Reviewed by Mark Kodama
I just finished reading the Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine’s debut edition released by Clarendon Publishing House in February, 2019. It is the best single magazine edition I have ever read on the craft of writing.
The magazine was written by the Inner Circle Writers’ Group and edited by Grant P. Hudson. The magazine features articles by Steve Carr on his life as a writer of short stories and getting published, Dennis Doty on avoiding the shredder, Warren Alexander on writing humorous pieces, Gary Bonn on character development, and Samantha Hamilton on commas and a critique of two poems about London by Grant Hudson. The magazine also has a nice review on Southern writer Eudora Welty by Copper Rose and a poem about poetry by Shawn Klimek.
Steve Carr lives in Richmond, Virginia and has recently published four short story anthologies: Sand, Heat, Rain and The Tales of Talker Knock. Carr seems to have done everything: Army and Navy, playwright and author.
He recently released his book Getting Your Short Stories Published. “For most of us, there’s a place we fall in love with – South Dakota was that place for me. While in classes, I was studying English literature and theater; outside of school whenever I had a chance I was hiking the plains and forests of the western part of the state. The images of the scenery and thefeel of South Dakota has remained with me from that time . . . .”
The magazine, brimming with stories and writing advice, also features unforgettable stories by David Bowmore and Jill Kiesow, as well as by authors previously mentioned. These are modern contemporary writers of the fine art of telling stories. My very favorite was “The Coyotes,” by Kiesow – a short story that equals any story done by the ‘short story masters’ Jack London, Steven Crane, Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Alan Poe:
“She almost smiled, but it was too solemn of a rite, this holy gathering of magical creatures: part modern dog, part antiquity, part madness. These resourceful individuals were those tricky enough to escape man’s reach but still feed on his land and take advantage of his backbreaking work. Opportunistic bastards, her husband and neighbors called them. Miracles of nature, Celeste would counter, clearing her throat and forcing herself to stand taller under their disapproving glances.”
Master storyteller Gary Bonn’s short story Still Alive: “He is watching Isbell. She’s been here a long time and has settled in completely. She’s racing through the water, plunging over a fall, crashing among the rocks, shrieking with laughter – showing the other children what to do. Showing off kindly. She becomes the motion, the speed, the roces at one moment chaotic and in the next ordered. Tangled and untangled.”
There is also great art by Anja Hata and Grant Hudson who drew Macbeth in a Marvel comic strip-like form and sketched the author J.R.R. Tolkien. While some purists may be offended by seeing Shakespeare in comic strip form, I loved it. It is a great form to make Shakespeare accessible to the masses and especially to children and child-like adults.
For those that love the word as I do, you will be pleased to know the art of the word is still alive and embodied in the works of these very gifted writers. The magazine is available on line at Clarendon Publishing House. I cannot wait for the second month to be published. I hope that the Inner Circle Writers’ Group can sustain what it has started.