Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Linkety-Link for Writers

►Go to grad school, get stuck on bed rest, wind up on a bad weather vacation with people you don't like, or get a job as a book reviewer, and you too will learn to read a book a day, maybe even for a week straight. But a book a day for a year? That's what this blogger is doing, and she's nearing the end.

►Poets & Writers now has an MFA database, with a list of all U.S. program, as well as the top 50 (traditional) programs, and other MFA-related resources.

►Noah Lukeman, literary agent and author of The First Five Pages, has an interesting take on whether it makes sense to accept an offer from a small press to publish one's first book (via Backspace).

►Per writing nonfiction in which loved ones appear, I was glad to be reminded recently of this insight from Scott Rosenberg's book Say Everything: "Writers who tell stories about themselves, their families, and friends always walk a tightrope: you fall off one side if you stop telling the truth; you fall off the other if you hurt people you care about, or use them as fodder for your career. Dishonesty to the left, selfishness to the right." (via The Daily Rumpus)

►No, I won't be writing a novel, but I've signed on again for November's National Novel Writing Month. Last year, my goal was to write an average of 1800 new words each day, and by the end of the month, I did have 53,000 words of new memoir material. This year I have a slightly different project in mind, but the idea is the same – accountability and a shove. If you are having trouble sticking to a writing routine, need an outside deadline/accountability partner (or, say 15,000 of them – that's how many completed the program last year), or if you simply want to boost productivity, it may be worth considering.

►We writers are such strange creatures, no? For example, yesterday my day was made (really, I was dancing in my office) when I received what is probably the best personalized REJECTION email of my career, from an editor I admire, at a publication I love, for a column I'm dying to crack, only the day after I sent in an essay submission. Like I said, strange.

►How do you define a prose poem -- and know when it is a prose poem you are writing and not an essay? Know any good resources on the topic of prose poetry? Weigh in on this and other genre-splitting questions (and read the excellent comments/advice) over the Practicing Writing blog.

►Beginning poets might want to consider signing up for Sage Cohen's free monthly e-newsletter.

►The work of two of my writing buddies is featured over at the More magazine website –Dionne Ford's piece is about swimming with her Grandmother, in A Five Generation Vacation, and Sari Botton's essay covers Finding Forgiveness on Facebook.

►Blog reminder – tomorrow (Sat., 10/17) is the last day to leave a comment and become eligible to win a one-year (four-issue) subscription to Prairie Schooner, a wonderful literary journal.

►This terrific New Yorker piece, a parody/rant about the way publishers now expect their authors to do practically all of their own book promotion, would be truly hilarious if it were true. Oh, wait, what's that you say?

►From the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion: This blog was listed among the Top 100 Writing Blogs by the Daily Reviewer; the list is worth a look for the many other great blogs included.

And, finally, if you're not already reading literary agent Nathan Bransford's blog (and in that case, we really must talk), or The Rejectionist, then you missed this great post about the publishing industry. Whoa.

Have a great weekend.


Sari Botton said...

Thanks for the shout-out Lisa - and for all these great links!!! - Sari

Jenny said...

Congrats on the good rejection! I love those too. I was trying to explain "good rejections" to students in the writing class I'm teaching, and they were looking at me as if I was nuts.

Erika D. said...

Lisa, this is one of the best of your Friday posts (and I always appreciate them). Thanks so much for linking to the prose poetry post on Practicing Writing. But what I'm really excited about here is the note about your wonderful rejection. I have my ideas about which venue you might be talking about here, but I'm not going to go public, either! :-)