Submissions Update

Hello borrowed solace friends and family! We hope you and yours had an amazing Thanksgiving. Please know that we are incredibly thankful for you and your continued support. Without the amazing authors in our community, we wouldn’t have the journal, and without the supporters who purchase each journal we wouldn’t be able to keep running–so thank you!

In other news, we are extremely excited to announce when submissions will be back open.

Submissions for the spring 2022 issue of borrowed solace will open up next Friday, December 3rd!

We will make the submissions manager available to you in the morning and will post to the blog and all over social media once we are officially open.

If you’re familiar with how our journals work, you’ll know that the spring issue of the journal is not themed, so now’s your time to submit anything and everything to us! We are excited to see those treasures you’ve stashed away for the next open submission period.

Be sure to read the submissions guidelines for your genre as you prepare your work to submit, and don’t forget to check out the podcast for some additional behind-the-scenes tips.

We can’t wait to see what you submit!

S4 Episode 2: Resources

Season four, episode 2, of the podcast features the short work “Lady Grief” as read by the author, Melanie Chartoff. “Lady Grief” was published in the fall 2021 journal, Tamed, and it was so fun to hear the work read aloud.

If you’re interested in learning more about the author and her diverse work in writing and acting, here is a bit more about Melanie, including where you can find her online:

Melanie Chartoff’s lust for acting began on the stages of Yale University and Long Wharf Theatre in her hometown New Haven. Working on and off Broadway while studying craft with Stella Adler, singing, dancing, and improv in many schools of thought, she moonlighted as a singing stand-up at the Improv Club.  While guest-starring on television in Los Angeles, she continued honing her comedy chops at the Hollywood Improv and joined the cast of Fridays, ABC’s answer to Saturday Night Live, along with Larry David and Michael Richards.  She’s best known for characters she created there and on Seinfeld, Newhart, Weird Science, Wiseguy, and Rugrats, also familiar from the notorious Andy Kaufman incident, for testifying against George Costanza in the Final Seinfeld, and for playing Grandma Minka in the first animated Chanukah Special for Rugrats and Nickelodeon.

Recently, she’s been published in McSweeney’s, Medium, Entropy, The Jewish Journal, Funny Times, Five on the Fifth, Glint, Entropy, Bluestem, Goats Milk Magazine, Evening Street Press, The Literate Ape, Mused, Jewlarious, Defenestration, Better after 50, Living the Second Act, and five editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul (Simon and Schuster). Odd Woman Out: Essays and Stories, her first book, is rated 5 stars on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. It intimately exposes the nature of identity in the life of a performing artist, snapshotting the search for a self Chartoff could love, and someone else’s self to love, too, She found and married him seven years ago and became a happy step-mother to his fabulous prefab kids.

She has been teaching “Charismatizing Improvising and Acting” in private classes and online coaching for years. For info and testimonials, go to Her performing website is  

You can find her on Facebook here for Charistmatizing and Melanie Chartoff, or @melaniechartoff & #melaniechartoff elsewhere.

Now, imagine we are preparing for Thanksgiving (can you believe it’s the day after tomorrow?) when the conversation turns to this week’s episode of the podcast. We would love to hear your thoughts–leave a comment below!

S4 Episode 2: Lady Grief

On this episode of the podcast, we have a reading of the short work “Lady Grief” read by the author, Melanie Chartoff. “Lady Grief” was published in the fall 2021 issue of borrowed solace, Tamed, and we are so pleased to present this amazing piece of writing to you in audio form on the podcast.

S4 Episode 1: Resources

In season four, episode one of the podcast, Addey, Nicole, and Amber talked about what it’s like running a literary journal. After taking a peek behind the literary journal curtain, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Imagine we are talking about Thanksgiving plans (can you believe the holiday is next week already?) when the conversation turns to this week’s episode of the podcast. What did you think about the information shared in this episode? Let us know in the comments below!

S4 Episode 1: Behind the Literary Journal Curtain

Welcome to season four! We’re so excited to kick off this new season of the podcast. To start everything off, Addey is joined by the other borrowed solace editors, Nicole McConnell and Amber Porter, to take a deep dive into what it’s like behind the scenes of a literary journal.

Season Four

We are going to be going live with season four of borrowed solace: the podcast next week, and we can’t wait! Get ready for a lot more of all the things you love about the podcast in season four, coming your way soon.

Say “Hello” to Issue 4.2, Tamed!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to let you know that issue 4.2, Tamed, has arrived! This is our ninth edition of the journal (can you believe it?) and is full of wonderful poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We’re excited to share this edition with you, so please snag yourself a copy by clicking on the cover below.

As always, thanks so much for your support over the years. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Important Announcements

The Fall 2021 theme journal tamed will be released this coming Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. We thank the authors and poets for their stunning works. The editors are excited to release the tenth edition of borrowed solace! It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun.

We are working on a collection of the best works published by borrowed solace, it will be an ebook and in print. So please look out for those announcements as you may be featured in this book! Special essays and interviews with the authors/poets/artists are a part of our goal for this book.

We will be coming back with the podcast soon. Stay tuned for new episodes currently in the works of being made by our host and editor Addey. If you want your story or poem read on the podcast, email me us and we will make it happen! Also, if you have an interesting topic or work in publishing, we would like to hear from you as well, you could be featured in an interview on the podcast.

Don’t forget our first edition of borrowed solace is available in print and can be bought from our store.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and social media Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest news!

Your Attention, Please

If you are considering submitting to the fall edition of borrowed solace, now is your chance! We are closing submissions this weekend–your last day to submit is July 31st.

Remember to keep the fall journal’s theme in mind if you are submitting. The theme for the fall is tamed. You can find a bit more about the theme here.

That’s all I’ve got for today’s post–short and sweet so you have time to go write! See you next time.

If Emily Dickinson Can Do It—So, Can We!

I’ve used “ephemera,” the fancy word for pieces of trash, for years to dash off a note, line, or poem. What I did not know was that it wasn’t my clever idea. Or my generation’s…or the generation’s before them. I write on napkins and receipts when in a hurry. Emily Dickinson appears to have used envelopes and scraps from notes. Imagine though…Emily Dickinson, the queen, the reason I use the dash—and she writes like me. *dramatic sigh*

Now, this matters because of shape and form. Dickinson’s “Letter Poems” as scholars call them, must have been thought out beforehand and/or the shape must have influenced the brevity and form of the verse. Below, is the picture of “In this short life.” It is a triangular shape that seems to be the flap of an envelope. So—if you do not have a bill from which you can spare the envelope flap—I will provide a form that you can fit in your poem.

Manuscript View for Amherst – Amherst Manuscript # 252 – In this short life – asc:612 – p. 1 (

J1287 – In this short Life

In this short Life
That  only lasts an hour
How much — how little — is
Within our power


Now, what does this form cause? It brings a funnel effect and for a killer poem, the poem must end with a killer word. Think of the most pressing image or question on your mind. Mine is trying to fit everything in a day—sunrise to sunset—how do I do it? That right there will not fit the space. And let’s not even count if I get all “poetic.” 

So, take your first thoughts, write them down, and then cut unnecessary words. This is an excellent lesson in revision in one of the most visual ways possible. When your poem/question fits, what word does it land on? Is it vibrant and echoing? That is precisely what you want. One long line funneling into a powerful word.

The Second Example is “One note from one Bird.”

Manuscript View for Amherst – F1478A (

One note from
One Bird
Is better than
a Million Word –
A scabbard
holds need has –
but one

Another triangle, but at a different angle. What does this version hold for form? It seems in Dickinson’s there is still a very powerful end word and one that resounds with history. This shape allows for a longer line almost directly in the middle. Arguably, this is the turn, so it was most likely partially planned. For our purposes, let’s devise our longest line first and our last word and build backward.

What word did you end on and what was your middle line? Was it a turn in the poem, flipping back what came before? The comments are burning for you to type in!