Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Poetry Update(s)

Some good news arrived this week about one of my poems, previously published, which will be out again soon (possibly in time for the next of these updates, but more likely I’ll be mentioning it here two weeks from now). It’s part of the April stats report that I’ve sent in to Jessica Piazza for her Poetry Has Value project; I’ll be sharing that info with you when it has been posted, too.

SafekeepingDispatch from the Day Job

Over at the day job, all of us at Fig Tree Books were delighted to learn that Jessamyn Hope’s novel Safekeeping has been named a finalist for the 2016 Paterson Fiction Prize. Awarded by The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, the annual prize honors “a novel or collection of short fiction which, in the opinion of our judges, is the strongest work of fiction published” each year.

As I wrote on the Fig Tree blog, Jessamyn and her novel are in excellent company. This year’s Paterson Fiction Prize was awarded to Angela Flournoy, whose novel The Turner House was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Fellow finalists include Elisa Albert (After Birth, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Paul Beatty (The Sellout, Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Lisa Gornick (Louisa Meets Bear, Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux); James McManus (The Education of a Poker Player, BOA Editions, Ltd.); and Richard Wagamese (Medicine Walk, Milkweed Editions).

A Very Special Present

Finally: I celebrated my birthday this past week. Among many lovely gifts: a tiny book “written” by my sister. It contains a series of fill-in-the-blank prompts that the “author” fills in. (Example: “I can always count on you to __________.”) It’s a super-meaningful gift–definitely something for us practicing writers to keep in mind (there’s an entire series for gifts to recipients who aren’t your sister).