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In poems, we look for: literary quality a strong, mature, natural voice control of language fresh images and word choices an awareness of the world beyond self poems which SAY something, and are not just stylistic exercises or emotional exorcisms poems 32 lines or less, since extremely long or extremely short poems are difficult to pull off poems on any subject, except for religious poetry or poetry which is obscene/erotic without apparent need. We are not a market for self-involved or brooding verse.
In fiction, we look for: upbeat, offbeat plots--more than a single chronological strand engaging and well-integrated sideplots, scenes that come alive stories other than relationship-gone-down-the-toilet tales (of which we see too many) memorable/believable characters with meat on their bones dialogue which rings true--not small talk fresh, controlled language a mature and distinctive narrative voice fiction to 4000 words (we'll make an exception if the work is exceptional) if a genre piece (sci-fi, fantasy, western, mystery, etc.), a story that breaks the mold and moves beyond the genre in some significant way
ESSAYS / CRITICISM / INTERVIEWS
We seek thoughtful essays/articles on aspects of society and human behavior, ala H.L. Mencken, E.B. White, James Thurber.
Query first w/SASE or submit complete essay. For literary criticism, use MLA style documentation. We are less impressed by jargon than we are by substance and the author's sensitivity to the material. Best bet: query w/SASE to find out what artists, musicians, topics, and literary figures will be featured in future issues, and submit a related critical essay. We would have loved to have featured an essay on James Dickey's work, for example, in the issue we published some of his poetry. Most interviews with writers, artists and musicians are staff-written, in-depth discussions of an artist's work, not personal life. Read the magazine for style. We'll consider freelance work if the writer has access to someone we don't, or brings someone to our attention who deserves a wider national audience.
Submit year-round, but be advised that we usually can't keep up with mss. volume in July. We receive l5-60 unsolicited mss. daily, depending on season. Sometimes we get swamped. Please be patient. We try to report within four months. At present, no electronic submissions are considered. It's enough that our mail drawers are clogged. We don't want to clog the arteries of the one computer we're using to input material. Always include a self-addressed stamped envelope--letters or mss. with insufficient or no postage cannot be returned or acknowledged. Send 3-6 poems or l short story (2, if short-shorts) No arm-long vitas, please, but a 3-sentence contributor's note is helpful. Send us your BEST work--we publish the best magazine that we can, and fair is fair. Believing that it's in the best interests of our writers, we buy lst North American rights and electronic rights, retaining the copyright so that we can grant permission for reprints through the Copyright Clearance Center, which handles academic (classroom) requests. We believe that it's important for our authors to have a wide audience, and we believe that literature in Clockwatch should be available electronically for educators and students, and that educators should be able to photocopy and distribute material published in Clockwatch at no charge--for educational purposes only. Further reproduction of material is not allowed. All requests for material to be included in anthologies or commercial ventures are referred to the authors, at which point we re-assign rights to them. Authors who plan to re-use material first published in Clockwatch have only to request in writing that the copyright reprint rights be re-assigned to them. Our only interest is in being able to get copies of Clockwatch via reprints into the classroom and on the www., and thus increase public awareness of the magazine and the authors we publish. No previously published or simultaneously submitted material is generally accepted. Payment is currently $25 for fiction, $5 per poem.
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