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.

Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

As I mentioned on my other blog, I’m about to take a brief blogging hiatus (don’t worry–I’ll be back next week!). So I’m giving you the weekly Jewish literary links a day early. Shabbat shalom, and see you next week.

  • “We are delighted to announce that the Jewish Plays Project is now accepting Submissions for its 2015 season!”
  • The Whole Megillah interviews Kathy Kacer, author of fiction and nonfiction on World War II and the Holocaust.
  • New this week: Hevria, “a combination of the Hebrew words Hevreh (group of friends) and Bria (creation). We are a group of creators, coming together. By working together, by combining our forces, I believe we will be incredibly powerful. I believe we can make a difference in the way the Jewish world writes. And I believe we can raise the spiritual sparks of creativity.”
  • The YIVO fall events program is online.
  • And a fun Jewish literary quiz from My Jewish Learning.
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    Wednesday’s WiP: Brief Blog Hiatus

    Hello, friends. No, I’m not going fishing. But I am taking a long Labor Day weekend trip, and there’s a lot happening in my world this week as it is, and so this will be the last blog post for about a week.

    I’ll be returning home early next Monday morning, and I expect to get the September issue of The Practicing Writer out to subscribers that day.

    Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and peaceful several days.



    Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

    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).

  • From Interfictions: “We are looking for work that blurs the lines between genres (contemporary realism, mystery, historical, fantasy, speculative fiction, westerns), as well as pieces that bridge fiction and nonfiction, prose and poetry, and other categories.” Deadline for next issue is August 30. Pays: $30/poem and $.10/word for fiction and nonfiction. NB: “We’re also interested in interviews with boundary-crossing artists. Please query if you know someone you’d like to interview, and let us know why you think this person’s work would interest us. We seek interviews of 2000-3000 words, and pay a flat rate of $50/interview.” (h/t WritingCareer.com)
  • Poets & Writers is looking for an Assistant Editor (New York).
  • “TC Jewfolk is hiring an arts and culture columnist….You’ll be expected to cover an average of one cultural event in the Twin Cities per week, and you’ll have a fair amount of freedom to choose what events you think will be most interesting to our readers. The events don’t have to be Jewish community events; in fact, most of them probably won’t be. Instead you’ll be expected to cover local cultural happenings and personalities with a Jewish lens. This could range from a play at the Guthrie, to a Jewish stand-up comedian playing at Acme, to a special Jewish community event like the Christmas Eve ‘Jewbilee,’ or Twin Cities Jewish film festival. We will pay $25 per story, at an average of one per week for a year. This is a great opportunity to build a writing portfolio and get paid to see live theater/music/etc in the Twin Cities!”
  • “The Creative Writing Program at the University of Oregon welcomes applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Fiction. M.F.A., Ph.D., or M.A. in Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction required.”
  • Two jobs at Oregon State University-Corvallis, both tenure-track Assistant Professorships. One specifies a fiction specialty; the other, nonfiction.
  • “The Department of English at the University of San Diego invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position in Creative Writing, Creative Non-Fiction Emphasis.”
  • We’re about one week away from the next issue of The Practicing Writer. As always, it will be packed with no-fee contest info and paying submission calls. It’s never too late to subscribe to our free newsletter.
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    Words of the Week

    “Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage. Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles. Children are our hope, not our human shields.”
    “Statement from Creative Community for Peace and Friends”

    “We didn’t have time to get the children and go into the protected room.”
    Gila Tragerman, mother of slain 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman z”l, quoted in The Times of Israel

    “The liberals among us must also understand that we’re not China or Russia, not a superpower. We’re a tiny minority-nation under attack, and sweeping criticism of this nation is like sweeping criticism of the black, gay or Yazidi minority. Despite the Zionist revolution and Israeli sovereignty, we’re still Jews. As Jews we must defend ourselves, and as Jews we must stand for justice.”
    Ari Shavit, “The Challenge of Anti-Semitism,” Haaretz

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    Sunday Sentence

    so14_coverIn 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.”

    “They didn’t seem to understand—they were too entitled to understand—that the production of great literature requires a deep engagement with great literature.”

    Source: Steve Almond, “The Problem of Entitlement: A Question of Respect” (Poets & Writers)