I’m pleased to announce that I will be delivering a 2-hour lecture–“How to Submit Your Creative Writing to Literary Journals”–at the Osher Institute at San Diego State University on February 19th from 1pm to 3pm. The lecture is free and now open for registration for Osher members (membership is $20). Registration for non-members will open on January 28th and cost $29.

The lecture will answer questions like:

How do I know if my work is good enough to publish?

How do I select the journal(s) that are the best fit for my work, out of the hundreds that are out there?

How do I prepare my work for submission?

What should I include in a cover letter and biography?

This lecture is intended to boost your self-confidence by helping you feel well-prepared. With that in mind, you’ll leave the lecture with a list of online and physical resources that will help you through the preparation and submission processes.

Register for the program HERE.

Note: this lecture is not intended for authors who are working on book-length projects, unless you’re interested in submitting book chapters for publication separately.

I wrote this lament for my sister, Rebecca, shortly after she died in 2012.HM-logo-banner-21It’s taken two years of revision and submission to find a place for it in Hippocampus Magazine, for which I’m very grateful.

4 siblings 1st L Powell

Rebecca with her 3 siblings, 1978

I can’t say I hope you’ll enjoy this piece, but   I hope it will trigger memories of someone you’ve loved and lost. And, for those of you who knew    Rebecca, I hope it will help you remember her persistence, her spirit, and all the other things that were wonderful about her!

Read “Twenty Questions” in Hippocampus Magazine here.


How many of us have had what we think is a wonderfully original idea, and then discovered a short timeinc later that someone has “stolen” it (even though they couldn’t possibly)? That’s what happened to me (the victim) and David Sedaris (the thief, or so I came to regard him).

This essay is the light-hearted story of my brief, one-sided argument with the much-more-famous author.

Read “I H8 David Sedaris” in The Ink & Code here.

Jim Brega with Guillermo Aranda

Jim Brega with Guillermo Aranda

I had the privilege of being one of the speakers at a ceremony in the new Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union at SDSU this morning. The ceremony was the re-dedication in its new location of the Mural Triptico that was painted in 1970-72 by Mexican muralist Gilberto Ramirez in the old Montezuma Hall. The new 200,000-square-foot Student Union building is officially opening this week.

The photo at right is of me with one of the original artist’s assistants, Guillermo Aranda, in front of the artist’s working drawing for the mural. I donated the drawing to the Associated Students in 2009. To discover the story about my connection to the drawing and the mural, read my speech here.

Review Review logo2

Okay, this sentence gets complicated: a well-known online journal called The

Review Review, which publishes reviews of literary journals, today published a review of the journal Red Savina Review, whose most recent issue (September 8) included my essay, “There Are Still Empty Places in California.” I almost blush (almost) to quote the review, but here’s a piece of it: “Jim Brega’s opener falls into the ‘second person,’ how-to genre. You do this. You do that. It anchors the issue in the Southwest, but the writing itself is over-the-top fabulous.

I think I know what I want on my headstone…

Read the entire piece here.

Haunted Mag LogoIt’s unusual for me to write fiction, but the idea for this atmospheric tale, “A Letter to Anna Bell”, came to me one morning after awaking from a dream much like the one in the story. What better place for it than a journal called Haunted Magazine?

Read the story here.

Note: Haunted Magazine is no longer being published as of May, 2014. You can still read my story at the link above.

Red-Savina-Review-Cover-Art-1.2My rhapsody in the form of an essay, “There Are Still Empty Places in California,” was released online today in the Fall, 2013 issue of the journal Red Savina Review, which is headquartered in southwestern New Mexico. Its inspiration was drawn from memories of the many driving vacations we took as a family when I and my siblings were young. You can read the full essay here.

Looking back, I realize it’s been six months since I last had something to talk about on this blog. Despair not! I have another new piece coming out in November that will represent a change of pace. Suffice it to say (for now) that the journal is called Haunted Magazine. Stay tuned for more information!

Xtra logoI just heard that the second issue of the Canadian literary journal Plenitude (containing my story “Five Years and Four Months”) is the subject of a feature story in the newspaper Xtra!, the oldest and largest national LGBT newspaper in Canada. The article’s focus is on how Plenitude provides a new creative writing outlet for Canadians, so, not surprisingly, my story isn’t mentioned. Still good publicity. “Though only in its second issue,” the news story says, ” the magazine has already earned well-deserved attention locally and beyond, with people accessing it from all over the world.”

Read the Xtra! story here.

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that my short story, “Five Years and Four Months,” has just been released in the Spring, Plenitude Spring 2013 cover
2013 issue of the Canadian journal Plenitude. It’s an AIDS memoir about my relationship with Ralph Gomez, who died on December 7, 1990 at age 40. It’s taken two years of writing, re-writing, editing, and further re-writing to shepherd the story to this stage: in fact, the core of it is one of the first stories I ever wrote, and I did a public reading of a version of it at a special Christmas event two years ago. My writing circle partner, Alice Lowe, and Plenitude editor Andrea Routly deserve my gratitude for their advice and guidance in helping me make the story publishable.

Plenitude is an online subscription journal (www.plenitudemagazine.ca) so it will cost you $10 (Canadian) to be able to read the whole journal for a year (two issues). For those of you who can’t or don’t want to make the investment, I’ve provided a link to my story below. I hope you find it worthwhile!

Read “Five Years and Four Months” here.

The literary journal r.kv.r.y, which published my story “The Twisting Path” in their October 2012 issue, has an affiliated blog on which “features” about the contributing authors are highlighted. For my feature, I chose to engage in a written conversation with my writing circle partner, Alice Lowe. Follow this link to read it on the r.kv.r.y blog.