december nurtures writers and artists at every stage of their development. Through our semiannual literary journal, we champion the work of unheralded writers and artists; celebrate fresh concepts from seasoned voices; and advocate for our contributors in the literary, artistic, and general communities.
|Address:||P.O. Box 16130 |
St. Louis, MO 63105
december has a distinguished legacy of publishing the earliest work of little-known writers and artists, many of whom became major literary figures, including Rita Mae Brown, Raymond Carver, Philip Levine, Joyce Carol Oates, and Marge Piercy.
Literary journals such as december are an essential part of literary progress, providing necessary tools for the work of emerging and experimenting writers. Thoughtful reviews provide encouragement and facilitate development; published works and contests provide affirmation; and the publication itself encourages reading - without writing, there can be no readers, and without readers, there will be no writers. This concept is an important piece of december's mission; it is our goal to not only distribute december, a nonprofit, high-quality, semi-annual literary magazine filled with thought-provoking poetry, prose, and visual art, but also to create community among its writers and artists, and the general public.
december was created to:
1. Encourage and promote literary excellence and the literary arts;
2. Educate students and emerging authors in literary and journalistic techniques and methods;
3. Publish on a nonprofit basis meritorious works of new and emerging authors of fiction, nonfiction, plays, poetry, essays, opinion, and analysis relating to public policy, film, theater, dance, music, literature, culture and art;
4. Promote literary excellence and the development of new writers and emerging authors through the sponsorship of writing contests; and
5. Providing internship opportunities for students and young adults interested in pursuing careers in literature or nonprofit organizations.
In addition to the publication, december promotes the work of its contributors by hosting open-to-the-public reading events, entitled "december Presents… in conjunction with each issue's publication and generally held at a cooperative arts venue within St. Louis. These readings are intended to connect readers and writers, to bring people together to experience the pleasure of literary works and to put a face to the work in the journal. Audience members have attended out of simple curiosity, or for the food and drink, or because of their personal connection to a literary friend, fellow student, or december magazine staff. At each event, people have left with an extremely positive view of one or more of the authors, pieces of work or literature in general; the local literary audience has been enlarged and/or reinvigorated; and subscriptions have been sold, all of which furthers december's mission of championing the work of its writers and artists.
december is committed to educating students about poetry and writing, and encouraging performance art. The creation of an after-school spoken-word poetry club, facilitated by december staff and volunteers, has been established at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls, a St. Louis charter school. We plan to use this as a prototype to start similar clubs at other schools in our city, as spoken-word poetry and participation in Poetry Slam competitions spreads across the country.
COMMENTS FROM A GRANTING ORGANIZATION
December Magazine is a quality publication supported by the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. The publication is outstanding combined with the fact that the magazine serves established authors and focuses on emerging and unpublished writers. The ongoing collaboration with a variety of organizations enriches the literary programs while also providing new venues and audiences for events and readings. I recently attended an event at the World Chess Hall of fame that was standing room only, very interesting and also entertaining, with good food also. The excellent content with the integration of other art forms into the magazine makes it a very engaging magazine.
Kellie Trivers, Commissioner, Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis
COMMENTS FROM A HOST VENUE
The World Chess Hall of Fame was pleased to open our doors to your large and lively crowd attending the "december Uncorked" reading event at our facility. We were so happy to discover guests who were heretofore unfamiliar with the historical elements the game of chess and its connection to art and culture, wandering our galleries and viewing our many displays. Furthermore, the numerous gift items purchased by your guests at our gift shop furthers our mission, and was extremely welcome. Our event manager, and the WCHOF volunteers who were able to witness the readings ,were extremely impressed by the content as well as the very nice turnout. We understand that december magazine is working to touch the community in a variety of ways, and is clearly bringing an enjoyable and educational experience to all.
Lauren Stewart, Development Manager, World Chess Hall of Fame and Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
COMMENTS FROM SUBSCRIBERS
I just received my first issue of DECEMBER and it is absolutely stunning. I am overjoyed to have come across this literary magazine and am looking forward to many years of reading discoveries and delights. Pattee Fletcher - New subscriber
I got my copy of 26.1 yesterday and stayed up until 1 AM reading it. It is absolutely outstanding. The quality of the writing is uniformly excellent (and makes me proud I had a piece published in a previous issue), the art you chose to include is terrific, beautifully reproduced, "suitable for framing." I even like the smell of it - I used to work in a print shop and still love the smell of "fresh" ink. Please pass on my appreciation to everyone who made the selections that form the issue. Great work! Buff Whitman-Bradley - Poet, Contributor
I plan to continue subscribing, mostly because I find the curation of the material in the actual journal to be professional, inspiring and surprising.
Gary Belsky, Former Editor-in-Chief of ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com
december is my favorite literary magazine. The care of editing and printing, selection of materials, honor the printed word. I will champion december because I believe in its purpose, tradition, and effect.
Grace Cavalieri, Nationally recognized poet, Host of Public Radio's "The Poet and the Poem" for 37 years
COMMENTS FROM REJECTED SUBMITTERS
Thank you for a thoughtful response! I'm disappointed of course, but this at least gives me something to work on in revision, and I really appreciate that. While rejection is an accepted part of the writer's life, sometimes you just want to know what the hell is wrong with your submission. It's really nice to have someone just give it to you straight. Thanks again, and I hope to work with you in the future.
Jenna-Marie Warnecke, Published freelance writer
I don't want to take up too much more of your time, but I did want to write to say thank you, a million times over, for your thoughtful and helpful critique of my story. I am really astounded at your taking the time to provide this, and I want you to know that I will revise with these ideas and suggestions in mind. Thank you!
Shannon Reed - Instructor, University of Pittsburgh
Thank you so much for taking the time to offer some encouraging feedback. I understand the time required to reply personally, and it's much appreciated. I certainly will remember december for my future submissions. All the best in the new year to your staff, Nancy Carol Moody - Poet, Author of 3 books
This is the best rejection letter I've ever received. Thank you. Tom Griffen - Writer
I've been writing poetry for about 20 years now, and I can truly say that in the many years I've been sending poems out to journals, I can count on the fingers of one hand the editorial responses I've received in return that have been as focused, candid, helpful, and encouraging as this that I received today from you. I mean that; I couldn't be more grateful.
All best wishes to you, and for your own writing. Steve Myers - Author of 3 poetry collections, Pushcart Prize Winner
This was the best rejection ever. Sent another piece I hope works better. Donna Marsh - Instructor, Syracuse University
Thanks for your personal response. I appreciate the time you took to write your thoughts about my submission. It is most unusual and most appreciated. I certainly will keep you in mind for future submissions.
Best, Tom Daley - Poet, Playwright, Workshop Leader, Boston
COMMENTS ABOUT QUALITY OF DECEMBER
i like the reincarnation of december even better than the first version. I think it's better-looking and more eclectic, more open. I have appreciated being published in it and have enjoyed reading it.
Marge Piercy - NYTimes best seller and award-winning American poet, novelist, and social activist.
Emerging writers who submit work to december will find a willing, astute editorial staff. If they seek publication at december, emerging writers will already be "in the know" about contemporary craft in all its variety, and they will have some sense of the legacy of december, whose roots are in the forward guard of writers; thus, by submitting to december they will be measuring their work against high standards of originality and they themselves will strive toward greater possibilities as writers. If emerging writers are invited to serve as editorial staff for december, they will join an especially well regarded group of editors, serve as readers for significant literature, and further develop their own craft as writers by virtue of camaraderie and the frequently outstanding and consistently excellent work that reaches the desks of december staffers. One can't say enough good things about the reincarnation: high level artistic work is not an everyday event, so readers and contributors alike can be grateful not only for the beautiful incarnation of december today but for the high watermark that the published work itself has established since the rebirth of the magazine.
Steven Schreiner, Associate Professor, Director, MFA Program, University of Missouri - St. Louis
I am very impressed with the inviting choices december has made in regard to the paper stock, typeface, and graphic design for the covers and backs of the magazine. The magazine looks and feels seductive in the best way! Sally Van Doren - prize-winning poet
There is an incredible sense of vibrancy and optimism surrounding december, and that was reflected in the reading, its audience, venue and readers.
Gary Belsky - Best selling non-fiction author
COMMENTS ABOUT NUTURING WRITERS
To me one of the best benefits in publishing in december for an emerging writer is Gianna's unflagging commitment to nurturing and supporting her contributors.
Sally Van Doren - Prize-winning poet
It has changed my life to find you and others to whom my work speaks. I feel freer to write where I'm drawn because it no longer seems so lonely there. It is profoundly gratifying to be able to make something of value to others, especially when you've spent a long time trying to learn how without knowing whether or not you'll ever be able to. With abundant appreciation,
Karen Holman - Poet
Once again your email is great news! I'm ecstatic. It's hard to relate just how much your award and nomination mean to me. Over the years, I've been trying to convince my wife I could devote my life to creative writing, perhaps taking a less demanding day job. She typically nods and agrees but somehow I've always felt her ambiguity. Yesterday, I told her I received december's Pushcart nomination. This morning she said creative writing is no longer my hobby, it's my responsibility. I feel that way too. With big appreciation and a smile I wish you could see,
Garet Lahvis, Ph.D., Assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine, winner of december Magazine's Curt Johnson Prose Award in Nonfiction.
The event could not have been better presented. The location was gorgeous and inspiring, and both december and the audience were generous in their support and comradery. The readers were quite diverse, though all uniquely powerful in their content and presentation. Although I was only familiar with one of the other readers, everyone felt like old friends by the close of the evening. Our poetry worked well together, and the audience felt wholly engaged throughout. december was so gracious in their reader introductions, their careful event preparations, their catering, and they made an already lovely evening all the more rewarding.
John Sibley Williams, American poet and fiction writer
I am more than a painter, more than an artist, I am a fan. I love writing, I love reading a book! As a visual artist, look at this space where I and my peers have the opportunity to display our work. We can exchange images so easily. And writers need spaces too that promote their work, that value their work. You are creating a space in december for these exchanges between visual artists and writers and between writers and people who appreciate writing. This is a wonderful space and we need more of them . . .
Alexandra Grant, Los Angeles Artist of the Year, uses language as a source for imagery in sculpture, painting, drawing, and video.
COMMENTS ABOUT NURTURING READERS
The reading strengthened my appreciation of the value of a well-run, and well-presented poetry reading. There was a thoughtful selection of poets and poems, The poets were clearly glad to be reading with each other, and the audience was quite appreciative. The fact that people lingered at the reception, the room humming with good conversations, said a lot. I understand from the organizers that several people bought copies of the journal and subscriptions to it, further indicating the overall opinion of those who were fortunate enough to attend.
Sunil Freeman, Assistant Director, The Writers Center, Bethesda, MD, author of 2 books of poems
What an evening - I am so overwhelmed, delighted, just absolutely honored to be a contributor, and that you asked me to be a reader for your annual event - well, I was (am) just over the moon! Thank you so much for your support, encouragement and enthusiasm - but most of all, for the investment and toil - love and commitment -to revive and run a literary journal . Without it, where would writers share a venue? Readers, exposure to great poems and stories? Amazing, what you've done - thrilled to have been there.
Jen Logan Meyer - Arts professional, Washington University, St. Louis