Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Know I Want You, But Why Do I Need You?

Imagine a group of people. They all have the same idea, and they are all standing with their backs turned to each other. Now picture someone else going into the middle of that group and yelling, “Hey, why don’t we turn around and talk about this.” To an extent, that is our goal with Halicarnassus. Growing up in the Allentown area and being an active writer, I have bounced from writing group to writing group. What amazed me was that these groups had similar ideas and goals. They had the same passions and loves. Yet, they did not know anyone else thought as they did. With Halicarnassus, we want to take those random dots of writers and be the connecting line. The magazine will be the forum for expression, and the idea will unite.

A writing workshop currently exists at the Hava Java coffee shop in Allentown. This workshop was our first attempt to locate talented writers in the area and provide them a forum for critique. This workshop will soon evolve and be directly linked to the magazine. We plan to work with the various art groups within the city to promote the idea of a unified literary base in Allentown. This will culminate with the release of Halicarnassus. We see a diverse group of people coming together to produce a solid collection of literature. That is why we do not exclude. We want those great writers hidden by the daunting world of publication to come out. These people deserve a voice, and we want to let them speak.

We won’t judge you based on your biography or where you’ve been published. In fact, we want those unknown writers who have been toiling away in basements and dens behind computers and typewriters. Allentown has needed this outlet for years. The city cannot consider itself a force in the art movement without strong representation from the literary field. We see the revival of fine art and music and we love it. We desire literature to achieve the same success. This is not an initiative we are trying to control. We want the artists to stand up and be heard. To the writers reading this, I urge you to contribute to this effort. Submit to the magazine and come out to our workshop. Let your voice be heard like it has so desired.

Our workshop will be changing location soon. When it does, all the information will be posted on this blog. Keep checking us out. If you are sitting at home trying to find errors in what I’ve written, I suggest you check us out. If you love to write, I suggest you check us out. If you want to break into a new medium of expression, I suggest you check us out. If you’re into hot college guys waxing poetic, I suggest you check me out.

Come down and be heard. We have coffee, but it’s not free. Maybe if you’re cute I’ll buy you a cup. Hell, maybe I’ll do it anyway. Keep reading. Keep writing.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Bit of Copyright Law for the Confused Writer

Alright. Copyright law is something that many artists do not give much thought to, particularly the unpublished variety. Here you will find nearly everything you need to know on the subject as it pertains to being published in a collaborative work. I will also address the copyright agreement that you will enter into if you are published in Halicarnassus. I also use the words author, writer, and artist interchangeably as the copyright laws are the same.

1. Copyright law for the artist:

Once you create something--an expression of an idea in an original form--you immediately own all copyrights to the work. When a photographer's shutter clicks, or a writer's file is saved to his hard drive, instant copyright happens (in the US). The only problem is proving your rights.

There are several ways to accomplish this. The most common way is by electronic signature--saving a file to a hard drive so that the computer assigns the date and time of the files' creation. This is usually sufficient, legal copyright evidence for the small, mid- to low-list author (or any other type of artist). The second method is called a "poor man's copyright", and simply involves mailing a copy of the work to yourself and leaving the parcel unopened. This works fine as well, and consistently holds up in court.

The third option is simply to send your work to the US Copyright Office along with a non-refundable payment. This is the surest way to secure a work's authorship, but is usually unnecessary for the small-time artist.

2. Copyright law for the artist as it pertains to a lit-mag:

When an author and a publisher come into the sacred union of a collaborative work, i.e. a literary magazine, both parties get certain rights. The author still retains the actual copyright(s) to his work(s), but the publisher gets the right to publish the work. All this means, is that the publisher owns the right to the magazine as a whole, and the content within as it is arranged. The publisher can edit, reprint, and reissue with complete legal freedom, but can not use the author's piece for any other purposes.

The author's initial copyrights only change in the respect that the published piece, if it is to be published at another time, must recognize the first publisher in print. For example, if your poem were to be printed in Halicarnassus and afterwards you wanted to publish a collection of poetry--including that poem--you would need to recognize that it was originally published in Halicarnassus Literary Review.

Also, when a piece is currently being published in a collaborative effort, it usually cannot be simultaneously printed in another publication. This is a clause that most magazines have, and it allows them full publishing rights for a certain period of time. At Halicarnassus, the agreement is that a published piece may not be reprinted elsewhere within a period of one year from the date of publication.

You're probably bored to death at this point, but knowing how to cover your ass is good.

For more information, go to

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hal Speaks

People are asking questions folks. Big, scary questions. Here are some answers:

Q: What are you guys all about? Why the lit-mag?

A: Simple. There is a ridiculous cache of talent in the Lehigh Valley. Amazing, untapped talent. People are writing, reading, drawing, thinking, and yet there isn't an interesting, centralized publication to showcase the results.

The idea behind Halicarnassus is to get your manuscript or story or poem into the eyes and brains of other people. You've got to admit, your wife, boyfriend, or drunken roommate don't add up to much of a readership. We simply want to publish people from the Valley and get you off of your bum.

Q: Online or print? How frequent will the magazine put out a new issue? Color?

A: Print, of course. The internet is great and all but what better way to read a story than to have it in your hands. We're bringing paper back. (Don't act like you don't love puns.)

For our fall publication, we'd like to be in print as well as online. We'll see. That largely depends on the financial factor and the success of our first issue.

Bi-annually for now. The more submissions we get, the more we are apt to publish. The Mayan calendar is also a factor.

Color cover, B&W inside.

Q: How much do I get paid for my brilliant masterpiece if it gets published?

A: Don't be ridiculous. We've been working hard to get funding for the printing itself. You will get a few copies to keep as proof of your genius, and an audience. We'd love to be able to pay writers, as there is no better feeling than getting paid for doing something that you love. Again, we'll see what happens for the fall issue. For now, you just get published--which is what this is all about.

Q: Why Halicarnassus?

A: Halicarnassus was the hometown of Herodotus, author of one of the first major prose works in history. It was also the center of great works of art. The small city, mainly Greek in population, was isolated from the rest of the Greek world--but amazing things happened there. Allentown, Halicarnassus, do you get the idea?

Happy submitting. Keep reading, keep writing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How do I submit?

We are accepting submissions for our spring publication (roughly slated for April 1, 2010.) Here are our guidelines:
We accept short fiction, poetry, non-fiction essay, 1 act/10 minute plays, flash fiction, photography, illustration and comics.

Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2010.

Up to 3 submissions per person.

6,000 maximum word count.

Please do not submit previously published or otherwise copyrighted work.

If a piece has been submitted simultaneously to another publication, please let us know.

To submit:

Attach written submissions in Word format and photography / illustration submissions in Adobe PDF format (300 dpi minimum.)

Send to:


Please specify the type of submitted work in the SUBJECT of the email.

Oh, yeah. No erotica. Unless it's amazing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What is Halicarnassus?

Halicarnassus is a start-up literary magazine based in the West End of Allentown Pennsylvania. A few months ago I (Bryan Kleiner) approached a friend of mine (Joe Trinkle) with the idea of creating a literary magazine. We both loved the idea because there are an abundance of writers in the Lehigh Valley without a medium to share their work. With Halicarnassus, we want to take those great writers in our area and give them that medium. If you're reading this and you're a writer, you know the frustration of trying to get your work out into the public. At Halicarnassus, we want to find those great writers in our area and the surrounding areas.

We don't want to confuse you with cryptic submission guidelines or obscure coversheet requirements. What we want is good literature. In the next few days and weeks, we will be posting more information about the mag and our submission guidelines. We look forward to reading the work of talented writers.