Update on Photography Competition

November 4th, 2011

 

I know that many of you are patiently awaiting the results of the current photography competition, since the October 20th date has come and gone with no announcement. This delay only underscores the amount of fantastic work we received and the difficult task of arriving at our finalists and ultimately our winners. The caliber of work that continues to participate is very heartening and will make winning this competition grow in significance. That said, I hope we can announce the finalists and winners by November 20th. Keep checking the blog for updates.

-MEP

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A Primordial Feminine Language

September 30th, 2011

 

As the fourth iteration of Camera Obscura Journal begins to take shape, it is only fitting in our celebration of language and imagery that we will showcase, in Winter 2011, Angela Woodward’s inventive story,  “Erehu,” which is worthy of multiple reads and includes the emergence of what the author calls a primordial feminine language. It begins:

“Because she was one sister among six brothers, or because she’d had a powerful vision in her sleep, she woke with the conviction that every word she uttered had been crafted for her by men. Men had invented words without consulting her or her ancestress, Eve. Like stuffing dirt in her mouth, they had forced her to utter their own grimy constructions, for which she held the utmost contempt. For them, [rock], [kneecap], were the necessary ones, while what was important to her was the ache that came from kneeling on the cold chapel floor. In her own, feminine tongue, [andrador] was what signified that bone-bruise, or [dornadro]—she would decide at her leisure.”

Angela Woodward is the author of the fiction collection The Human Mind (Ravenna Press, 2007) and the novella End of the Fire Cult (Ravenna Press, 2010).

We are also happy to include Abby Geni’s story, “The Girls of Apache Bryn Mawr,” of an unforgettable summer at camp and the arrival of womanhood.

“There were eight of us in the cabin, all Jews from the north side of Chicago. A few girls had been to Camp Reeds before and spoke knowingly and loftily about what the rest could expect, the campfire songs, canoe races and marathon games of Capture the Flag. There was the usual scuffle over who would get the bunks closest to the window and the counselor’s room. One or two girls had never been to sleep-away camp at all and were full of anxious questions about the latrines.”

Abby Geni’s stories have received first place in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open and the Chautauqua Contest. Additionally, her pieces have appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Chautauqua, The Indiana Review, New Stories from the Midwest, and Confrontation, among others. In the most recent Best American Short Stories, her work was mentioned in the “Other Distinguished Stories” section. As a student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she was awarded the Iowa Fellowship.

More updates as they develop.
-MEP

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Camera Obscura Journal Volume 3

July 14th, 2011

 

Camera Obscura Journal Journal of Literature & Photography Volume 3 is now in bookstores. This issue features short stories by Adam Peterson, Vincent Czyz, Leslie Pietrzyk, J. Caleb Winters, Gerri Brightwell, Chidelia Edochie, and Barret Baumgart along with the photography of twenty-two artists, inclding Chan Kwok Hung, Rafal Maleszyk, Claudio Allia, and Patrizia Burra.

Here is an updated list of stores carrying this issue (there are also a few Borders stores not listed yet). Stop by and grab a copy. Where to Buy

Thanks again to our photography judges: Joel Grimes, Carol Andrews Jensen, and Carl Caylor.

The Fall Photography Competition is now underway. The competition is stiff so send us your best!

MEP

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And the Winner Is …

May 25th, 2011

Congratulations to Rafal Maleszyk whose photograph “Sunflower’s Army” wins the Camera Obscura Journal Photography Competition for the Summer-Fall 2011 issue. Kalliope Amorphous wins for the amateur category with her haunting image “The Bottom of the Sea.” The editor’s choice award goes to Bonnie Jones for her series “He Took the Butter” in the professional category and Hugh Jones gets the amateur editor’s choice award for “Traces, Grand Canyon.”

There were many standouts including Chan Kwok Hung’s “Harvest Day” and Svetlana Batura’s “Mental Equilibrium,” which gave the judges a dilemma, one that I hope they will have again in the future. Matt Walford’s intriguing construction “Library Sentinel” will land on the cover.

Thank you to our judges Joel Grimes, Carl Caylor and Carol Andrews Jensen for your commitment to our endeavor in support of professional and amateur photographers around the world.

A complete list of finalists can be found here Results.

As always, thanks for all the enthusiasm and support.

The Summer-Fall issue of Camera Obscura Journal will hit bookstores by July 1. See the contributors.

Preorder Vol 3 or subscribe here.

Guidelines for the current contest with a deadline of September 15, 2011 can be found or here .

-MEP

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Coming Soon – Summer 2011

April 6th, 2011

 

Though it sometimes seems as if the scattershot diversions of the digital world have minced our attention span into nothing more than an assortment of interest spasms, that short stories are growing ever shorter, leaner, so much so that minimalism is now a blank page, the longer story is still alive and well. Since great stories, as the characters that inhabit them, come in all sizes from the microscopic to the gigantic, they are all welcome here. In its third issue, Camera Obscura is delighted to include a few stories, mentioned below, on the longer end of the scale, including Vincent Czyz’s bare-fisted novelette “The Nameless Saint,” which begins:

“It was the hour when the lamplighter, toting a ladder over his shoulder, made his tedious rounds; when workers slogged through the streets as though souls on their way to purgatory; when bones turning to dust in graveyards unexpectedly shifted like a heap of logs burning on the grate. This was not the quarter of Samirska lit by theaters and cafes, cabarets and fine restaurants—a quarter smiling like a crescent moon in the dusk—here the restaurants had bare wooden floors and for a drima offered a bowl of cabbage soup or, for a few more, greasy stew and a slice of black village bread. Here, mounted gendarmes patrolled the streets in pairs or not at all.”

Vince Czyz is the author of the short story collection Adrift in a Vanishing City. He was the recipient of the 1994 Faulkner Prize for Short Fiction (the honorable Allan Gurganus judging) and two fellowships from the NJ Council on the Arts (1991 and 1994). His writing has appeared in Shenandoah, AGNI, the Massachusetts Review, Louisiana Literature, the Southern Indiana Review, and the Boston Review. His fiction has also appeared in Turkish translation. He is the 2011 Truman Capote Fellow at Rutgers, Newark.

We are also excited to add to the Summer issue, the work of Adam Peterson. His story entitled “It Goes Without Saying” is excerpted below:

“He was nothing if not the consummate local. If a people were boorish he was boorish, if courteous then courteous. In Beijing he was anonymous, in Tokyo he was serious, and in Doolin he was a baritone. And, heavy and drunk at a picnic table in Munich, he was in a state of permanent appetite. A fly sentried the golden, salty chicken from which he tore a leg as the Germans around him licked the grease from their fingers and dried them on their shorts. So he too let the juices run down his chin then chased them with cetacean gulps of beer until his face shone and his pants looked as if he’d passed the afternoon crying rather than drinking stein after stein of the helles to hunt his thirst.”

Adam Peterson is the co-editor of The Cupboard, a quarterly prose chapbook series. His fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. He is currently at work on a novel.

We have also add Gerri Brightwell to the table of contents for the summer issue with her story “A Long and Distinguished Career,” which begins:

“On the very day the father promised he’d take the boy out a storm blew in on a furious prairie wind. Dense clouds blotted out the afternoon, rain scattered off the windows, and the young trees fencing in the front yard bent close to snapping. The wind pushed at the door and the father had to hold onto it as he stepped outside. Already the doormat was sodden. He hadn’t bothered with shoes, and in a few moments the soles of his socks were wet and cold. He stood there anyway while rain rushed at the ground, breathing in the smells of wet, bruised vegetation and the chemical taint of molecules rent apart. There’d be no going out this afternoon.”

Gerri Brightwell is a British writer who lives in Alaska with her husband, fantasy writer Ian C. Esslemont, and their three sons. She teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and has two published novels: Cold Country (Duckworth, 2003) and The Dark Lantern (Crown 2008).

Here is a recent review of the previous issue, Winter 2010, in The Review Review

More to come soon as the issue comes together. The Summer Issue is slated for release in June 2011.
-MEP

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A Preview of the Upcoming Summer Issue

March 4th, 2011

 

After getting the Winter issue out the door with a hearty reception at AWP this year, our next issue is finally starting to take shape with the addition of J. Caleb Winter’s story “Faith and Burning.” In an intricately rendered world, a familiar, rural America, Winters veers off the main road for peek behind the the cultural woodshed.

“Days after I graduated, Lee Creek spilled from its banks and overran the hollow.  It must have poured all of the rain somewhere on a ridge, because I stood under a cloudless sky and burning sun, and I watched the creek that then looked like some giant rising lake, sweep hay wagons and trailers downstream and snap them against trees.  Water rose up the tiny knoll our home was built on but never touched the foundation, and as my mother wept while the creek receded, it seemed a miracle our house was spared.”

J. Caleb Winters is Humanities Professor at West Virginia University. He earned his MFA in Fiction from Boise State University, and worked as Assistant Editor on The Idaho Review. “Faith and Burning” will be his first published story. His work has been nominated for Best New American Voices and received Honorable Mention for the National Society of Arts and Letters Fiction Prize.

Also scheduled for Camera Obscura’s Summer issue is Leslie  Pietrzyk’s “Ghost, 1899” excerpted below:

“The dead pass through the living the way sunlight passes through a window.
You think you heard someone say that once, and now it makes no sense.  That’s not what it’s like, not at all.  What it’s like can’t be explained.  That dampness in your bones.  That’s close.”

Leslie  Pietrzyk is the author of the novels Pears on a Willow Tree (Avon) and A Year and a Day (William Morrow).

 

MEP

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Contributor Update

December 17th, 2010

Congratulations to Chan Kwok Hung for winning the National Geographic photo contest with his striking image “Buffalo Race.” This image was also selected as a finalist in the Camera Obscura photography Competiton and is featured in our second issue along with more of his work and the photos many other great photographers. The complete list of finalists for all Camera Obscura’s competitions can be found here.

Buffalo Race by Chan Kwok Hung

“Buffalo Race”  by Chan Kwok Hung – Copyright © Chan Kwok Hung

I would also like to congratulate Henriette Lazaridis Power whose  novel Clean Monday will by published by Ballantine Books. Clean Monday follows a young Greek/American woman who travels to Greece during the abandon of Carnival to collect a family inheritance, only to discover her estranged mother’s role in the family’s misfortune during WW II. Henriette’s story “Uruguay”  appears in Camera Obscura’s Winter issue.

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Pushcart Nominations for 2010

November 30th, 2010

We were honored to publish some great stories this year.  For 2010, which includes both issues, Camera Obscura Journal has nominated the following stories for the Pushcart Prize:

“214” by Nani Power

“Sanscript” by Kane X. Faucher

“Backfill” by Scott Nadelson

“A Way out of the Colonia” by Rosebud Ben-Oni

 

The photography competition for the spring 2011 issue is now underway.  The Winter Issue will be available in mid to late December.

MEP

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Photography Competition Results

November 9th, 2010

The results are in for the Camera Obscura Winter 2010 Photography Competition. We were humbled by the quality of the submissions and the strength of the field (artists from fifteen countries) making the final decisions all the more difficult. The results for the competition with a deadline of September 15th are listed below:

Professional Category
Winner
Chan Kwok Hung – “Goal”
Editor’s Choice (selected by photography editor Kate Parker)
Larry Louie – “Living Under the Bridge”
Finalists
Catherin Colaw – “Neck”
Catherin Colaw – “Hair”
Chan Kwok Hung – “Buffalo Race”
Chan Kwok Hung – “Fearless”
Daniel Haeker – “Existence”
Jeremy Fokkens – “Fireworks”
Julie Blichmann – “Mesa Arch”
Louie Larry – “Defying Gravity”
Louie Larry – “Nepalese Smiles”
Larry Louie – “Tibetan Prayer Flags 6”
Larry Louie – “Tibetan Monastery”
Ron Brown – “Here at the Cross”
Ryan Forster – “Water Eagle”
Simon Jones – “Ghost Ship”
William Goodwin – “Shrimp in a Sponge Funnel”
William Goodwin – “A Fish, a Shrimp, a Sponge”
Non-Professional Category
Winner
Marcela Bolívar – “a wanderer’s home”
Editor’s Choice (selected by photography editor Kate Parker)
Svetlana Batura – “silent morning”
Finalists
Alex Burgess – “Last Minute Cramming”
Blue Mitchell – “Fervor”
Blue Mitchell – “Loophole”
Daniel Haeker – “The World Is Not Enough”
Hugh Jones – “Alice In Wonderland”
Hugh Jones – “vie de Boheme 1913”
Hugh Jones – “Bridge at Halong Bay”
Marcela Bolívar – “At Noon”
Marian Whalen – “Tines”
Paul Cowell – “Dolphin’s Dinner”
Pedro Pages – “encallado”
Svetlana Batura – “Allegro con Moto”
Wendy Heinzelman – “UpperCanyon”

Many Thanks to our judges for this competition: Doug Box, Jennifer Wilson, and Cheri MacCallum (bios available soon in the Darkroom)

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Winter 2010 – Contributors (prose)

October 25th, 2010

Results in the Winter 2010 Photography Competition will be announced soon. While judging for the photography contest is still underway, the prose selections have been made. In alpha order the twelve writers in Camera Obscura’s second issue are:

Amanda Yskamp
E.M. Schorb
Henriette Lazaridis Power
Greg Oaks
K. R. Sands 
Mark Budman
Peter Tieryas Liu
Rosebud Ben-Oni
Scott Nadelson
Sunshine LeMontree
Samantha Stiers
Thisbe Nissen

Amanda Yskamp’s work has appeared in such magazines as Threepenny Review, Hunger Mountain, Caketrain, Redivider, and The Georgia Review. She lives with poet Doug Larsen and their two children on the 10-year flood plain of the Russian River.

 E.M. Schorb’s work has appeared in The Sewanee Review, Southwest Review, The Yale Review, The Chicago Review, Carolina Quarterly, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Antioch Review, The American Scholar, Stand and Agenda (England), The Notre Dame Review, 5 AM, Rattle, and The New York Quarterly, among others.  His first novel, Paradise Square, was the winner of the International eBook Award Foundation’s grand prize for fiction at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2000, and later, A Portable Chaos won the Writers Notes Magazine Book Award for Fiction in 2004. His most recent novel, Fortune Island, was published last year.

Henriette Lazaridis Power is a Greek/American writer whose work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Salamander, The New England Review, The New York Times online, The Millions, and the blog Beyond the Margins, where she is a regular contributor. A Rhodes Scholar and a Ph.D., she taught English literature at Harvard for ten years. Power is the founding editor of The Drum Literary Magazine, an online literary magazine publishing short fiction and essays exclusively in audio form. Power is currently finishing a novel set in remote Northern Greece.

Greg Oaks’ fiction has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, the Cimarron Review and Switchback. He has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an MFA from Texas State University. He currently teaches at Lonestar College–Tomball.

K. R. Sands is creating a collection of short fiction inspired by the displays of pathological human anatomy and other medical exhibits at the famous Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. Her fiction has appeared/will appear in Joyland, Inkspill, ShatterColors, EarthSpeak, Wanderings, Fringe, Literary Mama, Milk Money, Prick of the Spindle, and The Tangled Bank: Love, Wonder, and Evolution. Her major nonfiction publications are Demon Possession in Elizabethan England and An Elizabethan Lawyer’s Possession by the Devil: The Story of Robert Brigges. A recovering academic, she has taught literature and writing for ten universities, including Temple University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Maryland. Her nonacademic jobs have included dog groomer, animal laboratory technician, zoo keeper, and environmental regulation writer. She has lived in Arizona, Scotland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Mark Budman’s works have appeared or are about to appear in such magazines as Mississippi Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The London Magazine, McSweeney’s, Turnrow, Southeast Review, Mid-American Review, the W.W. Norton anthology Flash Fiction Forward, and elsewhere. He is the publisher of a flash fiction magazine Vestal Review. His novel My Life at First Try was published by Counterpoint Press to wide critical acclaim. He co-edited the anthology You Have Time for This from Ooligan Press; a new anthology is forthcoming in 2011 from Persea Books. 

Peter Tieryas Liu has recently had short stories accepted for publication in the Binnacle, Gargoyle, Prism Review, Quiddity International Literary Journal, and
ZYZZYVA. He’s worked as a technical writer for Lucasfilm and is a character technical director for Sony Pictures, where he’s worked on features like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and I Am Legend.

Rosebud Ben-Oni is a writer for New Perspectives Theater, which is producing her play Quimera on the Pedernales, and has been the recipient of a Horace Goldsmith Grant, given so she could complete her first novel, which deals with her experiences as a Jew of mixed race. She has had recent work in Slice Magazine, J Journal, Wreckage of Reason: An Anthology of Contemporary Xxperimental Prose by Women Writers, Arts & Letters, Identity Envy— Wanting to be Who We Are Not and The Texas Poetry Review. Recently produced plays include Owless of Santa Clara (Snorks and Pins, Roy Arias Studios, July 2010), Nikita (Shotgun Theater Festival, the Gene Frankel Theatre, Jan 2009 and Thespian Productions, Producer’s Club, May 2009); Nary a Bodega (Leah Ryan Benefit, Producer’s Club, November 2009); The Amaranthine Thread (Leah Ryan Benefit, Producer’s Club, November 2009 and Where Eagles Dare, February 2010). She is currently finishing her first novel, which is entitled The Imitation of Crying.

Scott Nadelson is the author of two story collections, The Cantor’s Daughter, recipient of the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize and the Samuel Goldberg & Sons Fiction Prize for Emerging Jewish Writers, and Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories, winner of the Oregon Book Award for short fiction and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Alaska Quarterly Review, Post Road, Arts & Letters, American Literary Review, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere.

Sunshine LeMontree’s work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in PANK Magazine, Steam Ticket Journal, Weave Magazine, Word Riot, and Eclectica. She is a recent graduate of the MFA Writing Program at The New School in New York and is currently the Editorial Prose Coordinator at LIT Magazine.

 Stories by Samantha Stiers have appeared in Conjunctions, elimae, The Bitter Oleander, and one is forthcoming in Puerto del Sol.

Thisbe Nissen is author of two novels, The Good People of New York, and Osprey Island; a story collection, Out of the Girls’ Room and into the Night; and co-author/co-collagist of The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook. She teaches Creative Writing at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and has recently published short-shorts in NANO Fiction, Quick Fiction, and TriQuarterly Online.

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