We are very pleased to announce our new ekphrastic contest, on the theme of Tarot art. And we are absolutely thrilled to have guest judges Riham Adly and Roula-Maria Dib on board! Riham, our flash fiction judge, reads, writes, and teaches from the framework of the unconscious and has a special interest in Tarot imagery. Roula-Maria, editor of Indelible Journal, is a renowned Jungian scholar and poet. Find out more about these writers, their work, and what they'll be looking for below.
The Tarot's evolution from parlour games to gambling houses to divination claims is as fascinating as the timeless and mysterious archetypal images on the cards. The Tarot is widely used today for cartomancy, but it started out as a popular game and took a mystical turn in the 18th century. A modern approach is to use the archetypal symbols that fascinated Carl Jung for therapeutic purposes, psychological reflection, and creative exercises.
We can't wait to see what these images inspire you to write!
The Art of Tarot Rules
1. $10 CAD (approx. $7 USD) entry fee gets you an ebook with 36 Tarot-themed images, and you can submit three flashes or poems. First place prize for poetry and for flash fiction land $100 CAD prize each.
2. You can enter as many times as you like, using The Art of Tarot purchase button below as many times as you wish.
3. Poetry and flash fiction, up to 750 words per piece.
4. Use one or more of the artworks in the booklet to inspire your stories and poetry. You can interpret the artwork and the theme in any way you are moved to. Read the judges' overviews in this post (below) to get a feel for what they're looking for.
5. Ten poems and ten flashes will be chosen by the editor of TER and by our guest judges to publish in The Ekphrastic Review. Three poems and three stories will be finalists. One poem and one flash will take first place and each win $100CAD. The judges will read submissions blind.
6. Include a 75 words or less bio.
7. Use TAROT in the subject line.
8. Deadline is November 23, 2022.
9. Winners will be announced in December.
10. Submission email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Word From Our Guest Judges
Sometimes, the only way for us to confront a truth is to summon that never-ending fast track we call life, viewing it in a whirr, before slowing down to examine its components under the microscope. Having discovered that Tarot cards are nothing but archetypical images representing one’s journey—or what mythologist Joseph Campbell describes as “the hero’s journey,” we can use these symbols to create stories that thrust us further into the essence of our characters' journey, their perspectives and core emotions. The journey could be something as subtle as small adjustments that characters realize they need to go through, or revelations that are deep and internal. I would love if you could explore the storylines and the archetypical images in those cards using details, colours, and associations to see into the depth of your own Self. From there, explore new themes in your own writing, perhaps revisiting recurring themes, and understanding where it’s all coming from, as you craft your flash fiction.
It is a with great honour and pleasure that I partake in this exceptional event, The Art of Tarot, so carefully put together by the inspiring artist, poet, and writer, Lorette C. Luzajic. While I don’t understand much about the Tarot in terms of technique, what I know is that it is a powerful array of symbols and images that move our archetypal energies into action. And the difference between “knowing” and “understanding”, by the way, is also something Tarot cards teach us. They speak to us in the language of poetry, which we grasp without any conventional tools of rational comprehension. Because symbols point toward possible meanings, the images of the Tarot speak possibilities without fixed meanings, pointing to the non-rational aspects of who we are.
Unlike literalism and just like poetry, the Tarot brings back this symbolic essence of connection to other forms of reality. These cards are their own unique “alphabet” sparking truths through negative capability and synchronicities—a fascinating “alphabet” that the psyche can only fathom archetypally. We would see that each card has its own character, flavour, or personality, which matches one of our many archetypal voices that were activated while looking at it. And it is with great excitement to read your poems inspired by such rich visual language, the language of symbols, open—as ever—to hosting the unconscious. The ekphrastic journeys of your poems are evidence of your transition from the “visual” to the “visionary,” where the different voices of the images come to you to be embodied in such beautiful verse!
Riham Adly is an award-winning flash fiction writer from Giza, Egypt. In 2013 her story “The Darker Side of the Moon” won the MAKAN award. In 2022 she won second prize in the Strands International Flash Fiction Competition. She is a Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work is included in the Best Micro-fiction 2020 anthology. Her fiction has appeared in over 50 online journals such as Litro Magazine, Lost Balloon, The Flash Flood, Bending Genres, The Citron Review, The Sunlight Press, Flash Fiction Magazine, Menacing Hedge, Flash Frontier, Flash Back, Ellipsis Zine, Okay Donkey, and New Flash Fiction Review among others. Riham has worked as an assistant editor in 101 Words and as a first reader in Vestal Review. Riham is the founder of the “Let’s Write Short Stories” and “Let’s Write That Novel” in Egypt. She has taught creative writing all over Cairo for years with the goal of mentoring and empowering aspiring writers in her region. Riham’s flash fiction collection Love is Make-Believe was released and published in November 2021 by Clarendon House in the UK. She is the first African, Arab woman to have a flash fiction collection published in English. Riham shares her craft articles about writing flash fiction through her blog “Riham Writes” and reviews a new flash fiction collection every month on her FB group “Riham Reads Flash.”
Roula-Maria Dib is an award-winning literary scholar, poet, and editor whose research interests include literature, modern poetry and poetics, creative writing, and Jungian psychology. She is endorsed by the British Academy and holds a UK Global Talent Visa. Roula is the winner of the British Council’s Alumni Awards 2021-2022 for the Culture and Creativity category in the UAE and had also won the American University in Dubai’s Provost’s Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement 2020; her book, Jungian Metaphor in Modernist Literature (Routledge, 2020) was shortlisted as a finalist for the international IAJS book awards, and some poems from her collection, Simply Being (Chiron Press, 2021) received Pushcart Prize nominations. She is the founding editor of literary and arts journal, Indelible, and creative producer of literary event series, Indelible Evenings, as well as Psychreative, a virtual salon for researchers, artists, and writers with a background in Jungian psychology. Her MOOC, “Why Online Creative Communities Matter” is featured on Academia.edu. Formerly (until June 2022), she was a professor of English at the American University in Dubai.