The editors of The Critical Flame welcome correspondence from readers. Send a note about reviews, opposing opinions, or corrections to info [at] criticalflame [dot] org.
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The Critical Flame publishes literary essays, critical reviews, and interviews, 1200-5000 words.
Book reviews that explore both the flaws and virtues in a work will be given preference over those that are only laudatory or mere vitriol. The title(s) under review ought to be recent, but in-depth critical essays may address a number of works across any period. Literary essays may cover any number of topics, from travel and history to philosophy and politics. Interviews should focus on the content, themes, and cultural implications of an author’s work (rather than their craft, their writing habits, or literary gossip).
Special Issue Alert! March-April 2017: On Parenthood
The editors are now looking for essays; reviews of books, film, or art; criticism; or interviews on the theme of parenthood. As always, CF remains a space where diverse of views and voices are welcome. Intersectional approaches and work in/on translation are especially encouraged.
The deadline to submit work is Friday, January 27. Email submissions to info [at] criticalflame [dot] org with “Parenthood Issue” in the subject line.
New issues are published six times annually in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Interviews are considered on a rolling basis. The deadlines to submit essays for each issue are:
January / February: December 1
March / April: February 1
May / June: April 1
July / August: June 1
September / October: August 1
November / December: October 1
Though well-researched essays are obviously preferred, The Critical Flame is not an academic journal. Our audience is the intelligent reading public. An enthusiastic, open, careful, inquisitive mind is the only prerequisite to becoming a contributor. Our past contributors are professors, librarians, bartenders, bloggers, students, carpenters, busboys. No special credentials needed.
To pitch an idea for a review or critical essay, or to submit a draft, email:
info [at] criticalflame [dot] org
You may have noticed that there are no comment forms at the end of our essays and reviews. This is not intended to discourage debate. Quite the contrary. Our mission is to incite meaningful, reasonable, intelligent discussion of the merits of a given text and the values of our current age.
So let me ask: how often have you engaged in that kind of discourse in the comments section of a website? If you’re lucky, you can count the instances on one hand. It’s hard to say why comment sections encourage the worst in people, but whatever it is, we’re not interested. NPR recently jettisoned the comment sections; bully for them.
So please, argue about the essays here. Share them on Facebook and Twitter. Email them to your friends, your book groups, your classmates. Debate them over a cup of coffee or, as the CF staff prefers, over a nice single-malt scotch (an Oban is on the shelf now). Meet people in real life and have a real conversation.
A good essay is the beginning of a discussion, not its end.