Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

Hello, and welcome to Issue Twenty!

Today is the final day to nominate stories for the Million Writers Award, which means that this past week I once again had the opportunity to revisit the stories we published in 2010 to decide which three stories to pass on for the judges' consideration. After much deliberation, I'm happy to announce that the following three stories we published in 2010 have been nominated for this award, which annually recognizes one outstanding short story published online:

"Visitations" by Tina May Hall

"An Account of an Apprentice" by M.T. Fallon

"The Turn" by Monica Zarazua

Good luck to these three writers and their stories, which I sincerely hope move the judges as much as they moved me. If you have your own favorite story from The Collagist and would like to make a reader's nomination for the award, you can do so by clicking here.


A friendly reminder: This is the last month to enter the 2011 Collagist Chapbook Contest, the winner of which will be published by Dzanc Books later this year. We are open for entries until April 15th, with the winner announced in our May issue.

Please feel free to pass along the contest information to whoever you want, and if you have a manuscript you'd like to submit, please do! We've gotten a great number of entries already, and I can't wait to read through them, looking for our first great chapbook.

 For complete rules and the links to submit, please click here.


Next month, Dzanc will host its National Workshop Day, also known as Dzanc Day. Consisting of dozens of creative writing workshops in almost as many cities, the event provides local, affordable two-to-four hour sessions led by professional writers, authors, and editors, all open to attendance by the public for a very affordable fee. Sessions are conducted in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, and start at just $30 for two hours of instruction, a rate dramatically lower than many of our volunteers would normally charge. Information about individual locations and session descriptions can be found here:

In addition to being a great way for participants to receive instruction, get inspired, and meet other local writers, Dzanc Day also helps to partially fund our many charitable endeavors, including the Dzanc Prize, which recognizes one writer annually for both literary excellence and service to his or her community, and our Writer in Residence Program, which places professional writers into classrooms to provide creative writing instructions to public school students who could not otherwise afford the opportunity. It's thanks to our workshop leaders' generous donations of their time and talents that we're able to continue to support and grow these programs, and your signing up for Dzanc Day will ensure their success in the future.


In Issue Twenty, you'll find new fiction by Sarah Rose Etter, Marc Berley, and James O'Brien, plus returning contributor Darby Larson. Our novel excerpts this month come Timothy Schaffert's The Coffins of Little Hope and Blake Butler's There is No Year.

In poetry, we have work by Molly Brodak, Dan Lau, Marielle Prince, and Mike Puican, and our non-fiction this month comes from Geoffrey Babbitt.

Our book review section includes coverage of The Universe in Miniature in Miniature by Patrick Somerville, Baby by Paula Bomer, Invocation: An Essay by Jennifer S. Cheng, An Dantomine Eerly by J.R.D. Middleton, and When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina by Cynthia Hogue and Rebecca Ross, plus a video review by Anna Clark of Binyavanga Wainaina's How to Write About Africa. Anna's currently in Nairobi, Kenya, on a Fulbright Scholarship, and will be bringing us reviews of African literature and topics while she's there.

As always, thanks to all of our contributors for letting us publish their fine work. Thanks also to everyone who reads the magazine, everyone who sends us submissions, and of course everyone who takes the time to post about the issue to their blogs, Facebook, or anywhere else. We appreciate your time and talents, and can't thank you enough for sharing them with us.


Matt Bell
The Collagist