Random Encounter with a Former Editor

On Tuesday night I made my first (and given the way my own writing seems to be going these days, quite likely only) visit to the Random House building on Broadway. I owe that opportunity to the wonderful people at Jewish Book World, who invited me to come to a reception held on the building’s 14th floor to celebrate their redesigned publication.

I arrived late (note to self: do not take a crosstown bus when various world leaders and [vice]presidential candidates are in town), but managed to hear a few of the speakers and, even better, caught up with a few people I was very glad to see again.

Among them was Josh Lambert. As former editor of JBooks.com, Josh was the first one there to accept my pitches and publish my work, so he has my eternal gratitude. I’d also noticed in some of his own recent bio notes–he is very much a practicing writer!–that he is about to become a published book author, so I was glad to have the chance to find out more about American Jewish Fiction: A JPS Guide), which will be published in January (JPS, for those who may not know, is the Jewish Publication Society. Expect to hear more about that book from me in due course.

(cross-posted on My Machberet)

The Wednesday Web Browser: Poetry Events, Award for Adichie, and A Teaching Writer

Robert Lee Brewer helps us find poetry events in a multitude of locations.
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It has been nearly two years since I read Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. That book left quite an impression on me, and I was happy to learn this week that Adichie has won a MacArthur Fellowship. Congratulations to her!
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David Gessner writes about his experience as a writer-who-teaches in the latest New York Times magazine.

Creative Writing at CUNY

If you’re in the New York City area, please do visit this list of literary events taking place on the various campuses of The City University of New York. (As you know, I’m a CUNY employee, and part of my job includes updating this list.) And if you’re looking for some low-cost, high-quality writing programs (undergraduate, graduate, and certificate), please consult this page as well. (P.S.–You’ll find my latest CUNY Distinguished Professor Profile, this time focusing on art historian and biographer Gail Levin, right here.)

Contest Congratulations

Congratulations to Michael Ginsberg, chosen by Warren Adler as the grand prize winner of this year’s Warren Adler Short Story Contest. Michael is a childhood friend and neighbor of my mom’s, so we were definitely rooting for him as soon as we knew he was a finalist. In keeping with the recent publication of Mr. Adler’s latest novel, Funny Boys, the theme for this summer’s contest was “humor,” and the competition welcomed “humorous stories in all their varied forms.” Take a look at Michael’s winning story, “Sammy Spumoni: The Italian Matzoh Ball,” at the contest site.