You will learn a lot from and about the four agents profiled in this excellent article in the new Poets & Writers. One of the agents you'll meet there is one of my favorite people in this business, and although she ultimately decided not to represent me and my collection, she did both of us so much good with her thorough, thoughtful, and multiple readings that I can't help remaining a huge fan. Even if the collection never gets published, I will always be grateful to that agent and to one or two of her industry colleagues who were especially generous with their time and knowledge, encouraging and honest about my writing, helpful with their editorial suggestions, and simply a pleasure to deal with.
Speaking of Poets & Writers, it seems that P&W is launching a new blog focusing on grants, awards and contests. From the first post: "G&A is the place to visit for weekly posts about the awards we include in our magazine and database. Here we’ll announce new awards that didn’t make it into our pages, changes to upcoming deadlines, news of awards that have been suspended, interviews with frequent winners, plus many more behind-the-scenes glimpses into how the writing contest process works—and, sometimes, doesn’t work—all in an effort to help you discern which awards have the most value to you and your writing." Sounds interesting!
Here's a new opportunity that sounds especially appropriate for writers finishing an MFA: the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Writer-in-Residence Program at the Seven Hills School in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. This fellowship "provides a writing and teaching residency for a writer whose work has shown promise and who may wish to engage in a transitional opportunity both to teach and to write before moving on to a professional career." The recipient will teach one creative writing elective each semester (for high school juniors and seniors); direct or participate in events at the School that are "designed to heighten involvement in and awareness of creative writing; and pursue personal writing projects. The fellowship includes a stipend ($12,000), plus housing, health benefits, and breakfast and lunch when school is in session. Plus a laptop and software for the year. Click here for more information and application instructions (if the link doesn't seem to work, try www.7hills.org, then click "welcome" and "employment"). There's no application fee indicated, and the deadline is February 6, 2009.
News from the Virginia Quarterly Review: "Because of a backlog in accepted work in poetry and nonfiction, VQR will be closing submissions temporarily, beginning on January 2, 2009....We'll begin accepting poetry and nonfiction again when our regular reading period begins again on September 1, 2009." Fiction is "unaffected," and "stories can still be submitted through May 29, 2009.
And a few jobs to round out today's post:
Assistant Professor of English (creative writing/fiction), Oakland University (Michigan)
Assistant Professor of Creative Writing/Composition, University of Alaska-Southeast
Mary Field Distinguished Visiting Writer (poetry), DePauw University (Indiana)
Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing, Normandale Community College (Minnesota) (via the NewPages blog)
Associate Director of Communications for Publications, Brooklyn College-CUNY (New York)
Editor, Boston University (Massachusetts)