In support of Literary Journals…a free gift to all writers. By Wilson Wyatt, Executive Editor, Delmarva Review


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Delmarva Review, Volume 11 – evocative prose and poetry

One of the great ironies in the writing business is the persistent misunderstanding by many writers of the purpose of literary journals.  Message to writers: We’re not against you; we exist for you.

Here is a good example of the potential value of literary reviews. Recently I received a personal email from an aspiring poet thanking us, as the editors of Delmarva Review, for printing his work four years earlier. We had published six of his poems, as a collection, to show the strength of his voice. In his email, the poet explained that our belief in his work bolstered his perseverance to write his best work, which resulted in a publisher producing his first book, as well as his receiving a National Endowment for the Arts literary fellowship.

He was excited; he shared his exhilaration. As executive editor, I felt we had received the ultimate reward for our efforts. Delmarva Review had succeeded in meeting a major objective—to encourage writers in their pursuit of literary excellence. It was working.

However, my sense of satisfaction was short-lived.

Later that day, I attended a writers’ reading at a local library. I enjoy hearing authors tell their stories in their unique voice. One of the writers came up to me to complain, with some bitterness, that after several repeated rejections, that person would never again submit to our journal. It was disheartening, but I listened. I explained why acceptance in Delmarva Review was competitive and to keep trying. Reliance on high standards assures a publication that earns respect throughout the literary community. That respect is totally transferrable to the writers whose work we publish.

We receive thousands of submissions annually. At least two experienced editors or readers read every one of them (at no cost to the writer). If a writer’s work is accepted, it is an accomplishment. Our readers–who include writers, editors and teachers–should expect to read a higher quality of writing in a literary journal than in a standard commercial magazine or book.

Unfortunately, rejection is a necessary part of the process. Any way you say it, rejection is rejection.

About rejection – We editors often tell each other that experienced writers understand rejection. But, the truth is, we’re all human, and one of the fallacies of human behavior is the frequent inability by artists, experienced or not, to recognize and appraise the limits of their own writing. Self-appraisal of an author’s writing is usually tainted by bias. Hopefully, we all like our own work. That’s only the beginning. Developing the ability to make a realistic assessment and knowing where to market one’s work is very, very difficult. But, not to try assures the hardness of rejection.

Speaking for Delmarva Review, we created it for the benefit of writers. “Literary” refers to writing that rises to a high artistic level. Cutting through a lot of philosophical thought, it is simply the pursuit of the best of literary art and beauty.  It is beyond craft.  Literary journals help assure a societal pathway toward continued literary excellence.

The literary journal gives writers an opportunity to publish their best efforts, a place to showcase their highest aspirations, and to be recognized for it. At a time when so many commercial publications are retracting, or going out of business, journals offer a respected, permanent place to print the best writing a writer can create. We have no other agenda. We are independent. We are nonprofit, and our editors draw no salaries. We care about the appearance of the writer’s words on a printed page and the thoughts behind them. Above all, we hope that our discoveries become the discoveries of other discerning readers and publishers who actively seek the best writing they can find.

The benefit to us is the reward of knowing that we have encouraged writers to exceed by offering a possible venue for their most creative expression.

So…don’t give up. If you’re a writer, a literary journal like Delmarva Review is your friend. We take pleasure in discovering your best. Rejection may or may not be a part of that process. But, if you try, you may very well succeed at something very special, very fulfilling.

For information and submissions, see our new website:

Announcing the 11th Delmarva Review…a literary journal of exceptional prose and poetry


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Delmarva Review, Volume 11, cover photograph “Sharps Island Light” by Jay Fleming

Welcome to Delmarva Review, Volume 11, a literary journal publishing exceptional new writing.  With humble deference to the great literature of the ages, this collection of poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction is proof that all stories have not already been told.  Here, each writer gives us an original, new voice.  The creative pen endures.

A common theme emerges from this year’s writing: the discovery or realization of one’s individuality, frequently during difficult times.  Adversity leaves its impression on one’s identity; it shapes us.  It can also be celebrated.  Individuality and creativity are inseparable.

As a journal, the review’s focus is on the voice and literary qualities of authors’ work to tell their stories.  We are impressed by the courage and clarity of a writer to reveal skillfully a personal feeling or truth that will be remembered.  They represent human challenges in a changing world.  In most cases, the stories take on more than one meaning. In all cases, the voice is authentic.

Our editors selected the work of 45 authors that stood out from thousands of submissions.  Enclosed are 57 poems, 10 short stories, 11 nonfiction and four micro nonfiction selections.  We also reviewed five recent books by regional writers.  In all, the authors come from 19 states and two other countries.

Delmarva Review was created to offer writers a valued venue to publish literary writing in print at a time when many commercial publications were shutting their doors or limiting literary content.  We still favor the permanence of the printed word, but we also publish an electronic edition to meet the digital preferences of many readers.  Both print and electronic editions are immediately available at, Kindle, and other major online booksellers.

Submissions are welcome from all authors who pursue literary writing (writing as an art).  Our editors read each submission.  Since the first issue, we have published the new work of over 300 writers from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and 10 foreign countries.  Fifty-one percent are from the tri-state Delmarva and Chesapeake Bay region. Over 50 have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and others have received notable mentions in Best American Essays and other literary publications.

Delmarva Review is an independent, nonprofit literary journal supported by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues from the Maryland State Arts Council, and from individual tax-deductible contributions.

As the editor, I am deeply appreciative of the personal dedication of our genre editors, each utilizing their experience and skill to select compelling fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction from thousands of writers every year.  The editors and advisors include: Bill Gourgey, Managing Editor, Harold O. Wilson, Fiction Editor, Anne Colwell, Poetry Editor, Cheryl Somers Aubin, Nonfiction Editor, James O’Sullivan, Fiction Reader, Wendy Elizabeth Ingersoll, Poetry Reader, Gerald F. Sweeney, Book Review Editor, Jodie Littleton, Copy Editor, and Michael Pretl, Legal Advisor.

Wilson Wyatt, Executive Editor

Submissions period open from November 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 for Volume 12, publishing in the fall, 2019.



Mark Twain’s “The Gilded Age, A Tale of To-Day” – New memories from an old book


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1895 edition of The Gilded Age, A Tale of To-Day

AT YEAR’S END, I can’t help but feel some sense of introspection. This year, I opened an 1895 edition of The Gilded Age, A Tale of To-Day, by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. It was Twain’s novel about the turn of the century. The book was a gift to me from my father, who passed away in 1996.

When the book was published, the term “Gilded Age” became synonymous with graft, materialism, and corruption in public life. The plot opens as a poor Tennessee family, the Hawkins family, dreams of affluence by selling 75,000 acres of worthless Appalachian land acquired by their patriarch, Silas Hawkins. Truth, lies, and exaggeration color aspirations shaped by want, greed, and deceit. Mark Twain’s wonderfully sarcastic wit and his gift for description present an era of uncanny resemblance to the politics of today. The subtitle, containing the words “To-Day,” remains as current as human behavior’s lack of change.

In the 1950’s, my father bought some of the Cumberland mountain land once owned by Mark Twain, and I remember our family visits to that region. I remember the Obed River, where the “gold” glistening along the stream in the afternoon sun was actually iron-stained rock from abandoned coal mines.

Having recently read two wonderful memoirs, Hillbilly Elegy (by J.D. Vance) and The Glass Castle (by Jeannette Walls), along with a fine historic book, Night Comes to the Cumberlands (by Harry Caudill), Twain’s description of the rugged East Tennessee hills comes alive with relevance.

More important to me, I can now see how reading The Gilded Age directly affected my father’s views of public service as well as providing for his family. I’ll be writing more about this. But, for now, I’ll enjoy turning the brittle pages, carefully, of this 1895 edition by Mark Twain…savoring his descriptions of the age…with relevance today.

First page, Chapter I, The Gilded Age, original illustrated edition – click on image to enlarge



Delmarva Review’s 10th Edition features 40 writers – New Submissions period is open


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I am pleased to publish “Delmarva Review” announcements on my blog, as chairman of the editorial board and executive editor.  All of us are proud of its continued progress over 10 years to publish outstanding literary work. – Wilson Wyatt

Delmarva Review announced publication of its tenth annual literary journal presenting original poetry, short stories and nonfiction from 40 authors in 18 states. The Review welcomes submissions from all writers.

“The tenth anniversary issue touches on the themes of change and hope,” said Emily Rich, editor of the tenth edition. “Amidst the uncertainties of life, people grasp for what is eternal in the human condition.”

The 2017 first place winner of Chesapeake Voices Prose Contest is featured in this edition. The short story, “The Future is Not For Sale,” by Jeremy Griffin, of South Carolina, was hailed by contest judge Laura Oliver, of Maryland, as “sophisticated with especially strong characterization.”

Editors selected 41 new poems, 11 short stories, five nonfiction essays, and five book reviews for the tenth edition.

Since its first year, the journal has printed the original literary work of over 280 authors. Some are newly discovered. In all, they have come from 35 states, the District of Columbia, and 10 other countries. About half are from the Delmarva and Chesapeake region. Fifty-three works have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and some have received notable mentions in anthologies and critical journals.

Delmarva Review is published by the Delmarva Review Literary Fund (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit), supported by individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The submission period for the 2018 issue is open now through March 31, 2018. Submission guidelines are posted on the website

The journal produces print and electronic editions. Both are available worldwide via and other online booksellers. It is downloadable in a digital format for tablets, computers, smart phones, and other reading devices. Two-year subscriptions are available at a discount through the website. 

Delmarva Review’s New Cover – 10th Anniversary


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Photographer Calvin “Cal” Jackson’s color image “Recycle” was selected for the tenth anniversary cover of the Delmarva Review, to be published on November 1.

Photograph “Recycle” by Cal Jackson – Click on photo for full size image

Cal Jackson’s cover image “Recycle” shows shucked oyster shells, in rustic old bushels, to spread on bay oyster beds, providing a solid hold for oyster larvae and a future crop of oysters. The photographer, from Easton, MD exhibits at galleries and shows in Baltimore, Easton, Cambridge and Chestertown, MD, as well as Brooklyn, New York. He’s a retired accountant and former audit manager for information technology with the U.S. Army.

The Delmarva Review is a nonprofit literary journal publishing compelling new poetry, fiction and nonfiction from writers within the region and beyond. It celebrates its 10th anniversary edition in November. The Review is supported by the Eastern Shore Writers Association, individual contributions, and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The next submission period for literary work and cover art is from November 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, for the eleventh edition. See the website for information, at

Delmarva Review Reading . . . the voices behind the words


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At The Writer’s Center, one of the premier writing centers in the United States, six authors were invited to a public “reading” honoring The Delmarva Review’s eighth edition. Reading from their prose and poetry to a full house, on January 31, the authors expressed the feelings and emotions behind their writing. It was a transference of inspiration only possible by a live performance. . . a delightful event. The writers include:

Poet Sue Ellen Thompson reads from her celebrated book They, as the featured poet in The Delmarva Review, Volume 8.

Poet Sue Ellen Thompson, of Oxford, MD, reads from her celebrated book They, about acceptance, discovery and raising a transgender child. Ms. Thompson’s interview by poetry editor Anne Colwell is the cover feature in The Delmarva Review, Volume 8.     Click on the photo for a larger view

Anne Colwell, Poetry Editor of The Delmarva Review, introduces the poetry in the review and interviews Sue Ellen Thompson, the featured writer.

Anne Colwell, Poetry Editor of The Delmarva Review, introduces the Review’s poetry and interviews Sue Ellen Thompson, the featured writer. Ms. Colwell is an award-winning poet and English professor at University of Delaware.     Click on the photo for larger view

Poet Arden Levine, from Brooklyn, NY, reads from her poetry in the Review as well as a selection of her latest poems.

Poet Arden Levine, from Brooklyn, NY, reads from her poetry in the Review as well as a selection of her latest poems.     Click on the photo for larger view

Poet Wendy Mitman Clarke, of Maryland, reads her Pushcart Prize nominated poem "The Kiss," and other poems in the review.

Poet Wendy Mitman Clarke, of Maryland, reads her Pushcart Prize nominated poem “The Kiss,” and other poems in the Review. They are her first published poems.     Click on the photo for a larger view

Essayist Sheila Walker reads from her essay "Pacific America is so African," her first literary essay outside of academic journals. She is a cultural anthropologist from Washington, D.C.

Nonfiction author Sheila Walker reads from her essay “Pacific America is so African,” her first literary essay published outside of academic journals. She is a cultural anthropologist from Washington, D.C.     Click on the photo for a larger view

Novelist Neal Gillen reads from his memoir, "Northwest to Huguenot," in The Delmarva Review. Mr. Gillen is from Potomac, Maryland.

Novelist Neal Gillen reads from his memoir, “Northwest to Huguenot,” in The Delmarva Review. Mr. Gillen is from Potomac, Maryland.     Click on the photo for a larger view

The Writer’s Center, in Bethesda, Maryland, honored The Delmarva Review as a literary journal in the region that produces both print and electronic issues available worldwide (via and other major booksellers online). The current edition, Volume 8, contains the selected literary work of thirty-five authors from 12 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

Over its eight-year history the Review has published new work from 216 authors in twenty-seven states, the District of Columbia, and nine other countries. It is published by the Eastern Shore Writers Association to promote the literary arts.

Submissions: The Review welcomes new poetry, short fiction and nonfiction submissions, in English, from all writers regardless of residence. While submissions are competitive, each is read by more than one editor. The current submission period is open through March 31, 2016, for Volume 9. Please see the website for more information and Submission Guidelines: 










Public Radio Delmarva – Writers Edition celebrates “The Delmarva Review” and “How to Publish”


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Taping at WSDL 90.7 public radio celebrating the 8th edition of The Delmarva Review

Taping at WSDL 90.7 studio celebrating the 8th edition of The Delmarva Review – (left to right) poet Wendy Mitman Clarke, host and fiction editor Harold O. Wilson, nonfiction editor George Merrill, and author Jamie Brown

Tune in at 9 a.m., Friday (Nov. 27) to Delmarva Public Radio WSDL 90.7, or listen to the podcast link on their website, after the broadcast:  http: //

A special one-hour Writers Edition on Delmarva Public Radio features two subjects: first, a celebration of the 8th issue of The Delmarva Review, a highly regarded literary journal. Host Harold Wilson interviews Wendy Mitman Clarke, on poetry, George Merrill, on essays, Jamie Brown, on fiction, and executive editor Wilson Wyatt about the new issue featuring 35 authors. The Review’s submissions period is open now to March 31, 2016. All authors of literary work are welcome, regardless of residence. Submissions are competitive (see the website

Part 2 of the broadcast gives writers “how-to” information and tips on “publishing your own book.” Harold Wilson moderates the discussion with authors Neal Gillen (an authority on print-on-demand publishing), Bill Gourgey, managing editor of The Delmarva Review, and Wilson Wyatt, the Review’s executive editor. All have published books using the latest print-on-demand and digital technology.

Taping "How to Publish Your Book" at Delmarva Public Radio

Taping “How to Publish Your Book” at Delmarva Public Radio – (left to right) author Neal Gillen, radio host and author Harold O. Wilson, Bill Gourgey, author and managing editor of The Delmarva Review, and Wilson Wyatt, author and executive editor of the Review.

Delmarva Review publishes 8th edition . . . opens new submissions period for all writers


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Volume 8 - Evocative Prose and Poetry

The Delmarva Review, Volume 8 – Evocative Prose and Poetry 2015

The Delmarva Review announced publication of its eighth annual literary journal presenting compelling new prose and poetry from thirty-five writers in 12 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada.

“From the large number of submissions this year, we selected stories, essays, and poetry addressing a diversity of human themes, each one exploring the author’s unique voice and vision,” said Wilson Wyatt, executive editor.

The journal opens with a conversation between poetry editor Anne Colwell and poet Sue Ellen Thompson about Ms. Thompson’s celebrated book, They. Her poetry stirs deep human emotions while presenting family and generational issues of acceptance over raising a transgender child. The cover photograph by Portuguese photographer Jorge Pereira Rudolfoelias, illustrates the timely subject.

Other human themes addressed by the stories, essays, and poetry in this edition relate to individualism, birth, loss, death, grief, healing, and discovering one’s sense of place in a larger world.

Published by the Eastern Shore Writer’s Association (ESWA), the nonprofit Delmarva Review has published original work of 216 writers over an eight-year history. They have come from twenty-seven states, the District of Columbia, and nine other countries. The Review opened to all writers, regardless of residence, in 2007, in order to discover and publish outstanding new literary work.

The Review’s published work has earned thirty-seven nominations for a Pushcart Prize, as well as notable mentions in Best American Essays and critical journals.

For writers: the submissions period for new poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction is open now through March 31, 2016, to be considered for the ninth annual edition. Selection is competitive. All submissions are made from the website’s Guidelines page at

The Review’s print edition is available worldwide via and other online booksellers. It is also downloadable in a digital edition at Kindle for tablets, computers, smart phones, and other reading devices.

Publication is supported by private contributions, sales, and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, in Maryland.

Our Volunteers: The Delmarva Review is nonprofit and produced entirely by volunteers from the tri-state writing community. In addition to Wyatt, of St. Michaels, MD, and Colwell, of Milford, DE, the editorial board and advisors include managing editor Bill Gourgey, of St. Michaels and D.C., poetry reader Stacey Pounsberry, of DE, fiction co-editors Harold O. Wilson, of Chester, MD, and Cheril Thomas, of Easton, nonfiction co-editors George Merrill, of St. Michaels, and Cheryl Somers Aubin, of Vienna, VA, financial advisor Denise Clemons, of Lewes, DE, editorial advisors Gerald Sweeney, of Trappe, MD, and Emily Rich, of Arlington, VA and Secretary, MD, copyeditor Jodie Littleton, of Chestertown, and proofreader Charlene Marcum, of Easton. The cover designer was Laura Ambler, of Easton.

Additional information about the Review and the authors, is available on the website:

You can get a copy now at:

The Delmarva Review, Volume 8

Reminder to Writers – Submissions to The Delmarva Review


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Covers -The Delmarva Review, a literary journal

Covers -The Delmarva Review, a literary journal    Click on photo for larger image

Only two weeks left for writers to submit their best poetry and prose to The Delmarva Review.  Website: February 28 is the deadline for poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction submissions.

Over its seven-year history, The Delmarva Review has published outstanding new literary work by 168 authors from 27 states, the District of Columbia, and nine foreign countries. The printed journal has included 200 poems, 43 short stories, 24 essays, and 27 book reviews. Thirty-six authors earned nominations for a Pushcart Prize and other awards, including recognition in “The Best American Essays.”

Published in print and electronic editions by the Eastern Shore Writers Education Foundation (, the Review is available to readers worldwide via all major online booksellers (,, Apple, etc.). All writers are welcome. Selection is competitive.

Take advantage of the opportunity to be considered for publication…by Feb. 28

Pushcart Nominations announced by The Delmarva Review – 2014


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The Delmarva Review, vol. 7, cover

The Delmarva Review, vol. 7, cover photo by Roger Camp     Click on image for larger view

It’s that special time of year for all of us as editors.  With pleasure, The Delmarva Review has nominated six authors for a Pushcart Prize for exceptional poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writing.

Poetry nominations were: “Devil on an Elevator,” by Charlie Clark, of Austin, Texas, “For the Readers of Graves,” by Adam McGee, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and “Morning Paper,” by John Palen, of Urbana, Illinois.

“Widow Fantasies,” a personal essay by Randon Billings Noble, of Washington, D.C., was nominated for nonfiction.

Short story nominations included “The Mythology of the Wife,” by August Evans, of Seattle, Washington, and “Robot on a Park Bench,” by Brandon Getz, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“We are excited that our authors have the opportunity for a Pushcart Prize,” said Wilson Wyatt, executive editor of the Review. “Discovery of new literary writing and recognition of the authors are essential to our purpose.”

The Delmarva Review, published annually by the Eastern Shore Writers Association, in Easton, Maryland, is open to all writers.  Over a thousand authors submitted writing for the 2014 edition.  During a seven-year history, 60 percent of its published authors have come from the tri-state Delmarva region.  In all, the writers are from 27 states, Washington, D.C., and nine foreign countries.

The Review’s nominations were selected from 40 authors of poems, stories, and essays in its seventh annual edition.  Pushcart editors will make a selection from all nominations to publish in the 2015 anthology, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses XL.

For Writers, the 2015 Submissions Period is Open

The new submissions period for The Delmarva Review is open now through February 28, 2015.  A submission link is posted on the “guidelines” page of the website

The Review is carried by the following regional bookstores: the News Center, in Easton, MD, Mystery Loves Company, in Oxford, MD, and The Writer’s Center, in Bethesda, MD.

Both print and digital editions can be purchased from all major online booksellers, including,, and Apple. The worldwide availability of the Review greatly expands the potential readership of an author’s work.

The Eastern Shore Writers Association’s website is The organization also holds the annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference (February 28), website