Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Full-time and Freelance

LaunchThe biggest news this week is that my employer, Fig Tree Books LLC, has launched its imprint and announced its first four books, which will be published beginning in March 2015. Read the full press release on our wonderful website. And/or check out this generous coverage from Library Journal. (It’s never too late to celebrate! Lift a virtual glass as per the nifty image I had fun creating and am sharing here.)

Working for FTB means that I won’t be doing much of the freelance writing-about-books that I’ve done for such a long time. When I began working for FTB last month, I had just finished two such freelance assignments. One of them–a fall books preview article for The Jewish Journal–was published this week. I hope you’ll take a look. The other, a review-essay for The Missouri Review, will be in the forthcoming fall issue. I can give you a hint about it, though: If you found Meghan Daum’s essay in this week’s issue of The New Yorker interesting, you’ll find some similar food for thought in my TMR piece.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins tonight. I’m not going to blog for the next couple of days. But rest assured, I’ll be back! In the meantime, here’s wishing a sweet and happy new year to everyone else who is celebrating.

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Shana Tova

I’ll be taking a bit of a break from blogging for Rosh Hashanah. Here’s wishing you all a very sweet and happy New Year.


(And if you happen to be looking for some reading ideas, check out my article on “Noteworthy Books for the New Year” in the Jewish Journal.)

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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

The Betrayers
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 day’s heat had subsided, and the nighttime air felt gentle, consoling, as if bestowed upon them by a sympathetic spirit.”


Source: David Bezmozgis, The Betrayers (which I’m reading in complimentary e-galley version).

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From My Bookshelf: On Bittersweet Place, by Ronna Wineberg

BittersweetCovLast Thursday evening I had the great pleasure of celebrating the publication of On Bittersweet Place, a novel by Ronna Wineberg, at a lovely book party on the West Side of Manhattan.

I’ve known Ronna for years. I interviewed her when her short-story collection was published. She helped shepherd one of my short stories along the route to publication in Bellevue Literary Review. And one of her cousins is a dear friend of one of my cousins—which makes Ronna and me practically family!

So I was honored to be asked to contribute a “blurb” for On Bittersweet Place, which relocates the typical Jewish-American immigration story from New York to Chicago. After reading the galley last spring, here’s what I wrote: “In the pages of Ronna Wineberg’s On Bittersweet Place, one finds echoes of Anzia Yezierska and Betty Smith; in the fictional story of Lena Czernitski’s immigrant family in the first quarter of the 20th century the reader recovers a piece of our larger American history. Quite impressive.”

You’ll surely be hearing more about this lovely novel soon. For starters, you might want to read this new Q&A with Ronna on the wonderful Bloom website. Read through to the end, and you’ll see a link to a book excerpt, too.

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