Upcoming Release

On Campus: Publishing with Britny Cordera Doane

Old Market Poet Britny Cordera Doane: A Writer’s Workshop success story.


The “Wingmakers” cover

This was going to be a rallying piece intended to garner support for a Kickstarter campaign, but instead it is my great pleasure to have turned this into a success story piece. Britny Cordera Doane is known as “The Old Market Poet.” She is often found typing poetry on an old analog typewriter in Omaha’s Old Market district. She is currently attending The University of Nebraska at Omaha as a religious studies and poetry major with an ancient Mediterranean studies minor. Doane’s book of poetry “Wingmakers” was recently accepted by the small but prestigious Pinyon Publishing due to release early March of 2015. She is running a Kickstarter fundraising event to get funds to buy author copies to sell locally and at author events. The book will include original illustrations by David HL Burton. With more than five days to go, Doane achieved and exceeded her fundraising goal of $1,000. The event will end February 6th, so don’t miss your chance to participate in funding this worthwhile project. Doane sat down with 13th Floor Magazine staff to discuss her experience getting her book published. Q: Describe your process for selecting publishing companies to query with your book. A: I started going around to local bookstores specifically looking for books of poetry by local authors, and I took notes of the publishing houses they were published under. Many of the publishing companies had websites so I could see if my writing, particularly for “Wingmakers,” would best fit what they were looking for. I decided to go with Pinyon Publishing because [Writer’s Workshop department chair] Lisa Sandlin introduced me to them with her amazing book “You Who Make the Sky Bend.” And I knew [Writer’s Workshop faculty] Miles Wagner also had a book published by them. When I checked out their website the type of books they were publishing were right down my alley.


An original illustration by David HL Burton, to be included in “Wingmakers”

Q: Once accepted, what was the process like for preparing your book for publication? A: “Wingmakers” was edited a total of five times. Once or twice by me, once by my dear friend and incredible writer himself, DJ Carlile, and then a few times with Gary and Susan, the owners and head editors of Pinyon. When the full manuscript was sent to them and accepted, they made the editing process very smooth for me. They didn’t ask for many changes and all changes that were made, were approved by me ahead of time. We worked together really well; thoroughly, but also swiftly. I fell in love with the cover as soon as I saw it. Q: How did you choose kickstarter to obtain funding for your project? A: My friend, Sophia, has a non-profit strings ensemble, who did her own fundraising to make her dreams come true. She helped and inspired me to go with Kickstarter to help fund my book. I wanted to do grants, but the grant writing process took too much time, was too complicated, and there were too many grants I couldn’t apply for because of how specific they were. Plus there are so many successful publishing campaigns on Kickstarter. Q: How will you use the money you get from Kickstarter? A: I am hoping to buy 50-75 (maybe less, maybe more) copies of “Wingmakers” upfront, to sell (give as rewards to those who have donated), distribute to review journals, and different poetry awards. Then the rest I would like to pay my illustrator, go to writing conferences and workshops, and setup book readings, and signings, locally and possibly out of state. Q: What have you learned from the publishing process so far that you think other newcomers might appreciate knowing? A: When it comes to publishing, whether it be a book or individual pieces, do it often and don’t let fear of rejection get in the way of amazing opportunities. From my experience, I have learned that it is also important to really pay attention to what the editors of literary magazines or publishing companies are looking for. Actually read the books they publish and the literary magazines or reviews they come out with. Though most publishing companies and literary magazines or reviews are not genre specific, they have a good idea of what they are looking for in a poem or a piece of fiction. Lastly, if you have a manuscript ready to be sent to a publisher, send it to them over the summer. When my book was accepted in July or August of 2014, literally that same day I read an article that said to send your books to publishers over the summer. Their reasoning was that during the summer people aren’t sending in manuscripts because most people are on vacation, not writing or submitting anything. I can definitely attest to this being true as my book was accepted during the summer. Q: Where do you draw your inspiration for your writing? A: For “Wingmakers” in particular, I was inspired by a owl late at night hooting as loud as he could. A desire to write a book was brewing in me for a while, and I was always told: “write what you know.” For the longest time I really didn’t know what to write, but that night I figured it out. I wrote about what I knew and that consisted of ancient world mythologies, combined with my love for birds. I still draw my inspiration from world myths, but now a days I am working on being inspired by any and everything.

Special Editors’ Edition to Release Soon!

Editors' Edition to release May 5th!

Editors’ Edition to release May 5th!

Hey fellow writers!  The last fifteen weeks have flown by and we hope the end of the semester is wrapping up nicely for everyone.

This year has brought the staff of 13th Floor Magazine on an exciting journey.  We have flourished as a team, accumulated new staff members, enhanced our own abilities of writing and editing, and had the opportunity to collect wonderful, original work from our peers for our first three Issues.  We have seen support, sponsorship, and publications from two faculty members: Margaret Lukas with her debut novel, Farthest House, and Lisa Sandlin with her short story, “Phelan’s First Case,” published in USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series.  There have been exciting poetry and prose slams and can’t-miss reading events.  We had the much anticipated release of Issue 2 and are currently going through our recent submissions for upcoming Issue 3.

Many of our staff members will be graduating in a few short weeks, an accomplishment that has been achieved with hard work, time management, hours of workshopping, and late night editing, writing, reading….and rewriting, and rereading.  After dedicating ourselves to publishing the work of our classmates, we thought it would be fun to showcase our own work for a special, first time Editors’ Edition, which is due to release on Monday, May 5th!  Quite a few of these graduating staff members were vital in 13th Floor Magazine’s creation, and being able to see our work on both the front cover and within the pages is a privilege.  As you have all put forth great effort to share your creative, original work for Issues 1, 2, and 3, we want to showcase ourselves so that you, our readers, can get to know us as writers.

Look forward to the works of Kate Bard, Kristin Pothast, Alexandria Hodge, Jared Newman, Kelsey Bee, Chelsey Risney, Ahmad Jaffrey, Mystery Harwood, Justin Powell, Hannah Gill, and Britny Doane.  We are excited to share our best work with all of you!  This Editors’ Edition would not be possible without the support of all our readers, contributors, and supporters.  You are just as important to 13th Floor Magazine as we are.  Thank you for allowing us to continue to bring a creative outlet  for the arts to the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Mark Your Calendars! Issue 3 Deadline is Coming Up Fast.

march31stdeadlineAlthough Issue 2 was released just last week, Issue 3 will be here before you know it.  Make sure to mark your calendars for March 31, as it is the last day to submit work for upcoming Issue 3 this fall.  Everyone is encouraged to submit their creative, original works of fiction, creative non-fiction, personal essay, micro fiction, poetry, or art.  We have had submissions from a wide variety of talented authors for the past two issues, and cannot wait to see what is in store for Issue 3.  There is no time to waste, get those submissions in today!


Submission Format

  • All files should be in .doc, .docx, or .rtx formats
  • Do not put your name in the document.  Do not put your name in the filename. Please use only the title of your work in the filename.  This is very important to us as we want to maintain a fair and unbiased selection process for each of our submissions.
  • In the body of your e-mail, please include a brief biography.  You can write whatever you’d like, but feel free visit our Meet the Staff page if you need some ideas.  If your submission is chosen for publication, your biography will be included in the magazine as well.  Remember, the biography needs to be in the body of your e-mail, NOT your submitted work.
  • All prose and poetry should be double spaced and in standard fonts Times New Roman or Arial.  
  • Be sure to thoroughly edit your work for spelling and grammar errors so you can represent your best work possible.  If you need editing assistance, don’t hesitate to use campus services like the Writing Center.
  • If you would like more tips on professionally formatting your document, please read Formatting 101 by Marlys Pearson.

E-mail Submission

Once you have professionally prepared your submission, e-mail it to 13thfloormagazine@gmail.com Remember, include your biography in your e-mail!

If You Are an Educator

Please encourage your students to submit their best work. It’s a great way to get experience submitting professionally, and may result in publishing credits! Your help is crucial to making our campus magazine a success!

On Campus: Margaret Lukas to Release New Book

9781608080809-COVER-187x300Writer’s Workshop instructor Margaret Lukas is set to release her new book, Farthest House with WriteLife LLC on January 14th, 2014.

Farthest House, with its rich threads of mysticism, explores jealous, betrayal, and ultimately the healing power of self-forgiveness. When Willow is born and her mother dies moments later, only the narrator of this spellbinding, debut novel knows the death isn’t from complications of childbirth. Amelie-Anais, who lived in France and is now buried on the Nebraska hilltop where the family home resides, tells this story of deceit and survival from beyond the grave. Following Willow’s life and Willow’s incredible passion to paint despite loneliness, a physical handicap, and being raised by a father plagued with secrets, Amelie-Anais weaves together the lives of four generations.

“Margaret Lukas has written a page-turner of a novel. Farthest House, boldly narrated by an unsettled spirit, is part-ghost story and a full-out love story of a family coming to terms with its mysterious past, much of it lived in an ancestral home set within a gorgeously rendered Nebraska landscape. Above all, Farthest House is the story of Willow, a bewildered little girl who grows into a passionate painter. I can’t remember the last time I rooted so enthusiastically for a heroine.” – Anna Monardo, author of Falling in Love with Natassia, and The Courtyard of Dreams

Farthest House is $17.00, and available for pre-order from WriteLife.com.

Listen to Chapter 1 and 2 of Farthest House at FarthestHouse.com.