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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Academy_Award_trophyMarvelous Movies

I didn’t manage to see every film nominated for an Oscar this year, but late last week I managed to catch two of them: Spotlight and Trumbo.

I thought that both of them were terrific.

More significant, for purposes of this post, I thought that both of them had a lot to give writers to mull over, not least in terms of their respective portrayals of process, risk, moral responsibility, networking, and teamwork. (That the worlds depicted in both films display a common bond of anti-Semitism is something else that caught my attention, but that’s another matter.)

I’d love to hear responses from others who have seen Spotlight and/or Trumbo.

New Poetry Has Value Post


It’s a new month, people!

I’ve already submitted my February poetry-submissions update to Poetry Has Value. And it has been posted!

In the Meantime: March Issue of The Practicing Writer

The arrival of a new month also means that there’s a new issue of The Practicing Writer for you to peruse (if you haven’t done so yet).

The issue went out to subscribers on Monday, and I’ve received some lovely feedback on the feature article, which begins as follows:

“Late March may find many of you traveling to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference, which, for 2016, is taking place in Los Angeles. Originally, I’d hoped to attend, too. I’d even joined a panel proposal. And, lo and behold, the proposal was accepted. But since changes in plans mean that I’m not going to the conference, and therefore not participating on the panel, I thought that I’d share with you some of what I’d have presented there.

Organized by David Ebenbach, the panel (S115, for those of you who will be attending), is titled “Succeed Better: The Many Ways Our Words Can Bear Fruit.” The official description reads: “Faced with Amazon rankings, bestseller statuses, and zero-sum ‘top writer’ lists, you might think that success is all about numbers–but numbers are the palest measure of what our work can do in the world. The writers and editors on this panel share personal stories about how writing can lead to poignant encounters, salved wounds, changed lives, and empowered people. This conversation broadens the definition of success to encompass the things that mean the most.”

I loved this panel idea, and I still love it, because so often it’s easy to lose sight of the ways in which un-published, un-paid-for writing can make a difference. Three examples from my own experience have been in my thoughts lately.”

Read the rest of the piece—along with the usual array of announcements regarding upcoming no-fee contests and competitions and calls from paying litmags and publishers online.

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