Issue #15 June 2020

Maybe it was the challenge of flight, the opportunity to fly, the competition of summer camp and the inspiration and discipline of West Point. I think all of those things helped me to develop a dedication and inspired me to get ahead. – Buzz Aldrin

June 2020 Cover
Click to download your copy

Is it hot enough for you yet? Summer is the official start for sitting in the backyard, laptop in hand, and a nice sparkling water in the other. Time to enjoy these long days of summer by writing a good short story or personal essay!

Some will argue that summer flies by too quickly, and by some I mean the kiddos who are happy they don’t have any homework and can enjoy being outside all day. Other students would say it drags on and on because some activities get old after a while. That’s why writing is the best! Each time you sit down at the computer, it is a new adventure. You can begin in the middle of a chapter of your book, or change things up and write a bunch of short stories.

You’ll want to have a bunch of pieces on hand to submit to! While the year may be half over, there are still plenty of contests and anthologies to submit before the end of the year. Get inspired by reading what other winning writers are grilling up in their backyards these past few months. Then find a contest listed at the end of the magazine to submit to!

A few tips for when you are submitting to contests. Be sure to adhere to all the contests’ rules. Something that may seem unnecessary is so! Those reviewing pieces for contests only have so many hours in a day to read the hundreds of submissions they receive. Those who are super strict won’t even bother to read a piece if it is in the wrong format or doesn’t apply to the contests’ rules. This delays your time too because while you’re waiting to hear back from them, you could be submitting your piece to a magazine or contest that it is better suited for.

Keep in mind the cost to enter a contest. I like to first exhaust all the free contests there are to. Next, go after the ones that are cheap, no more than ten dollars. As a rule of thumb, I choose not to participate in contests that cost more than $20 no matter the winning prize of the contest. Too rich for my blood! Plus, as a personal preference, I rather have my piece published and not receive anything more than the satisfaction of being a published author!

So sit back, enjoy the summertime heat, and get to some reading and writing!

Dani & The Book Smuggler’s Den Community

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Rain and Pain, Eric D. Goodman
(Go) Round and Round, Brad Kelly
Branches Over the Stream, Barbara Milton
Elevator Pitch, Zach Murphy


We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Program, Michelle Brooks

Book Reviews

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, Reviewed by Clea Dobrish
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter, Reviewed by Kelsie
Sunlit Imagery, Heartfelt Lament by William Heath, Reviewed by David Salner
The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally & Nick Offerman,  Reviewed By Dani Watkins

Author Interviews

Let’s Chat with author and producer Lancelot Schaubert

Writing Contests

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