Mason’s Road Issue #11 “Joy”

untitledI want to spread the word today about the literary arts journal, Mason’s Road. This semester, and my final semester with Fairfield U, I’ve taken on the role as Editor-In-Chief along side my grad pal Josh, for the Mason’s Road Literary Arts Journal, and we are currently accepting submissions for Issue #11!

I want you all to take our journal into consideration. We accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and craft essays. Our submission period is running from Feb. 15th – May 15th, with the publication in late July.

You can find our submissions guidelines here: Mason’s Road

For this issue, we chose a challenging theme, “Joy”. As the editors and I met back in December for our bi-annual residency, which we bask in each other’s accomplishments, have long discussions about books and authors, attend seminars on creating poetry and short stories, while also freaking out that we are even talking to these accomplished authors who will be our mentors throughout the semester, we threw out some theme ideas.

For Issue #10, our theme was “Memory”. For Issue #9, our theme was “Truth”. Working with a theme can be tricky because as I’m sure you can imagine, a lot of the submissions can come out being the same story, so we try to pick something so incredibly vague to get the best possible outcome.

One editor quietly mentioned, “Joy”, and I nearly freaked out. YES YES YES! We need something of substance, something that does not necessarily call for the morbid and sorrowful pieces, but sheds a light on some happiness too. Writing about joy is extremely challenging for a writer, and we want to challenge you.

Read my blurb for the Call For Submissions to get a better idea as to what we are looking for:

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss. Why is it that writers have a difficult journey describing what it means to feel pure, magnificent joy? In order for us to appreciate joy, we need to have experienced failure, loss, and sorrow but how often do we direct our attention to that element of our lives? Characters like Anna Karenina felt the warmth of joy beside her love interest Vronsky, but those characters need to struggle to get there, or find the joy on their way to destruction and heartbreak. Vladimir Nabokov said, “The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.” As writers, whether we are writing poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or drama, we make sure our characters are dragged through the mud because if they’re not, what’s at stake for them? Perhaps a narrator is incapable of feeling joy, and will introduce a particular take on what joy actually means to them. We sometimes hold on too tightly to the struggles we’ve faced, our regrets, our pain of loss and death, and we ignore the moments that have made us radiate with happiness. With this Issue, we hope to challenge writers to experiment with their take on joy, and to inspire readers and writers to practice with abstract nouns, and find a new light to their own writing. Mason’s Road is excited to read submissions that will bring us into the world of those who experience joy, and to discover how that narrator gets there.

I hope you all submit to Mason’s Road in the near future. In the meantime, check out our website and our past issues and interviews with established authors :).


2 thoughts on “Mason’s Road Issue #11 “Joy”

  1. I have been working on an idea for something that might fit in this category (ironically enough). I’ll take a look at the submission guidelines. By the way, if it does get published here, can it be used somewhere else too?


    • That is ironic! If it gets published, all works will be published in our online archive, and then after that, all rights revert back to you. Most journals do not accept previously published work, but if you were to include it in a much bigger manuscript, say for a book, you can certainly do that because it’s 100 percent yours. I know my professor published a book of essays, and most of the essays had been published separately in journals. But of course, that depends on the publishing house too. This requires a lot of research, and I still get confused about it sometimes.


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