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Current Issue

THE PRACTICING WRITER

Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 13, Number 5: June 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 will keep this intro message brief: I have just returned from my 25th college reunion, and I’m still absorbing the magnitude of that amazing experience. (I am also a tad tired and cannot help feeling that after several days of nonstop conversations I have depleted my word quotient for a while.)

So, without further ado, I present the June issue. Enjoy!

All best,
ERIKA

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2. ARTICLE/LESSONS LEARNED: THE EVER-EXPANDING TBR LIST
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The Ever-Expanding TBR List

By Erika Dreifus

This time last year, I shared on my blog a brief report about my experience at the big industry event BookExpo America (BEA). And I included a glimpse of all of the copies of then-new-and-forthcoming titles that I’d brought home with me from that event. (ICYMI, you can find that post at http://bit.ly/1Ft6yIN.)

This year, BEA was held in Chicago, and I didn’t attend. But fear not: I *still* have plenty of new/current galleys in my possession (many, thankfully for my city apartment, in digital format) and plenty of additional forthcoming titles on my radar.

Many of these books have been written by friends & acquaintances I admire. (Here’s a fact about being a practicing writer: The more immersed you become in the world of your craft, the more likely it is that you *could* fill your reading time entirely with books written by people you know.) Others are simply titles that I’ve seen “buzzed” in resonant ways or are by authors whose previous work I’ve devoured or are for some other reason significant to me.

For the moment, I’m going to remain optimistic and believe that I will, in fact, manage to read all of these books. This much is certain: I can let *you* know about them. Now.

Emily Barton, THE BOOK OF ESTHER: A NOVEL (June 2016)

Christie Grimes, FINDING FRUIT AMONG THORNS: POEMS (June 2016)

Midge Raymond, MY LAST CONTINENT: A NOVEL (June 2016)

Anna Solomon, LEAVING LUCY PEAR: A NOVEL (July 2016)

Sage Cohen, FIERCE ON THE PAGE: BECOME THE WRITER YOU WERE MEANT TO BE AND SUCCEED ON YOUR OWN (August 2016)

Marjorie Ingall, MAMALEH KNOWS BEST: WHAT JEWISH MOTHERS DO TO RAISE SUCCESSFUL, CREATIVE, EMPATHETIC, INDEPENDENT CHILDREN (August 2016)

Michelle Brafman, BERTRAND COURT (September 2016)

Lauren Collins, WHEN IN FRENCH: LOVE IN A SECOND LANGUAGE (September 2016)

Rachel Hall, HEIRLOOMS: STORIES (September 2016)

Colson Whitehead, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: A NOVEL (September 2016)

Marcy Dermansky, THE RED CAR: A NOVEL (October 2016)

Daniel Gordis, ISRAEL: A CONCISE HISTORY OF A NATION REBORN (October 2016)

Alice Kaltman, STAGGERWING: STORIES (October 2016)

Leah Kaminsky, THE WAITING ROOM: A NOVEL (November 2016)

Kelly Luce, PULL ME UNDER: A NOVEL (November 2016)

Mark Athitakis, THE NEW MIDWESTERN CANON (December 2016)

Mike Scalise, THE BRAND NEW CATASTROPHE: A MEMOIR (January 2017)

Victoria Aarons and Alan L. Berger, THIRD-GENERATION HOLOCAUST REPRESENTATION: TRAUMA, HISTORY, AND MEMORY (January 2017; I’m told that there’s a chapter in this book devoted largely to my own story collection, which makes me simultaneously incredibly proud and incredibly terrified.)

Doug Dechow & Anna Leahy, GENERATION SPACE: A LOVE STORY (February 2017)

Allegra Goodman, THE CHALK ARTIST: A NOVEL (February 2017)

Abigail Pogrebin, MY JEWISH YEAR: 18 HOLIDAYS, ONE WANDERING JEW (March 2017)

And let me also mention a few more:

Karen Craigo (one of my fellow contributing bloggers over on Jessica Piazza’s Poetry Has Value project site) has a poetry collection coming sometime this summer, titled NO MORE MILK.

Roxane Gay’s memoir HUNGER appears to be coming a little later than originally anticipated, but I’m confident that it will be well worth the wait.

Expected in late 2016/early 2017: a volume edited by Victoria Aarons titled THIRD-GENERATION HOLOCAUST NARRATIVES: MEMORY IN MEMOIR AND FICTION. (I have an essay-chapter in this volume.)

David Ebenbach has two books coming in 2017 (though I’m not yet sure about the exact publication dates): THE GUY WE DIDN’T INVITE TO THE ORGY AND OTHER STORIES and a novel titles MISS PORTLAND.

Also recently announced (but I don’t have a publication date): Sophfronia Scott’s THE LIGHT LIVES HERE.

And two books in translation from the Hebrew that I’m looking forward to very much (I don’t yet know which translators are involved OR the exact publication dates): Reuven (Ruby) Namdar’s THE RUINED HOUSE and Orly Castel-Bloom’s AN EGYPTIAN NOVEL.

NB: Quite a few of the authors named above have graciously participated in Q&A features with me in the past. (Some others will be doing over the next several months.) Visit the interview archive at http://www.erikadreifus.com/resources/interviews/.

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3. FEATURED RESOURCE: WHERE TO PUBLISH YOUR WORK
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ICYMI, I’ve spent some time updating the resource page on my website that is geared to providing you with some of the best websites, newsletters, and other items out there that are likely to help you find homes for your work.

http://www.erikadreifus.com/resources/where-to-publish/

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4. UPCOMING/ONGOING CONTESTS, COMPETITIONS, AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST
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BLUE MOUNTAIN ARTS POETRY CARD CONTEST
http://www.sps.com/poetry/index.html
Deadline: June 30, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.” Prizes: $300/$150/$50 plus publication on the website.
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BOP DEAD CITY FLASH FICTION AND POETRY CONTEST
https://bopdeadcity.com/contests/
Deadline: July 1, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“It’s time for the fourth annual Bop Dead City Flash Fiction and Poetry Contest! The best piece of fiction at or under 500 words wins $20, and the best poem at or under 50 words wins $20.”
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BRILLIANT FLASH FICTION SECOND ANNIVERSARY WRITING CONTEST
https://brilliantflashfictionmag.wordpress.com/writing-contests
Deadline: June 15, 2016 (received)
NO ENTRY FEE

No theme. Limited to 750 words, excluding title. Prizes: 50 euro first prize (or equivalent in writer’s currency); 25 euro second prize; 15 euro third prize. Judge: Ty Spencer Vossler.
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FUTURESCAPES WRITING CONTEST
http://www.futurescapescontest.com
Deadline: July 15, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“FutureScapes is an annual writing competition that asks writers to envision a particular sort of world, and tell us a story about it….We want to help writers of excellent potential find their voice while shaping tomorrow.” The contest seeks “works of short fiction up to 8,000 words, written in accordance with this year’s prompt.” This year’s prompt is “Cities of Empowerment” (see contest rules for more info). Prizes: “$2,000 prize for first place, $1,000 prize for second place, and $500 prize to each of the four runners-up.” NB: “Professional authors are not eligible to enter the contest. A professional author is defined as someone who has accepted payment and/or signed contracts for published fiction in the amount of either; a) three paid published works of short fiction at a minimum average compensation rate of 6 cents per word with a total compensation of at least $800; or b) a work of long fiction (40,000 words or greater) for which the author was paid at least $2,000 in compensation.” (via http://twitter.com/AncaWrites)
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GREAT LAKES COLLEGES ASSOCIATION (GLCA) NEW WRITERS AWARDS
http://glca.org/program-menu/new-writers-award
Deadline: July 25, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“The New Writers Award is sponsored by the thirteen members of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) to recognize newly published writers and introduce the best among them to students and faculty on GLCA campuses. Judges are professors of literature and writers in residence at GLCA colleges. Since 1970, an award is made each year for a first published volume of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Each award winner has the opportunity to tour the thirteen colleges giving readings, meeting students and faculty, and leading discussions or classes.” Further, eligibility is limited to citizens of the United States. NB: “Each writer receives an honorarium of at least $500 from each college visited, as well as travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and hospitality.”
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LANESBORO JEROME ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAM
http://lanesboroarts.org/artist-residency-program/
Deadline: September 1, 2016
NO APPLICATION FEE INDICATED

“Supported in 2017 and 2018 by the Jerome Foundation, the Lanesboro Artist Residency Program awards two to three residencies per year and allows artists to benefit from studio space, ample time to create, and an entire rural community and its myriad assets as a catalytic vehicle for engagement and artistic experimentation. Artist Residents focus on community engagement, and are encouraged to explore ways in which their work can be applied to the community, and how Lanesboro’s rural community can inform their work.” Open to applicants from Minnesota *and* the five boroughs of New York City. NB: “Artists are paid $1,000/week and are provided studio and lodging space.”
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RICHARD MARGOLIS AWARD
http://award.margolis.com
Deadline: July 1, 2015
NO APPLICATION FEE

“The Richard J. Margolis Award of Blue Mountain Center combines a one-month residency at Blue Mountain Center with a $5,000 prize. It is awarded annually to a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. The award was established in honor of Richard J. Margolis, a journalist, essayist and poet who gave eloquent voice to the hardships of the rural poor, migrant farm workers, the elderly, Native Americans and others whose voices are seldom heard. He was also the author of a number of books for children.”
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REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES ESSAY PRIZE
http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/revesj/essay_awards.html
Deadline: June 30, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“The RES Essay Prize aims to encourage scholarship amongst postgraduate research students in Britain and abroad. The essay can be on any topic of English literature or the English language from the earliest period to the present.” Prize confers GBP250, publication, and more. NB: “The competition is open to anyone studying for a higher degree, or who completed one no earlier than October 2013. The winner’s student status verification will be requested from their academic supervisor or head of department. The entry must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.”
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KINGSLEY AND KATE TUFTS POETRY AWARDS
http://www.cgu.edu/pages/6056.asp
Deadline: July 1, 2016
NO ENTRY FEES

“The Tufts poetry awards–based at Claremont Graduate University–are not only two of the most prestigious prizes a contemporary poet can receive, they also come with hefty purses: $100,000 for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and $10,000 for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. This makes the Kingsley Tufts award the world’s largest monetary prize for a single collection of poetry. And for most poets who have just published their first collection of verse, $10,000 should keep the pen scribbling.” For the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the submitted work “must be a book published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.” For the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the submission “must be a first book published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.” In both cases, manuscripts, CDs, and chapbooks are not eligible. NB: “Work must be original poetry written originally in English by a poet who is a citizen or legal resident alien of the United States.”
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WINTER TANGERINE AWARDS
https://wintertangerine.submittable.com/submit/41172
Deadline: July 1, 2016
NO ENTRY FEE

“We aim to honor new and emerging poets and prose writers who are creating electric work. Submissions will only be accepted from writers who have not yet published a novel or collection of any type. We aim to showcase writers based on the merit of their work, rather than the prestige behind their name, so submissions will be read entirely blind. We don’t believe in reading or entry fees, so entries for the awards are free (though we do have optional tip jar submissions!). Additionally, we believe that writers deserve to be paid for their work, so we’ve allotted a cash prize of $250 for the award winners.” Finalists receive $20.
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5. SUBMISSION ALERTS!!!
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A reminder that my employer, FIG TREE BOOKS, reads agented and un-agented submissions year-round (that includes the summer months!). Looking for novels (including YA) and nonfiction (including memoirs) “that chronicle and enlighten the beautiful and sometimes challenging mosaic of the American Jewish Experience.” Visit https://figtreebooks.submittable.com/ for more info.
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BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS will have an open reading period between June 1 and June 30. “Black Lawrence Press seeks innovative, electrifying, and thoroughly intoxicating manuscripts that ensnare themselves in our hearts and minds and won’t let go.” Will consider submissions “in the following categories: novel, novella, short story collection (full-length and chapbook), poetry (full-length and chapbook), biography & cultural studies, translation (from the German and the French), and creative nonfiction.” For more info, check http://www.blacklawrence.com/submissions-and-contests/open-reading-period.
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“The PUBLIC ART POLLINATOR PROJECT invites you to submit original poetry about pollinators, our relationship to wild pollinators, the plight of pollinators in the world, or any related tangent, subject, influence, or inspiration. This summer, ten chosen poems will be awarded $50 each and be displayed around Kelowna, British Columbia, in a Poetry Post. Poetry Posts or Poetry Boxes are ‘little free libraries’ that contain poems instead of books. Passersby are encouraged to read ‘The Poem of the Week’ and perhaps take copies, or leave new poems in return. We invite poets of all ages and nationalities to write poems inspired by bees, flies, beetles, butterflies, water, and wind (and any other of our planet’s mighty pollinators!) Any style or aesthetic is acceptable, from experimental to formalist.” Submit by June 21, 2016. See announcement at http://blogs.ubc.ca/theecoartincubator/pollinator-poetry-post/.
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Open to submissions until June 30: BACOPA, “an annual international print journal published by the Writers Alliance of Gainesville. We challenge writers to submit unique and captivating fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. We respond to unusual perspectives, passionate voices, inventive and compelling work. Surprise us with your ingenuity.” Pays: “All published will receive $20 and a copy of the print journal.” In addition, there are first ($200) and runner-Up ($160) prizes in each genre.” Visit http://writersalliance.org/bacopa-literary-review to learn more. (Thanks to https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FlashFictionFlash/info for this one.)
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LEAPFROG PRESS reopens for submissions June 1 (will close again on December 1). “Our needs are very special. We are looking for that rare book that combines dark and light, satire and honesty, emotional range and pure joy of invention. We like books on the edge of avant garde. We are particularly interested in works that are quirky, that fall outside of any known genre, and of course are well written and finely crafted. Although we have a small number of popular fiction titles, our focus is literary fiction. We publish mainly adult fiction, and only occasionally take nonfiction. We do not publish children’s picture books.” See http://www.leapfrogpress.com/submissions.htm for more info.
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At VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEW, “We read unsolicited fiction, poetry, and nonfiction submissions July 1-July 31.” Pays: “For poetry, we pay $200 per poem, up to 4 poems; for a suite of 5 or more poems, we usually pay $1,000. For short fiction, we generally pay $1,000 and above. For other prose, such as personal essays and literary criticism, we generally pay $1,000 and above, at approximately 25 cents per word, depending on length. For investigative reporting, we pay at a higher rate, sometimes including pre-approved travel expenses. For long-form journalism, we often seek funders to support our writers directly, in addition to our own payments. Book reviews are generally 2,000-2,400 words and are paid at a flat rate of $500.” NB: “Online content is generally paid at $100-$200, depending upon genre and length.” Visit http://www.vqronline.org/about-vqr/submissions for more information.
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WORDRUNNER ECHAPBOOKS is open until July 15 for the following: “A fiction collection by one author will be considered for the Summer 2016 e-chapbook. We may also select additional collections for publication later in the year….Stories may be flash or longer, from 750 up to 3,500 words each, totalling a minimum of approximately 8,000 and a maximum of 16,000 words for the collection. We would like a minimum of five stories, but no more than 15 (if flash fiction). They need not be linked, but it would be a plus if they belong together for some reason, be it theme, location or character/s. We will also consider novel excerpts for this echapbook. What we are looking for in fiction is subtle emotional complexity.” NB: “At least one-fourth of any collection should be previously unpublished.” Pays: $100. Website: http://www.echapbook.com/submissions.html.
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QU re-opened for submissions on May 15 and will close again on August 30. “Prose submissions (fiction, essays, script excerpts) should be a maximum of 8000 words. Poetry submissions may include up to 3 poems.” Pays: “$100 per prose piece, $50 per poem,” on publication. Visit the website: http://www.qulitmag.com.
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APT is receiving submissions for its annual print issue until September 15. The print issue is open to long works: fiction of 10,000 words or more; poetry of 2,000 words or more or 200 lines or more; and essays of 10,000 words or more. Pays: “All contributors with work featured in print issues will receive $50 and one contributor’s copy of the issue in which their work appears.” NB: For online publication, there are different submission guidelines and a different time frame (year-round reading), and there is no payment. Visit http://apt.aforementionedproductions.com/submission-guidelines/#.VzfWNWPms_V for details.
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From FREEDOM WITH WRITING: “We are currently seeking submissions of short eBooks that will appeal to writers. Payment starts at $500. The typical length for these eBooks is 7,000 to 12,000 words.” Sample topics are listed on the website. Visit http://www.freedomwithwriting.com/freedom/uncategorized/freedom-with-writing-seeks-short-ebook-submissions/ for more information.
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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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