By Laura Coburn
After less than a year of hustling to publish a literary journal for developing writers, is ready for reading. And to celebrate literature, Houston, and the launch of the publication, Story|Houston is hosting a party tonight!
The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. at Boheme Café and Wine Bar. The evening will include Fresh Arts’ Cultured Cocktails and a chance to mingle with other literature-lovers. John A McDermott and Amerchi Ngwe will make their appearances for a “special reading.”
Story|Houston relies on its professional editorial staff comprised of established writers and professors from the Houston area. The journal is published quarterly and includes stories by writers in the greater-Houston area. All of the published narratives are chosen to appeal to a diverse audience, each with a unique and compelling story.
FPH got the inside scoop on the motivation behind the journal a few months back. Check out our interview with Story|Houston: http://www.freepresshouston.com/news/storyhouston/
And for the first ever issue, here is a note from the editor:
Welcome to the first offering of Story|Houston, a new journal featuring narratives by emerging writers and illustrations by emerging artists. As we prepared to launch the magazine, originally the brainchild of Farris Shenaq and David Monroe, we considered a number of taglines or catchphrases that would elaborate our aesthetic. America’s Fourth Largest Online Literary Magazine received serious consideration, though our legal department raised questions about the veracity of that claim. Literary Sprawl had its supporters but suggested a laissez-faire approach to editing—and, as the writers in the inaugural issue will tell you, anything does not go. There were other references to Houston’s endless summers and humidity, the air conditioning we use year round, our fascination with fossil fuel and good food, our disregard for old money, city zoning, and pretension. Straight Montrose celebrated the easy-going, organic diversity of a big, Texas, Southern, coastal, multiethnic city, with a lesbian mayor and great restaurants. Long may it wave.
For now, we are content with our journal title, a juxtaposition that brings together this century’s most interesting place—inclusive, open, entrepreneurial—AND the world’s oldest profession. Among the fiction selected for publication in this issue is “Uncle Dixon,” a piquant story that is, as the first line suggests, “about you.” John A. McDermott represents the mess of erotic love by eliciting the raw, violent spontaneity of deep East Texas and its geographical reflection across the Sabine. We enjoyed Amechi Ngwe’s charming “Lunch with Dostoyevsky,” which hearkened for some of us to Don Barthelme’s “At the Tolstoy Museum.” Elizabeth Davies’s “The Wigmaker and the Thief” just won the Undergraduate Creative Writing Fellowship awarded annually by Gulf Coast. We thought the Davies story also evoked a strong sense of place, quite different from the landscape of “Uncle Dixon” or “Dostoevsky.” Finally, “May Day” is a previously unpublished short story by Robert Phillips, a celebrated Houston poet and author of over 30 books. In an authentic, if acquired, Houston voice, Mr. Phillips recalls the glory days of two high school legends in the midst of a reunion.
We’d like to give a special thanks to artists Matthew Boelsche and Jessica Fuquay for providing us with their wonderful illustrations for our cover and each of the stories. We hope you enjoy them. Lastly, if you would like to support our literary adventure as well as the work of emerging writers, please donate below.
THANKS TO ALL, AND GOOD READING!
If the journal’s head honcho doesn’t make you want see what Houston’s lit scene has to offer, perhaps the party will! To find out more about tonight’s launch party, visit the event Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/514144538640778/
Click the links below to learn more about Story|Houston: