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Current Issue

THE PRACTICING WRITER

Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 15, Number 6: July 2018
OUR FIFTEENTH YEAR
Editor: Erika Dreifus
Copyright (c) 2018 Erika Dreifus

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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:

It’s HOT here in New York. But that’s not keeping me from energetically readying this newsletter for you!

Also on my current agenda: preparing for the online #PoetParty that is scheduled to take place on Twitter quite soon: Sunday evening, July 1. I’m delighted that party host Jeannine Hall Gailey has invited me to appear as a special guest. We’ll focus on summertime submission options for your poems, but who knows what else may come up? Join us! (Click the #PoetParty hashtag that you’ll find at https://twitter.com/erikadreifus/status/1011414386743836672 to follow the discussion.)

By the way, here’s how this event got organized: In her new book, PR FOR POETS (more about that below), Jeannine mentions the recurring #PoetParty. After I read the book, I asked her–on Twitter–if the “parties” were still happening, because I’d “attended” them in the past, but hadn’t noticed them lately. She responded that there had indeed been a bit of a hiatus, but that now was as good a time as any to revive the custom. And she invited me to help her do so.

In any case, that’s just a bit about what I’ll be doing on the very first day of July (technically, the first evening: 9pm Eastern time; 6pm Pacific). Here’s to a full and productive month for all of us!

Warmly (*very* warmly, at the moment!),
ERIKA

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2. ARTICLE/LESSONS LEARNED: BRIEF BOOK REVIEW
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PR FOR POETS: A GUIDEBOOK TO PUBLICITY AND MARKETING
By Jeannine Hall Gailey
Two Sylvias Press, 2018

Brief (Very Brief!) Book Review by Erika Dreifus

Since so much of the PR/publicity that I’ve done–for myself and for other writers–has been prose-focused, I purchased this book to help sharpen my skills in the poetry realm. (No, I haven’t yet managed to find a home for my own poetry manuscript, but I *am* receiving queries from poets who are interested in working with me.)

There’s certainly much here that’s specific to poetry–including advice from published poets and reality-checks in terms of sales numbers. But it’s also reassuring to me to see how much of the work is similar to what I’ve done for my own prose and others’.

Bottom line: PR FOR POETS strikes me as a solid overview text for any new poet-author.

(Adapted from the text first posted on the “Brief Book Reviews” page at https://www.erikadreifus.com/publications/book-reviews/brief-book-reviews/ and cross-posted on Goodreads.)
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3. FEATURED RESOURCE: “THE BRAND CALLED YOU”
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One discovery via Jeannine Hall Gailey’s book: an article, now more than 20 years old, that I’ve begun recommending to my PR clients:

“The Brand Called You” by Tom Peters

https://www.fastcompany.com/28905/brand-called-you

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4. UPCOMING/ONGOING CONTESTS, COMPETITIONS, AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST
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DEBRA E. BERNHARDT LABOR JOURNALISM PRIZE
http://www.laborarts.org/Bernhardt
Deadline: August 1, 2018
NO APPLICATION FEE

“The Bernhardt Prize is an award of $500 given to an article that furthers the understanding of the history of working people. Articles focused on historical events AND articles about current issues (work, housing, organizing, health, education) that include historical context are both welcome. The work should be published — in print or online — in a union or workers’ center publication OR by an independent/free-lance journalist. The prize will be given to insightful work that contributes to the understanding of labor history; shows creativity; demonstrates excellence in writing; and adheres to the highest journalistic standards of accuracy. Only one entry per person; publications and subject matter should target the United States and Canada; neither books nor plays are eligible.”
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BETHUNE & SON SECOND ANNUAL TEXAS SHORT STORY CONTEST
https://www.bethuneandson.com/texasshortstorycontest.html
Deadline: August 1, 2018
NO ENTRY FEE

Bethune & Son (“a store for the South Texas gentleman”) is running a short story contest with a theme of “Highway 90.” Prizes include a $1,000 cash award for the winner. NB: “Writing competitions are open to both U.S. and non-U.S. residents.”
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FONDATION JAN MICHALSKI RESIDENCES FOR WRITERS
http://www.fondation-janmichalski.com/en/residence-pour-ecrivains/
Deadline: August 31, 2018
NO APPLICATION FEE

The Swiss-based Foundation “features an original group of seven residential modules that are available to writers, translators, and other creative individuals for residencies of varying lengths. Hanging from the openwork canopy surrounding the Foundation, these living spaces are called ‘treehouses’ and offer ideal conditions to anyone looking to start, continue, or put the final touches on a writing or translating project. Residences are open to all types of writing. Priority is given to writers and translators but the residences are open to other disciplines where writing is at the heart of the project. Residencies can be granted for individual projects or projects in pairs. In 2019, a percentage of the residences will be dedicated to nature writing, a form of fiction or creative non-fiction that raises awareness of nature, prepares for a sustainable way of living, and helps to better understand socio-environmental interconnections and the impact of human actions on nature.” NB: “Residents’ travel costs to and from their home address will be covered by the Foundation. Residents will be granted a monthly allowance of CHF 1200.”
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ERNEST J. GAINES AWARD FOR LITERARY EXCELLENCE
http://www.ernestjgainesaward.org
Deadline: August 15, 2018 (received)
NO ENTRY FEE

“The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence honors Louisiana’s revered storyteller, Ernest J. Gaines, and serves to inspire and recognize rising African-American fiction writers of excellence at a national level. The book award, initiated by donors of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, is now in its ninth year and has become nationally recognized in its role of enhancing visibility of emerging black fiction writers while also expanding the audience for this literature. The annual award of a $10,000 cash prize is to support the writer and help enable her/him to focus on her/his art of writing.” Check guidelines for detailed criteria; note first that current submissions must be books of fiction published in 2018 (“galleys for a 2018 publication are also accepted”).
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MILWAUKEE IRISH FEST POETRY CONTESTS
https://irishfest.com/Participate/Poetry-Contests.htm
Deadline: August 1, 2018 (received, via postal mail)
NO ENTRY FEES

“Milwaukee Irish Fest offers two poetry prizes annually; each award is $100. Winners will be announced at Irish Fest during the poetry events on Sunday afternoon, August 19, in the Hedge School in the Cultural Village on the south end of the grounds….The poetry awards will be given to the entries best reflecting Irish or Irish-American poetry traditions. Although the poems do not necessarily need to have direct Irish or Irish-American themes, the winning entries should have a culture/literary relation to either Ireland, Irish-America, or to Irish poetry. The Donn Goodwin Prize is named after a Wisconsin poet, linguist, and educator who was active in supporting poetry events at Irish Fest. This contest is open to all. The Joseph Gahagan Prize is awarded in the memory of the man who served as poetry consultant to the Fest for many years. This contest is limited to current residents of Wisconsin.”
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SLICE LITERARY WRITERS’ CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS
http://slicelitcon.org/apply/
Deadline: August 15, 2018
NO APPLICATION FEE

“Slice’s eighth annual writers’ conference will draw more than 130 agents, authors, editors, and publishing pros. Our panels and workshops will cover topics from the craft of writing (plotting, dialogue, characterization, poetry, and more) to the business of writing (pitch letters, landing a book deal, and beyond). Top editors, agents, and authors will discuss crucial steps to help launch a writer’s career. But a book deal is just the beginning of a writer’s professional journey. We invite leading professionals to offer trade secrets about how they transform a great story into a bestselling book (and what writers can do to help them get there)…. Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program may be eligible for a scholarship to attend panels at the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference. Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, a writing sample, and demonstrated dedication to writing.” NB: “Please note that scholarships only cover panel enrollment fees. Regular fees apply if a scholarship recipient would like to attend any of our 1-on-1 meetings or workshops.” Note also that this conference will take place September 8-9, 2018, at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY.
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SPECULATIVE LITERATURE FOUNDATION DIVERSE WRITERS AND DIVERSE WORLDS GRANTS
http://speculativeliterature.org/grants/slf-diverse-writers-and-diverse-worlds-grants/
Deadline: July 31, 2018 (received)
NO APPLICATION FEES

“The SLF annually offers, since 2014, two diversity-centered grants: Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds, both intended to foster the creation of speculative fiction work rich in diversity. The $500 Diverse Writers grant is intended to support new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. — those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing/publishing process. The $500 Diverse Worlds grant is intended for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background. Writers may apply for either or both grants. Please note: your project does not need to center on identity issues. We also do not expect or want work that simply attempts to check off all the boxes in a tokenistic way, but rather are looking for writing that offers deep characterization, complex cultural landscapes, and strong literary quality overall.” NB: “This grant is open to all levels of publishing experience, worldwide.”
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THE SUN “INTO THE FIRE” RETREAT SCHOLARSHIPS
https://www.thesunmagazine.org/events/esalen2018
NO APPLICATION FEE
Deadline: August 5, 2018

For THE SUN’s October 2018 retreat at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California. “Our retreat scholarships are awarded to emerging writers who demonstrate financial need. Recipients will have the opportunity to attend writing workshops, get to know editorial staff and Sun readers, and meet one-on-one with founder and editor Sy Safransky….Scholarships include lodging, food, and a modest stipend for retreat-related expenses.”
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REBECCA SWIFT WOMEN POETS’ PRIZE
https://www.rebeccaswiftfoundation.org/women-poets-prize/
Deadline: July 23, 2018 (11pm BST)
NO ENTRY FEE

This biennial award seeks “to honour Rebecca’s two key passions: poetry and the empowerment of women. The Prize will be awarded to three female-identifying poets. Each winner will be carefully matched with a poetry mentor in addition to a pastoral coach, facilitating a holistic body of support that nurtures craft and personal wellbeing in equal measure. The Prize will also offer a programme of support and creative professional development opportunities with the Foundation’s partners: Faber and Faber, The Literary Consultancy, RADA, City Lit, Verve Festival, Bath Spa University, and The Poetry School. In addition to these opportunities which constitute the Women Poets’ Prize professional grant, each successful poet will each receive a cash bursary of GBP1,000.” Open to “female-identifying poets of all ages, at any stage in their development; emerging or established, who are resident in the UK/Northern Ireland.”
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WRITE ON! SHORT STORY CONTEST
https://library.loudoun.gov/Events/Write-On
NO ENTRY FEE
Deadline: July 31, 2018

From the Loudoun County (Virginia) Public Library: “Here’s your chance to share your story: Enter our sixth annual short-story contest for adults 19 and older between June 1 and July 31 and earn a shot at cash prizes. Winners will be announced at the Write On! Short Story Contest Finale on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Eat Local Read Local Book Sale and Fair at the Cascades Library. An eBook featuring the work of the winners and honorable mentions will be posted on the library website.” The cash prizes will be $200/$100/$50. NB: “Please keep your story content appropriate for a wide audience.” Stories should run no longer than 2,500 words. (More guidelines at the website.)
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5. SUBMISSION ALERTS!!!
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THE DEAF POETRY SOCIETY (“an online journal of deaf and disabled literature and art”) welcomes submissions for an issue themed “Sticks and Stones” (ableist language) until July 20. Pays: “Pay is a $15 flat fee for the work upon publication.” Check https://www.deafpoetssociety.com/submit for guidelines.
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Update: The deadline has been extended (until July 31) for THE SUNLIGHT PRESS’s first themed issue (“Your Tech Life”). “Of the pieces published, we will pick one winning entry. The award recipient will receive $75.00, which also is in addition to payment received when the piece is published. The Tech issue will come out in October.” Find out more about this (and about a similar award for un-themed flash fiction that will be coming soon) at https://www.thesunlightpress.com/2018/06/20/from-the-editors-desk-june-2018/.
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Also closing July 31: submissions for ROOM magazine’s “Magic” issue. ROOM describes itself as “a diverse community of writers, artists, and readers who make space for all women’s voices.” For this issue, the editors are seeking “poetry, fiction, CNF and visual art that explores magic in all its forms. Let your imagination run wild: take us to fantastical worlds, alternate realities, or show us the magical in the quotidian. Send us your fantasy, your speculative, your magic realism, your afro-futurism and #blackgirlmagic but don’t be afraid to transmogrify genre expectations and pull something totally unexpected from your sleeve.” Pays: “All contributors will be paid upon publication: $50 CAD for one page, $60 for two pages, $90 for three pages, $120 for four pages, $150 for five or more pages.” Be sure to consult the guidelines/criteria for submission at https://roommagazine.com/submit.
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While you’re over on the ROOM site, check out the guidelines for TURTLE ISLAND RESPONDS, a new online series “which features poetry written in response to recent news events. For this series we ask that only people from marginalized communities who are directly affected by the news that inspired their poem submit. Please be sure to send us work that has not been previously published in print or on-line. All contributors will be paid upon publication: $25 CAD for one poem.” Again, you’ll find more information at https://roommagazine.com/submit.
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POETRY magazine is open for submissions (even now, during the summer!). Pays: “Payment is made on publication at the rate of $10 per line (with a minimum payment of $300), and $150 per page of prose, for first serial rights. All rights will revert to the author upon publication. Authors will also receive two contributor copies of the issue in which their work appears.” Visit https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/submit to learn more.
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Also open: THE SUN. “We publish nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. We tend to favor personal writing, but we’re also looking for provocative pieces on political and cultural issues.” Pays: $300 to $2,00 for nonfiction; $300 to $2,000 for fiction; $100 to $250 for poetry. Consult the full guidelines at http://thesunmagazine.org/submit.
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Remember, too: “THE PURITAN seeks submissions all year round, from anywhere in the world. Submissions received between Dec. 26 and Mar. 25 are considered for the spring issue, published in early May. Those received between Mar. 26 and June 25 are considered for the summer issue, published in late early Aug. Those received between June 26 and Sept. 25 are considered for the fall issue, published in Nov. Those received between Sept. 26 and Dec. 25 are considered for the winter issue, published in Feb.” This Canadian publication “pays high bounties for quality work!”–details are available by consulting http://puritan-magazine.com/submissions/ and/or https://puritan-magazine.submittable.com/submit.
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A reminder from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP): “Submissions are accepted year-round for The Writer’s Notebook. Submissions are accepted between February 1 and September 30 of each year for The Writer’s Chronicle. Please consult our guidelines and submit via our Submittable portal or by post.” More information, including pay rates, can be found at https://www.awpwriter.org/magazine_media/submission_guidelines.
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“With a mission to champion female content creators, UNEARTH WOMEN aims to unearth women’s stories around the globe while creating print and digital travel content with the female traveler in mind.” Pitching guidelines are available at https://www.unearthwomen.com/writers-guidelines. Pays: “Payment for stories varies on whether the article is for digital or print, the word count, the writer’s experience, and whether original photography is provided. Payment ranges anywhere from $75 USD to $300 USD. Please note payouts are made within 60 days of receipt of invoice.”
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And one more reminder: You might want to make a habit of checking the CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL site to find out which titles are in development/seeking submissions and when their deadlines may be. Pays: “If we publish your story or poem, you will be paid $200 one month after publication of the book and you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in.” Here’s the link you’ll want to bookmark: http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics.

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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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