Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On Op-Eds and Where to Publish Them

One benefit to writing for The Writer magazine is that I tend to receive my contributor copies about one week before my subscription copy arrives. So whenever I contribute I get a sneak peek into the new issue.

Of course, I hope those of you thumbing through the new (March 2007) issue will read my latest book review (see p. 50), but anyone interested in writing and publishing op-eds should be sure to check out the excellent article by Larry Atkins. In his "Resources" box, Atkins refers practicing and aspiring op-ed writers to the Communications Consortium Media Center's Web site, where, he says, we'll find "the contact information for op-ed pages of the top 100 newspapers (by circulation) in the United States. The site also provides op-ed writing tips." I've now visited that site, and I've already bookmarked it. You may want to do the same.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Today I leave Cambridge; tomorrow I move into my new place. It will be a few days before I post again. So here are the Monday Morning Market Listings (a day early). Enjoy! And I'll see you back here later in the week.

Want to pitch Redbook? Read this profile of Senior Editor Cari Wira Dineen before you do, and find out what she's looking for.

Atlanta magazine is looking for unpublished short stories for its May issue. Find detailed submission guidelines from Executive Editor Paige Williams posted at the Poets & Writers Speakeasy. Apparently, "story content needn't be Southern, but the writer should have some sort of connection (native, resident, student, etc.) to Atlanta/Georgia or the greater South." Deadline is coming up fast: February 1. (I'm fairly certain you'll need to register to read the full post/thread, but registration is free. And if you're not already familiar with it, the Speakeasy is a very useful message board/forum for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers, and/or for anyone considering an MFA program.)

Learning Through History seeks submissions for an upcoming "Civil War" issue. Pays: $35-$75 (buys all rights). Check the guidelines for details.

Poets and fiction writers: Don't forget to check in periodically with's "Recent Updates" page, where you'll find information about markets just added to the database. (And remember, you can search that database and limit the results to paying markets.) seeks writer for fishing-related articles. Pays: "$50-$100 per 500-1,000 word page." More details here.

Comedy writers needed "to write quiz questions and factoids for a website that focuses on classic television: Kung Fu, Max Headroom, Gilligan's Island etc... We need one quiz per episode (about 20 - 25 questions and factoids)." Pays: $250 per quiz. More details here.

Human Nature "is seeking freelance reporters for its soon-to-be-launched online edition. Human Nature sorts through today's news, lifestyle trends and business matters to deliver valuable, customized content to America's ethnic minorities." Pays: $50-$100/article. More details here.

Two food writing opportunities. First, Philadelphia City Paper seeks freelance food writers. Pays: "Freelance wages, plus expense compensation where applicable." More details here. And local writers are also sought for a new Nashville magazine. "We're looking for food writers and restaurant reviewers." Pays: $50-$75/article. More details here.

New career development/self-improvement e-zine seeks submissions. Pays: $50/article. More details here.

Sorry I didn't find this one sooner, but hopefully the offer still stands! Portland Magazine (Maine) is looking for freelance feature writers. Pays: "Negotiable." More details here.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Find

Today's find is more of a "re-find": The Practicing Writer's own RESOURCES page.

Recently updated to account for link changes (and slightly re-organized and expanded), the page can link you to writing programs and conferences; grants and fellowships and residency programs; markets and jobs; and tools and techniques for teaching. And it includes an ever-growing archive of past "Featured Resources" from our free monthly newsletter. Please visit soon!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Springing Ahead, Bookwise

It's that time of year again. It may be cold outside, but you simply can't help thinking of spring when the Publishers Weekly Spring Announcements issue arrives, as mine just has.

As I tell my student book reviewers, this specific issue, like its corresponding one for the fall season, is a wonderful resource for locating some of the "forthcoming" books magazine and newspaper editors most want to make sure they'll have covered. They're thinking ahead, remember; usually, you need to pitch reviews well ahead of time, too. That's not necessarily the case (at all) for scholarly journals (which typically don't pay for reviews) and even for literary journals that publish less frequently (quarterly, semiannually, or annually) than most consumer magazines do.

But a PW subscription is a hefty financial commitment, and because this particular issue is pretty hefty in its own right, it costs $12.00 on the newsstand. So I also share with my students other ways to learn about what's (going to be) new in the book world. I'm not going to spill all those beans right here and now--I am paid to teach them, after all--but I will point you to a post at the Renegade Writer blog that highlights (if perhaps unintentionally) how can help out with exactly that task.

Any of you book reviewers want to share your own tips for locating forthcoming titles?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Current Magazine Mastheads

Remember how disappointed I was to find out that had switched to subscription access? Well, I've now found a useful free "substitute." It may not be quite so complete, but you can help change that (as I'm trying to!).

The discussion board "Current Magazine Mastheads" section contains a number of magazine mastheads, updated and augmented as we practicing writers update and augment them (I've tried to help out with that a bit this week myself). Check it out and contribute some information, too!

Just for Fun

This isn't necessarily a writing-related post, but hey, this is my blog and if I want to go off-course once in a blue moon, I can!

I want to announce/refer you to a new addition to the blogosphere: MyMomShops. The blogger, my very favorite "New York City mom of two (and fanatic online shopper)," happens to be my very own sister.

The new blog aims to find "cute and clever stuff for moms and tots," and the blogger is always looking for bargains, too. So if the topic appeals to you, please visit. (The writing's not half-bad, either! Maybe it runs in the family!)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What's New at The Paris Review?

Curious about the changes at The Paris Review since Philip Gourevitch took over as editor? Shifts in format and focus? Then read this Q&A published in the Boston Globe.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Morning Market Listings

Here they are, folks--the Monday Morning Markets. Enjoy!

1) Wondering what kind of material The Missouri Review would love to see? Read Associate Editor Evelyn Somers's "Unofficial New Year's Wish List". Essayists, humorists, and interviewers of "important authors" should take special note. And don't forget to read the journal as you're submitting. (Yours truly has another book review in the new issue.)

2) A Stranger Among Us, a cross-cultural short fiction anthology to be published by OV Books, has extended its submission deadline to February 28. "A STRANGER AMONG US will focus on stories of cross-cultural collisions/bonds, encompassing a wide variety of ethnicities, races and nationalities. Any work that tells the story of what happens when a member of one culture finds him/herself in relationship with members of an "other" culture is eligible. (Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Third and Final Continent" would be an excellent example of this theme.)" Check out the guidelines here. (Look for the link to the call for submission on the left once you've entered the site.)

3) Upcoming essay themes over at Common Ties include: "dating (Jan. 26, stories due Jan. 23); chance encounters (Feb. 2, stories due Jan. 30); work (Feb. 9, stories due Feb. 6). We are also running Valentine’s Day stories on Wednesday, Feb. 14, stories due Feb. 12. Future themes may include divorce, camp, professors, family secrets, and the seven deadly sins." Non-themed submissions are also welcome (themed stories typically run on Fridays, but the site publishes M-F). And themed submissions seem to be welcome essentially anytime, too: "even if we cannot publish [your submission] on the theme day, all themes are recurring and we may consider running it at any point." Read full guidelines here (be sure to read the FAQ). Pays $100-$200/essay; may pay as high as $1,000.

4) Sumach Press (Canada), "publishers of dynamic feminist writing with a critical perspective," is now looking for submissions for a new YA story collection about mothers and daughters and body image, to be published in 2008. "The working title of this anthology is Cleavage. Co-editors Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley are calling for stories about eating disorders, cosmetic surgery, implants, clothing choices, hair, waxing, makeup, piercing, tattoos and similar topics. Point of view should be thirteen and up, but the issues can be the daughter's, her mother's, or both. We're especially interested in quirky, humorous stories that capture the bizarreness of body image as well as defining mother-daughter moments." Work must be unpublished and not currently submitted elsewhere. Submission deadline: June 15, 2007. Pays: $75 (presumably in Canadian funds) plus one copy of the book and a 40% discount on additional copies. Full announcement here. (via InScribe) NOTE: I have confirmed with the editors that they are looking specifically for FICTION.

5) Red Line Editorial, a development house that produces books for educational publishers, seeks authors. " We are seeking skilled writers who can take complex societal issues (gay marriage, stem-cell research, global warming, etc.) and present all sides of the issue in a non-biased way." Also has available projects on historical topics/biographies. "If you have the ability to boil complex issues and stories down and present them to young readers in a way they can understand, we'd like to talk to you." Check announcement at

6), "Canada's sweetest trend-spotting web site, is looking to expand our Calgary team of writers." Pays: "Negotiable." Check announcement at Jeff Gaulin's Journalism Job Board.

7) The Saskatchewan Writers Guild is looking for both mentors AND writers to participate in its Mentorship Program for Emerging Writers. Mentors will be paid an honorarium of $2,500 (presumably in Canadian funds) for their participation. Saskatchewan residency required. No application fees. Deadline: January 31, 2007. Full program and application information here.

8) Attention, Brooklyn writers! "The Brooklyn Paper, which has changed its name to the singular, has an immediate need for freelancers due to its expanded local coverage. The paper has just started a new section called The Stoop, which will report 'on the stuff that you talk to your neighbor about,' says editor Gersh Kuntzman. Car theft rings, famous people moving onto the block, a new big box store would be the kind of fodder he's looking for. The paper's geographic area focuses on brownstone Brooklyn in Park Slope, as well as Bayside, Bensonhurst, Ft. Greene and Clinton Hill." See the full announcement at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Job News and read this helpful piece on freelancing for local papers (including tips on how to be published in The Brooklyn Paper).

9) Opera writer sought for advertising supplement series in an international newspaper. Pays: $500/1000 words. Read the announcement here.

10) World Scholar Magazine is looking for freelance writers. "Writers who show experience writing for international/college students and/or for ethnic audiences will be given first priority." Seeks articles addressing issues relevant to international students in the United States. "Topics may include the latest on immigration law changes, employment, scholarships, American culture, etc. We love stories about international students who are stars on campus or in the community." Pays: $45/feature; $20/column. See the announcement here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Find

Today I'll leave you with a new resource to peruse over the weekend: NetManners Blog.

This blog complements Judith Kallos's Web site, which I've recommended as a "featured resource" to newsletter readers in the past.

Writers, of all people, should observe good "netiquette." So check out Judith's pointers soon!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Craigslist as Idea Bank?

If you're looking for ideas for your writing, maybe you should spend some time over at craigslist. That's what Pat Walters over at Poynter Online suggests. "Each month, the site registers 14 million new classified ads. And wrapped up in lots of them are story ideas." Such as? Read the column to find out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sami Rohr Prize Nominees Named

I was delighted to learn last week from Publishers Weekly that two writers whose work I admire quite a lot have been recognized by those administering a significant new award: the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. (PW's Daisy Maryles calls this award "the largest-ever Jewish literary prize.")

According to the Jewish Book Council, which is administering the award, the new prize honors "an emerging writer whose work has demonstrated a fresh vision and evidence of future potential. Recipients must have written a book of exceptional literary merit that stimulates an interest in themes of Jewish concern." Works of fiction and nonfiction will be recognized in alternate years. This year, the $100,000 prize ($7,500 to each of two runners-up) will celebrate fiction.

The inaugural nominees (you can't apply on your own for this award) include Amir Gutfreund (you can read my Chattahoochee Review essay discussing Gutfreund's nominated novel, Our Holocaust, here), and Tamar Yellin (you can read my review of Yellin's short story collection [I have yet to read her nominated novel] here).

This first set of nominees also includes three writers whose work I confess I have yet to get to know: Naomi Alderman, Yael Hedaya, and Michael Lavigne.

I'll be watching for more news on this, as well as for updates about another initiative honoring Sami Rohr: Publishers Weekly also notes that the Rohr family will establish a "Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute, a forum devoted to nurturing quality Jewish writing and maintaining the continuity of Jewish literature. The Institute, also under the auspices of the Jewish Book Council, will convene a biennial gathering where established and emerging writers can meet and exchange ideas."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

From My Bookshelf: Recent Reads

Last night I finished reading Sigrid Nunez's The Last of Her Kind. I was inspired to read it for two reasons. First, now that I'm moving to New York I'm practically salivating over the catalog of events at the 92nd Street Y (and contemplating some fiction workshops there: Nunez teaches one). And then, I'd also quite recently read an interview with Nunez in the February 2007 Writer's Chronicle. So when I was in the Harvard Book Store last week picking up tickets for some imminent events, I grabbed The Last of Her Kind off the shelf (it was reduced 20%, too).

It's a marvelous book. Since it begins in 1968, and spends quite a bit of time depicting the atmosphere of that era, I started to think of it as an historical novel.

According to the Historical Novel Society, "To be deemed historical (in our sense), a novel must have been written at least fifty years after the events described, or have been written by someone who was not alive at the time of those events (who therefore approaches them only by research)." This is not an accurate description of Nunez's relationship to the novel as its author, but it does describe mine as a reader.

Which may lead to an interesting issue about the variable "historicity" of a novel depending on who is reading it, rather than who is writing it. Thoughts?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday Morning Market Listings

1) New contest from flashquake seeks micro-fiction (100 words or less) and mini-poems. They'll also feature "'micro' photographs taken with cell phone or PDA cameras." There will be 10 winners in each writing category, with the first-prize winner receiving $75; the second-prize winner receiving $50; the third-prize winner receiving $25; and seven honorable mentions winning $10 apiece. "In addition, we'll award $10 each for the ten best photographs we receive." See the guidelines for detailed instructions (including the required poetry theme: "fibs"). There is no entry fee. Deadline: January 31 (midnight, EST). Submissions must be received that this deadline. (via CRWROPPS)

2) Great resource for those writing for children (and for those writing about them). offers specialized market info plus market guides. Check it out.

3) Turnstone Press publishes "literary fiction, literary non-fiction—including literary criticism—and poetry." Also publishes literary mysteries, thrillers, and noir under its Ravenstone imprint. "We publish only Canadian authors or landed immigrants, we strive to publish a significant number of new writers, to publish in a variety of genres, and to have 50 per cent of each year’s list be Manitoba writers and/or books with Manitoba content." Read guidelines here. (via

4) Sun Community Newspapers (California) is looking for freelancers (news, sports, entertainment, event and features). Pays: $25 "and up."

5) Phoenix-area freelancers may want to check out this call for writers from Contact Magazine (writing should focus on "modern architecture, urban development, art, and/or interior design"). Pays: $.10/word.

6) The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies is looking for a contest assistant (10-20 hours/week between the end of January and the middle of May) to work within its awards program. This job is located in Washington, DC, and pays $12/hour. Read the announcement here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Last call for our online course, Publishing Your Short Stories, which begins on Monday. If you've been thinking about joining, please get in touch with me asap.

And if you've been thinking you might wait until the class is offered "live" here in Cambridge in March, or until the next online offering, well, I have some other news to share: I'M MOVING TO NEW YORK.

That's right. I've accepted a full-time office (writing) job. A month from now, that's what I'll be doing each day.

And when I'm not at the office, I'll be pretty zealously guarding my (private) writing time.

What does this mean for all of you?

1) I WILL NOT be offering the "live" publishing class in Cambridge, and I have no foreseeable plans to offer the online version again, so, as they say, carpe diem if you want to take advantage of the opportunity!

2) I WILL NOT be updating any more e-books for the foreseeable future, either, so the last three updates (which were made within the past few days) will be the final ones for awhile. (So if you were waiting for a newer version of one of the guides, this is as new as it's going to get for awhile.)

3) I WILL NOT be taking on new clients for consultations/coaching for the time being.

4) I WILL (of course) continue to work 100% with all my current students in the online short story publishing and MFA book reviewing classes. And, of course, I'm honoring all my freelance contracts/commitments (some extending as far as June deadlines).

5) I WILL continue to publish our beloved newsletter. (I'm going to be researching much of the material for my own needs, anyway.)

6) I WILL continue to post here at Practicing Writing. Just not quite so often. (And unfortunately that's effective immediately: I'm going to be away the next couple of days apartment-hunting.)

So that's my big news. I'm very excited about it, and I hope you're all happy for me, too!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Contest Canceled

Back in September I pointed you to some doubts about a splashy new literary contest. Now Galleycat reports that the Sobol Award competition has been canceled.

Here are some of the eye-catching lines in the AP article by Hillel Italie on the development:

First announced last September, the Sobol prize was immediately attacked by agents, bloggers and other critics for the entry fee and for requiring that Sobol officials serve as the winners' literary representative. Industry policy prohibits agents from charging money to read manuscripts.

"Maybe the message is that unpublished writers have been exploited in so many different ways that it's difficult to launch an effort, regardless of whether it's in good faith or not," said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, which represents thousands of published writers. "Charging people is fundamentally suspect and it's hard to overcome that."

[Award creator Gur] Shomron told the AP that he had invested more than $1 million in the prize and that a full-time staff of four would be laid off.

(And in case you're wondering, I did not include this prize in our literary contest directory for writers of book-length fiction.)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Morning Market Listings

Good morning, everyone! Hope you had a good weekend. Here are some market listings to help get your writing going for the week:

1) is looking for part-time media news writers/researchers "to help us write our daily and weekly news feeds." Pays: "Contract/Weekly/Negotiable."

2) Common Ties currently seeks "personal stories about someone coping with cancer to run as a special theme on January 12, 2007. The following theme will be stories revolving around war, to run on January 19." Pays: $100-$200 ("in exceptional cases, can reach $1,000").

3) FRONT magazine, a Vancouver-based "journal of contemporary art and culture," seeks submissions for its March issue, which will focus on the theme of "Finishes." Submission deadline: February 1. Pays: "For text submissions and poetry, FRONT usually pays $25 per page" (presumably in Canadian funds).

4) Stone Magazine seeks "a writer in Charlotte [North Carolina] to do a 500 to 750 word article on an up & coming actor and former model in the Charlotte area for our May issue." Deadline: January 15. Pays: $.50/word.

5) "True real estate stories" sought. "If you think about it, almost ALL stories can be real estate related. Did your story happen in a home (even if it was rented?), a condominium or townhouse? Did it happen outside in someone's yard? How about on commercial real estate like a store or a place of employment? As long as an author can throw a decent real estate twist to it, we will look at any story." Deadline: February 28, 2007. Pays: $50-$200.

6) The Institute for Humane Studies invites applications for its 2007 Journalism Internship Program, which will take place in multiple locations June 9-August 11 (application deadline: January 31). Pays: $1500 stipend plus housing allowance and travel. Details here.

7) Finally, here's a real bonus for you. Peruse another 15 markets by downloading the free previews (with sample listings) accompanying three just-updated e-books: our guide to no-cost literary contests and competitions; our directory of paying markets for book reviewers; and Writers' Markets: Where to Sell What You Write When You Write about Writing. Find them all here (click on the selected title to reach the preview).

Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday Finds

I'm a cable news junkie in the best of times. Semi-sidelined the past week or so with what began as a cold, turned into laryngitis, and was finally diagnosed as bronchitis, I've been lured more easily than usual to the sofa to settle in and watch the various events comprising Gerald R. Ford's State Funeral.

Yesterday, feeling a little better, I worked at my computer while listening to the inauguration of the new Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick. As I then told a friend, both the funeral and the inauguration have made me more emotional (in a positive sense) about our country and its past, present, and future than I've felt in awhile.

Not surprisingly--this is often what happens when I'm truly "moved" by something--I then started thinking about related writing.

I've written about history and politics before. But I'm starting to organize some more current market information on those topics (remembering, of course, that there's room for historical/political writing in general interest magazines, travel magazines, newspapers, and more).

Here's where I've begun to look. I can't promise all the links within each site will work (or even that they'll lead to paying opportunities). But I'd be interested in hearing your experiences writing for such publications, and how you think about your writing on these subjects.

Metagrid's "History and Archaeology" magazines
Metagrid's "Politics in America" magazines "History" magazines "News" magazines

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Beyond the MFA?

From time to time I receive questions about Ph.D. programs in creative writing. David Gruber's article at (thanks to the practicing writer who pointed it out to me!) offers some intriguing ideas on the subject.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bloggers Beware

A writer's voice is supposed to be strong, independent and unique, and healthy debate on a blog never hurts. But when more publishers, editors and agents are scouring blogs, always remain professional. You don't want to burn anyone who helps get you a paycheck.

So concludes Sarah Weinman in her Writer's Digest article, "Blogged and Burned."

This makes sense, of course. But it's not always so easy to follow. As Weinman suggests in her article, sometimes even well-intentioned comments aren't read as such online. I try to be professional in all my posts--at this blog and at others'--and still, I, too, have been "burned." Sometimes it seems to me that such treatment is the price one pays not for being "unprofessional," but for expressing an opinion (even if it's an opinion backed by fact), and/or pointing out serious problems with other people's posts.

For example, I haven't always been able to restrain myself from posting when I see someone being bullied online, or when I see another writer saying something I know to be inaccurate. This blog's readers know I've posted here about problems I've seen on one writers' organization blog, too. And sometimes, no matter how carefully we construct our posts, or how much they're supported by fact/evidence, they aren't received as we've intended them to be.

My mother, who does not have an active online life (and seems perfectly happy without one), and who not infrequently tells my sister and me we should stay away from blogs (and discussion boards), has a few major mottos she's impressed on us. One of them is: "Be Nice." If only the writing life--and life on all the blogs/boards I visit--were that simple.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Calendar Notes for the New Year

For those of you in the Cambridge area, you'll see that the Harvard Book Store hasn't wasted any time assembling a pretty amazing set of January readings/events.

Also for the locals: check the evening readings (they start on Friday) for Lesley University's Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing's winter residency. The evening readings are free and open to the public.

Finally, this one's for everyone: just a reminder that our online course on Publishing Your Short Stories begins January 15. There's still time/space for you to sign up!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Monday Market Listings

Well, these aren't coming to you in the morning (I was in New York this morning, and have only just returned home to Massachusetts). But I hope you'll find them helpful just the same.

Happy New Year, practicing writers!

1) First, you'll find lots and lots of market news in the January issue of our newsletter (it went out to subscribers last week; each current issue is republished at

2) The Boston Phoenix is looking for a part-time Copy Editor. Pays: $20/hour.

3) Writing/Research Opportunity for book on women who are over 60. Pays: $10/hour, plus acknowledgement in the book.

4) City Pet Guide (New York City) is now taking queries. "We prefer informative and/or humorous pieces; about 500 words or less in length once assigned." Pays: $40-$60.

5) Jelly Paint, a literary e-zine, is becoming a print magazine--and a paying market. "Our main focus is on young adults and young adult writing. In the future, we may expand our target audience, but please contact the editorial staff if you are unsure." Pays: $10/poem, artwork, cartoon, photograph; $20/cover art, short story, article, essay. See guidelines here.