Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

Hello, and welcome to Issue Twenty-Two!

Our first Chapbook Contest closed for entries one month ago, and since then I've had the great honor and pleasure of reading the several hundred submitted manuscripts. I can't tell you how much strong writing there was in the (virtual) stacks of pages before me, and how much I enjoyed the task. It was, of course, a difficult decision choosing between the many worthy entries, but I'm proud to announce that the winner of the 2011 Collagist Chapbook Contest is [Spoiler Alert] by Laura Eve Engel and Adam Peterson. A collection of short prose pieces—all also titled "[Spoiler Alert]"—the collection is sharply-written and cleverly constructed, a funny and smart joy to read. Engel and Peterson's manuscript distinguished itself at every stage of the judging process, and I'm very pleased to have it as the first book in The Collagist Chapbook Series.

We also selected two honorable mentions: Bright Power, Dark Peace, a poetry manuscript written in collaboration by Traci Brimhall and Brynn Saito, and The Center of the World by Rob Roensch, a collection of stories.

I sincerely wish every entrant the best of luck in placing their manuscript with another publisher, and I'll be keeping watch, hoping for it to happen soon, so that other readers can experience the same reading pleasures I have this past month.

Congratulations again to Laura Eve Engel and Adam Peterson, and to Traci Brimhall, Brynn Saito, and Rob Roensch for the selections here. Thanks again to everyone else who submitted a manuscript, including those whose entry fees included a copy of the winning book. We'll be in touch later in the year, when [Spoiler Alert] is published. More details coming soon!

A full accounting of the contest results—including a longlist of the other finalists—can be found by clicking here.


Those of us at Dzanc and many other folks around the internet have been celebrating Short Story Month 2011 during the month of May. We hope you'll join in. You can find my coverage at my site by clicking here, as well as a list of participating sites. Want to join in yourself? Check out the #ssm2011 twitter hashtag, or the Short Story Month Facebook group. Thanks to everyone who has participated so far!


In Issue Twenty-Two, you'll find excerpts from Michael Kimball's Us and Johannes Göransson's Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate, as well as new fiction by Sarah Norek, Mathias Svalina, and Ofelia Hunt. Our final piece of fiction comes from J.A Tyler's ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, a project being published today across several different publishers, including Greying Ghost, Warm Milk Press, and NewLights Press, in addition to The Collagist.

In poetry, we have new work by Russel Swenson, Joseph A. W. Quintela, Emilia Phillips, and Kellam Ayres.

In non-fiction, Brian Evenson delivers an essay titled "Doing Without," which begins with his thoughts on the way eBooks change the reading experience, especially when dealing with experimental or unconventional fiction, then proceeds to explore the "usefulness of... leaving out" in fiction, and "what this subtraction itself does to create the reading experience."

Our book review section includes coverage of The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch (reviewed by Renée E. D'Aoust), The Opportune Moment, 1855 by Patrik OuĊ™edník (reviewed by Adam Parker Cogbill), Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls by Cris Mazza (reviewed by Melanie Page), Normally Special by xTx (reviewed by Gavin Pate), and Healers by Ayi Kwei Armah, a continuation of Anna Clark's series of reviews of African literature.

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