Really Important Updates from the Editors

Currently we are working on branding and marketing! We want to learn more about what makes
people read the journal. If you are interested in providing feedback, please email us your thoughts at editors@borrowedsolace.com. We would like to know what makes you read the journal, if you would recommend it to others, and what we could do better.

The print version of “hinterlands” is coming along nicely, it’s taken a lot longer than we expected, but Amber is working hard. This year we will be working on two print projects. We will be doing a contest/giveaway and will have preordering available, so watch for those details! The second print project will be a collection and insight into what makes a story or poem really good with stories and poems from the past, essays on the author’s crafts from the present, and writing prompts for the future to create, too! Watch for more information to come.

We are restarting the podcast! Addey is working hard recruiting guests, if you want to be one, just email us for more information on how. We are also launching as a part of the podcasts a new segment called story time! One week a month, a story or poem from a past journal will be read. An exclusive interview with the author to dive into their craft and work will be a part of it, too!

Planners and workbooks to come! I am working hard on putting together writing planners and story workbooks for writers to use when creating, keeping projects on track, and having fun organizing the chaos of life. It will be an easy, but needed, place to keep lists of characters, plot ideas, poems you have written, what you have sent out for submissions, a congratulations page when you get published, etc. Look for more insights to come soon!

Spring 2021 journal, we are now in phase two with edits. We want to honor the authors and poets that were accepted into the journal. We take care with edits to make the manuscript the best it can be! After edits are done and returned, time for phrase three: putting the journal together. We are going with a western, train, Wyoming, gold-digging, cliffing stone-carving kind of theme! It will look better than it sounds…stay tuned for sneak peeks coming up in the next few weeks.

And as always, please reach out to us editors on social media or via email if you have any questions, concerns, or want to participate in even more ways with the journal!


Spring 2021 Update

Hello folks!

We have selected the finalists for the Spring 2021 journal. For everyone who submitted, you will receive a decision soon in the submissions manager or via email. Congratulations on those who were selected. Keep an eye out for those acceptance emails as the editors move into phase 2: the editing process.

We challenged ourselves with this journal as we are going to try and do all of the background art ourselves. We are headed to Wyoming in a few weeks for some outside adventure, and to safely embrace the cold, maybe snow, and beautiful sites Wyoming has to offer (we may also dabble in what South Dakota has to offer, too). We are also staying in a supposedly haunted hotel, maybe some ghost blogs/stories to come!

Merry Christmas

Hello to all,

Happy Holidays! To all and any holiday you may celebrate, the editors here at borrowed solace wish that your celebrations be blessed and as happy as they can be in the middle of COVID-19.

For a quick update, submissions for our Spring 2021 journal will close January 31, 2021. If you want to submit, we would love to see what you have in store. Head over our website and click the submissions tab!

For those who want a list or something to read on this day of merry cheers, check out the link for some of the most highly recommended Christmas books.

Thanks for sticking with us this year! May your Christmas be very merry, and very bright!

Love,

The borrowed solace editors

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us at borrowed solace to all of you. While this year has been one full of tragedy, difficulty, and strife, we always have something to be thankful for, and for all of us, that most definitely includes you!

I am thankful for my healthy family and friends. Especially, my dogs who keep me sane and calm during the holidays. I hope to all the writers and readers, you have a safe thanksgiving!

-Nicole

I’m thankful that all of my family, including my fellow editors, are doing well–and doing the best that they can–during the chaotic mess that has been this year. I’m also thankful that our readers have stuck with us and that we can continue our journey to provide them with solace.

-Amber

I am thankful for continued reminders throughout this terrible year that life is truly incredible! From friends, family, and our borrowed solace community…

-Addey

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving, borrowed solace family!

An Update and Some Prompts

We are opening for submissions on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, for our spring journal!

This journal has no theme and you can submit fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art/photography.

To help kick off the spring journal and nanowrimo; here is a website for prompts that are submitted daily for writers to write: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/.

For the Halloween spirit, here are some prompts from that blog:

·         Write about a group of witches meeting up on Halloween night.

·         Write about someone’s first Halloween as a ghost.

·         Start your story with two characters deciding to spend the night in a graveyard.

·         Write a ghost story where there’s more going on than it first appears.

·         Set your story in a Gothic manor house.

You can submit these stories to us if you want to, or use them as fuel to submit another story to our journal starting this Sunday.

You can also include a quote, the first line, or an excerpt from the story you created in the comments below. We’d love to see what you come up with!

Happy Halloween and Happy Writing!

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.

A Mystical Update

We are excited to read from our submitters about what truly mystifies them in this world. If you missed the workshop where we talked about the upcoming theme, you can email us at editors@borrowedsolace.com to get the workshop handout if you would like one sent to you. Just put “handout” in the SUBJECT field with a quick message, “I would like to be sent the workshop handout.”

You can also listen to the podcast we published this week–an episode with a quick update and recap of the workshop. You will have to watch for upcoming events–we plan to have more workshops in the future! If you have a great topic you would like to see us cover in a workshop, you can always email us or submit a contact form on the website for us to review.

Don’t forget: if you want to submit an article for the blog, you can do so as well in green submissions.

Last little tidbit, next week we will have a print book in our hands for proofing!! Stay tuned on how print is coming along for the very first journal we ever published online, and what recent journal might get published in hard copy.

Submissions Are Open

…and the fall 2020 theme is Mysticism!

This may be a hard noun, word, abstract concept to conquer. But this team of editors believe in you! Look below to see what each editor is looking for. All we ask is that you have fun with writing and submitting these stories, poems, and art.

fiction editor Amber Porter:

I’m not asking for much, just what mysticism means to you. I want to be mystified.

poetry editor Addey Vaters:

For me, the theme of mysticism doesn’t need to be direct. Sure, send me your poems re-imagining ancient myths and telling spooky stories, but also send me your poems about lost loves that still haunt, magical days spent in the sunshine, and everyday life described in fantastical ways. The idea of mysticism may seem like it has to entail a surreal or fairytale experience, but I’m most interested in poems that make the mundane and the mystical collide.

nonfiction editor Nicole McConnell:

Telling the real tale of mysticism might be a struggle, so I am looking for anything that has brought magic to your life, mystery, or even the paranormal. I want to see what kind of magic you have found in life, a turning point of when faith stopped or when you started to believe, a good and real ghost story encounter, a scary and mysterious story. I want to be mystified as well because everything is a little bit more possible with a little bit of magic and this universe is filled with it.

art

What seems magical, abstract, paranormal, strange, concrete, and so much more around you? We want to see art and photos of the strange, yet not strange, world we live and the art we can create from that strangeness.

To submit, visit our submissions manager. Happy submitting!

If you are feeling unsure about what to write, or if your story fits in with our theme, here are some examples of words/feelings/ideas that could be a good mystical fit: