On Holiday, by Erin Gibbons

Once a student at our very own Towson University, Erin Gibbons no longer lives in Baltimore, but has decided to join the BrickHouse Books team to put her skills to use at the city’s oldest publishing house! Along with giving Erin a warm welcome, here’s a short story she’s decided to share with us titled “On Holiday.” Enjoy!

––Kate Surles, Online Editor

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Writing is a Muscle, by Trevor D. Richardson

Trevor D. Richardson is a Portland-based novelist, who is soon to be relocating to the Baltimore area. Wanting to broaden his literary horizons here in the land of the Ravens and Natty Boh, he decided to take on the task of joining the BrickHouse community as a guest blogger! We hope to see more from him the future, but without further adieu, please enjoy this first piece from him titled “Writing is a Muscle.”

––Kate Surles, Online Editor

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Unruly Catholic Women Writers: Creative Responses to Catholicism

Good afternoon, BrickHouse-ians! (Or would we be BrickHouse-ites?)

What better way is there to spend a Saturday night than a book reading? Take a moment, and then read on for the answer.


The answer is: “there is no better way!”

If you got this little trivia question correct, then you’ll be happy to hear that we received news that Madeleine Mysko, Carol Cooley, Pat Montley, Ana Kothe and Jeana Del Rosso will be doing a reading from their anthology Unruly Catholic Women Writers: Creative Responses to Catholicism. The anthology is a 2013 finalist in the Foreward Review / IndieFab Awards, Anthologies Category –– how exciting! So we’re happy to extend an invitation to our entire community here at BrickHouse Books to join these lovely writers Saturday, July 26 at 6:00 p.m. at The Ivy Bookshop:

Ivy Bookshop
6080 Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21209


A book signing will follow the reading, so be sure to bring your copies!


Best wishes,

––Kate Surles, Online Editor

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Hot off the presses…


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by | June 12, 2014 · 11:10 am

Need an internship?

BrickHouse Books now has an opening for Assistant Online Editor that has the potential to become Online Editor.

As Assistant Online Editor your duties will be:

  • update and manage the blog (this means writing blog posts, press releases, book excerpts, and news blurbs)
  • update and manage the social media (Twitter and Facebook)
  • occasionally read and comment manuscripts
  • and more!

If you’re interested, please send resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to charriss@towson.edu.

UPDATE: As of 7/20/14, the position is no longer available.

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Check this out!

Warren Harris is featured in Virginia Poetry Online’s YouTube channel reading from “The Night Ballerina.” Check out his video here!


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A Chance To Be Published

Charlie Bondhus, past winner of the Stonewall Chapbook Competition, is looking for submissions for The Good Men Project‘s but poems with a certain perspective. If you’ve written a poem dealing in some way about men or masculinity, submit your poetry to The Good Men Project. Even though the poem should be about men or masculinity, the poem can also be from women and people of all gender identities and expressions. For more information on their guidelines, check out their website here. And for a taste of their poetry check out their archive here. Good luck!

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Honoring Baltimore Poet With Her Poetry

In honor of Baltimore poet Dyane Fancey, Baltimore Fishbowl featured an article, “Baltimore Poet Dyane Fancey Dies, Leaves Us with Perfect Poem,” discussing her poem “Multitasking.” The article wonderfully analyzes Fancey’s poem and, despite Fancey’s passing, reminds us death “is as good a reason as any not to worry, but instead simply to “Be here, / Here, now.”

Fancey’s work includes “A Religion of Skin,” published by The New Poets Series (now BrickHouse Books). For more information about Fancey, read The Baltimore Sun‘s article on the poet here.

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New review for Doritt Carroll’s GLTTL STP

Featured on Washington Independent Review Of Books, Grace Cavalieri reviewed Doritt Carroll’s GLTTL STP while showcasing Carroll’s poems.

Check out Cavalieri’s review below:

GLTTL STPThe title stands for glottal stop, a choking sound produced in the throat; and the words’ conversion to a book title without vowels is just one  sample of a woman who is a risk taker and a safety net all it once. Dorrit Carroll is sublime. What does she do and how does she do it? First, we start with the quality of her mind – the poem cannot be any better than the person who presses it into being. Her mind is like a giant constellation from which tiny zodiacs occur perfectly formed.

From the poem father:

… I say that I can’t miss you/because you are inside me/is it your lips/or mine/that press together/as if they are sealing off/an envelope of disappointment//your or my finicky way/of straightening a desk/pinching each paperclip/between thumb and forefinger/as if it’s a dead fly//and whose measuring eyes/appraise me/from the mirror//composed/perhaps/to a fault

Or look at this poem titled p.m.:

the night you/ gurgled yourself dead/your breaths sounded like/bubbles blown through a stroll//as if the milk of you were being drunk /by a greedy child somewhere/with no manners// and then at last the straw hit/the bottom of the glass/because the bubble stopped//and you/glass that you were/looked no different/empty/than you had/full

Sometimes she just snapshots a scene:

the Christmas trees

lie on their sides

on the curb

as if they’d been shot

just steps from their

front doors

as if they’d almost

made it

to safety

Doritt Carroll’s poetry is concrete and allegorical at once. Poetry never repeats itself and yet   poems are made of the same old words we all use. Caroll’s impulses are her ideas. She hones each thought diligently until it acts precisely the way she chooses. Anyone can have a flash/an inspiration, but the implementation tells all. These are carefully made poems from templates that have antecedents in our craft, but that are particularly targeted on a page that could belong to no one else. Who knows what Carroll is made of and she, herself, wonders here:


the heart

is a complicated instrument

four adjoining chambers

in which

God knows what

goes on

To check out more of Cavalieri’s reviews, go here.

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Three Instant Publishing Apps That Will Make You Feel Like a Published Author

By: Shelby Hillers, Online Editor

I’ve lost count the number of times I’m standing in line at the grocery store and I’m suddenly struck with an idea for an article or a short poem that I think is fantastic (even though it may not be). The struggle is where do you keep these random gems and better yet, where can you publish them instantly?

 There are plenty of articles discussing the pros and cons of self-publishing and instant publishing. But in an age where publishing everything is the norm, it’s hard not to want to post your haiku or rough draft of a first chapter somewhere. Posting it means hearing feedback (both positive and negative) and feedback means knowing whether to continue or not.

 So where do you publish these beautiful lines of poetry or intriguing chapters of your novel? Most people have their own blogs where they can post but that’s not always convenient nor does it guarantee people will see it. Instead people are posting their written creativity on apps like Wattpad, WhatsApp or through the social media website Twitter. And in the land of digital publishing, clicking the post button is easy, simple, and convenient. And it helps that you can always delete it later too.

 wattpad-reviewRecently Wattpad has gained plenty of attention from The New York Times, Gigoam.com, Mashable.com and other websites. Founded in 2006, Wattpad was first a mobile app for users to download eBooks and to view them easily. When the app was struggling, the creators Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen changed the app to a more interactive community where writers could post their works along with following other writers and commenting on stories. The community also features a “What’s Hot List” that changes daily and a “Featured Story” list that promotes content reviewed and approved by staff and an editorial review board. That’s not to mention the community that comes along with the app. The more well-known authors will often receive fan-made art including graphics, playlists, comics, and cover-art (basically anything creative, fans will make). It even helps newbie writers become published authors and kick-start their writing careers.

 The newest addition to online storytelling is WhatsApp, an app mostly used for cross-platform instant messaging for whatsapp1smartphones. While at first you’d never think the app could be used for online storytelling, recent article from thenextweb.com “Whatsapp is now a medium for storytelling” (a pretty obvious headline) states otherwise. Mostly through screenshots of conversation (perhaps the simplest execution of dialogue), readers are shortly told a story through text messages. The use of the app is still relatively new and awaiting for users to create stories through but if you’d like a test-try of the new storytelling platform, check out this story here.

twitter-logo Twitter has been around for years now and it seems like most people have an account.  Recently, writer fanatics have been using hashtags when publishing their works, something that allows tweets to be easily found. With the limitation of 140 characters, Twitter really does make every word count. The limitation leads most writers to post short lines of poetry, mostly haikus, with hashtags like “amwriting”, “haiku”, or simply tagging the tweet with related searchable words. Tweeting is nothing new but creating beautiful poetry within a tweet is, and who knows-maybe it’ll stick around.

 So whether it’s through Twitter, WhatsApp, or Wattpad, create something. And even better, post it. Allow others to see your work. Let them read your words and be inspired. You never know, it might lead to something a lot bigger down the road.

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