The Web Browser

What do you think: “Web Wanderings” or “The Web Browser” as a title for these round-up posts?

A heartfelt merci to The Elegant Variation for its post on Romain Gary, author of one of my all-time favorite novels. (It’s a French novel, with an English translation available.)


Mind the apostrophes!


Obama is a poet.
The New Yorker helps us know it.


Roy Peter Clark reveals the true origins of that much-cited phrase among fiction instructors–“murder your darlings”–here.


Bravo, Dana Gioia. (via

Markets, Markets

Early Tuesday morning our newsletter went out to subscribers, so they were the first ones to hear this news:

And now, an important update: During May I also somehow managed to update two of our excellent e-books. As always, I’ve removed “dead” listings, checked and updated links, and added new possibilities for you to pursue. So now’s the time to get your new directories of “Paying Essay Markets” and “Paying Markets for Book Reviewers.” As usual, you can download complimentary previews of each guide for sample listings:

Please note that I will continue to update these two e-books, as well as the Primer on Low-Residency MFA Programs and the Guide to No-Cost Literary Contests and Competitions. It’s clear to me that a real need exists for these four texts. Their contents are not easily found elsewhere (if at all). Practicing writers seek them out.

Now, you may recall that a year ago I made one of our e-books available at no cost, because I saw that similar resources were available, also at no cost, elsewhere on the Web. That was our directory of paying short story markets. I haven’t updated that book in a year.

Now’s the time to withdraw that directory from further circulation. I don’t want any of you referring to a resource that’s increasingly out-of-date, regardless of the cost (or lack thereof). So at the end of June, I’ll be removing that book from our offerings.

At that time I’ll also withdraw three other e-books, including the directory of paying poetry markets and the contest directory for writers of book-length fiction. I’m not seeing enough need to merit the very time-consuming updates, and again, I’m not willing to offer you “aged” material, even gratis.

So here’s the deal: The four e-books I’ll continue to update will remain available for purchase. And you newsletter subscribers are the first to know that throughout the month of June, you’ll be able to “buy” the other four e-books AT NO CHARGE. After June 30, those four titles will be retired. So please get your copies, and tell your writing friends to visit so they can benefit, too.

Friday Find: Creative Writing at CUNY

Today’s “find” is actually a work-in-progress. It’s a project I’ve had a small part contributing to (certainly not on the technical side of things, but for some of the content). It’s an umbrella site for Creative Writing at The City University of New York (CUNY). Please check it out and follow the site’s growth and development (it just launched this week!).

More Reflections on the Role of Creative Writing in the Tragedy at Virginia Tech

Though yesterday’s post on the relationship between creative writing and this week’s terrible events at Virginia Tech hasn’t yet gleaned any public comments here, I have received a number of private e-mails about it (and believe me, the site stats/referral pages show readers are coming to the blog specifically because that post is here). Since the topic is now attracting more attention elsewhere, today I’ll provide some sources for further information/reflection:

At you can find Elizabeth Redden’s “When Creative Writing Provides a Clue” as well as a number of reader comments.

At Harriet, the Poetry Foundation’s blog, you can find Emily Warn’s “Responding to Violent Poems in the Classroom”.

And it turns out that poet Nikki Giovanni (who provided the rousing closing moments for Tuesday’s Convocation on the Virginia Tech campus) seems to have been the instructor who brought the future gunman’s alarming behavior/writings to Lucinda Roy’s attention (again, see yesterday’s post for that background). Last night Giovanni appeared on CNN on both Paula Zahn’s show and Larry King’s. You’ll need to scroll down each transcript for her comments, including this from the Paula Zahn appearance: “You’d be amazed at what we get in creative writing, not to mention across the campus. You get a lot of expression. Some of it would be troubling, and in Cho’s case, some of it — you know, some was a troubling youngster that, frankly speaking, I didn’t think I could help. That didn’t mean he was beyond help.”