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Current Issue


Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 16, Number 2: March 2019
Editor: Erika Dreifus
Copyright (c) 2019 Erika Dreifus



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

Greetings, practicing writers:

Last year at this time, I noted that February somehow always seems to whoosh by. This year, I am not inclined to amend that view!

It’s been an extremely busy month, and for the most part, I am glad to say, happily so. One of the activities that has kept me on those proverbial toes is the recent release of a book from Jewish Storyteller Press (disclosure: I’ve been involved with this project in my capacity as a book publicist).

The book is the first English translation (by Tina Lunson) of a 19th-century bestselling Yiddish novel written by the once-famous Jacob Dinezon, who died 100 years ago in Warsaw. From the outset of my collaboration with the Press’s publisher, Scott Hilton Davis, I was gobsmacked by what Scott had discovered about Dinezon, and the reasons why it had become so important to Scott to restore Dinezon’s name to readers’ awareness. You’ll discover a little bit about that in this month’s feature article.

Plus, of course, you’ll find in this issue the latest solid servings of contest/competition and other submission-related news. As a reminder: I try to make these newsletters as distinctively useful as possible by featuring only opportunities for writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction (college-aged and older) which a) do NOT charge fees for entries/submissions; b) PAY writers for selected/winning work; and c) are NOT limited to writers resident in a single city/state/province. (NB: Such highly localized opportunities do routinely pop up on the Practicing Writing blog each week; you’ll find more information about the blog below.)

That’s enough introductory material! Let’s move on to the issue. And here’s wishing everyone a marvelous March,


By Scott Hilton Davis

For the past 15 years, I have been studying the life and career of a nearly forgotten Jewish novelist named Jacob Dinezon (1851-1919), whose legacy was lost with the demise of Yiddish following the Holocaust. Dinezon was a successful novelist who is credited with writing the first bestselling novel in Yiddish. Titled THE DARK YOUNG MAN, it is considered the first Jewish realistic romance.

This year, the novel was published for the first time in English by my small publishing company, Jewish Storyteller Press. But from the beginning, another dimension of Dinezon’s legacy intrigued me: his reputation for acts of kindness to new writers and his mentorship of authors who eventually attained much greater fame. Today, we might call this part of his background “literary citizenship.”

I’ve discovered, for instance, that in 1888, Dinezon offered guidance to the author Sholem Aleichem (creator of the Tevye stories), who was about to publish the first literary journal in Yiddish (Di yidishe folks-bibliotek [The Jewish People’s Library]). Dinezon also contributed a short story to Sholem Aleichem’s new venture. Twenty-five years later, Dinezon spearheaded a committee to buy back Sholem Aleichem’s copyrights from the original publishers as a way of ensuring a livelihood for the ailing author during his final years.

Another example: In 1890, when the fledgling Yiddish author I. L. Peretz was unable to find a publisher for his short stories, Dinezon assumed that role. Once the books were printed, Dinezon shipped them off to Peretz as a gift. In the years that followed, the two men became inseparable friends.

In a eulogy delivered at Dinezon’s funeral one century ago, the author and ethnographer S. Anski spoke of Dinezon’s commitment to Yiddish writers: “Our entire literature was brought up on his lap. He [offered encouragement to] each new writer. He had something for each one, and within each one of us there lies a piece of Dinezon.” (Trans. Tina Lunson)

As much as I have appreciated Jacob Dinezon’s writings and contributions to Jewish literature, I have also admired his efforts to support and uplift the lives of his fellow writers. For me, he is a model for today’s literary citizens to emulate. I invite you to learn more about this remarkable literary figure on a website that is devoted to him, www.JacobDinezon.com, and tell me if you agree.

Bio: Scott Hilton Davis is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, storyteller, and collector of Jewish short stories from turn of the twentieth century Eastern Europe. For the past several years, Scott has been working to bring English translations of the Yiddish works of Jacob Dinezon to 21st-century readers. He is also the author of SOULS ARE FLYING! A CELEBRATION OF JEWISH STORIES and CHANUKAH TALES FROM OYKVETCHNIK.
Need a refresher/primer on contemporary literary citizenship?

A good starting point is the website that Cathy Day assembled several years ago for her course in the Creative Writing Program at Ball State University: https://literarycitizenship.com/.
Deadline: April 30, 2019

From Lucas Aykroyd: “I’ve been very fortunate, and it’s time for me to give back. With the Irene Adler Prize, I’m awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a woman pursuing a degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the U.S. or Canada, based on an essay competition. My mother is a journalist and my sister works in publishing. The editors who gave me my big breaks with the New York Times, the Washington Post, and National Geographic Traveler are all female. Nearly every story of mine that’s won an award was assigned by a woman. Teachers, librarians, publicists, literary agents, fellow writers…I could go on. Women have had a huge impact on my career. In today’s challenging climate, I want to let my female colleagues know –past, present and future — that they and their work are respected and valued. This is not to minimize men. It’s to help maximize the talents of the other 50 percent of the world’s population, which is too frequently shortchanged. The time is right.” Entrants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens. There is no age restriction. Competition requires submission of a 500-word essay in English on one of three topics (which are presented in the guidelines).
Deadline: April 1, 2019

A prize of £10,000 will be awarded “for the best piece of writing on the topic of ‘Identity’ — the theme of the 2019 Alpine Fellowship Annual Symposium.” Winner and two runners up are invited to attend the symposium in Sweden in August 2019 (the runners up also receive cash awards [£3,000/£2,000]). NB: “Open to all nationalities, aged 18 and above. All genres permitted. A maximum of 2500 words per entry. Limited to one entry per person. Text must not have been published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online, or have won or been placed in another competition at any time.”
Deadline: March 14, 2019

“The Gordon Burn Prize is a partnership between the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Durham Book Festival and Faber & Faber. The winning writer receives a cheque for £5,000 and is offered the opportunity to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders.” NB: “The prize is open to submissions of work written in World English by writers of any nationality or descent who at the time of entering are permanently resident in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland or United States of America. Entries must be written by a single author. The 2019 award will focus on work published between 1 July 2018 and 1 July 2019. To be eligible, books must have been first published in hardback, paperback or e-book format between these dates in the UK, ROI or USA. Books that have previously been published outside of these territories are not eligible. Books can be written in any genre, and books that challenge genre are particularly welcome. Works of translation, books for children and poetry are not eligible for the award.”
Deadline: April 1, 2019

The journal GAZE “loves & encourages writers of all kinds, and of all genders,” and its regular submissions reflect that policy. But since they’ve “noticed over the course of our first year that there are a disproportionate number of submissions from male-identifying writers” and “would like to encourage more women & non-binary writers to think of us as a potential home for their work,” this contest “is for poetry by women & non-binary writers.” As for the focus on poetry, “we believe there are not nearly enough paying markets for literature in general, but poetry in particular is often given the short end of the stick.” The prize includes $75 and publication; all submissions will be considered for regular publication (which pays $25 per accepted piece, via Square Cash, Venmo, Paypal, or Transferwise).
Deadline: March 29, 2019

“The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, which includes a $10,000 prize, is named for the late author, Willie Morris, and the spirit of the winning novel should reflect his words, ‘hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.’ The selected book may contain violence and despair, and feature terrible events, but in the final analysis must be uplifting, and suggest hope and optimism.” NB: “The book must be set in the South, defined as one or more states of the original Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia).” Also regarding eligibility: “Books published in 2018 are being considered for the prize now. Short stories and linked short stories are not eligible. The winning book must be a classic novel, of at least 50,000 words. Non-fictional references and passages are acceptable only if in moderation.” In addition to the cash award, the winner receives an expense-paid trip to New York City. “The author must come to NY to receive the award, attend a luncheon with the contest judges and a reception in his/her honor. At the reception copies of the book are given to those attending, and the author is available to sign them.”
Deadline: March 31, 2019 (postmarked; entries must be sent via postal mail)

“A prize of $2,500 will be awarded for an original, unpublished poem that evokes the American South, in spirit, history, landscape, or experience. Poets may enter only one poem in any style no longer than three pages (12 point font, one inch margins)…..Susan Kinsolving will judge. The winner will be notified in August 2019 and invited to attend the Willie Morris Award ceremonies in October 2019 in New York City with travel expenses paid for the occasion.”
Deadline: March 30, 2019

Founded “to honor the memory of the 38-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter who was slain by terrorists in Pakistan while investigating Al Qaeda,” this MOMENT magazine fellowship initiative “allows young journalists to do in-depth reporting on anti-Semitism and other deeply ingrained prejudices around the world.” The fellow receives $5,000 ($2,500 upfront and $2,500 upon publication) to produce a story. “Fellows work closely with Moment editors and selected mentors to publish their completed project in Moment as well as partner media outlets.” This opportunity is open to journalists ages 22-38.
Deadline: March 17, 2019

“North Dakota State University Press seeks poetry submissions of any style for our Poetry of the Plains and Prairies chapbook publication. While the author(s) may call any place home, their submissions must deftly capture the feeling of, as well as the reality of, living on the plains and prairies. Authors may submit any number of poems equaling twenty-five to thirty pages in length, with no more than one poem per page. (Single poems may extend more than one page.) The selected poetry collection will be published as a limited edition chapbook, hand-printed with antique letterpress equipment.” Prize: “If selected for publication, the author(s) will receive our standard university press publishing contract with royalties, ten free copies, and an author discount on purchases of additional copies. The author(s) must agree to give a public reading at a time and place in North Dakota, convenient to NDSU Press and the author(s), the day of, or soon after, publication.” NB: No simultaneous submissions.
Deadline: March 20, 2019

“Thanks to the generosity of the Walter E. Dakin Memorial Fund, supported by the estate of Tennessee Williams, all writers who attend the Sewanee Writers’ Conference receive partial funding. Contributors receive assistance covering two-thirds of the actual cost to attend. Additional funding is awarded to fellows and scholars.” Fellowships cover tuition, room, and board; scholarships cover tuition.
Deadline: April 1, 2019 (received/completed)

“The Marguerite and Lamar Fellowship for Writers is offered during fall semester. The fellowship begins the first of September and ends the first of December. During this time, the writing fellow will reside in a spacious private apartment inside Carson McCullers’s childhood home, the Smith-McCullers House. The fellow is provided with a stipend of $5,000 to cover costs of transportation, food and other incidentals. Fellowship recipients are encouraged to take an active role in the community and to meet informally with students and local residents interested in writing. The fellow will work with the McCullers Center director to plan a presentation near the end of the residency.”
Deadline: March 15, 2019
NB re: registration fee: “If your attendance at the conference is contingent on your receiving financial assistance, you do not need to send the $100 deposit with your fellowship or scholarship materials.”

“Scholarships are awarded competitively, and applicants are judged on the basis of promise shown in their work. Entries should consist of a work in one genre: novel, short story, poetry, nonfiction, or journalism. Several scholarships provide full tuition, room, and board, but most offer smaller awards, covering a part of the Conference tuition. Several teaching fellowships are available and are awarded to outstanding applicants who have completed book-length manuscripts.”
Deadline: April 22, 2019

“The Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant of $40,000 will be awarded to as many as eight writers in the process of completing a book-length work of deeply researched and imaginatively composed nonfiction for a general readership. It is intended for multiyear book projects requiring large amounts of deep and focused research, thinking, and writing at a crucial point mid-process, after significant work has been accomplished but when an extra infusion of support can make a difference in the ultimate shape and quality of the work. Whiting welcomes applications for works of history, cultural or political reportage, biography, memoir, the sciences, philosophy, criticism, food or travel writing, and personal essays, among other categories. Again, the work should be intended for a general, not academic, reader.” NB: Projects must be under contract with a US publisher, and applicants must be US citizens or residents.
Mentioned this news from COFFEE HOUSE PRESS a little early on the Practicing Writing blog to give you a bit of advance notice: “We will be opening for submissions on March 1, 2019. During our open reading period, we will accept submissions of novels, essays, poetry, short story collections, and book-length nonfiction through our online submissions manager. There is no fee to submit.” NB: “Submissions will be capped at 300.” Website: https://coffeehousepress.org/pages/submissions.
If you’re interested in publishing with the EMILY BOOKS imprint of Coffee House Press, which “publishes genre-blurring writing that is funny, challenging, and provocative, with an emphasis on the writing of women, trans, and queer people,” and will also consider acquiring e-book rights “to previously published books that are deserving of a new medium and audience,” the guidelines differ, although you’ll find them on the same Submittable page (https://coffeehousepress.submittable.com/submit.) The current submissions window for Emily Books will close March 31.
SOUTHWORD, a literary journal published biannually by the Munster Literature Centre in Cork, Ireland, is open for submissions until March 15. “Payment is made on publication. For unsolicited work we will be paying €40 per poem and €250 per short story published in our new print editions. Payments to contributors outside Ireland can only be made through Paypal.” Visit https://bit.ly/2VkRay5 for more information.
THE SPECTACLE is also open for submissions (fiction, poetry, and nonfiction) until March 15. Pays: “Publication in Issue No. 7 includes a $50 honorarium.” Website: http://thespectacle.wustl.edu/.
If you want to send work to BLACKBIRD this cycle, you’ll also need to do so by March 15. They consider poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Guidelines: https://blackbird.vcu.edu/v17n2/submissions.shtml.
Another venue open for submissions until March 15: BELMONT STORY REVIEW, “a national magazine of literary arts, faith and culture.” Pays: “an honorarium of $50 for prose and an honorarium of $25 for poetry. This honorarium will be awarded as a check in US dollars.” Website: https://belmontstoryreview.wixsite.com/website.
Still another March 15 deadline: KANSAS CITY VOICES welcomes “poetry, prose, and art of all media”; work need *not* be situated in Kansas City or written by Kansas City residents. Pays: $20/poem and $30/prose piece, plus a copy of the magazine. Website: http://www.wppress.org/submissions/kansas-city-voices-submissions/.
NOTRE DAME REVIEW’s current submissions window closes at the end of March. “Excellence is our sole criteria for selection, although we are especially interested in fiction and poetry that take on big issues.” Pays: “a small gratuity” after publication. Website: http://ndreview.nd.edu/submission-guidelines/.
From WESTERLY, which publishes “short stories, poetry, memoir and creative non-fiction, essays and literary criticism”: “Submissions to Issue 64.1 (July 2019) are now open. Submissions will close on March 31st.” Pay rates are detailed on the website; note that the journal expects its contributing authors “to be subscribers of the journal, and support the publication which is supporting them! For this reason, we ask that any authors selected for publication who are not subscribers accept a year’s subscription as part-payment for their work.” More information: https://westerlymag.com.au/contribute/.
Unsolicited work may be submitted to WEST BRANCH until April 1. The editors consider poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation. Pays: “Payment is awarded for accepted works in the amount of $50 per submission of poetry, and $.05/word for prose with a maximum payment of $100. Additionally, we provide each contributor with two copies of the issue in which his/her work appears and a one-year subscription to West Branch.” NB: “Book reviews are typically arranged by assignment, and we publish only poetry reviews. If you are interested in writing reviews, please query with a sample. We currently pay $200 per assigned review.” Guidelines are available via https://westbranch.blogs.bucknell.edu.
CANTHIUS, “a Canadian literary magazine publishing poetry and prose by women and genderqueer writers,” is open for submissions until April 1. “We welcome experimental works.” Pays: “$15 per poem and $50 per work of prose. Contributors will also receive a complimentary a copy of the issue and a discounted price on any further copies of the issue in which their work appears.” More info: http://www.canthius.com/submissions.
Reminder: The CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL anthologies are ALWAYS looking for submissions on various themes. And they pay! Check in every so often at http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics.

Reminder: 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”.

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.
For updates and additional opportunity listings between newsletters, please check in with our “Practicing Writing” blog, http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing.
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.
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