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Call for Submissions: Superheroes

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

"Superhero" by José María Pérez Nuñez. Via  Flickr  and courtesy a  Creative Commons  license. 

"Superhero" by José María Pérez Nuñez. Via Flickr and courtesy a Creative Commons license. 

Now that National Poetry Month is over, we're ready for something new. And seeing as how we're heading into summer blockbuster season and summer blockbusters mean superheroes, we want some superheroes, too. This spring and summer, we'll be publishing writing prompts and writing by YOU on the theme of the heroic.

Your challenge this spring (and summer) is to write something--anything--about superheroes. You could write a short story about a superhero of your own creation. You could write a poem praising your favorite Marvel, DC, or indie superhero. Meme-ify your favorite superhero; make him or her say wildly uncharacteristic things or dig into the truth behind the character's motivations. Consider writing a personal essay about who your favorite (or least favorite) superhero is and how he or she helped you through a difficult time. When you have something you love, be sure to send it to use so we can publish it on the blog

To submit: email your piece as an attachment or pasted into the body of the message to us at Just put “SUBMISSION: Superhero” in the title line, so we know to open it right away! Please include your name, age, and school in your submission. All pieces accepted for publication on the blog will also be considered for publication in KaPow! Superhero Edition, scheduled for fall publication. If your piece is selected, you’ll receive a free copy of the zine (and extra copies are always on sale on our website). Deadline to submit is Thursday October 1, 2015.

Sign up for our quarterly newsletter to stay up to date with our current call for submissions, writing prompts, and details for ordering KaPow! Superhero Edition.

Recommended Reading: Fiddle is Flood by Lauren Gordon

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Recommended Reading is a semi-regular feature wherein Sarah and/or Jeff recommend something to read. We'll be sharing poems, stories, essay and texty bits that defy categorization--the kinds of things you won't find in a Barnes and Noble.

What: Fiddle is Flood, a chapbook of poems by Lauren Gordon

Wait, what? What's a chapbook? A chapbook is a slim little book, often handmade, that's one-third to one-half the length of a full-length book. In addition to their small physical size, chapbooks tend to be thematically tighter than longer books. Read more about what a chapbook is here

Recommended For: Anyone who loved Little House on the Prairie; anyone who hated Little House on the Prairie. Also note: we recommend this book for high school students, as it tackles sex and death head on. 

Why We Like It: Fiddle is Flood takes the sanitized universe of Little House on the Prairie and reinserts what Laura Ingalls Wilder (and her daughter-cum-editor Rose Wilder Lane) left out--you know, the hard stuff about growing up and being a pioneer. In Lauren Gordon's own words, "these poems explore identity, gender, grief, sexuality, and oppression against the context of American history, ghost-writing, and young, female literature." Like the best poems, they take a world you thought you had under control and make it wild and disturbing and alive. Check out this poem about killing a pig:

The Pig’s Death Squeal

makes us squirm
and cling under
the muslin sheets

we ate his brains
blew his bladder
to a balloon kiss

Pa lets little girls
eat the curly
curly tails

all good dogs
get their reward
and young ladies

get theirs, too
because sap
runs greener

where the sun sets
Jack, friend, fiend
running and green

(poem reprinted with permission of the poet. originally published in Luna Luna Magazine.)

Read More: Buy a copy here. Read more of the poems here and here and here.

More About the Author: Visit Lauren Gordon on the web here

NaPoWriMo Poem by You #28: Just Kidding by Abadullah Sheikh

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

"Aisle" by Alan Smythee. Via  Flickr  and courtesy a  Creative Commons  license.

"Aisle" by Alan Smythee. Via Flickr and courtesy a Creative Commons license.

Just Kidding

They'll never think about what they say
they will tell me to blow something up,
then say that they were
just kidding
a kid on my bus
he never thinks about what he says
he always says that he is just kidding
but not to me
it’s not a joke
he always takes my bookbag
and checks it for bombs
he makes fun of my religion
it does not affect me
I'm proud of who I am

I got used to it by now
there was almost always one kid who stood up for me.
one kid who stood up
almost always the same person

It gets dialed down then it gets built back up
it happens sometimes
then they hit me with the just kidding
I am not sure they are
I think they are serious
they even seem serious

I am proud of who I am
they do not affect me
they were just kidding

by Abadullah Sheikh, grade 7, Hawthorne Scholastic Academy