Submissions Open TOMORROW!

Phew, it’s certainly been a day since we’ve mentioned submissions, hasn’t it? Well, I’m happy to announce that the wait is finally over! We’re so excited to inform you that submissions open tomorrow, October 24th, for our Winter Online Issue: Holiday!

We accept submissions of fiction and nonfiction. Though we will consider pieces of any length, we prefer submissions in the range of 1500-2500 words. At this time we are not accepting poetry; head on over to our sister site, AMP!, to submit poetry.

Submissions are open, starting tomorrow, through November 9th. Our central theme for this period is HolidayWhat does a holiday mean to you? We want to read your best fiction and nonfiction––it’s time to put pen to paper!

 

 

The Identity Issue, 2018

Windmill stands in solidarity with the #MeToo movement. For information on how you can donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, please visit timesupnow.com.

Although I’m currently working as the managing editor for Windmill and I’m studying English, I have another job as an intern at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and I’m studying television writing and producing. I wouldn’t call the dual nature of my pursue of these two degrees exclusively different as I often use what I learn about storytelling in my English classes as a way to create better narratives in my scripts, channel more energy into my acting, and promote stronger ideas through my creative visions. Those are beside the point of why I wanted to bring up television.

The landscape of TV, and the entertainment industry in general, has been going through a much needed cleansing over the past year. Sexual harassers are being called out, and due to public backlash, their careers are being ended. Note how I phrased that. I had to say “due to public backlash,” because the only big cases I can remember over the last year that was settled before the public got word of it was Matt Lauer. Harvey Weinstein did not step down until after many actresses stepped up and called him out, Jeffrey Tambor was removed from the cast of Transparent months after claims were made against him, and a resolution as to whether or not Ryan Seacrest gets the boot out of E! still remains unsolved at the time of this writing.

Let’s focus on some positives to lighten up the mood. TV has never been more diverse, and even though the proportions of white TV producers to PoC TV producers (3:1) is still REALLY bad, it’s an improvement from ten years ago. Shows that put diverse casts at the forefront (Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, Insecure, Atlanta) are the ones that are getting picked up not only because it’s what popular culture wants and has so desperately needed, but because they are big money-makers.

That statement stands true for film. Get Out had the largest opening weekend for a black director until Black Panther came out and had the largest opening weekend for any Marvel movie ever. With A Wrinkle in Time coming out this weekend, a movie that had the highest budget with a black female director (my queen, Ava DuVernay), God only knows the impact that movie will have on pop culture.

Let’s not leave the LGBT+ community out of this either. Queer Eye is back on Netflix, Call Me by Your Name won Best Written Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars this past Sunday, and, according to a GLAAD study from last year, LGBT+ characters made up for 6.4% of all fictional TV characters, an increase from the year before.

I’ll admit, as a gay Indian man, seeing myself on TV has always been a struggle. I’ve mostly been portrayed as a stereotype as the socially-awkward Indian creep with an incredibly thick Indian accent. Sure, there have been some mild developments over the last few years, but nothing that stuck out to me.

But that’s why I want to be an entertainer. I want to be a part of the change that’s currently sweeping Hollywood. When Mindy Kaling pitched The Mindy Project, she was adamant that the show get picked up because no white male producer is going to ever pitch a show with an Indian female lead. We have to make the change that we want to see. I’ve stood by that claim since I came into Hofstra as a TV major, and I’ll stand by it until I accept my first Emmy and my last Oscar.

For creative nonfiction selections, we have two pieces discussing dual natures of race from two Windmill alum: Luisa Kay Reyes and Annie Dawid. In “Secrets,” Luisa looks backs on her time in high school, contemplating the societal concept of passing. Annie Dawid discusses and wonders about a public’s assumptions of her mixed-raced son in “What They Call Him.” Our final creative nonfiction essay, “The Divide” by Sara Alaica, illustrates and juxtaposes her childhood in Canada against her cousin’s childhood in pre-breakup Yugoslavia.

For fiction selections, we have “The Visitor” by David Lloyd. This piece is part of a sequence of short stories about Welsh-American identity in the 1960s Utica, New York, focusing on Welsh immigration to America. “The Visitor” is a delightfully haunting piece about a elderly woman reminiscing about a missed chance for love back at her home in Wales. Our final piece, “Unsolved” by Brandon French, details the musings of a 71-year old retired FBI profiler as he thinks back on his life and his love of stealing.

Best wishes,
Keaton Ramjit
Managing editor

Nonfiction:
“The Divide” by Sara Alaica
“What They Call Him” by Annie Dawid
“Secrets” by Luisa Kay Reyes

Fiction:
“Unsolved” by Brandon French
“The Visitor” by David Lloyd

The Holiday Issue, 2017

Last week, on the last Friday before Thanksgiving, a fake two-feet Christmas tree that I had bought from Target was built and decorated in the Windmill office. The tree was on sale and marked down from $20 to $16, and with the $5 gift card I had from buying a S’well water bottle weeks ago, the price went down to only $11. Of course, I didn’t stop at just the Christmas tree. This Target had a huge section dedicated to all sorts of decorations, all on sale through the Target app, of course.

I was with my friend, Jillian, and, originally, we were only stopping through the store to get essentials like shampoo and paper towels, but how could we help ourselves when the glimmering lights of the holiday season were calling us. So bright they shined, that they became entrancing and, almost, mind-controlling.

One of Target’s many ornament collections included various stuffed toys on strings. I bought a cute bunny and a mouse, and named them Amelia and Liz, respectively. Both were wearing long pea coats, plush scarfs, brightly colored pants, and grey boots. In my head, Amelia and Liz were best friends and, with the help of the other ornaments in the display, they were planning the holiday pageant when, suddenly, mean ol’ Forest the Owl shut down the pageant because he, himself, was having a terrible holiday season. His wife had left him and taken the kids, so, all alone he sat in his house, festering in his own misery.

It was on that note that I decided to take Amelia and Liz, leaving Forest behind. Someone was bound to help him find love in his heart again, but that someone was not me. Enough of my own holiday anecdote, let’s talk about this year’s Holiday Issue, shall we?

For fiction, we have “Buddy” by Mike Wilson, a coming-of-age Christmas story of a young girl understanding the complexity of her parents’ divorce. Annie Dawid, who has been published by Windmill before, once again creates a thoughtful narrative about the complexities of familial relations in “June in December,” which depicts a young woman, 20-year-old June, struggling to navigate adult life and dreading visiting her family for Christmas. For our last fiction piece, written by Michael Chin, “Christmas Eve” details both a cousin and her girlfriend’s struggle to fit in with a family once considered perfect and picturesque.

For nonfiction, the short memoir,  we offer “Ornaments” by Amanda Noble. The author reflects on the stories behind cherished family keepsakes and holiday traditions. This piece makes us question: How do we deal with these traditions in the face of loss and hardship? In her creative nonfiction piece “Sibling Revelry,” Eileen Cunniffe shows us that not all happy families are alike at Christmastime, thus proving Leo Tolstoy wrong. To wrap this issue, we suggest “Holiday Rodent Wars” by Bill Diamond, a light-hearted and funny anecdote about finding those picking pests during the holiday season.

From all of us at Windmill, we wish you all happy holidays, and a wonderful New Year!

Keaton Ramjit
Managing editor

 

Fiction:

“Christmas Eve” by Michael Chin

“June in December” by Annie Dawid

“Buddy” by Mike Wilson

 

Nonfiction:

“Sibling Revely” by Eileen Cunniffe

“Holiday Rodent Wars” by Bill Diamond

“Ornaments” by Amanda Noble

The Haunting of Writers’ Past 2017

When we first had the October online issue a year ago, it made sense to make the theme “Ghost Stories” to celebrate one of our favorite holidays of all time: Halloween. Last year, our managing editor, Keaton Tennant, decorated the office with tons of crafting pumpkins, bats, spiders, and all sorts of things that go bump in the night. He even kept several secret stashes of candy hidden around the office.

We were ecstatic to open up submissions, awaiting the avalanche of spooky tales we would read wide-eyed. What we got was something different. While some stories were traditional ghost stories, others were more introspective and struck our soul with melancholy. They delved deep into the human experience in response to subjects like the death of a family member or the ghosts of war. For this year, we wrote it into our submission guidelines that when we said “ghost stories” we wanted to know what haunts you.

For fiction, our traditional ghost story comes from Eric Maroney’s “Reuven’s Vow.” “This ghost story has been told from various Jewish sources,” Eric told us. “This is my version.” Matthew Harrison’s Kafkaesque “Induction” details the violent yet mysterious orientation potential employees must face in order to work at a company. Two more stories that struck a chord with our editors were “Filthy” by Hannah Kludy and “Forever Now” by Max Talley. Both stories exemplify the main theme of “What haunts you?” “Filthy” follows the life of a young woman struggling to find a purpose in her life. “Forever Now is not a ghost story, but a haunting story about the human condition, buried emotions, and ghosts of the mind,” Max stated so perfectly in his cover letter.

For creative nonfiction, we have “The Three of Us” by Diane Payne, and “Loose-Leaf” by Toti O’Brien. Payne’s essay details the inner mechanisms and complexity of the relationships within her family and the emotional hurricane that erupted as a result. O’Brien’s essay recounts her meditative and self-reflective journey of writing her memoir through mind-capturing and bewitching language.

These pieces were chosen because the stories they told continued to haunt us after reading. Each of our editors can pinpoint the page, the sentence, or the word that made us feel the arrow shot through our hearts. After all, nothing haunts more than the darkest secrets in our souls.

Happy haunting,
The Windmill Team

 

Fiction:

“Induction” by Matthew Harrison

“Filthy” by Hannah Kludy

“Reuven’s Vow” by Eric Maroney

“Forever Now” by Max Talley

 

Creative Nonfiction:

“Loose-Leaf” by Toti O’Brien

“The Three of Us” by Diane Payne

 

The Back to School Issue: September 2017

September is notorious for being a month of firsts: first day of school, first day of college, first day of teaching. We often find ourselves in a new environment, surrounded by strangers whom we hope will become friends, curious to see what the world has to offer, what this new endeavor will bring. Ever since childhood, we’ve entered the classroom in this state of mind, either excited or afraid of the unknown we face. How will we get along with the new teachers? Will someone eat lunch with us? Most importantly, what are we going to learn? Will we succeed, or fail?

For this back-to-school issue of Windmill, we focused on the inherent uncertainty of childhood and how we find our way through.

In fiction, we offer Aimee Liu’s “Proof” and Annie Dawid’s “On Sundays,” two short stories whose beautifully crafted language deals with the main character understanding their parents’ faults. “Proof” provides a haunting narration of a young boy coming to terms with his mother’s terminal sickness and his father’s ineptitude (Trigger warning: “Proof” contains language related to sexual abuse), while in “On Sundays” a daughter witnesses her mother’s clinical depression and her father’s treatment of it. In nonfiction, Anne Jacobson’s “Oaks & Elms” essay parallels the nature of two homes: the one she grew up in and the one she currently resides in. Elegant in prose and imagery, Jacobson reflects on her own childhood, the life she lives now, and the life she sees for her children.

This September, as we fill our new backpack, unwrap our new lunchbox and scan the crowd in class for one familiar face, we relive the anxiety and the hope that each fall brings.  And as we do, we remember childhood’s chaos and fears, yes, but we also celebrate the discovery and joy that growth brings.

Best wishes,
Team Windmill

Fiction:

“Proof” by Aimee Liu

“On Sundays” by Annie Dawid

 

Nonfiction:

“Oaks & Elms” by Anne Jacobson