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A look at stories in Bellevue Literary Review.

January 6, 2011 \pm\31 8:27 pm

Periodically, I update my lists of literary journals by reading what they contain and assessing the styles and subjects. Bellevue Literary Review is one of those journals with a specific interest–health and injury–that offers breadth, and ultimately, more variety in subjects than writing style. This makes it an easy magazine to submit to; you either have the piece that fits or you don’t. I needed to read more recent short stories to see if they’ve changed in their interests since the last time I read them. They still prefer direct, plainspoken sentences, with slight use of the poetic techniques of simile and metaphor. They still prefer the domestic subject matter, and the subjective point of view. The Spring 2010 issue includes two stories you can read at their site and I recommend each. “Mud,” by Ben Orlando, and “The Champion” by M.M. DeVoe both have tight storylines, first-person pov’s, domestic subject matter, start by setting the scene and revealing the basic health issue, and have a multitude of struggles, physical and emotional, faced by the characters. Either of these stories could have been published by literary journals without tight subject interests, and yet, in these pages edited by doctors, a girl’s witnessing of a man’s death under the wheel of a truck, and an adult daughter’s fear of her failures compromising her courage to offer her father her kidney amidst a game of Scrabble are more about the experiences of the characters’ mistakes than the injury and illness that brought the stories under consideration. This is another clarification to narrow your choices for what to send, if anything. While I could have gained this insight by looking at the tagline–A journal of humanity and human experience–I would have missed Orlando’s and DeVoe’s particular, inspiring and focused examples.  Anyway, I like the stories and wanted to share them.

One Comment
  1. donna d. vitucci permalink
    January 8, 2011 \pm\31 6:55 pm 6:55 pm

    mud indeed. mired in up to the heart’s eyeballs. wonderful story.

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