RECAP: Vegas Valley Book Festival

We wanted to thank everyone who came to the Vegas Valley Book Festival and came by our table and the events we participated in throughout the day. It was an amazing experience and we’re all excited to see more and more people delighted by our presence in Vegas.

The reading in the Poetry Courtyard was well attended. We were ecstatic to see so many come out to support us and grateful we were the ones opening up the readings put together by the Las Vegas Poetry Organization and Nevada Humanities.

VVBF Reading Twitter

Our reading started off with Chelsea Sedoti who read the beginning portion of her short story “There Used to be Cowboys.” Sedoti’s story will be published in our upcoming Animal theme issue and is a personal favorite of our publisher. Kelly said during the introduction, “This story captures a voice of Vegas that is authentic and captivating. It’s stories like this that I began this magazine.”

Following Sedoti was Sarah Vernetti. Her flash fiction piece “The Resignation” which appeared as part of our Friday Night Specials series in early September. Wonderfully written with dry humor, it’s one of our favorites on our blog series.

Next up was a poem in our upcoming issue from Rosie Vargas. Vargas’s poem “Follow” can currently be viewed as part of our video exclusives. We also announced that after this issue, Vargas will be joining our staff as a reader.

Wrapping up our reading was Judy Salz. Salz read her flash fiction piece “Passing Birds” from our upcoming issue. Salz’s lively story was the perfect ending to our group of four readers.

Afterwards, our publisher thanked all the people who read and everyone who came out to hear our readers.

Meanwhile, many people were stopping by our table to come and visit us. This year we shared our table with Red Rock Review with rotating members of their staff: Michael Huff, Kaylee Baucom, Jacob Elison and Julie MacDonald. If you stopped by you may have also had the pleasure of meeting Arika Elizenberry and Andrew Romanelli from our staff.

Two members of our staff took part later in a panel at Readers’ Tent 1. James Joseph Brown (Associate Editor for Helen and reader for Witness) served as moderator for an industry insights panel titled “Local Literary Journals.”

vvbf panel 4

Serving on the panel from left to right was Brett Finlayson (fiction editor, Witness) Erica Vital-Lazare (editor-in-chief, Red Rock Review), Gregory Robinson (faculty advisor, 300 Days of Sun), and our publisher and founding editor Jocelyn Paige Kelly.

Topics discussed were cover letters do’s and don’ts, the reason good work gets rejected, and how different journals operate when it comes to reading and selecting submissions.

All of us were delighted by how well the panel was attended. Every seat was full and people were standing in the back to hear what we had to say. Our publisher was also swarmed at the end after the panel by enthusiastic audience members who are eager to join our staff as readers. (For more information about joining our staff as a reader, please send an email to us at either or to our publisher at

For those interested in learning more about the other literary journals from the panel their  information is listed below:

Witness logo 2015

Witness seeks original fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photography that is innovative in its approach, broad-ranging in its concerns, and that dazzles us with its unique perspective. We often enjoy material that ventures into international terrain.

Witness publishes one themed print issue and two general online issues per year. The theme for Witness Vol. XXX No. 1 (Spring 2017) will be announced soon.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted.

We only accept submissions via Submittable.

For details, visit


Red Rock Review, a nonprofit biannual journal dedicated to publishing quality writing, invites submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry from both established and emerging writers.

Fiction and essays must be no more than 5,000 words. For poetry, poems must be no more than 80 lines. Visit website for specific guidelines on formatting:

Simultaneous submissions are not allowed. All submissions are read blind.

Submit work with a cover letter in MS Word, PDF or RTF file attachments to

No hard copy submissions are accepted. We do not accept general submissions in June, July, August, or December. Files sent at these times will be deleted.

300 days of sun logo

Submission Guidelines for 300 Days of Sun

Accepts original, unpublished work in English from writers living in the Southwest, including Nevada, Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Themes vary with each issue.

Do not include any personal information on your submission. Submissions with personal information will not be evaluated.

Encourages multiple submissions be sent in as separate documents especially for poetry.

Simultaneous submissions are allowed. Submissions are read blind and are selected by students of Nevada State College under the advisement of faculty advisor Gregory Robinson.

The Vegas Valley Book Festival, now in its fourteenth year, is a celebration of the written, spoken, and illustrated word. The festival has networked together a community-wide consortium of cultural organizations and sponsors to offer “a one-stop shopping experience for literature” through a wide range of programs built around sharing resources, developing audiences, advancing the craft of writing, and sharing the joys of reading. This annual festival is the largest literary event in Nevada, drawing more that 10,000 attendees during the season. Since its founding in 2002, the festival has presented over 800 authors and speakers and has produced or sponsored over 500 events, sessions, readings, workshops, and book signings. The festival is free and open to the public. To learn more about the event, please visit their website:

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