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Results 1 - 25 of 203
1. [PR] Georgetown Academy News

I loved these books, so I wanted to pass along a press release I received:

Georgetown Academy is a juicy series about the politics at D.C.’s most elite prep school. A cross between Scandal and Gossip Girl, it’s fans include Eva Longoria and nearly a million Wattpad fans.

To celebrate the series’ success, we’ve put together an amazing campaign that involves and benefits readers—the more participation, the more we’ll give. Here are the steps:

Book One is currently being featured on Wattpad. Add GTA to your public Wattpad reading list: http://www.wattpad.com/story/8095946-georgetown-academy-book-one

Share Book One’s Wattpad link via twitter (Using #GTScandal)

  • If GT fans hit 1k tweets by Wednesday, April 23, we will release Chapter 1 of Book 2 on Wattpad

  • if can hit 1.5k tweets by Sunday 4/27, we’ll release another Book 2 chapter (from the POV of a an unknown character) on Wattpad

  • If we hit 2k, the price of book 2, across all platforms will be dropped to $1.99

Join our Twitter Party! On Tuesday 4/22 @ 9 pm EST authors Jessica and Alyssa will answer all readers’ questions! Find out if Taryn will stand between Ellie and Gabe, and maybe their parents’ careers. Use the hashtag #GTScandal to participate.  Follow us @GTownAcademy.

Other ways to participate in the campaign and spread the word:

Add the books on Goodreads! Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4

If you’ve already read and loved the books, consider posting your review on Amazon.

So will you be attending the chat? Let me know in the comments :)

[Insert Book Cover Here] About Georgetown Academy:

Synopsis:

It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.

While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.

For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?

Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.

Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.

New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.

With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.

In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.

Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.

What’s Cool from Coliloquy:

As the party scene at Georgetown Academy gets under way, authors Alyssa and Jessica let readers decide which of the main girls to follow. You’ll see scandalous behavior, unexpected liaisons, and secret betrayals…all giving you a different perspective as events unfold.

The post [PR] Georgetown Academy News appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Call for Submissions: Mason's Road: A Literary and Arts Journal

Mason’s Road: A Literary and Arts Journal is currently accepting submissions for our ninth issue. The theme for Issue #9 is “Truth,” and we are looking for unique and arresting takes on this topic.

All submissions will be given thorough consideration for publication. However, your work will also be considered for our Mason’s Road Literary Prize, which includes publication and a $500 award. For this issue, the award will go to the best entry we receive, as judged by Bill Roorbach, the award-winning author of Life Among Giants.

Our submissions period runs for three months: February 15 – May 15, 2014. Please look here for submission guidelines.

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3. Graphic Novel Review: Vinland Saga V 1 by Makoto Yukimura

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I have been interested in Vinland Saga since the license was announced for US publication.  When it came out, however, I balked at the sticker price.  $19.99 per volume!  Instead, I requested the first two books from the library, and once I received them, I understood the price point.  These are hardcovers, and they are 2 in 1 omnibus releases, clocking in at over 450 pages.  After sitting down with the first volume, I find the price completely reasonable; the end product is beautiful, the pages are nice, thick paper, and the binding is rock solid.  The translation rocks, too!  All in all, Vinland Saga Book One is worth every penny!

This series will appeal to fans of Berserk, A Bride’s Story, and Claymore.  The art is lush and breathtaking, with a realistic style.  The actions panels are incredibly rendered, and all of the action, bloodshed, and flying  body parts are easy to follow.  Every single illustration is highly detailed from the ships to the weapons, and if you like knowing exactly what the characters are feeling, you’re in good hands here.  Every nuanced emotion is clearly conveyed, from Thorfinn’s fierce determination to Thors’ reluctant reservation to put his people at risk in battle.

On the surface, Vinland Saga is an action tale about Vikings.  It’s also the story of a man’s love for his family, and the ruin it brings him, and the rage burning in a young boy’s heart.  After his father is murdered, Thorfinn vows vengeance for his death, and his every action from that moment is to make himself stronger so he can claim his revenge.  This is A Game of Thrones set on the cold seas, in little boats that are skillfully navigated from one battle to the next.  The politics are brutal, the sakes are high, and dying a warrior’s death, on the field of battle, bathed in the blood of your enemies, is the name of the game. 

Book one sets the groundwork for Thorfinn’s quest for revenge.  He’s six when he witnesses the treachery of men without honor, and it changes him forever.  Raised by a kind and just man, he learns that his father was a Jomsviking deserter.   Thorfinn enjoyed a carefree childhood, but after he learns the truth about his father, he wants nothing more than to be a fierce warrior, too.  Little does he know that he will get his wish, only with consequences far greater than he could have ever anticipated.  When we first meet him, he is surly and belligerent.  He is also a killing machine, who fearlessly leaps (literally) into battle with his twin blades flying.  He must earn his duels with Askeladd, the man responsible for his father’s death, by completing missions during the Viking clan’s frays.

I loved this book, and I’m excited to discover new manga series because of it.  I haven’t been reading many graphic novels lately because I am burned out on the episodic publishing schedule (especially when I am invested in a series and it gets CANCELED!), but this series is presented in a nicely sized chunk so that didn’t bother me so much.  Now I want to start catching up on some the series that I have allowed myself to fall behind in, and I can hardly wait to read more Vinland Saga!

Grade:  A

Review copy provided by my local library

From Amazon:

The Viking invasion of London has reached a fever pitch, and Askeladd and Thorfinn rush to take part in the carnage! Their goal is the capture of Cnut, the son of King Sweyn Forkbeard and heir to the throne of Scandanavia and the Danelaw. But standing in their way is Thorkell, one of the Viking world’s most daring warriors. The defeat of a living legend will be a formidable test of Askeladd’s cunning and Thorfinn’s ruthlessness, and of their ability to set aside personal grudges and fell a common enemy!

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4. Flutura Gets a New Look – $.99 through 1/17

Flutura Cover 011414

Our young adult romance series, The Alpha Girls, has a new look.  Book one is completed and book two will be available this spring so get started with Flutura to follow the story of three best friends.  Alexis, Brittany and Caitlin have grown up together since birth. Caitlin is ready to become a woman, but she’s fourteen and has yet to experience her first French kiss or her first period. The summer before high school will change all of that.

Caitlin is taken by surprise when Joshua reveals his feelings for her. As Caitlin sorts out her own feelings toward Josh the memory of the kiss she shared with Trick on the beach continues to invade her thoughts.

Good thing she’ll never see Trick again or things could get complicated.

This first book will be on sale for $.99 through January 17th.

You can also sign up to hear about our future young adult releases by joining our mailing list.

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5. The Unrelenting Butt-Itch

The List goes on.

Unending…Daunting…Disheartening

Until I reach a breaking point…

My dismal attempt at poetry? No, just my mind reeling after I read an email this morning. It is build weekend for our high school thespians and once again, I didn’t see everyone else take a step backwards when they asked for a volunteer to lead the charge. Actually, I love being around the kids (who call me PartyMark) and having a small part in the production. This is my fifth build and we’ve done some incredible shows.

image

Legally Blonde

Moon Over Buffalo

Moon Over Buffalo

Little Women

Little Women

The problem is that when I’m meeting with the director about the task at hand, she shows me the large pieces and that’s where my mind stops. She keeps telling me about the other things they will need and I hear Charlie Brown’s teacher, “wapwapwa-wa!” So after finishing the three big pieces yesterday and feeling quite smug in the accomplishment, I got an email with a 20 item list of things to do today. TWENTY! I nearly lost it and decided to do what I always do when I get stressed, go for a run.

When my toasty skin hit the cool air outside, I got a mild skin irritation in an unfortunate location. I figured it would go away, but it didn’t. At the top of my street, I was so distracted with it that I turned right toward the hilly 6-mile course instead of left to the flat 4. The sun rose above the tree line in front of me as I scratched. At first I tried to be discreet and wait for times when there were no cars around. But after a couple of miles, I quit caring. The unrelenting butt-itch won – for the moment.

At about mile four, something funny happened. I guess I didn’t hit my usual run playlist and some songs from the shows the girls have done streamed through my earbuds. They weren’t the best running songs, but they took my mind off the butt-itch and made me focus more on why I’m doing the building than the list. For me, it’s about the kids, specifically my daughters.

We all have lists. Sometimes they are unrelenting butt-itches that won’t seem to go away. I have to remember why I have the list and be grateful that I have the wherewithal to accomplish it. I keep up with Caringbridge posts from a friend who is watching her husband struggle with a brain tumor. He would love to have my list. I take my health for granted too often.

Today, I’m going to go to church, worship well, then hammer out 20 things – one at a time.

How are you going to attack your list?


6 Comments on The Unrelenting Butt-Itch, last added: 3/2/2014
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6. The Unrelenting Butt-Itch

The List goes on.

Unending…Daunting…Disheartening

Until I reach a breaking point…

My dismal attempt at poetry? No, just my mind reeling after I read an email this morning. It is build weekend for our high school thespians and once again, I didn’t see everyone else take a step backwards when they asked for a volunteer to lead the charge. Actually, I love being around the kids (who call me PartyMark) and having a small part in the production. This is my fifth build and we’ve done some incredible shows.

image

Legally Blonde

Moon Over Buffalo

Moon Over Buffalo

Little Women

Little Women

The problem is that when I’m meeting with the director about the task at hand, she shows me the large pieces and that’s where my mind stops. She keeps telling me about the other things they will need and I hear Charlie Brown’s teacher, “wapwapwa-wa!” So after finishing the three big pieces yesterday and feeling quite smug in the accomplishment, I got an email with a 20 item list of things to do today. TWENTY! I nearly lost it and decided to do what I always do when I get stressed, go for a run.

When my toasty skin hit the cool air outside, I got a mild skin irritation in an unfortunate location. I figured it would go away, but it didn’t. At the top of my street, I was so distracted with it that I turned right toward the hilly 6-mile course instead of left to the flat 4. The sun rose above the tree line in front of me as I scratched. At first I tried to be discreet and wait for times when there were no cars around. But after a couple of miles, I quit caring. The unrelenting butt-itch won – for the moment.

At about mile four, something funny happened. I guess I didn’t hit my usual run playlist and some songs from the shows the girls have done streamed through my earbuds. They weren’t the best running songs, but they took my mind off the butt-itch and made me focus more on why I’m doing the building than the list. For me, it’s about the kids, specifically my daughters.

We all have lists. Sometimes they are unrelenting butt-itches that won’t seem to go away. I have to remember why I have the list and be grateful that I have the wherewithal to accomplish it. I keep up with Caringbridge posts from a friend who is watching her husband struggle with a brain tumor. He would love to have my list. I take my health for granted too often.

Today, I’m going to go to church, worship well, then hammer out 20 things – one at a time.

How are you going to attack your list?


0 Comments on The Unrelenting Butt-Itch as of 3/3/2014 12:10:00 AM
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7. Call for Submissions: E.T.A.

E.T.A. is a literary journal run by undergraduate students seeking submissions for its debut issue. E.T.A. seeks to publish original works of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, art, dramatic literature, aphorisms, orchestral compositions, screenplays, Viewmaster slides, comics, or truly anything you can conceive. We’re looking for works that go beyond the silver lining and interrupt the normal fluctuations of the every day. E.T.A. strives to publish works that embody the idea of movement, both physical and mental. Lead us down a path we aren’t expecting; make us want to crawl out our windows and wander by foot along a foreign highway, amble about the roads of our minds, or just make us step outside to see the stars.

Submission guidelines for writers:

No more than six submissions per person.
Fiction /Dramatic literature/screenplay
No more than 15 pages or 5000 words, double spaced with one inch margins and a readable font. (Do not feel dissuaded from submitting flash-fiction, or any other such short creative works.)
Poetry
Readable font. No more than 5 poems per author.
Please submit by March 25, 2014 electronically to:

ETAJournalATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)

or our P.O. Box:

Brandi Reissenweber, English Department
ETA Submission
Illinois Wesleyan University
P.O. Box 2900
Bloomington, IL 61702

If you have questions or ideas for other submission formats or styles, please contact us at:

ETAJournalATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to .),

and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.

See our Facebook page for more information.

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8. Larva is Live on Amazon

 

Larva Kindle Cover

We are pleased to announce the release of our second young adult book in our Alpha Girls series, Larva.  Book two of The Alpha Girls series follows Caitlin and her friends during their freshman year of high school.

Caitlin has been dating Josh most of the summer, but she finds herself torn between Josh and the new man on campus, Trick. Trick shared a passionate kiss with Caitlin over the summer on a Florida beach, but she never thought she’d see him again.

High school is full of choices. Some more difficult than others.

 


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9. Enter to Win a Paperback Copy of Flutura

 

We are giving away three paperback copies of  Flutura (The Alpha Girls Series, book one) from now until April 18th. Book one of The Alpha Girls series introduces you to Alexis, Brittany and Caitlin who have grown up together since birth. Caitlin is ready to become a woman, but she’s fourteen and has yet to experience her first French kiss or her first period. The summer before high school will change all of that.

Caitlin is taken by surprise when Joshua reveals his feelings for her. As Caitlin sorts out her own feelings toward Josh the memory of the kiss she shared with Trick on the beach continues to invade her thoughts.

Good thing she’ll never see Trick again or things could get complicated.

You can also find Larva (The Alpha Girls Series, book two) available now on Amazon kindle and paperback.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Flutura by Angela Muse

Flutura

by Angela Muse

Giveaway ends April 18, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


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10. Richard Burbage: Shakespeare’s first Hamlet

By Bart van Es

Richard Burbage © Dulwich Picture Gallery.

The death of Richard Burbage in 1619 caused a minor scandal. So lavish was the outpouring of grief that it threatened to overshadow official mourning for Queen Anne who had died a few days before. Shakespeare’s leading actor had a legendary status in the seventeenth century. It is also a minor scandal that he is not more famous today. While there is exhaustive scholarship on the playwright’s texts and sources, the earliest manuscript elegies for the man who first performed Hamlet, Lear, and Othello remain unedited and obscure. This is a shame not only because it is an injustice but also because it stops us seeing the way Shakespeare worked.

It was the first performance of Hamlet around 1601 that projected Burbage into the national imagination. The earliest surviving elegy begins by saying that there will be ‘no more young Hamlet’ after the death of the star:

Oft I have seen him leap into a grave
Suiting the person, which he seemed to have,
Of a sad lover, with so true an eye
That there (I would have sworn) he meant to die.

A 1605 pamphlet notes how the ‘one man’ who plays Hamlet stands at the apogee of his profession, with ‘money’, ‘dignity’, and ‘reputation’ that are destined to earn him a ‘lordship in the country’. The play was ‘diverse times acted by his highness’s servants in the City of London as also in the two universities of Cambridge and Oxford and elsewhere’. It functioned as the calling card of its leading man.

Hamlet proved the making of Burbage, but I suggest that Burbage also had a good deal to do with the way Hamlet was made. Three things about the actor were essential. First, his wealth and playhouse investment. Second, his style of performance. Third, competition with the leading man of a rival company, Edward Alleyn.

Wealth is important because power (just as in modern Hollywood) did not come from talent alone. Before 1599 Burbage had been just one in an acting company of eight equals and his roles in Shakespeare’s plays were commensurate with that stake. But the building of the Globe in 1599 made Richard newly preeminent. He and his brother Cuthbert secured 50% of the venture, with Shakespeare and the four other ‘housekeepers’ having just 10% each. Burbage’s business dominance had immediate implications. Once Burbage was a bigger investor, the company’s playwright wrote him bigger parts. From this point on central characters become more prominent: Henry V, Duke Vincentio, Othello, Lear, Macbeth, Timon, Antony, and Coriolanus (all products of the early Globe years) are not simply longer in their line-counts, they are also grander, more self-defining, roles. Most can be linked with certainty to Burbage and all are very likely to have been played by him. Hamlet (at 1338 lines) is by some measure the largest part in the Shakespeare canon and that statistic connects pretty directly with the actor’s business share.

Of course, Burbage was not just powerful but also gifted. Ben Jonson called him the ‘best actor’ and that reputation was founded, as one elegy put it, on performing ‘so truly to the life’. According to the testimony of Richard Flecknoe:

He was a delightful Proteus, so wholly transforming himself into his part, and putting off himself with his clothes, as he never (not so much as in the tiring house) assumed himself again until the play was done: there being as much difference betwixt him and one of our common actors as between a ballad singer who only mouths it and an excellent singer.

This distance from common actors is vital to Hamlet because it makes possible the Prince’s declaration that ‘forms, moods, shapes of grief’ are merely ‘actions that a man might play’ but that he ‘has that within which passes show’.

Edward Alleyn © Dulwich Picture Gallery.

A final element, though, was the rivalry between Burbage and Alleyn. Exactly like Burbage, Alleyn was an actor who had recently become a big-scale playhouse investor. In 1600 he built the Fortune playhouse to the north of the city, deliberately copying the Globe. To launch his theatre Alleyn revived the roles that had made him famous in the early 1590s: Tamburlaine, Faustus, and other leads in Marlowe plays. Amongst these was Marlowe’s Dido, in which he spoke the following lines:

At last came Pyrrhus, fell and full of ire,
His harness dropping blood, and on his spear
The mangled head of Priam’s youngest son…

In Hamlet (written while Alleyn conducted these revivals) the Prince meets a player and requests an old speech that has a very similar ring:

The rugged Pyrrhus like th’ Hyrcanian beast…
—’Tis not so. It begins with Pyrrhus.
The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble…

Burbage, at the Globe, was pretending awkwardly to remember lines that closely resembled those of his rival on the other side of the Thames. The unpopularity of the ‘tragedians of the city’ (which has forced the player to travel to Elsinore) thus becomes a very local affair.

The player’s long speech (which ‘pleased not the million’ and bores Polonius) is partly a dig at Alleyn, but it is also something more complex. Hamlet admires the old player and behind this there is surely also admiration for Alleyn, with whom Burbage had learned his craft as a travelling actor a decade before.  His character’s inability to ‘drown the stage with tears, / And cleave the general ear with horrid speech’ is an expression of limitation. But it also announces a new kind of acting in which the feelings of characters are not so easily known. Alleyn had starred as Cutlack the Dane with eyes of ‘lightning’ and words of ‘thunder’; Burbage would command the stage in a different way. ‘To be or not to be’ was a question of acting method. The performer whose death Thomas Middleton would describe as an ‘eclipse of playing’ had an artistic vision of his own.

Bart van Es is Lecturer in English at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine’s College. He has previously written books on Edmund Spenser and has a special interest in the writing of history in the Renaissance. Shakespeare in Company is his first work on drama and was supported by the award of an AHRC Fellowship.

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Image credit: Portraits of Richard Burbage and Edward Alleyn used with permission of Dulwich Picture Gallery. All rights reserved. 

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11. Review: Me, Him, Them, & It by Caela Carter

 

Title: Me, Him, Them, and It

Author:  Caela Carter

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

ME is Evelyn Jones, 16, a valedictorian hopeful who’s been playing bad girl to piss off THEM, her cold, distant parents. HIM is Todd, Evelyn’s secret un-boyfriend, who she thought she was just using for sex – until she accidentally fell in love with him. But before Evelyn gets a chance to tell Todd how she feels, something much more important comes up. IT. IT is a fetus. Evelyn is pregnant – and when Todd turns his back on her, Evelyn has no idea who to turn to. Can a cheating father, a stiff, cold mother, a pissed-off BFF, and a (thankfully!) loving aunt with adopted girls of her own help Evelyn make the heart-wrenching decisions that follow?


Review:

Wow, at times Me, Him, Them, And It is a hard book to read.  Evelyn is a self-destructive teen, who is crying out for attention from her parents.  Because her home life is so dysfunctional, nothing she does makes them bat an eye.  Her mother is emotionally stunted, unable to communicate her feelings, and her father has been caught cheating, so he is struggling with guilt.  He leaves for a time, but then comes back home, and everything is changed.  The house is silent, nobody talks, and Evelyn is spiraling in a black depression she can’t escape.  She is like her mother; unable to adequately communicate her feelings, even to her best friend.  The words she longs to speak stick in her throat, trapped and suffocating her.  There are times I was so frustrated with her, because if she would only SAY something, anything, she wouldn’t have to feel as though she’s carrying the burden of the world on her shoulders.

Evelyn has set a high bar for herself.  She wants to be the class valedictorian, and  she wants to attend an Ivy League university.  It is so sad that neither of her parents has any clue how well she’s doing in school, or what her college ambitions are.  Then she decides to punish her parents.  She doesn’t want to be Good Evelyn anymore, and who can blame her.  She received no credit at all from her distant parents, and she desperately wants their attention.  Any kind of attention.  The sad thing is, even as she begins indulging in dangerous behavior, they still don’t acknowledge her desperate cries for help.  Then she discovers that the risks she has been taking have come home to roost.  She’s pregnant, and she doesn’t know what to do.

This book is all about consequences.  Evelyn has made a mistake, and now she has to face it.  She has to decide what to do about the bean growing in her belly. Todd, the father, turns his back on her, and no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t tell her BFF what’s wrong with her.  The only compassionate adult in her life is Mary, a counselor at the local planned parenthood.  Because she can’t have a discussion with her mother, Evelyn makes Mary tell her mom that she’s pregnant.  Ouch!

I didn’t want to like any of the characters in this book.  Everyone is so absorbed in their own drama and agendas that nobody seems to care about anybody else.  Evelyn irritated me at times, but then I stopped and realized that there were so many grown up decisions that she had to make, without much input from the adults in her life, and that she had every reason to be confused, angry, and hurt.  Overwhelmed.  Few of the adults in her life gave her any credit, yet they all demanded that she make a plan. Now.   It’s not even like she had a good example of what a real family should be like to base her decisions on.

When she’s sent to live with her Aunt Linda and her family in Chicago, Evelyn is understandably upset.  In her hour of need, her parents send her away.  Once she falls into a routine at Linda’s, though, she does start to feel like she belongs.  She slowly begins to learn how to express herself, though it is a painful and awkward process.  And just when I think she is beginning to heal, and she will make a rational decision about what to do about the bean that she blames for ruining her life, she makes yet another impulsive, life altering choice.  While the ending is upbeat, Me, Him, Them, and It had me feeling a bit out of sorts.  The magnitude of Evelyn’s problem is staggering and her rage at her parents is all-consuming.  The choice she must make will alter the lives of almost everyone she knows, and yet all of them leave her to make it on her own.  The thought of an angry, resentful, and scared teen making of decision like this on her own just left me depressed.

Grade:  B/B+

Check back later today for a chance to win a copy of Me, Him, Them, and It!

Review copy provided by publisher

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12. Call for Submissions: Mason's Road Online Literary Journal

Call for submissions & cash prize: Mason's Road Online Literary Journal

We are now accepting your best fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, and craft essays. Issue Seven's theme is POINT OF VIEW, and we are looking for unique and arresting takes on first, second, or third-person narration.

Our submissions period runs for through April 1, 2013. There are two ways to submit to Mason's Road.

You can submit for free any time during our submissions period, and your work will be given thorough consideration for publication.

Or, you can submit with a $10 fee, and your work will also be considered for our Mason's Road Winter Literary Award, which includes publication and a $500 prize to the best entry we receive. For more information about how to submit or the cash prize, go here.

Sponsored by the Fairfield University MFA in Creative Writing Program, Mason's Road is an online literary journal with a focus on the lifetime learning of the writing craft. It is run by the program's graduate students and its goal is to be both educational and inspiring.

Submit today! Good luck!

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13. Top 5 Things That Bore Me




As I watched yet another body count trend upward in a recent movie, it inspired me to list the top five things that bore me as a viewer/reader. These clichéd and overused tropes are supposed to wow, but leave me snoring. This list applies to fiction as well as movies.



1) Gratuitous sex scenes, aka sex with a stranger.

It’s stupid. Why should I care? The encounter between two people who truly long for each other, who have been kept apart then finally come together, is far more intriguing. Couples who have a history that reunite or make up are more interesting than random rutters.

2) Random violence.

Killing one character I've grown invested in is more compelling than blasting away with an automatic weapon downing characters I don’t know or care about. It's a fact of human nature that genocide in a distant land doesn't register until the battle is brought to a person's front door. The closer the character who dies is to the protagonist, the higher the story stakes. As much as I love cozy mysteries, there's almost a disconnect when it comes to the victims. The best cozy mystery makes me care that the victim died.

3) Gore.

It’s a turn off. As much as I appreciate special effects makeup artists, they can use their talents to make cooler effects that don’t involve rolling heads or spurting arteries. In books, I really don’t need paragraphs of gruesome details. I scan past them. Same with torture and battle scenes. They make me cringe. I'm a grown-up. I have experienced loss and pain. I get the drift. The reality that people are bestial and kill each other is disgusting and horrifying enough. We never followed Anne Frank to the concentration camp, but the reality of the horror of that story scarred me for life. Why? Because I grew to know and like her and that made what she went through personal rather than abstract. If you want to impress upon your readers true horror, make it personal.

4) Drawn out panoramic shots.

Whether it’s a prolonged movie clip or endless paragraphs describing the setting in excessive detail, I have a tendency to fast forward or skim read past them. Take a picture; it lasts longer. Have you ever sat through an endless slideshow of someone else's vacation? Make description short and make it count, then move onto the point of the scene. It's even better if the setting has an impact on the scene.

5) Adults or teens that behave like out of control toddlers.

Book or movie, I have no patience with these characters. I wouldn't hang out with them in person. I don't waste page time with them either. If this character is the protagonist, I put the book down and it goes on my discard pile.

What tropes inspire you to flip pages or quit reading?

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14. What I Learned from Bill Clinton: How to Prepare Yourself for the Future

“If you can do one thing to prepare yourself for the future… you should spend as much time as you can with people who are different than you”. — President Bill Clinton

I recently had the opportunity to join Kyle Zimmer, First Book’s president and CEO, at a special event for the Thea Foundation. Founded by Linda and Paul Leopoulos shortly after the untimely death of their daughter Thea Kay, the Thea Foundation connects young people to the power of visual art, dance, drama, and creative writing across Arkansas and beyond.

At First Book we’re eager to learn from the success of the Thea Foundation and we hope to work with Linda, Paul and others to help bring the arts to life for all students, regardless of their economic situations, including the hundreds of thousands of children in First Book’s national network of low-income classrooms and programs.

Thea Kay Leopoulos

Thea Kay Leopoulos (photo from theafoundation.org)

We know that it can make a profound difference. Paul and Linda shared Thea’s story — a typical one for many 17-year-old girls, making C’s and D’s and disliking school.

But by the end of her junior year, Thea was making A’s and B’s in difficult subjects (an A in Trigonometry!) and loving school. As they came to terms with losing their daughter, Linda and Paul sought to understand what happened in Thea’s life that caused such a drastic academic transformation.

The answer: her new involvement in visual art, dance, drama and creative writing. This made all the difference for Thea; an idea strongly supported by research.

Chandler Arnold and Kyle Zimmer of First Book with Bill Clinton

Chandler Arnold, Bill Clinton & Kyle Zimmer celebrating the Thea Foundation

Among the educators, entrepreneurs, and arts supporters that night was President Bill Clinton, a longtime supporter of the powerful organization. Over dinner Kyle and I were able to speak with the President about a range of topics, from Thea (who the president knew well) to the Clinton Global Initiative.

The thing I’ll remember most? The President’s advice to an eight-year-old over dinner: “If you can do one thing to prepare yourself for the future… you should spend as much time as you can with people who are different than you”.

Wise advice for all of us; eight-year-olds and grown-ups alike.

Kyle also asked him if Hillary would be running for President in a few years, but we’ll keep his answer to ourselves.

NOTE: We are grateful for the generosity of Dr. Martha Bernadett of the Molina Foundation for making our participation in this event possible.

Chandler Arnold is First Book’s executive vice president.

The post What I Learned from Bill Clinton: How to Prepare Yourself for the Future appeared first on First Book Blog.

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15. Adapting Henry V

By Gus Gallagher


In the Autumn of 2011 I found myself at something of a loose end in the beautiful city of Tbilisi, Georgia, working with the Marjanishvili Theatre there on a production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Unsure of what my next project might be, my attention turned to an old love, Shakespeare’s Henry V. Having long been intrigued by both the story and the title character, I set about reading the text afresh. For perhaps the first time, I realised I no longer sought to play the lead role myself, but found myself still driven to have the story told in a fresh, vibrant, immediate fashion.

Prior to setting out for Georgia, I’d been involved with a five-man production of Doctor Faustus during which I had been struck by how well the classical verse seemed to lend itself to the more intimate company structure. In previous years I had also been a member of a small-cast version of Macbeth, which had likewise seemed to benefit from the experiment. These earlier experiences must have been in my mind when I started thinking about how I might stage Henry V.

Henry V

Morgan Philpott in Creation Theatre’s production of Henry V

At first, I was curious to see if it might be possible to tell the story using only five actors, and was interested to see that it was. However, as I took another swing at it, I began to distil the idea further. It became apparent to me that in most key scenes there were three distinct ‘voices’. These, I thought later, might more often than not be termed the petitioner, the advocate, and the judge. The petitioner often seemed to pose ‘The Question’ at the top of the scene (such as The Archbishop of Canterbury in I.2), whilst the advocate rallies either for or against his or her cause (such as Exeter in the same scene). Finally, each key scene seemed to have a singular figure who would judge the outcome and lead the way onwards (Henry).

Obviously, it was not possible to achieve a wholesale three-man cut of the text without considerable and audacious changes to the original — mostly in the form of character amalgamations, slight re-ordering or outright edits — but I believe the integrity of the piece as a whole, and crucially the story, remain intact.

Having gladly agreed to an application of performance rights from Creation Theatre in Oxford, I then stood back completely from the process of production. What I was intrigued to find was how well the three-man format seemed to bring out the comedy of the piece. The pace, also, seemed more in tune with what I believe was Shakespeare’s intent. Of course, both these factors are entirely to the credit of the director, cast and creative team, but I was pleased to see them both used so effectively in a production in which I played a modest role.

Gus Gallagher trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After ten years as an actor, playing such roles as Romeo, Coriolanus, Mercutio, Macduff, and Dr. Faustus, he turned his attention to writing. The Creation Theatre adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Henry V is Gus’s first produced work. He is currently working on a piece about the life and times of King William IV, as well as a play about The Jarrow March of 1936. Oxford World’s Classics are sponsoring the production, which is on at Oxford Castle Unlocked until September 14.

For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. You can follow Oxford World’s Classics on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the OUPblog.

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Image credit: Morgan Philpott in Henry V. Image copyright Creation Theatre Company. Photography by Richard Budd. Do not reproduce without permission.

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16. Call for Submissions: Reunion: The Dallas Review

Reunion: The Dallas Review is now accepting submissions. Sponsored by the School of Arts & Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas, Reunion features poetry, fiction, nonfiction, visual arts, translations, and drama. We are seeking fresh, well-crafted, professional quality work from across the nation and abroad to be featured in our large format, full color annual publication. Our current deadline is Sunday, Dec. 15.

General guidelines: We only consider electronic submissions. Please send work to the email below with a cover letter including a short bio. We accept simultaneous submissions with notification, but please only submit once during our reading period.

Genre Guidelines:

Fiction: one story, 5,000 words maximum

Poetry: 3-5 poems. Longer poems will be considered, but shorter poems
are desirable. Please submit poems as one document.

Creative Nonfiction: 5,000 words maximum

Translation: 3,000 words max, can be an actual translation and/or a
scholarly essay on translation. Please obtain all necessary
permissions prior to submitting your piece.

Drama: one play or screenplay, 5,000 words maximum

Academic essays and articles: 4,000 words maximum, History,
Literature, Foreign Languages, Philosophy


Please submit electronically here.

For more information please visit our website or write to reunion:

editorATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)

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17. When It Comes in Threes: Chapter 3 “Meet My Daddy”

This is Chapter 3 of the new novel I’m working on.  This book is a piece of Young Adult Fiction.  Young readers should be particularly advised that this chapter is harsh, and if this were a movie, it would be given a PG-13 rating.  Chapters 1 and 2 are published here also at www.toniaalengould.com. I’m uncertain how many chapters I will publish here on this blog.  Your feedback is welcomed and appreciated, and please kindly note that this is only fairly edited to this point.

Meet My Daddy

Last night, when the house was quiet and nothing was keeping the room lit but for the dime store digital alarm clock Mama got me and Bartlett for Christmas last year; my sister broke the night’s calm by shifting her weight and turning over in her bed to face me in mine.  “Barley, you awake?” she whispered.  Not waiting for me to answer she continued, “It’s real late and daddy ain’t home yet. When he gets in, I don’t want you to make one single, solitary sound in here, no matter what happens.  You hear me?” Bartlett pleaded.  I shivered and pulled the covers tighter over my body and used the top of them to wipe the tears that already began to roll as big as dimes down my cheek and said, “Uh huh, I hear you,” I said, knowing she was right and that the shit was about to hit the fan.  I tried to muster a voice inside me big and loud, but what came out of my mouth squeaked like one of those kangaroo mice that we occasionally caught meekly poking their heads out of our paneled wood walls, disappearing as quickly as they came, here and gone again, just like my tears now.  My whole body began to tremble and shake and my feet were so cold, it felt like I had popsicles for toes.

Bartlett rose up out of her bed looking like a ghost or something, looming over me like that in her cotton white nightgown; her face was nothing but a shadow in the darkness, and for a second, I thought I was dreaming or having a nightmare or something.  I pinched myself sharply and only when I felt the pain was I certain she was real and not a figment of my imagination.  Finally, she sat down on the edge of my bed.  “Sit up for a second,” she said, as she pulled back the covers and tugged at my arms, effortlessly bringing me up next to her.  I couldn’t make out her face in the darkness, although her white cotton nightgown seemed to illuminate the whole bedroom.   She stroked my long, dark hair and whispered in my ear.  I know she could feel me trembling beside her, and even though sometimes I hated her, I was so grateful for my sister’s warmth tonight.  “Shhh,” she said.  “Maybe it won’t be so bad this time.  Give me a hug and try to go on back to sleep now and remember that no matter what happens, you stay in this here bed and don’t get outta it for anything, until Kingdom come if you have to, or at least until I say so” she said, as she pulled me tighter in next to her body.  I hugged her limply, like something had sucked the bones out of me and I was nothing but a gob of dangling, cold skin, but it weren’t for but a second, before she got up and paced across the room to check on Graham, who was sleeping soundly in his own bed.  I knew Bartlett would be by his side stifling him, muzzling his mouth if she had to, if things got really ugly.  So I just laid there—cold and limp, a lifeless, waiting, trembling, hoping and praying mass-of-a-child.  If you’ve never had the experience, waiting for something bad to happen feels like all the oxygen has been snatched-up outta the air, your throat and lips feel awfully dry, you can’t hardly swallow your own spit for the lump in your throat won’t let it go down, and it’s as if the Earth collapsed and shattered to giants chunks of rubble around you, pinning you in and leaving you breathless.  Yes.  Waiting feels like something big and looming and enormous like that.

Another hour or so must’ve passed as we laid there in silence before the headlights from daddy’s ’59 Impala finally ricocheted off the walls and reflected from the mirror that sat on top of our dresser.  The light was so bright, it was blinding, and it felt like Lord Jesus had come to take us home.  I could hear the tires spitting-up gravel from the driveway and the pistons rumble and fade away into the darkness once Daddy turned off the ignition.  Moments pass and he finally gets out of the car, slamming the door forcibly as he exits.  Then the thud, thud, thud of his feet comin’ up the porch steps, tromping the whole way.  Suddenly, I became consumed by each and every sound my father was making, each noise was a siren, a warning call that rang loud and true and into the stillness of the night.  It was almost more than I could bear, waitin’ for my Daddy to find his keys and enter the trailer.  I wasn’t breathing, but I wasn’t holding my breath neither, it’s like I had my foot stomped on and was punched in the belly all at the same time.   Rattle, Rattle, rattle; he fumbled with the doorknob, turned it, and then finally fell into the kitchen which was right outside our bedroom.  He was struggling to find the light switch; I could hear him grasping at the walls, groping the wood paneling, and scraping the dinette chairs across the floor as he clumsily made his way to the light switch across the small kitchen.

From where I was laying, I could see the dark outline of his body through the crack in our bedroom door.  I screeched a bit when he finally turned on the light, it surprised me so much, since I had become particularly fixated on all the sounds he was making and due to the suspense of it all. Bartlett shushed me again, but fortunately Daddy hadn’t heard me. Bartlett was right, it was best to pretend I was asleep, but I couldn’t help but watch through that small opening in our bedroom door.

I wanted to roll over in my bed and face Bartlett, but it was too darn late, I had to lay still, or I might’ve caught Daddy’s attention, so I watched as he tried to navigate around the kitchen. Daddy has knocked over a chair, and I watch as he stumbled and fell forward, trying to pick it up.  When he finally brought the chair upright, he heaved his body into and lit himself up a Marlboro, and thankfully the whole trailer fell quiet again.  We can hear Mama as she slowly eased herself up out of her bed through the paper thin walls leading to the bedroom next to ours.  The rickety old box springs from the cast iron bed Mama and Daddy got from a flea market, is the only thing to break the silence.  “No Mama,” I prayed.  “Please don’t get up.  Let him be.  Don’t go in there,” I prayed.  But I  knew God wasn’t listening to Barley Sullivan tonight, because I watched as Mama drowsily entered the kitchen, wiping the sleep out of her reddened eyes.  I could see that mom had been crying, and guessed probably she had cried the whole night long.  The stench of the alcohol on Daddy’s breath, and what smells like a somewhat familiar perfume now permeates the air throughout the entire trailer.  Mama is ten shades of mad because Daddy has been out so late.  She glances around the kitchen in disbelief. “Earl, it looks like a God-damned circus ran through here,” she says as she stoops to pick up an errant chair up off the floor.  Mama’s right.  It was a circus in there and unbeknownst to her; she just stepped into the lion’s lair.  Like I’ve said before, Mama didn’t have too much common sense.

“You think ya can just saunter on in here, any old time ya God-damned want, drunker than a skunk and smellin’ like June’s cheap-ass perfume all the time?  I’m getting pretty fuckin’ sick and tired of it, Earl!” she yells.  “If my brother John gets a hold of you, he’s gonna kill you for runnin’ around with her like that.  What?  You think I don’t know?  I’m not fuckin’ stupid,” my Mama laughs. The argument ensues, both of them screaming back and forth at one another, but some of what they are talking about makes absolutely no sense to me—like what does Aunt June have to do with any of this, anyway?  It’s all over my head, and Daddy is so belligerent, I can’t make sense of what he is saying at all.  Their voices rise another octave, and the neighbor’s dog, George, begins to bark and that beckons other dogs in the trailer park to wake and come alive with their unrelenting barking.  Daddy’s voice suddenly shifts to a dangerous tone, and I can feel it in my gut.  It’s too late, there’s no undoing what’s Mama’s done.  She has incensed my father.

Despite Bartlett’s admonishment, I sit up on the side of my bed, my legs dangling, holding on tightly to the stuffed monkey I got from that time I got put in the hospital when my appendix almost burst.  Doctor Cooper gave him to me.  I loved that stuffed monkey because he reminded me of a special time.   For two weeks, while I was in the hospital, I got to eat all the ice cream I ever wanted, there weren’t any televisions on blaring loudly twenty-four-hours a day, and Daddy and Mama weren’t there fighting about things I just didn’t understand, like they were doing tonight.  Hell, Mama and Daddy barely even came to see me when I was in the hospital back when I was only just nine-years-old, and oddly enough, I was okay with that. Those two weeks were the first time in my life I had ever experienced what silence was.  I could think there in the hospital.  I wasn’t all wound-up and scared all the time.  In fact, it felt like I had boarded a plane, and landed in some faraway perfect place.  For a kid like me, growing up in a trailer park, staying in a hospital feels something like staying at one of those fine resorts I read about in one of those magazines Jeannie Bell had down in her parlor shop in town.  Bartlett breaks me away from my reverie and whispered loudly again, “Lie back down and pretend that you’re asleep!  If Daddy sees you, he’ll up and come on in here and whoop us both.  Do it now!”

But I don’t listen to Bartlett.  My body feels possessed by someone bigger and braver than me.  Instead, I continue to rock myself gently back and forth, trying to will away the feuding coming from the other room.   Daddy is cursing something fierce, and then I hear him push a chair out of his way as he crosses over to Mama where I can’t see them anymore.   I knew better, and despite all of Bartlett’s warnings, I got up and tip-toed myself across the floor to the door and stepped quietly over to the other side of it to peer through the crack to see where my Mama and Daddy are standing on the other side of the kitchen.  Daddy’s already got her pressed right up against the wall, his arm pinned across her throat and he is yelling directly into her face.  He’s so mad, I can see little droplets of spittle flying into the air as he screams at her.  And then, before I can digest what I am seeing, I watch in outright horror as Daddy leans over and picks up one of those fallen chairs and busts it right across my Mama’s head.  She falters and falls hard to the ground, moaning in anguish, her body is now a lifeless heap strewn clear across the floor in a pink, cotton-candy-colored, terry-cloth robe.  With a grumble underneath his breath, my Daddy steps over her body, like she’s nothing more than the day’s trash, and stumbles into their bedroom.  I watch him hoist his fully-clothed body onto that old bed, the sheer weight of him causes those box springs to creak and whine again, and almost immediately, the sound of his snoring breaks the dead quiet silence of daybreak.  The morning light is already filtering in through the windows, casting morning sun on my poor mother, splayed out on the floor in her pink robe.

Mama was lying perfectly still on the floor, and I was almost certain she was dead.  A thin, red trickle of blood oozed from a wide, deep gash on her forehead.  I was crying, but my sobs were coming from some subterranean part of myself.  Even if I wanted to, I could not project any noise; I had learned so early on in life to stifle my emotions and to filter my own pain.  My stomach was heaving in and out while a steady train of new tears rolled down my face.  It took every ounce of my courage to walk over to Mama to see if she was breathing or dead.  Just as I crossed over the kitchen and came to her side, my mother looked up at me, surprised to see me and immediately placed her right index finger next to her lips and mouthed the word “Shhhhh!”  I leaned over her and gave her my hand, which she gratefully took, and I helped her up off the cold, hard linoleum tiles.  Without saying a word, she led me back to my room where Bartlett stood crying at the door, holding Graham in her arms; he was almost too big for her carry.  He was buried deep in her bosom and I knew Bartlett hadn’t let him see anything that went on in the kitchen.  “Go on back in there now, you three.  Ain’t nothin’ more to see out here tonight,” Mama said as she motioned us back into our bedroom. “I’m ok,” she said, “It’s just nothin’ but a little bump on the head.  Y’all go back to sleep, and stay good and quiet in here, you hear me?” she whispered.   Mama led me back into our room, where she tucked me into bed, checked on Graham who rolled over immediately and went back to sleep, and then looked thankfully towards Bartlett.  Then with some degree of dignity, she straightened her back and walked out of our room and back into the kitchen.

The door to our room was left cracked open again and I watched as she lit herself a cigarette, inhaling the smoke deeply into her lungs where she savored it a moment until she finally exhaled, and then she sat down at the dinette table, drew her feet up onto the chair and rested her head on her knees, her body trembling from head-to-toe as she silently watered her lap with her tears.  I wanted to go to her again, but I knew if I did, she would retaliate on me just to prove she was still strong and in charge, like she had done so many times before after a beating from Daddy, so I just laid there and saw her arms heave up and down as she cried, watching as the early morning light cleansed and clarified the kitchen, hoping for a new and brighter day.


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18. Call for Submissions: Poor Yorick

Poor Yorick is now accepting submissions for its online launch scheduled for the fall of 2014. We welcome entries in any and every literary genre, and from any visual or audio medium, including, but not limited to, poems, stories, essays, profiles, digital video shorts, photoessays, scholarly articles, songs, short plays, and innovative writing and productions about lost objects and images of material culture: sculptures and paintings in the back rooms of museums or in hidden corners of public spaces; murals forgotten in plain view; lost photographic archives and restored films; newly discovered letters or manuscripts; knickknacks in attics; oddities and curiosities in misbegotten sideshows; forgotten stories that remind us of pasts that we cannot afford to forget.

In addition to unsolicited submissions, the journal’s editorial staff will occasionally identify a particular historical object, collection, exhibit, etc., and call for submissions inspired by the selected artifact. In addition, Poor Yorick works in conjunction with museums both locally and nationally to identify and encourage innovative works focusing on lesser-known and overlooked objects and images.

Please see our website for more information and submission guidelines. There is no submission fee.

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19. Call for Submissions from Undergraduate Students: Sun & Sandstone

Sun & Sandstone is open for submissions for the Spring 2014 issue. We are looking for undergraduate works of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and one act plays.

For submissions and guidelines, go to our website.

Deadline: April 15th, 2014

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20. Writing Competition: Great Plains Emerging Writer Prize


The Great Plains Emerging Writer Prize, from the Great Plains Writers’ Conference at South Dakota State University, is given annually to a writer of the Great Plains region who has not yet published a book, but whose work and career shows exceptional promise.
   
* The winner will receive a $1000 honorarium and a featured reading at the conference in Brookings, SD in March, 2014, as well as land travel and lodging. 
 
* Manuscripts will be judged anonymously by the GPWC committee.

* All genres open; include a maximum of 15 pages of poetry or hybrid-genre work, or a maximum of 20 pages of fiction, nonfiction, drama, or screenplay.

* Work submitted may be previously published, but must be stripped of all information identifying the author or the venue.

* Postmark deadline November 15, 2013.

* Entry fee $15, payable to SDSU / Great Plains Writers’ Conference. Mail to:
 
 
English Department 
South Dakota State University, Box 504 (SSB 014) 
Brookings, SD 57007

For queries, contact:

stevenDOTwingateATsdstateDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)

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21. Call for Submissions: The New Sound: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Art & Literature

The New Sound: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Art & Literature publishes short fiction, poetry, essays, drama, art and book reviews. Writers at all stages of their careers are invited to submit. Undergraduate students are especially encouraged to submit, as each issue will feature undergraduate writing and art. If you are interested in submitting your work for consideration, please refer to the guidelines below.

Reading period: The New Sound: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Art & Literature will be published in the spring of each year, and we ask that writers and artists submit no more than once each year. Our reading period will be from November 1st to February 1st. Manuscripts received any other time will not be  read. Manuscripts must be paginated and clearly labeled with the author’s name on every page. Please limit your submission to no more than 5 poems, 2 short plays, or 7,000 words of prose, either critical or creative. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but we ask that you notify us if the work is accepted elsewhere.  Do not send the only copy of your work, as we do not accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts.

Visual art and design submissions should be submitted in JPG format at 72 DPI and not exceed a file size of 2MB each. Each file should be titled with your name and the number of the submission (ex/ john_doe1.jpg, john_doe2.jpg). A maximum of four works may be submitted each year. Black and white and color are  encouraged.

Book Reviews: Please note that we do not accept unsolicited book reviews. If you are interested in reviewing, please write to the editor describing the kind of books you would be interested in reviewing and enclose one or more recent samples of a review.

If you submit prose, please send your submission in a document saved in a rich text format with the following specifications:

A. Font: Times New Roman
B. Size: 12 pt
C. Color: Black
D. Spacing: Double
E. Left and Right Margins: 1.25 inch
F. Top and Bottom: 1 inch

Response Time: We try to respond to submissions within 6 months; however, it may occasionally take longer for a manuscript to be read. We ask for your patience, as we do make every effort to read all the submissions we receive. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to status inquiries.

Although The New Sound: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Art & Literature is a print journal, we will feature excerpts from each issue on the University of New Haven website. Thus, please note that if your work is accepted, we may ask your permission to include your work on our website as well as in the print journal.

Send submissions to the following email address: 


thenewsound2@newhavenDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)
 

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22. Call for Art and Writing Submissions: Star 82 Review

Star 82 Review is a new art and lit online and print-on-demand quarterly that is looking for your best original work and lyrical language. The idea of making the familiar strange and the strange, familiar is of particular interest. Categories include flash, postcard lit, art post images, and erasure texts. Fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, poetry, comics, short dramatic scenes, and all art media will be considered.

Got art or text from 6-1000 words?

Please see our website for details and online submission information.

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23. Review: Peanut by Ayun Halliday & Paul Hoppe

 

 

Title: Peanut

Author: Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

"Before you write me off as a delusional psycho, think about what it’s like to be thrown into a situation where everyone knows everyone . . . and no one knows you." Sadie has the perfect plan to snag some friends when she transfers to Plainfield High—pretend to have a peanut allergy. But what happens when you have to hand in that student health form your unsuspecting mom was supposed to fill out? And what if your new friends want to come over and your mom serves them snacks? (Peanut butter sandwich, anyone?) And then there’s the bake sale, when your teacher thinks you ate a brownie with peanuts. Graphic coming-of-age novels have huge cross-over potential, and Peanut is sure to appeal to adults and teens alike.


Review:

When I received this book, I was a bit mystified.  Why, oh why would anyone pretend to have a fatal peanut allergy?  Baffled, I dug right into this graphic novel, intrigued to see if there was a compelling reason for Sadie to fabricate such a serious health issue.  After finishing the book, I have to say that I didn’t find it.  While the characters are likable, the rationale behind Sadie’s pretend illness just didn’t cut it for me.  Sadie’s little white lie, which quickly spirals out of control, is spun in an effort to be more popular at her new school. 

After talking to a girl about her medical alert bracelet, Sadie is so fascinated by the thought of having a severe peanut allergy that she orders a bracelet of her own.  I wanted to question how she was able to accomplish this, online, without a credit card or her mother’s knowledge, but I didn’t.  I just followed along with Sadie as she experiences the unintended consequences of her little lie.  A concerned teacher has her freaked out because she hasn’t turned in a health form, signed by her mother,  to the school nurse, and that EpiPen that she’s supposed to carry with her at all times?  Yeah, she needs a prescription to have access to that prop.  When a new friend asks to see it, she flips out on him.  When her new boyfriend thinks that she’s eaten a chip cooked in peanut oil, she realizes that living with this lie isn’t going to be easy.

The thing that kept me engaged in the story was Sadie’s fear of discovery.  Afraid to fess up to her new friends, she just keeps digging herself into a deeper and deeper hole.  She is terrified that the truth will come out, and when it does, that she will lose all of the friends that she’s made.  When reality does come crashing down around her, it is every bit as awful as she feared.  I think that the fallout was shortchanged, and that mending her bridges went too easy for her.  From her first day of school, the image of herself that she projected was all based on fallacy, and the small amount of page time given for her repentance was disappointing.

The art is quirky and it works well with the tone of the story.  I loved the splash of color from Sadie’s clothes. 

Grade:  C+

Review copy provided by publisher

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24. Review: Texas Christmas by Nancy Robards Thompson

 

Title:  Texas Christmas

Author: Nancy Robards Thompson

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Busted! When Pepper Merriweather’s superwealthy daddy is arrested for fraud—and the family fortune is kaput—just before the holidays, Pepper suddenly finds herself in need of a job. Despite her high-society connections, no one wants to give her a chance—no one except gorgeous billionaire recluse Robert Macintyre.

When he proposes a position that comes with more strings attached than a symphony orchestra, Pepper knows it’s an offer she should refuse. But beggars can’t be choosers. Besides, Pepper knows she has what it takes to rise to the challenge—but does she have what it takes to keep her hands off her irresistible new boss?


Review:

On a recent outing to the library, I caught sight of Texas Christmas.  The cover totally sucked me in; how could I resist that oh so sexy cowboy and the horses?  This cover is like a dream  date for me – the ultimate date would be going riding with some hot dude who likes animals, especially horses, and would actually go on a ride with me.  Sigh. Sadly, this scene is not in the book.  The protagonist, Pepper, doesn’t like horses, and hasn’t since an accident when she was a child.  So, no trail riding with a super sexy cowboy is in this story.

Pepper Merriweather is reeling from her father’s arrest. He’s been accused of defrauding investors of millions, and suddenly, Pepper is facing a very ugly future.  Raised in wealth, she is now scrambling to find a job.  With her father’s face in the papers, it’s getting harder and harder to find the strength to move on with her life.  Everyone is placing blame on her, even though she never worked at her father’s company.  I thought this was especially unfair, because her father wouldn’t have anything to do with her.   They hadn’t spoken in years, and he refused to allow her to visit him in prison.  So Pepper is basically taking heat for a jerk of father who hasn’t been part of her life in forever. 

Pepper meets billionaire Robert Macintyre on a flight home from Paris, where she and her mother have been hiding from the press.  He’s a nice guy, and Pepper’s grateful that he doesn’t mention her father and his alleged crimes even once.  After rescuing her from a very angry drunk who confronts her in the airport, Rob gives her a lift home.  After a steamy kiss, the two part ways, seemingly for good.  However, when Pepper’s good friend insists that Rob hire her, or she won’t make a donation for the children’s hospital he wants to build, Rob and Pepper find themselves together again.  Add in a massive amount of guilt on Pepper’s part, and you have a slow to burn romance.

When Pepper was a young girl, she and her brother were involved in an accident, and Pepper never forgave herself for it.  She isn’t ready to allow someone else to love her, either.   Just look at her father, who can’t find it in himself to forgive her. How can she allow Rob and his young son to get close to her, when all she does is hurt people?  While I found this conflict compelling, I felt that it was resolved too easily.  The pacing of this book felt so off to me, and it hindered my enjoyment of the story.   Pepper and Rob meet early in the book, and then don’t get together again until about 130 pages later.  That didn’t leave enough page time for their romance to convincingly develop.  Instead, the focus of the story is on Pepper dealing with fallout from her father’s crimes, and Rob trying to fund the hospital expansion.  There just wasn’t enough romance to satisfy me, and I was left wanting more.

Grade:  C

Review copy obtained from my local library

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25. The tragic death of an actor

By Maya Slater


The farce is at its height: the old clown in the armchair is surrounded by whirling figures in outlandish doctors’ costumes, welcoming him into their brotherhood with a mock initiation ceremony. He takes the Latin oath: ‘Juro’, falters. His face crumples. The audience gasps – is something wrong? But the clown is grinning now, all is well, the dancing grows frenzied, the play rushes on to its end.

Not till the next day will the audience find out what happened afterwards. They carried the clown off the stage in his chair, and rushed him home. He was coughing blood, dying. He asked for his wife, and for a priest to confess him. They failed to arrive before he died.

It happened 340 years ago, on 17 February 1673, but his magnificently ironic death is still central to the French understanding of Molière. He is their greatest comic playwright, unique in that he also directed his own plays and wrote his greatest parts for himself. Centuries later, this still gives the modern audience a frisson. In The Hypochondriac, sick with TB (he had his fatal seizure during the fourth performance), Molière himself spoke the following words:

‘Your Molière’s an impertinent fellow… If I were a doctor, I’d have my revenge… when he fell ill, I’d let him die without helping him. I’d say: “Go on, drop dead!”

Molière - Nicolas Mignard (1658)Writing those words anticipating his own death was surely tempting fate, but long before his last play, audiences had got used to seeing Molière on stage speaking lines which seemed to cast an ironic light on his own life. Nine years earlier, in The School for Wives (1662), the first of his great verse comedies, he played the part of a ridiculous old bachelor determined to marry an innocent young girl decades younger than him. Instead, the girl escapes with a young man her own age. The audience knew that Molière himself had recently married Armande – he was 40, she was 22. What must they have thought when he portrayed a thwarted older lover, gnashing his teeth in rage and frustration as his young bride escaped from his clutches?

A year later, Molière’s self-mockery has grown more explicit. The new play is The School for Wives Criticised, a short, informal sketch, ridiculing Molière’s critics in an argument about The School for Wives. Significantly, Molière didn’t defend his own play onstage.  Instead, he himself played an absurd Marquis, who attacks Molière and his work: ‘I’ve just been to see it… It’s detestable.’ ‘Talk to us about its faults,’ says someone. ‘How should I know? I didn’t even bother to listen,’ replies the Marquis.

Molière’s second riposte to his critics, which again took the form of a short polemic play, The Impromptu at Versailles, was strikingly new, and still feels fresh and exciting today. We see Molière (who just this once played himself) and his troupe in rehearsal, trying desperately to get a performance together for the King and Court to see. The actors are uncooperative and annoying, which enables Molière to show himself trying to cope with them. He presents himself as unable to keep control of his unruly cast, breaking out in frustration: ‘Don’t you realise, I’m the one who carries the can…?’ When they finally start their rehearsal, Molière interrupts it to comment on The School for Wives, and to make some interesting general observations on acting. The play they are rehearsing  is a conversation between two stupid courtiers. Molière again takes the part of the silly Marquis, and once more launches a comic attack on himself: ‘You’re desperate to justify Molière… don’t you think your Molière is played out [?]’ And then comes a moment unique in his work, where he takes over another actor’s part, and speaks as himself, in defence of his own art: ‘Wait a minute, You want to say all that a bit more emphatically. Listen, this is how I want it spoken…’

Of course the burning question must be: what was Molière like as an actor, and how did he perform his roles? We know he wore a heavy black moustache. We can assume that he excelled at portraying comic rage and frustration, from the number of furious outbursts he wrote for himself to perform. He put himself in ridiculous situations, hiding under the table in Tartuffe, performing a clumsy dance in The Bourgeois Gentleman, fleeing in terror dressed as a woman in M. de Pourceaugnac. But perhaps the most vivid account of his acting is found in a malicious satirical portrait written by the son of a rival actor:

‘He enters, nose to the wind, on bow legs, one shoulder thrust forward. His wig trails behind, stuffed full of bayleaves like a ham. He dangles his hands rather carelessly by his sides. His head sits on his back like a pack on a mule. He rolls his eyes. When he speaks his lines, the words are punctuated by endless hiccoughs.’

By the end, racked with TB, his performances had become less physically demanding. And performing the role which killed him that February night 350 years ago, that of the ludicrous hypochondriac, he was having to insert lines to excuse his own coughing, and played the part sitting in the red velvet chair which is still preserved as their most precious relic by the Comédie française theatre.

Maya Slater is Senior Reseach Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. She also writes fiction and reviews theatre and books. She is the editor of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, and Other Plays by Molière.

For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. You can follow Oxford World’s Classics on Twitter and Facebook.

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Image credit: Portrait of Molière as Julius Cesar by Nicolas Mignard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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