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Friday Finds for Writers

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

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Friday Finds for Writers

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

  • Statistically speaking, it’s easier for poets and nonfiction writers to have their work accepted by Colorado Review than it is for fiction writers. But it isn’t exactly easy for anyone.
  • Some of the young ‘uns may not quite appreciate Nick Ripatrazone’s “Miss You, SASE: On Postal Submissions” as much as some of the elders among us are likely to.
  • From Publishers Lunch: “The latest VIDA statistics assessing gender representation in book reviews continue to draw comment and response. But VIDA’s lens, expanded this year to include more publications, still primarily examines periodicals and journals and overlooks the substantial body of daily and weekly book reviews in large-circulation newspapers. That’s exactly the world we have tracked for years in our Publishers Marketplace Book Reviews database (also shown via our cool Top Reviewers tool), which offers a rich data set for analysis. In examining that data over the past 5 years, there are some interesting findings that may expand on the view that VIDA has depicted.” Indeed.
  • Speaking of book reviews: I’ve always heard nice things about Laurie Hertzel, books editor for Minneapolis’s Star Tribune, so I was intrigued to discover this interview with her. (Fun fact: Hertzel is also an MFA student!)
  • And last, but absolutely not least, I recommend that you spend some time this weekend with David Gessner’s smart and thoughtful take on “The Essay’s Place.”
  • Have a great weekend, everyone. (Practicing Writer subscribers, look for your March issue to arrive shortly!)

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    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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    Wednesday’s WIP: Anniversaries

    Number7Seven years ago today, I returned to full-time (M-F, 9-5) employment, in a writing-intensive staff job at The City University of New York.

    Happy anniversary to me!

    This seems to be an appropriate moment to revisit a post from two years ago (day-job anniversary #5), in which I shared a list of day-job benefits that included–but went beyond–the stable paycheck, health insurance, and retirement account. So many of you commented so wonderfully on that post, so why not give it another look?

    In other news, the February issue of The Practicing Writer went out at the end of last week, marking the conclusion of 10 full years of the newsletter’s publication and the beginning of Year 11. Happy anniversary to all of us on that one! And thank you all for being part of my writing practice!

    P.S. Not an anniversary, but another highlight of this last week: my second book review for The Washington Post. See what I had to say about Elisabeth de Waal’s The Exiles Return.

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    Wednesday’s WIP: Nonfiction on the Brain

    brainIf you’ve been following my bylines for the past year or so, you may have noticed something: They’re almost all for nonfictional writings. Book reviews. Arts coverage. Commentaries. Even a few personal essays.

    There are likely lots of reasons behind this shift nonfiction-ward, but I’m not going to speculate on/delve into them today. Today, I simply want to take note of the change. Maybe it’s a phase. But it seems to be lasting.

    One of my latest bylines appeared on The Forward‘s arts blog last week. It’s an opinion piece that encompasses art (theater) and politics. Titled “Why I’m Going to See an ‘Anti-Israel’ Play,” it’s something that I wanted (and needed) to write, but had been struggling to get started. I suspect that I would have written it eventually, but I got a helpful nudge in an online class I took earlier this month. That class, “How to Publish Op-Eds and Commentaries,” is one of several offered through The Thinking Writer. Continue reading ›

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