The Latest from

The latest offerings from The Online Jewish Book Community are now available. As someone who has not infrequently submitted work to anthologies, frankly enjoys reading them, and sometimes even daydreams about possible anthology topics myself, I found Sanford Pinsker’s piece, inspired by a new anthology edited by Jerome Charyn, a very intriguing read. (Of course, I’m also partial to my own current contribution, a review of Abigail Pogrebin’s Stars of David.)

Food Writing Scholarships–Deadline Approaching!

If you’re interested in attending The Symposium for Professional Food Writers at The Greenbrier next March–but worried about the cost–check out the several scholarships that are available. But do it soon, because the application deadline is December 15. New this year: The Leite’s Culinaria Scholarship for Narrative Food Writing, a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded “to a novice food writer (writing for fewer than five years) whose work is narrative in nature. The goal of the scholarship is to promote literary writing (essays, food novels or narrative nonfiction) that has a strong, expressive voice and a unique perspective on the world of food.”

Lessons Learned from the Nieman Narrative Nonfiction Conference (II)

Here’s a lesson learned: pay close attention to any conference that offers a “First Pages” session. The Nieman Narrative Nonfiction Conference regularly offers this kind of session, and according to Sarah Wernick (who moderated Sunday morning’s session), it’s something borrowed from children’s writers’ conferences.

This is how it worked on Sunday. Attendees who planned to attend the session were invited to submit (in advance) the first pages from their narrative nonfiction projects. At the session eleven such first pages were read aloud (by readers specially present for the job–the pages were kept anonymous). After each page was read, the panel critiqued it. And the panel included two agents and two editors.

Hearing specific comments from each of the panelists on other people’s work proved infinitely more valuable than any individual yet generic “this isn’t for us…hope it finds a home with another agent/publisher” I’ve received to date.

If you want more details about this First Pages session (or maybe some guidance on how you might run a similar session at a conference yourself), click here.

Lessons Learned from the Nieman Narrative Nonfiction Conference (I)

I have just returned from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the 2005 Nieman Narrative Nonfiction Conference, and I’ll be happy to tell you about some things I learned in this and subsequent posts (and you can look forward to a more coherent summary in the next Practicing Writer newsletter, too).

Here’s the first piece of news:

If you’re one of the many readers (and writers) who mourned the passing of DoubleTake you’ll no doubt be pleased to discover that the magazine is back. Represented by its new editors at the conference, DoubleTake/Points of Entry is “the marriage of a magazine (DoubleTake—quarterly from 1995-2003) that featured narrative stories, essays and narrative/documentary photography grounded in the liberal arts, and an academic journal (Points of Entry: Cross-Currents in Storytelling—annual 2003-2005) that featured narrative and professional/scholarly essays about narrative writing.”

Now published bi-annually from its offices in the English department at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, the magazine also has an online home here. That’s where you can learn more about current content and submission guidelines. (The only bad news here is financial: the magazine is pretty expensive [a single copy costs $15; an individual subscription is $25, which provides two issues], and it’s not paying its contributors.)