What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from all 1540 Blogs)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<August 2014>>
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1540 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Chain Reaction Challenge

We’ve all seen Rube Goldberg machines: overly complicated machines that use everything from dominoes, to motors, to squirrels in order to complete a simple task. But have you ever thought about hosting a Rube Goldberg competition at your library?

Back in July, I hosted the Chain Reaction Challenge: an event where families were given supplies and two hours to construct a Rube Goldberg machine. I admit that I had my doubts about the program initially – especially since our target age was grades K– 5. However, I found that this is a great family program that emphasizes teamwork, critical thinking, and STEM!
CRC 1Interested in hosting your own Rube Goldberg program? Here are a few components you might consider:


Our theme was Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’, and the objective was to have a golf ball roll from one side of the machine to the other and trigger the next machine (creating the chain reaction). While having a theme is pretty optional, it’s imperative to have an objective so that the teams know what they’re working toward. I felt that the golf balls were an excellent choice for this age group, but there are other objectives you could do, such as:

  • Machines must have dominoes
  • Machines must incorporate gravity in some way
  • Machines must involve matchbox cars
  • Machines must start and end with catapults
  • Machines must start and end with a string being pulled
  • Machines must involve trained squirrels (okay, I’m joking on that one)


While many Rube Goldberg machines require motors and technical aspects, we wanted this to be a simple, age-appropriate program. We told families that they were welcome to bring supplies from home, but we also provided a lot of simple, everyday items:

  • CRC 3Paper towel and toilet paper tubes
  • Small cardboard boxes (such as tissue boxes, frozen dinner boxes, etc.)
  • Lots of duct tape
  • String, yarn, wire, pipe cleaners
  • Legos, tinker toys, blocks
  • Various other toys
  • Things that make noise (bells, chimes, buzzers)
  • Things that roll (cars, cylinders, balls)
  • Wooden dowels
  • Balloons
  • Rulers, crayons, markers, scissors
  • Just about anything you can find


Maker Know-How

I was lucky enough to partner with a local nonprofit organization http://tekventure.org/ that specializes in the maker movement. Therefore, we had engineers on hand to mentor the teams and give them some ideas and suggestions for how to build their machines.

But you do not need engineers to run this program! You can just as easily start the program with a slideshow to demonstrate some simple machines (such as ramps, pendulums, etc.). Or even have handouts with suggestions on it. As a matter of fact, the teams that participated in this program came up with most of the ideas themselves, and many of them had zero maker experience prior to the program!


We had awards for ten different categories, such as: tallest machine, most colorful, most musical, etc. This worked well for us because we had five teams that participated, so each team was able to get two awards! However, the biggest reward was watching the finished machines run. There was a great sense of accomplishment for both kids and adults to see that they created a simple, working machine.

(all photos courtesy Guest Blogger)


Erin WarzalaErin Warzala is a Children’s Librarian at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  She is passionate about early literacy, STEM/STEAM programming, books of all genres, and tea.  She blogs somewhat regularly at http://fallingflannelboards.wordpress.com/ and can be followed on Twitter at @fallingflannel.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.


0 Comments on Chain Reaction Challenge as of 8/31/2014 2:51:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. ‘Robot King’ by Jake Portman

What would really happen if you gave control of a giant killer robot to a group of teenagers?

0 Comments on ‘Robot King’ by Jake Portman as of 8/30/2014 10:49:00 PM
Add a Comment
3. Food Opera (Part 2)

Chapter 4

Heather opens the fridge.

Heather closes the fridge.

Heather opens the fridge.

Heather closes the fridge.

Heather opens the fridge.

Heather closes the fridge.

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

The Chuggaluggalicious™ Ice Cream is gone.

Heather starts arguing with her "mom".

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

The sofa eats Heather.


On a completely unrelated note, does anyone need a Costco-sized bag of chia seeds?

0 Comments on Food Opera (Part 2) as of 8/30/2014 9:27:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. All About the Climb

Runners are constantly climbing. It’s in our nature to always have a goal we’re working towards, always wanting to push ourselves to do better. Whether it be chasing new PR’s, challenging yourself to expand your race distance range, or even after we’re past our ‘PR-PR’ years, redefining the times and bests (weekly, yearly, masters, etc.) bests.

Diversity. Fitting as it is now cross country season that we talk about diversifying your running and climbs. Cross country thrives on both. I’ve done posts on just how awesome hills are at improving your strength and power, which translates to speed. What I haven’t talked too much on are prolonged hill climbs.
hill repeats cartoon running movie
The long climb, yup. We’re talking taking your tempo runs to the trail, or inclined treadmill if you don’t have a stretch long enough outside. I’ve previously featured the man-beast that is Michael Wardian and he’s no stranger to treadmill running.

While he’s one of the World’s best ultra and trail runners, a major chunk of his miles are done on the treadmill so he can fit his runs in around his family’s (namely his kids’!) schedules. Wardian loves a good, long climb.

He makes sure to do hill work a few times a week and, “for me that means hours of running up vertical inclines, sometimes fast, sometimes just a long grind, but always pushing to get better.” Wardian is an ultra runner after all.

Another big fan of prolonged uphill runs is Sage Canaday, a staple workout for him is an uphill tempo run. Canaday is another World leading ultra runner [check out my feature on him HERE], residing in Boulder, CO he has no shortage of trails to mountain goat up.

trail runner

Yo, that’s my rockstar dad running 50 miles! :)

Even if you’re not one of the best in the World, taking advantage of prolonged hill climbs will benefit you. Coach Brad Hudson of the Hudson Training Systems, coaching both elites and all levels of runners, regularly incorporates uphill tempo runs for his runners.

Try It:

Take your next scheduled tempo run to a hill, keep the distance the same and adjust based on effort. [Captain Obvious: Your times aren't going to mean much, so go off of effort.] I’d suggest going 4-5 miles.

No hill? No problem…take it to the treadmill. For a moderate climb set the grade to 4% for your tempo run and again, go off of effort. Do your warm-up and cool-down at 1.5%, as that’s the equivalent to running outside on the flats…after you jack that incline up and finish your tempo run, upon lowering you’ll see just how much ‘easier’ the same pace will feel at 1.5%!

If you’re looking for a steeper incline, Captain Obvious tells us you can just elevate the treadmill. ;)

Another twist courtesy of Coach Hudson would be to make your hill climb tempo progressive, begin the workout at a 2% grade and have it up to 6% by the time you finish.

Life’s a climb after all. For runners, we take that both figuratively and literally. ;)

More workout posts HERE

Need some motivation to get ‘er done…look HERE

Sweat hard, recover hard… #SweatsintheCity style, Baby!

1) Are you running cross country season?
2) How do you incorporate hill work into your training?
3) Have you done incline tempo/threshold work?

Add a Comment

Parent-Teacher-ConferenceAs a parent of children in public schools, you have rights.

For example, you have a right to information about:
  • teachers and principal -their background and experience
  • school policies, rules, regulations, about-health and medical regulations
Which exams and shots are needed?
What happens if your child is sick at school? How many days may a student be absent or late without a penalty?
What should you do if your child is sick and cannot go to school?
Will the school let you know if your child is absent?
school policy on discipline and suspension
steps to take if you disagree with the school
  • schedule for the school year-dates of parent/teacher conferences, holidays, parent meetings, and so on.
  • courses you child needs to take, information about how your child's work is graded, information about how the school decides if a student will pass to the next grade, problems your child may have with schoolwork or behavior.
  • what your child is being taught and how students are grouped for teaching
bob_0028You have a right to:
  • review you child's school records
  • question the school if you feel the information about your child is wrong or if it invades privacy
  • visit the school and your child's classroom. You must set up the visit with the school off and teacher first.
  • have teacher conferences several times a year, in private, with a translator if needed.
  • be asked before your child is changed to another grade, is held back in a grade, or is put in a special classroom.
  • get help for a child who is not doing well
  • organize and be part of parent groups
  • attend and speak at school board meetings
You also have responsibilities to:
  • send you child to school rested, clean, and fed
  • make sure your child attends school regularly
  • know about your child's work and problems
  • answer messages from the school

0 Comments on BOBBEE BEE: PARENTS' RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITES as of 8/30/2014 9:53:00 PM
Add a Comment
6. Watercolor in the Wild--New Reviews

"Watercolor in the Wild has been getting some wonderful reviews. Here are some excerpts:

Henry Malt, Art Book Review
"...His approach is very interesting. For a start, he allows himself about an hour for a painting. Each demonstration here – there are six, covering buildings, animals, people and landscapes – is edited down to about fifteen minutes and covers all the important bits without leaving you thinking, “hang on, what did he do just then?”. He begins, conventionally enough, with a pencil drawing, but then spends the next thirty to forty minutes putting in tones, values and shading. With a quarter of an hour or less to go, he gets to the detail. That’s not enough, surely? No, not for fine detail, but the point is he’s working on very solid foundations: the subject has structure and substance and he doesn’t paint the detail at all, just suggests what the viewer should be seeing so that they create the finer stuff for themselves. It’s very subtle and, although not unique in itself, certainly unusual in combination with so much preparatory work."

"The exception to the one hour approach is a painting of a sleeping foal. Young animals are rarely still and only for short periods and this one is no exception. A large chunk of this section is taken up with watching the creature running round, interacting with its mother and eating. Finally, it needs a nap and we get to work. The point of this demonstration is to show how you can capture the essence of a subject if you’ve already understood it before you lift a brush. I like the fact that, once again, James doesn’t tell you this, but shows you."

"This is an exceptional piece of work and amazingly good value."

Charley Parker, Lines and Colors blog
"Gurney has a relaxed, conversational demeanor throughout — almost as though you had chanced upon him painting, asked about his materials and techniques, and found him more than happy to oblige. This is, of course, a superb approach for an instructional art video.

"The video production values are high, particularly in reproducing the sketchbook pages as the paintings progress, with lots of close-up views that show the renderings in detail....

"...One of the great things about these instructional videos by Gurney is the wealth of supplemental material available on his blog. This includes relevant material from previous posts and directly related questions answered afterward, all with lots of links to materials suppliers and other relevant resources.

"I now have several books and videos by Gurney, as well as being an avid follower of his blog, and I find a kind of synergy between his instructional materials, in that there is a basic underlying philosophy and systematic approach that comes from his considerable experience. I, for one, am hoping Gurney will follow up soon with a similar video on his techniques for opaque water media (gouache and casein). In the meanwhile, I’m finding transparent watercolor more pliant than I thought I would."

Review from Jackson Sze

"Watercolor in the Wild affords us a privileged look into the working process of a modern day master. James Gurney will inspire you to go out and paint, to try and capture life the way an artist can.With thorough breakdowns of equipment and materials, any artist will be well informed about what he or she needs to get started. The demos are both exciting and educational. As a Landscape Painting teacher, I would highly recommend any artist to watch and learn from Mr. Gurney. Though painting outdoors can be challenging, having this DVD in your collection should provide a constant source of encouragement and motivation."
Jackson Sze - Senior Concept Illustrator at Marvel Studios

"Gurney is an experienced teacher and you can really see that come through here. He is thoughtful and informative, while being very brief and succinct. It's a great companion to his previous DVD “How I Paint Dinosaurs.”  Read the rest—Dan Dos Santos, Muddy Colors Blog

"I highly recommend the affordably priced download for anyone who wants to learn more about achieving realistic paintings on location." —Read the rest—Marc Taro Holmes, Citizen Sketcher/Urban Sketchers.

“James Gurney’s latest instructional video, 'Watercolor in the Wild,' is an educational and entertaining trip into the mind of one of America’s most respected artist / illustrators." Read the rest—Darren Rousar, author of Cast Drawing Using the Sight-Size Approach
"James Gurney is making watercolor sketching from life accessible to anyone who's serious about taking on the challenge! (I'm in the process of begging and pleading with my digital students to learn to paint from life.)" —Nathan Fowkes, Animation Artist

0 Comments on Watercolor in the Wild--New Reviews as of 8/31/2014 3:51:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. Life in the Leaky Cauldron! Alert! Alert!

It’s taken years. It’s taken tears. It’s taken a revolution in technology and a new coding system. BUT THE LEAKY CAULDRON IS FIXED. (Or… about 90% fixed.)

Over the past few years, the reason that we haven’t made a lot of updates to the Leaky Cauldron is that it was made, during the last time it was designed, with a coding system that was probably too advanced for us. When it broke down we needed a programmer who not only knew what they were doing but had enough experience in our site to be able to handle it. And as our coders and volunteers grew up and on… we didn’t have it.

SO FINALLY WE HAVE REDONE THE SITE. This is wholly the work of looonnnngtime Leaky hero John Noe, and a bunch of volunteers who we have dubbed Leaky Cauldron Angels. You’ll find them on the staff page, and they are the reason we have been able to get this going again.

Most things are back and going: MyLeaky’s profiles are working, but points will be restored over the coming months (hopefully in time for Sept. 1). You can still comment on each other’s walls. We have a fancy new design. We are no longer celebrating the release of DH1. (Man, we were REALLY looking forward to that movie.) Progress!

If you’re reading this you are likely one of the people who is still with us after all this time. That is incredibly special to us, and we thank you. This is the first and largest step in bringing the Leaky Cauldron back to its former polish. We are gathering more team members very soon, so please keep an eye out on this page for more!

Enjoy a functioning (but of course still leaking…) cauldron! If you find any problems that you’d like to tell us about, please email john@the-leaky-cauldron.org.

Note from John: Hey Leaky peoples! There will be a few obvious formating and missing feature issues that we’ll be ironing out here for the next few days, but do please feel free to leave us comments with suggestions or questions (or go ahead and email if you can’t comment.)

We hope most of you remember your MyLeaky names (or email addresses) used to login – you should be able to reset your passwords no problem. If not, we will be addressing a way to help you with that later this week.


Big Thank You’s to the Leaky Angels - Sarah Wilkes and Andrew Hanson - especially for leading the cleanup efforts on our featured content in the Crafts and Essays sections so far!!

Add a Comment
8. The Cha Cha Files: a Chapina Interview With Maya Chinchilla!

book cover by Rio Yañez and Yolanda Lopez
Maya Chinchilla is a Central American/Guatemalan poet, performer, video artist, and educator.  She is a “bridge” the way that feminist and lesbian writer, GloriaAnzaldúa describes “bridge” in her book Borderlands/La Frontera. Anzaldúa writes: “Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar” ("Voyager, there are no bridges: one builds them as one walks").  In her newly released collection of poetry, The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poetica, each poem is a carefully crafted “bridge” the reader crosses, entering and journeying into and through a Central American/U.S. bildungsroman, a reflexive and powerful coming-of-age lyrical narrative.

La Bloga is very fortunate to have Maya with us today to talk about her work. 

Amelia Montes:  Welcome y Saludos, Maya!  First--tell us how you came to poetry.

Maya Chinchilla:  Poetry opened up my world in so many ways.  I could tell you so many stories about this, but one of the ways I first started writing poetry was as a form of poetic code in my adolescent diaries.  I think I secretly wanted someone to find them, so they would know the depths of my little kid, later teenage, angst, and heartbreak—my observations about how unjust the world, my parents, my sister, and of course, the kids at school were to me and others.  Some of those themes have shifted in attention and depth, but that need to connect is still there.  I am inspired by the musicality and play with language that poetry offers, and the push to use the space on a page, and sometimes the stage, carefully.

Maya reading: Brava Theater at "Our Mission, No Eviction" fundraiser, in
San Francisco. Photo by Jean Melesaine
My intention was to show up as a full poeta in ways I had never personally seen.  Although I identify with a whole host of writers and artists from different backgrounds, growing up, I didn’t see anything like me or know any other Guatemalan (hyphen) American queer writers telling stories like mine.  I am first and foremost writing for that little kid who played with gender and other expectations, who essentially had to fight her way out of a suffocating silence.  She is still here because of this creative work.

Also, I wanted the whole book to be a work of art that could travel beyond myself as an individual.  The cover is intentional as well; Rio Yañez and Yolanda Lopez collaborated to create the most beautiful reflection of the many parts of me and the characters inside my head that I could have ever imagined.  If I could, I would have covered the whole inside of the book with illustrations too, but I might do that in another project. 

Amelia Montes:  As I read through your collection, I felt Gloria Anzaldúa’s work infused within your writing.  Her work in Borderlands/La Frontera is a call to all of us to arrive at la “conciencia de la mestiza”—“to be the bridge” and I feel that is exactly what you are doing here: giving us a perspective that we have not read.  You are breaking more assumptions and stereotypes of the Latina/Latino, as you say in “Baby Holds Half the Sky,” “I was born a bridge.” 

Maya Chinchilla:  Anzaldúa, along with many other women of color writers from her generation, have been important influences in my life, my work, and my teaching, and have especially pushed me to consider and reclaim the many languages we speak as well as the languages we are told not to speak.  The bridge is more than a burdensome metaphorical structure used to connect two places, but is a perspective and experience all unto itself.

As well as reading women of color writers for the first time as an undergrad, I studied poets like Martín Espada, José Antonio Burciaga, CherríeMoraga, Sandra Cisneros, Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Lorna Dee Cervantes, for example, and Latin American Poets like Giaconda Belli, Daisy Zamora, Otto Rene Castillo, Rubén Darío, Pablo Neruda, Roque Dalton, Claribel Alegría, Gabriela Mistral, to name a few.  Something about these poets, some I read in both Spanish and English, split me open and gave me permission to write as a cultural translator of sorts, until I recognized the “in-between-ness hyphen life” as a unique position place of endless possibility.  

Amelia Montes:  I love how you say “in-between-ness hyphen life.”  I think you’ve just given more readers/writers permission to be more conscious of this “unique position place.”  And so you divided your collection into four sections. 

Maya Chinchilla:  Yes, each section and poem can be read on its own, but experiencing the sections together is like reading a narrative of my life. 

Amelia Montes:  Yes!  In Part I, “Solidarity Babies,” we arrive at a historical moment where children of 1980s Central American revolutionaries now have a voice and are using that voice to give us their perspective.

Maya Chinchilla:  Yes, one of the driving forces behind (especially) my early work was to tell stories from the perspective of a second generation Central American in the U.S., who was hungry for her own history and reflection that is not mediated by one-dimensional stereotypes.  I decided I needed to write myself in where we are often left out.  There are definitely autobiographical elements to this work that provide the grounding for these stories, but there are parts that are also about imagining oneself into being when no one is hearing or seeing you and you want to be seen. It is absolutely imperative that U.S. Central Americans tell their own stories as many have already started to do.  Everyone wants to romanticize parts of our culture such as the pyramids, the revolution, the colonial cities.  They romanticize the Mayas as if they are only in the past, but many of us are hybrid beings consuming pop culture, and repurposing it with all our conflicts, contradictions, and cultural baggage. 

The picture with the group is taken in my childhood living room in Long Beach, California.  My mom is in the center back with glasses.  I am up front holding the white cat and my dad is left front.  The people in the picture are members of a  Guatemalan solidarity organization of which my parents were members.  
Amelia Montes:  In reading this last poem from Part I, “Central American-American,” the lines “am I a CENTRAL American?  Where is the center of America?” are so powerful given this particular moment in history where so many young children are fleeing Central America and now find themselves in detention centers on this side of the border. 

Maya Chinchilla:  As of late, there have been moments that I have screamed at the television or computer screen:  “We’ve been trying to tell you about this ‘crisis’ since the 80’s!  We are here because you were there.  You caused this.  You exported military and government resources and your 'gang problem' and your drug war exploited our colonial history . . .” We are all implicated in this.  We can’t just send this problem away.  Our immigration policies need to take into consideration our humanity and the ways U.S. policies have directly affected people’s ability to live peacefully. People don’t just want to come here.  They would stay where they are if that were possible.  They want to live decent and productive lives without fear of repression, violence, and hunger. 

Seeing those pictures of the young children curled up on bare mattresses placed next to teach other on the floor, behind gates, and bars, in over-crowded detention centers, as if they are criminals for surviving their harrowing journeys—it tears me apart.  It’s about survival.  Pure and simple.
No one put them on trains or sent them on this journey as if what lay across multiple borders was some sort of easier lifestyle.  Many of them are without parents because they have been victims of violence, or their parents made the journey to the U.S. earlier for similar reasons.  

They leave because there is no other way.  In their faces and their stories, I see my friends and family members who came to the U.S. previously; thinkers, workers, teachers, business people, family members, who are now integral to helping make this country run.  Militarizing the border, incarcerating and deporting people does nothing to solve the problem.  It does not help to reduce the amount of people searching for a better life nor does it contribute to our collective healing.  No one is looking for a savior.  You should share our outrage and encourage stories that don’t treat Central Americans as victims, but as canaries in the mine, story-tellers with wisdom that reveal something about all our humanity. 

That particular poem, for me, was written many years ago when I was looking for a cultural movement to call my own that was specific, and didn’t just assume that I fit under some umbrella generic version of Latino-ness that erased all these tensions and concerns I felt.  It’s so strange to hear people talk about your people as if you’re a ghost or a problem to be fixed.  Ask us.  I’m sure we have lots of suggestions. 

Amelia Montes:  Your words here are so powerful and important, Maya.  They connect with what you wrote in Part II regarding “the unicorn.”  You write:  “What if I tell you that I am usually the only one of my kind.”  The unicorn is a universal myth spanning the Greeks, the Middle Eastern civilizations (Indus Valley Civilization) and Asia too.  But you bring it home to what is happening now.

Maya Chinchilla:  The Central American unicorn is a metaphor for that feeling you get when you are seen as who you truly are with all your parts intact.  Not just as a daughter or student, or teacher or queer, woman, or immigrant, or Guatemalan, or poet; fragmented –only allowed to exist one piece at a time.

I could also describe it like this.  I am a Voltron of the worlds I walk between.  My right arm is a Queer fierce femme red lion.  My left arm is second-generation Guatemalan green lion, still coming to grips with its struggle.  My right leg is a blue lion that negotiates space with the Chicanos/Chicanas/Latinos/Latinas in my world. Lastly, my left leg is a yellow lion who pours her heart into a "Hello Kitty" diary while listening to The Smiths.  When you know what they are like, when they are complete, they hang in the imagination like a protective nahual. 

The Unicorn is that feeling of recognition that is illusive if you are not reflected in the media and culture as a full and complex human being.  If your eye is tuned to it, you can see it despite the non-believers.  Seeing someone who is similar to you, and who just gets it, it is the sweetest feeling because the heaviness and loneliness lifts in that moment. 

Maya Chinchilla, photo by Rio Yañez
Amelia Montes:  I see in your description and in this section, there is much “play” – a kind of wondrous creation of identity. The poem, “Guatemala Place of Trees” is one such piece. 

Maya Chinchilla:  Chapines are all about that play with language.  We have this dry playful humor that comes out even in the darkest of moments.  In my family, someone is always playing with you.  Some of these poems reflect that play.

This is one of those poems that couldn’t exist in sentences traveling across the page.  It’s a list of possibilities, messages, taunts, and reminders that slice the page in half forcing you to look at all its parts.

Amelia Montes:  Yes, and the poem “Chapina Dictionary,” links up as well.  The use of the letter “X!”

Maya Chinchilla:  Again, more playfulness.  I am fascinated with the “X” as a political statement or as a reclaiming, but also the sounds of words, the fear of the “X” in the English language and the embrace in Spanish.  In this poem, there is desire to explain, but in that Guatemalan way of playing with language where there are several levels, where you’re not sure if you’re in on the joke and another story emerges.  This poem is inspired by so many things, in particular, my study of Spanish from the bilingual yet English speaker experience.

Maya Chinchilla, photo by Rio Yañez
I first learned the alphabet in Spanish.  The “Ch,” the “LL,” and the “ñ” are letters you sing in the alphabet with their own sections. I have had to spell out my own last name for people in both languages; I have had to correct the pronunciation in English (Chinchilla, like tortilla . . .) almost every day of my life.  I am intimately aware of the possibilities of using "Ch," or "C," "H," to spell my name.  Also, sounds.  The sounds of some of these words and the ways we use them in different regions of Latin America has always fascinated me.  Some of the words are favorite words, some are words that I collected polling some friends one night online . . . many of them are specifically words and slang used in Central America.  Others are the ones that stick to you, having shared space with other Spanish speakers and infiltrators. 

Amelia Montes:  In Part III, you are respectfully honoring the elder mujeres (“Homegirls and Dedications”) while also proudly voicing a queer epistemology.  It’s a powerful section.  The lines in “Jota Poetics,” are key to this section: 
Broken Tongues Speak
Jotas into harmony
full of living theory
and supported creativity

Maya Chinchilla:  Yes to all of this.  Again, more reflecting and more imagining what our language of self looks like.  Raw, burning, wild, wanting to be desired, with all the edges and necessary tenderness. 

Amelia Montes: There is also disappointment in love or the experiences of the highs and lows of relationships.

Maya Chinchilla:  Love is integral to my transformation.  I have learned the most in those intimate spaces where theories fall away and you have to figure out how you really show up in the world.  Intimate relationships and their successes and failures show you exactly who you are.  There’s no running away from yourself when you show up for love and when you fail miserably.  Damn, sometimes my most dramatic stories come out with an unexpected humor and honesty in their hyperbole when I think I meant to write something else.  There’s no hiding here, and yet there are versions of myself here that are able to show up differently than I did in real life.  In the end, it’s about letting it go with a wink, a nod and a desire to channel that ferocity into the kind of transformative love that doesn’t need so much as it just is.

Amelia Montes:  In Part IV, “Cha Cha Files,” you come back to bridging Latinidad, to breathing.  It begins with “Wanted,” and having the space to breathe one’s truth, ending with “Nuestras Utopias:” “I wish I didn’t lose my breath when I need to speak my truth.”  Here, readers reach the writer’s maturity—a place of working through equilibrium. 

Maya Chinchilla: Yes, I intended for this work to embrace multiple arcs or grow like a tree with branches.  I like to read books in a nonlinear fashion, so I think you could pick any page and go on a different journey.  I also thought about this work with this particular spine from beginning to end as if witnessing snapshots of the main character’s journey.  In the editing process, I tried several versions and orders.  Another version closed the book, like a bookend, returning to the beginning.  I chose instead to leave the end with a sense of questioning, looking towards the future, and openness.  

Some of the earlier voices were more declarative with an urgency to define oneself with an expectation that if you didn’t get it, then you needed to do more work, not me.  The urgency is still there, but by the end, she is more comfortable with her complexity and uncertainty, and there is a peace and an openness to other possibilities or worlds.  I am embracing all parts of myself and believe that my/our survival depends on our creativity and ability to imagine alternative futures.  That brooding angsty girl is still there, but she’s not as hard on herself because she knows she sees the world for what it is.  This attention is a skill she needs to manage instead of just absorbing it all in the hopes of minimizing the impact of the world’s ills on others.  Now she’s letting that go in preparation for what is next.

Amelia Montes:  In addition to The Cha Cha Files, what other Latina writing would you suggest we read?

Maya Chinchilla:  There are too many.  I will be here all night so I will just name a few.  Anything from Kórima Press.  I am so in love with my Press-mates.  They are all so amazing and inspiring.  I’m going to take this opportunity to mention some names that are some of my favorites right now, and are probably not on a list of the usual suspects:  Vickie Vertíz, Rachel McKibbins, Sara Campos, Meliza Bañales, Alice Bag, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Lorena Duarte, Sandra GarciaRivera, Lizz Huerta, Ramona Gonzalez, Nancy Aide Gonzalez, and MelissaLozano. 

I also constantly think about the women I know that, in my mind, will always be writers but stopped writing because they had another gift to offer the world or something else took priority.  I think any one of them could still be writers, but for whatever reason, aren’t able to do it.  These are the women who motivate me to write as well.  When I feel doubt, I remind myself that any one of them could be writing, but often women are expected to take care of others or are just handling so many things that make it not possible. 

Amelia Montes:  Important words about women and writing, Maya!  Thank you so much for being with La Bloga today. Is there something I haven’t asked, that you would like to share with La Bloga readers? 

Maya Chinchilla:  This book really is a dream.  I am thankful to those that coaxed me to complete the work I have spent my life cultivating.  I am grateful to the many storytellers I have met on this path and feel a sense of peace that this work is now doing what it is supposed to do, and I can now release it as an offering for the ones who were meant to read and connect with it.  Hopefully, it raises some questions, offers some comfort, makes you smile, pushes you to write your own versions, and provides some clues that we were, we are, here. 

Maya Chinchilla, photo by Rio Yañez
BIO Maya Chinchilla
Born and raised in Long Beach, California, by a mixed class, mixed race, immigrant activist extended family, Maya currently lives and loves in the Bay Area.  Her work has been published in anthologies and journals including: Mujeres de Maíz, Sinister Wisdom, Americas y Latinas: A Stanford Journal of Latin American Studies, Cipactli Journal,and The Lunada Literary Anthology.  She is quoted (and misquoted) in essays, presentations, and books on U.S. Central American poetics; Chicana/Latina literature; and identity, gender, and sexuality. Maya is a founding member of the performance group Las Manas, a former artist-in-residence at Galeria de La Raza in San Francisco, California/ and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, California; and is a VONA Voices and Dos Brujas alum.  She is also the co-editor of Desde El Epicentro: An Anthology of Central American Poetry and Art.  She holds an MFA in English and Creative writing from Mills College and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University.  Maya is currently touring her first book, The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poéticaacross the country.

Check Maya Chinchilla's websites for touring details:  

0 Comments on The Cha Cha Files: a Chapina Interview With Maya Chinchilla! as of 8/31/2014 5:31:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. Jesus art (adventures in going digital)

Yes, I still love my colored pencils. But I've had the itch to work on a digital style, and have done it in fits and starts, but always seem to get sidetracked with something else. (If you are one of the three or so people who read this blog, you might remember me struggling valiantly with trying to do a 'digital colored pencil' style a while back, and how I kind of, well, let's just say, "got frustrated and put it aside".)

I thought I'd do a simpler technique, something that could work for educational and/or religious publishers, so I started sketching out a piece with Jesus and the children. (I did some first 'thinking sketches' for this idea here, which have changed completely.) 

I work in Photoshop, in layers. Here is the first rough drawing of my idea, with a darker, slightly more finished sketch on top of a really super sketchy one. I laid it out with two possible areas for type (thinking like a 'book' or published piece, which would most likely have some words on there someplace) - the sky, top right; or the grass, bottom left.

I made quite a few adjustments and changes to the figures, and ended up with this finished line drawing, which I think is pretty cute. This, all by itself, could work as a black and white piece.

And with the line work darkened up, it could be a coloring book.

So then onto color! This first sample is like other digital work I've done. Its very simple, flat color. This style is really good for high volume work that needs to be done fast. You figure out your palette, then just start painting away, keeping each element, or figure, on a separate layer, so that you can make changes easily (there are always changes!).

And then, because I can't help myself, I started working on one that has more detail. (I showed this to someone who thought it was colored pencil, so I guess maybe I'm onto something here.)

I thought you might enjoy seeing how it looks in separate layers. Those of you who work digitally will yawn at this, but for the rest of you who have no idea how this works, you will be amazed! (or at least mildly entertained).

I start with the drawing layer. (see above)
Then, imagine sheets of clear glass, laid one on top of the other, over that original drawing. That's what working in layers in Photoshop is like. I 'color' on each layer, then at the end, flatten them all down together into one picture. 

Here is the layer where I just painted in all the grass, and the trees in the background. 

Then this was the fun part. I decided to do some texture, and drew little blades of grass. The dirt was originally on its own layer, but somewhere along the way (probably when I was getting too tired) I merged these two layers together. Oh well.

Here's a close up of what the grass blades look like. There are actually two layers - the first one was too light, so I drew them all again, darker.

I love this one. Just the skin! ewwwww.

And the trees. This was done with a few layers, then I mushed them together.

And so on. I may not actually finish this piece because as much as I love Jesus, I'm getting really tired of working on this one illustration of him. I hope he understands. I think I'll change it up and do some Romans, or Lazarus, or Noah.

Meanwhile, hello all you nice publishers who need religious art! I'm all enthused to illustrate your book of Bible stories for you! All 500 illustrations, spots and vignettes and full bleeds, Moses and the Red Sea, the Burning Bush, Jonah, temples, palm trees, the 12 apostles, sandals, beards, robes, Mary, Joseph, Egyptians, . . . Call me! (well, maybe email first.) paula@paulapertile.com

0 Comments on Jesus art (adventures in going digital) as of 8/30/2014 8:39:00 PM
Add a Comment
10. The Jane Lumley Prize – Poems


The first annual Jane Lumley Prize For Emerging Writers is open for submissions till November 30th 2014!

The Jane Lumley Prize is awarded annually to a writer who has yet not published a full length book of poetry or prose. The prize alternates each year between prose and poetry, and the inaugural year will seek to recognize the brilliance of an exceptional piece of poetry.


The Jane Lumley Prize will only be awarded to writers who have not published a full length book. However, they may have published a chapbook, and/or found a home for their works in other literary journals. We also invite unpublished writers to submit their poems for consideration.

If you know the editor and/or any staff member of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, you must not submit your work. If such a relationship is identified, your entry would be disqualified.


You may submit a maximum of six poems for consideration in a single word document. The poems must be original and previously unpublished.We welcome submissions of all forms of poetry, including prose poetry.Each poem should not exceed 2 pages.​Please remove all identifying information from the poems themselves, for all the entries will be read anonymously. However, you may include a brief third person bio in the cover letter.We encourage simultaneous submissions, but we request you to withdraw your work in case it finds an acceptance elsewhere by clicking on the withdraw link on Submittable.

You must create an account https://hermeneuticchaos.submittable.com/submit/34128
Enter your information to create a new account below.

If you already have a Submittable account, please .

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Contest, opportunity, Places to sumit, Poems, poetry, publishers Tagged: Emerging Writers, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Jane Lumley Prize, This year's Contest - Poetry, Unpublished writers

0 Comments on The Jane Lumley Prize – Poems as of 8/31/2014 3:05:00 AM
Add a Comment
11. Saturday Evening's Favorite Movie Moment- 'Charlotte's Web'

Saturday's Favorite Movie Moment embraces the best movie adaptations from books, unless I find a screenplay written as well as a book.-If that's possible, and I many times it is-

The award winning classic, Charlotte's Web, was written by E. B. White, the author of many other beloved classics such as Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Where The Mountain meets The Moon.

E.B. White was born in Mount Vernon, New York, and was the author of many other award winning essays for adults. He is also the author of  The Elements of Style, which is commonly known as "Strunk & White".

I've owned a least five copies of The Elements of Style in my lifetime, and still refer to my present copy often.

E.B White's children's books illustrate his astounding imagination, gift for characterization, dialogue, phrasing, and above all else storytelling. E.B. White died on October the first in 1985, but his books will remain shelved for many lifetimes, teaching children and adults about love, sacrifice, loss, joy, courage, friendship, loyalty, and life.

If you haven't read these children's classics to your children, it is never too late to buy a copy.

Thank you for stopping by A Nice Place In The Sun, and I hope you have an excellent week-end- :)

0 Comments on Saturday Evening's Favorite Movie Moment- 'Charlotte's Web' as of 8/31/2014 12:25:00 AM
Add a Comment
12. David Mitchell profile

       In The Japan Times Andrew Lee looks (sigh ...) Inside author David Mitchell's metaphysical mind, as The Bone Clocks-author talks about his new novel and his Japanese influences.
       I haven't got a copy of The Bone Clocks, yet, but Mitchell's other work is under review at the complete review (e.g. Cloud Atlas) and I should be getting to this as well (I'm in 82nd place in the queue for one of the NYPL's 18 copies ...); meanwhile, see the official site, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

Add a Comment
13. Poetry Collection Competition and Artist Residency: The Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize

The Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize (formerly the Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize) is a collaboration between Persea Books and The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Project. This annual competition sponsors the publication of a poetry collection by an American woman poet who has yet to publish a full-length book of poems. The winner receives an advance of $1,000.00 and publication of her collection by Persea.

In addition, the winner receives the option of an all-expenses-paid residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center, a renowned artists retreat housed in a fifteenth-century castle in Umbertide, Italy.


Submission and Eligibility Guidelines:
• Entrants must be women with American citizenship.
• Submitted manuscripts should include two title pages: one containing the author's name, the author's contact information, and the title of the collection; and another containing only the title of the collection.
• Submitted manuscripts should be at least 40 pages. They should be paginated, with the title of the collection included on each page as a header or footer, and fastened with a clip. Please do not staple or permanently bind submissions.
• Submissions may include a page of publication credits. However, they should not include other sorts of acknowledgments, thank-yous, or dedications.
• Submissions must be primarily in English to be considered. Translations are not accepted.
For the purposes of this contest, a previously published full-length book is defined as a volume of at least 40 pages in an edition of 500 or more copies that has been made readily available through trade distribution (i.e. local and/or on-line booksellers, including Amazon.com). Any woman who has published a book that meets these criteria is ineligible.
• Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please contact us immediately if you must withdraw your manuscript(s) from consideration.
Submissions must be postmarked between September 1st and October 31st (or the first weekday thereafter if October 31st falls on a Sunday). They should be sent to: 

The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize, c/o Persea Books
PO Box 1388
Columbia, MO 65205

and should include a check (in U.S. funds) in the amount of $25.00, made payable to the order of The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Project. Please do not send submissions to Persea’s New York City office.

• Entry fees are nonrefundable.
• Submissions should be sent via USPS First Class, Priority, or Express mail. We reserve the right to disqualify submissions sent by other methods (e.g. USPS Media Mail) should they reach us after the postmark deadline.

The winner is chosen by an anonymous selection committee and announced on Persea's web site in January. Submitted manuscripts will not be returned.

Add a Comment
14. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #395: Featuring Bruce Eric Kaplan

Okay, you all. I just gotta write about another Bruce Eric Kaplan picture book, because whenever he writes and illustrates a new one, I’m reminded how wonderfully weird and refreshing they are. I see a lot of picture books on a regular basis, you see, and some of them start to blur together in my vision, but when one of his shows up, I know I’m likely in for a laugh.

Let me back up first. Kaplan is a cartoonist, whose work regularly appears in the The New Yorker, and since he’s known for his darker humor, his picture books have a touch of that as well (which means, of course, I’m going to be drawn to them). Dark humor in picture books is an easy thing to get wrong, though, yet Kaplan hasn’t made a misstep yet. At least, not in my book anyway. His debut picture book was 2010′s Monsters Eat Whiny Children, featured here at 7-Imp, and this was followed last year by Cousin Irv from Mars, which I wrote about here at Kirkus (and followed up here with art).

The new one, Meaniehead, came out in June (Simon & Schuster) and features more of his dark, hyperbolic humor and wry (and wise) observations on childhood. Henry and Eve are siblings who are experiencing an ugly new phase (as you can see above), involving lots of arguing. One day, an argument over an action figure (“There’s nothing sillier than fighting about what belongs to whom, but no kids and even fewer adults know that”) leads to a broken lamp, a wrecked bedroom, and the destruction of the house, the neighborhood, the local toy store, the library, the pizza place, the beauty parlor, the park, and all the town’s buildings, really. After a snack break, the intensive arguing continues until … well, I can’t give it all away, but some Texas football teams get involved …

… and in the end the world explodes.

That’s a Bruce Eric Kaplan book for you. Though you can never expect a moral with his books (thank goodness), there is some remorse, post-apocalypse. Best of all, he seems to really get those intense childhood fights. (My late brother and I grew up to be the best of friends, but boy howdy did we have some doozies when we were younger. I remember an argument over macaroni that is best not discussed.)

MEANIEHEAD. Copyright © 2014 by Bruce Eric Kaplan. Illustrations used by permission of the publisher, Simon & Schuster, New York.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) I might have to listen to this great conversation with poet Marie Howe multiple times. This is excellent on so many levels.

2) I took my girls this weekend to this Coretta Scott King event at the Nashville Public Library, and they got to take writing and art workshops — and I finally got to meet in person R. Gregory Christie.

3) Reading about this smart idea (putting a social worker on staff at a D.C. library to work with homeless patrons) led me to this podcast. It’s from the Dallas Public Library; it’s about homelessness; and it’s hosted by a young man who is himself homeless. I’m on episode three at this point; so far, it’s interesting stuff.

4) It’s lovely to see Dolly Parton’s book program (which is FABULOUS) get some national love and attention.

5) I got a good stack of new novels at the bookstore today. On that note …

6) Bubble bath. Reading. Bye! (Sorry to kick #7.)

What are YOUR kicks this week?

0 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #395: Featuring Bruce Eric Kaplan as of 8/31/2014 2:57:00 AM
Add a Comment
15. Fiction Competition: The Iowa Short Fiction Award and John Simmons Short Fiction Award

The Iowa Short Fiction Award & John Simmons Short Fiction Award 


Any writer who has not previously published a volume of prose fiction is eligible to enter the competition. Previously entered manuscripts that have been revised may be resubmitted. Writers are still eligible if they have published a volume of poetry or any work in a language other than English or if they have self-published a work in a small print run. Writers are still eligible if they are living abroad or are non-US citizens writing in English. Current University of Iowa students are not eligible.

The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. We do not accept e-mail submissions. The manuscript may include a cover page, contents page, etc., but these are not required. The author's name can be on every page but this is not required. Stories previously published in periodicals are eligible for inclusion. There is no reading fee; please do not send cash, checks, or money orders. Reasonable care is taken, but we are not responsible for manuscripts lost in the mail or for the return of those not accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We assume the author retains a copy of the manuscript.


Award-winning manuscripts will be published by the University of Iowa Press under the Press's standard contract.


Manuscripts should be mailed to:
Iowa Short Fiction Award
Iowa Writers' Workshop
507 North Clinton Street
102 Dey House
Iowa City IA 52242-1000

No application forms are necessary. Entries for the competition should be postmarked between August 1 and September 30; packages must be postmarked by September 30. Announcement of the winners will be made early in the following year on our Facebook page and Twitter account.

Previous Winners

Potential entrants wishing to read stories by previous winners may order The Iowa Award: The Best Stories from Twenty Years and The Iowa Award: The Best Stories, 1991ñ2000, both selected by Frank Conroy.

Add a Comment

Today - the 31st August - we are delighted  to have a Guest Illustrator Post from Patrice Aggs..

Patrice Aggs writes and illustrates children's books. Her latest is Yi Er San, My First Chinese Nursery Rhymes (Frances Lincoln). Right now she's obsessed with kids' comics, and is about to begin her 4th adventure series for The Phoenix. 

Welcome, Patrice!

Thank you - and hello to everyone at An Awfully Big Blog Adventure! 

Let's start a bit of action:
Add a Comment
17. Micro-Fiction Competition: River Styx

River Styx 2015 Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest

Enter online.

$1500 First Prize plus one case of micro-brewed Schlafly Beer
Judged by the editors of River Styx
Submissions open August 1, 2014
500 words maximum per story, up to three stories per entry.

Entry fee: $10 or $20. $20 entry fee includes a one-year subscription (3 issues). $10 entry fee includes a copy of the issue in which the winning stories will appear.
Include name and address on the cover letter only.
All stories will be considered for publication.
Previously published stories, including those that have appeared on websites, blogs, and personal home pages, are not eligible.
Though submissions are anonymous, judges will remove from consideration any entries they recognize as having been written by writers with whom they have worked or studied.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners and honorable mentions will be published in the spring issue.
Contest results will be announced in April.

Enter by mail or online via Submittable. To enter by mail, include an S.A.S.E. for notification of contest results and a check payable to River Styx Magazine. Entries must be received by December 31. Mail entries to:

River Styx Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest
3547 Olive Street, Suite 107
St. Louis MO 63103

Add a Comment
18. Amityville Horror

fly_amityville horror 450

At this time, every year our house becomes housefly central for a day or two and is affectionately referred to by my husband, Tom and myself as “Amityville Horror”. Those who have seen the movie will know what I’m referring to. If you don’t know what I mean, well, Rod Steiger plays this priest, he’s in this haunted house and he gets attacked by flies and, well you really need to check this out, man.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adFRKm9ezw4

But, I digress.

So, while attempting to prepare a meal today, several flies circled my head in this dreadful holding pattern, while many more of their creepy little comrades paced shamelessly across the cutting board with their nasty little bug feet. At least 50 or A MILLION flies crawled, flitted or buzzed over every inch of our kitchen. One poor unfortunate got himself stuck in the butter.

Gross! That does it!

We take up arms. Flyswatters and rolled up newspapers are picked up and waved wildly at the air in hopes of sending the tiny, vile vermin back from whence they came. The wild waving and syncopated swatting, followed by loud intermittent thwaps and kersplats, predictably sends our two kitties vaulting out of kitchen and into farther reaches of the house, each heading for their own piece of furniture to hide under and wait for saner times. Clearly the humans, usually such pacifists, have gone to a deep, dark place.

The carnage can go on for hours, sometimes days. But eventually this slaughter, the stuff of horror films, ends as abruptly as it began. Feeling spent, yet flush with cathartic relief, we turn to each other, blow the fly guts off our swatters and announce…

“This house is clean.”

0 Comments on Amityville Horror as of 8/31/2014 3:01:00 AM
Add a Comment
19. Essay Contest for Writers 18 and Younger: Creative Minds Writing Contest

Creative Minds Writing Contest

Submit here.

We invite submissions for Imagine’s Creative Minds Essay Contest.
The first-place winner will be published in the January/February issue of Imagine. Second- and third-place winners will be excerpted in print and published in full online. Winners will receive copies of the issue in which their work appears.
Winners will be announced in the Jan/Feb issue of Imagine and on the Imagine website.

Contest Guidelines:
Entrants must be 18 years old or younger.
Entries must be received by 5:00 ET on Friday, November 7, 2014.
There is no theme or topic for this competition. Essays may be any work of creative nonfiction including, but not limited to, memoirs, personal essays, travel writing, and lyric essays. We will not accept book reports, critical works, or research papers.
Essays must not exceed 1,000 words and must be titled.
Entrants may submit up to two essays.

Entries must include text only. Do not include photographs, illustrations, or background graphics or colors.
Essays must be entrant’s original work. Essays that have won other contests or that have appeared in any print or online publications are not eligible.

Save all essays in a single Microsoft Word document with your last name as the file name. Submit your entry online here.

Questions may be directed to:

mhartmanATjhuDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

See the winning essays from previous years in our essay archives.

Add a Comment
20. Does industry sponsorship restrict the disclosure of academic research?

Long-run trends suggest a broad shift is taking place in the institutional financing structure that supports academic research. According to data compiled by the OECD reported in Figure 1, industry sources are financing a growing share of academic research while “core” public funding is generally shrinking. This ongoing shift from public to private sponsorship is a cause for concern because these sponsorship relationships are fundamentally different. Available evidence suggests that industry financing does not simply replace dwindling public money, but imposes additional restrictions on academic researchers. In particular, industry sponsors frequently limit disclosure of research findings, methods, or materials by delaying or banning public release.

Recent economic research highlights why public disclosure of academic research is important. Disclosure permits the stock of public knowledge to be cumulative, accessible, and reliable. It limits duplication of research efforts, allows new knowledge to be replicated and verified by professional peers, and permits access and use by other researchers which enhances opportunities for complementary research. Some work finds that greater access to ideas and materials in academic research not only increased incentives for direct follow-on research, but led to an increase in the diversity of research by increasing the number of experimental research lines. Other work, examining the theoretical conditions supporting “open science” versus “secrecy”, stressed that maintaining and growing the stock of public knowledge requires a limit on the private financial returns obtained through secrecy.

graph f

To better understand the potential implications of increased industry funding, we implemented a research project that examined the relationship between industry sponsorship and restrictions on publication disclosure using individual-level data on German academic researchers. Germany is an apt setting for examining this relationship. It has a strong tradition of public financial support for academic research and, according to the OECD, Germany experienced the most dramatic growth in its share of industry sponsorship, an 11.3 percentage point increase from 1995 to 2010 (see Figure 1).

German academic researchers were surveyed about the degree of publication disclosure restrictions experienced during research projects sponsored by government, foundations, industry, and other sources. To examine if industry sponsorship jeopardizes disclosure of academic research, we modeled the degree of restrictiveness (i.e. delay and secrecy) as a function of the researcher’s budget share financed by industry. This formulation allows us to examine two potential effects of industry sponsored research contracts. The first is an adoption effect that takes place when academic researchers commit to industry funding. The second is an intensity effect that captures how publication restrictions depend on the researcher’s exposure to greater ex post review and evaluation by industry sponsors. Our models include covariates that control for non-industry extramural sponsorship, personal characteristics, research characteristics, institutional affiliations, and scientific fields of study.

Both the descriptive and regression results show a positive relationship between the degree of publication restrictions and industry sponsorship. The percentage of respondents who reported higher secrecy (partial or full) is significantly larger for industry sponsored researchers than it is for researchers with other extramural sponsors, 41% and 7% respectively. Controlling for selection, adopting industry sponsorship more than doubles the expected probabilities of publication delay and secrecy. The intensity effect is positive and significant with a larger effect on publication secrecy than on publication delay when academic researchers become heavily supported by industrial firms. These results are robust to the possibility that researchers self-select into extramural sponsorship and to the possibility that the share of industry sponsorship is endogenous due to unobserved variables.

Based on our analysis, the shift from public to private sponsorship seen in the OECD aggregate data reflects changes in the microeconomic environment shaping incentives for disclosure by academic researchers. On average, academic researchers are willing to restrict disclosure in exchange for financial support by industry sponsors. Our results shed light on an important challenge facing policymakers. Understanding the trade-off between public and private sponsorship of academic research involves gauging the impact of disclosure restrictions on the quantity, quality, and evolution of academic research to better understand how these restrictions may ultimately influence innovation and economic growth.

Image credit: Computer research, © Jürgen François, via iStock Photo.

The post Does industry sponsorship restrict the disclosure of academic research? appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Does industry sponsorship restrict the disclosure of academic research? as of 8/31/2014 4:58:00 AM
Add a Comment
21. South Korea’s Studio MIR Signs Co-Production Deal With DreamWorks

South Korea's Studio MIR, responsible for the animation in "The Legend of Korra" and the fourth season of "The Boondocks," has signed a major deal with DreamWorks Animation to produce four animated series over four years.

0 Comments on South Korea’s Studio MIR Signs Co-Production Deal With DreamWorks as of 8/30/2014 10:49:00 PM
Add a Comment
22. Books in translation in ... Canada

       Last week I mentioned/discussed Dalya Alberge's report in The Observer on how (supposedly) British readers lost in translations as foreign literature sales boom, and at Quill & Quire they follow up on that article, wondering: Books in translation take off in the U.K.; can they do the same in Canada ?
       The Canadian situation is somewhat different from the UK one, since Canada is, after all, (nominally) bilingual (yes, yes, the UK is nominally multilingual, but let's face it: French in Canada is ,,, non-trivial; Welsh, Scots, etc, in the UK ... sadly, considerably more trivial (though of course not entirely so)). Interestingly, the focus of the Quill & Quire piece is on translation (into English) from the French. It makes sense, in a way -- translations from other languages into English are most likely to reach the relatively small Canadian market via US and UK editions/translations Still, smaller markets can take the occasional lead here -- as I recently noted, Uday Prakash's The Walls of Delhi came to the US only after the University of Western Australia published it ..... And in Canada, they do have admirable publishers such as Biblioasis, which has taken the lead in some unlikely areas/languages.

Add a Comment
23. Poetry Book Competitions: New Issues Press

The 2015 Green Rose Prize

$2,000 and publication for a book of poems by an established poet


Eligibility: Poets writing in English who have already published one or more full-length collections of poetry. We will consider individual collections and volumes of new and selected poems. Besides the winner, New Issues may publish as many as three additional manuscripts from this competition.
Please include a $25 reading fee. Checks should be made payable to New Issues Press.
Postmark Deadline: September 30, 2014. The winning manuscript will be named in January 2015 and published in the spring of 2016.

The 2014 New Issues Poetry Prize
$2,000 and publication for a first book of poems
Judge: to be determined

Eligibility: Poets writing in English who have not previously published or self-published a full-length collection (48+ pages) of poems.
Please include a $20 reading fee. Checks should be made payable to New Issues Press.
Postmark Deadline: November 30, 2014. The winning manuscript will be named in May 2015 and published in the spring of 2016.

General Guidelines:
Submit a manuscript at least 48 pages in length, typed on one side, single-spaced preferred. Photocopies are acceptable. Please do not bind manuscript. Include a brief bio, relevant publication information, cover page with name, address, phone number, and title of the manuscript, and a page with only the title.
Enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard for notification that the manuscript has been received. For notification of title and author of the winning manuscript enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Manuscripts will be recycled.

A manuscript may be submitted that is being considered elsewhere but New Issues should be notified upon the manuscript’s acceptance elsewhere.

Send manuscripts and queries to:

The New Issues Poetry Prize
(or) The Green Rose Prize
New Issues Poetry & Prose
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5463

Add a Comment
24. Daddy Wrong Legs, by Nina Laden | Book Review

Daddy Wrong Legs, by Nina Laden, is a colorful board book split down the middle and offers a top and bottom page turn.

Add a Comment


Time to plan a surprise
for your class.


My BLOG, "Skype Makes it Happen"
is a good place to start.

Take a trip to my PINTEREST Teacher-Classroom board for help 
and imaginative class suggestions.  Pinterest PINS make teaching more fun.

Then, BOOK my FREE
"Skype Author Visit"


*CHOOSE a time and a date

Before my visit I will send you the following:

*A FREE "Sneak Peek" inside my current books (pdf download)
*Information about the book I plan to read to your class
*Coloring sheets for younger classes
*Word glossary for Aussie books

An Order Form  + a brief Introductory Letter for parents -
so they can email me, and reassure themselves
about my books, or ask me questions.


Magic Carpet Rides 
are a rare treat! 


Books for Kids - Skype Author Visits


0 Comments on BOOK a FREE "AUTHOR" SCHOOL VISIT" as of 8/30/2014 9:53:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts