Friday, December 31, 2010
Patterson goes on with comments such as "Do 'friends' honestly care..." and "But maybe we're not supposed to stay in touch with our pasts." and "But the truth is, no one is honest on FB. Not that we lie outright." and discusses the contributions to this collection that explore each of these and more issues related to this form of hyper-social networking.
Contributors include (poetry) Robert Fanning, Laura McCullough, Juliana Gray, Steve Langan, Tamiko Beyer, Jennifer A. Luebbers, Randall BrowN; (fiction) Mike Land AND Shane Castle; (nonfiction) Mike Hampton, Katie Schneider, and Dinty W. Moore.
Full table of contents and an excerpt link available on the Small Beer Press website, with a discount offered for multiple copies.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Heather Brittain Bergstrom, "Reading Henry James in the Suburbs"
Alexander Maksik, "The Barbarians"
Russell Working, "The Vanishing"
Jerry D. Mathes II
The Winter 2011 Story Contest, with a $3,250 First Prize, a $1,500 Second Prize, a $750 Third Prize, and ten finalists receiving $100 each. Open to fiction and nonfiction. All entries will be considered for publication. Contest deadline: March 31, 2011.
Read more on The Star Tribune: Missing character in kids' literature: Muslims by Norman Draper.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Vega performed with music and solo, in English and Spanish, in international poetry festivals, museums, prisons, universities, cafes, nightclubs, and migrant workers' camps in South America, North America and Europe. She was the Director of Incisions/Arts, an organization of writers working with people behind bars; she taught inside prisons for more than twenty-five years, and taught a course in poetics for Bard Prison Initiative. She worked as well in creative writing programs in public schools, elementary through high school-all grades for over twenty years.
Information from Janine Pommy Vega's official website. Photo by John Sarsgard, 2009.
Other winners include:
Paul "The Library Guy" Clark
Clay County Library System
Fleming Island, FL
Ellen M. Dolan
Shrewsbury Public Library
County of Los Angeles Public Library
Goodman South Madison Branch Library
Helen King Middle School
McKillop Elementary School
Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library
Bainbridge College Library
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Currently, the editors of The Blue Pencil Online invite young writers to submit poetry, fiction, and playwriting to the annual Elizabeth Bishop Prizes. Offering $45,000 in scholarships, the Prizes honor Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Elizabeth Bishop, who was a student at Walnut Hill from 1927 to 1930. Since 2004, the members of the Writing & Publishing Program, who constitute the panel of judges for the Prizes, have considered "thousands of submissions by young wordsmiths around the globe." Submissions are accepted online only, and the deadline is February 1 at noon.
Visit the NewPages Young Authors Guide for more publications for writers and readers alike as well as contests specifically for K-12 and early college students.
The next Family Matters competition will take place in April. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.
Second place: Graham Arnold, of Toronto, Ontario, wins $500 for “A Difference of Nothing.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing his prize to $700.
Third place: Maggie Shipstead of Atherton, CA, wins $300 for “The Sadness that Radiates from God.”
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching: Fiction Open: Jan 2
Glimmer Train hosts this competition quarterly, and first place is $2000 plus publication in the journal. It’s open to all writers, no theme restrictions, and the word count range is 2000-20,000.
Click here for complete guidelines.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
On Halloween weekend, Alimentum editors Esther Cohen and Paulette Licitra led a group of writers through the hidden gems of New York's neighborhoods, exploring the ways that food and words inspire each other as part of their series, Eat These Words.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Tohline recommends you brew a pot of coffee before sitting down to read the post: "Yes, reading this will take up a bit of your time (20-30 minutes, to give you a fair projection), but…how important is the success of your novel to you? You've (presumably) spent hundreds of hours planning, writing, editing, and perfecting your manuscript. Now, it is time to treat your query with the same respect."
I think his work is worth a pot of coffee, with the first mug tipped in Tohline's honor for having taken the time to share this information.
[via Writer Beware Blogs!]
Read Guernica's interview with Norwegian musician Deeyah, who worked with Freemuse and Grappa Records to create the compilation CD, Listen to the Banned, featuring banned or persecuted artists from around the world. Guernica includes full-song samples of Banned, which features fourteen songs by musicians from China, Pakistan, Iran, Western Sahara/Morocco, Cameroon, The Ivory Coast, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, and Sudan.
All proceeds from Oil and Water...and Other Things That Don’t Mix will go to directly benefit MOBILE BAYKEEPER, and BAY AREA FOOD BANK, two charities helping to combat the effects of the spill and help the communities affected.
Authors included in the collection are Jenne’ R. Andrews, Shonell Bacon, Lissa Brown, Mollie Cox Bryan, Maureen E. Doallas, Mylène Dressler, Nicole Easterwood, Angela Elson, Melanie Eversley, Kimeko Farrar, L B Gschwandtner, John Klawitter, Mary Larkin, Linda Lou, Kelly Martineau, Patricia Anne McGoldrick, Ginger McKnight-Chavers, Carl Palmer, Karen Pickell, Dania Rajendra, Cherie Reich, Jarvis Slacks, Tynia Thomassie, Amy Wise, Dallas Woodburn, and contributing editors Zetta Brown and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown.
Retailers who wish to stock the Oil and Water anthology can contact the publisher directly: editor(at)ll-publications.com
The Rattle blog features the poem "Nursing Home" by Ed Galing, which begins:
this morning when i
they had to change
the bed sheets again
because i had wet
myself during the
like a baby who can’t
control his bowels,
my helper, miss jones,
a nice young black
girl didn’t mind doing
i just sat in a chair
when she changed the
dirty wet sheets with
new clean ones, and
i said, i am sorry,
and she said, with a smile,
i used to do it for my
own father when he had
in this nursing home
everyone is good to me,
. . .
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Submit a manuscript of 20 to 30 pages with a $12 entry fee by December 22. Visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
25% off all frontlist titles
50% off all backlist titles
Author catalog list here.
Subject catalog list here.
Enter the coupon code SSPHOLIDAY10 when checking out to claim the backlist discount. Backlist offer limited to titles published before July 1, 2010 and to orders within the US. Buyers are asked to place a separate order for frontlist and backlist titles.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Book Blurb: "Why is it that so many full-time writers seem to be full-time runners as well, and what is it about each activity that seems to fuel the other? In 99 Problems, Chicago author Ben Tanzer tackles this very question, penning a series of essays completed after a string of actual runs across the United States during the winter of 2009, cleverly combining the details of the run itself with what new insights he gained that day regarding whatever literary story he was working on at the time; and along the way, Tanzer also offers up astute observations on fatherhood, middle-age, and the complications of juggling traditional and artistic careers, all of it told through the funny and smart filter of pop-culture that has made this two-time novelist and national performance veteran so well-loved. A unique and fascinating new look at the curious relationship between physical activity and creative intellectualism, 99 Problems will have you looking at the arts in an entirely new way, and maybe even picking up a pair of running shoes yourself."
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Talking Writing is an online monthly literary magazine featuring the work of poets, fiction and creative nonfiction writers, visual artists, and photographers. TW includes long reviews and personal essays.
We practiced the art
of radish roses, broccoli florets,
celery stuffed with cheese. Baked soufflés.
Brought it all to the table—oven mitted and apronned
in our own hopsack embroidered creations.
[read the rest: Apple Valley Review]
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Pongo Teen Writing Project has many writing activities and resources on their website for teens, counselors, and teachers.
Some other recent Project Journal posts:
Watching Her and Her (Pongo Prize poetry, about a young woman who witnesses her mother's struggle with addiction)
The Quieter We Become (about a Pongo volunteer in the psychiatric hospital who describes "holding the unholdable")
Approaching the Trauma, Not the Crime (about a Pongo volunteer in detention who confronts the legacy of violence in his life)
Love Is a Useless Puppy (Pongo Prize poetry, about a young woman's love for a boy who treats her badly)
Cops (about police officers who come to understand their own unprocessed trauma after violence and death)
When American politicians mention the “hidden costs” of war, they are referring to inflation, higher taxes, and medical care for veterans of U.S. wars. Even when we invoke images of human suffering, children and teenagers are often the forgotten part of the story.
Yet who can forget images of the Vietnam “baby lift,” when Amer-Asian children were flown out of Vietnam to the U.S. to be adopted by American families? Who can forget the horror of learning that Iranian children were being sent on suicide missions to clear landmines? Who wasn’t captivated by stories of the “lost boys” of Sudan, who traveled thousands of miles alone through the desert, seeking shelter and safety?
Children, like adults, lose their homes and families during war. They may travel for miles, alone or with others. They become refugees and victims of rape; they are recruited as soldiers; they suffer from PTSD, starvation, malnutrition, disease, and disability. In a recent report, UNICEF stated that from 1985-1995, over 2 million children had been killed in war; 4-5 million had been left disabled; over 12 million had become homeless; more than 1 million had been orphaned or separated from their parents; and over 10 million suffered psychological trauma. Their experiences affect the next generation as well.
This anthology, to be published by Cinco Puntos Press in 2011 or 2012, will explore all angles of children’s and teenagers’ experiences in war. The core of the book will be personal essays, memoirs, journalistic accounts, and historical narratives, both previously published and original pieces. It may also include photos, artwork, posters, and other debris that depicts the effects of war on children and teens. Though the book will be primarily non-fiction, we may include some fiction, and we are willing to consider pieces about both current and past wars. “War” is defined liberally to include both “official,” declared wars as well as secret, unofficial wars, such as those carried out by governments on civilians in places like Chile, Argentina, and Zimbabwe.
All submissions, queries, and suggestions should be sent to J.L. Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org
All acceptances are conditional. The publisher exercises final editorial control over which pieces will be included.
The semi-finalists are listed here and the finalists are listed here.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Commenting on NYQ Books press, Hammond says: "The first premise was to say to ourselves, 'Poetry doesn’t sell.' And while this statement sounds self-defeating and is open to all sorts of debate and sounds like a cry of desperate mediocrity, there is an element of truth to it which immediately removes any grand expectations that we will sell thousands of copies of each book we publish. By removing this expectation, we can publish and keep in print books that don’t immediately sell right alongside books that do, and we are hoping that eventually the press will work as a single organism, some books supporting the others—but keeping all in print."
The first issue features fiction by David Hollander, Alexandra Sadinoff, and Dinah Cox; poetry, Lisa Lewis, Nate Pritts, Clay Matthews, Tom C. Hunley, Steven D. Schroeder, and Jenny Yang Cropp; nonfiction, Andrew Merton and Gina Vozenilek; music reviews and an interview with "Other Lives"; an interview with artist George Boorujy.
The Fiddleback reads year-round and is published bi-monthly.
Behind the scenes at The Fiddleback are Jeff Simpson - Founding Editor; Labecca Jones - Senior Poetry Editor; Daniel Long - Senior Fiction Editor; Brian Gebhart - Senior Fiction Editor; Jessica Hendry Nelson - Senior Nonfiction Editor; Chelsey Simpson - Senior Nonfiction Editor; James Brubaker - Senior Music Editor; and Joshua Cross - Senior Music Editor.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Book Publisher: The Key Publishing House Inc., publisher of academic and non-academic books, Toronto, Ontario
Submissions are being sought for an anthology about writing and publishing by women with experience in writing and publishing about family. Possible subjects: using life experience; networking; unique issues women must overcome; formal education; queries and proposals; conference participation; self-publishing; teaching tips. Tips on writing about family: creative nonfiction, poetry, short stories, nonfiction, novels.
Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful to readers. Please avoid writing too much about "me" and concentrate on what will help the reader. No previously published, co-written, or simultaneously submitted material.
Foreword by Supriya Bhatnagar, Director of Publications, Editor of The Writer's Chronicle, Association of Writers & Writing Programs, George Mason University. Author of the memoir: and then there were threeŠ (Serving House Books, 2010)
Afterword by Dr. Amy Hudock, co-editor of Literary Mama chosen by Writers Digest as one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She teaches creative writing and co-edited American Prose Writers (Seal Press, 2006)
Co-Editor Carol Smallwood appears in Who's Who of American Women, Michigan Feminist Studies, The Writer's Chronicle. She's included in Best New Writing in Prose 2010. Her 23rd book is Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook (American Library Association, 2010). A chapter of newly published Lily's Odyssey was short listed for the Eric Hoffer Prose Award; a book trailer of Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages is http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=8M6m7PXGQIU&feature=related
Co-Editor Suzann Holland, 2010 Winner of Public Libraries Feature Award, secured the permission of the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate for the forthcoming: The Little House Literary Companion. Her masters degrees include history, library science: she taught English composition, information literacy, at William Penn University, was a librarian at Milwaukee Public Library, a consultant in Davenport, Iowa. Her anthology contributions appear in: Greenwood Press, Neal-Schuman, the American Library Association
Please send 2-3 possible topics you would like to contribute each described in a few sentences and a 65-75 word bio using the format like the bio's above. Please send in a .doc Word file by December 30, 2010 using FAMILY/Your Name on the subject line to email@example.com. You'll receive a Go-Ahead and guidelines if your topics haven't been taken. Contributors will be asked to contribute a total of 1900-2100 words. Those included in the anthology will receive a complimentary copy as compensation.
Book Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc.
Contributors needed for articles about: websites for women poets, using life experience, magazine markets, networking, managing family, blogs, unique issues women must overcome, lesbian and bisexual poetry, continuing education, queries and proposals, anthologies, conference participation, contests, promotion, self-publishing, teaching tips, and other areas women poets are interested.
Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful.
Please avoid writing too much about "me" and concentrate on what will most help the reader. No previously published, co-written, or simultaneously submitted material.
Foreword: Molly Peacock, the author of six books of poetry, including The Second Blush (W.W. Norton and Company, 2008).
Co-editor Carol Smallwood is a 2009 National Federation of State Poetry Societies award winner included in Who's Who of American Women who has appeared in Michigan Feminist Studies, The Writer's Chronicle. She's included in Best New Writing in Prose 2010. Her 23rd book is Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook (American Library Association, 2010). The first chapter of Lily's Odyssey (2010) was short listed for the Eric Hoffer Prose Award; chapbook by Pudding House Publications; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M6m7PXGQIU
Co-editor Colleen S. Harris is a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her book of poetry, God in My Throat: The Lilith Poems (Bellowing Ark Press, 2009), was a finalist for the Black Lawrence Book Award. Her second and third books, These Terrible Sacraments and Gonesongs, are forthcoming in 2011. Colleen holds an MFA degree in writing and has appeared in The Louisville Review, Wisconsin Review, River Styx, and Adirondack Review, among others. Her work has been included in Library Journal, and Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages.
Please send 2-3 topics you would like to contribute each described in a few sentences and a 65-75 word bio using the format of the bio's above. Please send in a .doc Word (older version) file by December 30, 2010 using POETS/your last name on the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a Go-Ahead with guidelines if your topics haven't already been taken. Contributors will be asked to contribute a total of 1900-2100 words. Those included in the anthology will receive a complimentary copy as compensation.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
If you are reading this, you are probably a friend of Dean Young and/or a friend of poetry. And you may have heard that our friend is in a precarious position. Dean needs a heart transplant now. He also needs your assistance now.
Over the past 10 or 15 years, Dean has lived with a degenerative heart condition--congestive heart failure due to idiopathic hypotropic cardiomyopathy. After periods of more-or-less remission, in which his heart was stabilized and improved with the help of medications, the function of his heart has worsened. Now, radically.
For the last two years he has had periods in which he cannot walk a block without resting. Medications which once worked have lost their efficacy. He is in and out of the hospital, unable to breathe without discomfort, etc. Currently, Dean's heart is pumping at an estimated 8% of normal volume.
In the past, doctors have been impressed with his ability to function in this condition. But now things are getting quickly worse. Dean has been placed on the transplant list at Seton Medical Center Austin, and has just been upgraded to a very critical category. He's got to get a heart soon, or go to intermediate drastic measures like a mechanical external pump.
Whatever the scenario, the financial expenses, both direct and collateral, will be massive. Yes, he has sound health insurance, but even so, he will have enormous bills not covered by insurance--which is where you can help, with your financial support.
If you know Dean, you know that his non-anatomical heart, though hardly normal, is not malfunctioning, but great in scope, affectionate and loyal. And you know that his poetry is what the Elizabethans would have called "one of the ornaments of our era"--hilarious, heartbreaking, courageous, brilliant and already a part of the American canon.
His 10-plus books, his long career of passionate and brilliant teaching, most recently as William Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas at Austin; his instruction and mentorship of hundreds of younger poets; his many friendships; his high, reckless and uncompromised vision of what art is: all these are reasons for us to gather together now in his defense and support.
Joe Di Prisco, one of Dean's oldest friends, is chairing a fundraising campaign conducted through the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT). NFT is a nonprofit organization that has been assisting transplant patients with advocacy and fundraising support since 1983.
If you have any questions about NFT, feel free to contact the staff at 800-489-3863. You may also contact Joe personally at email@example.com.
On behalf of Dean, myself, and the principle of all our friendships in art, I ask you to give all you can. Thanks, my friends.
You can help.
To make a donation to NFT in honor of Dean, click here. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT Texas Heart Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Dean Young" on the memo line.
Thank you for your generosity!
Patient Health Institute: Seton Medical Center
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Author Laurel Snyder is joined by artist David Goldin in this newest of her books and novels for children. I first met Laurel about six years ago at a FLAC conference, and her energy and enthusiasm left an indelible mark in my memory. This book brought back a rush of those memories, as I could almost hear the joyful nature of her voice across every page.
Baxter, yes a pig in a human world, in a chance encounter with a man at a bus stop, hears about Shabbat dinner - the candles, the dancing, the singing. Baxter can't stop thinking of it as the week progresses and returns to the bus stop to find out how he can become "a part of" Shabbat dinner. Of course, a different stranger he encounters at the stop tells Baxter he can't be "a part" of the dinner because he's "not kosher."
Not knowing what this means, Baxter sets out to become kosher, each time based on comments from a stranger he meets. First he eats (too many) pickles, then eats (too much) challah, and finally tries to become a cow by eating clover and wearing horns. All of this comes to an end when he meets Rabbi Rosen at the bus stop, who explains to him what kosher means - and Baxter's shock at the realization that if he were kosher, he'd be eaten! Grateful he is NOT kosher, he takes up Rabbi Rosin's invitation to attend shabbat at her home and enjoys all he had been longing for - including eating (too much) kugel.
By title alone, this book is a curiosity. Reading it is pure delight as Snyder quickly develops Baxter's personality as curious, eager to learn, and wanting so badly to belong. The story is supplemented with a brief glossary at the end, which continues the story in Synder's voice, such as this entry for rabbi: "learned, generous Jewish leader who devotes time to reading, thinking, teaching, and helping people (and pigs!). Rabbis often tell wonderful stories, wear hats, and have nice laugh wrinkles."
Goldin's illustrations and Synder's text are well balanced. Golin's illustrations are a mixed media, including photographs with drawings. Baxter pants and shirt are photographed images of cloth, the food - such as whitefish salad, knish, pickled eggs, and challah - are also photographs. This blend is engaging for children, who can recognize the difference and enjoy the "reality" of some of the images in the story. There are full color illustrations on every page, some full bleed, some insert, each busy enough to entertain readers with new discoveries in multiple readings.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Deadline for submissions April 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
The Poetry website also includes a number of educational resources:
Poetry Learning Lab
"Developed for teachers, students, and learners of every age," this section includes full-text poems, related writing ideas, discussion questions, and teaching tips.
Articles for Students and Teachers
With full-text articles on: Children's poetry and the joys of repetition (Sonia Levitin); Why high school students are the best poetry critics (Brian Staveley); Using Robert Frost's poems to teach global warming, astronomy, botany, and just about everything else in middle school science class (Karen Glenn); and several more on topical poems.
"This section collects famous historical essays about poetry that have greatly influenced the art. Written by poets and critics from a wide range of historical, cultural, and aesthetic perspectives, the essays address the purpose of poetry, the possibilities of language, and the role of the poet in the world."
On dozens of poets as well as the first chapter (full-text) of How to Read a Poem (and Fall in Love with Poetry) by Edward Hirsch.
A searchable Glossary of Terms associated with poetry and literature and Discussion Guides on select issues of Poetry.
Cenando en los Campamentos de Refugiados: Un Libro De Cocina Saharaui
by Robin Kahn
From the publishers site: "A full-color, bilingual, collage journal that documents Robin Kahn's month cooking with the women of the Western Sahara. As a guest artist selected to participate in ARTifariti 2009, Kahn stayed with Sahrawi families living in refugee camps in Algeria and in the desert of The Free Territories of the Western Sahara. There she created the collages for this publication by combining the sparse materials available locally with photos, recipes, histories and drawings. The result is a 50-page full-color journal that examines the art of Sahrawi food production: how kitchens are improvised, food is procured and prepared, and traditional recipes are innovated from UN rations and international aid. The book is a testament to the daily struggles of Sahrawi women whose role is to provide sustenance, fortitude and comfort inside a compromised society."
Monday, December 06, 2010
“A large part of writing is daydreaming. We all do it,” says Shreve, who confesses to occasionally missing her exit when driving. “You are rehearsing a conversation you had last night, and you are going to change the dialogue a bit so it comes out right, or you imagine what you are going to say when you get home. The only difference with a writer is a writer loves the challenge of structure and crafting sentences.”
Read the rest Profile on Anita Shreve: "You don’t sit waiting for the muse to come" by Kate Taylor (Globe and Mail)
Sami Awad is a Palestinian Christian whose grandfather was killed in Jerusalem in 1948. Today he is the executive director of Holy Land Trust, a non-profit organization that promotes Palestinian independence through peaceful means. Yonatan Shapira is an Israeli Jew whose grandparents were Zionist settlers who witnessed the birth of the Israeli nation. Today he is an outspoken advocate for the nonviolent peace movement, both in his homeland and abroad. Ahmad Al'Azzeh is a Palestinian Muslim who has lived his entire life in the Azzeh refugee camp in Bethlehem. Today, Ahmad heads the nonviolence program at Holy Land Trust, where he trains others in the methods of peaceful activism.
Little Town of Bethlehem was produced by EthnoGraphic Media (EGM), an educational non-profit organization exploring the critical issues of our time. Copies of the film are available for half price through December. Screening copies with full screening kits are available for schools, churches, clubs, groups, or local theaters.
Friday, December 03, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
"But as popular as the life story of McCourt is, there are those who take issue with it. Those who question McCourt's ability to recall in such great detail events which took place decades ago. How could he remember which of his brothers begged for berries or the look on his mother's face when she had to plead for an egg or the head of a pig for her children to eat at Christmas.
"These are fair questions. If I can't remember what I had for dinner last night or whether I recharged my cell phone this morning, how can a writer sit down at his desk and starting with words, build sentences, paragraphs, pages, and finally an entire life story like a bricklayer constructs a solid house? And would a reader trust the construction?
"We have been taken a few times, I'll admit. Well-regarded memoirists have turned out to be not so honest. Their pants burst into flames and it makes news. But I believe it makes news because it is rare. For the most part I believe when people sit down to tell their story, they do their best to tell it with truth. Their truth. And that is the key. They are communicating to the reader what they remember. They are spilling out on the page those images and sounds they have carried with them their entire lives."