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Happy October, writers! This month’s Lit Mag Spotlight features Flyway, Iowa State University’s online lit journal. Flyway seeks work that focuses on the environment in all its many contexts, and they’ve taken the time to tell us exactly what that means in terms of submissions, what makes them awesome, and what makes them wince. Also, check out Flyway‘s Notes from the Field Nonfiction Contest with Guest Judge Rick Bass! The deadline’s November 10, so submit your best work ASAP. Good luck and have fun!
Contest: Leave a comment on this blog post by October 31 (No trick—all treat!) to enter to win Flyway’s 2012 anthology, featuring 200+ pages of their best work. This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Robert! Thank you to all who participated.
Give us the lowdown on your journal’s mission.
We’re an online journal from Iowa State’s MFA program. We publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art that explores the complex facets of the word “environment”—all at once rural, urban, and suburban—and its social and political implications. Though we are open to well-crafted nature writing, what we really look for are works that push the boundaries of “environmental” writing. Work that breathes new life into a place, challenges preconceived notions about the environment, or merges man and wilderness, urban and nature.
Describe your ideal submission in 15 words or less.
Unique, moving, interdisciplinary, deftly crafted, and surprising.
Tell us about a piece you recently published that got the staff really excited. Why did you love it? Why did it strike a chord?
“The Compiler” by Mylène Dressler. In this essay about counting, or “compiling,” Mylène’s writing is gorgeous and surprising in its expansiveness. We loved the way the setting, the Matheson Wetlands Preserve, serves as the heart of the essay; but the writing expands and discusses much more: the narrator’s husband counting marbles, astronomers numbering the stars, and the usage of the word “crepuscular.” Everything from the form, the language, and the ending all surprised us and left us with the feeling that yes, there’s something special here.
Regarding submissions: What’s the most common turnoff that you encounter?
Overwrought nature writing or language that falls flat.
What’s the most common oversight in terms of submission guidelines?
People don’t check our previously published pieces to see what sort of writing we prefer. Sometimes a piece can be great, but it’s just not the right fit for us. So check out some old pieces; it’s free!
Why is your journal awesome?
We publish high-quality writing and art that push the idea of environment forward—plus, we’re free! Also, our environmental slant provides a place where readers can both read quality work and walk away learning a lot too. We run an active blog, Flight Patterns, with writer interviews, recommended online reading, and other exciting features.
Where can readers find your submission guidelines?
On our Submittable page.
What are you particularly excited about for Flyway?
We just transitioned to being fully online last April, so we’re excited to continue developing the opportunities that an online format provides. We’re publishing visual art for the first time, and we added an audio component to our blog. Readers can both listen to and read our most recent interview with the poet Elizabeth Bradfield. We have so many options now that we’re an online journal.
This contest is now closed.