Where’s the Magic?

There are two weeks left to submit to the fall journal!

We have been excited reading the submitted stories and poems.

We want to say more about what we want. For nonfiction, have you had a dream or nightmare that didn’t make sense but mystified you? I want to read that! Or what about a break in the pattern of your normal life, what was different, and how did it affect you? What is the magic going around you and your life, is pointing to the sky and telling what a cloud shape looks like to you? Or one moment in your life—not COIVD-19—that turned your world upside down? Were you saved by a bit of magic that mystified you? Like, for me, I was caught in a muddy landslide, but I magically made it to the bottom without a scratch and it was a cliff that nature shifted when I was just 16 years old. During that slide, I also saved my little cousin and my dog from sliding down with me and threw them up on a ledge before I went down.

I want to see what made you change religions, stop believing, or started to believe. Religion doesn’t just mean believing in a “god”, it is also a set of rules to live your life and abide too. What is mystical about you?

For fiction, Amber is pretty open to all. She wants you to mystify her. Whether it be mystery, suspense, the paranormal, the horror, magical myths you created, show her—ahem—I mean telling her by showing her in your writing what kind of magic imagination is!

For poetry, Addey wants to see the mundane written about in a mystical way. She wants to see captivating stories told in as few words as possible and read poems that explore what haunts the speaker. She wants to see life summarized on the page the mystical way that only writers can do it!

So there’s a little bit more about what we are looking for. We can’t wait to read what you submit.

Happy Submitting!!

P.S. Submissions close July 31st, as a reminder. 

Submitting is Courageous

Everyone who is a writer knows that getting up the courage to actually submit your writing out into the world takes courage. It’s scary to think about putting your words out into the world. We all (at least, every writer I’ve ever talked to) think of their work as their baby. We spend a lot of time nurturing an idea and making sure the words come out just right, so then releasing it out into the world can be scary. And when you’re submitting your work to an unknown panel of “judges,” like us editors, it can be even scarier.

I’ve been on the other side of the computer–I’ve had to get up the courage to submit my stories and poems to a literary journal or magazine, more often than not, only to be rejected. But I want to encourage you to not give up! Take that courageous step and submit. We are so excited to read what you have written. Even if it’s a “no,” for borrowed solace, that doesn’t mean that it’s a “no” from somewhere else. You are courageous just for taking the time to write and put your words forth into the world.

So if you are still debating whether or not you want to submit, please do. We are still open for mystical submissions and would love to see your work. Please, take that courageous first step and submit!

We can’t wait to see what you have written!

Issue 3.1 is Live!

Thank you so much to the writers and artists who lent their work to our little corner of the internet. We are so proud to release our spring 2020 issue into the world!

We hope the words within the pages of issue 3.1 can bring you some solace in the midst of all that is going on in the world. While in many ways it seems like a crazy time to release a literary journal, we take solace ourselves in the fact that this issue might serve as a source of needed relief from the chaos outside.

To see issue 3.1 in all her glory, visit the store and snag yourself a copy. If you’d like to see a sneak preview of the journal, visit the “Current Issue” page.

Thanks again to all our wonderful contributors, readers, listeners, and fellow creatives working to make the world a more dazzling place. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Much Love,

the editors

All About Submissions for Issue 3.1

If you’re thinking “Wow, they’re open for submissions already?  The fall issue just came out!” Then you would be right.  We’re thinking the same thing. But such is the life of a journal, and we can’t wait to start reading submissions for issue 3.1, which is un-themed and will come out in spring 2020.  That’s right—2020!

To get your creative juices flowing and give you at least a little bit of insight into what we are looking for, each of the editors has shared a quick summary below of what they hope to read in submissions for issue 3.1!

Fiction:

I’m looking for creative and gripping tales that will haunt the confines of my thoughts. 

Art: 

We are trying something different for art! For this next issue, there will not be an art section, but instead you can submit your art to be featured on our front and back cover! Any type of art can be submitted, though truly unique pieces that play with colors and shock us with how beautiful this world can be, and what people can create, is what will get you accepted.

Nonfiction:

True stories work when two things happen: they keep you wondering how the story is going to end and they make you think or feel (or both.) I want to read stories that have both of these things and that keep my attention to the end, spark my sense of wondering if the tale is real, and strike a place of sympathy—let me know how much the story wants me to care. Bring on the truth! 

Poetry:

With any un-themed issue, I’m never quite sure what I’m looking for.  With un-themed editions there really are no rules, which is what makes them exciting.  As always, I’m looking for work that is exciting to read.  Work that twists and turns as I read each word, and work that plays with the absurdity that language can be.  Give me your crazy poems, your somber poems, your sappy love poems, but make sure that there’s something unexpected contained within the lines on the page.

We hope this helps get you started—we can’t wait to read what you submit.  Happy writing!

Issue 2.2, Corruption, is Out!

This is the third themed edition of borrowed solace, and we selected corruption. Our first theme journal was hinterlands, we picked it to navigate the unknown and uncharted literary places we were traversing since it was our first journal. To break apart the magic and meaning inside a word, to distort reality, to discover truth, to see if we could sail in our boat crafted from stars, space gems, and sparkly dreams or would we be engulfed in the flames of a falling meteorite and sink to the bottomless sea. Home was the second theme because home is supposed to be solace, though we quickly learned home for others can mean a house filled with lies and monsters, courage and love, walls that can turn colors and morph, and inner dragons that can lead us off cliffs to go home. Places that once felt like home are now just somewhere to sleep, smells to define us to others, and we discovered that those who we live with can either bring us joy or pain.

Corruption involves both of these themes to their core. We want to discover the truth behind the lies that lead people to their demise. Corruption is often uncharted but easily accused of and hard to battle. Lies, monsters, and pain are what brings corruption to life. What is a person willing to give, willing to change, willing to embrace for something more, for something we didn’t have before in ways and with decisions we wouldn’t normally make or things we wouldn’t say or think.

You don’t have to dress like Batman or Robin to fight corruption and crime, but if you are like me and donned a cape to read these stories, poems, and embrace art; as always I employ you to read with an open soul that can be filled by borrowed solace seas.

I, with Amber and Addey, thank you for being a part of our little legion of lowercase letters.

Thank you for reading, contributing, and supporting us.  We wouldn’t be here without you!

An Update on Corruption!

Take a peek inside the next edition to hear about to the selections and finalists from the editors…

Nonfiction — guest editor Nicole McConnell:

I am filling in for an editor and reading, selecting, and editing nonfiction pieces. I have read selections for previous editions to help with the volume of fiction and poetry. I also worked for a journal in college for a semester and I helped with the nonfiction section, so I have some experience. But, like all corruption in general, with some of the stories submitted, I couldn’t tell if they were real or fake, or how much was real and how much was creative license at work. Nonetheless, the stories that I selected are probably different from the style picked by Nicole Taylor, which will make for an interesting edition. I hope you pray, laugh, cry, understand, and are amazed by the wonderful stories of those whose lives have been corrupted by something. Read about one girl who believes in God once, how elements in a man’s life can be broken down into moments, how a girl lied, how a girl will always be the outlier of her family, and how an angel in red will always be there…

Fiction — Amber Porter:

This journal’s selection ranges from shady business practices, to the corrosion of the human self, and many things in between. While some stories may not appear to be slathered in corruption, there are corrupt hints and inklings spread throughout each piece. I hope you enjoy these seven pieces and the corruption that lies deep beneath their written words.

Poetry — Addey Vaters:

I am so excited for our readers to see what’s in store for issue 2.2!  Even though our themed editions are sometimes hard to edit due to the overarching theme that must be included in each accepted piece, I thought we had some amazing submissions this time around.  The poetry section will have some wonderful takes on corruption — corruption of the soul, of natural beauty, of perceptions — and as always includes some frivolous plays on language.  Readers will get to see work from new writers who have never appeared in the journal before, as well as poems written by memorable poets who have graced the pages of borrowed solace in the past.  Corruption is a conflicted issue with such beautiful language talking about such dark things, but I’m eager for issue 2.2 to get out into the world!

Art – Karen and Nicole McConnell:

Art has been a surprise. In the past, there has been great art, but for this journal there has been amazing art! The artists who submitted really took off with the theme of corruption. This journal, there is unique art that we never published before like interesting collages, different views of people, landscapes, the environment, and the corrupted world surrounding us. My mom and I aren’t going to say too much as we want this journal to be a bit of a surprise like it was for us!

Please stay tuned for the list of stories, poems, and artists who will be featured in issue 2.2 and even more to come as this corrupted edition is being pieced together…

An Interview with the Art Editor

Since we have a special guest art editor for issue 2.2, this week we are featuring an interview with Karen so you can learn more about her. Remember, we are still accepting art (and all other submissions) until July 1st!

NM: Do you think talent for art is a talent born with, or learned?

KM: I believe imagination and creativity is something that you’re born with. Some people are just way more creative than others. I also do believe talent for certain kinds of art is also something someone is born with. Take our family for example — my mother and father are both great artists. As kid I drew a lot and was great at landscapes. I did try creating portraits but they were never my thing, I just didn’t have a knack for them, but my father did. He can draw a face out of thin air, or replicate a photo of a person in no time and it will be perfect. I like to draw nature and broad areas from a sweeping view — where can the eye take me in my artwork? Where is the focus of the lens zooming in and out of focus in my eye? Answering these questions are the things I had talents for.

Now, I am not saying that art can’t be learned. Many people who want to draw, paint, craft, and sculpt can learn those skills. But to create art takes imagination that some people naturally have more of.

NM: What type of art do you like best?

KM: I used to as a kid draw and paint landscapes. In my young adult years, I liked to use acrylic paint and sculpt. Now, in my older adult years, l like to craft. I like to make mesh wreaths out of a few items and let the contrast of colors and this other form of sculpting take me to a new creative place. I also like to make centerpieces, basically any custom floral craft you can find at Michaels or Hobby Lobby, I love doing those myself. I display them around my home, give some to you, Nicole, and help my mother make them for churches or nursing homes and for people to proudly display on their doors, tables, and in their homes. Watching people be amazed with what I can create from wire, flowers, decorative wood, mason jars, lights, and floral picks is what makes me the most happy!

NM: So for this journal so far, what do you think of our art submissions?

KM: I am truly amazed by some of the artwork that was submitted. I wasn’t really sure what it would be like when you asked me to help as the art editor, but now that I have seen the artwork myself, I can say wow. Some of the collages are so interesting, it takes a few moments to see all that is going on. The artwork for the theme of corruption has truly made some lasting impressions on me and it’s amazing to see what people can do with art, pictures, and photography, so please, keep up the good work!

Submissions Update

We have barely a month left of open submissions, so we thought we would check-in to see how it is going with each editor.

From our poetry editor:

Submissions for borrowed solace issue 2.2 are intriguing, as always!  I love our themed editions because it adds another layer to whatever I am reading — corruption seems to be a theme that everyone found inspirational, but I would love to see even more poems that adhere to this theme.

From our fiction editor:

Submissions are going, reading through lots of interesting stories, but one thing is lacking; the theme. No one quite hits the theme for me, but I still have hope as I continue to work my way through submissions.

From our art editor:

There has been some awesome art this time around, the only problem is there isn’t enough art to go around. So, please submit more art that you find unique and corrupt at it’s being. 

From our nonfiction editor:

I am finding the same thing as Amber to be true, a lot of good stories, but hardly any that relate to the theme of Corruption. With almost a month left until submissions close, there are still so many possibilities that could come my way.

What is important to remember is we love publishing both unpublished writers as well as well-seasoned writers who are always working to develop their craft, and it is wonderful to see the ideas and stories people come up with. We enjoy reading the interesting lives of other people and experiencing the beauty that inspires them to create art or take a photo.

We want to enforce the theme a little more, corruption is with us every day through people around us, the news, the media, and even crime happening outside your window at this very moment. We want to read more of these things and we appreciate every submission we get. We are still, honestly, shocked by who submits to our journal and how many submissions we get. So even if you are turned away, please try again, because in this corrupt world you never know.

-editors, borrowed solace