Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress

You know, I’ve actually had a very productive week. I’m especially pleased with all that I accomplished over the three-day weekend. That includes writing and submitting another book review.

I work hard on every book review that I’m assigned, but this one required consulting an unusually high number of library books for a 600-word project based on a galley. Never have I been happier that my (non-teaching) job at CUNY provides access to the university’s libraries. I stopped by the (renovated!) Hunter College library twice last week to pick up books that the NYPL either doesn’t have or won’t circulate. Bonus: I got to enjoy this view downtown from the bridge between Hunter’s “East” and “West” buildings on Lexington Avenue.
HunterI submitted the piece on Monday. Now, I’m waiting for my editor to confirm that he received it (and, I hope, to tell me that it’s in decent shape).

How about you? What’s the latest with your work-in-progress?

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Monday Markets for Writers

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

Never, never, never, never, never.

Source: Anthony Lane, near the end of a tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman in The New Yorker

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Friday Finds for Writers

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

  • In which Eric Bennett argues that–and explains how, in his view–“Iowa flattened literature.”
  • Love this piece by Michael Piafsky on what he learned from his time working at The Missouri Review.
  • A handy guide to pronouncing “tricky author names.”
  • Ellen Meeropol has been thinking about blurbs. (As I’ve done in the past.)
  • If, like me, you missed the chance to see the Elif Batuman/Gary Shteyngart double-feature at the 92nd Street Y earlier this month, you can catch the video here.
  • Happy weekend, everyone.

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    Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Is It Spring Yet?

    Public Domain photo by Karen Arnold.

    Public domain photo by Karen Arnold.


    When will spring get here? It’s not just the icy temps and storms that are making me impatient. I’ve got a lot to look forward to this spring, including some bylines (which, again, I’ll tell you more about when you can read the accompanying texts for yourselves). Plus, I have some fun events scheduled. Over the past week, some exciting new details became available regarding one of them: a roundtable session on “After the MFA: Constructing and Leading a Writing Life” that I’ll be leading at Grub Street’s annual “The Muse and the Marketplace” conference in Boston in early May.

    I’ve certainly done my share of work providing information and resources for folks contemplating MFA programs (especially low-residency programs). But, especially as time continues to distance me from my own MFA graduation, I become more interested in what people do after the MFA. That’s why I proposed this session (official description follows):

    What happens after you earn an MFA? What might you “do” with the degree? How do you transition from the structure and community of a writing program to a full-fledged life as a writer? Panel members will share their diverse stories and impart “lessons learned” along the way. Past, present, and prospective MFA students are all invited to attend!

    I’m delighted to announce that we’ll have a range of perspectives on those questions provided in our roundtable, starting with offerings from my stellar co-participants: Matt Bell, Laura van den Berg, and Patricia Park. But, as Grub’s Artistic Director Chris Castellani has reminded me, this session will be even better and more instructive when the audience joins in.

    And as a way to help me–would you please share some questions and/or issues that YOU think should come up in a session like this? I look forward to and appreciate any comments!

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