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Current Issue

THE PRACTICING WRITER

Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 13, Number 4: May 2016
Editor: Erika Dreifus
Copyright (c) 2016 Erika Dreifus

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IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Editor’s Note: What’s New
2. Article/Lessons Learned
3. Featured Resource
4. Upcoming/Ongoing Contests, Competitions, and Other Opportunities (NO ENTRY/APPLICATION FEES)
5. Submission Alerts!!! (NO READING FEES)
6. Blog Notes
7. Newsletter Matters
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1. EDITOR’S NOTE: WHAT’S NEW
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Dear Practicing Writers:

I’ve had a good and busy April, and May is looking nice, too. I hope the same holds true for all of you.

Lots to share in this issue. Let’s get to it!

All best,
ERIKA
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2. ARTICLE/LESSONS LEARNED: BRIEF BOOK REVIEW
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A Brief Review of LITERARY PUBLISHING IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

By Erika Dreifus

Back in the August 2013 issue, this newsletter featured a brief review of PAPER DREAMS: WRITERS AND EDITORS ON THE AMERICAN LITERARY MAGAZINE (Atticus Books). Edited by Travis Kurowski, the book impressed me as “a goldmine.”

So when I saw that Kurowski had a new anthology out – this time co-edited with Wayne Miller and Kevin Prufer – I was quick to order it. And I’m very glad I did so: LITERARY PUBLISHING IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (Milkweed Editions) was a worthwhile read for me both as a writer and as someone working in the publishing industry today. It may be similarly worthwhile for you.

A few of the essays in this volume – such as Daniel Jose Older’s “Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing” and Richard Nash’s “What Is the Business of Literature?” – were familiar to me from prior publication online. But most of the contributors were “recruited” for the book.

As the editors note in their introduction, this has resulted in a book that contains “essays on contemporary publishing from the perspective of literary journals (Sven Birkerts of AGNI, and Jessica Faust and Emily Nemens of THE SOUTHERN REVIEW), small and university presses (Donna Shear of the University of Nebraska Press, John O’Brien of Dalkey Archive, Daniel Slager of Milkweed Editions, and Emily Louise Smith of Lookout Books), major New York presses (Gerald Howard of Doubleday), international journals (Gabriel Bernal Granados, Kristin Dykstra, and Robert Tejada of MANDORLA and Megan M. Garr of VERSAL), book critics (Jessa Crispin of BOOKSLUT), digital publishers (Richard Nash of Cursor, Byliner, and Small Demons), and literary agents (Chris Parris-Lamb, interviewed by Jonathan Lee). Other included essays address the increasingly prominent publishing of comics and graphic novels (Douglas Wolk), the effect Amazon has had on the current publishing and bookselling climate (Steve Wasserman), questions of diversity and inclusion in today’s publishing world (Erin Belieu, Daniel Jose Older), the increased prevalence of writing contests in the publishing of poetry and short fiction (Kevin Larimer), and various business and operational strategies employed by literary publishers (Matthew Stadler and Jane Friedman).”

Some chapters grabbed my attention more forcefully than others, and I may not agree with everything argued throughout the book. But as a thoughtful reflection on and interpretation of so many of the changes that have occurred more or less since “the turn of the millennium, back when only one in three American adults reported using email at home, [and] the editors of this volume were just beginning careers in literary publishing,” this book is one that I’m glad to have on my shelf.
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3. FEATURED RESOURCE: AN EXCERPT FRON LITERARY PUBLISHING IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
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Presumably as part of the promotional push for LITERARY PUBLISHING IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, a couple more of the book’s essays have recently been made available online. These include Gerald Howard’s excellent “The Open Refrigerator.” (If you have a *very* good memory, you may recall that I shared this essay as a “Friday Find” over on the Practicing Writing blog at the end of February.)

http://www.themillions.com/2016/02/the-open-refrigerator.html
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4. UPCOMING/ONGOING CONTESTS, COMPETITIONS, AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST
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ABA JOURNAL/ROSS WRITING CONTEST FOR LEGAL SHORT FICTION
http://www.abajournal.com/contests/ross_essay
Deadline: May 31, 2016 (5 p.m. CDT)
NO ENTRY FEE INDICATED

“Entries must be original works of fiction of no more than 5,000 words that illuminate the role of the law and/or lawyers in modern society. The winner will receive a prize of $3,000. Entrants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Winner is responsible for all taxes associated with receipt of the prize. As a condition of receiving the prize, winner must submit a completed W-9.” NB: “Entries may be unpublished, or published no earlier than January 1, 2015. Entries posted publicly on the Internet, regardless of the forum or venue, will be considered published for the purposes of the contest. The ABA Journal will be the sole judge of an entry’s eligibility.”
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BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM
https://www.nps.gov/badl/learn/photosmultimedia/artist-in-residence.htm
Deadline: June 15, 2016
NO APPLICATION FEE

“The Artist in Residence program at Badlands National Park was founded in 1996 and is open to all professional artists who are US citizens. Writers, composers and all visual and performing artists are invited to interpret this wind-swept environment through their work. The program provides time for artists to get away from everyday responsibilities to focus on their surroundings and their medium while interpreting the unique themes of Badlands National Park.”
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BARD FICTION PRIZE
http://www.bard.edu/bfp/
Deadline: June 15, 2016 (received)
NO APPLICATION FEE

“The Bard Fiction Prize is awarded to a promising, emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. In addition to the monetary award, the winner receives an appointment as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester, without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. The recipient gives at least one public lecture and meets informally with students.” NB: The application requirements include sending ” three copies of the published book” that the applicant considers to best represent their work.
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CAREY INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC GOOD NONFICTION RESIDENCY
http://careyinstitute.org/nonfiction-residency/
Deadline: “The full application is due within one month of the pre-application submission date, but no later than August 1, 2016.”
NO APPLICATION FEE INDICATED

“Whether the work of our nonfiction Fellows is to be published in a magazine, book, video or audio documentary or in multi-media form appropriate for the web, The Carey Institute Nonfiction Residency Program is a place where the writer can reside in an undistracted environment, with all necessary tools to complete a critical work. We provide lodging, work space, meals and mentorship (if needed) on our campus. Duration of stays range from two weeks to three months. Residency terms take place from January through March, March through May, and October through December. Individual Fellowships are devoted to particular areas of inquiry – environment, health, agriculture, food, race, ethnicity, politics, etc.”
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DRUE HEINZ LITERATURE PRIZE
http://bit.ly/1fHTaVd
Submissions: May 1-June 30, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the 2017 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for a collection of short fiction. The prize carries a cash award of $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract.” Eligibility: “The award is open to writers who have published a novel, a book-length collection of fiction, or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals of national distribution. Digital-only publication and self-publication do not count toward this requirement.” Also: “The award is open to writers in English, whether or not they are citizens of the United States.”
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NORTON WRITER’S PRIZE
http://books.wwnorton.com/books/norton-writers-prize/?mid=145
Deadline: June 15, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“The Norton Writer’s Prize will be awarded annually for an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate. Literacy narratives, literary and other textual analyses, reports, profiles, evaluations, arguments, memoirs, proposals, mixed-genre pieces, and more: any excellent writing done for an undergraduate writing class will be considered. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,500. Two runners-up will each receive a cash award of $1,000.” Eligibility: “Competition for the Norton Writer’s Prize is open to undergraduates enrolled during the 2015-2016 academic year in an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university. Employees of Norton and their children are not eligible, nor are children of Norton authors. Each entry must be accompanied by a cover letter on departmental stationery from a nominating instructor….Each instructor may nominate only one student essay.”
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PROUD TO BE: WRITING BY AMERICAN WARRIORS ANNUAL CONTEST AND ANTHOLOGY
http://www.semopress.com/events/proud-to-be-writing-by-american-warriors/
Deadline: June 1, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“Created by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Warrior Arts Alliance, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, this series of anthologies preserves and shares military service perspectives of our soldiers and veterans of all conflicts and of their families. It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation’s history. Writing must be by veterans, military-service personnel, or their families. Include the connection in your short bio.” Contest confers $250 and publication for each of five categories: short fiction, poetry, interview with a warrior, essay, and photography.
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JEFF SHARLET MEMORIAL AWARD FOR VETERANS
http://www.iowareview.org/veteranswritingcontest
Deadline: June 1, 2016 (don’t submit before May 1)
NO ENTRY FEE

“This creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel is hosted by The Iowa Review and made possible by a gift from the family of Jeff Sharlet (1942–69), a Vietnam veteran and antiwar writer and activist. The contest is open to veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter.” Prizes: “First place: $1,000 plus publication in the Spring 2017 issue of THE IOWA REVIEW. Second place: $750. Three runners-up: $500 each.” The contest will be judged by Phil Klay.
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SINGAPORE POETRY CONTEST
Deadline: June 1, 2016
https://singaporepoetry.com/2016/04/01/2nd-singapore-poetry-contest/
NO ENTRY FEE

“Singapore Poetry is holding its second annual poetry contest. We are looking for poems that include the word ‘Singapore’ (or its variants) in some creative manner. The poems do not have to be about Singapore; in fact, we prefer it if the poems are not about Singapore. They just have to use the word ‘Singapore’ in a way significant to the poems’ own subject and method….And here’s another wrinkle: the contest is open to everyone who is NOT a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident in Singapore. Awards of USD100, 50 and 20 will go to the top three winners. The winning poems will be published on Singapore Poetry; non-winning poems will be considered for publication as well. The judge is the curator of Singapore Poetry, Jee Leong Koh. Friends and associates are welcomed to submit. Judging will be based solely on poetic merit. Singapore Poetry reserves the right not to make any or all awards, should the quality of entries not merit them.”
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WRITER’S CENTER EMERGING WRITER FELLOWSHIPS
http://www.writer.org/get-involved/apply-for-fellowships-writing-contests
Deadline: June 17, 2016
NO APPLICATION FEE

“We welcome submissions from writers of all genres, backgrounds, and experiences in the following genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Emerging Writer Fellows will be featured at The Writer’s Center as part of a special celebration and reading. Fellows living within a 250-mile radius of the center will receive a $250 honorarium, and all others will receive $500.”
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5. SUBMISSION ALERTS!!!
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“BARRELHOUSE BOOKS is seeking its next full-length work of prose. We’re open to novels, memoirs, short story collections, essay collections, or hybrid prose forms. There are no particular style restrictions. We tend to like books that are character-driven and intelligent. Books that push boundaries. Books that challenge rather than placate their readers. Books that embrace complication. Books that make us feel things. Books with an honest, singular vision.” See the detailed, informative FAQ (including payment/contract info) at http://www.barrelhousemag.com/blogall/2016/4/25/call-for-submissions-barrelhouse-books. Submissions will remain open until May 27.
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NASHVILLE REVIEW is open to fiction and poetry submissions during the month of May; “submissions in all other genres are open year-round.” Pays: “We pay $25 per poem & song selection; $100 per selection for all other categories, including featured artwork.” Visit https://as.vanderbilt.edu/nashvillereview/contact/submit for full guidelines.
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THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE will be open for submissions May 2-29, 2016. In poetry, there will be “no restrictions on genre, length, theme, or style.” Pays: $40/poem. In fiction, taking note of the 42nd anniversary of Studs Terkel’s WORKING, “the editors will be considering flash fiction that pertains to the working life and jobs–where so many of us spend the bulk of our lives. We are particularly interested in stories that capture the nature of the 21st Century workplace. As always, we are on the lookout for imagistic writing, strong characterization, and satirical wit. Submit up to three (3) pieces in a single file. Each piece should not exceed 1000 words.” Pays: 2.5 cents per word. Visit http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/submitguidelines.php for more information.
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“Published quarterly, THE GETTYSBURG REVIEW considers unsolicited submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays, from September 1 through May 31 (postmark dates). New submissions received from June 1 through August 31 are returned unread. We welcome submissions of full-color graphics year round.” Pays: “Payment is upon publication: $2.00 per line for poetry and $15 per printed page for prose. Published authors also receive a copy of the issue containing their work and a one-year subscription.” See http://www.gettysburgreview.com/submissions/ for more info.
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ONE STORY’s submission window closes on May 31. “ONE STORY is seeking literary fiction. Because of our format, we can only accept stories between 3,000 and 8,000 words. They can be any style and on any subject as long as they are good. We are looking for stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone.” Pays: “One Story is offering $500 and 25 contributors copies for First Serial North American rights. All rights will revert to the author upon publication.” Journal website: http://www.one-story.com.
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“GRAIN MAGAZINE, published four times per year, is an internationally acclaimed literary journal that publishes engaging, surprising, eclectic, and challenging writing and art by Canadian and international writers and artists.” Submission window closes May 31. Pays: “All contributors, regardless of genre, are paid $50 per page to a maximum of $250, plus 2 copies of the issue in which their work appears.” Journal website: http://www.grainmagazine.ca/.
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THE BALTIMORE REVIEW’s submission window closes May 31. Publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Pays: “Payment for general submissions is Web exposure and a copy of the compilation in which the author’s work appears. In addition, we are now able to provide contributors with a small payment for their work ($40 Amazon gift certificate or $40 through PayPal, if preferred), and we hope to continue this as long as funding is available. We also nominate our contributors’ work for every possible prize, and we send copies of the print compilation to the Best American series and other prize anthologies.” Journal website: http://baltimorereview.org/index.php/submit.
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“SHADE MOUNTAIN PRESS is seeking novel manuscripts by African American women. Any topic, any style, preferably literary rather than genre….The only real restriction is that we don’t publish children’s or young adult literature. Reading period: April 1 – July 1, 2016; projected publication date: summer 2018. Length: at least 70,000 words, but longer is good too. Website: http://www.shademountainpress.com/contact.php.
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RATTLE has recently announced the themes for its next two tributes. For the spring 2017 issue, they’re planning to focus on “civil servant poets”: “The poems may be written on any subject, in any style or length, but must be written by those who have worked a significant amount of time for a non-military governmental department or agency (whether U.S., foreign, or international).” Submission deadline for this one is October 15, 2016. For the summer 2017 issue, they’re planning to spotlight “poets with mental illness”: “The poems may be any subject or length, but must written by poets who have themselves lived with mental illness.” Deadline will be January 15, 2017. RATTLE is also “always open to regular submissions of all forms of poetry.” Pays: “$100 per poem and a complimentary print subscription.” Full guidelines for these calls are available at http://www.rattle.com/submissions/calls/.
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“ASHLAND CREEK PRESS is currently accepting nonfiction submissions for a new anthology WRITING FOR ANIMALS: AN ANTHOLOGY FOR WRITERS AND INSTRUCTORS TO EDUCATE AND INSPIRE. From Franz Kafka’s REPORT TO THE ACADEMY to Karen Joy Fowler’s WE ARE COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, animals have played a central role in literature. Increasingly, writers are playing a central role in advancing awareness of animal issues through the written word. And yet little has been written about the process of writing about animals – from crafting point of view to voice. Writers who hope to raise awareness face many questions and choices in their work, from how to educate without being didactic to how to develop animals as characters for an audience that still views them as ingredients. We hope to address these issues and more with a new collection of essays, by writers and for writers – but most of all, for the animals. We seek essays from authors and educators. Our focus is on including a mix of instructional and inspirational essays to help readers not only improve their work but be inspired to keep at it. Essays may be previously published and should not exceed 10,000 words. Accepted submissions will receive a stipend of $100 plus a copy of the finished book.” See more at http://bit.ly/1WiC8p0.
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6. BLOG NOTES
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The newsletter is published just once each month, but there’s *always* something new at our Practicing Writing blog: fresh market news, current contest and job listings, links to writing-related articles, newly-discovered craft and business resources, and so much more. Regular blog features include:

–Monday Markets for Writers
–Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer (formerly “Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress”)
–Friday Finds for Writers
–Sunday Sentence

Please visit, and comment! http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing/

And for those of you practicing writers who are interested in matters of specifically Jewish cultural interest, please also visit My Machberet (http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/my-machberet). For the curious, “machberet” is the Hebrew word for “notebook”.
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7. NEWSLETTER MATTERS
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Information contained in THE PRACTICING WRITER is collected from many sources, with the purpose of providing general references. It is researched to the best of our ability but readers should verify information when necessary and appropriate. THE PRACTICING WRITER and its editor/publisher disclaim any liability for the use of information contained within. Thank you for subscribing.
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For updates and additional opportunity listings between newsletters, please check in with our “Practicing Writing” blog, http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing.
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ABOUT THE EDITOR: Based in New York City, Erika Dreifus is the author of QUIET AMERICANS: STORIES, which is an American Library Association Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. A member of the advisory board for J JOURNAL: NEW WRITING ON JUSTICE, she has taught for Harvard University, the Cambridge (Mass.) Center for Adult Education, and the low-residency MFA programs in creative writing at Lesley University, the Northwest Institute for Literary Arts, and Oklahoma City University. In August 2014, Erika joined Fig Tree Books as Media Editor. Please visit http://www.erikadreifus.com to learn more about Erika’s work, and go directly to http://www.erikadreifus.com/quiet-americans/book-clubs/ to arrange for her to visit your book club!
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