literary journal



Starting this fall, our journal issues will debut in bookstores across the country! To celebrate this milestone, we’ve invited some of our favorite cartoonist-poets to create a special issue. We’re crowdfunding it, and we need your help to support comics poetry and grow this movement.

The special issue is 80 pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, perfect bound, and will debut in Fall 2017. It features this beautiful cover by Paul Madonna. Full contributor list:

Vidhu Aggarwal | Alyssa Berg | Warren Craghead | Erin Curry | John Hankiewicz | Keren Katz | Mark Laliberte | Matt Madden | Paul Madonna (cover) | Alexander Rothman | Alexey Sokolin | Bishakh Som | Deshan Tennekoon | Andrea Tsurumi | Paul K. Tunis | Andrew White | Sophia Wiedeman | Shahar Sarig

—a page from Alyssa Berg’s piece in INK BRICK no. 8

—a page from Keren Katz and Shahar Sarig’s piece in INK BRICK no. 8

—pages from INK BRICK no. 8 | by Andrew White, Deshan Tennekoon, Warren Craghead, John Hankiewicz

—pages from John Hankiewicz’s piece in INK BRICK no. 8 | by Alyssa berg, Matt Madden, Sophia Wiedeman, Vidhu Aggarwal, Bishakh Som



1st October, 2017.

It’s a pretty slow day at work today. In between my free hours, I decided to I decided to copy down some essay topics/ ideas onto my journal. I keep a Literature Journal specifically for essay topics/ideas, class notes, insights, list of sources, etc. 

Most of my essay topics/ideas revolve around anything interesting I read or watched recently. I like to jot down small notes on my phone and save them for in dept analysis later on. Really good ideas that might later be turned into a full length paper get transferred to  my Literature journal for reference. 

Most of the stuff, though, is just crap. I keep those around purely for cringe for their cringe factor. Laughing at your own stupid ass ideas is kind of fun.
The NBA's secret addiction
ESPN exclusive! How one performance-enhancing sandwich has spread through the NBA.

You guys, I have had this open in a tab for days since reading it, because it was so transcendently, life-changingly good that I can’t let go. YOU GOTTA READ THIS ARTICLE. It doesn’t matter if you don’t watch basketball. I don’t watch basketball. JUST TRUST ME ON THIS.

We are donating $1.00 of all book sales to the ACLU.

Our team feels compelled to support organizations that are actively fighting for the civil rights of all people. We support the way the ACLU is fighting the Muslim Ban and other discriminatory policies. Our mission as a press compels us to advocate for positive social change however we can. We pledge to donate $1.00 from each book sale to support their mission. 

You can find our titles here:

Fleur by Darshana Suresh

Print Book & eBook

Keystones by Christian Sammartino

Print Book & eBook

Survive Like the Water by Lydia Havens 

Print Book & eBook

In So Many Words
17k, Mature
Summary: Derek writes a short story. That’s his first mistake. His second is getting it published.


Derek knows he fucked up. He does. He is very well aware that this particular brand of impending doom he’s facing down right now is entirely of his own making.

But he still can’t quite bring himself to regret any of his actions leading up to it.

Yes, he wrote the story knowing exactly what it was. He submitted it to the literary journal. He happily accepted the praise from the editorial staff that approved it. And he went out and bought three more copies on top of the free one they gave him once it was published.

He’s proud of himself is the thing. Which is kind of secretly rare for him.

So, you know, fuck it. He did this. He wrote something that other people wanted to read, and it wasn’t even just a few lines of poetry with a decent beat to it, it was a whole damn story. He can’t regret that.

Even if he knew full well the entire time, from start to fucking finish, that it was eventually going to bite him in the ass.

“Oh honey,” Bitty sighs pityingly as he finishes reading it at the Haus kitchen table.

Derek stuffs the last bite of his slice of pie into his mouth and braces himself.

“It’s really very good,” Bitty tells him. “But…”

Derek nods. “But,” he agrees.

“Maybe he won’t read it.”

“Even if he doesn’t… everyone else will.” Derek imagines what the group chat is going to look like once they do and barely suppresses a shudder.

He watches Bitty come to the same conclusion and pull a yikes face, then quickly shake it off. “Well, they’re proud of you, of course they’ll read it. It really is good, Nursey. Not that I’m an expert, but even I can see that you’ve got talent.”

“I don’t think Dex is going to care how good it is when Rans and Holster start chirping him for the torrid, clandestine affair he’s supposedly having with me.”

Bitty cringes a little. “Yeah, probably not.”

(Read the rest on AO3)

Kids These Days || Aisha R.

The Marian Auditorium of Miriam CoIIege could seat one thousand fifty people, apparently, and on that day, it was a full house. Not necessarily by choice, of course. Every student there, aged twelve to probably fourteen at the oldest, had congregated into the air conditioned structure and settled into the smooth, wooden seats of the auditorium because this was a required thing, this talk on sexuality.

And if that isn’t a big, scary word. Sexuality. In a place like an all girls Catholic high school, saying the word “sexuality” was like opening a bag of chips in a dead quiet room. You will be met with winces or sneers or snickers. You might even get in trouble. The metaphor isn’t really foolproof, because on one hand, you’ve got a snack, and on the other, you’ve got an integral aspect of the human experience with endless variations. It’s a lot less “palatable”, for one. Not as tasty. Sexuality was funny. It was dirty. It was something to be whispered about and not spoken of, especially if you were twelve or thirteen or fourteen. Hell, even if you were older, it could still be something taboo. Growing up, or the failure of thereof, was a little peculiar like that.

But here they were for an entire two hour long talk all about sexuality. October of 2016, roughly one thousand fifty students were chucked into an auditorium where they tittered in a classic mixture of teenage curiosity, anticipation, and habitual boredom. On stage, the speaker, a family psychologist, walks out. The voices of the one thousand fifty students hush from a buzz to a hum to silence.

And the thus the talk began.

To say that the talk was a trainwreck would be a fantastic, monumental understatement. It seemed like every high school freshman I spoke to had something to say about the talk.

“Oh,” said A, a bookish girl with glasses who looked quiet and shy right up until I brought up The Talk. She pushed her glasses up in a way one knew meant she was livid. “It was awful.”

B, a student I had spoken to via email correspondence had written “It was terrible. Obscure. Immature.”

“I wanted to cry,” said R, looking like she was about to cry. “That talk made me want to cry.”

In a nutshell, the so-called sexuality talk was a verbal cavalcade of sexist stereotypes only thinly disguised as something educational. The speaker had talked about how men and women were different, how men’s brains were like waffles (boxed and organized) and women’s brains were like spaghetti (“Noodling around,” A told me. “I’m not shitting you. The speaker said, ‘women think like spaghetti, we’re always noodling around.’ What the hell does that mean?”) By the halfway point of the talk, students had resigned themselves to the fact that this was another one of those inane things the school did that they’ll have to forcibly erase from their memory. The talk went on about boys and girls and flirting and relationships and stuff everybody already knew about before always peddling back to “Studies first!” Educational stuff right here.

But the real kicker was this: one brave girl, just one out of roughly one thousand fifty, stood up, walked to the microphone set up in the aisle, and asked a question. She asked the question that was thrumming through the heads of a lot of students in the auditorium. She asked, “What do you think of LGBT?”

In front of one thousand fifty students, the speaker had smiled sweetly—sweet in the way that probably made you feel sick—and said “All the feelings you have for women, project them onto men instead.”

Keep reading

story time: the great pickle heist of 2016

to all of you who wanted another story: you made your bed, and now you’re gonna lie in it.

  • so this story is, from a purely superficial standpoint, about how i stole 40 pounds of pickles from my community college cafeteria today
  • but, on a deeper level
  • a literary level
  • a new yorker review kind of level
  • this story is about the perils and pitfalls of the sacrifices one nineteen year old girl makes to win the approval of authority
  • that’s me
  • I’m the girl
  • the girl who stole 40 pounds of pickles today.
  • so here we go:

Keep reading

via instagram @kelseytylr

(Please don’t forget to also like the picture there)


“Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars - to be a part of scene, anonomous, listening, recording - all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night …

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, diary entry No. 93, 1951


I’m reading Virginia Woolf in English for the first time! It’s such an accomplishment for me, guys (my native language is Spanish and reading literary texts in a different language is quite tricky) but the effort is just SO worth it. I’m in love with this author and every word she wrote.

I made a vocabulary list on my bullet journal to help me memorize the new words. Oh and I’m using the Linguee app, it’s such a useful tool.

They began to converse, and he felt that she was the only person who really understood him, who saw that he was more than the sum of his duties, who knew that he sometimes wrote poetry about watching the melting of ice in spring and the summer stars spinning slowly overhead, about loneliness in a crowd, about the emptiness in the heart caused by touching too much silver and gold and not enough of a friendly hand.
—  Ken Liu, The Grace Of Kings

anonymous asked:

//whispers to you// bee em see sky high au.....

IM NOT ALLOWED TO WRITE THIS AU ANON. IT’S ILLEGAL FOR ME. u get ONE CHANCE to write a sky high au fic and i happily used my chance last year on the les amis. if i wrote a sky high au, i’d shoot myself because im just rehashing my old work :((((



it isnt illegal if i. throw some concepts out. should anybody else want to take the torch

  • possible plot???: jeremy heere, local sky high loser. he’s the son famous superhero and supervillain, and the divorce kind of took a huge toll on his dad, so he’s out of the business. nobody’s seen jeremy’s supervillain mom ever since, but he doesnt really care. really. he’s more worried about how he’s going into junior year and he still doesn’t have a power. it sucks (purposely being vague about powers of everybody in the heere household because I DONT KNOW!! but the possibility are ENDLESS!!)
  • my brain cant make plot rn. i figure a squip plotline in this au would be absolutely riveting, but too bad i cant think of anything for it sjfhkdsjfhd. what i CAN think of is POWERS.
  • michael strikes me as a technokinesis kid!!! which is so rad but he still gets put into sidekick because he cant really control his powers. he can talk through devices and make gadgets work with his mind, but uhhh focus? whats that??  he’s fritzed so many phones because he was excited. he tried to microwave something from the other room but got distracted and nearly destroyed his entire home. this is kinda one reason why he likes retro stuff!! old gadgets are sturdier and simpler, so they don’t break under his powers.
  • (michael has a nokia phone he’s been trying to break for years. no dice.)
  • christine is a shapeshifter!! mostly into animals. but geez, actually getting to shift into the right thing is difficult. she tries really hard to shift into a cat but her heart says it’s a hummingbird day today, so welp. what happens happens.
  • i know the obvious route for rich is fire powers and ive been trying to think of a subversion but honestly?? it fits?? also rich works at a chinese restaurant: CONFIRMED.
  • jake seems like a classic hero type so im really tempted to give him super strength. he’s the next big hero in the making, everybody knows it
  • jenna can DUPLICATE. DONT FIGHT ME ON THIS. “so i heard from dustin just now,” “how did you hear from dustin now if you’re talking to me here–” //another jenna waves from across the cafeteria “–ohhhhh”
  • chloe has ice powers and will kill you if you call her elsa. the chill people get when she walks down the hallway is not just sheer intimidation. the room temperature literally went down a few notches
  • on the flipside, brooke can control plants!!! she cant (wont) do anything of the offensive attack type with it, but her control is flawless. she makes sure to only grow hardy, temperate plants when chloe is around, just so that she doesnt get sad when things wilt.

that’s all i got. it’s illegal for me to say anything else.

Ferus Ferrum

It would be difficult to secure funding for a literary journal in a standard university - at Elsewhere, most professors wouldn’t dare. Going to the Dean to beg for money, it would be too much like a deal, a favor owed - even if the Dean wasn’t one of them, you didn’t make tenure at EU by taking unnecessary risks.

So it’s difficult, but not impossible - which is why everyone is slightly in awe of Professor Howell, when the petite, soft-spoken poetry professor announces to her classes that she’s looking for volunteer readers and editors.

They call the journal Ferus Ferrum, and their submissions come from across the country. The staff are all English or Creative Writing majors - they know the Rules, and Professor Howell trains them well. The editors learn how to create an email database, how to solicit submissions without “please” or “thank you”; they choose pen names and debate different weights of paper and call the printers to ask if their toner contains iron oxide.

When the first issue is printed they have a release party, with pizza and cake and a tray of vanilla pudding from the dining hall tucked into the corner. There is a palpable but unspoken amazement in the air that they made it, that the journal is sitting in front of them finished, and no one was mysteriously disappeared or even “borrowed,”, and everyone is filled with awe and pride and a fierce kind of victory over the particular entropy of Elsewhere.

So of course, at the end of the party Professor Howell makes an announcement to her staff: she’s leaving.

Not for good. They’ve never known a professor to leave EU, although they don’t think about it particularly hard. She’s pregnant, she tells them, and she’s going to take the next year off for maternity leave. She’s convinced a colleague to take over advising Ferus Ferrum, Professor Chapel, and he’s new.

As they walk back to dorms and parking lots, Howell takes her editors aside. He’s new, she tells them, and they nod, but they don’t understand. They’re writers and they learned the Rules quick, and they all secretly believe that the people who don’t realize the strangeness of Elsewhere are hiding something.

Professor Chapel walks into the first editorial meeting of the next year and the poetry editor looks to the nonfiction reader on her right and they both think, “Ah, he’s new.” Chapel grins freely and stammers and bleeds apologies. He has a tattoo that is a reference four-places removed from a Dickinson poem, and he gushes at length about an obscure short story he read in his first year of grad school. He’s a wonderful professor, and an excellent advisor, and he hasn’t the faintest clue about the Rules. The Ferus Ferrum staff, new and old, take one look at him and realize he’s a sitting duck.

With the steel resolve of their first issue backing them, the head copy editor immediately begins organizing the troops. Two fictions readers who work together at a cafe smuggle out salted bagels and a photo editor delivers them to Professor Chapel’s office every morning. Someone produces a fountain pen with a ring of iron below the grip and hands it over as a welcome present. In meetings they make sure to rib him when he missteps around the “school traditions,” and make an inside joke of talking to the crows. He is constantly puzzled by the salt packets that make their way into his bag, his coat pockets, the corners of his office.

It’s a massive undertaking, and requires almost as much coordination as putting the journal itself together. Which is why it’s so disappointing when “Professor Chapel” walks into a meeting late with sharp teeth and golden eyes.

(They give him back a couple days later, thankfully. At least he doesn’t complain about the salt packets anymore.)