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.

Words of the Week

“When I was a child, I was told
that when Aunt Bella left Germany in the late 1930s,
she went to Palestine.
Which didn’t mean that she went to a country called ‘Palestine,’
because no such country existed.
As I grew older, I learned the details of this history:”

Please read the rest of my own poem “History Lesson in 210 Words” on the Jewish Journal website (and excuse the self-promotion!).

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Nice Surprise #1

I was elated when, last November, Cathryn Hankla accepted my poem “Fighting Words” for The Hollins Critic.

But I had no idea when, exactly, the poem would be published. So it was a nice surprise to arrive home the other day and discover a thick envelope containing a set of contributor copies. (And, yes, a check!)

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Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers

Monday brings the weekly batch of no-fee, paying listings of competitions, contests, and calls for submissions—plus jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction).
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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.”

One January evening a few years ago, just before the beginning of the spring term in which I was going to be teaching an undergraduate seminar on the Odyssey, my father, a retired computer scientist who was then eighty-one, asked me, for reasons I thought I understood at the time, if he could sit in on the course, and I said yes.

Source: Daniel Mendesohn’s “An Odyssey” (The New Yorker). And I’ll break the rules with some commentary: There are so many “Sunday-sentence” sentences here. I finally gave up trying to select one and chose the very first.



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.

  • On Tablet, in time for Yom HaShoah: an excerpt from Leela Corman’s forthcoming graphic novel Victory Parade, in which a Jewish American soldier helps liberate Buchenwald—and is haunted by the experience.
  • Also connected with Yom HaShoah: “UnWitnessable: A Reading of Contemporary Poetry and Prose Related to the Holocaust,” an event for those in the Philadelphia area, happening next Wednesday, April 26.
  • “Washington Jewish Week, a print and multi-platform digital publication covering the capital region’s diverse Jewish community, is looking for an enthusiastic, quick-learning general assignment reporter/writer to join our Rockville-based news team full time.”
  • Check out the April Jewish Book Carnival, hosted this month by Yael Shahar.
  • And enjoy Judy Bolton-Fasman’s super write-up of Lilith magazine’s recent 40th-anniversary celebration at Brandeis University. Included: a sneak peek into Rachel Kadish’s forthcoming novel.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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