Say “Hello” to Issue 3.2!

We are live with the fall issue of the journal! 2020 has been a year for the books, and this journal is no different. There have been some bumps in the road and some trials to get here, but we are so happy to announce that issue 3.2: mystical, is live and ready for downloading.

We can’t thank each of our wonderful contributors and supporters enough. We are excited for you to read these stories and poems that are perfect for the month of October–a month that undoubtedly brings us all a little mischief and magic.

Visit the store to purchase a copy, or if you’d like to see a sneak preview of the journal, visit the “Current Issue” page. And please share far and wide–we can’t wait for the world to read what is within these pages!

Spookily,

your editors

The Storm Experience that Wreaked Solace (and Some Submission Updates)

If you would not like to read the experiences, scroll down to the important information at the end about submissions!

My brother (third-shift worker), 8/10/2020

I woke up with the house shaking, swaying, shifting, my fan cut off in mid-spin, and my tired mind raced with what could be making a deafening howling sound. I ripped the covers off and tried to walk unbalanced to the front living room window. There I saw tree branches whipping the truck, leaves and sticks racing through the road on the wind going by, and whole trees being snapped in half and pulled up from the earth to crash with thunder to the ground. I immediately called you freaking out. Seeing where you were and the amount of damage raging outside was so shocking, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

My next-door neighbor, Barb, 8/10/2020

I was so terrified, I took my dog and we hid in the bathroom, cowering in the tub. Wishing all of the rain, thunder, noise, wind, horror to be washed away. I have survived many storms in Iowa, but this storm truly terrified me, never have I felt my house shake with such force.

Neighbor three streets over, Tom, 8/10/2020

I was watching the news, eating a bowl of ice cream for my afternoon snack. I slowly rocked in the recliner, I am a bit deaf, so the TV is loud enough to drown out my neighbors, the busy street, and anything else. I didn’t notice the storm outside until I heard a crack so loud it made me wonder if the TV was broken. I stood up to get the remote when another crack sounded. I muted the TV and then a bang felt by the entire house, I looked over to the left and a tree rushed down onto the house and my kitchen was gone, just wiped from the side of the house. Nothing is left now but a tarp hanging off the house as a silent reminder: I need to turn down the TV.

Me, Nicole, 8/10/2020

I was in no hurry to make my way more east to my parent’s house. I was to spend the week for my birthday up there, taking a motorcycle class, and getting my license, my small but rewarding birthday gift to myself. I was jamming to music when I noticed to the right, a very large wall of clouds and rain and thunder. There was no rain yet, but if the winds switched, it would be raining in no time. Ellie Mae and Thunder Storm were peacefully sleeping in the back seat and I thought nothing of it and kept driving my steady pace. About 30 minutes go by and a large gust of wind hits me from behind, the semi-truck in front of me swerving all over the road and made me swerve to try and gain control back over my own vehicle too. A large crash from the farm on the left and a storage grain steel building crumbles to the ground, signs bend over, and large billboards, are blown through. With two grips firmly on the wheel and the semi-truck now controlled and pulled over on the side, I slowly crept up to a speed I could manage. My dogs fully alert, Ellie in the passenger seat and Thunder’s two front paws leaning on the armrest and the rest of his body on the backseat, were worried. As corn was pushed to the ground, cars and trucks on the side slowed and forced their way through the wind looking odd, as if some invisible force was holding them back, and some force was pushing me forward. I got to Dubuque safely, I talked to my freaking out brother, who had to chainsaw people out from their houses and to their cars on the street. 14 days later, damage to the roof, foundation, truck, and outside décor has the insurance and city engineer threatening to make my house unlivable as many of the houses behind me are. I only got electricity Monday, the 24, and still no internet. The derecho storm of 2020 in Iowa, will be marked in the brains of those who lived through the land hurricane forever.

Everyone who submitted should have received by now a notification from Green Submissions, please check there. Next week an email will be sent with an acceptance note and revisions/edits for the upcoming fall journal. This theme of mysticism fits so well because one thing after another seems to get stranger and weirder about this year. For those who were not accepted, we are very honored you submitted and were glad to read the talents out there. You can resubmit to the non-themed journal with submissions opening in October. Follow us on social media @borrowedsolace for much more information and updates (we’re even on TikTok and posted a video of what my neighborhood looks like now if you’d like to give us a follow!)

Ready for Fall

We here at borrowed solace are ready for fall, how about you? Fall brings lots of things that all of us editors appreciate, but, most importantly, it brings the fall issue of borrowed solace!

We’re working hard to finalize submissions, figure out the fall design, and get the journal out soon. In the meantime, if you are unsure whether your piece(s) have been accepted, be sure to log into the submissions manager for updates.

Are you ready for pumpkin spice, bonfires, changing leaves, crisp mornings, and fall borrowed solace? I hope you are because it’s coming at you soon! Stay tuned for more updates here on the blog and on all of our social media. And, of course, have a very happy Friday.

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

Submissions Update

The final selections for the journal have been chosen. We thank all who have submitted and hope you will continue to lend us your patience as we embark on the final stages of production.

Please watch out for emails coming your way from us very soon, as we editors have already jumped into editing.

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…