As regular blog readers know, 20 years ago, I attended the California State Summer School for the Arts at CalArts in Valencia for creative writing. I count this as the single most transformative educational experience of my young student life, a month when I got to hang out with other artists and concentrate solely on writing. Before this, I’d wanted to be a professional writer in some abstract sense, but this summer made the dream seem, suddenly, attainable.

To help make writing for publication possible and to support emerging young writers, fellow CSSSA alumnus Brian Lewis has created a new literary journal: Spark: A Creative Anthology, which will publish short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Some people say they don’t feel like a “real writer” until they are paid for their work– in fact, that’s pretty much the definition of professional– you get paid. These days, there are hundreds of websites and blogs who will publish your work, but not too many who pay. To this end, Brian will compensate writers at the rate of 1 cent a word, or $10, whichever is more.

The project is entirely volunteer, so a Kickstarter page is available if you’d like to contribute a few dollars to help compensate the writers and pay for the magazine’s expenses.

There’s also a bonus: certain pledges will receive benefits. Not lunchboxes or bumperstickers, but something possibly more useful to a new writer–critiques. Check out the Kickstarter page for more deets.

Also: there are lots of submissions rolling in. If you’d like to submit a short story, poem, or essay, go to the Spark website.