Showing posts from March, 2017

When Do You Think About "Where?"

The past few days have included several writer-full conversations touching on "where are you going to publish this?" I've written a little recently ( here , here , and here ) (okay, maybe more than "a little"?) about matching written pieces to the needs and interests of particular publications. Sharing finished pieces is an understandable need/desire/obsession/step in the process. Most of us tell stories FOR READERS--first for ourselves as readers, and then for other people. One recent conversation held a new slant. A writer who's still in the early stages of a project has received suggestions from a person whose interest in the project is driven by business and publication. That's great--that's what the person providing input is supposed to do, it's her role. And there's nothing wrong with the suggestions, either--except that they may not work well with the story the writer WANTS to tell. Which got me thinking about writing pieces fo

What It Looks Like

Last week I wrote about finding a particular contest to enter. (The full post, at the blog for the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop, is here .) I'm just back from the launch of the anthology, made up of ten stories that were chosen from contest entries. Here's the cover by artist Becca Paxton, chosen by the contest committee after inviting submissions of artwork on the theme of "Rebirth." Becca says she hadn't thought of a title and so was calling it "Untitled." Clever. To me, it looks like Ophelia. However, she's the artist, so it's her call. The launch and celebration was a grand event. So much work goes into a contest, and it provides great opportunities to meet other writers, talk shop, and generally broaden one's horizons. The reception, featuring food mentioned in each of the ten stories, is a bonus. Thank you to the members of the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association. It is an honour to have a small part i

How I Did It

I recently wrote a blog post for the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop , of which I'm a proud member, about how I even knew to enter a contest in another region and generally how I decide where to submit my work. The tl;dr version: research. Along the way, I mention Compose and the Ten Stories High contest , sponsored by the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association . NOWW is also accepting entries for its contest --$10 (free to NOWW members) with excellent judges. Consider submitting! For the full blog post, go here .

International Women's Day: An Important Difference

On International Women's Day, I like to think about my mother and my grandmothers. Fiercely intelligent, curious, driven--and teachers, all of them. Doing the best they knew to do, though their actions might be viewed differently through today's social and moral lenses. I think about my sister, whose companionship I treasure. I think of my nieces--competent adults with energy and gifts to share. I think of women unrelated to me whose presence in the world has taken up space, and also, in some miraculous fashion, makes room for other women alive today and in the future. Some years it's tough to feel optimistic about the role of women in the world. That would be this year. For me, anyway. It's extremely difficult to accept that one particular woman--who had so much to give and gave it freely, who was upright (AND RIGHT), who never fit "properly" into a traditional "woman's place" role and paid for it over and over (AND NEVERTHELESS PERSISTE

Three to Think About

Welcome, March! Here are three thinkers/writers/speakers whose virtual paths have crossed mine recently. * Richard Conniff's strange behaviors blog, where he writes about animals and behavior and animal behavior. I've been reading and responding to this post in particular: Useless Creatures (and Why They Matter) . Not everything in the world has to demonstrate its value by doing something for human beings. * In the Sydney Review of Books , by James Bradley , this essay:  "Writing on the Precipice."  The idea with which I first engaged was his discussion of the power of story, one of my ongoing interests. He says, "There are moments though, when our stories fail us, moments when the world's complexities exceed their power." The rest of the essay also has much to ponder. He considers various ways people have recently written, both fiction and nonfiction, about science and nature. Reading and digesting it is taking time, in a good way. * This talk, &