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Results 26 - 50 of 2,625
26. Anton Chekhov's Selected Stories: A Norton Critical Edition edited by Cathy Popkin

My name is Matthew and I am a Norton Critical Edition addict.

Hardly a term has gone by without my assigning students at least one NCE, both when I was a high school teacher and especially now that I'm teaching college students. (This term, it's The Red Badge of Courage.) I have been known to change syllabi each term just to try out new NCEs with students. I have bought NCEs for myself even of books that I already owned in multiple other editions. I have all four editions of the NCE of Heart of Darkness because the changes between them fascinate me. (I've been meaning to write a blog post or essay of some sort about those changes. I'll get to it one day.)

Anton Chekhov is my favorite writer, a writer whose work I've been reading and thinking about for all of my adult life. The Norton Critical Editions of Chekhov's stories and plays published in the late 1970s remained unchanged until Laurence Senelick's Selected Plays came out in 2004, and then, finally, last year Cathy Popkin's Selected Stories. Senelick's collection is good, and probably all that the average reader needs, though I'm more partial to Senelick's true masterpiece, the Complete Plays, which is awe-inspiring.

Popkin's Selected Stories is something more again, and easily the best single-volume collection of Chekhov in English. This is the place to start if you've never read Chekhov, and it's a great resource even for seasoned Chekhovians. I'll go further than that, actually: Because of the critical apparatus, this is a great resource for anyone interested in fiction, translation, and/or writing; and it is one of the most interesting Norton Critical Editions I know, almost as impressive as my favorite NCEs, Things Fall Apart and The English Bible.

Popkin made the interesting and valuable choice to not only include stories from multiple translators (including new commissions), but to foreground the act of translation by including helpful descriptions of each translator's approach and methodology, as well as short passages from multiple stories in numerous translations for comparison:

sample of the Comparison Passages section

Further, Popkin frequently offers a perspective on the translation of an individual story in the first footnote for it, and sometimes in subsequent footnotes that point out particular choices the translator made.

The foregrounding of translation allows Popkin to bring in essays in the critical section that focus on Chekhov as a stylist, something Ralph Matlaw, editor of the previous edition, specifically avoided because he thought it made no sense to talk about "since the subtleties of Chekhov's style are lost in translation." Popkin's contention is that this no longer needs to be true, if it ever was.

What we have here, then, is not only a book of Chekhov stories plus some biographical and critical material, but a book about aesthetics and writing. One of the critical disputes that Popkin highlights, both in her introduction and in her selection of essays, is a longstanding one between critics who believe every detail in the stories has a particular purpose and function, and critics who believe that Chekhov's art (and philosophy) resides in the very extraneousness and randomness of some of his details. There is, as Popkin notes, no solution to this question, and plenty of readers (I'm one of them) believe that in a certain way both interpretations can be correct — but the value here is that Popkin is able to make the critical dispute one that is not only about Chekhov, but about writing, realism, and the reader's experience of the text. Attentive readers of this Selected Stories will thus not only gain knowledge of Chekhov's work, but will also participate in the exploration of aesthetics: the aesthetics of the stories as well as the aesthetics of translation.

Inevitably, I have one complaint and a few quibbles. The complaint is that the physical book is terribly bound — the binding of my copy broke when I opened it, and continued to break whenever I opened to anything in the middle of the book. No pages have yet fallen out, but they could soon. This is unusual for a Norton book — The English Bible is huge and only one year older than Selected Stories and its bindings (2 big volumes) are very strong; my copy of the 1979 NCE of Chekhov's stories, purchased at the earliest 15 years ago, seems unbreakable. I hope the problem with this new book is an anomaly.

My quibbles are purely those of anyone who has their own particular favorites among Chekhoviana. I detest Ronald Hingley's imperialist atrocities of translations, and though I know they're necessary for this volume because they offer such stark contrast to other translations, why why why did Popkin have to include Hingley's translation of perhaps my favorite Chekhov story, "Gusev"?! At least she could have included somebody — anybody! — else's translation alongside it. (Indeed, I think it would have been helpful for the book to choose one complete story to offer in multiple translations. "Gusev" is probably too long, but Chekhov wrote a number of quite short stories that have been translated numerous times.)

The selection of stories in this edition is almost completely superior to Matlaw's, but it's unfortunate to lose the 1886 story "Dreams", which seems to me a perfect encapsulation of Chekhov's style between his early humorous sketches and his later, longer stories ... but it's easily available elsewhere.

One significant improvement Popkin makes over Matlaw's previous edition is the inclusion of some of Chekhov's longer stories, most significantly "Ward No. 6" and "In the Ravine", two of his most important works. The book is already almost 700 pages, so obviously novellas such as "My Life" and "The Steppe" — hugely important, original, difficult, complex, breathtaking works — wouldn't fit without bumping out a lot of other worthwhile material, but still I pine. Perhaps Selected Stories will be successful enough that Norton will consider a Critical Edition called Chekhov's Novellas...

Finally, it might have been nice to include something on the adaptation of Chekhov's stories to theatre, film, and television — though of course his plays are more frequently adapted, some of the better adaptations are of the short stories, and there's been at least a little bit of critical attention to that. Adaptation is another form of translation, and it would have been interesting to consider that further within the frame that Popkin set up.

But really, these are the inevitable, unimportant quibbles of the sort that any anthology causes in a reader familiar with the territory. Popkin's edition of the Selected Stories is a book to celebrate and savor, and it gets so many things right that it is churlish to complain about any of it. Even the cover is a smart, appropriate choice: a painting by Chekhov's friend Isaac Levitan.

This book is clearly the result of lots of love for Chekhov, and as such I can only love it back.

0 Comments on Anton Chekhov's Selected Stories: A Norton Critical Edition edited by Cathy Popkin as of 1/1/1900
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27. Fiction Competition: The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction is offered annually for a previously unpublished short story of no more than 50 pages. The winning short story will be published in the 2015 fall/winter issue of Colorado Review; the writer receives a $2,000 honorarium.  

The Nelligan Prize was established in 2004 in memory of Liza Nelligan, a writer, editor, and friend of many in Colorado State University’s English Department, where she received her master’s degree in literature in 1992. By giving an award to the author of an outstanding short story each year, we hope to honor Nelligan’s life, her passion for writing, and her love of fiction.
Previous winners of the Nelligan Prize include Amira Pierce’s “Anything Good is a Secret,” (selected by Kent Nelson); Edward Hamlin’s “Night in Erg Chebbi,” (selected by Jim Shepard); and Matthew Shaer’s “Ghosts,” (selected by Jane Hamilton).

General Guidelines for the 2015 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction:

$2,000 will be awarded for the best short story, which will be published in the fall/winter 2015 issue of Colorado Review.

This year’s final judge is Lauren Groff; friends and students (current & former) of the judge are not eligible to compete, nor are Colorado State University employees, students, or alumni.

Entry fee is $15 per story (add $2 for online submissions); there is no limit on the number of entries you may submit.

Stories must be previously unpublished.

There are no theme restrictions, but stories must be under 50 pages.

Deadline is the postmark of March 14, 2015.

Winner will be announced by July 2015.

All submissions will be considered for publication.

You do not need to be a Colorado or US resident to enter.

To submit online:

The story title and your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address should be entered in the cover letter field, separate from your story. Be sure your name is not anywhere in the story itself (for example, in the header or footer).

The fee to enter online is $17 ($2 goes to the good people at Submittable; in most cases, it will be less expensive to enter online than by mail).
On or before March 14, 2015, submit here.

To submit via regular mail:

Include two cover sheets: on the first, print your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and the story title; on the second, print only the story title. Your name should not appear anywhere else on the manuscript.

Enclose a check for $15 for each story. Checks should be made out to Colorado Review. You may submit multiple stories in the same envelope, and the check can be made out for the total.
Provide SASE for contest results.

Manuscripts will not be returned. Please do not enclose extra postage for return of manuscript.
Entries must be clearly addressed to:

Nelligan Prize
Colorado Review
9105 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-9105

For complete guidelines, visit our website.

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28. Writing Competition: riverSedge

riverSedge is a journal of art and literature with an understanding of its place in the nation in south Texas on the border . Its name reflects our specific river edge with an openness to publish writers who use English, Tex-Mex, and Spanish and also the edges shared by all the best contemporary writing and art. 

Submit here.

General Submissions/Contest Guidelines

Deadline to Submit is 3/1/15

$5 submission fee in all genres (except book reviews)

3 prizes of $300 will be awarded in poetry, prose, and art. All entries are eligible for contest prizes. Dramatic scripts and graphic literature will be judged as prose.

Multiple submissions are welcome in all genres. Each submission should be submitted as a separate entry. In other words, do not send two or more entries as one document.

Previously unpublished work only. Self-published work (in print and/or on the web) is not eligible.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us of acceptance elsewhere as soon as possible.

Submissions in English, Spanish and anything in between are welcome.

Current staff, faculty, and students affiliated with UT-Pan American, UT-Brownsville, or South Texas College are not eligible to submit original work to riverSedge.

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29. Writing Competition and Call for Submissions: Jabberwock Review

Jabberwock Review invites submissions to:


DEADLINE: March 15, 2015

· Each winner (one for fiction and one for poetry) receives $500 and publication in Jabberwock Review.

· Entry Fee: $15, which includes a one-year subscription.

· Go to our website for more information and to submit using Submittable.

· We are also open for regular submissions in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Send us your best work!

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30. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e January 30th 2015

Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week


The Hunt is On! How to Find an Agent (Janice Hardy)


Do Contest Wins Boost Sales? (Maryann Miller)


Red Ink In the Trenches: A Copyeditor’s Perspective (Dario Ciriello)


Your Inner Author Nagging (Mary Keeley)


Is it Time to Quit Your Day Job? (Rachelle Gardner)


How Are You Going To Succeed As a Writer? (Cathy Yardley)


Characters Who Care (Mary Kole)


Working With a Cover Designer: Time-Saving Techniques (Elizabeth Spann Craig)


Why an Agent’s List is Never Full (Janet Kobobel Grant)


How Not to Fumble Your Social Media Presence (James Scott Bell) JON’S PICK OF THE WEEK


Two Red-Flag Sentences in Publishing Contracts (Victoria Strauss)


If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time). Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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31. Call for Submissions on the Theme of Atmosphere: The Quotable Lit

The Quotable Lit is open for Issue 17: Atmosphere

Submissions open January 1, 2015 – March 1, 2015
“Green was the silence, wet was the light,the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
― Pablo Neruda 

General Guidelines:

We seek:
flash fiction (under 1,000 words) - 1 submission per reading period
short fiction (under 3,000 words) - 1 submission per reading period
creative nonfiction (under 3,000 words) - 1 submission per reading period
poetry - 1 submission of up to 3 poems per reading period
We accept only original unpublished work. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but ask that you notify us immediately should your work be accepted elsewhere.

Submissions link.

To ensure fairness, The Quotable has a blind submissions process. Remove all identifying information - name, email address, etc. - from your manuscripts. We will decline any manuscript that contains the author's information. Contact us with questions.

Upon acceptance, The Quotable acquires first serial publications rights, after which the copyright reverts to the author. All accepted work will be archived on the site for so long as the site manager(s) should deem appropriate.

The editors of The Quotable envision a world in which all artists are paid handsomely for the considerable efforts they make to enrich mankind. While we labor toward that utopia, however, the only payment we can offer is the esteem of seeing your name in print and your work appreciated

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32. Snippet from Dead Writes - revised

Started writing this play a while back and have been slowly - accent on the slowly - adding-to and tweaking the play over time. Recently gave it yet another read and after deep thought and concentration, have finally come to what I believe and hope to be, a good ending. Still not finished, yet, but I've been making progress, which in itself is a good omen. Sometimes omens are all we have to propel us along.

I've shared bits and pieces of it here before but here is the latest incarnation. The cast list will most likely grow slightly. I've adapted it for this blog but the cutting and pasting isn't ideal. Comments welcome.

The story: Sometimes lessons in life come at a cost especially when the cost involves sacrifice on behalf of another.

By Eleanor Tylbor


CHARLOTTE PEMBROOK:     50-something; former reporter, deceased

JOSIAH:                 Heavenly "Spiritual Adviser - Disembodied Souls Division:

MIA STEVENSON:          Ambitious young reporter





SETTING:   A funeral parlor

AT RISE:   A group of people are seated in a funeral chapel, socializing for the most part, while waiting for the service to begin. A coffin is situated on an elevated stand in the middle of the room.

CHARLOTTE PEMBROOK, wearing a diaphanous flowing dress lays next to the coffin. Slowly she sits up, looks around in a confused, slightly stunned state. Touching her arms and body parts, she moves to an upright position and pulls at the material of her dress

                                  FX: SOMBER MUSIC


Really must'a tied one on last night. Weird, though. No hang-over like usual.
Stands upright, moves closer to coffin, straining to see inside. A funeral organizer passes by without acknowledging her presence. She pokes him in the back, to no avail.

'Scuse me…hello'? Could you tell me…? Wait a minute. Don't ignore me. You are so rude!’

He ignores her, focusing on the coffin

Lemme be blunt like the real me: who's the corpse?

         Man continues to ignore her

What is your problem? A name - that's all I want! It's not a lot to ask.  Fine. Suit yourself. I'll find out on my own…creep!

A man, JOSIAH, enters and stands directly behind CHARLOTTE. Dressed entirely in white, he glitters from head to toe


There's really no need to yell. I can provide you with that information
          Startled, she whirls around to face him


You could give a person a heart attack sneaking up like that. And I thought I looked bad in this outfit? If you don’t mind me saying, sir, you look like a bad case of indigestion after eating too many Halloween candies. I've been trying to find out what's going on but the guy over there is ignoring me. Some people just don’t have any manners



He can't hear you



It’s not like me not to remember some details of the night before but my mind is a complete blank. Not even a few flashes. Nothing



Not surprising. You’ll get used to it



I get it now! This place is one of those new theme clubs and you're the bartender, right? Explains a lot especially the look. So – like - you doing Liberace? That would explain my dress, too. Go figure a funeral parlor would double as a club. So where’s the booze?



The one thing I can assure you is that this is not a nightclub. You know…if you really want, Icould tell you who's in that coffin



How would you know that unless… What’s wrong with me? Here's me going on about nothing and you're burying someone who means a lot to you. That’s it, isn’t it? Sometimes I'm so dense. My sympathies.


You could say I’m related to that dead person. In fact - I'm close with most people that pass through



You work here, then?


In a way. Death is the human equalizer, don't you think? Everyone is on an equal plane no matter how important your life was or how much money you had or how much power you wielded



I suppose so - can't say I've given it much thought, lately. You wouldn’t happen to know how I ended up here, though, would you?



Do these mourners strike a familiar chord?

CHARLOTTE glances at the mourners


Vaguely... Hang on a minute!  These people work with me!

(Aside to mourners): ‘This is a surprise party, right? It's all a big joke. I should have known. Whose birthday is it? 'Ya don't hafta worry 'bout me giving it away!  Hello? I’m talking to you all!’

Weird. They're all ignoring me like I wasn’t here or something. Dumb…dumb…dumb. Ignorance, thy name is Charlotte! This is a "for real " funeral. That has'ta be it and this here is a real body in a real coffin! Okay –so – then - why am I here? Must be somebody I knew…

She strains to see in the coffin again without results


You seem to know a lot about this. Was it Don McGrath or Pete Winston? Don't know how many times I warned them both to slow down, but did they listen? ‘Course not! What does an old broad like me know, right? Burn the candle at both ends and you’re gonna burn your light out, I told them time and time again. Everyone thinks they’re gonna live forever



It wasn't either one of them



That's a relief 'cause we're the last three old farts left at The Sentinal. Started out together at the same time and we've seen 'em come and we seen 'em leave. Some on to bigger and better and some like this here person, in a wooden box. Things are sure different now. Back when we were in our prime, the only thing we had'da know was a keyboard. Nowadays everything is electronic - cyber this, cyber that. They'll soon find a way to replace us all with computer systems and you know what? Nobody will give a damn



They'll always be a need for the human touch



Look at 'em all…young kids just out of J-school. What do they know about getting’ a story? How can you write about life if you never experienced it?  This really is a real funeral, isn’t it?



Unfortunately, you are correct



Guess you were a friend of the corpse, then, or related?



I'm friends with a lot of people. You can say that I help them through a difficult period



So you're one of those - what do they call them - grief councillors? Bet you go to a lotta funerals



I can honestly say that I've never missed one






Never in all the years I've been assigned here



Have we met somewhere before, maybe a long while back? The more I look at you, the more familiar your face seems to me. Wait a minute! It’s so obvious as the nose on my face. You're a new bartender at Pat's watering hole. I'll pay my tab next week, I swear, it's just that I've been running a little short lately…



We've had a few close encounters in the past, Charlotte, but this is the first time we've met one-on-one. My drinking days are history in the true sense of the word but you seem very caught up with alcoholic beverages



Got it now. You own the new funeral parlor down the block and you're here to scope out the competition



Not…exactly but you could say I'm in the funeral business since I make a point never to miss any. In fact, funeral parlors are where I first connect with…



(backing away)

Hey! You're not one of those slimy creeps who pick up rich, lonely women at funerals. Listen buddy, I'm not rich and certainly not in the market to add a new man in my life.  Been there, done that, too many times. Know what I mean?




You're quite priceless, my dear. Trust me when I say my interest in you is anything but corporeal in nature. You do like games, don't you, with all your questions that I would be glad to answer. There really is no secret



It's my nature to snoop and dig for answers



You don't have to. I'd be most happy to supply you with the necessary information but if you insist. Have it your way



Strikes me that this corpse wasn't too popular in life judging by the amount of people who showed up here



It's all quite sad, actually. She believed she never needed people and in the end, seems that people weren't there when she needed them most

Mourner moves to front of room and stands in front of coffin

So the departed is a female. Looky who's here! It’s my friend and co-worker, Janice. Hey girl, we were supposed to meet for lunch yesterday! I showed up but what happened to you?



Miserable, lying witch! At last you made a useful contribution to the world and left it! Good riddance to bad rubbish



Is that the way to talk about the dearly departed? Even dead people deserve respect from the living. Your mama never taught you any manners?

JANICE touches the coffin and returns to her seat

(aside to JANICE): ‘Janice? You-hoo! It's me.’

(aside to JOSIAH) I'm not surprised! She was always a grudge holder. We better take a seat…the minister is here

Gives Janice "the finger" while passing her by and sits with others, accompanied by JOSIAH

(Cont’d. CHARLOTTE - aside to male, PETE): ‘Heeeey Pete-eee! So, how things goin' with you? Sorry 'bout that story, but I just couldn't help myself. In fact, I did just that. I'll return the favor in the future. You know how it is in our biz’


(PETE) ignores CHARLOTTE and talks to female on other side

(Cont’d. CHARLOTTE) Still mad at me, huh? See if I care! That’s the last time I share a lead with him, let me tell you



He can't hear you



What are you talking about? Of course he can but he's busy chatting up the new receptionist. Probably still pissed 'cause I stole a lead on the story he was after! Far

be it for me to beg forgiveness. He knows that's the way things work. First come - first served!


And you certainly helped yourself, a lot, didn't you?



Listen, if something falls into my hands, who am I not to take advantage? I needed a lead and Pete was nice enough to do the legwork for me. We're old friends anyway. He'll come around, won't you sweetie?



You find a way to justify everything. Has it dawned on you, yet, why you're here and that people are ignoring your presence?



What other reason than to pay my respects to someone in the paper 'biz. Really bugging me, though, how I got here and landed up lying next to a coffin. I've covered practically every kind of story but I can't ever remember spending the night in a funeral parlor. Maybe I was after a story but why is my mind blank?



Merely a temporary fog that will clear after you -


- sssh! Talk softer. We're gonna get kicked out and I'll never find out who's in the coffin

MINISTER steps behind podium




           Voice calls out:

'She didn't have any, so move on!'



..we are here to bid goodbye to one…

Another voice:

'Good riddance to bad rubbish!'



…a…good reporter, a good friend and colleague.


This dead person must'a really screwed them over but good, but she – you did say it was a woman? Like I was saying, the dead deserve some respect too.

CHARLOTTE stands up and addresses everyone

'That's no way to speak about the dead, you bunch of parasites. Have some respect!'



Is there anyone here who has something positive to say, about the departed? Surely there must be one person in this entire room that could say a few nice words about the late Charlotte Pembrook?



Excuse me? I can speak for myself, thank you very much… What's with this "late" junk?


No one? Then we'll proceed with the service


What in the hell is he talking about? 'I'm still among you, in the flesh! Look! I’m here’



Please try to control using the "H" word? I've been trying to tell you that no one can hear you – or see you, either


They're doing it on purpose to teach me a lesson. ‘Well, it won't work people! I'm on to you all!’

CHARLOTTE stands up on chair, waves and screams on top of her lungs


‘Charlotte is here! The old witch is alive and kicking. You can't ignore me forever’

JOSIAH walks to the front of the room and stands behind the coffin


I'm the only person who can see you, at least for now


Calm down, Charlotte. There’s a very simple explanation for all of this. I’ve had too much too drink and this is just a nightmare. Soon I'm gonna wake up and everything will be like it should. That’s it. A nightmare.


What’s the last thing you can remember?


Food! I was at The Rib Rack gnawing on a rib. Must’a been a bad rack or something to give me a nightmare like this. Alright – gotta calm down. I’m okay…gotta will myself to wake up…time to wake up now… C’mon body – wake up!


Come over here and take a peak inside

CHARLOTTE moves slowly to the front of the coffin and peers down. She jumps back


If this is a bad joke, I don't have a good sense of humor, today. Enough is enough, already. I don't know how you did this, Joey or whatever your name is to make a person look just like me. A dummy - it's a dummy, right? Hey - it's been a blast meeting you, but I got things to do, places to go…

           Aside to mourners

‘Okay you guys. You pulled off the ultimate practical joke. Got me fair and square. I give in. C'mon – don't be such grudge holders! You know I was only doing what you would'a done in my place’



It's you in there for real

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33. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e January 23rd 2015

Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week:

Working from Home as a Writer—Some Truths (Elizabeth Spann Craig)

The Holy Trinity of Character: Goals, Obstacles and Stakes (Art Holcomb)

What Makes a Good Podcast? (Jeremy Szal)

First Steps: Situation or Story? (Diana Hurwitz)

Do You Have Impostor Syndrome? (Rachelle Gardner)

Forthwringing Tonguishness (Dave King)

Stuck Emotions (Mary Kole)

Should You Set Limits with Your Readers? (Jan O'Hara)

Dealing with Publishing Blues (Stina Lindenblatt)

10 Common Fiction Problems and How to Fix Them (Jack Smith)

The 5 Laws of the Fiction Reader (James Scott Bell)

If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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34. Gabi, Girl in Pieces: Review Haiku

We need diverse books
because Gabi's is a
universal story.

Gabi, Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. Cinco Puntos Press, 2014, 208 pages.

0 Comments on Gabi, Girl in Pieces: Review Haiku as of 1/23/2015 6:53:00 AM
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35. We Meet Again: Review Haiku

Is this pint-sized
sociopath actually growing
on me? Oh dear.

We Meet Again (Timmy Failure #3) by Stephan Patsis. Candlewick, 2014, 272 pages.

0 Comments on We Meet Again: Review Haiku as of 1/21/2015 6:35:00 AM
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36. What If the World Were a Village ?

We are busy as bees over here getting ready for our 2nd Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th 2015. We hope you’ll join us along with our 17 sponsors, 9 co- hosts, 150+ bloggers and many author sponsors to celebrate those books that celebrate multiculturalism and diversity. Please check out the excitement here and “save the date” for our huge Twitter party with oodles of prizes on 1/27/15 (9:00-10:00 ET)


Author David J. Smith and I are kindred spirits.  Both of us promote “world mindedness.”

He says,” This book is about “world-mindedness,” which is an attitude, an approach to life. It is the sense that our planet is actually a village, and we share this small, precious village with our neighbors. Knowing who our neighbors are, where they live and how they live, will help us live in peace.”

In his book If the World Were a Village, he explores the idea of exploring the world as if it were a village. At this time there are nearly 7 billion people on the planet. It’s oftentimes hard to wrap around our brain around this idea. David J. Smith brings it down to size for us. What if we took 100 people from around the world and look at the world as if it is a village.

If the World Were a Village

In this village of 100 people there would be 21 people who speak Chinese, 10 who ear only a dollar a day, 13 who cannot read or write, 28 who have a television in their homes, only 37 would have enough to eat. 83 people would have access to clean water while 17 others would spend most of every day in the search for clean water.


If the World Were A Village shows us who we are, where we live, what languages we speak, how fast we’re growing, and what religions we practice. This well thought out book also asks, “What will our village look like in the future?” Will there be enough food, housing, jobs, money, electricity, water etc.

What if the Wolrd were a village

One of the things I like so much about this book is that it takes a very large concept such as world population and how that effects the planet and the people on it, and brings it down to a very manageable size. The illustrations by Shelagh Armstrong are bold and colorful bringing the diversity on this planet richly to life.

Something to Do

Let’s Map the World

It’s important that kids have a really good sense of how the world is laid out. Make sure you have a current and up to date world wall map hanging up.

One really great way to learn the world is to create it. I’m a huge fan of Mr. Nussbaum. He has this wonderful website and this really great activity called Super Map. Super Map is a new map-making tool on MrNussbaum.com that allows students to custom-make their own maps of the United States, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, or Asia. Students can create map keys, add state or country names, rotate names, change colors of oceans, continents, nations, or states, add longitude or latitude lines, zoom in or out, and add text about each nation or state that appears on the map when it is printed out. Works on touchscreens as well as traditional computers. And then…you get to print it out!

Super map

Can you name ?

Playing a roving game of Can you Name helps kids learn and experience the “details” of a region or country of the world.

  • Can you name the capitals of every state in the US?
  • Can you name the capitals of every country in the world ?
  • Can you name the continents ?
  • Can you name the biomes in the United States ? In your country ? Around the world ?
  • Can you name the language spoken in ( pick a country and/or a region )
  • Can you name the religions worshipped in a particular country ?
  • Can you name the form of government ?

What’s next to ?

This is a game where one player chooses a country in the world and the person next to them has to name a country next to that one.

Is there Enough ?

Have a conversation with your children while looking at a map and you might like a computer near by so you can search. Pointing to an area of the world ask the following questions. If you don’t the answer to these, look them up.

  • Is there enough food ?
  • Is there enough clean water ?
  • Do children go to school ? What are the requirements for going to school. Many 3rd world countries require that you have a uniform to go to school. Most people are too poor to afford one and so their children do not go to school.

Meet Your World

As important as it is to know how the planet is laid out by countries, capitals, people , religions, languages etc, it’s also equally important to meet different people from a variety of people on our planet. Go to a celebration from another culture near you.

Finding a pen-pal with someone from another country is another way to make a connection with someone else on the planet.

Another way to meet your world is through literature. Multicultural Children’s Books Day is such a celebration which has created a vast resource of multicultural books and authors on our website.

Multicultural Children Book Resources

Understanding the geography of the earth, how and where the people on the planet live,  what languages they speak, what religion they believe in, what challenges they face is a starting point into knowing our world better and for teaching our children “world mindedness.”

My Gift to YOU!

Don’t forget to grab your FREE copy of my Read Your World Multicultural Booklists and Activities for Kids.

Read Your World Multicultural Booklist and Activities for Kids

The post What If the World Were a Village ? appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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37. Review of Stella by Starlight

draper_stella by starlightStella by Starlight
by Sharon M. Draper
Intermediate   Atheneum   324 pp.
1/15   978-1-4424-9497-8   $16.99   g
e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9499-2   $10.99

Eleven-year-old Stella Mills may have trouble getting words on paper for school, but she’s a deep thinker, “a gemstone hiding inside a rock,” her mother tells her. Even on the coldest of nights, she sneaks out of the house and writes under the starlight. Writing helps her makes sense of her world; the novel’s third-person point of view provides readers with a perspective wider than young Stella’s, as much of life in segregated 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, is beyond her understanding. There’s plenty of action — cross burnings, house burnings, a snakebite, a near-drowning, and a beating. But at its core this story is one of a supportive African American community facing tough times, a community acting as an “unseen river of communication that forever flows — dark and powerful,” keeping an eye on its children as they walk to school, knowing who is sneaking out at night, bringing cakes and pies when folks are ill, and attending the (unexpectedly hilarious) Christmas pageant at school. If times are bad, the community makes them better, and Stella grows in its warmth and love. Even her writing gets better as she writes about things that matter — Mama, snakes, truth, hate, even the Klan. Readers will close the book knowing that Stella will turn out just fine: “Roosters never look beyond the fence. I doubt if they ever think about flying. But I do.”

From the January/February 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.


The post Review of Stella by Starlight appeared first on The Horn Book.

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38. Sharon Draper on Stella by Starlight

sharon m. draper

In the January/February 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, editor Martha Parravano talked to Sharon M. Draper about her new intermediate novel Stella by Starlight. Read the full review here.

Martha V. Parravano: Have you ever tried to write by starlight?

Sharon M. Draper: I’ve marveled at the moon — the phases intrigue me — but I’ve never written anything while outside on a starry night. But I’m sure that those images eventually evolved into words in a story. All natural events inspire me — freshly fallen snow and thunderstorms and the changing of leaves in the fall — but the starlight and the moon I left to Stella. They belong to her.

From the January/February 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.


The post Sharon Draper on Stella by Starlight appeared first on The Horn Book.

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39. Call for Submissions to Anthology: Destination: Mystery!

Call for Submissions - Destination: Mystery!
An Anthology of Destination Mysteries

Darkhouse Books is seeking stories for “Destination: Mystery”. A collection of mystery and crime stories set in locations popular for vacations.

We are looking for stories residing on the cozy side and that highlight the attraction and appeal of the setting – though please, no puff-pieces. We prefer stories with locations where average people vacation, including sandy resorts along Lake Michigan, log cabin lodges in the Adirondacks, quaint, coastal towns on any coast, and legions of other places forever enshrined in generations of family photo albums. Since we want the locations to be recognizable, stories should not be set prior to mid-twentieth century.

The submission period is now open and will remain open through 11:59pm (PST), March 31st, 2015. 

We are seeking stories in the 2500 to 7500 word range, though if it’s truly knockout material, we’ll consider any length.

The anthology will contain between twelve and twenty stories, depending on the overall length. Authors will share equally fifty percent of royalties received.

We accept MS Word .doc and .docx files. Submissions must be in standard manuscript format.

Previously published work will be considered, provided the author has the power to grant us the right to publish in ebook, audio, and print versions, and that it has not been available elsewhere more recently than January 1st, 2014.

Submissions may be sent to:

submissionsATdarkhousebooksDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Please leave “Submission-Destination-“ in the subject line and add the name of your story.

Andrew MacRae
Darkhouse Books

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40. Writing Competition: The Winter Anthology Writing Contest

Final judge: Srikanth Reddy 

Entry fee: $10

Deadline: January 31

Please send up to 50 pages in any genre (a book or book-length manuscript somewhat over 50 pages is acceptable). Send writings of which you are the sole author and that were not written earlier than 1999. Published and unpublished writings are equally welcome. Two or three poems or a single story or essay are as welcome as entire books. 

To get a sense of our aesthetics, see our previous volumes. All work will be read by the editors, with finalists judged by Srikanth Reddy. Multiple entries are welcome, as are entries including a mix of genres. We accept entries until January 31st. The final decision will be announced here in late winter 2015. In the event that none of the entries meets our standards, no winner will be declared. 

The winner will be published in Volume 5 of The Winter Anthology and receive a $1000 honorarium. Finalists will also be considered for publication.
To enter electronically, use our Submittable page.

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41. Call for Submissions: Apple Valley Review

Apple Valley Review - Call for Submissions 

Submission deadline: March 15, 2015 

Apple Valley Review is currently reading submissions of poetry, personal essays, and short fiction for the Spring 2015 issue (Vol. 10, No. 1). All work must be original, previously unpublished, and in English. Please note that we do not accept simultaneous submissions. 

Several pieces from the journal have later appeared as selections, finalists, and/or notable stories in Best American Essays, Best of the Net, Best of the Web, and storySouth Million Writers Award. 

All published work is automatically considered for our annual editor's prize. 

To submit, please send 1-6 poems or 1-3 essays/short stories, all pasted into the body of a single e-mail message, to our editor:

editorATleahbrowningDOTnet (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

The current issue, previous issues, subscription information, and complete submission guidelines are available online.

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42. Call for Submissions of Graphic Works/Graphic Narratives: The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought

The Account: A Jour­nal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought is read­ing sub­mis­sions for a spe­cial Spring ’15 issue: “Graphic Works/Graphic Nar­ra­tives.” We’re seek­ing graphic nar­ra­tives, illu­mi­nated man­u­scripts, rebuses, illus­tra­tions evoca­tive of sto­ries, and poems that inter­act with the page as a visual land­scape (such as con­crete poems, era­sures, and prose poems). Please sub­mit work via Sub­mit­table by March 15th for con­sid­er­a­tion. The Account does not have a read­ing fee. How­ever, we do require work to be paired with an “account” (of 150–500 words) that describes the thought, influ­ences, and choices that make up your aes­thetic as it per­tains to the spe­cific work you send us. 
account = his­tory, sketch, marker, repos­i­tory of influences
An account of a spe­cific work traces its arc—through texts and world—while giv­ing voice to the artist’s approach. We ask that if you choose to be satir­i­cal, you do so in ser­vice of the work you are sub­mit­ting. We are most inter­ested in how you are track­ing the thought, influ­ences, and choices that make up your aes­thetic as it per­tains to a spe­cific work.
Please use Submittable to submit. We will not consider work without an account. We do read simul­ta­ne­ous submissions.
You may still sub­mit work under one of our gen­eral cat­e­gories for a later issue.

Gen­eral Information

Please review The Account: A Jour­nal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought sub­mis­sion guide­lines for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
We will not con­sider work sub­mit­ted with­out an account. Simul­ta­ne­ous sub­mis­sions are wel­come, but your work must be with­drawn imme­di­ately if it is no longer avail­able. Authors retain their copy­right and will receive a con­tract upon acceptance.  
Crit­i­cism oper­ates on a solicitation-only basis.
Art cur­rently oper­ates on a solicitation-only basis. How­ever, if you are inter­ested in send­ing us a work sam­ple, CV, and query let­ter, you are wel­come to email us:
poet­rypros­ethoughtATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

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43. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e January 16th 2015

Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week (or so):

Writing a Synopsis (Janice Hardy)

How E-Books Have Changed the Print Marketplace (Jane Friedman)

Remember Why Readers Seek You Out Online (Rachel Kent)

Don't Make Resolutions. Set Goals (Terry Odell)

How Much Has Changed in 13 Years (Sophie Masson)

Hooks, Lines and Stinkers In Praise of Great Openings (P. J. Parrish)

The Business of Writing, the Art of Civility (Kim Vandervort)

The Self-Publishing Sky is Not Falling (James Scott Bell)

On Perseverance (Eva Lomski)

If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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44. Chapbook Competition: Iron Horse Literary Review

Iron Horse Literary Review is now accepting submissions for our annual Single-Author Competition. This year, we are seeking to publish a prose chapbook composed of either stories or essays. Roxane Gay will judge. 

To submit, send a manuscript of 50-65 pages composed of either stories or essays in which each new piece begins on a new page. The author’s name and contact information must appear on a title cover sheet, but it must NOT appear anywhere else on the manuscript unless it's nonfiction and the author is referring to him or herself inside the manuscript. While portions of the chapbook may have been published elsewhere, the collection as a whole must be previously unpublished. 

The finished product will emphasize your title, not the name of Iron Horse, and the winner will receive $1,000 and 15 copies. Your $15 entry fee comes with a one-year subscription to the journal. 

For more information, go here. Send us your best by Feb. 28th!

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45. Write: Girl Unclaimed

I threw the stick and watched Daisy run after it, her tongue lolling to one side, her stubby little legs pumping unrestrained excitement.

I glanced out over the water and became momentarily mesmerized by the light flirting with the small ripples from fish nibbling algae on the surface of the lake.

And then I saw it – a yellow spot among the tall, green grass gently swaying in the sweet twilight breeze. I narrowed my eyes to try and pick out the object without having to actually move closer to it. My peripheral vision blurred as I concentrated on the object that did not belong in this secluded spot. A slow feeling of dread started in my sternum and gently crept up to give my heart a warning squeeze.

Daisy dropped the stick on my sandal and I jumped – I had momentarily forgotten all about her. I bent to pick up the stick, my eyes never leaving that spot of yellow. From my lowered vantage point, my eyes focused on something new. Was that … an arm?

I quickly stood up, my breath caught behind the sudden fear in my throat.

I gripped the stick tighter in my hand and cautiously moved toward the object in the grass.

Daisy happily skipped alongside me. Her gait faltered as we got closer, her nose lifted and she suddenly growled low in her throat.

“I know, Daisy. Chillax,” I crooned in an attempt to keep her calm and not start a barrage of barking. The less noise we made the better.

I held the stick out in front of me – I guess I thought I could use it as a weapon. Though not long or sharp, it was thick enough that it might do temporary damage to a skull, or two.

My eyes never left the object, but I was keenly aware of where I was stepping. I had enough combat experience to slip back into that persona with very little effort. I had thought I had lost my edge but moving toward the target brought back a barrage of memories and I involuntarily winced as horrific images began to flicker and flit through my consciousness. Memories I had spent countless hours in therapy trying to eradicate.

My eyes narrowed as I got closer. It was definitely a body, a woman, no, a girl. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-years old. I paused to assess my surroundings. I looked out over the lake and studied the parameter. No movement. The birds continued to sing, a raccoon edged toward the far end of the lake and carelessly swiped at the water gently lapping the shore.

A soft breeze swept over the body. I crinkled my nose. Decomp – she had probably been dead for at least 24 hours.

“Damn it.” I sighed and slowly stepped back from the body. I couldn’t afford to leave any trace of myself on the body. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone. I pressed 9-1 and then stopped.

Even if I called in anonymously, they would still track my cell phone down. I couldn’t afford to be found. Not yet anyway. Not after I had spent the last three years making sure every trace of my existence had been erased.

I studied the girl’s face and slowly put my phone back into my pocket.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered regretfully. My apology dissipated on the summer breeze.

Filed under: Fiction Fix, Writing Stuff

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46. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e January 9th 2015

Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week (or so):

Basic Elements of Flash Fiction (Kaye Linden)

Stirring Higher Emotions (Donald Maass)

All Those Confusing Words! (Rachelle Gardner)

2014 in Review: The Best of Writer Beware (Victoria Strauss)

The Manuscript Plus. . . (Wendy Lawton)

Observations from Years of Curating Content for Writers (Elizabeth Spann Craig)

Why We Write, Why We Stop, and How We Can Possibly Restart and Keep Going (Julianna Baggott)

The Line Forms Where? Knowing Where to Start Your Novel (Janice Hardy)

Thoughts on Using Dialect (Jim Harrington)

Breaking In As An Illustrator (Mary Kole)

Your Publisher Is Your New Best Friend. Not! (Janet Grant)

Beware: The Shady Side of New Publishing Opportunities (Sharon Bially)

Make Next Year the Best of Your Writing Life (James Scott Bell)

Evaluating Publishing Contracts: Six Ways You May Be Sabotaging Yourself (Victoria Strauss)

A list of publishing items to take your time on (Rachel Kent)

If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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47. Judging a Book....Eve Ainsworth

I have always been a bit fussy when it comes to books. It goes without saying that I have to love the concept and in a lot of cases I'm swayed by recommendations. But what can often make me decide to pick up a book in the first place is the cover. If it is striking, if it grabs my attention - I very often want it, or at least want to know more about it.

So it goes without saying that I was delighted when Scholastic sent me the design for Seven Days. I immediately loved its bright, bold statement and the fact that words, spiteful words from my text, were plastered across it. It represents bullying so well for me. It's a big, bold statement. I was confident that this cover could have impact.
I guess I'd worried a lot about the cover. I really wanted to love it, so it was such a relief to see it. I just wanted to hug the designer behind it (in fact I did at the Scholastic party...!)

It got me thinking just how important cover design can be, and how authors could be blessed or cursed with a cover that they do not like, or do not feel reflects their story.

With this in mind, I spoke to a few authors about their favourite covers and asked what it was about them that made them stand out.

What were their cover stories?

Helen Grant - Urban Legends (Random House)

" I was very pleased this cover because it shows a female (dead?) body but in such a way that it appears almost abstract; you can only see one eye and the line of the face runs diagonally across the cover. I thought that was quite stylish."

    Keren David selected Salvage (Atom Books)

  " I love both the published versions of Salvage. They are very different, but still have lots of impact."

Hilary Freeman selected The Camden Town Tales (Piccadilly Press)

"I love all my Camden Town Tales covers. I think that they appeal to the readership because they are pretty and perfectly targeted."  

Emma Haughton  selected Now You See Me (Usbourne)

'I love this cover because it's so simple, and yet so striking, And that gorgeous zingy green!'

Sheena Wilkinson selected Still Falling (Little Island)

"What I loved was the feel of the cover. I couldn't in a million years have said what I wanted but when I saw what the designer had done I just thought, yeah, that's it. I wanted the book to have a sexy grown up feel which I think it does. My last books all featured horses and I really wanted this one to feel like a departure which it does. "

Caroline Green  selected Hold Your Breath (Piccadilly Press)

"I loved the metallic look that gave it an underwater feel. And the colours are gorgeous."

It's fascinating looking at different front covers and wondering what the author felt about each one. I guess when an area such as design is taken out of their hands, it's even more important that it works, that they connect to it.

What front covers do you especially like? Have you ever picked up a book initially because of the design?

I know I have...

Eve x

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48. Call for Submissions: Fairy Tale Review

Submissions are now being accepted for the twelfth annual issue, The Ochre Issue, of Fairy Tale Review. The Ochre Issue has no particular theme—simply send your best fairy-tale work along the spectrum of mainstream to experimental, fabulist to realist. 

We accept fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry, in English or in translation to English, along with scholarly, hybrid, and illustrated works (comics, black-line drawings, etc.).

The reading period will remain open until the issue is full—we predict closing it sometime in late spring or early summer. 

For full guidelines, visit our website.

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49. Call for Submissions: Amuse-Bouche

The Antioch University Los Angeles Creative Writing MFA program's bimonthly publication, Amuse-Bouche, is accepting submissions for its upcoming issues. Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, YA, Translation, and Visual Art submissions are all welcome. 

Visit Lunch Ticket's website for submission guidelines (please read guidelines CAREFULLY before submitting).

Deadline: January 31st, 2015.

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50. Chapbook Competition: Iron Horse Literary Review


Iron Horse Literary Review is now accepting submissions for our annual Single-Author Competition. This year, we are seeking to publish a prose chapbook composed of either stories or essays. Roxane Gay will judge. 

To submit, send a manuscript of 50-65 pages composed of either stories or essays in which each new piece begins on a new page. The author’s name and contact information must appear on a title cover sheet, but it must NOT appear anywhere else on the manuscript unless it's nonfiction and the author is referring to him or herself inside the manuscript. While portions of the chapbook may have been published elsewhere, the collection as a whole must be previously unpublished. 

The finished product will emphasize your title, not the name of Iron Horse, and the winner will receive $1,000 and 15 copies. Your $15 entry fee comes with a one-year subscription to the journal.  

Go here for more info, and send us your best by Feb. 28th!

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