Fiction

Featured Artist | Kim Buck

“Being a good lit citizen means supporting lit pubs. Donate. Buy. I’m going to show some #AWP17 mags that you need to support…. @NoTokensJournal, @EckleburgReview, @open_letter.” —Meakin Armstrong (Guernica)

Birthday Cake

She was ninety-three and had nineteen nine-inch diameter chocolate birthday cakes from Bill Knapp’s restaurant in her basement freezer. How could she say no? They were a free gift, no coupon necessary. Each cake came with a sixteen-year-old waitress smiling straight rows of braces; with a balding manager clapping chapped hands to that tune everyone loved. (Except her, the ditty going round and round her brain and into her dreams, waking her at 3:00 am. Alone.)…

Marjorie Maddox is a Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell University (MFA) and Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Lock Haven University. Her short story collection, What She Was Saying, was published by Fomite Press 2017). She has had five chapbooks and over 450 poems, stories, and essays in journals and anthologies.  In addition, Marjorie is the co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (PSU Press 2005) and an author of two children’s books from Boyds Mills Press. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Marjorie lives with her husband and two children in Williamsport, PA. Read more at marjoriemaddox.com.

The Dream Catcher

Gray, of Gray’s Agency, sat at his desk, the neon sign outside flashing, rain dripping against the window. It was dusk.

He heard the door down the hallway open, and looked up to see a man in a mackinaw on his threshold. His face was sharp with shadows.

“My name is Rogers,” the man said, approaching Gray. He stopped and took a deep breath. “And you’re a dream thief.” It wasn’t a question.

“I am.”

“I have a job for you.” His mouth twisted to the side. He had made up his mind, Gray decided, but it had been a struggle.

“There was a woman…,” Gray prompted him…..

Karen Heuler’s stories have appeared in over 100 literary and speculative magazines and anthologies, from Conjunctions to Clarkesworld to Weird Tales, as well as a number of Best Of anthologies. She has received an O. Henry award, been a finalist for the Iowa short fiction award, the Bellwether award, the Shirley Jackson award for short fiction (twice), and a bunch of other near-misses. She has published four novels and three story collections, and in July Aqueduct Press released her novella, In Search of Lost Time, about a woman who can steal time.

I Am Not Damian Lewis

Stealing the piece of Evander Holyfield’s dismembered ear that was bitten off by Mike Tyson from a rich man’s safe was my best friend Aaron’s idea. He wanted Real Deal’s ear back. He’d lost it in a poker game….

Michael Nye is the author of the story collection Strategies Against Extinction (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2012) and the novel All the Castles Burned forthcoming from Turner Publishing in February 2018. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the Ohio State University, where he graduated with a BA in English Literature, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he earned his MFA in creative writing. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in American Literary Review, Boulevard, Cincinnati Review, Crab Orchard Review, EpochKenyon ReviewNew South, Normal SchoolSou’wester, and South Dakota Review, among many others. His work has been a finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in fiction and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He and his wife live in Washington D.C.

BIG BLISS @ Slash Run 3.7.19

Very rarely these days does a band enter our lives with the ability to speak to every corner of the heart. Brooklyn trio Big Bliss to navigate the beauties and pains of the human experience on their new LP, At Middle Distance. Having come together in late 2015, Big Bliss is the beautifully ruminating post-punk brainchild of brothers Tim and Cory Race. The brothers, having been split early on, each with a separate parent, had never played together over a cumulative 25 years of music, until both moved to New York from the Midwest. Years into living blocks from each other, they formed the band with friend and collaborator Wallace May, initially as a casual recording project. However, after the 2016 release of their debut EP Keep Near, motives and motivations shifted, and it became pretty difficult not to see the name Big Bliss on a show bill, especially at the remaining DIY spaces in NYC. Tireless efforts and undeniable passion on and off the stage landed the band on FIVE tours, and earned them the title of Oh My Rockness’ Hardest Working Band of 2017.

At Middle Distance speaks in urgent tongues, desperate to convey unknowable longing, like every great post-punk artist who came before. Moments of joy, moments of unspeakable sadness, moments of rage, all rub shoulders through these songs, and by the record’s end, you’ve undoubtedly run the gauntlet.

 

 

Eckleburg Workshops in Fiction

Short Story Workshop

Short Short Story Workshop

Novel: From Start to Finish Workshop

Magic Realism Workshop

Writing Sex in Literary Fiction: Are Your Sex Scenes Essential or Gratuitous?

View All Fiction Workshops

Submit Your Fiction

Essays

“Refreshing… edgy… classic… compelling.” —Flavorwire

Uniform: Fitting In(to Clothes) in North Louisiana

I know what fat girls look like. There are a few fat girls in our grade, the grades below us, like the round girl who always wins the talent show because her mother is always a judge. I do not categorize myself as a fat girl, not in fifth or sixth grade, but I do know my clothes don’t fit right, have a history of fitting poorly no matter what. Part of the problem, I am convinced, is my mother: she doesn’t understand what the other girls are wearing. She is taking me to the wrong stores. If we went to another store, we’d find it, what the other girls have. But I’m not in control here, as much as I want to be. I know what I’m looking for, and I know we keep missing it. Maybe just one more store. Maybe between the dressing room and home, something magical will happen. Maybe if we buy this and I wear it to school tomorrow, I won’t have the same jokes made at my expense. “Meg’s so hot,” the boys say. Even classmates who don’t know what sarcasm is can hear it dripping from their voices, the exaggeration, the italics. “Meg, will you go out with me?”

 

Margaret Emma Brandl’s writing has appeared in journals such as Gulf Coast, The Cincinnati Review, Yalobusha Review, Pithead Chapel, Cartridge Lit, and CHEAP POP. She earned her PhD at Texas Tech University and her MFA at Notre Dame and serves as an associate editor for Iron Horse Literary Review. Visit her website or say hi on twitter (@margaret_emma).

The Gift

My racial biases developed in layers with attitudes and perceptions accreting from my earliest years. My parents’ behavior—their words and body language—when encountering someone different in color or features or accent, swayed me in a patronizing direction. Playmates, teachers, relatives, and other adults, through their conduct, instilled an intolerant bent in me. I held disdainful assumptions as truth. Similarity was attractive; I viewed the dissimilarities in the thick lips, broad noses, and kinked hair of African Americans as unattractive. Many spoke with an accent or in a dialect I regarded as signs of being unschooled. My desire to be esteemed by my kind bolstered my distorted sentiments. My posture toward blacks was condescending and smug at best, unreasonable and hateful at worst. A product of surroundings and disposition, I was not unique.

Tom Wade is a retired state government employee.  He has been a volunteer ombudsman (advocate) for residents of long-term-care facilities for seven years. His essays have been published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Communion, Jenny, and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and Wilderness House Literary Review, and Squawk Back.

 

Family: Three Chapters

After she was married for four years and no children seemed to be coming, my mother did what any good Catholic girl in the 1960s would do: she prayed to the Blessed Mother. She promised if she had a little girl, she’d name her Elizabeth Ann, for Mary’s cousin and mother. She promised she’d name a boy Michael, after the archangel. Then she and my father went to the Angel Guardian Home and applied to adopt.

A few months later, a nun from the adoption agency called and said they had a little girl for my parents, and her name was Elizabeth Ann. A few years after that, the adoption agency called again and said they had a little boy for us named Michael. And in 1998, the story of our names was published in a book called Mary Miraculous: Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary People Touched by Our Lady.

Elizabeth Cone teaches writing at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island. She writes essays and memoir, and has a particular interest in the power of narrative and memory, and what happens when these are disrupted. Her work is forthcoming in RiverSedge.

Essay and Other Nonfiction Workshops at Eckleburg

Personal Essay

Lyric Essay

Body Narrative

Modern Memoir

View All Workshops

Submit Your Nonfiction

Poetry

“The most exciting and adventurous and gutsiest new magazine I’ve seen in years.” —Stephen Dixon

 

3 Poems

by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

Yom HaShoah: April 19, 2012

I forgot to light a candle for them, I tell my husband, ask him to remember./He answers: Dick Clark died. It was all over the radio. Remember him? 

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania where her research focuses on contemporary American poetry related to the Holocaust. Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, The Missouri Review Online, and Narrative Magazine, among others. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and TENT Conferences as well as the Auschwitz Jewish Center. Julia is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars, winner of Split Lip Magazine‘s 2014 Uppercut Chapbook Award. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine.

The Sea Sunk Door

I walk the constellations / like ferries slide the line / from dock to dock / the clockwork of my days . . .

Katy E. Ellis is a poet, freelance writer and teacher through Seattle Arts & Lectures’ WITS (Writers in the Schools) program. Her poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals including Floating Bridge Review, Literary Mama, Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and the Canadian journals Grain and Fiddlehead. She is the author of two chapbooks, Urban Animal Expeditions (Dancing Girl Press) and Gravity (Yellow Flag Press). Katy has received grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation and a Centrum Writing Residency through Artist Trust. She has worked as a Public Health—Seattle & King County secretary, an over-excited whale watching tour guide, and a failure of an ESL teacher in Istanbul, Turkey.

Woman’s Card

Hey, you knew the score / walking out in that dress / I can see all that you’re worth / The declining value of spent bodies   cheap metal clanking in the machine . . . .

Dorothy Bendel is the author of Expatriate (Finishing Line Press). Her work can be found in The Rumpus, Connotation Press, Green Mountains Review, Microchondria II: 42 More Short-Short Stories Collected by Harvard Book Store, and additional publications. She currently lives in Washington, DC, where she writes, teaches, and serves as an editor at Atticus Review.

Eckleburg Workshops in Poetry

The Poetry Workshop

The Poetry Chapbook Workshop

Writing the Short Poem Workshop

The Beats Workshop

Spirit of Writing Workshop

Mindfulness & Writing Workshops

Hybrid: Crafting, Publishing & Promoting Hybrid Work

Literary Matchmaking Workshop

Breaking Rules: When and How to Leave Linguistic Conventions Behind  Workshop

Evolving Origins in Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction and Hybrid Workshop

View All Poetry Workshops

 

Submit Your Poems

Groove

 

BIG BLISS @ Slash Run 3.7.19

Very rarely these days does a band enter our lives with the ability to speak to every corner of the heart. Brooklyn trio Big Bliss to navigate the beauties and pains of the human experience on their new LP, At Middle Distance. Having come together in late 2015, Big Bliss is the beautifully ruminating post-punk brainchild of brothers Tim and Cory Race. The brothers, having been split early on, each with a separate parent, had never played together over a cumulative 25 years of music, until both moved to New York from the Midwest. Years into living blocks from each other, they formed the band with friend and collaborator Wallace May, initially as a casual recording project. However, after the 2016 release of their debut EP Keep Near, motives and motivations shifted, and it became pretty difficult not to see the name Big Bliss on a show bill, especially at the remaining DIY spaces in NYC. Tireless efforts and undeniable passion on and off the stage landed the band on FIVE tours, and earned them the title of Oh My Rockness’ Hardest Working Band of 2017.

At Middle Distance speaks in urgent tongues, desperate to convey unknowable longing, like every great post-punk artist who came before. Moments of joy, moments of unspeakable sadness, moments of rage, all rub shoulders through these songs, and by the record’s end, you’ve undoubtedly run the gauntlet.

 

 

PARROT DREAM @ Slash Run 3.7.19

“Hypnotized with angelic shoegaze vibes that touch on the bigger questions in life.” ~ The Wild Honey Pie

Light Goes is a fully realized album experience set to accompany and enhance whatever mood you may want to indulge and lose yourself in.” ~ New Noise Magazine

“Beneath the dreamy contours of their music lies heavy thematic content that seeks to better understand relationships, time and place, purpose, and so forth.” ~ Atwood Magazine

The dazzling, sprawling sonic atmospheres conjured by Brooklyn-based band Parrot Dream envelop and spur the dreamer in all of us. Formed by Christina Hansen Appel (vocals, keys) and Gonzalo Guerrero (guitar) in Santiago, Chile in 2013, the duo relocated to Brooklyn, NY and quickly began making strides amassing more than half a million streams on Spotify.

GENIUS REDUX: Erykah Badu @ NPR Tiny Desk

 

Aug. 15, 2018 | Felix Contreras — Some folks around the NPR Music office said they felt an almost spiritual connection to Erykah Badu during her visit to the Tiny Desk. And that was before she and her band even played a single note. It came from the waft of earthly scents that followed in her wake, to the flowing dreads and clothes that hung on her like robes . . . SO MUCH MORE.

THE CHILLS @ Black Cat 2.24.19

The Chills are a band from Dunedin, New Zealand fronted by the rare talent of Martin Phillipps. Martin has a single-minded determination to take quality, original NZ-sounding, melodic rock music global. His requirement of band members has been to meet a standard of musicianship, which is necessary to deliver The Chills songs with essential consistent energy. This determination stems from the punk rock ethics of Martin’s musical awakening and from the subsequent proximity to people like Chris Knox who drove home how crucial it was to deliver music always with intensity and conviction. This live energy is the central reason why The Chills are remembered fondly in all of the thirty-nine countries that they have thus far visited. It’s the combination of this AND the consistent quality of their songs which have established The Chills as one of the most well-known New Zealand groups to date – particularly in the US, UK and Europe. The band have many faithful friends around the world and a new generation (Peter Bjorn and John, Songs, The Go Find, Panda Bear, The Shins et al) are now covering or attempting to emulate The Chills unique sound. A new album is due for release Sept 2018 and a feature film on Martin’s life is now in post-production, due for release 2019.

COLOR PALETTE @ Black Cat 12.22.18

Color Palette – comprised of Jay Nemeyer, Joshua Hunter, Matt Hartenau, Rogerio Naressi, and Maryjo Mattea – is an Indie/Electro/Rock band from Washington, DC. Since their first release, Color Palette has garnered hundreds of press hits worldwide. Press highlights include features in NME Magazine, USA Today, and NPR. Color Palette released their debut full-length album, Vaporwave, in 2016. Color Palette has shared bills with the following notable artists: Charli XCX, The Naked and Famous, Soccer Mommy, Mother Mother, Day Wave, Yumi Zouma, Mr Little Jeans, The Kickback, and Spirit Animal. They will release their second full-length album in 2019.

 
Being a good lit citizen means supporting lit pubs. Donate. Buy. I’m going to show some #AWP17 mags that you need to support… .” Meakin Armstrong (Guernica)
 
The most exciting and adventurous and gutsiest new magazine I’ve seen in years.” Stephen Dixon
 
Refreshing… edgy… classic… compelling.” Flavorwire
 
Progressive….” NewPages
 
Eye-grabbing… fun… bold… inviting… exemplary.” Sabotage
 
 
Eclectic selection of work from both emerging and established writers….” The Washington Post
 
Literary Burroughs D.C…. the journal cleverly takes its name from the The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald….” Ploughshares
 

Proud member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

 

The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review was founded in 2010 as an online and print literary and arts journal. We take our title from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and include the full archives of our predecessor Moon Milk Review. Our aesthetic is eclectic, literary mainstream to experimental. Write hard. We appreciate fusion forms including magical realist, surrealist, meta- realist and realist works with an offbeat spin. We value character-focused storytelling and language and welcome both edge and mainstream writing with punch aesthetics. We like humor that explores the gritty realities of world and human experiences. Our issues include original content from both emerging and established writers, poets, artists and comedians such as authors, Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, poets, Moira Egan and David Wagoner and actor/comedian, Zach Galifianakis.

Currently, Eckleburg runs online, daily content of original fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translations, and more with featured artwork — visual and intermedia — from our Gallery. We run annual print issues, the Eckleburg Reading Series (DC, Baltimore and New York), as well as, the annual Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction, first prize $1000 and print publication, guest-judged by award-winning authors such as Rick Moody and Cris Mazza. Write hard.

We have collaborated with a number of talented and high profile literary, art and intermedia organizations in DC, Baltimore and New York including The Poetry Society of New York, KGB Bar, Brazenhead Books, New World Writing (formerly Mississippi Review Online), The Hopkins Review, Boulevard, Gargoyle Magazine, Entasis Press, Barrelhouse, Hobart, 826DC, DC Lit and Iowa’s Mission Creek Festival at AWP 2013, Boston, for a night of raw comedic lit and music. We like to promote smaller indie presses, galleries, musicians and filmmakers alongside globally recognized organizations, as well as, our local, national and international contributors.

Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg kept their vigil, but I perceived, after a moment, that other eyes were regarding us with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet away.  —The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald