Call for Submissions: Four Chambers

From our friends at Four Chambers comes a wonderful opportunity for ambitious writers:

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“Literally, Four Chambers is a small press and independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, AZ. Figuratively, we’re a heart. And despite all the puns—or precisely because of them—we take that figure very seriously. While we’re interested in publishing a variety of contemporary literature from new and emerging writers that gets at, somehow, what it means to be human, we don’t like to think of ourselves as writers, we’re human beings, and we’re more interested in using creative writing to advance discourse, develop relationships and build community than we are in publishing. But we’re still publishing. Also, a heart.” http://fourchamberspress.com/submit

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Saturday Workshop: “Style” Takes Your Writing From Good to Great

“From Good to Great” was a highly-acclaimed management book in the 1990s. But advancing your business or your writing from good to great takes a lot of work.

A LOT of work.

We writers don’t talk about style much – but we should. All things being equal, writing style is what separates good writing from great writing. Whether it’s prose or poetry, writing style is the Great Differentiator. Your theme, plot, setting, characters can all be perfect and complementary even – supportive of one another – but without an almost invisible “assist” from the Writing-Style gods as well, you can have a good but mediocre result instead of a heart-stopping, bone-chilling, throat-gagging, head-pounding, breath-taking great result.

Defining exactly HOW writing style achieves this “over the top” push is a little like that well-worn definition of pornography: “I’ll know it when I see it.” But not quite. Come explore and analyze examples of where writing style makes all the difference — with Gary Lawrence, short story author and GCC creative writing instructor. Identify and take away a handful of writing style tips and techniques that can make or break your writing – whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

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Gary Lawrence teaches composition and creative writing at GCC and Cochise College. His short stories have been published in The Rockford Review, Short Story America anthologies, Four Chambers (Phoenix Community Arts magazine), Mirage (literary arts magazine of Cochise College) and Canyon Voices (literary magazine of ASU West). He is a frequent workshop leader at GCC and in Sierra Vista AZ, where he lives now with wife Linda. Gary has been interviewed by NPR for his short story collection Baffled (2013), and in 2016 won first place in Cochise County for his flash fiction piece “BJ.” He has a BA in English from Rockford College and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts (Montpelier).


  • What & Who: Achilles Heel? Or Sweet Spot? Or, The X Factor? “Style” Takes Your Writing From Good to Great will be conducted by Gary Lawrence
  • When: Saturday, April 8th from 9:30AM to 11:30AM.
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, LA-141
  • Why: Because looking good is half the battle.
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Two Languages, One Soul: A Bilingual Poetry Reading

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Saturday Workshop: How to Write a Sexy Sentence

If you don’t think that the way an adjective pairs perfectly with a noun is erotic, then you have a thing or two to learn…

This workshop focuses on developing prose, word by word, sentence by sentence, with agonizing attention to detail. Whether fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or lyrics, at the foundation of nearly any exquisite piece of writing is a grammatically sexy sentence in which every piece of it works together harmoniously to perfectly express its meaning.

Semi-colon or period? What associations does this word carry with it to the page? What is a synonym for synonym? These questions and more will be explored during our workshop as we discuss diction, connotation, denotation, punctuation, and other –tions while we practice crafting the most perfect, most fluid, sexiest sentences we’ve ever seen.

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This workshop is free and open to the public. Breakfast-y refreshments will be provided, but bring your own caffeine!

  • What & Who: “Syntax: How to Write a Sexy Sentence” will be conducted by Jayme Cook.
  • When: Saturday, March 25th from 9:30AM to 11:30AM.
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, LA-141
  • Why: Because sex sells.
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Open Mic: Featuring David Muñoz

Wednesday, honey, there comes a time in every relationship when we realize that things have grown stale, become ordinary and predictable. Conversations replay themselves like the script from a credit card call center. Dinners become aggravatingly cyclical, dictated by the weekly coupons in grocery store circulars and disrupted only by Betty Crocker’s introduction of a new Hamburger Helper flavor. Date nights are spent at Applebee’s drinking colorful martinis and eating 2 for $20 deals or endless appetizers, all while talking past one another and allowing the watered-down booze to magically transpose the face of your high school girlfriend or Ryan Reynolds on the ever-more-wrinkled head of your partner. In short: Wednesday, it’s long past time that we see other people days.

Tuesday, how you doing?

For clarity’s sake: March’s Open Mic is upon us, and it’s going to be on a Tuesday. Not only that, but it will be a bilingual night. Come share your work in English, Spanish, or both! Not in the mood for sharing? Come just to listen, then, and give these talented folks the audience they deserve.

  • When: Tuesday, March 7th from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.
  • Where: GCC Main Campus, SU104e.
  • Why: Applebee’s closed down. No, really, the whole chain.

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David Alberto Muñoz (1959) was born in Mexico at the end of the 1950s. In 1973, he migrated to the United States of America. He has colleges degrees in Theatre Arts, Religious Studies and a Master of Arts in Hispanic Literature and a Master of Arts in Theology, as well as a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion. He has written a variety of books, which includes collection of shorts stories, essays, chronicles, poetry, and a couple of textbooks. Insanities, soundness, and reality: A collection of shorts stories written perhaps by the same person, is his first fiction book written directly in the English language. Muñoz enjoys the study of popular culture as well as the sometimes-complex problem of religious ideology in a contemporary society. He describes himself as a “cuentero” (fabulist), who likes to reflect on the complex human experience. He lives in Glendale, Arizona, with his wife Mireya, a music educator, and they have a daughter, Mirita, 23 years old who is attending California State University at Northridge.

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Winners for the District Writing Competition!

Once again, we congratulate a series of dedicated and creative writers. Listed below are the winners for Maricopa’s District Writing Competition. This is a highly contested competition that accepts entries from all of the colleges in the MCCCD. Congratulations to all writers from all of our sister colleges, but we would be remiss not to highlight those from GCC.
Essay:
  • Malka Daskai, PVCC, 1st Place, The Rabbit Who Didn’t Believe
  • Bob Buchanan, SCC, 2nd Place, Apocalypse on the Prairie
  • Maja Zmyslowski, MCC, 3rd Place, The Alchemy of Pierogi
  • Sara Dobie Bauer, GCC, Hon. Ment., Mementos
  • Spencer Litman, MCC, Hon. Ment., Like Venom
  • Cholly Robertson, SCC, Hon. Ment., The Year of the Butterflies
  • Sydney Todd, SCC, Hon. Ment., When the Music Stopped Flowing
Fiction:
  • Maja Zmyslowski, MCC, 1st Place, Flipping the Bird
  • Jacquelyn Rowe, MCC, 2nd Place, Welcome to Everton
  • Spencer Litman, MCC, 3rd Place, Elephatine
  • Donna King, RSC, Hon. Ment., Eyes of Love
  • Daniel Matlock, CGCC, Hon. Ment., Beagle in Mind
  • Katarina Rector, RSC, Hon. Ment., The Desecrator of Power
  • Sameena Mathur, SCC, Hon. Ment., The Large House
Poetry:
  • Jaime Faulkner, MCC, 1st Place, On the Corner of Rural and Guadalupe
  • Jessica Gnoza, MCC, 2nd Place, Roundabout
  • Taylor Shepard, MCC, 3rd Place, Why I’ll Use It
  • Spencer Litman, MCC, Hon. Ment., Seven Minutes
  • Bob Buchanan, SCC, Hon. Ment., It Wasn’t Supposed to be that Way
  • Maja Zmyslowski, MCC, Hon. Ment., Citizen Ghost
  • Garrett Iannarelli, SCC, Hon. Ment., Down Range in Afghanistan
One Act Play/Script:
  • Eric Bond, GCC, 1st Place, Shared Body Parts
  • Carol Gibson, SCC, 2nd Place, A Scouting Trip
  • Maja Zmyslowski, MCC, 3rd Place, A Boat Afloat
  • Madelyn Sugg, RSC, Hon., Ment., Something About Kyle
  • Garrett Iannareli, SCC, Hon., Ment., Post Traumatic
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Announcing: The Traveler Winners!

Please join everyone from the Traveler staff, literary judges, and the English Department at GCC in congratulating the Traveler winners for 2016-2017. After even more deliberation and competition than last year, the following pieces and writers were selected for publication:

Poetry

  • First Place: “I See You” by Cynthia Herda
  • Second Place: “I Was a War Whore” by Charles Hisey
  • Third Place: “Crows Don’t Sing” by Wendy Wallace
  • Honorable Mention: “Dear Straight Dudes” by Jamie Lee Heath
  • Honorable Mention: “Giving Birth to a Sonnet” by Charles Hisey

Fiction

  • First Place: “Skipping Sundays” by Alex Parson
  • Second Place: “Zombie Walk” by Sara Dobie Bauer
  • Third Place: “Blue Acres” by Maneesha Lele

Creative Nonfiction

  • First Place: “My Tatum Place” by Tatum Morton
  • Second Place: “Gremlin of Doubt” by Ashley Davis
  • Third Place: “Summer” by Emma Matthews

Flash Fiction

  • First Place: “Ascendant” by Katelyn Cissel
  • Second Place: “Those Three Girls” by Alex Parson
  • Third Place: “She of Greatness” by Mary Barreras

To everyone who submitted: all of us with the Traveler sincerely thank you for your submissions. Reading your creative work is a tremendous privilege, and one we do not take for granted. We all sincerely hope to see more of your writing next year. To all of the student staff and the literary judges: Thank you for your tireless efforts!

Keep an eye on the blog for more information regarding the production of the Traveler, the availability of physical copies, and our traditional celebratory reading in October.

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