Friday Finds: 2011 Reading Lists

I’m so swamped keeping up with life and all things pre-publication that I didn’t even get around to making any “best of 2010” book lists. Now, I see, some very enterprising practicing writers have already gone ahead and provided sneak peeks into what they’re anticipating reading in 2011.

So, for this Friday’s finds, I’m going to point you to two of those writers’ blogs, where you’ll find plenty of titles to get you started with a 2011 tbr list.

First, check out The Quivering Pen, where David Abrams provides photographic evidence of just how ambitious his reading plans are.

And then, go visit Between the Lines, where Ellen Meeropol (who has a book of her own, a novel titled House Arrest, coming in February) combines reflections on 2010 and 2011 reads.

(Thanks to both David and Ellen for the shoutouts to Quiet Americans in their respective posts.)

Have a great weekend and a Happy New Year, all. See you back here on Monday.

Monday Morning Markets/Jobs/Opportunities

  • Matador Abroad is looking for narrative pieces, photo essays and single photo submissions for a new series.” This series focuses on “celebrating holidays outside of your home country….Submissions are not limited to American holidays; tell us what it was like first celebrating Ramadan away from home, or how Diwali is different in London than it is in Delhi.” Pays: $25 per narrative or photo essay (single photos do not receive payment).
  • Also from Matador: an interesting piece spotlighting paying online markets for freelancers.
  • Let’s keep the travel focus going, shall we? The NYT’s Nicholas Kristof has announced the 2011 “Win a Trip with Nick Kristof” contest. This year, the competition is open to graduating students and to those over 60 (US residents only). Application deadline (essay or video submission) is January 18 (my thanks to Mr. Kristof for so kindly responding to my query about this on Twitter). No application fee.
  • “Voices of Youth (VOY) is UNICEF’s site for young people interested in learning about and taking action on issues affecting their lives. VOY is currently undergoing a redesign to update the site’s look and functionality. The new site will emphasize interactivity and dialogue, and will feature posts from youth contributors, UNICEF staff, activists, bloggers, etc….We’re looking for 2 part-time bloggers to create original content (primarily print, but video, audio, and visual pieces are welcome) for Voices of Youth.”
  • “The Arc Poetry Society [Canada] seeks applications for the part-time contract position of Editor of Arc Poetry Magazine commencing April 1, 2010. Reporting to the Board of Directors, Arc’s editor will ensure that the content of Arc Poetry Magazine is selected and presented to maintain a consistently high standard for the publication.”
  • From Johns Hopkins University (requisition #46416 if you’re redirected to the human resources home page): “This part-time faculty position at Johns Hopkins University involves academic administrative duties and the teaching of four courses per year in a thriving, two-campus graduate writing program. This year-round position offers a 12-month contract requiring part-time responsibilities in fall, spring, and summer terms. The position expects a regular presence at the program’s Washington, D.C. and Baltimore locations, although the faculty member will be based at the main Hopkins Homewood Campus. Expertise in teaching, writing, or editing is required in at least one of the program’s concentrations of Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Science-Medical Writing, or in Journalism, Professional Writing, Publishing, Editing or related fields. This faculty member will work with and report to the program’s full-time director and assistant director. The M.A. in Writing Program caters mostly to part-time adult students who take evening or Saturday courses at the Hopkins Washington, D.C. Center near Dupont Circle or the main Homewood Campus in Baltimore. The program is based in Washington but has offices, students, and faculty at both campuses. This position is effective on Jan. 3, 2011.”
  • Nicholls State University (La.) is looking for an Instructor whose “preferred experience” includes “Creative Writing, Poetry and/or Screen Writing.”
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (N.Y.) seeks an Editor, Boston magazine is looking for an Associate Editor (you’ll need to register/log in, free of charge, to read the announcement), and the University of Oregon School of Law invites applications for a Director of Communications position.
  • Thursday’s Pre-Publication Post: The Blog Tour Is Coming! The Blog Tour Is Coming!

    Busy, busy, busy. That’s how this time of year always is, right? But somehow, everything is even busier (and, of course, more exciting!) with the release of my short story collection, Quiet Americans, just a little more than a month away.

    One of the pre-publication projects that I’ve been working on behind the scenes is a blog tour. You may be familiar with these “tours.” A quick way to explain the concept, as the Book Publicity Blog does in this excellent post, is that a blog tour involves “an author going from blog to blog (rather than from store to store as they would on a traditional book tour).” Since my book’s publisher is too small to have its own publicist (and, let’s face it: I’m a bit of a control freak as it is), I’ve taken on the job of arranging the tour myself. As work-intensive as the process is, I couldn’t be more grateful. The emergence of the blog tour concept is a real blessing for my book and me. Between the lack of a big-time publicity budget and my responsibilities at my “day job,” a traditional city-to-city tour just wasn’t in the cards.

    So I am happy to announce that the Winter Blog Tour for Quiet Americans will launch the week of January 17, 2011, which is the same week that the book will be released. The tour will last a little over a month (touring will be light during the days I’ll be focusing on the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference in early February).

    I’m so excited for this tour. I’ll admit that I’m a bit apprehensive, too. But mainly, I’m excited.

    Right now, the biggest challenge ahead of me is content. The blog tour “stops” will feature a combination of interviews, book reviews written by various “hosts,” and some guest pieces that I’ll be writing up. Interview questions haven’t yet arrived, and the reviews, thankfully, are not my responsibility. So as soon as I finish my holiday cards, complete a freelance assignment with a fast-approaching deadline, and check one or two other things off my to-do list, I’ll be able to focus on preparing those guest posts.

    I’ll also be working hard to showcase the participating host blogs. In fact, I can promise you the unveiling of the tour schedule and hosts three weeks from today, on Thursday, December 30. (There. I’ve just given myself another deadline!)

    For now, I just hope that all of you who read this blog will share my enthusiasm. And I’d like to say an early, heartfelt “thank-you” to all of the tour hosts. Thank you for welcoming my book and me to your online homes. Thank you for reading the review copies. Thank you for the wonderful comments you’ve already shared with me about your reading experiences. Most of all, thank you for what you’re going to be doing in the next couple of months.

    Monday Morning Markets/Jobs/Opportunities

  • Wondering what to do after finishing the MFA? It’s your lucky day! Check out this freshly updated compilation of post-MFA fellowships.
  • It’s been a week since the December issue of The Practicing Writer went out to subscribers, but it’s not too late to take advantage of the fee-free contest/opportunity listings and calls for submissions from paying literary publications that are listed there.
  • Speaking of paying literary publications: Cream City Review has announced that starting with work submitted during its current reading period, it “will be paying authors ‘semi-pro rates’.” Still pretty low, though: $3-$5/page for “fiction/comics/essays (excluding book reviews or interviews)” and $5-$10 per poem. Still, this is nice news. (via
  • As mentioned yesterday on my other blog, The Forward is looking for politics bloggers.
  • The next Workers Write! volume will be Tales from the Combat Zone “and will contain stories and poems from the soldier’s point of view (all branches welcome). We are interested in everything from command to grunt work. We will also consider war stories and peace keeping missions, as long as the job is the central theme. Drop us a line if you have a question.” Pays: $5-$50 “depending on length and rights requested.” They’ll also consider reprints. Deadline: December 1, 2011 “or until the issue is full.”
  • Got a poem about Nantucket? (No, not that “poem”!) Nantucket Directory is running a poetry contest. “Submit up to three unpublished poems about any aspect of Nantucket Island or life on Nantucket written in English.” Pays: “The winning poet will receive $250 and have his or her work published in the print and online editions of the 2011-12 Nantucket Directory.” There is no entry fee. Deadline: March 1, 2011.
  • Published Canadian authors (citizens or permanent residents): You may be intersted in applying for the Historic Joy Kogawa House residency program. The residency will run September 15, 2011-March 15, 2012 as part of a writer-in-residence program designed “to foster greater appreciation for Canadian writing with the Metro Vancouver community, offer members of the community an opportunity to interact with the resident author, and provide the space, time and resources for a Canadian author to write.” Pays: $2,500/month, plus free accommodation valued at $1,500/month, with assistance for travel expenses. No application fee. Applications must be received by midnight (PST) on December 15, 2010. NB: The Historic Joy Kogawa House has also compiled information on other opportunities for Canadian writers. (via Arc Poetry Magazine)
  • From the University of Edinburgh: “Applications are invited for a part-time (0.8) post combining the roles of Writer in Residence and Tutor in Creative Writing, based in the department of English Literature.”
  • Lifting Voices (D.C.), “a nonprofit, grassroots organization which helps young people discover and share their voices in order to grow, find joy, and accomplish change,” seeks a Writing Workshop Leader/Teacher. “The workshop leader contributes approximately 17-18 hours per week and is compensated at a rate of $1,300 per month from January 1 – June 15, with the possibility of a renewal at the end of the school year. 12 hours per week are spent teaching workshops, mainly on weekday afternoons, at locations around D.C. 2-3 hours per week are spent preparing for and following up on workshops, which may be done from home. 2 hours per week are spent preparing reports, which may be done from home. 1 hour per week is spent in a staff meeting, which is done in the Lifting Voices office. An estimated 10 to 15 hours per semester are spent assisting with special events and fundraisers, as needed.” Apply fast (by Friday, December 10).
  • Suffolk University (Mass.) is looking for a Web Writer/Editor, The Child/Mind Institute (N.Y.) seeks a Writer/Editor, and the William J. Clinton Foundation (N.Y.) invites applications for a Prospect Researcher/Writer.
  • Monday Morning Markets/Jobs/Opportunities

  • The Disabled Shop Blog is running a blogging competition: “Enter now and win the chance to become a paid blogger writing about disability and disability products AND £250 in cash.” There is no entry fee, and the deadline for submissions is December 18, 2010. NB: I discovered this contest in a list of nonfiction-focused writing competitions (some do charge fees) that Ann Goldberg mentioned on Twitter.
  • Last call for submissions: “You requested it, and we complied: Issue seven of Workers Write! will be Tales from the Courtroom and will contain stories and poems from the legal worker’s point of view (lawyers, judges, court reporters, bailiffs, and so on). Your story should be set anywhere legal work is performed, but we are not looking for stories about court cases or whodunits. Drop us a line if you have a question.” Deadline is December 1, 2010 (Wednesday). Pays: “Between $5 and $50 (depending on length and rights requested). We will consider previously published material.”
  • THE WAITING ROOM is a magazine designed to entertain, educate, bring insight and humor into waiting rooms throughout the country. Our content is unique and varied, as are our contributors. We publish original fiction, essays, humor, art, cartoons, poetry and recipes from both published and unpublished authors and artists. Quality is our only criteria.” Pays: “Payment is $20/for stories, articles or essays – $10/poem $10/art pieces or photos, plus one contributors copy.” (via
  • “We are delighted to announce that entries for the Rossica Translation Prize 2011 are now open. The Rossica Prize is the only prize awarded for the best new translation of a high-quality Russian literary work into English. Literary work must be written in Russian by any author, present or past, and published in English in 2009 and 2010. The prize is open to works published in any country. The value of the prize is £5,000 divided between the winning translator and the publisher.” No entry fee indicated. Deadline: December 31, 2010.
  • From Eckerd College (Fla.): “Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, renewable contract, to start in September, 2011, at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Teach seven courses per academic year, to include four courses in the Eckerd College Program for Experienced Learners (our adult education program) and three courses in the residential undergraduate college….We are looking for a writer of fiction and plays. Teaching responsibilities will include some combination of beginning, intermediate, and advanced fiction courses, one-act play, the short comic sketch, the full length play, etc. The ability to teach screenwriting is also welcome.”
  • From Roosevelt University (Ill.): “The Department of Literature and Languages at Roosevelt University welcomes applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing. The successful candidate will be a creative writer with primary specialization in Fiction and secondary specialization in either Creative Nonfiction or Poetry.”
  • The Harvard School of Public Health (Mass.) seeks a Senior Writer/Project Manager, Stanford University (Calif.) is looking for a Writer and Communications Manager, and Florida Gulf Coast University invites applications for a Staff Writer.
  • Monday Morning Markets/Jobs/Opportunities

  • Paying internship opportunities with Tablet Magazine in New York City. Application deadline: December 3, 2010.
  • “Creative Nonfiction is seeking narrative blog posts to reprint in our upcoming Food issue. We’re looking for: interesting, true stories that focus on food, including restaurant reviews; tales of meals gone awry; secrets, tips and kitchen short cuts; confessions from cooks, chefs and/or servers; an examination of the kitchen life; and so on. Narrative, narrative, narrative. Posts that can stand alone, 2000 words max, from 2010. Something from your own blog, from a friend’s blog, from a stranger’s blog.” Pays: “We will contact individual bloggers before publication and pay a flat fee for one-time reprint rights.” Nomination deadline: November 29, 2010.
  • WriterAbroad shares paying markets for personal essays–and samples of her own published work with each.
  • The Terry Pratchett Prize recognizes unpublished novels by authors “resident in the UK, other countries of the British Commonwealth, and the Republic of Ireland.” The competition seeks “stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory). We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy’s game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won’t be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don’t know that they are; after all, you don’t.” No entry fee indicated. Deadline: December 31, 2010. Prize includes an advance payment against royalties and publication by Transworld Publishers, a division of The Random House Group Limited.
  • The December Practicing Writer newsletter is very much in the works! Subscribers should expect their e-copies before month’s end. Not yet a subscriber? Join us! It’s free, and we keep your email address to ourselves.
  • The Cup of Comfort folks are running a “Favorite Holiday Memory Story Contest,” with $100, free books, and online publication to be awarded to the author of the grand prize-winning story. They’re looking for true stores “that detail a cherished holiday memory.” No entry fee. Deadline: December 5. (via KatCop13)
  • Gettysburg College (Pa.) has released the current guidelines/application instructions for its Emerging Writer Lectureship. No application fee. Deadline: January 28, 2011. Details in this pdf.
  • “The Department of English and the BFA program at Stephen F. Austin State University [Texas] seek applications for a tenure-track assistant professor of creative writing, with genre concentrations in literary non-fiction and poetry; secondary preparations or interests may be cross-discipline: creative writing and technology, environmental literature and writing about the environment, multicultural literature, film topics or travel writing.”
  • Two jobs at Northern Michigan University: Assistant Professor of English (Creative Writing-Nonfiction) and Assistant Professor of English (Creative Writing-Fiction).
  • “The Undergraduate College of Rosemont College [Pa.] invites applications for an adjunct instructor to teach Creative Writing Non-Fiction in the Spring 2011 semester.”
  • Savannah College of Art & Design (Ga.) seeks a Writer, UCLA is looking for a Media Relations Coordinator, and the Galloway Family Foundation (D.C.) would like to hire a Writer/Researcher.