Thursday, December 18, 2014

Writing year in review: 2014--not bad!

8 acceptances (individual poems)
1 individual poem awarded, 3rd place.
2 chosen as readers’ favorites (#1 and #3)
1 chapbook runner-up award
1 chapbook accepted (20 poems)
1 Pushcart Prize nomination
1 interview to be published (for Arte Latino Now, at Queens College at Charlotte)

I am most pleased with the Readers' choice and Pushcart nomination!  

Fall was slow, but things picked up in the Winter:

"Nothing in the Dark" a poem inspired by the eponymous classic Twilight Zone episode was published by FLARE: the Flagler Review, Fall edition, page 39.

And "Late Bloomers" was just chosen to be the poem for May in the Writer's Rising Up 2015 calendar.  

The calendar will be available to download for free in January: Digging to the Roots .

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Readers' Choice: Letter from Lara and Point of No Return chosen as readers' favorites.

I was very happily surprised to come across this post from Spark: A Creative Anthology--they had a vote on which pieces, either prose or poetry, from each volume over the last two years were the readers' favorite pieces and two of my poems were chosen!  "Letter from Lara" was chosen as the number one favorite from Volume V, which was an excellent volume of stories and poems, so I am extremely flattered!

Spark: Readers' Choice--The First Two Years

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shining from a Different Firmament: my first chapbook of poetry!

My first chapbook will be published just in time for Valentine's Day (and Women's History Month in March)!
It can be pre-ordered at the publisher's site:

The Table of Contents:

Hypatia’s Revenge
Sister Mary Melanie’s Last Cotillion
Nefertiti’s Secret
The Picture of Constance Wilde
Heloise Alone, Argenteuil, 1118
On Viewing ‘Dante and Beatrice’ by Henry Holiday, 1884
Very Truly Yours, Irene Norton, née Adler
Rachel’s Reasons
Monody for Pierre by Marie C., Paris, 1910
Cassandra Austen Writes to Jane’s Faithless Lover
The Amazon Warrior Champion
Letter from Lara, Yuriatin, 1920
Richard the Lionheart’s Mummified Heart Examined
Red Light

I designed the cover and Jim took the picture of the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy and my author pics!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why Write?

I've been thinking about why I suddenly decided to begin publishing my poetry and trying to improve my writing in order to make it publishable.  I certainly don't intend to supplement my income or launch a career at my age, but I notice the poems I'm writing are like a file card index of my memories. My new poems reflect seemingly random flotsam and jetsam that got caught in my imagination and never left me.  But why we notice one thing and not another--how we filter the stream of our life's events through our psyche--these things make up a person.  My touchstone moments are being manifested and recorded via my poems.

We are happy to inform you.....

I really love emails that begin with those words!

I am happy to inform you, dear Imaginary Readers, that FLARE: the Flagler Review just accepted my poem "Nothing in the Dark" inspired by a classic Twilight Zone episode and more distantly by William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

My first Pushcart Prize Nomination!

I just received a letter from the editor of Falling Star Magazine that the he and his staff had nominated my poem, "Lincoln's Long Trip Home, 1865" for a Pushcart Prize!  As far as winning, this means nothing because tens of thousands of poems are nominated by small literary journals and presses worldwide, but as it is my first, I am still excited and pleased to have written one of the six poems nominated by Falling Star this year.  The editors put a lot of faith behind my poem and I'm happy they liked it enough to nominate it.  As it came on the heels of several rejections (my record of at least one acceptance a month which began last June was broken in July) it was even more appreciated.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Poetry Chapbook Accepted by Finishing Line Press

My poetry chapbook entitled "Shining from a Different Firmament" was accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press.  (I had entered their yearly New Women's Voices chapbook contest and although I didn't win, they still offered me general publication.)

The chapbook consists of 20 mostly persona poems about historical and legendary women, among them:

Hypatia of Alexandria
Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes' nemesis
Doc Holliday's cousin Sister Mary Melanie, the model for Gone With the Wind's Melanie Hamilton later Wilkes.
Madame Curie
Beatrice, whom Dante loved and featured in his Inferno.
Constance Wilde, wife of Oscar
Queen Nefertiti
Rachel of the Bible
Cassandra Austen, sister of Jane
Lara, a character in Boris Pasternak's sole novel:  Doctor Zhivago

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Those who can't write....submit!

The past few months have not been very productive for me, poetry writing-wise, so I'm taking advantage and concentrating on submitting my backlist of poems.  Some of my best haven't been published because they need particular markets which I haven't found yet (or haven't been invented yet!)  Well, that's my take on it,anyway!

It's one way to stay productive in those sparse writing months--no one can publish it while it's sitting in your computer!  And waiting for acceptances is excruciating, so you want to have a constant rolling submission rate to ensure the flow of acceptances is a stream (or at least a trickle!) and keeps you encouraged.

Somewhere I read that if you are a writer who needs encouragement to write, then you can forget about being a writer!  But that's a little harsh, don't you think?  Everyone needs encouragement; sure, there are writers like Emily Dickinson who write in isolation but even she sought out encouragement--that she didn't receive as much as she deserved is another thing.  Genius is often not rewarded in its own age, but most of us aren't geniuses, so we can expect some encouragement, I hope!

I've been receiving acceptances on a regular basis, at least one a month for a year now, and I am waiting to hear from five or six journals/contests right now.  In late May I heard from Spellbound that they accepted The Coqui Prince, my Puerto Rican Frog Prince fairy tale adaptation poem (Whew! That's a mouthful!) for publication in their special anthology edition.  I'm very happy to be included in that!  This poem flowed out very naturally and is based on memories of my father's country house in the hills of Puerto Rico.

I have now passed the criteria (which does not include publications in children's poetry magazines, by the way, which I think is a shame, since writing for children is much more difficult than for adults!  But they were very prompt in adding some journals that were not listed in their publications list, so I can't complain!) to be listed on the Poets & Writers directory, click on my name to see my listing:

Beatriz Fernandez

Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Poems Finding Homes

I'm very excited to be published by a journal I've submitted to several times, Boston Literary Magazine, whose Editor-in-Chief Robin Stratton just accepted "Fourth Grade Dance" for their summer issue.

Last month, Falling Star Magazine, a paying market, accepted "Lincoln's Long Trip Home" for their upcoming issue themed "Point A to B."

Friday I received my contributor's copy of Spark: A Creative Anthology, volume V, so my birthday month is replete with writing pleasures!

I'm busy at work for Spellbound, who solicited world-wide fairy-tale related poetry with a diverse background for children aged 8-12.  Writing for children is always a challenge for me, but this is such an interesting anthology, I'm giving it my best effort!

Spellbound Table of Contents


Jacinta and the Cornstalk by Kari Castor
The Boi Who Drew Cats by Jay Wilburn
Black River, Blue Sky by Pamela Love
The Frog and the Condor by Christina Tesoro
The Four Skilled Sisters by EM Beck
The Key by Alex Townsend
Queenie the Beautiful and her Magical Doll by Szmeralda Shanel


What you need to know about fairy godmothers by Laurel Klein
Mirror Image by Beth Rodriguez
Counting by Jennifer Moser Jurling
The Coquí Captain by Beatriz Fernandez
After the Nettles by Sara Cleto
Vasilisa the Beautiful by Sharon Fedor


Jane Baker, Paul Davey, Melanie Gillman, Charli Gunn, Tory Hoke, Susan Knowles, Nilah Magruder, Marta Milczarek, Audrey Roche & Steve Wood.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

"Letter from Lara" to be published by Spark

Spark, A Creative Anthology will publish my poem "Letter from Lara, Yuriatin, 1920" which won 3rd place in their "Winter" contest--Spark is a beautiful publication consisting of an eclectic mix of writing styles, short stories and poetry.  I am so fortunate to have discovered them and feel very proud to be published there.  They offer fair compensation for publication and excellent prizes in their quarterly themed fiction and poetry contests!  The artwork is also standout, as exemplified by this cover art by Casey Robin for their Volume V, where I hope the poem will be included:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Best Rejection Letter.....

I just heard that I didn't win the Minerva Rising Literary Journal chapbook contest, but the Editor sent me such a wonderful rejection letter that I am just as excited as if I had won!  They will be awarding me a runner-up prize and publishing one of my poems in a later issue.   I am very honored to be a finalist in their first chapbook contest and look forward to seeing one of my poems published in their journal this year!

Northern Liberties Review publication and Label Me Latina/o acceptance!

Northern Liberties Review published my poem "Demo Session at the Newport Guitar Festival" this month!   They are published from Philadelphia, my hometown, so I was particularly happy they accepted it.

This was followed by an acceptance from Label Me Latina/o, "an online, refereed international e-journal that focuses on Latino Literary Production in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The journal invites scholarly essays focusing on these writers for its biannual publication. Label Me Latina/o also publishes creative literary pieces whose authors self-define as Latina or Latino regardless of thematic content."

They will publish my poem "Poem for My Father" in this year's Spring issue.  I am very excited to be published there, as I enjoy their unique mix of scholarly articles with creative works, and I admire all the poems they have featured.

Friday, January 03, 2014

2014 auspicious beginnings...

2014 seems to be getting off to a good start--I just found out yesterday that my poem, "Letter From Lara, Yuriatin, 1920" won 3rd place in Spark, A Creative Anthology's Contest Four!!

"Letter From Lara" is a persona poem written from the point of view of a fictional character from Boris Pasternak's novel Dr. Zhivago.  Pasternak was a Russian poet; Dr. Zhivago was his only novel besides one written in verse.  The prompt for the contest was "winter," so the frozen steppes of Siberia inevitably came to mind!

2013 in review

Writing-wise, 2013 was a great year for me:

  • 11 publications
  • 2 radio appearances on WLRN (one reading and a reading/interview)
  • 2 writers conferences/workshops (resulting in 3 poems)
  • 1 guest blog
  • 1 Quote of the Day
  • 1 poetry contest award
I feel like I made significant progress this year; I think
it will turn out to be turning point in my writing.

Next year I already have made commitments for two poetry
events in April, National Poetry Month!  2014 is shaping up!