Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NCF Tuesday: Poetry, Murakami & Festivals; Glimmer Train Deadline; Idiots


News

Source
An Inspirational Montana Poet Laureate

Kristen Inbody writes about Sheryl Noethe, Montana’s new poet laureate and her amazing work with the Missoula Writing Collaborative. The non-profit organization provides under privileged students trained writing professionals to inspire their creativity and encourage self-expression through written and spoken word.

Do you think all schools could benefit from this kind of teaching?


Source
Interview with Haruki Murakami

Enjoy Haruki Murakami’s interview as The New Yorker’s fiction editor discusses his novel 1Q84 (hitting U.S. shelves in late October) and the excerpt, “Town of Cats,” available online and in print.

The setting of 1Q84 is 1984, and Murakami struggled with the lack of technology. Have you faced similar challenges when dealing with settings in your stories?
   

Source


Poetry Fighting Back

Seth Abramson from Huffington Post lists 10-poetry must reads in an attempt to prove the poetry scene in America is still going strong.

Which poetry collections you would add to the list?






Source



New Yorker Festival-Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Nate Freeman gives readers the writer and celebrity pair-ups at the 2011 New Yorker Festival coming up at the end of September.

Which pair would you like to see?





Contests

FICTION
Glimmer Train Literary Journal
-       Short Story Award for New Writers; 1,500-12,000 words
-       First Place Prize: $1,200, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue
-       Deadline: Aug 31, 2011
-       Details here 

Writer’s Digest Magazine
-       Short Short Writing Competition
o   Fiction: 1,500 words or less
o   First Place Prize: $3,000 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
o   Deadline: November 15, 2011
o   Details here 
-       5-Minute Memoir, “Tales From the Writing Life”
o   Personal Essay (600 words or less)
o   Prize: Publication in Writer’s Digest magazine
o   Deadline: Rolling submissions
o   Details here 

Zoetrope All-Story Magazine
-       Fifteenth Annual All-Story Short Fiction Contest: 5,000 words or less
-       First Place Prize: $1,000, online publication and possible representation
-       Deadline: October 3, 2011
-       Details here 

POETRY
Writer’s Digest Magazine
-       7th Annual Poetry Awards Competition
o   Poetry: 32 lines or less
o   First Place Prize: $1,500 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
o   Deadline: December 1, 2011
o   Details here 

Fun
Enjoy Funny or Die skit with Zoe Saldana & Kate Bosworth!




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Emerging from the Hole

Source

Two weeks passed without a post on my blog. Two weeks of hiding. Two weeks of avoidance. The dark hole that swallowed me felt like falling down the long throat of some enormous whale. A bit frightening, yet comforting knowing no one could see me.

I've since found a rope, tied a knot creating a loop at one end and lassoed it around anything stationary in an attempt to climb back into the warm sunlight. All part of the writing journey. Darkness and light.

Grey skies and the tail end of Irene's distruction met me this morning, so I buried my face in a novel,  Erin Hart's False Mermaid.  The unforgiving winds finally died down, the water is receding back to the Delaware, and the Internet is back.

I leave you with a passage from the very beginning that triggered memories of my own:

She did remember a few things: hiding in the closet, face pressed into clothes of rough wool and soft fur, the thrill of being discovered, gathered up and rocked by someone with a low voice, humming a tune that traveled through her bones. She remembered letting her fingers slide through long, smooth hair that smelled faintly of soap, drifting to sleep on whispered stories about fantastic creatures, half animal, half human. The stories themselves had mostly slipped away, but sometimes an unfamiliar word or the ghost of a scent could conjure up that strange mixture of sadness and contentment she had felt lying in bed and listening, fighting to say awake.




Share a resonating quote or passage from something you've read recently. 

   

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NCF Tuesday: Future of Print Books; Writing Contests; Literature Quiz


News

Source
The Future of Print Books

Emily Witt of The New York Observer discusses indie publisher Melville House’s attempt to secure print books in the future. The innovation HybridBooks will utilize Quick Response (QR) barcodes in the back of print books, giving readers access to free supplemental material.

Will the QR barcode help print books maintain relevance?



Source
Need Help Focusing on Writing? 

John Briggs from The New York Times breaks down three text editors that provide full-screen views, cutting down on internet distractions. Briggs also features an “app that turns off your network connection for a set amount of time.”

How do you avoid distraction while writing?


   
Source
Experience Leads to Inspiration

For all my nonfiction writers and passionate procrastinators. Travel with A. Igoni Barrett on his flight home to Lagos, Nigeria while he reminiscences about his fellowship at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, his battle with writer’s block and inspiration.

What experiences or places have inspired your writing?


Contests

FICTION
Glimmer Train Literary Journal
-       Short Story Award for New Writers; 1,500-12,000 words
-       First Place Prize: $1,200, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue
-       Deadline: Aug 31, 2011
-       Details here 

Writer’s Digest Magazine
-       Short Short Writing Competition
o   Fiction: 1,500 words or less
o   First Place Prize: $3,000 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
o   Deadline: November 15, 2011
o   Details here
-       5-Minute Memoir, “Tales From the Writing Life”
o   Personal Essay (600 words or less)
o   Prize: Publication in Writer’s Digest magazine
o   Deadline: Rolling submissions
o   Details here 
Zoetrope All-Story Magazine
-       Fifteenth Annual All-Story Short Fiction Contest: 5,000 words or less
-       First Place Prize: $1,000, online publication and possible representation
-       Deadline: October 3, 2011
-       Details here

POETRY
Writer’s Digest Magazine
-       7th Annual Poetry Awards Competition
o   Poetry: 32 lines or less
o   First Place Prize: $1,500 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
o   Deadline: December 1, 2011
o   Details here 

Fun
Test your debt in literature know-how with this fun quiz from The Guardian. Enjoy!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blog Awards



Hey, all! My crit group buddy, Alex, gave me a blog award. She's awesome! Check her out over at Magpie Writes, and follow along on her journey to land an agent for her YA fantasy novel, BookEnd. 



The goal of the award is to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers. The rules of the award are:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all - have bloggity-blog fun!

Here is my top five favorite blogs: 

1. SF author Heidi Ruby Miller is one of the sweetest people I know and fellow lover of Neil Gaiman. 
2. Like ninjas? Who doesn't? Head over to the Dojo and meet Ali Cross. Join the writer ninjas and gain an amazing writing support group.
3. Josh Hoyt helps writers with the psychology of their characters over at The Blog That Diagnoses Your Characters.
4. Red Book Pearl at Book Savvy keeps you busy with book reviews and a variety of writing topics. 
5. YA writer Becky Taylor shares her writing experience with her readers.  


My blogger friend Anna Saikin tagged me in a game of blogger tag. The rules: Answer six questions about myself on my blog and tag eight (8) of my blogger friends. 

1. Do you think you're hot?
No. Cute, but definitely not hot.

2. Upload a picture or wallpaper you are using at the moment.
A black and white photo titled "Sea Mist" I'm currently using as my wallpaper. 

3. When was the last time you ate chicken?
Last night. I made chicken nachos for dinner.

4. The song you listened to recently.
"Wake Up" by Rage Against the Machine off the The Matrix soundtrack. 

5. What were you thinking while doing this?
I need to hurry up and figure out where McStews bar is so I can meet up with a few friends.

6. Do you have nicknames? What are they?
Yes. Laurie, Campbell, Lar, Sally, Mike Larry (Bad Boys movie; childhood nickname; don't ask)

7. Tag 8 blogger friends.

Alex Villasante @Magpie Writes

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NCF Tuesday: Agatha Christie and Surfing; Writing Contests; Webcomic


Source

News

Famous Mystery Writer Surfing Skills Revealed

Sam Jones from the Guardian delights readers with Agatha Christie’s passion for surfing.

What special skills do you have outside of your writing life?

Source



Jennifer Egan and Girl Crush Zine

Daniel D’Addario reports on “Thessaly LaForce, web editor of The Paris Review, and Jenna Wortham, technology reporter for The New York Times” collaboration on a homemade magazine, Girl Crush. Jennifer Egan will contribute to the one-time publication celebrating strong and respected women.

Who do you have a crush on?
   



Source
2011 and Still Banning Books

Alison Flood reports on Missouri school districts decision to ban Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five for its profanity and Sarah Ockler’s YA novel Twenty-Boy Summer for its topics of teenage drinking and promiscuity.  

Does book banning work or are parents and educators avoiding important topics by pretending they don’t exist?


Contests

FICTION
Glimmer Train Literary Journal
-       Short Story Award for New Writers; 1,500-12,000 words 
-       First Place Prize: $1,200, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue
-       Deadline: August 31, 2011
-       Details here 

Writer’s Digest Magazine
-       Short Short Writing Competition
o   Fiction: 1,500 words or less
o   First Place Prize: $3,000 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
o   Deadline: November 15, 2011
o   Details here 
-       5-Minute Memoir, “Tales From the Writing Life”
o   Personal Essay (600 words or less)
o   Prize: Publication in Writer’s Digest magazine
o   Deadline: Rolling submissions
o   Details here 

Zoetrope All-Story Magazine
-       Fifteenth Annual All-Story Short Fiction Contest: 5,000 words or less
-       First Place Prize: $1,000, online publication and possible representation
-       Deadline: October 3, 2011
-       Details here 

POETRY
Writer’s Digest Magazine
-       7th Annual Poetry Awards Competition
o   Poetry: 32 lines or less
o   First Place Prize: $1,500 and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference
o   Deadline: December 1, 2011
o   Details here

Fun
XKCD webcomic brings you another funny. Enjoy!


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