Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.


I maintain two blogs: Practicing Writing and My Machberet. Posts for both blogs show up on this page, but you can visit each blog by clicking on the appropriate link. It's also possible to subscribe to each feed.

Practicing Writing: Here you'll find updates on writing and publishing opportunities (especially handy between issues of our popular monthly newsletter). You'll discover ONLY opportunities that charge no fees, and ONLY publications/contests that will pay for your writing. The blog also shares writing-related news, resources, and quotations; book reviews; and occasional updates regarding this practicing writer's own work.

My Machberet: "Machberet" is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it's also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, I confess, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remember), I've chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers

Monday brings the weekly batch of no-fee, paying listings of competitions, contests, and calls for submissions—plus jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction).
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Sunday Sentence


In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”

I hoped that the mechanic understood that none this was romantic.

Source: Marcy Dermansky, The Red Car: A Novel



Words of the Week

“Jews are a tiny population. And we keep finding ways to splinter ourselves into smaller factions.

If I could hit the ‘reset’ button for 5778, I’d make a plea for kinder disagreement.

We are split on Israel.
We are split on who is authentically or adequately Jewish.
We are split on whether women can be rabbis.
We are split on the U.S. president.
We are split on refugees.

And worst of all, we are split on whether we can even talk honestly about what splinters us.”

From Abigail Pogrebin’s “A Jewish Reset: One People,” in Hitting Reset: A Fresh Start for 5778, a booklet presented by the UJA Federation of New York.

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Friday Finds for Writers

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

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Pre-Shabbat Jewish Literary Links

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

Every Friday My Machberet presents an array of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.

  • Over on the On Being blog: a beautiful poem, “Reasons for Liturgy,” by my friend Amy Gottlieb.
  • “Reading novels published in the last year by some of America’s best Jewish writers, I found myself struck by a recurring character—Israel. That Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am and Joshua Cohen’s Moving Kings both feature Israel and Israelis as important plot devices might have been a coincidence. But then this fall came Nathan Englander’s Dinner at the Center of the Earth and Nicole Krauss’s Forest Dark, both of which are set mostly in Israel. Something’s going on.” Over on the Jewish Review of Books site, Matti Friedman explores.
  • In “Where Crime Fiction Meets the Talmud,” over on Electric Literature, we’re told that “Tod Goldberg’s gangster-turned-rabbi series is the madcap spiritual noir you didn’t know you were looking for.” I’m intrigued.
  • As the publicist who’s running it, I’m compelled to remind you that there’s still time to enter this giveaway for a chance to win the second volume of Rabbi Shai Held’s The Heart of Torah. (Some superb new attention to Rabbi Held and his work includes a conversation on WBEZ (Chicago)’s “Morning Shift” and marvelous profiles on JewishBoston.com and in The Jewish Week.
  • And ICYMI: two items of my own this week. For Tablet, I wrote something in response to a New York Times-suggested reading list. And right here on My Machberet, I published something that The New Yorker didn’t.
  • Happy 5778 and Shabbat (Shuvah) Shalom.

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    So, I’m not expecting to see my byline in The New Yorker anytime soon.

    For that matter, The New York Times Books Desk probably isn’t all that happy with me, either. Continue reading ›

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