‘Ilana and the science experiment’ published in Crack the Spine 🔬🔭⚗️

Ilana and the science experiment first few paragraphs

Ilana is just a typical seventh grade girl. She buys $1 lipsticks at the store with her friends and spends most of her day in school. She “was a little scared that she’d splutter and bubble on her way to becoming a woman,” but it doesn’t seem as dramatic as her older cousins have made it seem.

It was routine to bleed through all seven class periods for seven days. Until Paul told Ilana periods smelled.

Ilana has to face Paul’s comment, determine if she’s changing irreparably like tossing salt on a slug, or if she’s really able to stay the same while growing up. Read on in “Ilana and the science experiment” published in Crack the Spine.

2016 reflections

Some 2016 accomplishments I’m proud of:

  • Bottlecap Press published my book On that one-way trip to Mars.
  • More of my disability-themed poetry was published. Thanks The Deaf Poets Society, Noble/Gas Quarterly, The Fem, Wordgathering, Words Dance, and others.
  • I got to talk to so many amazing young scientists and women in STEM for stories with Society for Science & the Public. I’m so glad they’re the future.
  • Tabling with my sister Hannah Chertock at the first-ever @dcartbookfair was so much fun. We sold our art, and met amazing writers/artists.
  • I discussed poetry and diversity in literary magazines on panels at Split This Rock’s poetry festival and the Frostburg Indie Lit Fest.
  • My panel was accepted for AWP 2017. Excited to have conversations about building inclusive communities in publishing and literature.
  • I read poetry in NYC at Berl’s Poetry Shop for a Bottlecap Press featured reading. It’s great to meet poet friends in new places.
  • I got an LGBT short story published by Paper Darts. So happy it found a great home.
  • The first of my Forecast stories, detailing various eco-futures, was published by OMNI Reboot.
  • Moonsick Magazine published my short story on migrants, based on a heartbreaking episode of Story Corps.
  • In 2016, I got 13 poems and 5 stories published. I’m so grateful to each and every one of the online and print magazines that accepted my writing, and that rejected me. My writing has grown from each rejection — and I can’t wait to submit more, hopefully get more acceptances, and probably more rejections, along the way.

Here’s to 2017. To submitting more writing, supporting each other, and speaking up loudly! Happy New Year!

‘Wonder Women’ published in Paper Darts!

Wonder Women characters by Marlena Chertock. Illustrated by Meghan Murphy.

My short story “Wonder Women” was published in Paper Darts! They’ve been a goal publication of mine for years. I’ve been reading Paper Darts since college, when I fell in love with their short, weird fiction and rad art.

The editors worked with me to help shape “Wonder Women” into a stronger story. They suggested cuts, moving paragraphs around, and Meghan Murphy even illustrated it beautifully! I’m so grateful for their feedback, and for publishing me.

“Wonder Women” is a story about two girls who love comic books and comic-conventions, or cons. Nishka and Morgan are geeks, and are proud of it.

One, or both characters, is queer, or just beginning to explore that part of their identities. They argue about their “ships” in Ms. Marvel, try to avoid the crowds on the Metro, and pluck their chin hairs. They dress up as their favorite characters and call out street harassers.

Hope you enjoy!

District Lit: Space Issue

District Lit, the literary magazine where I’m the Poetry Editor, is having a Space Issue! We’ve been impressed with some of the scientific and space-themed works we’ve gotten, so we wanted to dedicate a mini-issue to space.

Send us your work that searches the stars, sends us into warp, touches strange worlds, or knows how to use a phaser, blaster, or lightsaber. The theme for this issue is that last great unknown: space. We’re looking for work about science, exploration, sci-fi, alien life, or anything else out of this world.

You’ve got two weeks to submit to the Space Issue! Send us into orbit with your writing 🚀🌌👽.

You can submit here.