Life has a way of creating unexpected challenges, which I guess are there just to push our buttons. This year has presented me with a number of hurdles, which have managed to impede my progress in certain areas. Unfortunately Zest has probably taken the hardest hit.  I want to thank everyone for their patience. I have much correspondence to catch up on and many sincere apologies to make. Thank you for sticking with me during this time. I hope that the next issue will have been worth the wait – I am in no doubt about this as there are many more wonderful creations to be shared with you.

The submissions for issue 7 are currently open – please check out the guidelines on our site. I hope you will send some work my way.

Glad to be back to work, can’t wait to hear from you.



A Zest First!

Well hello dear readers,

Welcome to something very exciting: our very first ‘Why We Write’ vlog, courtesy of Ms Paula Acton. In fact, it was Paula’s idea to approach me with this piece and I am very pleased that she has. Kick back with a cuppa and enjoy listening to her share with us her reasons for writing and taking photographs for Zest.


Zest Issue 4 – Black and White

Hurrah! The 4th issue of Zest Literary Journal is now live! Tell all your friends!

With just a click of a button, you will be transported to a glossy new edition with enigmatic artwork and photography along with thought provoking literary works. It has been such a joy to work on this issue. The file available is a PDF so you can download it straight onto your computer/tablet etc.

Zest Issue 4 – Black and White

Please allow me to extend my thanks and praise to all those involved: the contributors, Liz Bury, the wonderful tech team at lucidpress.com and all of you, our loyal readers. Please enjoy this and share it with those around you who appreciate really fantastic creativity.

Watch this space for further interaction with our contributors.

Kate 🙂

Time is Ticking…

Hello everyone!

I can hardly believe that in just three days the submissions for Issue 5, ‘It’s Complicated’ will be closing. If you are feeling creative, why not send something in. A doodle,  a comic strip, a poem, a song, a story, an essay, a photograph – they tell 1000 words, don’t you know? I’d love to see your work.

There have been unforeseen delays in the production of issue 4, but rest assured, it is certainly on its way. As always, you are in for a treat! I think I have sorted a few technical glitches, which hopefully will lead to the next issue being far easier to upload. Fingers crossed!

So, how have you been?


Why We Write: Sheila Frye-Matragrano

Q1. What inspires your creativity?


I watch people. I eavesdrop. I ask personal questions. (Somehow I still get invited to parties.) Lots of my stories are inspired by personal events, but I combine characters, exaggerate situations, leave things out or just change them all together to stick with my theme. Usually, by the time I am done with the story I can’t remember what is true and what I made up.


Q2. What conditions do you like to write in?


I need quiet and solitude, usually in the morning with a cup of coffee, or at night with a glass of wine.


Q3. Are there any authors that you most strive to be like and why?


I admire Barbara Kingsolver’s ability to write distinctive voices, as she did in The Poisonwood Bible. I also admire Andre Dubus for his ability to write so well from the perspective of men, women and children. I strive to make ordinary people and common situations poignant, like Fred Busch manages to do in many of his short stories. I try not to imitate anyone, though, because then I lose my own voice.


Q4. What is your favorite book and why?


I love any book in which I get so caught up I forget I am reading. If this doesn’t happen, I find myself analyzing the author’s choices. I prefer an escape. My favorite book changes depending on my mood, and my age. When I was young my favorite book was Lillian Hellman’s memoir Pentimento: A Book of Portraits, mostly because I wanted to live a life like hers (even though it was probably more fiction than memoir.) I read Louise Erdich’s books Love Medicine and Beet Queen almost 25 years ago and still remember some of the scenes. I really enjoyed the historical novel Ahab’s Wife: Or, The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund. My most recent escape was The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht. I love her unique sense of language.


Q5. Do you have any tips about the writing process?


Write honestly, even if it frightens you.