Current Issue


Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 16, Number 8: September 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; PAYING OPPORTUNITIES ONLY)
6. Blog Notes
7. Newsletter Matters

Greetings, practicing writers:

Things are buzzing at Practicing Writing HQ! I’ve just finished my first week back teaching in an undergraduate classroom. We’ve got lots of family happenings that require my attention (mostly good, celebratory stuff). And of course, the countdown to the publication date for my next book (and first poetry collection, BIRTHRIGHT) continues.

So let’s move on with the issue. I hope that you enjoy it, and that September is a superb month for all of you and your writing practices.



When news came of Toni Morrison’s death in early August, I was already grieving—somewhat anew—another fairly recent literary loss: that of Israeli author Amos Oz, who died at the end of 2018. As with Morrison’s passing, Oz’s death seemed to have left many writers feeling uncommonly bereft. In my case, I realized that one way I could honor Oz’s memory was by rectifying a serious gap in my reading history: Somehow, although I’d admired his short stories and recommended them to others many times, I’d not yet read Oz’s A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS, the bestselling memoir that was first published first in Hebrew in 2002.

This summer, suspecting that I’d want to incorporate the book into my fall undergraduate course on 21st-Century Jewish Literature, I carved out the time and emotional space for the book (which runs more than 500 pages). Reading it during the first part of August, I found myself awed and inspired—and, again, sensing the sadness of loss anew.

Here’s how the marketing copy reads on my paperback edition (an edition translated by Nicholas de Lange):

“A family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived and lived through its turbulent history, A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS is the story of a boy who grows up in war-torn Jerusalem, in a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages. The story of an adolescent whose life changes forever with his mother’s suicide. The story of a man who leaves the constraints of his family to join a kibbutz, change his name, marry, have children. The story of a writer who becomes an active participant in the political life of his nation.”

I read this book from multiple perspectives. I read it as a “regular” reader. I read it as a teacher looking for a segment that might lend itself to excerpting and placement in an already-crowded course syllabus. And I read it, as so many of us read, as a writer.

Here are just a few reflections stemming from that last approach.

1. Oz’s sentences inspire me to write better ones of my own. During the time that I spent reading A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS, I was prompted to select two exemplary “#SundaySentences,” which I shared at and

2. I’m one of those writers who happens to love to read about writers and writing. Oz grew up surrounded by books—within the first two pages, we meet Oz, his parents, and the books that “filled our home.” Even if his own parents weren’t professional writers, they were acquainted with many; from earliest childhood, their only child was, too. Without ever crossing the line into anything resembling “name-dropping”—on the contrary, it’s difficult to imagine more endearing presentations—Oz brings us into rooms and streets where, as a child, he encountered such literary lights as Shaul/Saul Tchernikhowsky (1875-1943), S.Y. Agnon (1887-1970), and “Teacher Zelda” (aka “Zelda the Poet” [Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky, 1914-84]). 

3. I can’t yet tell you exactly how he does it, but Oz makes his very personal book a work of history, as well. So much of it is wrenching history: the fate of relatives back in Europe during the Holocaust, the war that surrounded Israel’s birth, the repercussions for Israeli-Arab/Palestinian relations long past the book’s final page. That the reader can withstand it is, I’ll posit at this early phase, due at least partially to Oz’s artistry. And to his empathy.

As difficult as some of this reading is—there’s a lot of pain in A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS—I didn’t want this book to end. (The writer in me always wants to figure out how authors make *that* happen, too.) I can’t help wondering if, while reading it, I felt companioned by Oz’s first-person voice, and that this is something that I understood, and that I wanted to delay what I knew would happen after I finished reading: that I’d be overcome, again, by a sense of loss.

But the book is still here. I can return to it at any time. And I trust that as a reader, a teacher, and a writer, I will continue to learn from it, too.

A thread in which I compiled items about Amos Oz in the aftermath of his death on December 28, 2019:

NB: For information on the use of “z”l” following the names of those who have died, please consult

Deadline: October 5, 2019

“The American Antiquarian Society (AAS), a national research library and learned society of American history and culture, is calling for applications for visiting fellowships for historical research by creative and performing artists, writers, film makers, journalists, and other persons whose goals are to produce imaginative, non-formulaic works dealing with pre-twentieth-century American history. Successful applicants are those whose work is for the general public rather than for academic or educational audiences. The Society’s goal in sponsoring this program is to multiply and improve the ways in which an understanding of history is communicated to the American people. The fellowships will provide the recipients with the opportunity for a period of uninterrupted research, reading, and collegial discussion at the Society, located in Worcester, Massachusetts. At least three fellowships will be awarded for residence of four weeks at the Society at any time during the period January 1 through December 31.” NB: For fellows who reside on campus in the Society’s scholars’ housing, located next to the main library building, the stipend will have the room fee deducted from the $1850 stipend. (Room fees range from $700 to $500 per month.) The stipend will be $1,850 for fellows residing off campus. Fellows will not be paid a travel allowance.”
Deadline: October 15, 2019 (received, 11:59 pm)

“Art Omi: Writers hosts authors and translators from around the world for residencies throughout the spring and fall. The program’s strong international emphasis provides exposure for global literary voices and reflects the spirit of cultural exchange that is essential to Art Omi’s mission. Guests may select a residency of one week to two months; about ten writers at a time gather to live and work in a rural setting overlooking the Catskill Mountains. Daytime is reserved for writing and quiet activities, while evenings are more communal. A program of weekly visits bring[s] guests from the New York publishing community. NB: “Noted editors, agents and book scouts are invited to share dinner and conversation on both creative and practical subjects, offering insight into the workings of the publishing industry, and introductions to some of its key professionals. Readings throughout the year invite the public to experience finished and in-process work by writers and translators in residence.” Note also: “All residencies are fully funded with accommodations, food, local transport and public programming provided. However, please note that Art Omi: Writers does not provide travel funds. Selected residents are responsible for funding their own travel or securing travel funds from a third party.”
Deadline: October 1, 2019 (6pm EST/midnight CET)

Based in Cassis, France, “the Core Program is the flagship program of the Camargo Foundation. Since 1971, the Camargo Foundation has awarded residencies to over 800 Core Program Fellows as part of its mission to support groundbreaking research, experimentation, and interdisciplinary approaches in the Arts and Humanities. Each year, an esteemed panel of scholars and arts professionals selects 18 individuals or teams from over 1,000 submissions from around the world. Winners are awarded residencies in a stunning, contemplative environment where they have the space, time, and freedom to think, create, and connect. Fellowships span 6 to 11 weeks. With each cohort of Fellows, the Foundation strives to foster connections between research and creation. The Camargo Foundation prizes diversity and welcomes applicants from all countries and nationalities, representing a broad range of creative thought and practice. Three main categories are available, and several subcategories for artists’ applications.” NB: “A stipend of 250 USD per week is provided, as is funding for basic transportation to and from Cassis for the Fellow for the residency. In the case of air travel, basic coach class booked in advance is covered.” Also: “An informational webinar will be offered for interested applicants on September 4, 2019 at 11:00am EST (New York City), 5:00pm CET (France).”
Deadline: October 3, 2019 (5pm [presumably Lichfield, UK, time])

Eligibility is limited to UK residents for this competition. “In the beginning was the Word… join us this summer and make these words echo with your own. Poetry can help us understand the world around us, shine new light in dark corners, and express ourselves in fresh ways. Here at Lichfield Cathedral, we are inviting you to write new poems inspired by the awe and wonder of the anniversary of the Moon landing and that one small step for humanity, to reflect on the origins of the universe and the vastness of space, light and time, and to explore our fragile earth through the themes of creation and cosmology, space travel and astronomical discovery.” NB: “Poems submitted should be written on the theme of either ‘Awe and Wonder’ (7–11 and 12–16 age categories) or ‘Light in our Darkness’ (17–25 and 26 and over age categories). We would like entries to be as creative as possible when interpreting these themes. We are looking for poems which go beyond simple rhyming couplets and limericks; we are looking for original, contemporary poems. This is an invitation to write in new and exciting poetic forms!” Cash prizes for winners in adult categories.
Deadline: October 15 (for the spring [February-April] class)

“The Carey Institute for Global Good believes that an informed, educated and engaged citizenry is essential to the functioning of democratic society. Our Logan Nonfiction Program supports this belief by advancing deeply reported, longform nonfiction about the most pressing issues of the day and helping to disseminate it on a variety of media platforms to the widest possible audience….Logan Nonfiction fellows at the Carey Institute are provided all the necessary tools to complete their critical work. Lodging, work space, sophisticated technological support (including Wi-Fi, a state-of-the-art screening room and dedicated space, equipment and software for video, film and radio editing) and meals are provided. Fellows may also benefit from the mentorship of several board members and internationally renowned journalists. We also help selected print fellows convert their work into audio, video or digital media through the expertise of our partners….A fellow’s duration of stay may range from four weeks to three months.” NB: “There is no fee to apply to the Logan Nonfiction Program. Accepted fellows do not need to pay tuition or residency fees, but do need to fund their travel to the area. There is no reporting stipend or grant associated with the program.”
Deadline: October 15, 2019 (received)

“The American poet Amy Lowell died in 1925. Her will established an annual scholarship to support travel abroad for gifted American-born poets. The scholarship is administered by the Trustees under her will at the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston, Massachusetts.” NB: “The 2020-2021 Scholarship award will be approximately $60,500, adjusted for inflation. If there are two winners, each will receive the full amount.” Be sure to read carefully the FAQ/terms.
Deadline: October 1, 2019

“The Alicia Patterson Foundation Program was established in 1965 in memory of Alicia Patterson, who was editor and publisher of Newsday for nearly 23 years before her death in 1963. One-year and six-month grants are awarded to working journalists to pursue independent projects of significant interest and to write articles based on their investigations for The APF Reporter, a web published magazine by the Foundation and available on the web.” Eligibility: “The Alicia Patterson fellowships are open only to U.S. citizens who are fulltime print journalists, or to non-U.S. citizens who work fulltime for U.S. print publications, either in America or abroad. Freelancers are welcome to apply. All applicants, including those being considered for the new Cissy Patterson fellowship for environmental or science topics, should complete the Alicia Patterson Foundation application. The aim of the trustees who established the foundation was to improve the quality of U.S. print journalism.” NB: “The foundation does not match salaries. The fellowship stipend is $40,000 for twelve months and $20,000 for six months and must cover your travel and research costs. You also must pay taxes on this income, which most fellows do by submitting quarterly payments to the IRS, as many freelancers do.”
Deadline: September 30, 2019

“The John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize is for an outstanding debut poetry book collection by a poet, in the English language. The John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize is valued at €10,000 and will be adjudicated by a panel of judges nominated by the John Pollard Foundation, and the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin.” NB: “The 2020 prize will be awarded to a first book of poetry published originally in the English language between October 1st 2018 and September 30th 2019.” Publishers may nominate only one title. “The winner must be available to accept the prize in person in Trinity College Dublin.”
Deadline: September 30, 2019

“The Robert B. Silvers Foundation herewith invites applications for the 2019 Silvers Grants for Work in Progress. Authors working on long-form essays or full-length book projects in the fields of literary and arts criticism, the intellectual essay, political analysis, and social commentary that require financial support for travel and/or research may apply. Grants will be awarded in amounts between $1,500 and $10,000. Applications should take the form of a one-page description of the project, a brief statement of estimated costs, and one sample of the writer’s work.”
Deadline: October 1, 2019
Judge: Susan Choi

From the Academy for Teachers: “Teachers have the most fascinating, difficult, and important job on the planet, and their work days are filled with stories. Yet teachers seldom appear in fiction. This annual contest was created to inspire honest, unsentimental stories about teachers and the rich and complex world of schools. Our partner this year is Electric Literature. There are a few criteria for submissions. The story’s protagonist, or its narrator, must be a K-12 teacher. Stories must be between 6 and 749 words and previously unpublished. Any adult over the age of eighteen (whether a teacher or not) is welcome to submit. Only one submission per writer. Sentimentality is discouraged and education jargon is forbidden. The first-prize winner will receive $1000 and the story will be published online by Electric Literature in The Commuter. The second-prize winner will receive $500.”
Submissions: September 1-November 1, 2019
Judges: Bill McKibben and Julia Alvarez

“The Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize is given to honor exceptional poems that help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present. Established in 2019 with generous support from Treehouse Investments, the prize will honor three poets. First place will receive $1,000; second place, $750; and third place, $500. In addition, all three poems will be published in the popular Poem-a-Day series, which is distributed to 500,000 readers. Poems may also be featured in the award-winning education series Teach This Poem, which serves 33,000 educators each week.” (Discovered this one via Shelf Awareness,
Deadline: September 21, 2019 (5pm [presumably Hull, UK, time])

“The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Love Letters’ and we want you to pack them with romance, originality and creativity. The competition is open to anyone over 16 years of age. Entries should be in the form of a love letter and entrants are free to write about whatever they wish as long as the theme of love and the form of a letter are adhered to. Each entry can contain more than one letter, provided that the maximum word count is 1500. The winner of the competition will receive £100 and their entry will be published on the website and shared via various social media outlets. The runner up will receive £50 and there will also be two commendations of £25. Cash prizes are kindly donated by Informed Financial Planning and The James Reckitt Library Trust.”
Re-opening for submissions on September 1: THE CINCINNATI REVIEW. Pays: $25/page for prose in the journal; $30/page of poetry. Guidelines:
Also open again on September 1: NINTH LETTER. “We are interested in prose and poetry that experiment with form, narrative, and nontraditional subject matter, as well as more traditional literary work.” Pays: “Ninth Letter pays $25 per printed page, upon publication, for accepted material, as well as two complimentary copies of the issue in which the work appears.” Guidelines:
COPPER NICKEL is yet another journal that will begin receiving submissions (“poetry, fiction, essays, and translation folios” on September 1. Pays: “$30 per printed page + two copies of the issue in which the author’s work appears + a one-year subscription. (Per-page payment could vary slightly from year to year based on funding. And international writers please note: all payments sent overseas are subject to a 30% tax, which is withheld on the front end. This is beyond our control.)” NB: “Finally, our Submittable account can receive only 1800 discrete submissions in a given month—after which the account will close until the new month. Please submit early each month to avoid being shut out.” Guidelines:
Re-opening for submissions on September 3: ONE STORY, which seeks literary short fiction “between 3,000 and 8,000 words.” Pays: “$500 and 25 contributors copies for First Serial North American rights.” Guidelines:
NASHVILLE REVIEW is open for submissions of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and translation throughout the month of September. Payment: “$25 per poem and $100 for prose and art pieces.” Guidelines:
September 15 is the deadline for submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to THE SPECTACLE. NB: “**If we exceed our Submittable quota of free submissions, we’ll be instituting a small submission fee of $2.50. This fee allows us to keep submissions open, and since our preference is to compensate writers instead of charge them, we’re keeping the fee as low as is possible.**” Pays: $50 honorarium. Website:
Another September 15 deadline: Canada-based BROKEN PENCIL “is looking for works of fiction from diverse writers that conform to no principles, no guidelines, and no preconceptions. We want work that hurts you to write, and us to read. Stories should be no longer than 3,000 words. Payment varies, depending on the status of our finances. Right now, we pay between $50 and $100 per piece.” Web:
“AWP presents the best contemporary writing in its flagship magazine the Writer’s Chronicle, as well as on our website through Online-Only Exclusives, short blog pieces on the Writer’s Notebook, and articles giving job advice in our Career Advice section. The Editors read submissions for the Writer’s Chronicle from February 1 through September 30 of each year. Submissions for the Writer’s Notebook and the Career Advice section are read throughout the year.” Payment: “We buy first serial rights and electronic rights for all manuscripts accepted for publication. We pay $18 per 100 words for accepted manuscripts. Regretfully, we do not pay kill fees. Authors are paid upon publication. We reserve the right to publish articles from the Writer’s Chronicle electronically on AWP’s website and the Chronicle App.” Guidelines:
“After twenty-six years as Editor of the KENYON REVIEW, David Lynn will transition to a new role in early 2020. In anticipation of a new editor’s arrival, we must maintain space in upcoming issues, so we will be limiting our open period of submissions to September 15-October 1, 2019.” (Note different information if you’re interested in the book review policy.) Pays: on publication. Website:
THE BLUE ROUTE is “an online undergraduate literary journal run by students and faculty from Widener University. We publish short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction written by undergraduate writers from any school other than our own. There is a great deal of emerging talent in the undergraduate population, and we aim to showcase that talent in our journal. We pay our contributors $25 upon publication, and work hard to provide our contributors with a professional publication experience.” Deadline: October 1. Web:
October 1 deadline for this one from BELT PUBLISHING, too: “Queerness is not uniquely coastal. Queerness is not uniquely urban. Queerness has always existed in ‘flyover country,’ and it still does today. Belt Publishing is excited to announce an anthology of LGBTQ stories from the Midwest and Appalachia, to be published in Fall 2020.” Payment: “We plan to offer an honorarium to contributors, contingent on fundraising over the next year.” Guidelines:
GORDON SQUARE REVIEW’s current submissions window closes October 1. “Writers will receive $25 per accepted prose piece and $10 per accepted poem.” Guidelines:

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 and Jobs for Writers (including state/province/city-specific opportunities that are typically omitted from the monthly newsletter)
–Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer
–Friday Finds for Writers
–Sunday Sentence

Please visit, and comment!

And for those of you practicing writers who are interested in matters of specifically Jewish literary and cultural interest, please also visit the My Machberet blog at (“machberet” is the Hebrew word for “notebook”).

Especially popular posts on My Machberet over the past months include:
–12 Jewish Books on My Radar for Fall 2019:
–21st-Century Jewish Literature: A Glimpse into My Syllabus:

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,
ABOUT THE EDITOR: Based in New York City, Erika Dreifus is a writer whose next book, BIRTHRIGHT: POEMS, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She is also the author of QUIET AMERICANS: STORIES, which is an American Library Association Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Baruch College of The City University of New York and 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. Please visit to learn more about Erika’s work.
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