April 2013



We announced a KAKALAK Revival in December for 2013. Since then, we've set up a link from our home page to a special KAKALAK 2013 page. Obviously, this is not a matter of importance to all newsletter subscribers since less than a third of you are from North and/or South Carolina, but those who are, poets in particular, this is another opportunity for publication and for prize money. Those of you who were not around for the original KAKALAK may not realize that we have changed the prize money. We decreased the top money and increased the number of runners up and honorable mentions receiving cash. We did this with the hopes that there would be greater participation.

Richard Taylor, Beth Cagle, and Lisa Zerkle--the founders and editors of the original KAKALAK--have also sent out notices to their email lists to let their former subscribers know and to generate interest. Right now, the participation is meager. We hope it's because the contest reading period has just begun and submissions will peak as the deadline nears.

One thing we have not seen: a single entry for photographs and cover art--both of which also have cash prizes.

If you are a poet or photographer in the Carolinas or if you know someone who is, please make them aware of this contest. We're not advertising it nationally with our other Calls for Manuscripts and contests because it is a regional anthology.

We hope readers will participate or refer someone who will. For details, please visit the KAKALAK 2013 page: http://mainstreetrag.com/Kakalak%202013.html


This week in the Main Street Rag Family Blog we talk about manuscript titles... sort of.
If you want to know more, you'll just have to read it.

The address is: http://mainstreetrag.wordpress.com/


The deadline to submit something for the PORCHES anthology is coming FAST--April 30th.

As of this posting, we still don't have enough material submitted to create a healthy anthology. What do I consider a healthy anthology? For fiction-only anthologies, I like to see around 300 pages--give ot take 50. Why? Because I know what makes for a good price points when it comes to selling the anthology. The Porches Anthology is planned a mix of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and those kinds of anthologies can do well at even the 150-page level, but our target is more in the 200+ page range.

Which is all well and good on paper (monitor?), but the truth is, we are still receiving far more submissions for poetry than we are fiction or non-fiction and even if we take everything that's been submitted, we probably wouldn't reach the 200-page target.

The clock's ticking. Do you hear it? In two weeks we stop accepting submissions for this anthology. There will be no extension. If there is not enough enthusiasm for this theme to create a healthy anthology, we'll scratch it, return the work and move on to something else.

For details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/MSR_Short%20Fiction%20Anthology.html#anchor31232

To submit work: editor@mainstreetrag.com



You'd think I'd put this at the top of the list. Unfortunately, we had trouble contacting some of the people on our list. Part of the problem is the reason I have a difficult time finding people to work in the office. Don't get me wrong, I get plenty of applications, but the people who come looking for jobs here have a whole different perception of the publishing world. Most say they have editing experience and want to start at the bottom somewhere doing that.

There is no bottom in the editing area. That's as far up the ladder as a person can go without buying me out. So, I hire trainees and interns and pay them to maintain my databases. But many of these folks are going to school for writing or teaching; data entry is boring, not what they envisioned work at a publishing house would be, and hardly worthy of their time. Too many view the job as trivial and do it as if it doesn't matter. As a result, it costs me time to fix what they screw up. Time I'm sure my authors would prefer I devote to getting their books out on time.

I spent an hour and a half this morning (April 15) sifting through the hard copies of our contest entries because I couldn't trust the data I paid someone to enter. I wanted to make sure that the list of winners/runners up/honorable mentions was as accurate as possible for our readers. Welcome to the world of being a self-emplyed small business person.


Congratulations to Charlie Bondhus of Bridgewater, New Jersey. His manuscript, All the Heat We Could Carry won the 2013 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and will be published later this year.

Also offered publication are the following Runners Up: A Generation of Insomniacs by Anthony Frame, Toledo, OH; The Vocation of Illness by Cortney Davis, Redding, CT; Glimpses of a Forever-foreigner by Lawrence Matsuda, Seattle, WA; History of Grey by Kate Kingston, Trinidad, CO; How to Leave Your Husband by Sage Cohen; The Vocation of Illness by Cortney Davis, Redding, CT; Water Turning Red by Elisabeth Murawski, Alexandria, VA; When the World was Rear-wheel Drive by Timothy Walsh, Madison, WI. Honorable Mentions (also offered publication) include: Black & White, Red All Over by D.F. Brown, Houston, TX; The Distance to Nightfall by Patricia L. Hamilton, Jackson, TN; Hold Still by Terry Godbey, Orlando, FL; Soon I Will Build an Ark by Wendy Scott, Pittsburgh, PA



It's coming. I've seen the new design, sent off the files to populate the database, bought the new web address. We are on schedule to launch the ***NEW*** Main Street Rag Bookstore in mid-May.

This is exciting and scary since there will be a transitional period that will not make buyers or authors happy. Buyers will have problems because there will be overlaps between the old structure and the new. It may be difficult to order certain titles online for a while and even after the new links start to propagate, there will be ghost pages. I'm sorry, it's inevitable, but once the bugger gets going, it will be a whole new world.

Once loaded, buyers will be able to search by title, author name, ISBN, and genre through our new search engine. Searching by author will bring up every title Main Street Rag has published by that author and possibly even those not published by Main Street Rag. A search engine will allow us to add books from other publishers the same way we add our own and sort them.

Eventually, authors will love this new design because it makes it easier to find their books. What they won't like is that it is going to cost a huge amount of money to get it up and running. Because we need to limit expenses as much as possible, we must load it in stages. The first stage will load 100 titles. Included in that will be ALL of the Coming Soon titles and New Releases from the last 12 months. That's about 60 titles. That only leaves room for about 40 others to keep this within a budget we can afford. Those will be selected on the basis of how well they've sold over the last year. This means that some authors will not have their books in the new bookstore right away and THAT is what will upset them and no doubt cause me grief.

After the initial launch, we will load the rest of the titles as quickly as we can--which I'm sure won't be fast enough for some, but we are doing the best we can, given the expense. It may take six months (after launch) to finish and the truth is: some titles will not be loaded back on the website at all. There's not a lot of reason to spend time setting up a page for a five-year-old title that hasn't sold a copy in several years.

It's still exciting news. We you will watch for it next month: The NEW Main Street Rag Bookstore.


It's pretty well documented that I like to travel, but the last 12 months have been a big strain on my time. I've logged almost 20K driving miles and a few thousand more flying. Together, they've taken quite a bite out my available time for design and production. Travel in 2012--along with a computer crash in January--has put me three weeks behind schedule. I need to catch up. I'm going to take a break from traveling.

But not yet.

Thursday, April 18, I will be the Featured Reader at our monthly event at Lazy Lion Books, 601 E. Broad St. in Fuquay-Varina, NC. This is my last scheduled Main Street Rag road event until fall, so if you're in the Fuquay-Varina area this Thursday and haven't heard enough poetry this April, stop by to say Hey. I guarantee at least one surprise and I'm pretty sure this event is followed by a wine/beer/liquor event. At least, those are the rumors.


Main Street Rag co-sponsors regular monthly reading series in Charlotte, NC; Fuquay-Varina, NC; Hickory, NC; Kansas City, MO, Lincolnton, NC; Raleigh, NC. Since the MSR Monthly Newsletter is now posted online and we already have an Events Page online, rather than duplicate that space, here is a link to that page: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/events_page.htm

If you are interested in having Main Street Rag co-sponsor a regular monthly series in your area, contact me and we'll work out the details: editor@mainstreetrag.com



Before leaving for the AWP I made a big push to get new books on the website. All of these links are hot and will take readers to the authors' pages for details. Check them out.


Coming Soon:

Poetry Books (full length):

</war> by Chuck Rybak
Graffiti Signatures by Cody Todd (poetry)
Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing (poetry) by Lauren Schmidt
Gospel of Dust (poetry) by Joseph Ross
Sudden Country (poetry) by David Mills
As the Moon Has Breath (poetry) by Doris Ferlenger
Countries We Live In (poetry) by David Radavich

Poetry Chapbooks:

Cattails (poetry chapbook) by Kathy Nelson
Fantasies of Men (2012 Chapbook Contest Winner) by William Lusk Coppage
Recombinant Loves (chapbook) by Lisa Haag Kang
Scrap Metal Mantra Poems (chapbook) by Ken Meisel
Unwelcomed Guests (chapbook) by Nancy Richardson
What Remains (chapbook) by Caroline Maun
Wonderful Terrible (chapbook) by Dion N. Farquhar

Author's Choice Chapbooks:

Invitation (AC chapbook) by Michael Beadle
Vocation (AC chapbook) by Michael Gaspeny
Steeplechase (AC chapbook) by Jill Stein


The Remark by Brian Walter Budzynski (novella)
Salt in the Sugar Bowl by Angela Belcher Epps (novella)
Famous Last Lines by Mark Pearson (short stories)
Shug's Place
(a novel in stories) by Bob Strother

Learning Time (novel) by Kathie Giorgio
Find the Girl (novella) by Jan Stinchcomb
Infidelity (novella) by G.K. Wuori
Man of Clay (novella) by Courtney Bledsoe
Moroccan Tales of Love (novella) by Salma Ruth Bratt
Stalker (novella) by Charles C. Wilkinson

TWO CENTS (& some change)


You don't have to be a news junkie like me to know there is a major debate going on in America concerning gun control. On the far right you have the folks who think any restriction whatsoever is an infringement on their Second Amendment Rights. As a former gun owner, I don't want anyone telling ME I can't have a gun if I want one, but they damn sure better write a law to keep that jack ass neighbor of mine from getting one. He's as crazy as it gets. I could see him building a nest on his roof for a 50mm someday to pick off grade-schoolers who toss candy wrappers on his lawn. You know, he puts a lot of work into that lawn.

But I know, if I brought that scenario up to the NRA, their answer would be to arm the kids against such domestic threats.

These are the kinds of ridiculous ideas and answers that are being volleyed about by guns rights people. And there are people believing this chit. There are people who believe this is the first step toward the government disarming its citizens. They see the government as the enemy they arm themselves against. I really believe that we need to protect the rights of individuals to own firearms, but folks of this persuasion might be the exception. They are the very reason why we need stiffer gun laws.

In every state in America, you need a license to drive an automobile. You need to demonstrate proficiency to get that license. We don't grant driver's licenses to blind people. Why? Do I really need to explain? Are we infringing on a blind person's inalienable right to pursuit of happiness by forbidding him or her to drive? I don't think so. I think we are practicing common sense.

What about a repeat offender drunk driver? Does society have the right to protect itself from a person who may be suffering from a health disease (alcoholism) by revoking that person's driving privileges? I think the nearly unanimous answer is: Yes. I think most of us agree that this is an issue in which government has a responsibility to protect its citizens.

Government also has a responsibility to its citizens to protect them from weapons of mass destruction--and that's what weapons control laws are designed to do. It can't just be about whether someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness because ALL OF US have different levels of mental problems. Those who are the sickest, whose mental state is the most fragile, are often the least likely to be treated. Add the fact that you are threatening to remove something they view as an inalienable right and you magnify the paranoia we see organizations like the NRA feeding off of.

We already know that the only thing that stands a chance of passing through Congress is background checks and everything in the proposed bills is being watered down so that, once done, the new law won't do anything anyway. What bothers me most is the fact that Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Richard Burr and bunch of other right wing wackos were willing to filibuster to prevent a vote on gun control of any kind. Why does this bother me? Because these wackos are always whining about the forefathers and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and when 90% of Americans--the people they were elected to represent--90%--want some sort of gun control laws, their answer is to prevent a vote.

Excuse me for being naive, but this is supposed to be a democracy, right? Did I miss something? So, in OUR democracy, when the minority knows it can't win, they simply prevent a vote from happening. This is about as anti-American as it gets and this is just the tip of their iceberg. All across America, where Republicans have gained control of state legislatures, they are proposing and enacting laws to reward gerrymandering the electoral process. They are writing laws and executive orders to limit access to voting for minorities by cutting the hours for registration, eliminating early voting locations and limiting the times of day when these locations are accessible. They're trying to change the way electoral votes are counted to favor the conservative regions over areas that are predominantly liberal.

All of which is to say that Republicans are afraid of democracy. They are afraid of the people they allegedly represent and the Constitution they have been sworn to uphold. Every day they demonstrate more and more how scared they are, but they aren't the people who need to be afraid. It's We the People who need to be afraid. The far right is slowly taking control of every facet of our lives. They claim to be freeing us from the yoke of an oppressive government, but they're handing control of our lives over to a corporate oligarchy. I ask you: What is more diabolical, a government trying to regulate common sense or an unbribled private sector with one thing and only one thing as its motivating factor: profit?

Given what I've seen over the past two decades, I'll take the government over free enterprise since I can vote against those who don't do a good job--unless, of course, someone gerrymanders me into a district represented by an anti-democratic buffoon who won't allow a vote on common sense laws because his allegiance is to lobby groups and not the people back home. Having Richard Burr as a Senator is embarrassing and depressing enough.



It's too early to write conclusively about the bombings in Boston. I have friends there and I hope they are all well. It's also too early to speculate. I have a strong suspicion who is behind this, but I will reserve further comment for when the facts are revealed.


M. Scott Douglass
Main Street Rag
P.O. Box 690100
Charlotte, NC 28227


A Call for Essays. They publish a personal essay every quarter (pays $180). For consideration, send your essay to editor@charlestonstyleanddesign.com. For guidelines, visit http://ow.ly/cubYa

is seeking quality poetry, preferably no longer than 40 lines. Published semiannually, in Spring and Fall. Only unpublished work. No simultaneous submissions. Send 3-5 poems. Details: http://www.iodinepoetryjournal.com/

This is a contest-baed production for North and South Carolina residence only. We're looking for poetry and photography. Guidelines can be found at: http://mainstreetrag.com/Kakalak%202013.html

We are currently reading poetry, short fiction (for the magazine), essays, interviews, and reviews. These items are now email-only. Other guidelines have also been recently updated. Authors should visit the website prior to submitting any work. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/How2GetIn.html

MOONSHINE REVIEW seeks unpublished creative prose and photography. Please check website for guidelines before submitting: http://moonshinereview.wordpress.com/





NEW) A THEORY OF LIPSTICK by Karla Huston (Main Street Rag, 2013). Poetry. 90 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-407-5. $14. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/KHuston_2012.html

NEW) THE HUSH BEFORE THE ANIMALS ATTACK by Carol Matos (Main Street Rag, 2013). Poetry. 90 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-400-6. $14. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/CMatos.html

NEW) PLUM(B) by Kim Triedman (Main Street Rag, 2013). Poetry. 90 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-408-2. $14. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/KTriedman_2012.html

NEW) RIVER OF SARIS by Lavinia Kumar (Main Street Rag, 2013). Chapbook. 50 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-399-3. $11. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/LKumar.html

NEW) SWEET SOULS by Charles Blackburn (Main Street Rag, 2013). Chapbook. 44 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-398-6. $13.95. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/CBlackburn.html

(NEW) LUCKY BASTARD by Gary V. Powell (Mint Hill Books/Main Street Rag, 2013). Chapbook. 44 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-396-2. $11. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/MCrews.html

(NEW) HIGH GROUND by Jo Barbara Taylor (Main Street Rag, 2013). Author's Choice Chapbook. 48 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-418-1. $8. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/JoTaylor_2012.html

(NEW) MINI LOVE GUN by Kayla Sargeson (Main Street Rag, 2013). Author's Choice Chapbook. 44 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-416-7. $8. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/KSargeson.html

(NEW) COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER by Keith Flynn (Wings Press, 2013). Poetry. 97 pages. ISBN: 978-1-60940-294-5. $16. Details: www.wingspress.com

(NEW) SUBLIME BLUE by Pablo Neruda, translated by William Pitt Root (Wings Press, 2013). 79 pages. ISBN: 978-0-916727-87-1. $16. Details: www.wingspress.com

PALE BLUE MERCY by Sally Stewart Mohney (Main Street Rag, 2013). Author's Choice Chapbook. 44 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-417-8. $8. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/SMohney.html

DIGRESSIONS ON GOD by Emily Vogel (Main Street Rag, 2012). Author's Choice Chapbook. 36 pages. $8. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/EVogel.html

CINNAMON OF DESIRE by Jay S. Carson (Main Street Rag, 2012). Poetry. 88 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-394-8. $14. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/JCarson.html

NATURE'S WAY by John Wendel (Main Street Rag, 2012). nature/educational. 60 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-395-5. $12. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/JWendel.html

ORANGE FIRE by Judith R. Robinson (Main Street Rag, 2012). Poetry. 90 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-389-4. $14. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/JRRobinson.html(

LUCKY BASTARD by Gary V. Powell (Mint Hill Books/Main Street Rag, 2012). Novella. 340 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-382-5. $15.95. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/GPowell.html

TATTOOS edited by Alice Osborn (Main Street Rag, 2012). Short Fiction Anthology. 240 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-380-1. $14.95. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/Tattoos.html

KEEPING TRACK: FICTION OF LISTS edited by Yelizaveta P. Renfro (Main Street Rag, 2012). Short Fiction Anthology. 210 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-381-8. $14.95. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/KeepingTrack.html

AFTERMATH edited by Rayne Debski (Main Street Rag, 2012). Short Fiction Anthology. 350 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-384-9. $15.95. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/Aftermath.html

FOR(E)CLOSURE by Mary Weems (Main Street Rag, 2012). Poetry. 67 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-386-3. $14. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/MWeems.html

SHORTLY THEREAFTER by Colin D. Halloran (Main Street Rag, 2012). WINNER of the 2012 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. 83 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-383-2. $15. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/CHalloran.html

WAKING TO LIGHT by Phebe Davidson (Main Street Rag, 2012). Poems. 55 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-385-6. $14. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/PDavidson_2012.html

ATTORNEY-AT-LARGE by Gaynell Gavin (Main Street Rag, 2012). Novella. 98 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-378-8. $11. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/GGavin.html

TIME ON IT'S OWN by Kenneth Frost (Main Street Rag, 2012). Author's Choice Chapbook. 50 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-404-4. $8. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/KFrost_2.html

THE MASKED DEMON by Mark Spencer (Main Street Rag, 2012). Novella. 160 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-374-0. $11. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/MSpencer.html

BLUE SUBURBAN SKIES by Richard Peabody (Main Street Rag, 2012). Short Stories. 140 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-376-4. $11. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/RPeabody.html

MOUNTAIN MEMOIRS: AN ASHE COUNTY ANTHOLOGY edited by Chris Arvidson, Scot Pope, & Julie E. Townsend (Main Street Rag, 2012). Anthology. 150 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59948-379-5. $11. Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/MountainMemoirs.html



THE MAIN STREET RAG, Winter 2013, Details: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/store/NewReleases.php

IODINE POETRY JOURNAL, Fall/Winter 2012, Details: http://www.iodinepoetryjournal.com/IPJBookstore.html

THE GREENSBORO REVIEW, No. 92, Fall 2012, Details: http://tgronline.net/

COLD MOUNTAIN REVIEW, Vol. 41, No. 1, Fall 2012, Details: http://coldmountain.appstate.edu/

INTERNATIONAL POETRY REVIEW, Spring 2012, Details: http://www.uncg.edu/llc/about/poetryReview.html

THE LITERARY REVIEW, Volume 55, No. 04, Spring 2012, Details: http://www.theliteraryreview.org/

MOONSHINE REVIEW, Fall/Winter 2012, Details: http://moonshinereview.wordpress.com/order-the-latest-issue

THE CAROLINA QUARTERLY, Vol. 62, No. 3, Winter 2012, Details: www.thecarolinaquarterly.com


See you again next month.

M. Scott Douglass
Main Street Rag
PO Box 690100
Charlotte, NC 28227-7001