Web Wanderings

So I’ve been catching up on a few things as I wander around the Web. Here are a few writing opportunities I’ve stumbled on in the past few hours:

1) A few (1-3) freelance writers are sought for “an upcoming ‘Arts and Collecting’ issue of a 60,000-run custom business publication. The Spring issue is assigning storylines right now, and writers must be ready to accept assignments immediately. Deadline for work will be January 20, 2006. Compensation is $1.00/per word, payable upon publication in April, 2006.” Chicago-area writers are preferred, but others “with the right background” will be considered. For more information, click here.

2) And now for something completely different. Or different from an assignment that will pay $1.00/word, anyway. According to her craigslist post Sara Abrams is “preparing to publish a magazine in Charlotte for cat and/or dog lovers.” She seeks “some short articles or stories for [her] ‘dummy’ copy. Subject matter can be a story or an article based on grooming, vet care, etc.” $25 payment for a chosen story/article. Might be worth asking if she’ll take reprints….

3) And from The Writer magazine’s online forum comes this announcement from Linda Formichelli: “I’m working on a Chicken Soup Healthy Living book on back pain, and the editors are looking for touching, inspiring essays on–you guessed it–back pain!” Authors of selected essays will earn $200 on publication. Submit work by March 31, 2006. Read the full announcement here.

In related Web news…I want to thank Claire Zulkey over at the MBToolbox for highlighting some of my writing exercises. It’s always nice to know I might actually be helping other writers!

Summer Institutes in Literary Studies

The National Humanities Center has announced the topics for its 2006 Summer Institutes in Literary Studies. This year’s seminars will include “George Eliot’s Middlemarch,” led by Catherine Gallagher, and “Herman Melville’s Short Fiction: ‘Bartleby the Scrivener,’ Benito Cereno, and Billy Budd,” led by Andrew Delbanco.

I can tell you from personal experience that these seminars are worth checking out. You can learn about eligibility, application instructions, and more right here.

Attention, Ohio Poets!

Starting next week you can submit poetry for the Akron Art Museum’s New Words 2006 Poetry Competition, open to (adult) poets currently residing in Ohio. Submit only previously unpublished work beginning January 2, 2006 (postmark deadline is February 24, 2006). The top three winners will receive cash prizes ($125, $100, and $75, respectively). The top eight finalists will be invited to participate in a reading to be held Sunday, April 30, in Akron. For full details/submission guidelines, click here.

Reviewing the Review

Bloggers (and others) are abuzz about Sunday’s article, “The Book Review: Who Critiques Whom–and Why?”, written by New York Times Public Editor, Byron Calame. In this piece Calame unveils something many of us find mysterious: the book-review process at his own paper. Calame explains that his own inquiry was prompted by the NYTBR‘s recent list of “100 Notable Books of the Year.” After the list was published earlier this month, he says, “calculations from several readers and bloggers soon turned up in my in-box. Of the 61 nonfiction books on the list, they noted, six were by Times staffers–enough to pique my interest in the overall book-review process at the paper.” It should be enough to pique your interest, too.

Current No-Cost Contests

Two no-cost contests to report–both with deadlines early in the new year.

First, if you’ve read Bruce Holland Rogers’s article on fixed forms for prose writers in the January 2006 Writer magazine you may already know about the Fixed-form challenge, a 69-word story contest. Rogers will judge the top 20 stories. The winner received $50 and a free subcription to The Writer; two runners-up will receive subscriptions; winning stories will be posted on the magazine’s website. Deadline: January 2.

Then, the current Maisonneuve Literary Contest is up and running, with a January 3 deadline. The editors are apparently looking ahead to springtime: “It’s time to defrost! Along with pollen and the smell of wet grass, that little thing called love is in the air. We want to celebrate spring, so we’re calling for stories of young love–ironic, unrequited, dejected or entirely genuine.” You should send “8-800 brilliant words of poetry or prose.” Submit one prose piece OR two poems. First prize includes $100 and publication in the print magazine. Second- and third-prize winners will receive a year’s subscription and their work will appear on maisonneuve.org. Note that “all other entries may be published online.”

Good luck!