Almost in direct contrast to the hope in one of this issue’s other flash stories, ‘Trash Heap Homes’, Mallarie Stevens’ ‘Faking It’ explores the numbness of the character’s mental state. It is a singular intimate moment in her experience with this therapist, seemingly insignificant until the end, when it becomes everything. Beautifully rich poetic prose, thick with atmosphere and imagery.
Thom Connors’ ‘Trash Heap Homes’ is an extremely relatable account of recovery and hope, simultaneously down to earth while concealing hidden depths of meaning. It’s a testimony to how strong this story’s voice is when we cared about its narrator after only a few paragraphs.
While we are delighted that Inside The Bell Jar has resonated well with writers from the mental health community, we are saddened by the lack of submissions from people of colour, and those from the LGBTQA+ communities.
Cathy’s Comps & Calls is unique in that it lists completely free-to-enter writing competitions and calls for submissions, which is absolutely fantastic if you are wanting to send out your writing to multiple sites.
Inside the Bell Jar is proud to endorse Steampunk Universe, a steampunk anthology featuring disabled and aneurotypical characters, along with its kickstarter.
Welcome to Issue Two of Inside The Bell Jar, where you’ll explore some dark, yet utterly relatable themes in the way of short stories, poetry and flash.
Maggie Haraberr’s You Know Nobody Likes You (or, ‘How To Make A Joke’) is an instantly relatable journey into the mind of one with identity struggles and poor self worth. Rhyme and form intertwine with the poem’s meaning, creating an extremely strong voice and an instant pick for the issue. Clarity is certainly important when tackling a mental illness, especially one that receives such an astounding amount of stigma as BPD. Poetically, this piece is gorgeous; ebbing and flowing with ease on the reader’s tongue.
Evan Matyas’ poem is one of duality – a struggle for identity in the face of perceived lack of worth. Tight metaphors and masked strength make this an extremely powerful poem and an instant choice for our second issue.
Mother is an absolutely tragic, yet unflinchingly raw reveal of one woman’s final moments as she contemplates suicide. The piece’s strength lies not only in the strong visual imagery, but also in the sufferer’s turmoil, their inner thoughts and emotions, along with their mania as they reach the end of their life.