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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.

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

heirloomsHeirlooms Has Arrived!

One of this week’s highlights: the arrival of my pre-ordered copy of Heirlooms, the debut collection of linked stories by my friend Rachel Hall. This is a gorgeous book (yes, go ahead and judge this one by its cover!).

You’ll discover more about Heirlooms and its wonderful author in the October issue of The Practicing Writer, which should be going out in just a couple of days. (Rachel will be the featured Q&A participant.)

In the meantime, however, I recommend that you read this terrific interview, published on Saturday over on The Rumpus. Continue reading ›

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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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Words of the Week

“‘Please remember, don’t make us out to be political,’ the man said. ‘We just want recognition as Jews.'”

Source: Chris Buckley, “Chinese Jews of Ancient Lineage Huddle Under Pressure” (The New York Times)

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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.”

And, the bluing dusk,
the empty road
and the ice falling slow
could make the world blur.

Source, “After Death,” in Finding Fruit Among Thorns, poems by Christie Grimes.

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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.

  • “Amy Gottlieb’s debut novel, ‘The Beautiful Possible’ (Harper), is one of the most Jewish of stories, if one considers novelist Rebecca Goldstein’s definition of a Jewish book as one in which Judaism matters on the page. In a style that feels natural, Gottlieb weaves Jewish wisdom, texts and storytelling into narrative and dialogue; many sentences have the cadences of prayer.” So begins Sandee Brawarsky’s marvelous review for The Jewish Week.
  • And I keep singing the praises of Rachel Hall’s magnificent new collection of linked stories, Heirlooms, which is the subject of this highly informative Q&A with Deborah Kalb.
  • Happening next month in North Carolina: “Faith in Literature: A Festival of Contemporary Writers of the Spirit.” It looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Lucky attendees!
  • ICYMI: My wonderful colleague Michelle Caplan, Editor-in-Chief for Fig Tree Books, will be attending the upcoming BinderCon in New York. Here’s some information about her–and the kind of work that she’s seeking to acquire–that may be helpful to anyone with a manuscript on American Jewish experience.
  • And we’ll close with a weekend-reading recommendation: the latest issue of JewishFiction.Net.
  • Shabbat Shalom.

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