proud to announce this year’s poetry contest winner:

Sara Quinn Rivara, “When I Say Love I Mean El Greco’s The Assumption of the Virgin”

Runners Up were:
Emily Rose Cole, “MS Nocturne with Fuse, Crosshairs, and Irreparable Fissure”
Sara Quinn Rivara, “Instead”
Sara Quinn Rivara, “Love Poem, SE Portland”

Poetry editors at Sweet Lit narrowed down the submissions to 15 finalist poems, which the judge received stripped of identifying information. This year’s contest was judged by Katherine (Katie) Riegel, co-founder and editor of Sweet Lit. She is the author of Love Songs from the End of the World (forthcoming October 2019 from Main Street Rag Publishing), the chapbook Letters to Colin Firth, and two more books of poetry. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Offing, Orion, Poets.org, Tin House, and elsewhere.

The other finalists were:
Julia C. Alter, “Ode to My Kidney Bean (8 Weeks)”
Deborah Bacharach, “Shake and Tremor”
Brood, “Hidden Feathers”
Emily Rose Cole, “Dry Spell”
B.R. Dionysius, “Death is an Iron Lung”
Gregory Emilio, “My Mother and My Father in the Kitchen”
Mariana Goycoechea, “Eternal Return”
Dayna Patterson, “Our Lady of Lengthening Days”
Amie Whittemore, “Ode to Everything, Saunders Trail Attempt”
Amie Whittemore, “Ode to the Half-Male, Half-Female Cardinal”
John Sibley Williams, “Sycamores”

The winning poem will get $500 and publication in Sweet Lit.  Some of the finalists will be published in the September 2019 and January 2020 issues.

Congratulations to our winner and finalists! Many thanks to all who entered their fine work. Be on the lookout summer 2020 for next year’s contest.

2nd Annual Poetry Contest

Sweet Lit’s annual poetry contest opens June 1st!

2019 Poetry Contest

We encourage and welcome submissions from diverse voices and under-represented
populations, including, but not limited to, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+
community, those with disabilities, and the elderly.

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical
contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing
exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and
transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we
agree to:

1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical
behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;

2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for
all parties involved; and

3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This
Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that
each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our
integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests
contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

AWP 2019 Portland

Come visit Sweet: A Literary Confection at the AWP conference in Portland, Oregon. This week, from Thursday March 28 to Friday March 30, Sweet booth #10058 is featuring a variety of chapbooks for purchase, with author signings scheduled throughout the conference.

Our chapbook and broadside lineup this year includes:

Kindling Book Image - SmlKindling by Lisa Laughlin

Lisa will be signing the last of these handmade chapbooks on Thursday from 3:00pm-3:30pm. Don’t miss your chance to get this beautiful book!

cc919a4e-ef92-487b-a1a9-01aa107f7a30Borderlines by Jill McCabe Johnson

Jill McCabe Johnson’s lyric essay, “Borderlines” dives into memory and water. In poetic prose, Johnson fragments a moment in her life, seeking to understand and uncover the innocence of childhood and the dark shadows that ever follow.

001-637x1024Rules for Loving Right by Brian Baumgart

In Rules for Loving Right, Brian Baumgart practices misdirection in that understated way unique to the upper Midwest. These are the final handmade chapbooks we have in our inventory, so get yours before it goes digital!

All Of Us - CoverAll of Us—Sweet: The First Five Years edited by Katherine Riegel

If you’re looking for a great poetry anthology, look no further! Katie will be at the booth and ready to tell you more about this book.

LadyInInk_CoverPageLady in Ink by R. Claire Stephens

Still our most popular book, Lady in Ink is a mystery, the kind that everyone is trying to solve every minute of their lives: “Why did I do that? Why in God’s name did I do that?”

All of these are available in the Sweet Shop online if you can’t make it to Portland this year.

New to the Sweet lineup this year:

0692bdd6-b2dc-4d29-9dce-ede33bfd43efAfter the Night, a comic by Jarod Roselló

This comic details a father’s struggle with the demands of raising his little girl. In a heartwarming sketched style, Roselló candidly retells his own experiences and lessons learned on the importance of patience, love, and family.  

Also making a first-time appearance, are the winners from our 2018 Nonfiction and Poetry competitions:  

Jaw Wiring_What You Need to Know_Page_1Jaw Wiring: What You Need to Know by Kristine Jepsen (nonfiction winner)

This pamphlet-style prose piece is an excellent teaching tool for explaining hermit crab essays. Using the guise of a medical pamphlet, Jepsen details her own experience with jaw wiring as a treatment for a broken jaw. Each section title and formatting detail alludes to a brochure one might find in a waiting room—but the content takes readers down a different path.

17e68b70-d3b1-4bb3-aafb-594b6fdaeaff“1943” by McKayla Conahan (poetry winner)

This broadside is created in conjunction with Print St Pete (http://www.printstpete.org/), a community letterpress located in St Pete, Florida. 1943 is a snapshot of a time in world history roiling with conflict and desperation, where the workings of the human heart are raw and real and the ties that bind us together are more important than ever.

McKayla will be signing copies of this beautiful letterpress broadside Friday from 3-3:30.

BodyOfStarlight_coverAnd if that weren’t all enough…we will be introducing Sweet Aperitifs and their new book from Melissa Carroll, Body of StarlightMelissa will be signing pre-release copies on Saturday from 10-10:30. 

Also available for sale are our Sweet t-shirts and Christmas ornaments. Stop by and say hello to us at booth #10058 and chat with our authors!

2nd Annual Flash Non Fiction Winner announced

From over 220 ah-mazing entries, a winner has been selected for Sweet’s 2nd Annual Flash Non Fiction Essay contest. Kristine Jepsen will receive $500 and 20 chapbooks for her essay, “Jaw Wiring: What You Need to Know “. Congratulations!

The runners-up were:

“The In-Between Girl” by Vadana Khanna
“Stiched” by Birana Loveall
“Mosaic” by Jeff Newberry

All of these essays will be published in the May issue of Sweet. Many thanks to all who entered their fine work. Be on the lookout for the new chapbook coming soon!

New Interns!

It’s the start of a new semester and we here at Sweet are welcoming not just one, but FOUR new interns!  Two at the USF campus and two at the Eckerd College campus.  Lots of amazing things happening this spring as Sweet continues to grow. You can check out their bios over on our masthead.

Samantha and Zoe will be working with Deedra at USF preparing for AWP, creating new chapbooks, and social media.

Javier and Katherine will be working with K.C. over on the Eckerd campus getting our first Sweet Aperitifs book launched (more on this new publication venture will be announced soon).

We would love for you to leave a comment below welcoming this new crew!

Sweet Ornaments

What do you do when you have a contributor who has started his own business? You team up, of course!  Sweet loves to support our contributors and even more so when the support comes back around to All Of Us.  Hey, that would be a great book title. Wait, it is!

Red Beard Knife and Wood is the creation of Riley Passmore, who gave us “Type One” back in issue 8.1. If you head over to Instagram, you can check out some of his photos and videos from the process of designing and creating these ornaments exclusively for Sweet.

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These are available now for purchase in our online store for only $5! Hang it on your tree this holiday season and then keep it out wherever you write to remind you to submit that next piece to Sweet! After that, you can check out Red Beard for more unique gifts.

Many thanks to Riley at Red Beard for his continued support of Sweet!

Sweet Advisory Board

Sweet: A Literary Confection is honored and excited to announce the addition of an Advisory Board to our establishment. The past year has brought tremendous growth to Sweet and the experience and knowledge of these fine writers will help guide us through all the new adventures we are undertaking. It was with great care and deliberation that these individuals were hand-selected for their past contributions to Sweet and their current investment to their craft, in order to help shape our future direction.

Please join us in welcoming, Nin Andrews, Sandra Gail Lambert, Lee Martin, Dinty W. Moore, and January O’Neil. You can read more about the Advisory Board on their page.

2018 Pushcart Nominations

Sweet is proud to announce this year’s Pushcart Prize nominations. Congratulations and good luck to the following authors:

CREATIVE NONFICTION

Lee Ann Roripaugh, “Notes on the Shame Spiral

Emily Brisse, “To Be Held

Caitlin Scarano, “Did You Hear the One About the Man Who Killed the World’s Tallest Tree?

POETRY

Amy Strauss Friedman, “Biopsy

Peter Grandbois, “To sing and begin again

Carolyn Willilams-Noren, “My Daughter and Her Best Friend Made Blue Jay Masks at Camp

Where the Money Goes: All the Feels

At AWP17 in Washington, DC, Sweet announced its first ever Flash Nonfiction contest. It has always been important that we keep submissions for the Sweet Lit Mag fee free, but that doesn’t allow this small nonprofit to accomplish some of the bigger things we have been talking about doing for years. Hosting our first contest was a way to keep no cost submission, but still generate funding for our other projects.  And you, our amazing readers and writers, answered that calling.  Not only were we able to give the winner, Lisa Laughlin, a cash prize of $500 and 20 chapbooks of her work, we were also able to complete our first community outreach project. We want to sincerely thank all of you who entered and made this dream possible.  More projects are in the works now, thanks in part to the poetry contest (winner McKayla Conahan) and the pending 2nd annual nonfiction contest. Your continued support, whether it be a contest submission, a donation, or purchasing one of our chapbooks, it what keeps our community outreach projects alive.

Please read more from assistant editor, Casey Clague, about their experience with former assistant editor, Alison, at the MacDonald Training Center.

All The Feels

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In April and May of 2018, my colleague Alison Missler and I were privileged to conduct poetry workshops at the MacDonald Training Center in Tampa, Florida as part of Sweet’s new community outreach initiative. The clients at the center all have some degree of developmental disability and the center provides them with educational, vocational, and residential training. The center had a bustling arts program; each time we visited for our workshops, classic pop songs boomed from the stereo while a dozen or so clients diligently drew or painted.

Two of three four poets in our workshop were very accomplished painters. Gleen was known for his vivid colors and liveliness of the human and non-human figures he painted. Shannon’s work typically focused on the cosmic; her paintings usually featured marbled planets amidst wispy constellations in the dark void of sky. Sarah was a prolific poet already. Each day we saw her, she let us read from one of her many journals, filled front to back with poems and song lyrics.

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On the first day, we worked on a collaborative color poem. We chose the color red and then all worked together to come up with words and phrases we associated with the color red. After the workshop, Alison and I compiled them all together on a poster-sized sheet and gave a copy of each to the clients at the next session. For our second trip, we did an ekphrastic. The ekphrastic form is a poem in response to a work of art, which was very appropriate for the MacDonald clients, since there was so much great art of their peers’ to choose from. For the third session, we did acrostic poems, the old favorite where the poet chooses a word or phrase that corresponds to each letter of their name. This seemed to be their favorite workshop because it got them to think of their best qualities, which made for a really positive note to end on. All around, the workshops were a joy and privilege to be part of.

On behalf of Sweet, we would like to thank you, Casey and Alison, for all your hard work and dedication to this project!