Today, at the Austin Poetry Society’s Online Annual Awards Celebration, my poem “Growing Faces” won first place in The Unexpected Award. I’m excited that this weird, somewhat creepy little poem will appear in the 2019-2020 volume of Best Austin Poetry and can’t wait to see it come out in print later this year.
In the meantime, I want to share my poem that was published in Best Austin Poetry 2017-2018. This poem won the APS November 2017 Monthly Contest in the “light verse” category. It’s about my very fat childhood cat, Muffin, pictured below.
Conquest or Coincidence?
A scratch at the door, a pitiful squeak,
the clumsy stumbling of four furry feet,
some panting, some pawing, and one muffled “mew,”
we all gather around and—can it be true?
The twenty-pound feline bounds through the door
and places his conquest onto the floor.
Proudly he sits in the awe-silenced house,
for Muffin, Great Muffin, has brought in a mouse!
We all praise his bravery, his courage, his gumption,
although, privately, it is our assumption
that the mouse that lay dead in our fat housecat’s claws
probably died of a natural cause.
© Carie Juettner, 2017
That’s how I felt when I found out my story “Phoenix” had been selected as a runner-up in the WOW! Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest.
I’ve been a WOW! reader for years. I first discovered their quarterly flash fiction contest back in 2013. I submitted a couple of times, without success. My writing wasn’t at the level they sought, and I didn’t yet have a good grasp of what flash fiction really meant. But I started reading their blog, The Muffin, where I drew inspiration from their writing tips and anecdotes, eventually becoming a guest blogger myself, twice in 2014 (in September and November) and again in 2016. I was honored to have my words share space with the women who had motivated me.
This fall, I decided I was ready to give the flash fiction contest another try. I submitted my 748-word story “Phoenix” and crossed my fingers.
“Phoenix” is a subtly witchy story about the power of nature and the power we hold within ourselves. It’s about persistence and sacrifice and a love for unwanted things. It’s unlike most of the pieces I write, and I didn’t know how it would be received, so I was ecstatic when I learned it had placed in the top ten of the contest.
(A visual collage of “Phoenix”)
I want to thank the editors at WOW! for selecting my story as a finalist and Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency for choosing it as a runner-up. I appreciate you giving Gwen and her story a home.
Go to this link to read all the winning stories from the Fall 2018 Flash Fiction Contest. Or, to skip straight to “Phoenix,” simply click here.
WOW! will be publishing an interview with me on The Muffin, so if you’re interested in hearing the background story of “Phoenix” and what the writing process was like, stay tuned…
I recently spent some time submitting poems in the hopes that 2018 might bring a few more acceptances my way. (2017 was a little quiet, in that respect.) While researching various publications, it occurred to me that there’s a pretty standard code for naming a lit journal. Just take an emotion or a color, add a bird or a plant, tack on a publication type, and… voilà! You’re ready for submissions.
Let’s try it, shall we?
Create your own literary journal using the chart below:
My literary journal would be called… Morose Penguin Review.
I have to admit, that’s pretty awesome. 🙂
What’s yours? Share the name of your new lit journal in the comments.