GFT Press: an All Profits to Charity Literary and Art Press


GFT Press was an all profits to charity literary and art press with a very clear-cut vision. Their focus here was not only to share remarkable work with the world but also to benefit charity through doing so.
This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2016 archived pages providing a very brief glimpse of what this site offered its readership and writers.


We publish new material online the first Thursday of each month (Ground Fresh Thursday) and in print semiannually (GFT Presents: One in Four). GFT Press will be donating any and all profits to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  
Editor-in-chief - Jack Daniel Miles
Jack Daniel Miles is a writer, volunteer educator, and musician currently residing in Gainesville, FL. Jack's primary motivation for becoming involved in a project like GFT Press stems from his own success in triumphing over OCD and anxiety. Jack's work has most recently been featured or is forthcoming in Indiana Voice JournalDown in the Dirt MagCorvus Review, and on Danse Macabre's DM du Jour. You can check out his sporadically updated blog and some of his other work at You can also follow him at

Contributing Editor - Carl Wade Thompson, PhD 
Carl Wade Thompson is a writer and the graduate programs writing tutor at Texas Wesleyan University. His poems and essays focus on personal memories, class, and his experiences living with mental illness. His work has appeared in The EnigmatistThe Mayo ReviewThe Concho River ReviewAnak SastraElegant RageSheepshead ReviewCenizoCrosstimbersThe Blue Collar Review, andLabor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas. He is also a contributing editor at GFT Press.

Interviewer-at-large - Ruth F. Hunt
Ruth F. Hunt is the author of The Single Feather and a columnist for the Morning Star (UK). Along with having a mood disorder, she has worked in the provision of mental health services in a formal and informal capacity. Ruth is fascinated by the links between creativity and mental health and truly enjoys conducting interviews for GFT Press and other publications. You can find out more about Ruth via her blog at and on Twitter as @RFHunt1.

Contributing Editor - Sara Whitestone
Sara Whitestone is a novelist-in-progress, an essayist-in-practice, and an un-tortured-poet-in-process. In exchange for coaching in creativity, Whitestone’s perse students introduce her to the mysteries of the world. Whitestone has presented workshops at Chautauqua, Johns Hopkins, and other venues where external beauty and internal words merge. Whitestone is a contributing editor at GFT Press, and her works have appeared either in print or online in The Portland Review, Word Riot, The Piedmont VirginianLiterary Traveler, SLAB, and many others. Whitestone’s current project is a fictional autobiography titled Counting to 100. To learn more about Whitestone’s inner and outer adventures, visit

Ground Fresh Thursday
Publishing New Lit and Art the First Thursday of Every Month


Allen Forrest, Granville Street at Hudson's Bay

Submissions: Please Review This Entire Section (Yes, we know it’s a lot)


Whether it's a journey through our priceless existence, a struggle to achieve personal contentment, a heart-wrenching brush with defeat, an intelligent observation on humanity, a deep desire for your voice to be heard, stirring inspiration, or just pure entertainment, we want it and will strive to share it. 

We want your best, most remarkable, polished work.

We publish new material online the first Thursday of each month (Ground Fresh Thursday) and in print semiannually (the first issue of our print journal, GFT Presents: One in Four, is now available). 

  • Poetry: Up to 5 poems per submission
  • Fiction: Short stories up to 3000 words
  • Flash Fiction: Up to 1000 words (Please make it at least semi-coherent—beginning, middle, end—get in, get out, make sense.)
  • Nonfiction: We are flexible on the nonfiction word count, but we prefer less than 2000 words.
  • Interviews: For the most part, we are looking for interviews that directly relate to literature, art, and/or mental health. If you have an interview that you are unsure is a proper fit, please query prior to submitting. 
  • Visual Art: Almost anything. We are cool with photography, paintings, sketches, comics, etc. If you tell us it’s art, we’ll try and take your word for it and be objective. Hey, we might even ask to use it to decorate the website! (Art submissions accepted for print publication will be utilized on the front and/or back cover of the journal.) You are permitted to submit up to five pieces of visual art. If you are unable to place all pieces in one file, you may complete multiple submissions within Submittable in this category.

You may also be wondering what we don’t want. Well, we really don’t dig the wildly graphic, overtly obscene stuff—nothing that would be considered pornographic. No disrespect to the folks who are into creating that kind of art and literature, but it just ain’t our bag at GFT Press. With that being said, we are okay and understanding of the use of mature themes and language within literature and art—life is what it is.


A Few of the Authors and there were many...


Beautiful front cover art by W. Jack Savage entitled, Late to the Renewal Game

A.S. Coomer
Fiction - "Attempts. Failures."

A.S. Coomer is a writer of fiction and poetry. He likes cats, books, and comics. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in issues of Red Fez, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Literary Orphans Journal, The Quill, Blotterature, Flash Fiction Magazine, Oxford Magazine, The Poets Without Limits, The Broadkill Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Thirteen Myna Birds, Intrinsick, Serving House Journal, and others. He’s got some novels finished but is having the hardest time finding somebody to put ‘em out. You can find him at

Attempts. Failures.
There are days. And there are these days. The ones that stretch out before and behind you like prison sentences. Worse, death sentences.
You wake up. You go to work. You come home. You go to bed.
Is this life? Is this the sum total of my existence?
He looked back at the words the next morning, working towards the middle of his first pot of coffee.
They still meant the same thing.

“Well, that’s something.”
He flipped the page and started scribbling.
Where are the great flashes? Where are the bright excursions into understanding? Truth?
This is another day. Just like yesterday. And the day before. Just like tomorrow. Ad infinitum.
He sat back and drained the last of the coffee.
“Time for work.”

The walk to the coffee shop wasn’t exceedingly long. Detroit Avenue ran along the larger, more congested Anthony Wayne Trail and was quieter and less iffy along this stretch. The sidewalk was a challenge, though. It was lifted nearly six inches in places from the harsh winter freezes. He had to constantly watch his feet and where he placed them. Like a child learning an involved, intricate dance. Something halting and oddly formal. Russian, perhaps.

He was thinking about his own intense naval gazing.
“I’m not above it. Hell, I’m probably somewhere miles below it.”

Nothing and nothing and all that. It rattled around in his head like a marble, winding down and down a sewer pipe.

He knew what he wrote wasn’t exceptional. It wasn’t groundbreaking. He wasn’t the next Ernest Hemingway. He wasn’t the next Flannery O’Connor. But the words had to come. They had to be scribbled out. Etched black things—crazily slanted when he was drinking or mad in his isolation—that had to be birthed. They had to come screaming out into existence.
 “They’re not for anything.”
They weren’t. These weren’t letters. They weren’t intended for anyone or anything in particular. They just were.
He nodded.
There’s a deep philosophical truth in that, he thought.
 “They just are.”
He nodded again and carefully navigated around the gnarled roots of a towering elm.
Tell me anything. Tell me anything. Show me something.
He let the little notebook flutter shut and drop to the floor. His head buzzed like a hive of waking fire ants.

Even the coffee tasted metallic this morning. He didn’t remember getting home the night before. He’d walked across the highway to the little liquor store after his shift and bought a pint of Jim Beam. He’d taken it out of the brown bag, which he used as a tissue, blew his nose, and set about pacing the railroad tracks. They crisscrossed the city like scars. They were everywhere. So prevalent they were easily forgotten, overlooked.

Toledo came to resemble some aging attempted suicide, bandaged up or scarred over. Attempts. Failures.

His memory phased out somewhere below the red seal on the label. He’d been talking to himself. Thoughts as little snatches of lyrical epiphany interspersed with dashes into the notebook. When he rolled out of the bed that morning to make the first pot of coffee, he was genuinely relieved to find the notebook sitting on the floor beside his pants.
I just need it. I do. Lost.
The words were surprisingly legible for how messed up he must’ve been at that point in the evening. Little glimpses of a train lumbering by in the deepening dusk, a doe leaping off into the overgrowth, coupled with a hole the size of the sun in his heart. He remembered weeping. Really weeping. There. Alone. Sitting on an unused railroad tie, his head in his hands, his back quaking with a force he was sure was going to kill him then and there.
Then it passed.
Settled back down, the cat curling up by the window for another heavy winter storm. Waiting. Tail swishing. He got up and—must’ve—finished the bottle.

 “I guess I am. Lost.”
He forced down the coffee and got ready for work.
 “Here’s your latte, sir.”
 “Hey, hey.”
He turned back around to the counter.

“This isn’t what I ordered.”
 “Jesus. Were you even listening? I repeated myself like three times. Are you stoned?”
 “No, sir. Sorry. Let me remake it.”

 He took the cup from the man. There was such anger there. Disgust.

“What was it that you ordered, sir?”

“Are you fucking kidding me? I just told you. Where’s your manager?”
The first swallows brought tears to his eyes, which stung in the crippling cold. He paused, gulped in the November night, and drank more. He finished the bottle outside the store, walked back in, and got another.
The tracks. The tracks, the tracks, the tracks, the tracks.

Where do they go? Where don’t they go? Why don’t you just take me somewhere?
Where can I go?

He worked on the bottle. He sang the little snatches to himself and, dutifully, scribbled a sentence down here and there.

He didn’t know where he was. He’d set off without any sense of direction. He didn’t recognize the backs of any of the buildings or houses that lined the tracks, so he just kept right on walking. He figured he’d get somewhere.
What’ll it be that saves me? Will it be a girl? A job? A purpose? How will I know it when it arrives?
I don’t think the clouds part. I don’t think there are trumpets. I don’t believe that greeting card shit about “just knowing.” I don’t know shit.


What if there isn’t anything? That can save me. What if there is only the hourglass—dirty grains of sand dropping like stones in a pond until it’s over?
He’d made it home again. The afternoon sun was streaking in gray through the open bedroom window. A breeze ruffled the ragged curtains, second-hand curtains. Goodwill curtains.

He looked at the clock. He was already late. He felt his stomach drop, knowing this was the end of this job. One in a long succession of lost jobs. A heaping pile of dead dead-end jobs.

He rolled over and went back to sleep.
What is the defining moment? Where is the mover’s hand? Where is the underlying current? The reason? The purpose?
He ripped that page out and tossed it into the trash.
He took the last of the money out of the bank. He bought a bottle. He walked the tracks.
 “Rent’s already late.”

“No more money coming in.”

His steps crunched in the gravel between ties. His boots were old, the soles barely holding together, and they squeaked a second before his foot hit the ground each time. It became the melody.
Where do you run when the nothing stretches out forever? Where do you go when you’re at the bottom of the world?

He wished he had another bottle. He wished he had another home. Another job. Another life. He wished and wished and walked.

Night came and settled in. He lost feeling in his feet but kept them moving. He thought about freezing to death. Did he have the dignity to go quietly into the night, somewhere off the path, out of the way? Or would he lose his resolve and rush out into traffic waving his dick around to get arrested and out of the cold?
The darkness is blinding. It is its own light. The light of a thousand black suns more piercing than love.
There were drops of what he knew must be tears on the page. The writing wasn’t slanted but obviously slowly, carefully written. The words had been important. The meaning stretched out between them like lifetimes.

“One’s too many.”
He would become that disheveled man in tattered clothing that talks to himself. Little bits of the interior dialogue bubbling up to the surface for the sane, rational world to balk at, laugh at.
This is the beginning of the end.

It felt like a song he’d been waiting to sing his entire life.
When the levee breaks.
That was all the words he’d written for the past three days. He didn’t know what city he was in any longer. Wasn’t sure it was still Toledo or if he’d moved into Michigan or headed towards middle Ohio.

“Doesn’t really matter, now does it?”

He guessed it didn’t. Movement was about the only thing that mattered. Motion was his religion. The great shuffling of the feet. The blending of the landscape. The eternal directionlessness.

“The great distance.”

But what was distance? How could it really be measured? Inches, feet, yards, miles? What were these constructs now? They were illusions. They were words. Words and words and words. The world is filled with them. His head sagging with them; overripened fruit blackened and sliming on the branch. The steps helped clear them. Not a lot but a little and that was better than nothing. There was too much nothing in the world already.
Found a box of raisins. They were mostly ok.
He pondered this entry for hours. There was a sage-like quality to it. Some unspoken truth hiding in there, maybe in the white spaces. Some old, Asiatic monk with glittering eyes painting the words with the blackest ink. The haiku of honesty. The truest words the man had found.

“They were mostly ok,” he repeated to himself again. “Mostly. Ok.”
Somewhere along the way, he’d picked up a cough. A hoarse, rattling thing that shook his chest like a cheap chandelier. It slowed him down.
His religion felt persecuted.
“This is my great hurdle.”

He smiled to himself at the floating image of himself as a Puritan fleeing England. The first struggles of the burgeoning faith of motion. The first trial is stagnancy.

But hadn’t that been the problem all along? he wondered.
Would they see him for what he was? The first martyr of the true religion?

He saw himself, shriveled up, purple and smiling, dead on the side the tracks. A police officer and an EMT standing there, little puffs of breath swirling from their noses in the early morning cold, discussing what they see as the passing of yet another drifter in the long winter night. Another nameless, meaningless person, lost and floating in an ever expanding, interconnected world.

“How do they get like this?” the EMT will ask.
“Dunno,” the cop will say. “Choose it, I guess.”

They’ll nod their heads in unison and bag him up. His body, frozen with cold and the natural decay of life, will seem unseemly to them. His smile out of place.


Like all religious things seen for the first time by the uninitiated. But that smile will make them neophytes. They’ll go home at the end of their shifts and find their houses not quite as comfortable as they’d left them that morning. Their bellies not quite as full as they’d expected after what should’ve been a fully satisfying meal. Their beds will not cradle them into the peaceful sleep they’d grown so accustomed to.

The word rang true. A crystalline bell pealing off into the nothing, encapsulating the piercing

echo of lost humanity. The rock skipping out in front of his boots, clanging against the metal tracks, rang true. The shot in the dark that briefly illuminated the pale, shaking hands before the wide, craven eyes. The ravens grating in the ravine rang true. The echoes of honesty carried off with the stiff, cutting wind. He missed a step, stumbled, nearly fell, and knew this, too, rang true.



Comment: I first read A.S.Coomer's prose here at GFT Press and became a fan. In 2017 a new book of his was published called The Fetishists. Some of the reviews on (and there are a lot) might give you pause.
This is definitely not for all audiences. The first half of this book goes back and forth in time. There is a secret fetish auction and the aftermath when Jefferson wakes up missing fingers in an unknown place. Around the midway point, we find out what has happened and the novel somehow becomes even more disturbing. It's very bleak! I don't think I can recall a time where I felt physically sick reading a book before this. It was a very well-told story. I enjoyed the writing style, it was masterful without being flowery. I'm not sure if 'I enjoyed it' is accurate, but I'd recommend picking it up if you're thinking about it.

Or my review: Absolutely wild from start to finish! I've been meaning to read this so I bought it for kindle so I had something to read on my phone if I forgot to bring a book with me, but I couldn't put this down! So fucking twisted.

Wow. I bought this novel a few hours ago and could not put it down. From start to finish the story is filled with suspense and tension and I found myself flipping pages faster and faster to find out what was going to happen next. Written with the unique ability only the best authors have, the fantastic goriness in the book will play out in your mind in the full vivid red the book evokes. I could physically feel myself start to tense up in the more harrowing parts of the book and would have to pause for a moment and regain some calm before continuing. Really riveting read.

My partner was intrigued by my total immersion in the story. We were supposed to be getting ready for a ski vacation out in Aspen Colorado. My partner was trying to get me to check out these new North Face jackets she had found at Bob's Sports Chalet where we buy all out outdoor clothing. I love that online store. I could probably spend a half a day looking at all their equipment. But I couldn't put down The Fetishists. Fortunately for me, my partner pretty well knows my taste and ended up ordering a new North Face ski jacket for me, unbeknownst to me. It wasn't until the jacket arrived a week later did I realize what she had done. Hey, but I loved the jacket, almost as much as I loved the The Fetishists.. Check out A.S. Coomer's two newest books that were published in 2018, Shining the Light, and in 2019, The Devil's Gospel. They are available in Kindle Editions which is the best way to read, and reread them. At least I think so.

So I just want to thank GFT Press for my initial introduction to A.S.Coomer. Too bad yo have not lasted as long as he has.



David Anthony Sam
Poetry - "Song of Sixth Extinction," "Becoming"

Born in Pennsylvania, David Anthony Sam now lives in Culpeper, Virginia, with his wife and life partner, Linda, and serves as president of Germanna Community College. He has two collections: Dark Land, White Light (1974, 2014) and Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves (2014). Sam was the featured poet in the Winter 2016 issue of The Hurricane Review and in 2015 was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize.


Charles Joseph
Poetry - "Ashes and Tombstones," "Atonement"

Charles Joseph lives and writes in Montclair, NJ. He is the author of four poetry chapbooks that people seem to really like, and No Outlet (a novel) that he’s currently shopping to agents. His new chapbook, Fireball (12 quasi-epic poems of cheerful doom and gloom), is available at

Ashes and Tombstones

Despite whatever
the witch doctors tell you
a death is never a celebration.
But regardless of what
one does on this earth
a fragment is generally left behind
that someone will carry with them
like a stone or a grain of sand in their boot
that rubs their skin raw enough
to leave an indelible mark
over an indelible mark
that was formed the moment
eyes met eyes or words touched ears
and love was something
that wasn’t discussed but felt
as the hands of clocks raced forward
and the years melted away
only to expose that a galaxy of hellos
can be pulverized to stardust
by one catastrophic good-bye.
So no, despite whatever
the witch doctors tell you
a death is never a celebration.
But honoring a memory
is as close to noble
as most of us
can ever hope to be.


To say that I regret my sins
would be an understatement.
And I'm aware that whatever
I've done wrong in my life
won't get me on the five o'clock news
but I still have a hard time living with myself.
So most days I flog myself pretty good
because if it was good enough for Saint Francis
then it's good enough for me.
But sometimes when I lie awake in the dark
I wonder if perhaps this is exactly
what that devil on my shoulder
had planned for me all along

because my angel won't stop weeping.


Levi Jiorle
Poetry - "Playing Darts with a Prodigy," "The Lonely Wanderer"

Levi Jiorle is a 24-year-old poet from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. What he loves most about writing is how it reveals your emotional state, which allows you to connect with people who would otherwise seem unfamiliar. Besides being a poet, he is also a bassist, craft beer enthusiast, and a college student majoring in English education. He has been previously published by Lehigh Valley Vanguard and Cultured Vultures. 


Devin J. Donovan
Poetry - "The Sound of Being"

Devin J. Donovan lives in Charlottesville, VA where he teaches writing at the University of Virginia and moonlights as a plumber. Devin's poetry has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, Three Line Poetry, and is forthcoming in The Gap-Toothed Madness. His recent plumbing work is forthcoming in a basement apartment to which he is adding a kitchen. 


Tom Russell
Poetry - "Pill Box," "Diagnosis"

Tom Russell lives in Nebraska and has worked at the Omaha Public Library for the past two of his six decades.


J.C. Elkin
Poetry - "Evasion"

An optimist, linguist, singer, and founder of the Broadneck Writers’ Workshop, J.C. Elkin publishes prose and poetry in such journals as Kansas City Voices, Kestrel, Delmarva Review, and Angle. Her chapbook World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom (Apprentice House, 2014) is based on her experiences teaching English to immigrants.


Frances Klein
Poetry - "Scenes from the Indianapolis Art Museum"

Frances Klein is a high school English teacher. She was born and raised in Southeast Alaska and taught in Bolivia and California before settling in Indianapolis with her husband, Kris. She has been published in the Indiana Voice Journal. 


Carrie Ann Golden
Fiction - "Journal of Life"

Carrie Ann Golden is a native of the Adirondack Mountains who, not in her right mind, relocated to North Dakota. She now lives on a farmstead full of cats and bunnies. A wife to a former Naval officer, and mother to a preteen son, Carrie writes short stories, poetry, and occasionally take assignments as a citizen journalist.

Journal of Life

January 15th

Where to begin? Because of so and so, and of something that happened, I'm to start keeping a journal of my thoughts and feelings and whatever else I care to share. WTH.

Okay, let's start from the beginning. My name is Carla Jones. I'm twenty-five, and I live with my parents. Eh, that sounds like an opener for one of those Alcoholics Anonymous sessions. I'm not an alcoholic, but I am a screw-up.

Damn. That sounds pretty harsh now that it's out there. But this is what my shrink wants to read, so there you go. 

I lived a fairly normal life, I guess. Grew up in a small town in the mountains. Mom was a telephone operator for many years before switching to being an administrative assistance at a local community college. Dad's a salesperson at a hardware store.  I have two sisters. Trish, the eldest, moved out of the house when she was eighteen. She joined the Navy. I hardly ever see her. Mandy, the baby, is off to college, studying power engineering. She's the brains, like Dad. 

Me? I'm the oddball. The one with all the problems.  

Heck, I'm not even related to these people. Not by blood anyway. You see, my parents tried to have another baby after Trish was born, but nothing happened after four years.  So, they adopted me. Mandy came along as a complete surprise three years later. That left me, a brunette with blue eyes, sandwiched between these blonde-haired, brown-eyed individuals. Yep, like an oddball.

We lived next to Mom's parents (Dad's parents died when he was a boy).  Nana and Papa to Trish and Mandy, but not to me. They made that well known as soon as I was old enough to understand. I was to call them Pat and Dave. 


Trish and Mandy were always into sports. I tried, but I was deemed too klutzy to play on any team. So, I turned to running. I never competed, though. All that hardcore training and competing in meets or races never interested me. 

I never excelled in anything in school. It's not for the lack of's just that I really didn't care. I studied just enough to pass the exams. That's it. Mom and Dad never really pushed me. They pretty much let me do my own thing. They rode the other two daily, though. They accepted nothing less than As or Bs from them.

When it came time to head off to college, I had no clue what to major in. I wasn't interested in science or math or business. I ended up picking a major in Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. I had always doodled with poetry and wrote in my journal, so why not take them one step further, right? Boy, my Dad was not happy with that. I asked, what's wrong with being a writer or a journalist?   He said that those weren't respectable fields. So, in order to appease him, I switched to a major in Kinesiology with a minor in Athletic Training. 

I got as far as sophomore year before dropping out. I sucked in science classes and ended up failing them. 

I refused to move back home—didn't want to endure the daily scorn from Pat and Dave or the disappointed looks from my parents. Instead, I moved to a small city an hour from home and got a job working as a writer for the city's newspaper. I rented a tiny, run-down apartment downtown that robbed me of over half of my monthly salary. I had no furniture, slept on an air mattress, and ate meals on the grungy carpet. 

I guess I got too carried away with my sudden independence, or perhaps I was just overly desperate to be accepted for who I was. The people I ended up hanging out with liked to smoke pot. Personally, I hated pot, but these people made me feel like I was a somebody, like I actually mattered, so I just went with it.     

Anyway, I ended up getting caught with some weed and was sent to jail. Lost my job and my apartment. Dad bailed me out and took me back home. Not sure what he did, but he somehow got the charges against me reduced so that there was no court or jail time for me. However, the judge ordered me to see this shrink, and since I liked to write, this same shrink gave me this ridiculous journal assignment.  

January 29th

I'm writing this from my hospital bed. Actually, I'm in a psych ward within the hospital. The day after I wrote the first entry to this journaling assignment, Dad and I got into a big fight. Apparently, I'm a hardship to him and Mom, and it's starting to affect their health and job stability. I guess I just lost it. I yelled at him saying something like, well, if I'm such a hardship, perhaps I should just remove myself from their lives. 

I ran into the only bathroom in the house and locked myself in. I grabbed a shaving razor and proceeded to slash the top of my hands. Freaking out, Mom called 911. From there on, everything's just a blur. I remember waking up in a hospital room, strapped to the bed. My whole body felt bruised. Mom was sitting beside me, crying.  Dad, well, I haven't seen him since that night. She said that it took three people tackling me to stop me from continuing to slice my wrists. I don't remember that part, but she was right, both of my wrists are bandaged up. The top of my hands are also bandaged, so I can barely write this stupid entry.

This stupid assignment. Stupid shrink. I hate him. I hate them all.

February 3rd

I'm still here, in the psych ward. It seems that I'm not ready to be released yet. Or rather, my parents aren't ready to take me back home. Either way, I don't give a rip. 

February 7th

Mandy visited me yesterday. She said she was worried about me. She then turned around and told me how angry she was with me. How could I be so selfish to have hurt Mom and Dad. I told her to get out of my face. I don't need this from her or from anyone for that matter! 

February 12th

Why is everyone against me? What have I done so wrong to be treated so? Pat stopped by for a few minutes. Long enough to tell me that my own parents were seriously considering having me permanently committed. She went on to tell me that she did some research on my biological parents. My mother gave birth to me at the age of 13. She had been raped by her 16-year-old cousin who then committed suicide shortly afterward. Pat said that I should never have been adopted and that I've been nothing but a heartache to Mom and Dad. 

After she left, I just lied down on the bed and cried.

February 15th

The shrink told me that I was actually starting to make progress and that I should continue to journal. Whatever.

Today, I wrote my first poem in months. It's called "Alone."

Heart is the bridge to

one’s soul, break it in

pieces and it will

strand you, immerse you

with unspeakable loneliness

You know what? After writing this, I felt better. Purged. Does that make any sense? I'm looking back over it, and am wondering...where did this come from? Am I really that pathetic? Do I really feel that way

The answer is yes.

March 2nd

It's been a while since the last entry. I have a good reason. Well, make that twenty-five reasons, as that's how many poems I've written. I'm somewhat amazed at how dark and desperate some sounded. I thought about rewriting a few so they don't make me out to be some kind of psychotic bitch, but I didn't.

I worked up the courage and gave some to the shrink to read. I felt certain that he would definitely have me permanently committed after reading those particular ones (that would just please the family wouldn't it?). I was stunned when he said that they were really good. Then he had to ask if I had thought about submitting them to places to have them published. 



March 27th

I've been released from the hospital/psych ward. Since I'm no longer welcome home, I'm now living in a halfway house of sorts. I'm working part-time as a dishwasher at a college. It's nothing glamorous, just a no-brainer, tedious job. I did something last week that scared the crap out of me, though. I submitted a few of my poems to four literary journals. Shrink seems confident that one of these places will publish my work. I have serious doubts. I mean, who would want to read my stuff? They're just stupid poems. Nothing special about them at all

April 30th

I'm in disbelief. I received word yesterday that my poems have been accepted by Julienne Literary Journal to be published. Oh. My. God. 

I think I may have even hyperventilated because I found myself on the floor breathing hysterically with a bag over my face. All those poor people at the post office. God bless them for not freaking out on me.

May 16th

Good news keeps rolling in. Apparently, Dad has been working with a judge to try and get my criminal/drug/psych ward incarceration expunged from my record since it was my first offense, and guess what? As of this morning, I'm a free woman with a clean record! I've a feeling that my shrink may have had a hand in this even though he vehemently denied it. I know better.

This will be my last entry for the journaling assignment—the psych sessions are ending. As I read through the earlier entries, I hadn't realized just how full of anger I was, and rightfully so, but I've learned that I no longer need to be. There is so much more to life than holding on to the feeling of anger because people refused to accept me as I am. No more. I want to live my own life the way I feel is best for me. I no longer need to rely on others to help me feel worthy. I can do that for myself. Writing poems and journaling have shown me that. They became the keys to unlocking my true soul. 



2016 GFT Press Chapbook Contest

Please Read The Contest & Submission Guidelines Carefully
Submissions open from March 14th - June 30th

Grand Prize: Winner will be awarded publication, a brand new iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi 16GB - Space Gray ($399 retail value), 10 contributor copies, and 10% royalties on all copies sold.

Runner-up: Runner-up will be awarded publication, 5 contributor copies, and 10% royalties on all copies sold.
What we are looking for: We want clean, coherent, well-written, creative, cohesive manuscripts that strike hard and are relentless. We want to feel what you felt when you were crafting your work. If you choose to submit work that is grisly and biting, it must have a grace and beauty to it. If you submit work that is beautiful, make sure that it is not simply beautiful for beauty's sake alone. Show us that you respect your work and that you understand your craft. We do not want clichés or pseudo-cleverness. We do not want manuscripts that are defined only by the words on the page. We crave manuscripts that leave an indelible impression deep within us. Captivate us, surprise us, draw us in, but no matter what, do not bore us.    

This contest is open to unpublished English language poetry manuscripts of up to 20 pages (page count is for total pages of poetry) from new, emerging, and established writers. Manuscripts that have been self-published are not eligible. It is okay if individual pieces within the manuscript have been published elsewhere, but you must include an acknowledgements page within your manuscript. Simultaneous submissions will be accepted, but please keep in mind that the contest entry fee is non-refundable, and the simultaneous submission must be withdrawn through Submittable immediately if accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are also accepted, but each will require their own entry fee. Please DO NOT include any artwork with your submission. Cover art will be discussed with the grand prize winner and runner-up prior to publication. Please include a title page, table of contents, acknowledgements page (if necessary), dedication (if desired), and a cover letter (these items do not count against page count), but DO NOT include any identifying personal information within your manuscript or within the manuscript file name. Authors related to, or who have a close personal relationship with, anyone working or volunteering with or for GFT Press are not eligible. Current and previous GFT Press contributors are welcome to submit manuscripts. Any submitters failing to follow contest guidelines and/or submission guidelines will have their manuscript immediately withdrawn from consideration. The entry fee for the GFT Press 2016 Chapbook Contest is only $8. If you are a current subscriber to our print journal, GFT Presents: One in Four, your entry fee is only $5. You have the option in Submittable to enter the contest and subscribe to the journal simultaneously, as well.

Contest winners will be contacted by email and announced on or before October 1st. Contest prizes will be awarded upon publication. All manuscripts must be submitted electronically through Submittable (no exceptions will be made to this rule). GFT Press reserves the right to continue to sell, reprint, and publish selected manuscripts, and individual works contained within, in both electronic and printed forms. Royalties will be paid to authors on all chapbook sales until such a time as GFT Press terminates publication of the selected manuscript. All submissions will be considered for publication by GFT Press. By submitting your manuscript to the GFT Press 2016 Chapbook Contest you are acknowledging that you have read the contest and submission rules and guidelines and agree to all terms and conditions therein.


Submission Guidelines:

  • With the exception of visual art, please send no more than one submission per category at any one time. We’re totally fine with submissions in multiple categories, just don’t send two or three short stories and three separate poetry submissions all at once. Seriously, just stick to the rules listed above for each category.
  • If accepted for publication, please wait at least six months before submitting again. If your submission is declined, please wait at least thirty days before submitting again. Although, there are cases where we may request to see additional work immediately.
  • Please double space your prose submissions and single space your poetry. Keep in mind, we’re NOT huge fans of crazy formatting, but we’ll try to keep an open mind if you happen to be the reincarnation of e. e. cummings.
  • We will usually respond to General Submissions within three to four months.
  • Please upload your submission as one document. For visual art submissions, we accept jpg, gif, tiff, and png. For prose and poetry submissions, we prefer doc or docx, but you can also send pdf, rtf, and txt files. 
  • Simultaneous submissions are cool, but please let us know immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Depending on which category you have submitted in, either go into Submittable and withdraw the entire piece or go to your submission and add a note stating which particular part of your submission is no longer available.
  • Submissions will ONLY be accepted through Submittable.
  • Please include a third person bio with your submission. We do not necessarily want a laundry list of all of the publications you have appeared in. As a matter of fact, we don’t even care if you have any publications to list or not. We like the personal, the intimate, the remarkable—we want readers to know who YOU are—and if you wish, you can still include some brief academic and publishing glories. Please try and keep bios under a 100 words. GFT reserves the right to edit bios for length, but we will only do so when absolutely necessary.
  • Currently, we will be reading submissions year-round for both the print journal and the website. If this ever changes, we will alert our community immediately. 

Submitting is free, but we also give you the opportunity to support the GFT Press mission with an inexpensive donation option. Seriously, the donation option is probably cheaper than if you were to submit to a publication via USPS. How cheap? Well, 3 bucks. You will also receive a response to your submission within 14 business days! (Our business days are Monday through Friday.) We hope that you will choose to support GFT Press with a donation. The focus here at GFT Press is not only to share remarkable work with the world but also to benefit charity through doing so. We are fighting to be as frugal as possible, and it is all volunteer work. We are not funded by a university, we are not going to do any fundraising auctions, and we sure as heck ain't sellin' cookies. We appreciate all those who choose to submit their work to us, but hopefully you will do so because you truly believe in our worthwhile mission.

When you go into Submittable, you will also see options for things like 7-Day Response + One-Year Subscription to Print Journal, 3-Day Response + GFT Press Big Love Donation, etc. The $10 donation option is a more powerful way to support the GFT Press mission, and you will receive a response to your submission within 3 business days! (Our business days are Monday through Friday.) Of course, subscribing to the semiannual GFT Press journal, GFT Presents: One in Four, is a very much appreciated way of supporting the GFT Press mission, too. As a bonus, current print journal subscribers automatically receive a 7-day response on all submissions! (Make sure to submit in the Current Print Journal Subscriber category if you are already subscribed to GFT Presents: One in Four. Your subscription status will be verified by GFT Press.)

Just to be fair, subscriptions to GFT Presents: One in Four and donations toGFT Presswill not assure any submitter a higher chance of acceptance, but we will be unbelievably grateful.

Currently, we are going to strive to provide U.S. print contributors one free copy of the issue in which their work appears—print contributors who are also current subscribers can still choose to receive a free copy of the issue in which their work appears, or they can opt for a partial-year extension to their subscription if their work appears in an issue that is released during their active subscription period. Print contributors living outside of the U.S. will be responsible for international shipping costs. 

By submitting to GFT Press, you are also agreeing to receive occasional email communications from us, which can be unsubscribed from at any time by following the link in the email.    

Upon acceptance, GFT Press acquires first-time North American rights and the right to reprint in print and electronic formats. After publication, all other rights revert to the author/artist. The work may be reprinted elsewhere, but we ask that an appropriate acknowledgement to GFT Press, Ground Fresh Thursday, and/or GFT Presents: One in Four is made. 

Very rarely will GFT Press accept previously published work, and a query must be made to prior to the submission of any previously published material. GFT Press considers published work as work published in print in North America, or in electronic form on public websites, e-zines, e-journals, academic websites, etc. Work previously posted to personal blogs, personal websites, and personal social media accounts is permitted, but we request that the author/artist remove the work prior to submitting it for publication on the GFT Press website or in the GFT Press journal, GFT Presents: One in Four.

Okay, if you made it through all of that, yay! If you are ready to submit, please click below! Submit your best work. We can’t wait to check it out.