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Current Issue

THE PRACTICING WRITER

Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 15, Number 1: February 2018
Editor: Erika Dreifus
Copyright (c) 2018 Erika Dreifus

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This newsletter is sent by subscription only. For instructions on subscribing or unsubscribing, please scroll to the end. Thank you!
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IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Editor’s Note: What’s New
2. Article/Lessons Learned
3. Featured Resource
4. Upcoming/Ongoing Contests, Competitions, and Other Opportunities (NO ENTRY FEES; PAYING OPPORTUNITIES ONLY)
5. Submission Alerts!!! (NO SUBMISSION/READING FEES; PAYING CALLS ONLY)
6. Blog Notes
7. Newsletter Matters

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1. EDITOR’S NOTE: WHAT’S NEW
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Greetings, practicing writers:

If it’s time for the February issue, it’s time for me to wish us all a very happy anniversary: The first issue of THE PRACTICING WRITER went out to a small group of subscribers at the end of January 2004. It included a feature article titled “Practicing Writers: Five Telltale Signs”; a batch of a mere five contest/competition listings; and a brief calendar of upcoming writing conferences.

Obviously, the newsletter has changed and grown over the last 14 years. As Volume 15 begins, more than 5000 subscribers are signed up. Feature articles and interviews continue to focus on the craft and business of excellent writing, with an emphasis on fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Listings have expanded from contests and competitions to calls from literary journals and presses. And to add value to this newsletter in an ever-increasing resource landscape, we limit those literary listings to opportunities and venues that do not charge writers fees to have their work considered AND that compensate writers beyond copies–with cash (or, occasionally, cash equivalents).

Importantly, the newsletter remains ad-free; I am “paid” for this service by subscribers’ interest and appreciation. I’m also deeply grateful for the recommendations, shares, and endorsements that continue to expand our readership. And by the success stories that you share with me. (A reminder: I’m ALWAYS thrilled to hear about good things that result when writers follow up on a lead they’ve discovered in this newsletter. You can reach me via this contact form: http://www.erikadreifus.com/contact/.)

Thank you all for being part of the history of THE PRACTICING WRITER. Now, let’s get on with the first issue of OUR FIFTEENTH YEAR!

All best,
ERIKA

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2. ARTICLE/LESSONS LEARNED: TIPS FROM A POETRY-PUBLISHING SESSION
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TIPS FROM A POETRY-PUBLISHING SEMINAR

By Erika Dreifus

Not long ago, the following description for a local event at the New York Society Library, where I’m a member, caught my attention:

“Margot Taft Stever and Jennifer Franklin, poets and co-editors of Slapering Hol Press, talk about how to establish and maintain a small press. They will also discuss the general procedures for publishing poems in literary magazines and how to put together a book of poetry.”
I registered for the session, which was held in early January.

The session began with a fairly extensive overview of “general procedures for publishing poems in literary magazines.” I’ll admit that I’d been drawn to the event more for the other promised topics, about assembling a book and running a press. But overall, I was reminded of some key lessons as well as prompted to consider new ones.

I’ll share just five here:

1. Ahead of/alongside seeking publication, there are lots of ways to improve both your craft and your eventual chances of publishing success. Read poetry. Attend reading series, festivals, and/or conferences that feature “bookfairs” where presses and publishers are present. Get to know others in the poetry community; mentorship matters, as do personal connections (they may not be essential, but they certainly can help). Subscribe to resources that can guide you to publishing opportunities. (Here, I’ll admit, I chimed in a few times, recommending resources that are also listed on my website at https://www.erikadreifus.com/resources/where-to-publish/.)

2. Publish poems in magazines/journals before seeking to publish a full collection. A good rule of thumb is that at least one-third of the poems in a collection should be published before you even try to place the collection. (If you wish to self-publish a volume for purely personal purposes, this advice does not necessarily apply.)

3. Consider the chapbook. I’d stopped entertaining the possibility of chapbook publication a couple of years ago. I thought that I wanted to go for a full-length book instead. But now I’m re-considering. (And yes, the beautifully produced Slapering Hol chapbooks that the co-presenters brought along–one of which, Susanna H. Case’s THE SCOTTISH CAFÉ, I purchased on site–have something to do with that.)

4. Consider contests carefully (A). Save your entry-fee money for chapbook or full-book contests. The presenters discouraged paying fees for single-poem contests, especially if the opportunity exists to send work to the contest-sponsoring journal or magazine outside the contest period.

5. Consider contests carefully (B). If you’re seeking publication for a first full-length manuscript, enter ONLY contests that are limited to first-book manuscripts. Competing against poets who are publishing their second (or later) books isn’t necessarily wise. (Personally, I can envision making an exception here for work on a specific theme or otherwise limited to a “niche” entrant group.)

Although they were running low on time, the panelists did also share some valuable insights regarding the establishment of a press. For instance, Slapering Hol itself began within another organization (the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center); having a nonprofit umbrella for a nascent press can help facilitate many key activities, such as fundraising and publicity. And build an advisory committee, because you’ll need it!

All in all, it was an instructive and inspiring session. Time will tell exactly how the lessons learned will affect my own poetry practice. And who knows? Perhaps this brief summary will have some effect on yours.

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3. FEATURED RESOURCE: WHERE TO PUBLISH YOUR WORK
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In which I recommend resources beyond this newsletter where you can locate opportunities to publish your fiction, poetry, and/or creative nonfiction.

https://www.erikadreifus.com/resources/where-to-publish

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4. UPCOMING/ONGOING CONTESTS, COMPETITIONS, AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST
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ANDERSON CENTER 2018 JEROME EMERGING ARTISTS RESIDENCY FOR MINNESOTA AND NEW YORK CITY ARTISTS AND DEAF ARTIST RESIDENCY
https://theandersoncenter.submittable.com/submit
Deadline: February 15, 2018
NO APPLICATION FEES FOR THESE TWO PROGRAMS

Residencies at the Anderson Center are reserved in June for deaf artists (including writers) and in August for emerging artists from Minnesota and New York City. Residencies may last for two weeks or for one month, with preference given to applications for one-month residencies. Residencies include room, board and workspace.
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ARTIST AT PINE NEEDLES RESIDENCY PROGRAM
https://www.smm.org/scwrs/programs/artist
Deadline: February 28, 2018
NO APPLICATION FEE

“The Artist at Pine Needles residency program invites natural history artists or writers to spend 2 to 4 weeks to immerse themselves in a field experience, gather resource materials, and interact with environmental scientists and the local community. The setting for the Artist at Pine Needles project is the James Taylor Dunn Pine Needles Cabin, located just north of the village along the St. Croix River [Minnesota]. Applications will be accepted from writers and visual artists who focus on environmental or natural history topics. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with environmental scientists and to create links between their art, the natural world, and the sciences. As part of the program, artists will be encouraged to design an outreach project to share their work with the local community and to contribute an original work for the benefit of the research station. Housing and rustic studio space are provided for the artists’ choice of a 2 to 4-week residency.”
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AUDITORY CORTEX: A POETRY CONTEST
https://chajournal.blog/2017/10/25/auditory-cortex/
Deadline: February 15, 2018
NO ENTRY FEE
Judges: Tammy Ho and Lian-Hee Wee

“The contest welcomes submissions from poets who write in a ‘variety’ of Englishes and celebrates the varied voices across Englishes. Each poet can submit up to two poems on any theme (no more than 40 lines long each, to be accompanied by a recording of the author’s reading in WAV format). Poems must be written and read in the author’s local variety of English (e.g. Brunei English, Burmese English, Chinese English, Fijian English, Filipino English, Guamanian English, Hawaiian English, Hong Kong English, Japanese English, Kazakh English, Malaysian English, Samoan English, Singapore English, Sri Lankan English, Thai English, Tok Pisin, Tongan English, Vietnamese English, etc.) in a way that is also accessible to other speakers of English in Asia. Poems must be previously unpublished.” Prizes: “First Prize: HK$500, Second Prize: HK$300, Third Prize: HK$200, Highly Commended (up to 8): HK$100 each. (Payable through Paypal.)” In addition, all winning and highly commended poems will be published by CHA. NB: “Prizes were generously donated by Eniw Alverkoetus.” (Thanks to http://Literistic.com for the tip.)
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EVERYTHING CHANGE CLIMATE FICTION CONTEST
https://everythingchange.submittable.com/submit
Deadline: February 28, 2018
NO ENTRY FEE
Judge: Kim Stanley Robinson

Presented by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University, this contest seeks “stories that illustrate, explore, or illuminate the impact of climate change on humanity and/or the Earth. We enthusiastically invite submissions in all genres of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, hybrid forms, and more. Prizes: “The winning story will receive a $1000 prize, and nine finalists will receive $50 prizes. Selected work will be published in an anthology by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University.” NB: Both U.S. and international submissions “are welcome.”
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HEMINGWAY-PFEIFFER MUSEUM WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE
http://hemingway.astate.edu/2017/11/08/2018-writer-in-residence-program-announced/
Deadline: February 28, 2018
NO APPLICATION FEE

“We are pleased to announce our inaugural writer-in-residence position. The residency will be for the month of June 2018 and includes lodging at a beautiful loft apartment on the downtown square in Piggott over the City Market coffee shop. The writer-in-residence will also have the opportunity to work in the studio where Ernest Hemingway worked on A FAREWELL TO ARMS during an extended stay with his wife’s family in 1928. The residency includes a $1000 stipend to help cover food and transportation. Piggott State Bank is the underwriting sponsor of the residency. The writer-in-residence will be expected to serve as mentor for a week-long retreat for writers at the educational center. This retreat will be held June 4-8 and will be open to 12-14 writers from the region. The recipient will be expected to hold one or two readings of his/her own work in the region. The remainder of the month will be free to the writer-in-residence to work on his/her own work. Candidates with an MA or MFA in a relevant field are preferred.”
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NATAN BOOK AWARD AT THE JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL
https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/awards/natanbookaward
Deadline: March 31, 2018
NO ENTRY FEE

“The Natan Book Award pioneers a new model in literary philanthropy, capitalizing on a key leverage point in a book’s trajectory: its marketing and publicity. The Award is a two-stage award, offering at most a total of $25,000, to be divided as follows: a cash award to the author of $10,000, to be used during the writing process; and customized support for the marketing and publicity strategy for the book, up to $15,000. This is a pre-publication award and the prize winner will be announced prior to the book’s publication date. The uniqueness of this prize lies in its second stage, support for the book’s marketing and publicity. Working with experts in the literary and publishing fields and with the book’s publisher, Jewish Book Council and Natan will customize a digital and in-person marketing and publicity strategy tailored to the topic of the book and the assets that the author and publisher bring to its marketing and publicity. Jewish Book Council and Natan will actively connect the author and the book with the multiple Jewish and philanthropic networks of which both organizations are a part. The goal is to catalyze a robust public discourse on the topics the book addresses, creating broad and diverse exposure for the book and true engagement with the book’s issues, especially for new and nontraditional audiences.” NB: “The award is open to non-fiction books that have an existing publishing contract with a recognized commercial publisher. (Academic publishers are also acceptable in certain cases where the book is intended to appeal to mainstream audiences.)” Also: Publication “should ideally be scheduled for publication between December 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019.”
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RESTLESS BOOKS PRIZE FOR NEW IMMIGRANT WRITING
http://www.restlessbooks.com/prize-for-new-immigrant-writing
Deadline: February 28, 2018
NO ENTRY FEE

“The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing [hereafter referred to as ‘the Prize’] alternates yearly between accepting unpublished fiction and nonfiction submissions.” The prize is currently accepting FICTION submissions. “Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a book-length collection of short stories. All submissions must be in English (translations welcome).” Eligibility: “Candidates must be first-generation residents of their country. ‘First-generation’ can refer either to people born in another country who relocated, or to residents of a country whose parents were born elsewhere.” NB: “Fiction candidates must not have previously published a book of fiction with a US publishing house.” Agented submissions welcome. Prize: “The winner will receive a $10,000 advance and publication by Restless Books in print and digital editions. We expect to work closely with the winner and provide editorial guidance.”
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SPECULATIVE LITERATURE FOUNDATION WORKING CLASS WRITERS GRANT
http://speculativeliterature.org/grants/the-slf-working-class-impoverished-writers-750-grant/
Deadline: February 28, 2018
NO APPLICATION FEE

“Working class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction, due to financial barriers which have made it much harder for them to have access to the writing world….The SLF would like to assist in finding more of these marginalized voices and bringing them into speculative fiction. You are eligible for this $750 grant if you come from a background such as described above, if you grew up (or are growing up) in homelessness, poverty, or a blue collar / working-class household, or if you have lived for a significant portion of your life in such conditions, especially if you had limited access to relatives/friends who could assist you financially. We will give preference to members of that larger pool who are currently in financial need (given our limited funds). Please note that while we are based in America…this grant is available to international writers; please assess your own situation as appropriate for your home country….Please note that, unlike our other grants, you may receive this grant anonymously or pseudonymously.”
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SPIRIT FIRST ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST
http://www.spiritfirst.org/poetry_contest2018Entry.html
Deadline: February 28, 2018 (received)
NO ENTRY FEE

“Spirit First is pleased to announce its 9th Annual Meditation Poetry Contest. Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must have a theme of Meditation or Mindfulness. Poems may reflect any discipline, any faith, or none. Poems must be previously unpublished. Poems not on the themes of meditation, mindfulness, stillness, or sacred silence will not be included in this meditation poetry event. Enter up to three submissions. Poems beyond three submissions will not be considered.” Prizes: $200/$150/$100. “Winning poems will be published on the Spirit First website and the Spirit First blog, and in a Spirit First newsletter (authors retain full rights to their poems).”
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SPREAD THE WORD LIFE WRITING PRIZE
https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/projects/life-writing-prize/
Deadline: February 9, 2018
NO ENTRY FEE

“The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre was established in 2016. Open to emerging writers living in the UK aged 18 or over, the Prize was established to celebrate and develop life writing in the UK thanks to a generous donation from Joanna Munro. The Prize rewards the winner with GBP1500, an Arvon course, two years membership to the Royal Society of Literature, a development meeting with agent Robert Caskie of Caskie Mushens literary agency and a development meeting with an editor at Unbound publishers. Two highly commended writers will receive GBP500 each, a writing mentor, a development meeting with agent Robert Caskie of Caskie Mushens literary agency and a development meeting with an editor at Unbound publishers.” Check the site for more eligibility and other info.

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5. SUBMISSION ALERTS!!!
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HONEYSUCKLE, “a literary press committed to expanding and redefining human truths by prioritizing the narratives of unsung communities,” is currently “accepting queries for full-length poetry collections and short story collections.” (They’re also running their annual fee-free chapbook contest.) Visit http://www.honeysuckle.press for more information.
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England-based YORK LITERARY REVIEW is “looking for the best new fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews from both established and new writers. We are also interested in submissions of visual art to be featured alongside new writing.” Deadline is coming up soon: February 9, 2018. Pays: “We pay contributors an honorarium in recognition of their work.” NB: “More innovative writing is strongly encouraged.” Visit http://blog.yorksj.ac.uk/yorkliteraryreview/ for more information.
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SUBPRIMAL POETRY ART “looks for poetry and flash fiction that is crafted, urgent, lyrical, compelling, mythical, concerned with spiritual revelation, uses rhythmic sensual, vivid imagery and deals with fundamental truths. We’re looking for work that enables the reader / listener to experience something that they might not otherwise in their regular life and causes them to think. We like pieces that use language in new ways. We have a special fondness for prose poems. Voices outside of the status quo keep us awake at night.” Submissions re-opened on January 1 and will close again February 15. Pays: “We pay $20 for each published work that has not been previously published. For reprints, we pay $10. Payment is made upon publication. You must be able to receive payment via PayPal.” NB: No payment for book reviews. Guidelines at https://subprimal.com/submission-guidelines/. (Thanks to Pamelyn Casto’s Flash Fiction Flash newsletter for the reminder on this one: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/flashfictionflash/info.)
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THE SUBURBAN REVIEW is currently seeking “art and writing by Australian women, femmes, and gender non-conforming folx….We want narratives rooted in the writer’s understanding of femininity.” Pays: “All writers will be paid”; details are available with the guidelines. Deadline: February 18, 2018. See https://thesuburbanreview.com/submit/.
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NINTH LETTER remains open for submissions of poetry and essays until February 28. “We are interested in prose and poetry that experiment with form, narrative, and nontraditional subject matter, as well as more traditional literary work.” Pays: “$25 per printed page, upon publication, for accepted material, as well as two complimentary copies of the issue in which the work appears.” See http://ninthletter.com for more.
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Attention, undergraduate writers! THE BLUE ROUTE is open for submissions until March 1. They’re looking for fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. “We want good, highly imaginative writing about contemporary life as you see it.” Pays: “We pay twenty-five dollars upon publication.” Check https://widenerblueroute.org/submission-guidelines/ for more.
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The small-press division of HIPPOCAMPUS is also open for queries/proposals until March 1. They’re looking for work in the following areas: memoirs, essays collections, literary journalism, creativity books, and craft books. Visit http://www.books.hippocampusmagazine.com/submissions/ for details.
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MOJO, “the graduate-run online literary journal from Wichita State University’s MFA program,” is open to submissions until March 15. “All submissions will be considered for publication in our online issue. Selected works have the possibility of being published in the annual print edition of Mikrokosmos Literary Journal.” Pays: “$15 USD flat rate per poem, nonfiction piece, or fiction piece. Please note that submissions to our blog, Latest Content, is not a paying market (we’re sorry!) If a piece is selected for publication in Mikrokosmos, an additional $15 USD will be paid. We know this isn’t much, but as writers ourselves, we like to pay our contributors.” Website: http://mikrokosmosjournal.com/.
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BLUE MESA REVIEW will also close to submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction on March 15. Pays: “Selected works will receive a $25 contributor payment. NOTE: International submissions are accepted and are eligible for publication, but we are not able to process contributor payments outside the United States.” Website: http://bmr.unm.edu.
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“SIDE STREET PRESS publishes novels, novellas, memoirs, short story collections, poetry and essays where the city of Chicago and its characters play a central role. In short, we want to see well-written manuscripts with Chicago as the setting. Side Street Press accepts unsolicited manuscripts from both published and unpublished authors. All material must be submitted electronically. One to two books will be published each year.” Submissions may be made January-March and August-October. See http://www.sidestreetpressinc.com/ for more info.

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6. BLOG NOTES
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The newsletter is published just once each month, but there’s *always* something new at our Practicing Writing blog: fresh market news, current contest and job listings, links to writing-related articles, newly-discovered craft and business resources, and so much more. Regular blog features include:

–Monday Markets for Writers
–Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer (formerly “Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress”)
–Friday Finds for Writers
–Sunday Sentence

Please visit, and comment! http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing/.

And for those of you practicing writers who are interested in matters of specifically Jewish cultural interest, please also visit My Machberet (http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/my-machberet). For the curious, “machberet” is the Hebrew word for “notebook”.

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7. NEWSLETTER MATTERS
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Information contained in THE PRACTICING WRITER is collected from many sources, with the purpose of providing general references. It is researched to the best of our ability but readers should verify information when necessary and appropriate. THE PRACTICING WRITER and its editor/publisher disclaim any liability for the use of information contained within. Thank you for subscribing.
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For updates and additional opportunity listings between newsletters, please check in with our “Practicing Writing” blog, http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing.
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ABOUT THE EDITOR: Based in New York City, Erika Dreifus is a freelance writer and book publicist. She is the author of QUIET AMERICANS: STORIES, which is an American Library Association Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. She has taught for Harvard University, the Cambridge (Mass.) Center for Adult Education, and the low-residency MFA programs in creative writing at Lesley University, the Northwest Institute for Literary Arts, and Oklahoma City University. From 2014-2017, Erika served as Media Editor for Fig Tree Books LLC. Please visit http://www.erikadreifus.com to learn more about Erika’s work, and go directly to http://www.erikadreifus.com/quiet-americans/book-clubs/ to arrange for her to visit your book club!
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