Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

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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

Breakfast Meeting: Reinventing the Book Club

I’m just back from my first visit to the impressive LMHQ event space, where I was able to watch two lit-world stars in conversation. (Bonus: The event was on Facebook Live, and you can catch the video here.) Continue reading ›

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The (Jewish) Plays Are the Thing

Is it just me, or is it an especially rich time for Jewish theater at the moment? Especially here in New York?

On Sunday, I had the great privilege of attending a performance of “Through the Darkness: The Story of Four People Who Outran the Holocaust.” Staged at The Workshop Theater, the play is the creation of Alan Breindel, a member of my home congregation. Continue reading ›

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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).
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.”

I had an immediate vision of a long line of people stretching from Fortieth Street, where my publishing house stands, down to the Bowery—five hundred thousand people, each one hugging a copy of “The Aristocracy of the Spirit World,” each one demanding the return of his or her two dollars and fifty cents.

Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The I.O.U.” (The New Yorker)

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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.

  • It has been a big week for our team at Fig Tree Books: Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew is officially out in the world. There’s been lots of great press so far. Appearing yesterday: a super Q&A on Gretchen Rubin’s blog (with a special shoutout for Shabbat).
  • This week also brought the latest Jewish Book Carnival, which routinely features news, reviews, and interviews from the Jewish literary blogosphere. (Hosted for March by Barbara Krasner/The Whole Megillah.)
  • A timely look, 50 years later, at “Natan Alterman or Amos Oz? The Six-Day War and Israeli Literature” (by Liam Hoare for Fathom).
  • Two superb “long reads” for the weekend: Maxim D. Shrayer’s Mosaic essay on Russia’s Jews, and Sabine Heinlein’s “The Restless Ghosts of Baiersdorf”.
  • And speaking of long reads—if you’ve never read George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (or if you want to immerse yourself in it anew), the Tikvah Fund has an online learning opportunity for you.
  • Shabbat shalom, everyone!

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