Friday, May 24, 2013

Can't attend Book Expo America in NYC next weekend?

You can check it out here:

Lots of great authors, hot topics, guest speakers.

Friday, May 17, 2013


This is a must-read for fiction writers everywhere.  This article appeared in the WSJ last month. Technology is creating new opportunities for publication.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bay Area Event NEXT WEEKEND!!

The San Francisco Book Festival is holding a FREE and open to the public daytime book fair and publishing seminar on Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.
The seminar is focused on developments in the fast-changing world of independent and mainstream book publishing, and anyone with an interest in the field is urged to attend. Authors and publishers will be exhibiting their works and we will have special readings scheduled throughout the day.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I love reading good news from the publishing world!

And I found some in the latest issue of Poets & Writers, about the e-revolution of the novella. These stories, that can't really be called short but are not really book-length, can be particularly challenging to get published. Running up against that word-count limit can be so disheartening when you think you've found the perfect home for a story. So I was eager to read this article.

First I learned about, a subscription reading service that "showcases a curated collection of narrative fiction and nonfiction from published writers." Bookmarked that one for my previously-published client. Then I read about Nouvella, an indie start-up that is forging a new path to publication for emerging writers of longer works of fiction. Getting these novella-length works published can be particularly challenging and I was excited to learn about it and immediately submitted work to them for one of my clients.  No fee! I also found a helpful list of the journals they like to peruse when scouting for new writing talent. Found a few new ones in that list (for me anyway) and ended up on the Submit page--click!

Reading further in P&W I learned that the Seattle Review publishes only long poems and novellas. And the venerable Ploughshares introduced their Solos program last year, creating a space for submissions that are too long for their print journal, and making them available as e-books.

So all you not-so-short-story writers take heart. And keep writing!

Friday, May 3, 2013

  Upcoming local author event

 I attended this reading for the first time last month and found it to be very inspiring, lively and well-run. Seats get filled fast so get there early!

Why There Are Words Reading May 9: New

"There are always new words to be heard, to inspire, amaze, and move you at Why There Are Words, and this event will be no exception. Doors open at 7 pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze."

Louise Aronson

Louise Aronson is the author of A History of the Present Illness, linked stories which take readers into the lives of diverse doctors, patients, and their families, providing an intimate portrait of health and illness in modern life. Her writing has appeared in literary and medical journals and the lay press, including the Bellevue Literary Review, Northwest Review, Fourteen Hills, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the New York Times. She has won the Sonora Review Prize, the New Millennium Short Fiction Award, multiple writer’s residency fellowships, and three Pushcart nominations. A geriatrician, medical educator, and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), she is also the founding director of UCSF Medical Humanities and the field of Public Medical Writing, which provides clinicians and scientists with the craft skills to advocate, educate, and bear witness to key experiences and issues in medicine. Find her on twitter @louisearonson.
Cheryl Dumesnil

Winner of the 2008 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Cheryl Dumesnil is the author of the memoir Love Song for Baby X and the poetry collection In Praise of Falling. She edited Hitched! Wedding Stories from San Francisco City Hall and co-edited, with Kim Addonizio, Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos. She’s a regular contributor to Huffington Post.

Josh FarrarJosh Farrar is the author of the middle-grade novels, Rules to Rock By and A Song for Bijou. He started writing fiction after spending ten years at companies like LeapFrog and Scholastic, where he designed and produced software that helped kids become better readers. His first love was music, which is probably why music has played such a prominent role in his fiction. (Rules, about the formation of a middle-school rock band, featured an original soundtrack; and Bijou features enough Haitian drumming that it could be sold with a volume knob). He has played in bands, composed music for plays and films, and when he’s not reading or writing, he usually has a stringed instrument in his hands. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he lives with his family in Brooklyn.
Paul Mihas

Paul Mihas has taught creative writing in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina for over ten years, including classes at the continuing education departments of Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the recipient of the 2008 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the 2008 Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Mihas is a Greek American and often writes about the blending of cultures in the U.S. His fiction has been published in Prairie Schooner, Best of the West, Nimrod International Journal, Pindeldyboz, Talking River, and Northwoods Anthology.

Brian Sousa
Brian Sousa‘s debut collection of stories Almost Gone has been described as “doing for Portuguese immigrants from Southern New England what Stuart Dybek did for the Polish of Chicago,” by Jeff Parker, author of Ovenman. He has published poetry and prose in various journals and anthologies, including Verdad, Newfound, Quiddity, Redivider, and others. His fiction is also featured in the Rutgers University Press anthology of Luso-American Literature, 2011. In 2007, he was awarded a fellowship by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and in 2011, he was a finalist for the Dzanc Books International Literary Award, and winner of a scholarship to the Dzanc Books International Literary Program in Portugal. He holds an MFA from Emerson College, is an editor for the music and culture website Mule Variations, and teaches writing at Boston College. He also plays guitar in the indie-rockband Ocean*Transfer.

Melanie Thorne

Melanie Thorne is the author of Hand Me Down, a debut novel in the tradition of Dorothy Allison and Janet Fitch that Publisher’s Weekly deemed “an intriguing first outing by a talented new writer.” A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012 and a 2013 YALSA Alex Award nominee, Hand Me Down has been widely praised by media, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Daily Candy, and received a “compelling” 3.5/4 stars from People. Melanie earned her MA in Creative Writing from the University of CA, Davis, and has been awarded the Alva Englund Fellowship, the Maurice Prize in Fiction, and a residency at the Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat. She lives in Northern California with her fiancĂ©, and is currently at work on her second novel.

Nancy Zafris

Nancy Zafris is the series editor for the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction. Before that she was the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review for nine years. This month, April 2013, she has released a new collection of short stories, The Home Jar(Switchgrass Books/NIU Press.) Her first collection of short stories, The People I Know, won the Flannery O’Connor award as well as the Ohioana Library Association award. Her two novels are The Metal Shredders, a New York Times notable book, and Lucky Strike, a BookSense notable. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants and has taught at many universities, including Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic as a Fulbright Fellow. Each June she teaches at the Kenyon Review Adult Summer Workshop, where she is also Associate Director.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

While looking around at Melville House I came across this interesting piece about the publishing industry and agent attitudes towards their authors:

An agent’s manifesto


Over on The Bookseller‘s blog, a big-name UK agent, Jonny Geller, has put together an ‘agent’s manifesto’, to redress the current problems in the publishing industry. It reads:
The author is the expert. Why assume that the one person who has spent the past 12-18 months on the subject, the story and the world of their work, knows least about how they should be represented to the trade and to the reader?
The author is not an object which a publisher has to step over in order to achieve a successful publication. If they have a problem with the cover, blurb, copy or format, then something isn’t right.
The author loves bookshops. Bookshops need to learn how to love authors again. We need to bring them back together.
We publishing professionals are the ones who bear the risk—agents with time; publishers with investment; retailers with space. Authors risk only their whole life, self-esteem and their babies.
Publishers need to understand that “Author Care” is not a euphemism for “Care in the Community”. Authors who are valued, understood, appreciated, included, nurtured and spoken to like an adult will experience a phenomenon called Trust. Trust breeds loyalty; loyalty means longevity; longevity means sales.
Authors will endeavour to understand better what a publisher does—e-books are not created after two minutes of scanning and ticking a series of boxes on Amazon’s self-publishing program.
It’s always worthwhile to remind ourselves to value authors, who after all provide not only the material that fuels the publishing industry but the art that gives life value, but some of these points seem a little off the mark to me. For example, in my experience independent booksellers are among the hardest working champions of authors there are. Nobody needs to teach them how to love authors again. Anyone else have any comments on this list?
Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.

My Blog List

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