The Cossack Issue 1 Teaser

Producing the first-ever issue of The Cossack Review has been a rare pleasure for me. I feel honored to have been able to read and respond to so many fine pieces of writing, each of which constituted a glimpse into the world of a writer who was giving enough to share his or her work with our new journal.

On Friday, you’ll get to see the end result, and I think you’ll like it. We have poetry from the likes of Maureen Alsop, Oliver de la Paz, Anne Haines, Russell Jaffe, and José-Flore Tappy; we have fiction from Soren Gauger, Bryan Jones, and Kimberly Hatfield. We have nonfiction and essays from Robert Boucheron, Valery Petrovskiy, and more. In each piece we have selected for inclusion in Issue 1 of The Cossack, you’ll find a surprise: something you didn’t know about all this frenetic activity we call living. Some of it is funny, some of it heartbreaking. Much of it is absurd. So buckle up!

Thank you for the outpouring of submissions. We received hundreds of them from around the world. I wish we had room for more of them, and we’re working on a scheme to make it possible. More on that next week.

See you Friday,

Christine Gosnay

Your Favorite Writers Might Be Our Favorite Writers

What fiction writer would you love to see in The Cossack Review? Whose poetry do you want to experience? Is there someone who writes essays that captivate you and make you reevaluate your beliefs? We want to know all about them.

Refer a writer to us and you earn yourself a 1-year subscription to The Cossack Review’s print and electronic issues. It’s as simple as sending an email to editors AT thecossackreview DOT com. If you want to refer a poet, hit up cossackpoetry AT gmail DOT com.

We’re particularly interested in essays and personal and creative non-fiction that explores the human experience in strange new ways and fiction writing that reveals truths.

There are only 13 days left to submit and be considered for Issue #1. That’s less than a fortnight, if you prefer to read about the lapse of time in fancy terms! If you want to submit your own writing, head on over to our submission manager and share your favorite pieces with us right now.

Guide for Submitters Far and Wide

We have received an outpouring of writing and generosity from submitters all around the world – over a hundred submissions in four days. While we’re busy taking time to thoughtfully review and study everything they have sent us, we thought we should share some thoughts about what kind of writing we’re interested in. This doesn’t really fit within the purview of our submission guidelines, or they’d be a few too many pages long, and after our first issue makes its appearance it will certainly be more evident what kind of aesthetic theater we’ll do our operations in. So, in the meantime, what better place for this than a blog post.


  • If you’re rhyming, please know what you’re doing, and how to do it sparingly, in a way such that it is not the driving force for your work.
  • There are many fine places for strictly spiritual, religious, and sacred verse, but this is not going to be one of them.
  • Light verse, also, can be found elsewhere
  • Poetry about nature and nature only – paeans to it, specifically – is beautiful, but also belongs in other homes.
  • Some journals we love that espouse our artistic ideals (and have content online for you to browse) are Painted Bride Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Crazy Horse, Jubilat, Prick of the SpindleBlackbird, Amethyst Arsenic and Threepenny Review. Others, with limited online content (but that we urge you to check out), are Gigantic Sequins, Black Warrior Review, Tin House. There are, of course, many, many others; these are just a few recommendations.


  • Surrealist writing is fine and dandy, but it must have a point.
  • Erotic fiction and romance stories will not be for us unless they make a much broader statement.
  • Please be a good writer. Please proofread your writing.. and then, proofread it again.
  • This can’t be stressed enough: finish your story. What so often happens is that a good writer starts out with a fantastic idea or a nifty conceit and can only carry it to the halfway point before it fizzles. Think of all the stories you’ve loved: the endings were as strong as the beginnings. Pay particular attention to the last half of what you’re creating, and give it the same attention as the first. Make it, in fact, outshine the first half, and surprise your readers.


  • What makes essays engaging is difficult to put a finger on, but it centers around making good observations and using keen powers of description. It more importantly involves the ability to issue a strong, salient point while remaining subtle and open to nuanced interpretation. In other words, if your essay is about dolphins, it must also be about fish, women, men, the tides, and marinas. It must be about a whole world of things.
  • For an example of a particularly excellent essay, read George Orwell’s A Hanging. Don’t worry; few can write like Orwell. But notice how he brings quotidian particulars to the same level of importance as life’s great questions in order to answer those questions.

Thanks for sending us your writing. Keep it coming – we’re having the time of our lives reading it. Why not share what YOU think makes for a great read in the comments?

Announcing The Cossack

The CossackWhen asked why she started The Cossack, founding editor Christine Gosnay replied, “Actually, no one has asked me why I did such a crazy thing yet, but I’d be glad to tell you.” Her answer was quite succinct: to publish good writing.

The Cossack is born of a desire to showcase writing from authors both new and established, with the single and solitary goal of bringing exceptional pieces of poetry, fiction, and essay writing to light. Its editors desire to read, share, and publicize writing that neither panders to a specific audience or style nor stands on the shoulders of its author’s “credentials;” that is, we don’t mind if you went to a very important school, but we don’t necessarily care if you did, either. We don’t mind if you’ve been published, and if you have, we’re ecstatically happy for you, but we don’t necessarily care if you have been, either. Education and notoriety do not prequalify good writing; talent and dedication do.

Fond of imagery, rich meaning and deep psychological and emotional understanding, our “mascot,” the Cossack, symbolizes our love of poetry, fiction, and thought processes that are proud, independent, capable, and complicated.

With the aim to publish an issue three times per year, our inaugural issue will début on June 1st, 2012. We are very excited to read your work and hope you’ll submit something special to us today. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis, so there is no deadline to submit, but to be considered for the inaugural issue please show your work before May 1st of 2012. The Cossack Review will be published online and as a Kindle Edition. A print edition is planned for 2013

Submit to The Cossack Review

Thanks for joining us as we embark on this project.

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