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From the Editor's Desk

We here at Ducts central offices feel it's our obligation to bring you new and exciting views of the world in every issue. And so this summer, to celebrate issue 17, the boys in the tech department have sent your humble servant and Editor-in-Chief into orbit around the Earth. If you look carefully every day, just before dusk, you can see me zipping past Orion's belt. "Buckle up!" Buzz Aldrin likes to joke. He's a card. So forgive me if I keep my remarks fairly brief this time around: I only have thirty minutes of oxygen left before I'm due back in the pod for crackers, cheese and Tang-flavored tea.

We have a winner! That's right, we're happy to announce that we have picked a winner to our second ever writing contest, I Found it in My Attic. Remember we asked writers to think about how some artifact – something discovered cleaning the attic, the garage, the basement, maybe a childhood diary, a toy, a piece of clothing – affected and changed their lives. We received a variety of well-written and personal submissions and it was difficult choosing a winner. In the end, we thought Jennifer Hurley's "The Photograph" was a simple and powerful essay and the clear winner. Juliet Eastland's "A Championship Season" reminded us of our own idyllic summers and was a wonderful second prize winner. And Beatrice Hogg's perfectly nostalgic "My First Watch" was an impressive third-prizer. We received pieces from all over the country. Jennifer and Beatrice hail from California (though from different cities) in fact, while Juliet lives right in our own back yard, New York. Congrats to all three!

Greenpoint Press, our publishing wing headed by non-fiction editor, Charles Salzberg, recently published its second book, a memoir by Genie Kraig called "The Sentence." In this true account, Kraig chronicles the years leading up to and through her husband, Jerry Kraig's, incarceration, including the devastating consequences for her family. Her marvelous book tells how Jerry Kraig, an idealistic Cleveland attorney was retained by his boyhood mentor, Reuben Sturman, as a First Amendment Coordinator. Known as the "czar of pornography," Sturman ran one of the most successful porn operations in U.S. history. Little did Jerry Kraig know that his loyalty and belief in the Constitution would resul t in a legal nightmare culminating in his conviction by the U.S. government of conspiracy to defraud the IRS of Sturman's taxes. The book unravels like a mystery, it's crisply told and it perfectly represents the Ducts credo: a well-told, personal story. Click here to buy a copy. We also have a few copies of our Best of Ducts anthology, "How Not to Greet Famous People," so if you're interested in buying a copy to help support what we do, please click here.

Also, you probably noticed a little ad for another book, the Portable MFA, on the main page. The Portable MFA gives you all the essential information you would learn in an MFA program, covering fiction, memoir, personal essays, magazine articles, poetry and playwriting. Authors include two of our amazing editors, Tim Tomlinson (fiction) and Charles Salzberg (non-fiction). We're lucky to have them on our staff! To buy a copy of the portable MFA, please click here.

A quick reminder to those interested in sending us work: due to the heavy volume of submissions we've been receiving, we have instituted a reading period. Ducts.org editors will read submissions only from January through August of every year. Material received between September 1st and December 31st will be returned, although we'll encourage writers to resubmit their material during the reading period.

Of course, we continue to raise money as part of our effort to bring you the best personal stories on the web. If you enjoy the thought-provoking essays and memoirs, if you are captivated by our fiction, poetry and art, I urge you to donate whatever amount you can. Every little bit helps.

As always, you'll find great essays, fiction, memoirs, poetry, music and art within these pages. Please return again and again! I'm sorry I have to get going so soon – Neil Armstrong is squeezing my oxygen hose, that jokester – so I'll leave you with my usual thanks for your devotion to our ever-growing webzine. And a special thanks to our incredible writers, who continue to astonish me with their passionate work.


--Jonathan Kravetz, Editor-in-Chief, Ducts.org

This issue of Ducts is made possible with a regrant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.