By Meaghan Grosier
USM’s very own Stonecoast Review is building momentum in the literary arts world. Chock full of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and visual art, the journal’s editorial team is gearing up to publish its fifth issue in the Summer of 2016. Founded in 2013 by students and alumni of USM’s Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA program, the journal is gaining readership and popularity with more submissions to the latest issue than any previously.
The journal’s Editor-in-Chief Stacie McCall-Whitaker says, “We believe our journal should reflect the values and beliefs of the Stonecoast MFA program. Our commitment is to publishing work with diverse themes and distinct narrative voices.”
Although young in the world of literature, Stonecoast is seeking to create a distinct and meaningful space for literary artists. “The Stonecoast Review differs from other literary journals in several ways. Our MFA program is one of only a few graduate programs in the nation to offer popular fiction as a serious focus. Our team reads, reviews, and publishes popular fiction with the same seriousness we give poetry, literary fiction and creative nonfiction,” explains McCall-Whitaker. “We value carefully executed craft elements and good storytelling.”
Instead of attempting to cater to the tastes of the Stonecoast selection board, writers should create and send in their best work from a place of authenticity.
“We don’t believe in constructing a box in which submissions should fit; we craft each journal around the writing. For this reason, we don’t publish themed issues – we want to be surprised by the submissions,” McCall-Whitaker says. “Whatever the style, whatever the story, for the Summer 2016 issue we want to read fresh, well-crafted work that resonates with a diverse audience.”
The following poem by author and professor Jeanne Marie Beaumont was published in the most recent issue of Stonecoast and is being used here with permission.
by Jeanne Marie Beaumont
A Safe enticed ― what could it hold ―
My fingers played the sequenced Lock.
I dialed slowly ― to and fro
And listened close for picker’s luck.
My ear pressed nearer ― had it heard
A Tumbler shifting ― in a Word?
By increments ― the Safe was probed
Until ― Cracked ― it spilt its Gold ―
“The most rewarding aspect of my job as Editor-in-Chief is extending acceptances to contributors,” McCall-Whitaker says. “It’s an incredible experience to make final selections and begin working with a talented group of writers. The weeks leading up to release are full of energy and excitement as the issue takes shape.”
The journal is published biannually, and submissions are accepted in the categories of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, popular (genre) fiction, and visual art. Writers and artists in the USM community should know that the entry process is efficient and streamlined through an online submission form at www.stonecoastreview.org. Contributors are notified both electronically and via postcard. All entries go through a blind reading so as to avoid possible biases, and there is no submission fee. Literary fans can follow the journal on Twitter (@StonecoastRev) and Facebook (/StonecoastReviewLiteraryJournal). Go ahead artists– grab that notepad or canvas to start crafting! Your piece could be in the next Stonecoast Review.