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Three New Titles — and a Launch Party!

Autumn has been on fire at Lakeshore Literary!

We’re thrilled to announce the release of three titles: the first two issues of our literary journal, The Lakeshore Review, and the first issue of our house anthology, Surface Reflections.

The first issue of The Lakeshore Review is filled with content that will amaze and delight you. Nine poets, six authors, and one photographer join forces to deliver some prescient takes on the human condition. Some cleverly composed photographs from Columbus, Ohio, courtesy of Roger Camp, grace our debut issue’s front and back covers. In verse, Paul David Adkins contemplates obsession; Steve Broidy meets the potential in-laws; Bri Bruce wrestles with death; Elizabeth Crowell thinks of missed chances; and Andrea Janelle Dickens reminds us that “the plunge is only prologue.” Craig Evenson presents serenity in a different light while Bruce Alan Gunther contends with separation. Elia Hohauser-Thatcher contextualizes rats; Robert Okaji prompts us to think with our hearts. In prose, Colleen Alles juxtaposes death and the death of virginity with deftness; Dominic Bryan, by contrast, tries to resurrect a bit of dignity from an undignified march to death. Maggie Hill resents her friend’s husband, even at her funeral; Jonathan Lindberg tells us wistfully of the Star Man; Julia Poole shares that quiet moment when it’s finished. Phillip Sterling closes this issue with a caregiver’s middle finger to sleep.

The second issue of The Lakeshore Review is a veritable feast of verse. The front and back cover, courtesy of Morris Lincoln, showcase the outdoor sculptures at Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Mich. On the prose side, Laura Cody reveals how hard it is to step away from a toxic relationship. Byron Spooner spins a tale that involves Elvis, drugs, and an anaconda. Susan Weinstein, who heeded her adviser’s advice to submit, reminds us that Halloween isn’t just a Hallmark holiday. Wally Wood presents both sides of the coin of dropping out of school. On the poetry side, Andrew Analore investigates fakeness; Kara Arguello reflects on Huang Yan; John Peter Beck insists “we are only innocent once.” Roy Bentley saw a rainbow and Geoff Collins knows it’s the last time he’ll see you. Pat Daneman gives up on the garden; Alan Elyshevitz—among other things—reveals why hospitals take the name of saints. C. O’Sullivan Green thinks about a particular wild boy; Shira Haus writes about a trapped octopus and a trapped marriage and you realize it’s hard to differentiate them. Jeanne Julian and Casey Killingsworth highlight, each in a unique way, what happens at the end of a long run. Dionissios Kollias contends with change; George Looney is inspired by Walker Evans; Peter Shaver celebrates a ritual. Meanwhile, Shauna Shiff grapples with fulfillment while Gabriel Spera explores the emptiness of golf and death. Wrapping it up, Jessica D. Thompson sings of the night heron as Erin Wilson dips her toes into the cold Huron water.

The Surface Reflections anthology (both print and ePub) marches to a different drummer. This volume is intended to be the first in a series of periodic anthologies featuring longer-length fiction, including more heavily themed genre fiction. In the future, the anthology will be open to the public when there’s a lull in our production schedule; each volume will bear a specific theme, and some may even raise funds for selected non-profit organizations. The first volume, however, was invite-only—to the members of the Grand River Writing Tribe. Nine stories appear within its pages. Colleen Alles, in “Visitor’s Pass,” connects a woman to her friend’s child. In “Sea of Diamonds,” Tiffany Amo unplugs to enjoy a virtual life. Allison Hawkins, in “Penelope Butterfield’s Comprehensive Guide to Self-Annihilation,” playfully explores what happens when a resolution to end it all is thwarted by an unlikely new companion. In “Christmas Play”—the very first publishing credit for Robert Charles Kubiak!—we see what happens when expectations and reality collide. Morris Lincoln’s “Conversion Therapy” turns the tables on a dastardly vampiric plot, while Melanie Meyer’s “Half the Kingdom” turns the tables on the traditional fairy tale. Andrew Ronzino graces us with two pieces: “Acquired Taste” links love and donuts while “The Last Day” anchors us in friendships, even if they’re strained. Finally, the powerful “Edward” by D.L. Rosa is a historical-fiction piece about a heroic young resister in World War II.

Three great collections, on sale now!

But wait, there’s more!

To celebrate these three new titles, Lakeshore Literary is hosting a wine-and-cheese party at our office on Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. No cost or RSVP to attend. Come to the party, enjoy some readings, get your copies signed by some of the creators, and network with other literary-minded peers in the West Michigan market.

Below-the-fold news briefs:

  • Gird thy loins some non-profity goodness. We’ve stood up a non-profit corporation — the Lakeshore Literary Foundation — with the State of Michigan. Registration as a 501(c)(3) entity with the Internal Revenue Service is underway and is a lengthy and expensive process. When it’s complete, which might not be until very early in 2023, we intend LLF to serve as a pass-through funder for community grantmaking related to the literary arts, as well as an institution that offers literary programming and event services to our regional community. In short, we intend it to be a successor to the former Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters/Write616, and a visible part of the local arts scene.
  • We’re grateful to our trusty intern, Faith Gleasure, who well-represented Ferris State University in the first half of the year. She did yeoman’s work in wading through the lit-journal’s slush pile, editing anthology stories, and doing market research for the company. She offers a brief reflection in the editors’ comments in Issue No. 1 of The Lakeshore Review.
  • We’ve kicked our ticketing system to the curb. This system proved unwieldy thanks to some vexing problems with email deliverability, both to us and from us. We’ve since shut off the ticket queue and now pay Postmark, an email delivery service, to get our messages to their final destination. If you’ve tried to contact us and didn’t meet with much luck — (a) we’re sorry about that, and (b) the offending software has been banished from our servers. Check out our Contact page for the correct list of email addresses to use. As a friendly reminder, we don’t (and never will) use the phone to discuss pending or potential editorial projects.
  • The reading window for the third issue of The Lakeshore Review runs until Nov. 30, 2022. We read solely through Submittable; all pieces are reviewed by the two co-editors (Jason Gillikin & Garrett Stack), and up to three of our volunteer staff readers. This Winter 2023 edition will be ready in January for release by early February. Our submission form includes two options: you can buy a copy of the issue to which you’re pitching, and you can buy a critique from the editors. For the first two issues, 5 percent of submitters requested a critique, and the feedback from our notes has been overwhelmingly positive. If you struggle to understand why you’re not getting traction with lit journals, consider trying this extra service with us. We’re nice, but honest.
  • The last of our bookshelves in the retail area will be installed over the next few weeks. That’ll give us plenty of space to shelve titles from self-published authors. We offer both retail and distribution services for books that we enroll.
  • Consider us as a literary venue! We make our main events area available for things like large-group readings — we can seat up to 80 auditorium-style, or 60 comfortably at tables. The event space includes a white board, a podium, a large-screen TV for use as a monitor, and a microphone system. We can also accommodate smaller groups (like writers’ groups or book clubs) in our conference room, which seats eight comfortably and 10 if you all like each other. Rates are $50/hour, with meaningful discounts on offer for myriad reasons. Small groups (e.g., six or fewer people) are welcome to drop-in during our normal business hours to use the cafe tables to play games, read, write, or drink coffee/tea and munch cookies/fruit — no cost assessed or RSVP required.
  • Participate in National Novel Writing Month? We’re hosting a Halloween party at the office, running from 8p to past midnight, for writers to mingle, prep for NaNo, and begin the first word wars of the 2022 season from the comfort of their very own costumes. 
  • We’re excited to announce that Lakeshore Literary’s “Lakeshore One” imprint is publishing What I Can Do, the memoir of Mary K. Hoodhood. Mary K. is the founder of Kid’s Food Basket, based in West Michigan. The book was co-written by Lisa McNeilley, PhD. The book will be released in November.

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