Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Galway Launch: The Memoir Writing Workbook

The Galway launch of Irene Graham's The Memoir Writing Club and The Memoir Writing Workbook will take place on 30 September at 6:30pm in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street, Galway City.

The evening will be addressed by Lelia Doolan.


(Psst... if you can't make the launch you can also buy the workbook online!)

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I got an email recently about a new product for writers - MasterWriter.

I checked it out and it does look interesting. Basically it's a piece of software that pulls together many different types of resources so that even if you need to stop writing to check on something you don't have to stop writing and find a new source.

The MasterWriter for creative writers includes resources for:
- Word Families
- Parts of Speech
- Phrases
- Rhymes
- Pop Culture (USA and World)
- Dictionary
- Thesaurus
- A database for your own projects, include your audio files.

At the moment it's retailing for US$9.95 per month, US$99 for one year or US$299 for outright purchase. There's also a 30 day free trial available if you're interested.

Has anyone purchased the MasterWriter or a subscription? I'd love to hear thoughts!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

And Then It Shifted Call for Submissions

And Then It Shifted: Women Open Up About Leaving Men for Women
(Seal Press, 2010)

Word Count: 2,000-4,000 words

Payment: Upon publication. Amount will vary, depending on experience and other variables ($50 and up). Please include a list of any previous publication credits with your query or submission. Contributors will also receive two copies of the published book.

Deadline: December 1, 2009. That said, we strongly encourage you to send us a query well beforehand, so that we can review it, give you helpful feedback, and have a good sense of what will be coming our way that month. If you are able to submit the piece earlier, we prefer that you do.

Submissions: Please send your submission (Word document, double-spaced), along with a short bio and full contact information to: andthenitshifted@gmail.com

Editors: Candace Walsh and Laura André. Candace Walsh is the editor of the recently released anthology Ask Me About My Divorce: Women Open Up About Moving On.


As Dr. Lisa Diamond’s recent groundbreaking book Sexual Fluidity makes clear, women’s sexual desire and identity are capable of shifting. Cynthia Nixon, Carol Leifer, Wanda Sykes, Portia de Rossi, and countless others have left the fold of heterosexual identity to enter into or pursue same-sex relationships.

Although this book will evolve as we receive submissions, we welcome first-person essays from women:

1) who were aware that they had always felt robust same-sex desires, but wanted to try to make it work in the straight world, and also

2) who identified as heterosexual at one time, but found that the situation they were in just naturally led to embarking on an intimate romantic relationship with a woman.

We seek a diversity of voices, and welcome submissions from a variety of perspectives.

We also welcome essays from women who don’t fit precisely into the above descriptions.

Here are some questions that we’d like answered in your piece. It may be one of the questions, or you may touch on most of them, and throw in some extra, great stuff that didn’t even occur to us. Please don’t feel like this is an essay question test and that you have to cover them all—we want the format of your essay to feel organic and not be explicitly dictated by our questions.

How did you come to your moment of truth?

Did your perception of yourself change?

Do you feel that others’ perceptions of you changed? Did they surprise you with either an unexpected positive or negative reaction? How did this affect you? Did their reactions change over time?

Do you feel like you surrendered heterosexuality or elements of heterosexual privilege? Do you feel like your new life with a woman has yielded rewards? What were the rewards you expected and which ones were surprises?

What do you miss? What do you not miss? Everything from in the bedroom to out at dinner, at a wedding, as a parent, as a family member, at the gym, in the workplace, on a picnic—whatever comes up for you.

What is this journey like, in general and for you? How did you feel as you were setting out on it and how do you feel now? How do you mark your progress? Were there stages? Illustrative moments? Looking back, do you feel like you went through certain phases?

What is it like to shift your identity? What about you is the same and always will be? What about you has changed or altered?

How did you feel as you began your relationship with a woman? Did you get flak from individuals who second-guessed you? Did you feel like you had to prove yourself? How did you keep your internal balance?

How did your socialization as a straight woman prepare you (ill or well) for pursuing a woman or being in a relationship with a woman?

How did your cultural/religious/racial/ethnic background shape your experience?

Do you like, or are you attracted to certain things that your partner or girlfriend, or gay women do that are traditionally labeled as masculine? Feminine?

How do you define yourself? Do you feel like the current “labels” work for you or that what you are is not yet defined by a word or phrase? What paradigm do you imagine?

Are you still with the woman you left your previous relationship for? Was she just a catalyst, or a rebound, or something else, or “the one”?


As editors, we value specificity, detail, “showing, not telling,” honesty, epiphanies, clean, polished, yet real and un-prettied-up writing, and the sharing of insights.

Full details are available at http://www.sealpress.com/docs/andthen.pdf.
Further information is also available at http://sites.google.com/site/andthenitshifted

SPS Poetry Card Contest

SPS Studios Announces Its Fourteenth Biannual Poetry Card Contest
Deadline: 31 December, 2009
1st prize: $300 * 2nd prize: $150 * 3rd prize: $50

In addition, the winning poems will be displayed on our website www.sps.com.

Poetry Contest Guidelines:

Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better.

We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.

Poems are judged on the basis of originality and uniqueness.

English-language entries only, please.

Enter as often as you like!

Poetry Contest Rules:

All entries must be the original creation of the submitting author.

All rights to the entries must be owned by the author and shall remain the property of the author.

The author gives permission to SPS Studios, Inc. to publish and display the entry on the Web (in electronic form only) if the entry is selected as a winner or finalist.

Winners will be contacted within 45 days of the deadline date.

Contest is open to everyone except employees of SPS Studios and their families. Void where prohibited.

How to Submit:

Go to http://www.sps.com/poetry/index.html to complete the contest form, or if you prefer, you may send your submission via snail mail* to:

SPS Studios Poetry Card Contest,
P.O. Box 1007, Dept. E,
Boulder, CO 80306.

* Please note there is no fee to enter the contest *

Blue Mountain Arts Call for Submissions

Just a reminder...

Blue Mountain Arts is seeking new freelance greeting card writers.

We are looking for highly original and creative submissions on friendship, family, special occasions, positive living, and other topics one person might want to share with another person.

Submissions may also be considered for inclusion in book anthologies.

We pay $300 per poem for all rights to publish it on a greeting card and $50 if your poem is used only in an anthology.

To request a copy of our writer’s guidelines (which include contact/submission information), please send a blank e-mail to writings@sps.com with “Send Me Guidelines” in the subject line, or write us at: Blue Mountain Arts, Inc. Editorial Department P.O. Box 1007 Boulder, CO 80306, USA.

You can also visit our Web site at http://www.sps.com/help/greetingcardwritings.html.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Special Guest Post With Celia Rivenbark

Thanks to WOW! Women on Writing we have special guest Celia Rivenbark here with us today to talk about being a humor writer.

If you have any thoughts on this topic please feel free to leave a comment!

Ten Things You Need to Be a Humor Writer

Celia Rivenbark

Because I’m a Virgo, I love lists and this topic is dear to my heart. Here goes!

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first: You need a sense of humor. That extends beyond cracking yourself up making pooty noises with your armpits several times a day. Favorite quote of all time? “A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs—jolted by every pebble on the road.” (Henry Ward Beecher). My other favorite quote of all time? “Not responsible for articles left behind in clothing.” (the local Laundromat).

A great agent. You can’t get anywhere without one so stop trying already. You’ll look really goofy after a while.

A nice little stock of things that make you laugh lying around. When I’m feeling dreadfully blocked, I’ll read a little Jack Handey and get my mojo back.

The ability to wring funny from current events. As I write this, Obama is having the Cambridge cop and the professor over for beers in hopes of getting them to make up. I’m going to write him and ask him to help me patch things up with the carpool bitch who ALWAYS gets out of her car and chats, thus holding all of us up. I mean, since he’s got time for this sort of thing…

A tough hide. Don’t be too sensitive. Over the years, I’ve gored everybody’s ox at some point. Hate mail happens. So do lazy editors who cut your punch lines to make your column fit whatever hole they have. You’re not splitting atoms or saving lives here. Move on.

Jokes on top of jokes. Dave Barry, a little known comic who, I believe, lives on a bed of plantain peels in a Miami alley, once noted that humor writing has to be funny from start to finish. You can’t build up to a punch line many paragraphs or even pages away. Stuff that sucka full of funny and they’ll hang on to the very last word. Which also should be funny.

Good hair. No, really. Good hair is a requirement for success in any field. Also really big boobs. I have neither but it doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the need for them.

Funny friends. Most of my best stuff has sprung from a girls’ night out. Listen to them kvetch about kids, dogs and husbands. Then exaggerate the hell out of it. Well, looky here. You’ve got yourself a demographic and one that will always be loyal to you.

Speed. I never rewrite anything. I never spend more than 30 minutes on a humor column for the newspaper. If I do, that means it sucks and I tear it up and start over. If it’s good, it comes fast. Don’t turn this into a job, for God’s sake.

Humility. It won’t make you a better humor writer but it’ll definitely make you a better person.


Celia Rivenbark is the author of Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments, We're Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions Of A Tarnished Southern Belle, Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like A Skank: And Other Words Of Delicate Southern Wisdom and Belle Weather: Mostly Sunny With A Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits.

Her newest book, You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In the Morning is now available online and in stores.

Visit Celia online at her website, www.celiarivenbark.com.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


ExPatLit.com is currently seeking submissions of short fiction, essays, poetry and visual art for the Fall 2009 Edition.

As most readers are expatriates and travelers, most of the writing published by ExPatLit.com features travel and culture.

Short stories should be 3,000 words or less, essays should be 2,000 words or less and no more than 3 poetry submissions should be made per issue.

At this time, only contest winners will receive remuneration. Legal notes are available online regarding rights.

Submissions are open until 27 September.

Good luck!