Join The Common and Foglifter for a virtual panel conversation, moderated by Callum Angus, on Thursday, July 8 at 7:30pm EST/4:30pm PDT. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link!
Trans in Place: Trans Writers on Place and Environment
Inspired by the mission and role of the town common, an egalitarian gathering place, The Common aims to foster the global exchange of diverse ideas and experiences. As such, we welcome and encourage submissions from writers who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled, LGBTQIA+-identifying, immigrant, international, and/or otherwise from communities underrepresented in U.S. literary magazines and journals.
In an effort to remove barriers to access, The Common will open exclusively for BIPOC writers for two weeks, and waive submission fees, now extended until July 4 at 11:59 PM EST. Outside of that time, submitters with any financial hardship can contact us at [email protected] for a fee waiver.
Exclusive Fee-Free Submission Period for BIPOC Writers
Amherst, MA, June 4, 2021 — The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, is a 2021 Literary Magazine Fund Grant Recipient, awarded in alliance with the Amazon Literary Partnership Literary Magazine Fund and the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses. Since 2017, funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership has helped further The Common’s mission of publishing and promoting emerging and underrepresented authors who deepen our individual and collective sense of place.
With this $7,000 grant, The Common will publish, promote, and support a diverse group of writers in its print magazine and open-access website, connecting authors with a global readership. In the spring of 2022, The Common will continue its series of translated Arabic fiction with a collection of short stories from Palestinian authors, co-edited by acclaimed Jordanian author, and The Common’s Arabic Fiction Editor, Hisham Bustani. As part of The Common’s spring issue, this portfolio will feature contemporary Palestinian voices alongside poetry and prose from the US and abroad.
Recent issues of The Common have featured short stories from Morocco (Issue 21, spring 2021), literature from and about the Lusosphere (Portugal and its linguistic and colonial diaspora) in Issue 20, and fiction from Sudan in Issue 19. A collection of writing from the Arabian Gulf, co-edited with Egyptian author Noor Naga, is forthcoming this fall. All of the above portfolios have been developed with Amazon Literary Partnership support.
The Common Awarded 2021 Amazon Literary Partnership grant
On May 6th at 7pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual launch of Issue 21! Contributors Aleksandar Hemon, Celeste Mohammed, Abdelaziz Errachidi, and translator Nariman Youssef will join us from all around the world for brief readings, followed by conversation about place, culture, and translation, hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief Jennifer Acker. This event is co-sponsored by the Arts at Amherst Initiative.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email via Amherst College, containing information about joining the event. If you’d like to receive a copy of Issue 21 before the launch party, pre-order the issue here.
Give your writing a boost this spring. Join The Common for a series of craft classes with these literary luminaries.
Jim Shepard: Generating Fiction from History [register]
Vievee Francis and Curtis Bauer: Writing Toward a Poetry Chapbook or Collection [register]
W. Ralph Eubanks: How to Turn a Place into an Essay [register]
Each class includes a craft talk and Q&A with the guest author, generative exercises and discussion in breakout sessions, and a take-home list of readings and writing prompts. Students also receive exclusive access to a free “Behind the Scenes” session about what literary magazine editors look for in submissions. Recordings will be available after the fact for participants who cannot attend the live event.
Each class is $125, or $75 for current subscribers or past Weekly Writes participants.
Amherst’s annual literary festival celebrates the College’s extraordinary literary life by inviting distinguished authors and editors to share and discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression—from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and spoken-word performance. This year’s LitFest was held virtually, with authors, poets, and literature lovers joining from all around the world.
The Common’s Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker hosted two readings at LitFest: one with The Common’s student interns, and one with Amherst College alumni authors. Both events were recorded and can be watched below. Watch video recordings of all the events, readings, and discussions at LitFest ’21 here.
LitFest ’21 Readings by The Common’s Literary Publishing Interns
Student interns at The Common read short excerpts from their writing. Readers are:
Isabel Meyers ’20 (former intern, current Literary Editorial Fellow)
Elly Hong ’21 (Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellow)
Whitney Bruno ’21
Sofia Belimova ’22
Eliza Brewer ’22
Olive Amdur ’23
LitFest ’21 Amherst College Alumni Authors Reading
Amherst College alumni read short excerpts from their recent work, and answer questions. Readers are:
Calvin Baker ’94
Chris Bohjalian ’82
Dan Chiasson ’93
Edward A. Farmer ’05
Michael Gorra ’79
Kirun Kapur ’97
Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne ’01
Ismée Williams ’95
We are excited to announce that the Pushcart Prize’s contributing editors have nominated eight pieces from The Common‘s 2020 publications, in print and online! The Pushcart Prize celebrates outstanding works of literature produced by small-press writers; each of these nominations are exceptional works of art that take fresh and memorable perspectives on the modern sense of place. Congratulations to our amazing contributors!
On March 25th at 7:00pm, in honor of ten years of publishing and cultivating new voices, please join The Common‘s special events team for an evening devoted to emerging talents! Celebrate with poets and prose writers Ama Codjoe, Sara Elkamel, LaToya Faulk, Ben Shattuck, Angela Qian, and Ghassan Zeineddine. This event will take place virtually via Zoom.
This inaugural festival features readings and conversation, and aims to to raise scholarship funds for the magazine’s Young Writers Program. All contributions will be matched by the Whiting Foundation.
We hope you’ll join us for the sixth annual LitFest, hosted in conjunction with Amherst College. This year’s festival features 2020 National Book Award for Fiction winner Charles Yu and finalist Megha Majumdar, National Book Award for Poetry finalists Natalie Diaz and Tommye Blount, and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum, among others.
This year, to celebrate Amherst College’s Bicentennial, we’ll have a very special set of readings by The Common‘s very own Literary Publishing Interns at 4:30 pm on Saturday. Join us for this packed weekend!