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The Two Cities Review Podcast

tcpodcastlogoReaders, I must share with you an exciting new project that I’ve been working on along with my co-editor at Two Cities Review. We couldn’t be more excited about our newest venture, the Two Cities Review Podcast.

From the beginning of our little magazine’s inception, we always knew we wanted to create a magazine that captured the complexity of modern urban life. That meant seeking out stories about bridging the gaps between dreams and reality, between geography and localness, between technology and human connection. We always wanted our magazine to be a media-rich publication, a digital experience that actually took advantage of its digital format. So a podcast was pretty much inevitable. The podcast as a form is experiencing a golden age these days; we’re surrounded by a great richness of story, delivered in a way that lets you listen at all hours of the day. And Two Cities Review, we knew, should be participating in that great urban flow of anytime, anywhere story.

Our podcast will be a mixture of us and you. That is, you’ll hear from us each episode, talking about what it takes to create the issue; you’ll get insights from us into our editorial process, what makes us accept or reject a story, and why we do or don’t love a piece. We’ll answer your questions about being editors and writers and what we’re looking for. But the podcast will also be a dialogue with our magazine. We’ll share our authors, reading their poems and stories, and we’ll interview authors too, getting their special insight into the process of creating their wonderful work. We will be cheerleaders, enthusiasts, and discriminators. We will try to give you a little window into what it’s like to be a gatekeeper in the literary world, but we’ll also let your words sing.

We plan to have a new episode appear on the website and iTunes (coming soon) every two weeks. It will give you a whole new dimension of the current issue, and a whole new dimension of understanding into the editorial process.

Listen to the podcast

Issue 7 of Two Cities Review is Here!

Cities_Issue_7_webI’m excited to report that the issue my co-editor and I have been working very hard on, our special Fall Contest issue, is now available to be read online at Take a sneak peek at the letter from the editors here:

IN THE FIRST YEAR AND A HALF SINCE WE BECAME A MAGAZINE, we have published poems, stories, essays and artwork by over 100 different authors, featured written and audio versions of creative work on our blog and run our very first prose contest. Having lived in several different cities, we realize that every city has its ups and downs. Whether it is the weather or the public transit or just the people you spent time with there, each city has its own unique blend of wonderful and gritty, inspiring and burdensome.

For our first contest, we sought stories and essays that examined the underside of cities. We received submissions about shootings and natural disasters, inmates and family members, growing up and growing old. We are excited to share the winners and runners-up from our contest in this special “Cities Gone Wrong” edition of Two Cities Review. We have included some poetry and art that we received during the same submission period that also fit the theme.

There’s much to be excited about at Two Cities as our magazine and website continue to evolve. We want to take advantage of all the forms of art that an online issue allows, so you can expect more use of audio and a soon-to-be-announced serial project. We can’t wait to present new visions of the literary city in upcoming issues.

We hope to make our contest an annual event; thank you all for your support of our writers and our magazine.

Happy reading!
Blair Hurley & Olivia Tandon

Read the new issue here

New Story Available at Day One Lit Mag

Readers, I’m excited to announce that a short story of mine, “Grimalkins”, is now available for download in Amazon’s online literary magazine, Day One. The story can be read on any Kindle or any Kindle app for iPhone or Android.

I worked hard on this story, which is loosely inspired by my stay at an artists’ colony and the very interesting characters one meets there. Somehow the story ended up being about motherhood and the gulf that exists between young and older artists as well.

Please support this writer by buying an issue or subscribing — there are some really excellent poems and stories to be read in the issues. Here’s the link:

Amazon: Day One

New Stories Available Online

I’m so pleased to say a couple of new short fiction pieces by me have appeared online. The flash fiction piece “Bats” is available to read at Lumina, and another short piece, “Decide”, is up at a literature blog I love, The Toast. Have you checked these guys out yet? I’d love to have more readers, and I’m proud to be among some wonderful pieces of fiction there.

Both of these pieces were written very quickly this spring as I tried my hand at a bit of flash fiction. While fictional in plot, the emotions behind both of these were heartfelt, and the stories poured out of me with very little revision. Every now and then it happens that way, and it makes the months of tough slogging worth it.

Read Our One-Year Anniversary Issue of Two Cities

Hello readers! If you’re familiar with Writerly Life, you’re aware that I also work as co-editor of a fresh, sparkling, disturbing and delightful online literary magazine, Two Cities Review. I’m very proud to report that we’ve officially been in business for a year, and are launching our fifth issue, the special one-year anniversary issue, today.

Please do head on over to read our latest issue of Two Cities Review, admire the beautiful imagery, and spread the word among readers and writers alike. We’re really excited about this one and I hope you will be too.

Read more

New Prose Contest at Two Cities Review

Deadline: March 1, 2015

We’re excited to announce the inception of Two Cities’ very first contest! Beginning December 1, 2014, we will accept entries for a contest with a prize of $250 for each winner in the Fiction and Nonfiction categories.

The theme of our contest is CITIES GONE WRONG. We’re looking for your dystopian societies, your transportation nightmares, your Hurricane Sandy disasters, your emotional state when the city fell apart around you, or your stories of how a bad breakup changed the way you looked at the city forever. Show us the dark underbelly or the dangerous and liberating side of the city. Above all we love inventive, top-quality writing. You may interpret this theme in any way you wish, as long as the writing is vivid, the story is riveting, and the characters are unforgettable.

GUIDELINES: There is a $5 entry fee for each genre of submission. A prize of $250, and publication in our fall issue, will go to the winner of both the fiction and nonfiction categories. Submit previously unpublished work of up to 5,000 words. We reserve the right to cancel the contest and issue refunds of entry fees if there is insufficient enrollment. Submissions will also be considered for general publication in the magazine. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015.

Boston Launch Party!

At our second launch party in Boston, we rocked the Middlesex Lounge. We introduced the mission of Two Cities, held a raffle, heard contributor L. Michael Hager read from his work, and met some great new literary friends. Thanks to everyone who came out for the event, and thanks as well to our wonderful writers.

Here’s our reader, L. Michael Hager:

This means that issue 1 is officially launched! You can read it online at our Current Issue page, or you can buy a print copy online at the following link, at Lulu:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Keep following us for more thoughts on the city literary life, and don’t forget to Submit your work for our summer issue of Two Cities Review!

We Did It!

GREAT news, readers — Two Cities Review‘s Kickstarter campaign has been successfully funded! That means we’ll be able to launch our first issue and give it the support and attention it needs to be great. Thank you tremendously for your support; if you’re a backer, you’ll soon be receiving news via email about what rewards are available and how to make sure you receive them. You can expect plenty of exciting updates to come about our launch parties in Boston and New York and the work that will be appearing in our first issue. But there’s one thing you won’t have to read anymore: that’s me begging you for support!

Spread the word about our first issue, which we are targeting for a March release, and stay tuned to hear more reflections on city life and information about our launch. Thanks again, backers!

New From Two Cities: Marathon Madness

I can’t resist posting what is appearing on Two Cities today: my co-editor is brave and foolish enough to be running in the New York marathon, and she’s writing about it. Check out an excerpt here right now, and read on at Two Cities Review.

Tomorrow, I will be doing something crazy. I will be waking up early, putting on some spandex, taking the subway to the Staten Island Ferry and then running for 26.2 miles. For the first time ever, I will be running the NYC Marathon.

Running a marathon has been a bucket list item for me since I was a child, but it was one of those things I never actually thought I would do. You see, I actually hate running. But, growing up in Boston, the marathon was always a huge deal. I knew people who ran it every year, who raised money for charity, who trained all year for Heartbreak Hill. We had the day off from school and would pile out on to Comm Ave to watch the marathoners run by. I always dreamed it would someday be me, but at the back of my mind, I didn’t really believe it would ever happen.

Yet, here I am. I moved to New York, got a job and started dating a great guy who is now my husband. When he started running seriously, I said what the heck, might as well try. And after a couple years of regular racing, we qualified for the marathon by running 9 qualifying races and volunteering for 1 event. Now the moment is here and I’m excited, nervous and most of all, hungry.

Read on at Two Cities Review

New from Two Cities: Two Cities Within One

There’s a new post up at Two Cities Review! Read an excerpt below, and be sure to click on to read the rest.

Image from Google Maps

So many cities around the world are defined by the rivers whose banks they hug, or the bridges that straddle them, and Boston is no different. In fact, I’ve been throwing the term “Boston” around pretty loosely, but of course Boston is often used as shorthand for the two brotherly cities on either side of the Charles River — Boston and its companion, Cambridge. They have their own mayors, their own city councils, their own competing farmer’s markets and museums; but residents of either tend to jump back and forth very freely, and will say they’re from Boston to outsiders when they really live in Cambridge. I’m one of those folks.

Locals know that there’s a slightly different tone and personality to be found on either side of the river. While Boston is the sleek cultural hub, home of Copley Square, the massive historic Boston Public Library, and most of the Revolutionary War monuments, Cambridge is Boston’s liberal hippie cousin. Here, the city of Cambridge compensated same-sex married couples who weren’t receiving federal benefits, pledging to make up the difference until the law was changed (and thankfully, it has). Here, helpful guides will tell you what part of your garbage is compostable and each new building is competing to be even more sustainable. But Cambridge is also home to rough parts, rundown neighborhoods; it’s holding hands with its roughneck cousin Somerville, which is only just starting to hipsterize…

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