March is National Umbrella Month. I really love umbrellas. I love the symbolism of something surrounding me, sheltering and protecting me from anything bad that may be out there. When my husband and I were dating, he always wanted me to tell him I that I loved him whenever we talked on the phone, but this posed a problem for me in Cubicleville, the Land of Reference Librarians. We live in open, compartmentalized spaces in Cubicleville, where each telephone call is overhead, dissected and discussed in detail among the staff. To avoid this, my future husband and I devised a code phrase for my declaration of love. "Blue umbrella," I would coo to him unabashedly and repeatedly. Maybe my colleagues thought I had a fetish for color rain accessories, or maybe they just didn't care as much about my phone conversations as I thought, but it didn't matter. I was happy that I protected my privacy and my husband was happy because I publicly declared my love, sort of.
Any writing markets interested in articles about umbrellas will be limited, I'm afraid. So, take a hint from me and turn your blue umbrella into a short story or poem and sell it to one of the small literary presses. They may not pay much, if anything, but the publishing credit will boost your self-esteem and look great on your resume.
The Cincinnati Review
P.O. Box 210069
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069
Contact: James, Cummins, poetry editor; Brock Clarke, fiction editor
This semiannual magazine is 100% freelance written. They publish literary fiction, poetry, book reviews, essays and interviews. Nonfiction needs are book excerpts, essays, interviews and profiles, and book reviews. Length is 1,000-5,000 words. Pays $25 a page. Fiction has to be literary, no genres are accepted. Length is 125-10,000 words. Pays $25 a page. Poetry can be avant-garde, free verse, and traditional. Querry poetry before submiting.
The Kit-Cat Review
244 Halstead Avenue
Harrison, NY 10528
Contact: Claudia Fletcher, editor
Published quarterly, this magazine is named after the legendary 18th century Kit-Cat Club, a political and literary organization that was the center of opposition to Queen Anne's Tory ministry. The purpose of the journal is to promote originality and to celebrate excellence. It is 100% freelance written. Nonfiction needs are book excerpts, essays, general interest, historical and nostalgic, humor, interview and profile, personal experience, and travel. Length is a maximum of 5,000 words. Pays $25-100. Fiction can be ethnic, experimental, novel excerpts, or slice-of-life vignettes. They do not want science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror or new age. Length is a maximum of 5,000 words. Pays $25-200 and two contributor's copies. Poetry can be free verse or traditional. They do not want anything excessively obscure. Pays $10-100.
Tip: shorter pieces stand a better chance of publication.
P.O. Box 1326
New York, NY 10156
Contact: Maribeth Batcha and Hannah Tinti
One-Story is a subscription only magazine that is published every three weeks. It is 100% freelance written. Designed to be lightweight, easy to carry and read on the go, One-Story consists of exactly that: one story. Subscribers also have access to the website where they can read more about the authors and One-Story's readings and events. "There is always time for One-Story." Literary short stories are all that is accepted for possible publication in One-Story. Length is 3,000 to 8,000 words. Pays $100.
The Poetry Foundation
1030 Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Contact: Christian Wiman, editor
Established in 1912, this monthly magazine has a circulation of 12,000 and is 100% freelance written. Accepts poetry of all styles and in all subjects. Maximum submission is four poems. Length is open and pay is $6 per line. See writer's guidelines on website.