What traps you? What lifts you up? What, maybe, does both?

Please submit your original polished short fiction, poetry, comics, and creative non-fiction based on the theme of "Towers and Dungeons" for inclusion in our fourth Lilac City Fairy Tales Anthology, with full proceeds benefitting Spark Central, a forward-thinking community center in Spokane, WA. Fiction and creative non-fiction should be no longer than 1,200 words in length, and poets should submit no more than three poems. The deadline for submissions is December 10th, 2017. All writers chosen for the anthology will receive a complimentary copy of the title.

A writer may interpret the theme figuratively or literally, realistically or fantastically. Please do not feel that it is necessary to employ the words "towers" and "dungeons" in your work.

Previously published works are allowed for entry.

Inspiration for Towers and Dungeons

From "The Yellow Wallpaper"

There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.

"After Ritsos"

You know that moment in the summer dusk
when the sunbathers have all gone home to mix drinks
and you are alone on the beach

when the waves begin to nibble 
on the abandoned sand castles—
And further out, over the erupted face

of the water stained almost pink
there are a few clouds that hold
entire rooms inside of them—rooms where no one lives—

in the hair
of the light that soon will go
grey and then black. It is the moment

when even the man who mops the floor
in the execution room of the prison
stops to look up into the silence

that grows like smoke or the dusk itself.
And your mind becomes almost visible
and you know there is nothing

that is not mysterious. And that no moment
is less important than this moment.
And that imprisonment is not possible.

(from Ocean Avenue. © New Issues Press, 1999)

"In Prison"


In prison 
without being accused 

or reach your family 
or have a family            You have 

heart trouble 


(we lost the baby) 
no meds 

no one 
no window 

black water 
nail-scratched walls 

your pure face turned away 

who the earth was for.

(“In Prison,” from The New Yorker (May 27, 2007).



On Saturday, when I come to see
my brother, they call him, over loudspeaker,
to the tower—a small guardroom
at the entrance to the prison. I sign my name
in the book, write R0470—his number—
and agree to a search. I stand as if
I would make a snow angel in the air,
and the woman guard pats me down
lightly. Waiting for him, I consider

the squat room’s title; how it once meant
prison, and to the religious faithful, heaven.
Here, my brother has no use for these words,
this easy parsing. This time he tells me
he’s changed his name: Jo-ell instead of Joel—
name of the man who took our mother’s life—
his father, an inmate somewhere else.
Thinking only of words, I’d wanted to tell him
the name means prophet. That was before I knew

it had—for him—been a prison, too.

From "Rapunzel," by the Brothers Grimm

Rapunzel grew into the most beautiful child under the sun. When she was twelve years old, the enchantress shut her into a tower, which lay in a forest, and had neither stairs nor door, but quite at the top was a little window. When the enchantress wanted to go in, she placed herself beneath it and cried,

    "Rapunzel, Rapunzel,
    Let down your hair!"