Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.


I maintain two blogs: Practicing Writing and My Machberet. Posts for both blogs show up on this page, but you can visit each blog by clicking on the appropriate link. It's also possible to subscribe to each feed.

Practicing Writing: Here you'll find updates on writing and publishing opportunities (especially handy between issues of our popular monthly newsletter). You'll discover ONLY opportunities that charge no fees, and ONLY publications/contests that will pay for your writing. The blog also shares writing-related news, resources, and quotations; book reviews; and occasional updates regarding this practicing writer's own work.

My Machberet: "Machberet" is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it's also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, I confess, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remember), I've chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.

Friday Finds for Writers

Treasure Chest
Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend. Continue reading ›

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • ICYMI: The latest Fig Tree Books newsletter went out to subscribers this week. It features lots of celebratory suggestions for Jewish Book Month, which is happening now!
  • Also ICYMI: Just yesterday, right here on My Machberet, I shared enthusiastic thoughts about Yehoshua November’s new poetry collection.
  • The Forward is looking for an Opinion Editor. (They’re also advertising for a Culture Intern and a News Intern. These are paid internships.)
  • Another haunting essay, grounded in her Jewish family’s experiences in the former Soviet Union, by Zhanna Slor: “Nationality.”
  • And as we approach the inauguration of a new American president, JTA presents a series of essays, each written by a Jewish leader, under the umbrella of “Worst Fears/Best Hopes.”
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    From My Bookshelf: Poetry by Yehoshua November

    I’ve mentioned the poetry of Yehoshua November in blog posts before, generally within link roundups. But I’ve just had the chance to read November’s new collection, Two Worlds Exist. And even if I don’t feel equipped to write a full-fledged review of this (or, frankly, any other poetry book), I want to draw your attention to this beautiful volume. (Especially at the start of the #Readukkah celebration!)

    These are poems about prayer, and marriage, and parenting (and parenting a child who has a disability). And loss. Some are spare; all are powerful.

    Reading this collection–which I did in a single sitting–I was struck anew with the realization of how “diverse” Jewish literature is, not merely in comparison with writing that reflects other traditions and cultures, but also within itself. November’s Judaism is not quite the same as my Judaism, and so along with the proverbial and familiar “mirrors” that I discovered as I read there I also encountered, perhaps more importantly, many quietly dramatic “windows.”

    Here are just a few places online where you can find a few of the poems that appear in this book: Continue reading ›

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    ‘Tis Tally Time!

    A new batch of updates has been posted over on the Poetry Has Value site. Go ahead and read the contributing bloggers’ updates on submissions—and more—from each poet’s practice. (As always, I recommend that you read all of the posts, but if you’re especially eager to read mine, you’ll find it right here.

    The Gang’s All Back

    My Jewish-text-study-and-writing-group reunited last evening after too many weeks in which holiday observances, travel schedules, and life got in the way of our gatherings. I am so glad that we have reconvened. I missed everyone–and I missed the inspiration of our work together. (I drafted a new poem last night that I’m excited to keep working on–and it has been too long since I was able to say that!)

    Newsletter Alerts

    And it’s that time again. Time for me to remind you about some new newsletter issues. The latest edition of The Practicing Writer went out to subscribers this morning. And the Fig Tree Books newsletter was distributed yesterday. (It happens to include a number of suggestions for ways to celebrate Jewish Book Month, which we’re in right now.)

    I’m always glad to see new subscribers, for either/both of the newsletters that I work on. (Hint, hint!)

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    Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers

    dollar-sign-mdMonday brings the weekly batch of no-fee competitions/contests, paying submission calls, and jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). Continue reading ›

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    Sunday Sentence


    In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

    You don’t get a pat on the back for ratcheting down from rabid after exploiting that very radicalism to your advantage.

    Source: Charles M. Blow, “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along” (The New York Times)