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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.

Sunday Sentence

Photo credit: Bill Miller

Photo credit: Bill Miller

 

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, which asks us to share the best sentence(s) we’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

“My parents fought so much that the walls vibrated with rage.”

Source: Akhil Sharma, Family Life, p. 146

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Friday Finds for Writers

Treasure ChestWriting-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend. Continue reading ›

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Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • In The Barnes & Noble Review: an interview with Israeli author David Grossman about his newly translated book Falling out of Time.
  • I haven’t wanted to spend my precious reading time with John B. Judis’s Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict. Here’s another review that explains why that’s the case.
  • From Tablet: “Second Seder,” a Passover poem by Andrea Cohen.
  • Catch up with the monthly Jewish Book Carnival: April’s edition is hosted by The Whole Megillah.
  • LABA, “a non-religious Jewish house of study and culture laboratory at the 14th Street Y” in New York, has issued a call for fellowship applications. Next year’s theme: “TIME.” No fee to apply. Deadline: May 12, 2014. The program awards stipends to its fellows.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Words of the Week: Frank Bruni

    “When hatred is loosed, we’re all in the crossfire.”

    Source: Frank Bruni, “The Oldest Hatred, Forever Young” an opinion piece following Sunday’s terrible events in Overland Park, Kansas, in The New York Times

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    Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Spotlight on Elizabeth Nunez

    This past week I had the privilege of reading Elizabeth Nunez’s latest book, a memoir titled Not for Everyday Use (Akashic Books). I obtained a digital galley with the intention of asking Elizabeth–whom I’ve been lucky to get to know through my “day job” at The City University of New York–if she’d be willing to answer a few questions for The Practicing Writer.

    I finished this excellent book quickly, and the ever-gracious Elizabeth agreed to answer my questions (in fact, she has already returned her responses!). I had to tell her, though, that the newsletter interviewees are booked (so to speak), for the next several months. This interview won’t appear until the August issue, which will go out to readers at the very end of July. (In the interest of keeping things somewhat suspenseful, I won’t reveal the identities of every interviewee between now and then, but I’ll tell you that our very next issue will feature Roxane Gay, who will tell us about her soon-to-be-published novel An Untamed State.)

    Meantime, I encourage you to watch this video of Elizabeth’s recent appearance at the Center for Fiction (although this latest book is nonfiction, Elizabeth is an acclaimed novelist). You’ll get to hear her read from the memoir, and listen to her conversation with Louise DeSalvo (who offers terrific questions and comments in a discussion that encompasses race, religion, writing and more). An hour well spent.

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