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.

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.”

Somewhere in Connecticut, it started to snow, big early-spring flakes spreading over the bus windshield, melting as soon as they hit the asphalt.

Source: Judith Frank, All I Know and Love



Words of the Week

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/15857940828/in/photostream/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/15857940828/in/photostream/

“Chag sameach,” he said. “What a blessing to be a citizen of the United States of America. Thank you President Obama for everything you have done today.”

–Alan Gross, quoted by JTA

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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.

  • For your viewing pleasure: a video of Adam Kirsch speaking on the topic, “Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Literature?”
  • One of the most interesting articles I’ve read thus far on Patrick Modiano in the wake of his Nobel-prize win, by Michael Weingrad for Mosaic Magazine.
  • A trove of Hanukkah fiction from JewishFiction.Net.
  • My thanks to Christi Craig for inviting me to expound on “Jewish storytelling.”
  • And last, but by no means least: the latest newsletter from Fig Tree Books!
  • Shabbat shalom and Chag Sameach!

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    Watching my grandfather--a refugee from Nazism and a U.S. Army WWII veteran--kindle the Hanukkah candles in 1972.

    Watching my grandfather–a refugee from Nazism and a U.S. Army WWII veteran–kindle the Hanukkah candles in 1972.


    Since Hanukkah began last night, I planned to share something I posted here last year: this photo of my grandfather and me, accompanied by a link to the archived story of mine that was included on National Public Radio’s “Hanukkah Lights” broadcast back in 2011. That story, “Fidelis,” was on my mind again last year when I caught this article in The New York Times Magazine on the anniversary of a World War II battle (Tarawa) that is central to it.

    Lo and behold, I returned from a Hanukkah celebration last night (to which I happened to wear, as I often do, a ring that belonged to my grandfather on a silver chain around my neck), to discover that “Fidelis” has been “re-upped” to be part of the 2014 “Hanukkah Lights” broadcast, too. Icing on this cake (or jelly doughnut, as the holiday case may be): NPR is calling the story “a classic” from its “vault.” To which all I can say is: Wow.


    Last week I had the pleasure of attending two literary-award events. Continue reading ›

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