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Monthly Archives: September 2013

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When I started working with Decades Review this past summer, we didn’t even have a blog. We’ve just recently started taking awkward baby steps into the world of blogging and it made me wonder if readers ever ask the question, “Why does a literary magazine’s blog matter?”

What’s the purpose of our blog?

The staff of DR, myself included, think about this quite a bit. Setting up a blog isn’t difficult, it only takes about five minutes to do and you can post content anytime you want. Blog experts tell us that there are all sorts of rules regarding how a blog works. It must be full of great content. You should only publish once or twice a week, never daily! There are many experts and many rules. I’m sure all of them are right.

But it can get a little bit confusing.

One of the big advantages we have here at DR is the diversity of our staff. Each of our staffers have a unique background with unique views on publishing. We all contribute in a variety of ways you don’t see noted in our masthead descriptions.

So here’s what we’re trying to do:

Be Friendly We’re aiming for a “sweet tea on the front porch and no where we need to be” kind of atmosphere. We take our work seriously here at DR but we want our readers and contributors to feel like they’re part of the family. We want to keep in touch, answer your questions and do anything we can to help you along with your writing endeavors. We care.

Take Off the Mask More often than not, there’s a poor relationship between publishers and their audience. We don’t want to be cloaked in secrecy. We want our audience to understand what we do and why we do it. By being open about how things operate and what our goals are, we should be able to have a better relationship with our audience. It’s strange, given how much publishers and audience need each other, that things are often combative. But, hey, humans are nuts. We’re good with that.

Offer a Helping Hand Our resources and time may be limited but if a reader, present or potential contributor ever asks for feedback or advice we won’t turn them away. There’s a wide range of writers voices who are never heard and we strive to highlight voices that are often ignored. At DR we want to see you grow and succeed. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with a platform to do so.

Be Distinct This one’s a bit weird because there isn’t just one person who posts on the blog. Whether it’s me, Connor, Josh or (possibly in the near future) a guest blogger there isn’t one specific person who is The Voice of our magazine. We like to think that our contributing authors set the tone of our publication.

We want our blog to be fun. It doesn’t always have to be silly but as long as we aim to fill it with “the good stuff” I think it will always be fun. For this reason, I tend to make my blog posts conversational in style. Connor has a more serious, yet charming tone of voice when he writes; his style makes you want to believe everything he tells you.

When we post, we don’t edit dozens of times. We’re not trying to be overly professional. The hope is simply  that these read like friendly notes. We’re reaching out in an attempt to start a conversation and make you feel like you’re a part of the magazine, because you are. If it weren’t for you guys we wouldn’t be here.

Paige Edenfield, Poetry Editor
Decades
Review

 

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Issue Nine launches on the first of October.  We recommend that you clear your schedule to allow for maximum reading time—our two year anniversary issue presents a short story from Scott Burr (winner of the 2006 Reville Short Fiction Contest and author of The Dog Catcher’s Wife), poetry from Matthew Drew Williams (work published or forthcoming in Eunoia Review and The Fat City Review), and plenty of other fantastic artists.

But that’s enough talk from us.  Check out some of these excerpts!

“Later, They Fought Over the Most Trivial Things” by Scott Burr

Later, they fought over the most trivial things. He would say that he was going out, she would demand to know where, and a battle would ensue that would last longer, he always realized later, than it would have taken in the first place, just going out and not telling her. She was not jealous, but felt abandoned when he left; he was neither unfaithful nor adverse to her joining him, but only resentful of being made to always give an account of himself and his actions… Why, after all, did he feel it necessary to cut her down in this fashion? It was true that she was not a doctor, but she was happy as a nurse. He could ask her mother, if he did not believe her: she had wanted to be a nurse ever since she was young. His protestations – that this wasn’t even what he was talking about – would be lost in the overwhelming wave of her hurt (not that what he had said had hurt her, of course, but that according to her he had said it to hurt her). So instead he said nothing, and nodded, a reply that was by now a reflex disconnected from its connotations, and no longer implied agreement or accord. He simply nodded – like Pavlov’s dog, he thought to himself -because it was the only thing that ever stopped her.

 

“The Graveyard Tour” by Patrick Venturella

hooked black beaks yawn
like an indifferent
early morning – picking
at the spattered corpse
of a boar – the flies

Are you psyched yet?  We could drop a few more names, but where’s the fun in that?  We’d rather have you squirming with anticipation.  Speaking of anticipation, you’ve probably noticed that we haven’t even mentioned photography.  Check out these two black and white photographs—one of them will be Issue Nine’s cover art.

9.1

9.2

Which one do you think deserves the coveted spot on the magazine’s cover? Tell us in the comments below.

Issue 9 goes live on October 1st. Get ready.  

 

*IF YOU RECOGNIZE YOUR PHOTO, PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHER CONTESTANTS (AND THE EDITORS) AND DO NOT TELL US WHO YOU ARE AND THAT THIS IS YOUR PHOTO. WE KNOW YOU’RE DYING FROM ANTICIPATION AND WE ALREADY KNOW WHO OUR PHOTOGRAPHS BELONG TO. YOU WILL BE CONTACTED BY SEPTEMBER 30th IF YOUR PHOTO HAS BEEN CHOSEN AS THE NEW COVER OF DECADES REVIEW.

Connor Cook, Prose Editor
Paige Edenfield, Poetry Editor
Josh Hess, Founder in Chief
–Decades Review

It’s Throwback Thursday! Below you will find two amazing photographs courtesy of Pat St. Pierre published in Issue Five of Decades Review.

If you’re itching to see some more awesome photography, poetry or prose, click the link and visit the archives! This is also the PERFECT opportunity to get up close and personal with the new site before Issue 9 drops on October 1st. Go ahead and give www.decadesreview.com a solid scroll through and let us know what you think of the makeover!

Hole in the Roof  ©Pat St. Pierre

Hole in the Roof
©Pat St. Pierre

 

No One is Home  ©Pat St. Pierre

No One is Home
©Pat St. Pierre

 

Hello all!

 
Decades Review would like to show our appreciation to you!
We’ve taken a few great steps over the past few months to help out our readers and contributors. We really hope you enjoy them.

**

 
First of all, we have a completely new site! The look is more modern and a lot more comfy to browse. We are hoping this helps draw attention to our page, as well as keep readers on the site longer. This is a change that (in the past) was a very low priority. However, more recently, we decided that improvements were necessary to build up the reader/contributor numbers and stats. We want people to see your amazing talents. Overall, that is our number one goal. 
Yes, a lot of time and money was put into this, but we hope you find it worthy. 

Second, we have our own site address now! 
Yes, this is very important to us. This means you can go directly to our site by typing in “www.decadesreview.com”.

Go ahead, check it out now!

Third, as most of you are already aware, our masthead has been through a few changes over the last few months. These are good changes, I assure you. The new Decades Review team is strong and faithful. They are exactly what is needed. I hope you get to know each of them. 

**

 
To all of our readers and contributors, we are very thankful that you have found us online. We hope you each enjoy the improvements that we have made to our magazine. Issue Nine will be released in October.

If you would like to comment on the changes, or if you have any feedback/suggestions at all, please feel free to email me directly: mr.joshhess@gmail.com OR decadesreview@gmail.com OR comment below.
 

Thank you so much!
Josh Hess, Founder in Chief
Decades Review

Hello all!

Hopefully, over the past two years, you have been keeping up with our site – and recently, our blog. Yes, that’s right! Decades Review will be celebrating our two year anniversary with the release of our ninth issue. 

October will be a great month for us. And not only us, but you guys, too. Yes, you. It’s okay to smile and be excited, because we definitely are! With the new staff on board, there have been so many doors open up for Decades Review. This blog is a great example, and you can thank our Poetry Editor, Paige, for this wonderful idea. We love reading the emails and blog comments that our readers and contributors have sent us. Definitely keep those coming. 

As most of you know, the submission guidelines here at Decades have changed a countless number of times. It’s annoying for you, and for us. However, we finally have the guidelines we want. It’s good news for everyone from here on out.
For those of you who haven’t visited the site in awhile – the new submission email address is “decadesreview@gmail.com”. All submissions are sent to this address. We promise we’ll get back with you as soon as we can, which normally is not a very long wait.

If you have read some of our more recent blog posts, you would know that we have a few things in store for you. One of which will really set the mood here at Decades. We aren’t quite ready to reveal our hand, but we know it will be a full house once we have it ready. Hope you liked that poker reference.
Yeah…okay..onward we must go!

Another great thing we’re working on is a huge deal to us. I don’t mind sharing the info, because it’s exciting and definitely going to pay off. We are going to be moving to our own URL address soon! This means you can say goodbye to the “.weebly” portion of our site address. We know that can often be a hassle.

All-in-all, it has been a fantastic year for the staff and magazine. We hope you all have enjoyed this year’s issues and we hope you will love the changes to come. I am very confident that you will.

From all of us here at Decades Review,
Have a great day and remember to send us something to read!

Josh Hess
Founder in Chief
Decades Review

Decades Review is searching for a new custom designed header image to show-off here on the Blog and over at the Facebook page; speaking of Facebook, head on over and give us a like! Anyway, if you think you’ve got the chops, or know someone who does, start designing and send those images our way!

If your design is picked, your image will be featured on Facebook and here at DecadesReviewBlog; all rights will remain with the artist and we will give credit where credit is due. This means your name and copyright will remain with the image, we’ll conduct a little interview, publish a post about you , any links to more of your work you wish to include and make a lot of hullabaloo (yes, hullabaloo) in your honor.

As Decades Review is a labor of love, we are broke and will be unable to pay you with any spare change we might dig out of the couch (that’s grocery money my friends), but we can offer you exposure, admiration, gratitude and a pretty sweet platform to show off your skills.

If you’re interested and want to show us what you’ve got:
-Send your designs to: decadesreview@gmail.com 
-In the subject line of your email, be sure to include the following: Your last name and the phrase “Decades Design.” Example: “Hall, Decades Design.” 
-In the body of your email please include your name, your email address and tell us about yourself and how you designed the image. Try to keep it within 100 words or less.

The Deadline:
There isn’t one! The first design we see that we absolutely fall in love with and must have displayed over all things Decades related is going up!

–If you have any questions regarding this “contest” please direct all queries to Josh Hess at: mr.joshhess@gmail.com OR any of the staff at decadesreview@gmail.com. Please make sure you include “Design Query” in the subject line of your email so you aren’t shuffled into the spam folder and missed.

The clock is ticking and there are only two weeks left to send in submissions for Issue No.9!

Issue No.9 of Decades Review will go live in October just in time for you to cuddle up with your screen on a cold night, a mug of hot chocolate and your cat Fluffy–in my case, I’ll be snuggling my fur baby Mojo. So don’t worry, we’re not judging you. In our opinion, there isn’t a better way to spend a crisp fall night than reading the latest issue of Decades anyway.

This issue is filling up with some of the most gut-wrenching poetry, thought-provoking prose and breathtaking photography you’ve ever laid eyes on. In fact, it’s shaping up to be so good we had to take a few minutes out of our busy schedule and tease you with this post. You can forget getting an excerpt yet; you’ll have to check back in a few weeks for a taste to hold you over until October.

We might also have a few contributions from some brooding authors whose dark and dangerous work crept into our inbox just in time for this Halloween-month issue, but I guess you’ll just have to wait and find out.

Issue 9 is going to toy with your emotions so much we’re going to end up like a bad habit you just can’t quit; you’ll love it, you’ll hate it and you won’t be able to stop coming back for more.

If you want to be a part of the roller-coaster ride that is Issue 9, get your submissions in by September 15th. That is, if you think your work can hack it. (Yes, that is a challenge.) Otherwise, you’ll just have to hold out for October.

It’s going to be here before you know it and it’ll all be for free! We won’t even make you say “trick or treat.” You’re more than welcome to though. We like “feel good notes” in our inbox just as much as the next journal.

There are some big changes lurking in the shadows for Decades Review. Check back often for updates and keep your eyes open. We hope you’re ready.

 

Paige Edenfield, Poetry Editor
Decades Review