Tidal Echoes is looking for new voices.
The annual literary and arts journal sponsored by University of Alaska Southeast is seeking submissions of art, prose and poems ahead of a Dec. 1 deadline.
“Submissions have been coming in regularly, but the majority of them come in on the first,” said Annie Kessler, Tidal Echoes intern. “We’d love more prose. We’d love to get more submissions from around the Southeast as well. Almost all of the submissions are from Juneau.”
While a quarter of each edition of Tidal Echoes is reserved for UAS students, they are open to submissions from artists of any age in Southeast Alaska and flexible about what can be submitted. Topics can be wide ranging too.
“Don’t think it has to be about living in Juneau or anything,” Kessler said.
Prose can be fiction, non-fiction, plays, memoir, drama or transcribed oral stories, but should be 2,5000 words or less. Works of up to 5,000 words will be considered but shorter pieces have a better shot at being accepted.
Prose submissions are limited to three pieces per writer.
Any type of poetry may be submitted, but there is a limit of five poems per writer.
Artwork is submitted in a digital format, ideally as a JPEG, but can be a digital drawing, a painting, sculpture, ceramic work or photo.
All submissions are to be done online through: https://universityofalaskasoutheast.submittable.com/submit.
Kessler said the submission process is easy, but the wait for notification of acceptance can be long. She knows first hand as she wrote multiple poems that appeared in last year’s Tidal Echoes.
“They don’t start sending acceptance letters until the spring,” Kessler said.
That’s because each piece is given a blind reading by an editorial board and space constraints are a looming concern.
Each edition of Tidal Echoes includes featured artists, and this year, both are part of the UAS staff. Lance Twitchell, associate professor of Native languages and Wayne Price, associate professor of Northwest Coast arts, will be the Tidal Echoes 2019 featured artists.
Kessler said featured artists aren’t always connected to UAS.
“It’s just how it worked out,” Kessler said.
Thinking of submitting?
Kessler, who had poems published in last year’s Tidal Echoes under the name Aurelia Kessler, shared some advice for folks considering submitting written work.
She suggested prospective submitters read past editions of Tidal Echoes to get an idea for what sort of works tend to be accepted.
Also, Kessler emphasized the importance of getting a second set of eyes on a written piece.
“Have other people read it over with you,” Kessler said. “It’s good to get input from other people, even if it’s just friends or family.”
If a piece isn’t accepted, Kessler said it’s important to take that in stride, and there is value in attempting to have a work published.
“It’s a good learning process, even if you don’t get accepted,” Kessler said.
Here’s a poem by Kessler that was published last year:
‘Eight Years Old ’
By Aurelia Kessler, UAS student, Juneau
My daughter has been riding a dragon,
dimpled arms wrapped around a scaly neck.
I can defy gravity,
for about three seconds she says.
When I was eight I sat in a church pew
every Sunday morning, staring
at a book of paper skins, curled
with the flicking of my fingers, smudged with dirt and sweat.
Listening to men pray, men preach,
men passing plates with dry crackers and thumb-sized cups of grape juice.
I believed in a father who would lay open
his own son’s throat,
in a woman turned to salt
because of one backward glance,
in a good god who would drown the world
and very baby in it.
I kicked my legs to the rhythm of the hymns,
lips pressed together.
I am learning to grip green scales,
to close my eyes and feel the wind
from leathery wings on my wrinkled skin.
I am learning to let the sounds
in my throat escape.
• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.