Online journal Sweet Fancy Moses might even impress Elaine

Calling all writers! Calling all writers! Sweet Fancy Moses, the Web-based semi-annual print journal, is currently accepting submissions for its third installment. SFM Book II was published in 2005 and featured 13 stories from both published authors and newcomers alike.

Matt Herlihy founded SFM at www.sweetfancymoses.com in 2000, and since then SFM has accepted entertaining, heart-wrenching and satirical stories from talented voices across the United States. It has been hailed as one of the Internet’s leading literary Web sites. Accomplished writer Brian Alan Lane, who has a story in Book II, steps up as the new publisher, alongside co-editors Nzingha Clarke and Herlihy. Lane’s latest novel Cat and Mouse was described by Geraldo Rivera as “an amazing piece of work-like Truman Capote on LSD.” Together they have collected the most worthy stories for their latest volume.

Several of the stories in Book II shine as standout works of literary art. Todd Zuniga’s writing has appeared in The Onion’s AV Club and on MTV.com. His entry, “A Children’s Book Without Pictures For Adults About Space,” is one such outstanding narrative. It tells of two lovers, Oriah the poet and Edward the astronaut, who are separated when Edward goes into orbit. They cope with the extreme long-distance relationship in similar ways: Oriah writes poetry about Edward, and Edward reflects on the poetry that is Oriah:

“On the ocean-bound 45 bus, Oriah writes a poem on a ripped square of cardboard. She writes her legs wrapping Edward, and instantly her legs feel the surge of this connection. These surprise bolts of electricity are maybe-why she can’t vision the proper words for the concert of their legs, so she piles together analogies that come easily. The cardboard fills with mentions of boiled spaghetti, knit yarn strands, storm-tossed sticks of hair, a knotted phone cord. The bus winds along the ocean, and she watches. The ocean is a bazillion sparkles. The ocean is a torrent of waves. The water stirs in her an equation: how much she misses Edward = the ocean x 9.”

The story’s end induces heartache and shivers.

Not all of the stories are so solemn, however. Dan Burt, who specializes in short stories and sketch comedy, contributes a flawlessly written tale. “Yadda, Yadda, Yaddo” is a brief two-and-a-half pages, tightly constructed and oh-so-amusing:

“In an effort to lighten the sexually intense atmosphere that surrounded us like a thunderstorm, I decided to try a bit of humor. If the heart is a lonely hunter, I asked my lovely Lula, what is the spleen? She laughed quietly and good-naturedly bashed me on the head with her metal thermos of sherry tea. I awoke nineteen hours later, nude, in bed with Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden.”

Sweet Fancy Moses has gained critical acclaim and love from the press. California’s East Bay Express calls it “McSweenneyan but unpretentious,” and Fight Club screenwriter Jim Uhls says it is “so good it almost makes me want to take up reading.” The award-winning novelist, playwright, screenwriter and TV writer/producer William Link appropriately hails SFM as “gorgeous writing and urgent art-read it and then frame it.”

This is a great opportunity for budding writers who may not know quite how to jumpstart their careers. Here, established writers are not favored over green writers-the integrity of the work is all that is judged. For a story to be considered for publication, it must be fiction, written in English, 10,000 words maximum and a MSWord file. Submissions should be sent as attachments to [email protected] Along with the submission, SFM will need to know the word count, author’s name, e-mail address, mailing address and phone number. Authors whose works are accepted will be paid on disclosed terms upon acceptance.

So grab your laptop, pen, pencil, quill or whatever tickles your sweet fancy and get a-writin’. Success and publication are within reach, dear writers. You are to be struggling artists no longer.