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

Bound for #BEA15

Today, tomorrow,and Friday will find me focused on BookExpo America (BEA). I’ve attended this massive publishing event in the past, as a blogger/book reviewer interested in getting the early scoop on forthcoming titles and picking up as many galleys of said titles as I could carry. But this year, I’m attending as part of a publishing company. Which means that rather than roaming the conference floor, I’ll be spending a great deal of time beneath this banner at Booth 843A.

IMG_2015

And in my capacity as Media Editor for Fig Tree Books, I’ve written this blog post all about ways to connect with Fig Tree at the show–and about ways to have a “virtual BEA”–complete with galleys and author events–from afar. I hope that you enjoy it! Continue reading ›

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From My Screen: ABOVE AND BEYOND

Over the Shavuot/Memorial Day weekend, I watched an extraordinary film. In its simplest terms, the film might be described (as a New York Times reviewer has written) as follows: “Produced by Nancy Spielberg (sister of Steven Spielberg), the documentary ‘Above and Beyond’ recounts the story of Jewish American pilots who, beginning in 1948, secretly fought for Israel in its war of independence, when the Israeli military was nascent.”

It’s an amazing story. To be sure, it’s not without its discomforts. For starters, the American Jews who participated in this effort were risking their U.S. citizenship. But by the end of the film, one can’t help thinking of the devastating consequences had they not made the choices that they did.

The same NYT reviewer mentioned above also notes that “the movie’s one-sided view of history is bound to start arguments.” Maybe. But if this is a “one-sided view of history,” it’s also an accurate view of history. For instance, the Arab countries’ 1947 rejection of the U.N. Partition Plan that would have created the first-ever Palestinian state is included as part of the prelude to Israel’s War of Independence. Not everyone is cognizant of this pre-history to Israel’s declaration of statehood. Is its inclusion what the reviewer means by “one-sided”?

Regardless, I strongly recommend this film, especially for anyone who wants to learn more about the establishment of the State of Israel and the contributions of American Jews to that achievement. Above and Beyond can be viewed via (some) on-demand cable companies, iTunes, and at screenings. You’ll find more information on the film’s website.

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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). Continue reading ›

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Sunday Sentence

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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.”

[…] The bicentennial
crocheted the nation with the masts of tall ships and twelve-foot
Uncle Sams but at year’s end my innocence dislodged
like a powdered wig as I witnessed the first installment
of Roots.
[…]

Source: “Philadelphia, Negro,” in Gregory Pardlo’s Digest.

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Words of the Week

“’Divided by politics, Israelis and Palestinians are united by a love for the same land with its rich indivisible history, and now even shared saints,’ the Pope could have declared, addressing Abbas and Rivlin in Rome, in a speech broadest simultaneously on Israeli and Palestinian television. He could have gone on to challenge members of both nations to consider what else unites them, and to suggest that shared saints is just one manifestation of how the Church could be a constructive bridge to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Pope could have deployed his moral authority in recent days to bring Palestinians and Israelis together, and send out a very real call for conciliation between them. Instead, he lent out this moral authority, and even the solemn rite of canonization, for diplomatic point-scoring.”

Source: Nathan Jeffay, “Pope No Saint On Palestinian Saints? Missed opportunity to stress unity on both sides of the Green Line.” (The Jewish Week)

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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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