Don't be fooled by the grim-faced picture. It was the only unblinking one. For me, words are worth a thousand pictures. I'm looking forward to saying hi to all of you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Student, Nancy Pine, is writing a book comparing education in China with our education

Check out her blog: http://nancypine.com/

I went to see the play Collected Stories today

It's a play about writing and writers. Scene One was a writing teacher reading her grad student's story out loud to her, and stopping to critique. It was the best writing lesson. I saw myself in it, the older teacher harping: pluck out the adjectives and adverbs like you would pin feathers on a chicken. (My words, not the playwrite's.) The play also brings up the morality or immorality of appropriating someone else's life into your writing. Should the great poet, Sharon Olds, write about her son, Gabriel's penis? About her daughter, naked? Do we have the write to undress other's in our writing in mind, body, and spirit? I think that's for each of us to decide.
Here's a test to see where you stand.
  • Are you terrified to write anything negative about your mother?
  • Are you terrified that if you write a sex scene readers will think you're one of the participants?
  • Are you, on the other hand, able to reveal other people's secrets, their pecadillos, faults, but never you own?

If any of these answers are YES you must set yourself the task of writing about them immediately!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I asked a student to write something about herself and instead she wrote somethime about me. And this is after her great grade!

What I enjoyed most of Rochelle’s class was her ability to orchestrate the class in such a manner that allowed the writer to discover his or her own needs. As a writer I find different occasions require different forms. This class helped me to challenge myself further in subject matter and style. Her chosen reading material was excellent in examples for the assignments. The class was a delight!
-Kara Astrouski

Monday, May 17, 2010

Places to Publish and Contests

Upcoming Anthologies Deadline: 08/01/10. Submit to: The First Line. E-mail (via MS Word or WordPerfect attachment) to: submission@thefirstline.com. Theme: Every story starts out the same: Three thousand habitable planets in the known universe, and I'm stuck on the only one without ______________. [Fill in the blank.] Type: Short stories (3,000 words MAX). URL: http://www.thefirstline.com

Deadline: N/A. Submit to: editor@dreamofthings.com Theme: Various topics based on one of 15 themes. See http://dreamofthings.com/workshop-2 for more details. Type: Personal essays (500-5,000 words MAX). URL: http://dreamofthings.com/guidelines

Upcoming Contests
Deadline: 05/18/10. Submit to: New Letters Literary Awards, University House, 5101 Rockhill Road, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64110, or submit online at http://www.newletters.org. Entry fee: $15. First prize: $1,500. Type: Poetry (6 poems MAX), essays, and short stories (8,000 words MAX). URL: http://www.newletters.org/PDFs/2010%20Contest%20Guidelines%20.pdf

Deadline: 05/30/10. Submit to: Fiction Award, Camber Press, 807 Central Avenue, Suite 2, Peeksill, NY 10566. Entry fee: $15. First prize: $1,000 plus publication of chapbook. Type: Fiction manuscripts. (10,000 words MAX). URL: http://www.camberpress.com/submissions.html

Deadline: 05/31/10. Submit to: 2010 Linda Bromberg Literary Award, Quiddity, 1500 North Fifth Street, Springfield, IL 62702. Entry fee: $12. First prize: $500 plus publication. Type: Prose poem (1 poem). URL: http://www.sci.edu/quiddity/download/2010LindaBrombergLiteraryAward.pdf

Deadline: 05/31/10. Submit to: River Styx Poetry Contest, 3527 Olive Street, Suite 107, St. Louis, MO 63103-1014. Entry fee: $20. First prize: $1,500 plus publication. Type: Poetry (3 titles, 14 pages MAX). URL: http://www.riverstyx.org/contests/index.php

Deadline: 05/31/10. Submit to: Spire Press, 217 Thompson St., Ste 298, New York, NY 10012. Entry fee: $20. First prize: $500 plus 20 copies and publishing contract. Type: Poetry (21 - 30 pages, one poem per page MAX). URL: http://www.spirepress.org/contest.html

Deadline: 06/01/10. Submit to: Poetry Contest, Boston Review, 35 Medford St., Suite 302, Somerville, MA 02143 Entry fee: $20. First prize: $1,500 plus publication. Type: Poetry (5 poems MAX). URL: http://bostonreview.net/about/contest/#Thirteenth

Deadline: 06/30/10. Submit to: ABZ Poetry Prize, ABZ Press, PO Box 2746, Huntington WV 25727-2746. Entry fee: $28. First prize: $1,000 and 50 copies of winning book. Type: Poetry manuscripts (48 - 76 pages MAX). URL: http://abzpress.com/2010contest.aspx

Deadline: 07/31/10. Submit to: The Adirondack Review's Fulton Prize. Send via DOC or pasted-in text: angela@blacklawrencepress.com. Entry fee: $10. First prize: $400 plus publication. Type: Short stories (3 stories, 10,000 words MAX). URL: http://adirondackreview.homestead.com/FultonPrize.html

Deadline: 09/30/10. Submit to: Poetry Editor, The Ohio State University Press, 180 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Road, Columbus OH 43210-1002. Entry fee: $25. First prize: $3,000. Type: Poetry (48 pages MAX). URL: http://www.ohiostatepress.org/Books/Series%20Pages/Poetry.html

Deadline: 10/15/10. Submit to: So to Speak (Poetry or Nonfiction Contest), George Mason University, MSN 2C5, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030. Entry fee: $15. First prize: $500 plus publication. Type: Poetry (5 poems, 10 pages MAX) or essays (4,000 words MAX) URL: http://www.gmu.edu/org/sts/contests.php

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Remember, The Sun is Shining Again

And with that, comes my seasonal warning. From growing up in Rockway Beach, baby-oil and iodine slicked, a reflector intensifying the sunlight on my face, I know have to go to the dermatologist every three months to check for basil cells. While others happily get botox, I get burned or cut. Not fun. When I read about people going in the tanning booths, I suck in my breath. Here's a photo my daughter-in-law took of me with my parasol, which I must use because sunscreen isn't enough.