The Wednesday Web Browser

Welcome to our Wednesday gleanings from around the Web:

Monday Morning Markets/Jobs/Opportunities

Let’s try out a different format for these Monday morning posts, shall we? Please let me know what you think. Is this format more user-friendly than what we’ve presented in the past?

  • Witness, a literary journal now based at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has announced revised submission guidelines, including a call for submissions on the theme of “Disaster.” Pays: “$25 for every 1,500 words of prose and $25 per poem, for both print and online work.”
  • The Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award (McSweeney’s) gives a grant “to aid a young woman writer of 32 years or younger” who embodies the personal strengths of Amanda Davis and who needs some time to finish a book in progress. Deadline: December 1, 2010. No application fee.
  • Also from McSweeney’s: The Second Annual Columnist Contest is open to submissions until this Friday, September 10. “Our site is known for printing funny things, but columns need not be comic in nature. They just need to be interesting reading.” No fees. Cash prizes and contracts to the winners.
  • Poetry Competition (no entry fee) from the Genomics Policy and Research Forum, requiring a poem (no more than 50 lines) on the theme of “improving the human.” Cash prizes, publication, and an evening of poetry readings based on the winning entries (hosted by the Scottish Poetry Library). Deadline: October 7, 2010.
  • Assistant Professor of Creative Writing (fiction), Bucknell University
  • Assistant Professor of Creative Writing (poetry), University of Minnesota
  • Some nonteaching jobs for writers: Writer/Client Manager at Macalaster College (Minn.), Writer at Boston College, Director of Communications at Rhodes College (Tenn.).

The Wednesday Web Browser

Received via e-mail from The American Scholar: “Set aside some time the week of September 20-24 for Fiction Week on the Scholar website. Each day a fine new short story you can’t read anywhere else will appear on theamericanscholar.org, in celebration of our commitment to publishing the best new fiction online as well as in print. Look for stories by Maud Casey, Alix Ohlin, Bret Anthony Johnston, Antonya Nelson, and David Huddle.”


Find out which new indie press titles have booksellers talking.


The Virginia Quarterly Review story keeps getting sadder.


Shenandoah explains its plans for its digital conversion. (via Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog)


The new (Fall 5771/2010) issue of Jewish Book World includes my interview with author Allison Amend.


If you live in the NYC area, you may want to check out this calendar of upcoming literary events on campuses of The City University of New York (as you’ll recall, my employer). I’ve just updated said list as part of said employment.


A friend of mine seeks suggestions re: novels that deal with interfaith marriage.

Monday Morning Markets/Jobs/Opportunities

It’s good to be back! I had a lovely vacation week (even if the weather didn’t really cooperate until Thursday). Those of you who subscribe to The Practicing Writer will be receiving your September issues today. Plenty of the usual medley of offerings for poets/fictionists/writers of creative nonfiction, in terms of the no-fee competitions and paying calls for submissions. Plus, an interview with author, essayist, editor, and professor Dinty W. Moore. Soon, I’ll post the issue online, but if you’re not yet a subscriber why risk missing out on first glance at our next issue, too? Subscribe now! For today’s blog post, I’ll limit myself to items that didn’t make it into the newsletter.


From Chuck Sambuchino: “As the editor of both Guide to Literary Agents and Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market, I need upfront informative articles for those books. I am now open to queries if you want to submit any ideas. Send them to [literaryagent(at)fwmedia(dot)com] and put “Query” in the subject line. I will only be open to queries until about mid-September, and I will respond within 4-8 weeks from now, so please query soon. Articles are 1500-2300 words and will appear in the 2012 editions (next summer). I urge writers to go in detail about what they had in mind and who, if anyone, they plan to interview. In other words: Wow me!”


Win a free writing class: Basement Writing Workshop is running a prompt-based contest (no entry fee). “The contest winner will receive a free online class from the Basement Writing Workshop, chosen by him or her from any of our Winter offerings, as well as publication in the Basement Writing Workshop ‘campus’ website, props in our newsletter and social networking outlets, and last but not least, a Certificate of Awesomeness, signed by all our Portland-based instructors, in lipstick.” Deadline is November 1.


Brown University (R.I.) “invites applications for an Associate Professor or Professor specializing in Poetry, position to begin 1 July 2011. Candidates should have a strong national and international reputation as a poet, a substantial publication record, and extensive teaching experience; additional expertise in other areas such as translation or poetics. An ideal candidate will also have leadership potential and be interested in helping to develop and administer the future of the Literary Arts Program.”


California State University, Monterey Bay “seeks an Assistant Professor whose specialty is in both Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Writing to teach undergraduate courses in its Creative Writing and Social Action concentration (CWSA). We seek a candidate who is uniquely qualified and committed to educating working-class, ethnically diverse, and historically under-served students through innovation in interdisciplinary teaching and learning, scholarship, community service, and collaborative and imaginative program development. The concentration in CWSA is offered as part of the New Humanities for Social Justice (NHSJ) curriculum, along with Chicana/o Latina/o studies, Africana studies, cultural history, oral history, and new media studies.”


Harvard University Press (Mass.) seeks a Publicity Assistant, Princeton University (N.J.) is looking for a Public Relations Specialist, and Montgomery College (Md.) wants to hire a Speech Writer.

Quotation of the Week: Allegra Goodman

As I mentioned on my other blog awhile back, I’ve been looking forward to reading Allegra Goodman‘s new novel, The Cookbook Collector. I pre-ordered a copy and finally began reading on Sunday evening. So far, so great!

Last week, my mom and I attended a terrific literary event here in New York that featured Allegra and novelist Cathleen Schine in conversation with Sandee Brawarsky, book critic for the New York Jewish Week. At one point, Allegra offered the following comment about something that she sees as a real plus of novel-writing:

“Your work can be intensely personal without being autobiographical.”

So true! So important! So under-appreciated!

The degree of interest readers show in the autobiographical elements of fiction never fails to amaze me. Admittedly, I’ve been guilty of this interest as a reader, too. But I hope that my crimes are fewer and further between now that I have some experience as a fiction writer myself.

In truth, there are pieces of “me” in all of my fiction, even if I may be the only one who can pinpoint each of them. And the characters that might outwardly resemble “me”–one example comes to mind from a story workshopped long ago; several classmates told me they were convinced that one character in that story was, in fact, me, thinly disguised–can be the ones furthest from my own experience.