The Wednesday Web Browser: Congratulations to Krasikov, Writing to Change/Persuade, and New MFA Resources

Congratulations to Sana Krasikov, winner of the 2009 Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature for her debut story collection (let’s hear it for short story collections!), One More Year. (Over on my other blog, you’ll find additional information about Krasikov and her work.)
One of the most significant pieces of writing I’ve completed so far in 2009, in my view, is a letter I wrote to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. When I wrote it, I thought back to Mary Pipher’s book, Writing to Change the World, which I had the pleasure of reviewing awhile back for The Writer. And I thought again about the importance of writing for change when I read Christina Katz’s recent post on “Writing to Persuade.”
Over on Tom Kealey’s MFA blog, you’ll find two posts presenting new MFA-related resources: MFA Connect and Grad Insider.

Friday Find: The Best of the AWP Pedagogy Papers 2009

I’m actually not going to attend the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference this year (for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s coming up pretty soon in Chicago). But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy perusing a selection of AWP “pedagogy papers” now posted online. The 20 one-pagers compiled for this mini-collection–determined to be “the best” of the many papers submitted this year–span multiple instructional levels and genres, and they’re bound to give you some ideas for your own teaching practice.

I’m especially happy to see some familiar names in this year’s batch of “the best,” and I send warm congratulations to my good friend Rachel Hall and to my former MFA classmate Sylvia Hoffmire for making the cut. I’m also pleased to see a topic that was at the core of an AWP panel presentation I collaborated on many years ago–the role of “work” in fiction–resurfacing in David Lumpkin’s paper (“Make Your Characters Work: Jobs and Three-Dimensional Plots in Short Fiction”).

Have I piqued your interest yet? You can download the full document here. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Congratulations to Sage Cohen

For awhile now I’ve been admiring Sage Cohen’s writing and teaching, and I’ve been following the news of her two “babies”: her book, Writing the Life Poetic, which will soon be released by Writer’s Digest Books, and her little boy, Theo, who arrived in September. Sage has a truly remarkable perspective on life, and a beautiful way of expressing that perspective. You can get a glimpse of her “can-do” attitude in this new column. Congratulations on all your blessings, Sage, and kudos on your dedication to creating your own good news!

The Wednesday Web Browser: A Crop of Congratulations

What a Wednesday! Here’s raising a virtual glass to the following Practicing Writer pals!

Congratulations to Tayari Jones, one of eight writers recently awarded a United States Artists Foundation grant.

And congratulations to Deonne Kahler, the new Editor-in-Chief of Ozone Park.

And on a happily related note, kudos to Lisa Romeo, a contributor to the debut issue of the aforementioned Ozone Park, who read from her work at Monday’s launch party.

Contest Congratulations

Congratulations to Michael Ginsberg, chosen by Warren Adler as the grand prize winner of this year’s Warren Adler Short Story Contest. Michael is a childhood friend and neighbor of my mom’s, so we were definitely rooting for him as soon as we knew he was a finalist. In keeping with the recent publication of Mr. Adler’s latest novel, Funny Boys, the theme for this summer’s contest was “humor,” and the competition welcomed “humorous stories in all their varied forms.” Take a look at Michael’s winning story, “Sammy Spumoni: The Italian Matzoh Ball,” at the contest site.