So, you missed the online anniversary reading which happened live from our humble studio last week. Well don’t sweat it, reader! You can still watch every minute of it below. We had fun, as did our readers, and you can to, just click play or follow this link to view the video on YouTube.


We were pleased to hear from Mary Collins, Lesley HowardJ.J. Anselmi, Kate Washington, Brigitte Bowers, Jonny Blevins and Wendy Williams. Who woulda’ known Mary has such a beautiful accent? Or that Brigitte could evoke so much laughter? These details are the tiny nuances we get to witness and share when experiencing events such as live readings. They bring us together, and especially in a technologically-driven age, keep us human and connected.

No-Fee Submissions

Apart from the anniversary reading, we’re still honoring our promise to waive the submission fee for the entire month of October. But you better hurry and submit before that window ends on the 31st and before the winter deadline of November 1 approaches!

Mini Q&A With Featured Artists

One last thing we want you to keep your eyes open for are our Meet the Artist interviews we started sharing this week. If you follow us on any of our social media platforms, facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, then you will catch visual snippets of the artwork inside this issue and a quick one-question Q&A from the respective artist. So far Anna Ladd and Allen Forest have given us some compelling responses. To see one of ours and Allen’s sample interviews click here. As for Meet the Author interviews, we’ll have a new one to share within the coming week!




Meet the Author: Lucy Black

by Katie Walker on September 8, 2014

Lucy E.M. Black

Lucy E.M. Black is a Canada-based writer and an educator. The stories of the young people whom she has worked with have shaped her professional life as well at that of her storytelling. Lucy studied creative writing at the undergraduate level and later earned her master’s degree in nineteenth-century British Fiction. She has also been a student at the Sage Hill School of Writing and the Humber College School of Writing. Lucy received the “Writer of Distinction” award from Humber College for her manuscript on the plight of Irish immigrants in 1870s Ontario. Her story Mrs. Harris appears in our summer issue.

Q: When and why did you start writing?
A:  I started writing in grade one.  I wrote my first novel in a Hilroy scribbler–it was called The Great Mumbo and was a detective story. It was very thrilling and my teacher asked me to read it to the class. They loved it and it completely hooked me on having an audience.

Q: What do you enjoy most about writing?
A: The thing I love most about writing is the ability to engage other people in story while at the same time provoking them gently, I hope, with something meaningful.

Q: Where do you find your biggest inspiration when you write?
A: All of my writing stems from my life experiences and the people I have encountered.

Q: Do you have a writing schedule?
A: My writing schedule fluctuates according to the background of living.  I try to be disciplined about a writing regime but find that life often intrudes and my active writing time disappears.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, good stories need time to percolate, I think.

Q: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
A: The hardest part of writing for me is the editing. I tend to over-write and produce a great deal of material. The boiling down and cutting takes a great deal of hard work and perspective.

Q: How long does it usually take you to finish a story?
A: I can usually write the first draft of a story in a couple of weeks. Sometimes it takes me years to edit and polish it. Occasionally, a story will come out very nearly right, but that is the exception. Mostly, I fine-tune and chop and change them for months.

Q: Are you working on anything now?
A: I’m always working on two or three things at a time. Typically I have a new story on the go at the same time that I am re-working and re-writing and editing a couple of others. 

Q: How many rejections did you get before you had something published?  How did you deal with them?
A: I received hundreds of rejections before my first story was published. I saved them in a file folder for years thinking what fun it would be to do something creative with them when I finally had something accepted. By the time I had something accepted, the file was so fat and I was so tired of moving it  around, that I cheerfully threw the whole thing out.

Q: How did you celebrate when you got your first acceptance?
A:  My husband and I danced around the house and grinned like idiots when I received my first acceptance. It was a stellar night.

Q: Do you prefer typing or pencil to paper when you write?
A: I always carry a pad and pen with me and will often scribble down story ideas or names of streets. I’m a shameless eavesdropper and will also copy down bits of dialogue when in restaurants or cafes. I do the majority of my writing on a laptop but all of my editing is done with a pen on a hard copy. 

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
A:  I am an educator and have a responsible position that I love. It allows me to work with young people and all manner of interesting individuals. I think, though, that I’m almost always writing–in that I try to be a keen observer of life, and people and things–and try to take everything in so I can use it in my work, however imperfectly. 

Q: Who is your favorite author?
A:  I have several favorite authors. I love William Trevor and Alice Munroe for their short stories. I love Dickens for his wicked characterizations. I love Austen and Charlotte Bronte for their romantic figures and keen observations. And I love Margaret Laurence for the world she created for us and the honesty of her characters. But I also love Donna Morrissey for the haunting and evocative stories she tells and the beauty and clarity of life that she shares.  

Q: What are some of your favorite books?
A: Some of my favorite books include Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, The Stone Angel, Sylvanus Now, Three Day Road.

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: The best piece of advice I ever received about writing came from Donna Morrissey. She told me to “get to the heart of the story”. I thought that was brilliant and try hard to do that when I’m editing. It’s actually harder to do then it sounds!


Meet the Author: Rachel Lowrance

August 25, 2014

Featured in our current issue is Rachel Lowrance and her story, “Capturing the Beauty.” Rachel is both a musician and writer from Detroit, Michigan. She is a firm believer of using both crafts to create art which speaks truth. She keeps two different blogs, one about music here and her blog about life here. We highly recommend looking […]

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Meet the Author: Rob Freedman

August 15, 2014

Robert Freedman is another of Under the Gum Tree’s most recent contributors from our summer issue that we’d love for you to meet –because we loved meeting him too. Robert is both a writer and teacher, writing for over forty years and teaching for thirty. His novel, Fancypants: an autobiographical novel, was published in 2008 and other works […]

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Meet the Author: Chelsea Schott

July 28, 2014

Under the Gum Tree is pleased to bring you — a Q&A with Chelsea Schott. Chelsea teaches literature and writing, and is a recent graduate of Rice University where she is also president of the MLS Writers. Chelsea has had her work published in Germ Magazine, The Winter Tangerine Review, and most recently, Chelsea’s story, “The Frederick Boy” […]

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