Friday, June 28, 2019

Three Inches from the Wall

I go out for six hours.  The sun warms my neck like a lover's breath.  Shelves of books greet me when I enter my church:  The local library.  I meet friends, we talk, we go to lunch, and shadows stretch long before we say farewell.

I go home.  I run fever as my skin burns and freezes like a microwaved dinner.  My entire body aches.  I dread moving.  I sleep for nine hours then nap for three more the next day.  My brain fogs over.  This is the price I pay for leaving my apartment.  This is my body's fee.

My writing suffers for days afterwards.  Everyone needs lived experience of some kind to be a better writer.  Research renders me unable to record it.  The well I fill with life poisons my body.

Three days of agony and mismatched thoughts.  Seventy-two hours of not writing, editing, or submitting.  If I go out twice, the rest of the week is useless.  I'm useless.

Do I live or do I write?  I can't always choose both.
I can never pinpoint when it started... not exactly.  All I know is that I didn't used to be like this—my current state, the "where" I am now.

I fill my days with as much as possible, but a wall looms in front of me.  If I stretch out my tongue, I can almost feel the chilled, rough exterior scraping against my taste buds.  It's there and I'll hit it.  It's there... and that's the finish line.

The entirety of my future accomplishments are stuffed within the three inches of space between my body and my stopping point.  How much can I fit in there?  How much can conceivably be left?  Will I ever put a full-length poetry collection into the world?  Are there enough spoons to start a writers' group?
The future is a thief shuffling out my front door with the present in an opaque trash bag.  I try to focus on the poem I might write today instead of a theoretical collection.  I manage a blog post now, and put the ones I'll be too weak or ill to finish out of my mind.  I don't always succeed.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Market Updates

Magazines, Websites, Etc. (for Us) 


Disability Arts Online

Inclusive Mainstream Publications


Please See Me
Bleached Butterfly
Uncanny Magazine


Scryptic (Defunct)

Friday, June 14, 2019

Writing: An "Elitist" Profession

In the UK, a report suggests writing will soon become a profession where only the wealthy (or people whose income is subsidized by an employed spouse) can truly participate.  It isn't much different in America.  Few people can write full-time.  There are writers who have jobs while writing on the side, but their output can suffer.

Where does all of this leave disabled and/or neurodivergent writers?  Are we poised to fill the gaps?  Are we going to be worse off than before?
If more novelists (able-bodied and not) have to maintain full-time jobs, we will probably see competition increase for literary magazine spots.  Novelists are unlikely to abandon long projects altogether, but will try to compensate with slower production by getting their names out there in more ways*.  So, disabled and neurodivergent short-form writers won't benefit** from the shift of writing becoming "elitist"".

Unemployed disabled and neurodivergent novelists could fill the gaps left behind by novelists who write slower (or quit entirely) because of their jobs.  But, they must be in a position where income doesn't impact medical insurance or other necessary coverage (unless they give their work away for free***).  Their health and living situations must also be stable enough to let them capitalize on the opportunity.  People who have all aspects align will become a new subset of elite writer:  The Paramount Writer-Cripple.

At the very least, there could be fewer able-bodied/neurotypical writers creating harmful portrayals of us in the future.****

* A lot of novelists are also short-form writers.  I am only suggesting their output of shorter pieces may increase, or novelists who haven't crossed genres will do so out of necessity.

** Content mills might need more writers in the future.  So, there's that.

*** Many of us already undervalue our writing because we fear losing our benefits or we lack faith in ourselves.

**** The writers who are "elite" will still write about us.  Let's hope they hire competent sensitivity readers.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Guidelines for Poetry and Flash Fiction

We are open to poetry and flash fiction year-round.

We only consider pieces from disabled and/or neurodivergent writers.  All creative writing sent to us must have disabled/neurodivergent characters or themes.

We do not accept anything racist, transphobic, fatphobic, etc.
Appropriate trigger warnings must be included.  Vulgar language permitted if essential to the piece.  No excessive violence or explicit sex.

Genre work (not just literary) is welcome here.  We aren't snobs.

We consider simultaneous submissions if clearly marked as such.  If accepted elsewhere, inform us immediately.

  • Story length:  750 words maximum (soft limit) with no true minimum.
  • You may submit two stories at a time in separate emails.
  • Your piece must be in the body of the email with double-spacing between paragraphs (not between every line).  If your story requires odd formatting, query before sending an attachment.
  • Subject line should read:  "Fiction Submission".
  • A cover letter section is optional.
  • Send submissions to:  handyuncappedpen[at]gmail[dot]com

  • Poem length:  100 lines maximum (hard limit) with no minimum.  Stanza breaks don't count as lines for us.
  • Submit up to three poems at a time in one email.
  • All poems must be sent in the body of the email unless they require special formatting.  Query before sending an attachment.
  • Subject line should read:  "Poetry Submission".
  • A cover letter section is optional.
  • Send submissions to:  handyuncappedpen[at]gmail[dot]com

Rights, Payment, and Miscellaneous:

We request first electronic rights for new work, reprint rights for previously published work, and archival rights.  We will also excerpt pieces on our social media account.  Work appearing on your personal blog or elsewhere in its entirety counts as previously published.  

Payment for previously unpublished work is $3 per poem or flash fiction piece via Paypal.  We can't mail checks.  We don't pay for reprints.  

Response time is between two and four weeks.  Feel free to email if a month goes by!

If your piece is accepted, we'll ask for a third-person biography of 100 words maximum.  Photographs are nice... but optional.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and we will take every accusation of plagiarism seriously.  
If you write something that could get you sued, please don't send it here.