Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

Current Issue


Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 12, Number 1: February 2015
Editor: Erika Dreifus
Copyright (c) 2015 Erika Dreifus


We value our subscribers, and we protect their privacy. We keep our subscriber list confidential.

PLEASE PASS THE NEWSLETTER ON–in its entirety–to your writing friends, students, and teachers. If you’d like to share news about a particular competition or a submission alert with other writers, please credit THE PRACTICING WRITER for the find. Thanks for respecting the efforts of your volunteer editor/publisher!

Having trouble reading this issue? Have the formatting gremlins been at work again? The current newsletter is available to all at http://www.erikadreifus.com/newsletter/current. Subscribers only many access archived issues at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/practicing-writer.
This newsletter is sent by subscription only. For instructions on subscribing or unsubscribing, please scroll to the end. Thank you!

1. Editor’s Note: What’s New
2. Article/Lessons Learned
3. Featured Resource
4. Upcoming/Ongoing Contests, Competitions, and Other Opportunities
5. Submission Alerts!!!
6. Blog Notes
7. Newsletter Matters
Greetings, practicing writers:

January may mark the official start of the new year, but for me, February – the month in which I launched THE PRACTICING WRITER back in 2004 – signifies another new cycle.

Welcome to the first issue of our TWELFTH year of publication!

Let’s get to it!

With continued appreciation and all best wishes for all of your writing practices,

P.S. I *love* hearing about any small way in which I may have enriched any individual writing practice. Here’s (most of) an email I recently received. To say that it made my day would be a massive understatement.

Dear Erika,

A little over a year ago, you mentioned Grub Street’s scholarships for courses in a Monday markets. I applied, and I was awarded a scholarship. I ended up taking an online Personal Essay class with Grace Talusan. Three short essays I started in that class went on to find various homes (one in River Teeth’s Beautiful Things column and two in Sweet).

Additionally, I read in one of your Monday Markets mention of the Reflections column in the American Journal of Nursing. Last year I did submit an essay there, and while the editors didn’t think it the best fit for the Reflections column, they ended up using it last week for the AJN Off the Charts blog (with my permission of course). I was very pleased with this result as the essay was about my mother, and she so enjoyed being able to tell all her friends about it :).

Anyways, I wanted to say thank you so much for all that you do with your blog and your newsletter. I have found such helpful information there, and I have been so pleased with some of my writing results that found their infancy in your blog.

Lastly, my husband bought me a copy of your book, “Quiet Americans” for Christmas this year. [Editor’s Note: Omitting here several lovely sentences of praise!]

Thank you for reading this long email and thank you so much for all you do to help and encourage other writers.

All the best,
Patrice Gopo

Links to Patrice’s work:
River Teeth’s Beautiful Things: http://www.riverteethjournal.com/blog/2014/09/08/wildflowers
Sweet: http://sweetlit.com/7.1/proseGopo.php
American Journal of Nursing Off the Charts: http://ajnoffthecharts.com/2015/01/09/long-distance-coaching/
An Appreciation of David Abrams’s Sunday Sentences

By Erika Dreifus

In January, author David Abrams announced that he had decided to shutter his popular book blog The Quivering Pen. (You can read all about his decision to do so at http://www.davidabramsbooks.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-last-word.html.) Like many readers-who-write, I am sure, I already miss David’s blog; I’m heartened by his observation that “I’m only closing the door, not locking it; there’s the possibility I’ll return to The Quivering Pen at a later date. I like to keep my options open.”

One of the features archived on the The Quivering Pen is the “Sunday Sentence,” in which David shared, “Simply put, the best sentence(s) I’ve read this past week, presented out of context and without commentary.” (You can find David’s Sunday Sentences stored at http://bit.ly/1DOTmly). 

Through active promotion on Twitter, David made this feature a “Sunday Staple” for me and a lot of other people. As a small tribute to the work David put into the blog as a whole, I’d like to focus for a moment on the significance of my own Sunday Sentence choices, for me.

In reviewing those selections (which you can see, too, at http://erikadreifus.com/tag/sunday-sentence/), I realize that the small “assignment” of choosing a Sunday Sentence each week has influenced my reading habits in subtle ways. For as I’ve read, I’ve remained alert for lines that might be good Sunday-Sentence material. Dare I say, this practice has put another twist on the activity known as “reading as a writer.”

In general, a “good” Sunday Sentence is one that I wish I might have written myself. Whether it reveals an author’s talent for evoking setting in a way my own writing rarely does; makes me laugh out loud; articulates something inchoate – an emotion, a perception – with intelligence and verve; or in some other way leaves the sort of impact that all of us practicing writers might wish to have on our readers, my Sunday Sentences have been mini-lessons in craft for my own writing practice. And maybe, as I’ve shared them, for yours.

So thank you, David, for all the ways – large and small – that you and your Quivering Pen have enriched so many writing practices. We look forward to seeing all of the new writing of *yours* that evolves now that you’ll have a little more time to focus on it.
Some excellent nuggets in Sara Eckel’s post.

“What I Learned from My Relentless Year of Book Promotion”

Anderson Center Residency Program
Deadline: March 1, 2015 (received, for residencies between August and October)

“The Anderson Center offers residencies of two weeks or one month from May-October to artists, writers, and scholars. Through a grant from the Jerome Foundation of St. Paul, the Center will devote the month of August, 2015 to encourage the work of emerging artists from New York City and Minnesota. The Anderson Center is located 45 minutes southeast of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Transportation is provided between the Center and the Twin Cities airport on the first and last day of residencies only.

Each resident is provided room, board, and workspace for the length of the residency period. Each resident is asked to serve the community of Red Wing or its surrounding area by giving a talk, lecture, reading, performance, or classroom activity as specified by the Executive Director.”
Artist at Pine Needles Residency Program
Deadline: February 27, 2015

“The Artist at Pine Needles residency program invites natural history artists or writers to spend 2 to 4 weeks to immerse themselves in a field experience, gather resource materials, and interact with environmental scientists and the local community. The setting for the Artist at Pine Needles project is the James Taylor Dunn Pine Needles Cabin, located just north of the village along the St. Croix River. Applications will be accepted from writers and visual artists who focus on environmental or natural history topics. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with environmental scientists and to create links between their art, the natural world and the sciences. As part of the program, artists will be encouraged to design an outreach project to share their work with the local community and to contribute an original work for the benefit of the research station. Housing and rustic studio space is provided for the artists’ choice of a 2 to 4 week residency.”
Binghamton University John Gardner Fiction Book Award and Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award
Deadline: March 1, 2015 (received)

This $1,000 awards recognize “the book of fiction written in English selected by our judges as the strongest novel or collection of fiction published in 2014″ and “a book of poems written in English, 48 pages or more in length, selected by our judges as the best collection of poems published in 2014.” For full contest rules and the application forms, please consult the website.
Foley Poetry Contest
Deadline: March 31, 2015

From AMERICA, “the national Catholic review”: “America sponsors the annual Foley Poetry Award, given in honor of William T. Foley, M.D. Each entrant is asked to submit only one poem of 30 lines or fewer for consideration. No poems will be returned. Only typed, unpublished poems not under consideration elsewhere will be considered. The winning poem will be announced in early June and published in America. The cash prize will be $1,000.”
Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award
Deadline: March 1, 2015 (received)

“This competition is open to African American poets only. If you have already had a book published by Lotus Press, you are ineligible. However, inclusion in a Lotus Press anthology does not disqualify you.” Prize confers $500 in cash and publication by Broadside Lotus Press as well as free copies and discounts.
Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing
Deadline: February 25, 2015

“Entries are now being sought for the 2015 Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing, the annual short story competition run by the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival in association with Oxford Gastronomica, part of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University. Food and drink has to be at the heart of the tale. The story could, for instance, be fiction or fact about a chance meeting over a drink, a life-changing conversation over dinner, or a relationship explored through food or drink. It could be crime or intrigue; in fact, any subject as long as it involves food and/or drink in some way. Applicants are invited from anywhere in the world. They can be published or unpublished authors, but the entry itself must be previously unpublished. The story should be up to 2500 words and must be written in English.” Pays: “The winning entry will be announced at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival in March 2015 and the winner will be presented with £7500.” NB: “All entries submitted remain the property of the entrant. However, the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, Mogford Group and their subsidiaries/associates retain the right to publish the winning and highly commended entries without fee – including the right to print an excerpt for use on festival promotional materials, for example website/brochure and in any festival media or broadcasting coverage, without fee; and the right for entries to be read in public during the festival without fee.” (Thanks to http://WinningWriters.com for reminding me to recheck the deadline for this one!)
RIVER TEETH Nonfiction Conference Student Scholarships
Deadline: March 1, 2015 (received)
NO APPLICATION FEE (“[Registration] fee is waived for scholarship applicants until after the scholarships are awarded.”)

RIVER TEETH is offering four scholarships to students currently enrolled in writing programs (graduate or undergraduate). Registration fees will be waived for the recipients of the scholarships. All other expenses (travel, room, board) are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient.
Speculative Literature Foundation Working-Class/Impoverished Writers’ $750 Grant
Deadline: February 28, 2015

“Working class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction, due to financial barriers which have made it much harder for them to have access to the writing world. Such lack of access might include an inability to attend conventions, to purchase a computer, to buy books, to attend college or high school, to have the time to write (if, for example, you must work two jobs simply to pay rent and feed a family, or if you must spend all your waking hours job-hunting for months on end). The SLF would like to assist in finding more of these marginalized voices and bringing them into speculative fiction. You are eligible for this grant if you come from a background such as described above, if you grew up (or are growing up) in homelessness, poverty, or a blue collar / working-class household, or if you have lived for a significant portion of your life in such conditions, especially if you had limited access to relatives/friends who could assist you financially. We will give preference to members of that larger pool who are currently in financial need (given our limited funds). Please note that while we are based in America, and some of our language below reflects that perspective, this grant is available to international writers; please assess your own situation as appropriate for your home country. Please note that, unlike our other grants, you may receive this grant anonymously or pseudonymously. Application materials will be kept confidential to the grant committee and SLF staff.” (via http://FreelanceWriting.com)
Sustainable Arts Foundation Writing Grants
Spring deadline: February 27, 2015 (5 p.m., Pacific Time)

“Our program focuses on awards to individual artists and writers with families. Specifically, the applicant must have at least one child under the age of 18. We welcome applicants from anywhere, but will give some preference to residents of the San Francisco bay area.” NB: “There will be multiple winners” for both the Writing Award and the Visual Arts Award (each award pays $6,000). Also note: “Additionally, we will be awarding a number of smaller Promise Awards to those applicants whose work may not qualify for the main awards, but nonetheless demonstrates both skill and potential.”
Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction
Submissions: Month of February

“Twice each year an author of a work of creative nonfiction will be selected for the DWM award by the Woods family, a member of the AULA MFA faculty in creative nonfiction, and a special guest judge. The winning submissions will be published in LUNCH TICKET and the recipient will receive $250. One author will be chosen for the Summer/Fall issue of LUNCH TICKET and one in the Winter/Spring issue.”
“FOREST AVENUE PRESS is open for national submissions from January 1 to March 5, 2015. Our titles are distributed by Legato Publishers Group, a division of PGW/Perseus, and are available through local bookstores and online. We’re seeking two literary novels (no short story collections, please) for publication in 2016/17. In your query letter, please be sure to explain why you think Forest Avenue Press is the right publisher for you. Specific knowledge of at least one of our titles is highly encouraged.” See http://www.forestavenuepress.com/about/submissions/ for more information.
From the HERSTORIES PROJECT: “We’re thrilled to announce our latest HerStories Project addition: a new column called HerStories Voices. Here we’ll publish two essays per month. We’re looking for the kind of writing that moves us, amazes us, and makes us wish that we had written it ourselves. As always, we want to highlight the best of women’s voices and show the uniqueness and commonalities of women’s experiences.” Pays: $40/essay. Check http://www.herstoriesproject.com/herstories-voices/ for more information. (via http://twitter.com/NinaBadzin)
From Canada-based TRANSITION: “We solicit original, unpublished articles, as well as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, book reviews, and visual art (black and white) that represent current mental health issues in our province and reflect on their impact on individuals. TRANSITION encourages emerging writers and artists of all kinds to submit their work for publication.” Pays: “Payment is $50.00 per printed page; $50.00 per published visual art work; and $200.00 for cover art. (Please Note: If artwork is submitted as part of an article, while it contributes to the page count, it is considered as an element of the article, and will not receive separate payment.)” More info: http://sk.cmha.ca/get-involved/transition-magazine/#.VLm3Vkuwjw4
PODCASTLE, “the fantasy fiction podcast,” seeks “quality fantasy stories written to the theme of ‘Dirty Jobs’. We are reading for this theme from Jan 15-Mar 15, when we will close until the next theme is announced. Every society has them: the hidden jobs that no one knows about, the hard jobs that no one glamorizes, the secret jobs that everyone pretends do not exist. Every society has them. Every society needs them. Even a society inhabited by magic, myth, and monsters. We’re open to all the sub-genres of fantasy, from magical realism to urban fantasy to slipstream to high fantasy, and everything in between. Fantastical or non-real content should be meaningful to the story.” NB: The editors *prefer* reprints. Check the guidelines – http://podcastle.org/guidelines/ – for more information on this. Pays: $100 for short fiction 2,000-6,000 words and $20 for flash fiction up to 1,000 words. “For stories between 1,000 and 2,000 words, we’ll make a judgment call, based on whether we think the story would work better as a featured story or a bonus.” (via http://twitter.com/Duotrope)
Reminder from PANK magazine: “We are open to free magazine submissions in February, March, April, September, October, and November, unless otherwise noted. ‘Tip Jar’ submissions to the magazine are open year-round.” Pays: “Acceptances for publication in PANK Magazine, both in print and/or online, are unceremoniously rewarded with a US twenty dollar bill, a 1-year subscription to the print edition of PANK Magazine, and a [PANK] t-shirt.” http://pankmagazine.com/submit-2/
NINTH LETTER remains open for submissions until February 28. “We are interested in prose and poetry that experiment with form, narrative, and nontraditional subject matter, as well as more traditional literary work.” Pays: “$25 per printed page, upon publication, for accepted material, as well as two complimentary copies of the issue in which the work appears.” http://ninthletter.com
“BOTTOM DOG PRESS is issuing a call for submissions for this forthcoming anthology of contemporary Appalachian short stories. The stories included will be sharp, vivid evocations of a place, its people and culture. We aren’t seeking sentimental treatments, but strong human stories. Both Northern and Southern treatments of the Appalachian theme are encouraged. Style is open, as long as it serves the story and the audience. Editors: Larry Smith and Charles Dodd White.” Deadline: March 15, 2015. Pays: $50 plus two copies. NB: “Reprints are acceptable in some cases. Please let us know where it’s been published and if the publication was print or online.” See http://charlesdoddwhite.me/2015/01/08/new-appalachian-anthology-call-for-submissions/ for the full call.
Information from TIN HOUSE on upcoming issues/needs: “Fall, 2015: THEFT. We are looking for fiction, poems, essays, and interviews dealing with the theft of property, identity, culture, land, space, rights, love, one’s heart, and anything else one could possibly steal. Pub date September 1, 2015. Deadline for submissions: March 15, 2015. Winter, 2015: Open, non-themed. Pub date December 1, 2015. Deadline for submissions: May 31, 2015. Spring, 2016: FAITH. We are looking for fiction, poems, essays, and interviews dealing with the faith in not only religions, but faith in knowledge, math, science, people, animals, places, institutions, food, color—anything that could possibly be a receptacle for one’s faith, questioned or unquestioned. Pub date March 1, 2016. Deadline for submissions: May 31, 2015.” Check http://www.tinhouse.com/magazine/submission-guidelines.html for more information
“BARRELHOUSE Issue 15 will feature a special themed section on the topic of riots. Whether that term makes you think of civil disobedience, riot grrrls, sports fans celebrating a championship, Quiet Riot, or something else, we want to read your work. We’re looking for stories, essays, and poems that take this broad theme and  turn it into the kind of energetic, fearless work that Barrelhouse loves. We want writing that is going to throw bricks through windows and flip cars and start fires and charge through clouds of tear gas carrying nothing but a stick and a lifetime of outrage. We want you to scare us a little.” Deadline: May 1, 2015. Pays: $50 plus two copies. More info at http://www.barrelhousemag.com/ (via http://WritingCareer.com).
“FiftyIsTheNewFifty.com, an online magazine devoted to people in ‘The Cocktail Hour of Life’ (40s, 50s, 60s and over) is looking for a diverse pool of freelance contributors. All writers will work directly with the publication’s editors to contribute feature articles, personal essays, political coverage, reviews, news, interviews/profiles, lists/tips, and more.” Pays: “Fees begin at $40 per article.” See announcement posted on http://ed2010.com/job/contributor/
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”.

Recent writing-focused posts there include:

–Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links
–From My Bookshelf–SALAMI JEW: Poems by Matthew Lippman
–Words of the Week
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.
For updates and additional opportunity listings between newsletters, please check in with our “Practicing Writing” blog, http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing.
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 and the Northwest Institute for Literary Arts. 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!
This newsletter may be duplicated/forwarded as long as it remains unaltered and is replicated in its entirety. If you find this information valuable please pass the newsletter along to your writing friends. Thank you!
To receive alerts when new newsletter issues are available, please subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to [email protected]
Need to leave us? We’ll be sorry to see you go. To unsubscribe, please send a blank e-mail to [email protected]