romeosidebar1Q (Nicolle Elizabeth): Judith! You are an Admin at the Hopeless Romantic Group here at Fictionaut, which among other things says, “This group is for those romantic souls who write stories or poems that never seem to find a niche” which I truly love. I love the hopeless romantic part, yes, but what I also love is the platform for the ‘never seem to find a niche’ market. Thank you for writing that. Can you give us some info about the group in specific?

A (Judith Lawrence): The Hopeless Romantic Group theme is for those odd, quirky, out of the normal realm of desire romances, whether requited in spite of the dubiousness of the characters or the circumstances they find themselves in; or unrequited with prolonged rumination.

The best stories/poems from Fictionaut and other online source submissions will be selected for the 2011 River Poets Journal Special Edition titled, “The Hopeless Romantic.”

What is River reading for lately/please talk to us about your journal/press.

River Poets Journal is a Quarterly full color Journal of 36 pages, normally published at the end of each season, both online and in print. The Journal consists of a featured artist/photographer, short fiction/poetry, sprinkled with art/photography capturing the theme of various poems. Each issue introduces two or more first time published writers, local writers, the occasionally published and often published writers. Submissions in the English language come from around the world, including Canada, Britain, Italy, France, and China. RPJ is included in the archived small press collections of the University of Wisconsin, and Buffalo, NY University.

The River Poets Journal “Special Edition” is published once each year. Last year’s very popular edition was “Jukebox Junction/USA,” poems inspired by the music we grew up with, or fell in love with, or moved us.

This year’s theme is “Things Lost,” poems or short stories about the loss of something valuable in our lives. The deadline is Oct. 31.¬† The submissions pour in each day since onset.

Through Lilly Press, (my publishing company), I also publish anthologies, chapbooks, all of which can be purchased on the website book store. www.riverpoetsjournal.com

This year, Lilly Press published a novel titled, Angels Carry the Sun by Phoebe Wilcox. From the moment I finished reading Phoebe’s manuscript, I knew this was the first novel I wanted to publish. The book is irresistible.

Did you know that there are differing opinions on whether the first incandescent lamppost showed up in Cordoba, Spain or Austria?

I don’t know which is factual, but I am a great admirer of lampposts. ¬†First, falling in love with the Philadelphia Art Museum lit up by lampposts at night as a young school girl sitting on the steps with friends surveying the city from our perch. Later, (a chance encounter), kissing a handsome Hungarian Gypsy with black curls and bewitching eyes under a lamppost, years later learning that my favorite father-in-law was a street lamp lighter as a young man in Philadelphia, and finally in my forties doing a reenactment of “Singing in the Rain” in a white summer dress, carrying a red umbrella and dancing with a partner around a lamppost in the rain. All incandescent memories!

Please tell us more about you, your projects, illuminate us with light.

Speaking of illumination, there’s nothing like finding out your life’s purpose in the retiring years of your life. So many twists and turns in life, to finally arrive to the point of doing what I love to do on a daily basis, waking up each day with excitement over my latest project. Aside from the daily aches and pains, growing old is not as bad as often depicted…time to read, time to write poems and stories, time for music, to work on the journal, the next anthology, read submissions, paint that painting, take an afternoon nap. I find myself planning projects into 2012. In attending an art tour in Philadelphia recently, I met an artist whose gorgeous art work inspired producing a book of poetry and stories for children. Beginning in 2011, I’ll be seeking submissions of poetry and short stories by children for this anticipated book.

Nicolle Elizabeth checks in with Fictionaut Groups every Friday.


  1. susan tepper

    Judith Lawrence is a totally down-to-earth really nice person who is also a gifted painter, writer and editor. She also runs a damned fine press.

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