The triple degree sun is roasting everyone alive and I am fumbling with my keyboard this Kansas summer to tell you about running Heavy Feather Review.
HFR started in 2011, but I didn’t think it’d still be going now, after a decade of publishing. Running the site has become more and more integral as a non-academic who wants writing to be a part of their life, and the goal’s always been about cobbling together a space for people from all backgrounds who enjoy literature. Everyone’s got their own time and availability for this community and roping others into this effort has been essential, but I think we have made a good space for literature over the years.
This year we’re going to publish Volume 12 of our print magazine which includes a story by Tony Burgess alongside more fiction by Ed Falco, David Leo Rice, and Christian TeBordo, poetry by Anthony Robinson, A.E. Weisgerber, and Louis Armand, anti-comics by Tex Gresham, and much more. The book will be a fun thing to hold and behold. Also relevant, the call for Volume 13 may extend beyond July 1. More on that forthcoming. Send us something?
Lately we have tried to bolster our online offerings with a number of new calls for writing. Submissions for these features include The Future, where we publish sci-fi adjacent or speculative work; Side A, in which we highlight single works and audio performances/interviews by the author; and Flavor Town USA focused on food/humor/writing (not limited to the United States!).
We love checking out everyone’s interpretations of the calls we put out there. I’d boast that the variety of work we read makes us a great place to submit to year-round. And for every submission we strive to be responsive, so others aren’t waiting on the line for their response. As non-academics and working joes, it’s important for us to be read and responded to in a reasonable amount of time.
Other revolving features comprise Bad Survivalist or writing on nature/outdoors/survival mishaps; Haunted Passages, wherein we promote gothic and horror writing or writers; and #NoMorePresidents for representing great work by marginalized identities. (Writing for NMP needn’t be political to be considered.)
It was also in this calendar year that HFR took over the Where to Submit list, in order to showcase the similar drives of other operations, a community board to which anyone can add or subtract their own offerings. I worry sometimes about this page running thin, so if you have writing opportunities or organizations, send me an email with a formatted call?
Finally, this July we’re releasing our first single author book, A Summoning by Nicole McCarthy, an experimental nonfiction book about the physiology of memory including visual poetry and creative blueprints. So far it’s received advanced praise from Rebecca Brown, Piper J. Daniels, Jenny Boully, Steven Dunn, Amaranth Borsuk, and Renee Gladman, and we’ve worked really hard to develop this book with Nicole as we move into promotion and publication.
Of course none of this would be accomplished without my crew of rowdy editors, including William Lessard, Ryan Bollenbach, Lucy Zhang, Jeff Chon, Gray Hunt, Madeline Vosch, and Jessie Janeshek. We laugh and whine in the Slack group about everything and nothing related to literature. Recruiting people who cherish art is essential for any literary organization and I’ve picked some good ones.
Pretty soon I will have to finish my coffee and step back out into the Kansas sun. Forgive me if you never read this piece because I have melted into the sidewalk along with my hard drive.
Jason Teal is the author of We Were Called Specimens (KERNPUNKT Press, 2020), which was a finalist for Big Other’s Reader’s Choice and Best Fiction Book Awards. He edits Heavy Feather Review. Writing appears in 3:AM Magazine, Quarterly West, SmokeLong Quarterly, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and Hobart, among other publications.