What’s Your Author Persona Mask Like?

Study of Girls' Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles)

Should you wear a mask when in public?

Should you ever discuss the Great Pumpkin?

What’s the biggest benefit of having a public persona?

Even if you don’t (yet) give interviews, or do book signings, or deliver keynote speeches, etc., it’s not too early to think about your public author persona.

If you’re a writer, if you have a blog, if you’re active on social media — your public persona will protect you, and help you find the audience for your writing.

Here’s more on developing your author persona, and brand.

Go for it.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Study of Girls’ Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles), c. 1893. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 12 11/16 in. (41.3 x 32.2 cm). BF474. Public Domain.

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Submit your work (published and unpublished) to Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest by September 30, 2018.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

 

 

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If you have an unpublished poetry or short story collection, and you haven’t published a full-length collection yet — submit to Black Lawrence Press for THE ST.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.

Enjoyed the post? Like it, share it — thank you.

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

 

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?

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it — thank you.

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.

 

 

 

On June Poets & Friends We’ve Never Met

Landscape (Paysage)

Happy Birthday to my friend Janet whose poetry and photography never cease to amaze and delight. If you haven’t discovered Another Porch yet, stop by it today. And every day. Many happy returns!

  • Yesterday another special friend of mine had his birthday.

On June 6 Russia celebrated the 219th birthday of her greatest poet Alexander Pushkin (June 6, 1799–February 10, 1837). Here are just ten of all the countless reasons why Pushkin is great.

To me the incredible thing about Pushkin is that no matter what might come your way, whether you experience joy, sadness, or anything in between — turn to him, and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

His lines just pop up in my head, and I think, yes, that’s exactly what I needed to hear right now. Learning poetry by heart as part of the school curriculum sure has benefits. So does growing older.

Have you got the best friend you’ve never met? A favorite poet you “talk” to?

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it — thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape (Paysage), 1916. Oil on canvas, Overall: 18 11/16 x 22 1/16 in. (47.5 x 56 cm). BF818. Public Domain.

 

Happy Medium: How to Become a Medium Author

Landscape (Paysage)

  • Want to write for Medium, but don’t know how to go about it?

A detailed tutorial from Indies Unlimited will help you get started.

  • Although Medium allows you to import already published blog posts, bear in mind that Medium is not the same as, say, WordPress.

You might find yourself writing different content for these two platforms.

  • Note: The posts I’ve linked to have important info in the comment threads as well. Don’t forget to check out the comments.

Found the post useful? Share it with others, like it. Thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape (Paysage), c. 1917. Oil on canvas, Overall: 10 7/8 x 16 in. (27.6 x 40.6 cm). BF4. Public Domain.

 

“Cocky” Is Taken, What’s Next?

Landscape with Woman Gardening (Paysage et femme jardinant)

Merriam-Webster’s definition of cocky

1 : boldly or brashly self-confident
2 : jaunty

It’s ironic that author Faleena Hopkins chose to trademark this particular word. Not “nice” or “humble”, for instance, but “cocky”.
The very fact that one can register a trademark for a word is incomprehensible, but here we are: if you write in the field of romance, you better choose your words carefully now.
No matter what else might happen with #Cockygate one thing is clear: it pays off to be humble and nice. And if you’re “boldly or brashly self-confident” — you’ll reap trouble.
Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it — Thank you.
Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape with Woman Gardening (Paysage et femme jardinant), c. 1896. Oil on canvas (later mounted to fiberboard), Overall: 18 1/8 x 21 5/8 in. (46 x 55 cm). BF884. Public Domain. 

Can We Talk? or the Battle for Free Speech Is in Full Swing

Luncheon (Le Déjeuner)

  • “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” — Linus

The majority of links I post are writing-related. Writing–like living, feeling, thinking–is inseparable from freedom. And this freedom is under attack.

However, no one is safe.

Adhere to the narrative, and you’ll be fine. Break a stereotype — you’ll be condemned. Your sexuality, race, gender won’t matter.

“Too many people of all persuasions act as though there are views, based on one’s perceived identity alone, that others must share. No matter what else might be said, that is an extraordinarily warped view of freedom.”

Fight for the right to write. The right to think, feel, live. Be brave.

Enjoyed the post? Share it with others, press ‘like’ — thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Luncheon (Le Déjeuner), 1875. Oil on canvas, Overall: 19 3/8 x 23 5/8 in. (49.2 x 60 cm). BF45. Public Domain.

 

On Poetry Submissions & erbacce-press

Apples (Pommes)

  • When it comes to submitting poetry, five is a common number.

Sometimes the limit is three poems. Most journals will not read more than five poems per submission.

It is also common, if not standard, when formatting your submission to “type only one poem per page, even if your poem is very short.”

If the editors don’t mind seeing more than one poem on the same page, they’ll specify it in the guidelines.

  • However, sometimes they don’t.

When erbacce-press states they want five pages of poetry, they don’t want to see one short poem on a page. They want five completely filled pages, which is great, especially if you write short poems — it’s your chance to submit more of them. But…

Here’s how I found out about their preferences:

Alan Corkish (Dr. Alan Corkish MA MSc, poet, writer, publisher and reviewer who (together with Dr. Andrew Taylor MA) is the editor and owner of the erbacce poetry journal and of erbacce-press)
12:44 PM
to me
“Some advice to YOU; try actually READING what is said and stop being so arrogant as to presume guidelines apply to everyone else but don’t apply to you; to date we have 5000+ entries this year and not ONE has been so stupid as to presume 20 lines = 5 PAGES!”

  • “PLEASE do enter! There really is no catch; it’s entirely FREE!” erbacce-press site reads. Indeed, if Dr. Alan Corkish finds your IQ test results tolerable, you’ll probably be okay. So, if you consider yourself smart enough, go ahead and enter. As for me, I’ll pass.

My two cents: don’t get beguiled by the “no catch & entirely FREE!” slogans.

Research before you submit. Read the previous issues. Look up editors on social media, and see what they post. If it feels like a good fit — submit. If not — move on. Plenty of other opportunities out there.

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it, don’t be shy.

 

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Apples (Pommes), 1914. Oil on canvas, Overall: 7 1/16 x 12 3/8 in. (18 x 31.5 cm). BF55. Public Domain.

 

 

Me, Myself & I; or on Using First Person in Lyric Poetry & Novel Writing

Girls in the Grass Arranging a Bouquet (Fillette couchée sur l'herbe et jeune fille arrangeant un bouquet)

  • In response to an interview question “Is there a poem you are a little embarrassed to like?” Kathleen Flenniken, formerly Poet Laureate of Washington State, said:

“Not so much a particular poem, but I feel defensive about one genre of poems that still speaks to me—the first person lyric grounded in everyday experience. It’s unfashionable, but it’s what brought me to writing.”

Poet Judy Kronenfeld knows the feeling,

“I admit to a similar impulse, at times, to the instinctive or deliberate use of “you,” “she,” “they,” or even “we,” as opposed to “I,” or the avoidance of pronouns altogether. I also admit to related impulses such as connecting the personal to history and politics, or writing by means of the portrayal of objects, without persons at all—which can make a poem feel, well, more “objective.” These impulses stem—at least in part—from an unease similar to the one that seems to lie behind Kathleen Flenniken’s statement.”

“…when a gatekeeper encounters a first-person manuscript, it goes without saying that a little red light goes on (from his/her past experiences) that chances are pretty good this mss came from a… less seasoned writer. And, it’s just a fact of life and the business of writing that the newer the writer, the less likely the mss will be of publishable quality.”

However, the good news is that

“If it’s a book that should have been written in first rather than third, and it’s written well and is of publishable quality, no problem. Any good editor or agent will be able to tell within a couple of pages if it’s written well or not, no matter what POV stance the author has elected.”

  • Do you use first person in your writing? Do you opt for third person because of the notion that it makes your writing “more objective”? Are you fond of reading/writing lyric poetry “grounded in everyday experience”?

Share in the comments. And if you’ve enjoyed the post, press “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Girls in the Grass Arranging a Bouquet (Fillette couchée sur l’herbe et jeune fille arrangeant un bouquet), c. 1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 12 13/16 x 16 9/16 in. (32.5 x 42 cm). BF155. Public Domain.