On Poeming Online & Submitting Published Work

Vase of Flowers (Vase de fleurs )

  • Are you looking for a friendly and supportive online community of poets?

Poetic Bloomings is “the best garden for verse”. Established in 2011, the site now reunites Marie Elena Good and Walter J Wojtanik “to help nurture and inspire the poetic spirit”.

Marie Elena and Walt are posting prompts every Sunday. Here’s the latest one.

  • Looking for a contest that accepts published poems?

Submit your work (published and unpublished) to Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest by September 30, 2018.

TOM HOWARD PRIZE: $1,500 for a poem in any style or genre
MARGARET REID PRIZE: $1,500 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Vase of Flowers (Vase de fleurs ), c. 1889. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 13 in. (41.3 x 33 cm). BF156. Public Domain.

 

 

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On Arousal, Dominance, & Playing It Right

In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage

  • Want your post to go viral?

Remember two factors: arousal and dominance. Put them to good use. “Both anger and excitement are high-arousal emotions. Dominance…is the feeling of being in control. When you’re inspired or joyful, you’re experiencing high dominance…

Articles that perform the best on social use a high-arousal, high-dominance combo.

  • Want to do better on social media?

Do not confuse your personality with your persona. When on social media, stay true to your author brand, be in charge, and share information wisely.

  • Are you an emerging playwright?

Try your luck at Yale Drama Series: David Charles Horn Prize. Submit an original, unpublished full-length play in English for your chance to win $10K. Note: no translations, musicals, adaptations, or children’s plays. Deadline: 15 August 2018

Image: Charles Demuth. In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage, 1917. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Overall: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). BF601. Public Domain.

August Submission Alerts, Don’t Miss

Lemons and Orange (Citrons et orange)

Happy August!

  • If you don’t mind $20-25 submission fees, here’s something to consider:

If you have an unpublished poetry or short story collection, and you haven’t published a full-length collection yet — submit to Black Lawrence Press for THE ST. LAWRENCE BOOK AWARD. The winner receives book publication, $1000, and 10 copies of the book. Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: August 31

Are you a writer, and a parent? The Sustainable Arts Foundation is awarding $5000 each to twenty writers and artists, who combine creative work with raising a family. It’s an opportunity for writers of creative nonfiction, fiction, graphic novels, poetry, and more. Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: August 31

  • And if you aren’t a fan of paying-to-play, here’s a free opportunity for you:

Have you published (or considered publishing) your book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk? Submit to Kindle Storyteller Award (UK). No entry fee. Prize: £20,000. Deadline: August 31, 2018.

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Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Lemons and Orange (Citrons et orange), c. 1913. Oil on canvas (later mounted to fiberboard), Overall: 9 1/4

 

Do You Like Beer? Start Writing Poetry

The Bathing Hour, Chester, Nova ScotiaHappy July to you!

  • Got a poetry chapbook, or a book-length poetry manuscript?

Consider entering these free contests:

Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, an annual (16th) prize awarded to the author of the winning book-length manuscript. Participating poets must reside in the Mid-Atlantic states (DE, MD, VA, PA, NJ, NY, WVA, NC and District of Columbia). The winner receives $500, two cases of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Beer, manuscript publication by Broadkill River Press, and 10 copies of the book (in lieu of royalties). Deadline: August 15, 2018.

The Broken River Prize, an annual poetry chapbook (20–40 pages) contest from Platypus Press. Open internationally. The winner receives $250/£200 and publication. Submit your manuscripts by August 31, 2018.

  • Need inspiration?

Try writing to weekly prompts from The Sunday Whirl. Play with words. It’s fun.

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Image: William James Glackens. The Bathing Hour, Chester, Nova Scotia, 1910. Oil on canvas, Overall: 26 x 32 in. (66 x 81.3 cm). BF149. Public Domain.

On Narrative-Fitting Summer Reading Lists & First Amendment Rights

Leaving the Conservatory (La Sortie du conservatoire)

  • Two books that include police brutality and racism as themes have drawn attention to a suburban Charleston, South Carolina high school.

The Hate U Give (HarperCollins, 2017) by Angie Thomas and All American Boys (Simon & Schuster, 2015) by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely are two out of four books that comprise a summer reading list for Wando High School students.

The Fraternal Order of Police has a problem with the list, and the police organization president, John Blackmon has called for The Hate U Give and All American Boys to be dropped.

In the guild’s open letter to the police group, executive director Mary Rasenberger writes, “This interference–which is clearly based on the content of the books in question–must stop.

It is a blatant violation of students’ first amendment rights and an improper attempt at censorship by law-enforcement officials.”

Find out why The Fraternal Order of Police is in fact free “to support or oppose just about anything they desire.”

Or why a “First Amendment infringement argument could be made by or on behalf of the students” in this case.

“Just one more thing” (© Columbo):

Why aren’t there any classics on the reading list?

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Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Leaving the Conservatory (La Sortie du conservatoire), 1876–1877. Oil on canvas, Overall: 73 13/16 x 46 1/4 in. (187.5 x 117.5 cm). BF862. Public Domain.

 

 

 

Michael Ondaatje Wins The Golden Booker, Congratulations!

margaretcook_leavesofgrass15

  • Michael Ondaatje’s bestselling novel The English Patient has been named the best winner of the Booker prize of the last 50 years.

The Golden Booker was held this year to mark a half-century of the prize. A panel of judges read all 52 former winners of the award, with each assigned a decade from the Booker’s history. … The English Patient was novelist Kamila Shamsie’s selection from the 1990s … The five books were then put to a public vote.”

“Not for a second do I believe this is the best book on the list …I suspect and know more than anyone that perhaps The English Patient is still cloudy, with errors in pacing,” said Michael Ondaatje.

  • I saw the movie first, and loved it. Then read the book, and loved it. To me it’s one of the rare cases when you can love both: the book and its screen adaptation.

Four years ago I wrote this wordle inspired by The English Patient:

Cave of Swimmers

What did she care about transgression–
Silhouetted against the orange desert sun–
When I threw myself upon her altar?

What was the demimonde of others
When my entire grand universe
Pulsated at the base of her throat?

When the ancient rites blew away maps
When the fiery Africa became a gray area
What did we care about death?

For each time a candle is lit
In the asylum of the cave
The swimmers are reborn.

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

P.S. Though the poem obviously has nothing to do with the current events, the word “cave” is synonymous with Thailand right now. God bless the rescuers. Praying for the complete healing of everyone involved, and for the soul of the diver who gave up his life saving others.

Image credit: Illustrations for a Rare 1913 Edition of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ by English Artist Margaret C. Cook, via brainpickings.

Erasing History, or Watch out, Laura!

Rocks, Waves and Figures

  • ‘Since 1954, the American Library Association has awarded a medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature in the name of Laura Ingalls Wilder. …

In February, the ALA announced that it was reconsidering the name of the Wilder Award. Alluding to the depiction of American Indians and African Americans in Wilder’s work, the ALA declared that her legacy put the group in the uncomfortable position of serving children while being unable to model values of “inclusiveness, integrity and respect.” Wilder’s books, it went on, “reflect racist and anti-Native sentiments and are not universally embraced.”’

A sneak attack under cover of darkness took care of “bad” old statues. It’s time to fight “bad” old books now.

I don’t have much to add to what PG said, except perhaps one thing. It’s easy–while shaming long dead authors of fiction–to overlook what’s going on here and now:

“God is on our side! On the side of the children … Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” — Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

“Inclusiveness, integrity and respect”?

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Image: Maurice Brazil Prendergast. Rocks, Waves and Figures, c. 1902–1904. Watercolor with graphite underdrawing on handmade wove paper, Overall: 11 1/8 x 15 5/8 in. (28.3 x 39.7 cm). BF2079. Public Domain.

 

 

Person & Personality & Persona, Oh My! Author Brand & Social Media Interaction

Swimming Hole

  • Author brand.

The romantic in you might object to this very earthly term. However, unless you don’t care about establishing a connection with readers, or becoming a writer that writes for a living — you should understand what an author brand means.

Think about two-three well known writers. Choose your favorite ones. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? What do you feel when you think about these writers and their books?

“The sum total of these impressions can be thought of as the author brand each writer has cultivated.”

  • How do you build yours?

Author branding expert Dave Chesson advocates for “sharing your authentic personality and motivation with your readers.” Sure, your readers’ knowledge of you as a living breathing person may help establish trust.

Beware of revealing too much, though, especially when it comes to social media. Author  Jeff Somers warns,

“Do not, under any circumstances, believe for a moment that your social media should actually represent you as a person. You should have a persona and a brand that you control and can shape it at will.”

What would you rather share: your personality, or your persona? Are you tired of all this “author-brand-and-social-media-domination” stuff? Would you prefer to just write?

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Image: Ernest Lawson. Swimming Hole, c. 1910. Oil on canvas, Overall: 39 7/8 x 50 in. (101.3 x 127 cm). BF496. Public Domain.

 

Is Professional Writing Doomed?

Tarring the Boat (Le Bateau goudronné)

  • Is there future in freelance writing?

Freelance copy/content writing that has to do with selling or marketing is a different story. But what about writing (produced by writers to make a living) that aims at informing, or merely entertaining?

Magazine articles and newspaper articles fall under this category, but so do short stories, novels, books of poetry, etc.

“There is so much wonderful writing on the internet, which is free. Eventually, writing will be like musical recordings. Everyone will have access to everything. … The world is changing–has changed–considerably. Many excellent writers give away 200-page books for free–really excellent. Digitization is creating an entire new world.” — RK, Bob Bly‘s Facebook friend

  • Is the internet killing professional writing?

Back in 2008 Bob Bly interviewed writer Harlan Ellison, and the latter blamed the internet for making life a lot harder for professional writers. Mr. Ellison criticized the “slovenliness of thinking” on the web as well as the “slacker-gen philosophy and belief today that everything should be free.”

“With all the sites publishing articles and short stories for
which authors are not paid, and which readers don’t pay to read —
well, what would you expect?”

  • Do success stories still happen?

Notwithstanding (or in part thanks to?) the changes and challenges brought on by the internet, Kindle, etc. — yes, success stories still happen.

“Last month, Lara Prescott was preparing to graduate from her three-year creative writing fellowship at the University of Texas. Two weeks later, she is sitting on book deals worth at least $2m (£1.5m), after publishers on both sides of the Atlantic battled to get their hands on her first novel.”

Will you write for the love of writing, in other words be an amateur? Will you hold on to your dream of writing for a living? Will you be the next success story?

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Image: Édouard Manet. Tarring the Boat (Le Bateau goudronné), July–August 1873. Oil on canvas, Overall: 19 11/16 x 24 1/8 in. (50 x 61.2 cm). BF166. Public Domain.

On Wealth, Poverty, & Vermeer’s Light

Все картины Яна Вермеера 3

  • Is fifteen a big number? How about forty three? Or thirty six? How does one measure wealth? Or success?

Johannes Vermeer had fifteen children. He was forty three years old when he died. He produced relatively few paintings: some sources say thirty four, some — thirty six.

One of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age passed away in poverty leaving his family to deal with debts. In his work he frequently used very expensive pigments.

No one paints light like Johannes Vermeer.

If you want more, Essential Vermeer has pretty much got it all.

And if you’re still looking for poetic inspiration, here’s a magic word for you: grisaille. Isn’t it lovely?

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Image: The Milkmaid, Johannes Vermeer, c. 1660, Public Domain