#artmatters and that is why it is so important to #saveRuminate. I’ve subscribed to numerous literary magazines over the years, letting some subscriptions expire, debating with myself about if I should renew or not with others, but with Ruminate, there is never any thought of letting my subscription go. It is one of the few literary journals I’ve held onto throughout the years and not having it around anymore is just to painful to think about. But it could happen. The all-volunteer staff is exhausted and they need paid help to keep going. So—are you in or out? I’ve made a donation, signed up for a monthly donation and for today and tomorrow subscriptions and gift subscriptions go to saving Ruminate.
Karin Gillespie is a fellow Converse grad and a knockout writer, which is why when she speaks writing, one should listen….translate–read. From her blog post “Are You the Next Emily Griffin? The One Quality Every Bestselling Author Must Have”
An eye-opening encounter
Speaking of success, a few years ago I was one of the guest authors at a book festival. At this particular festival authors were expected to sit for eight hours, peddling our wares to the public. It made for a long day and few books by unknowns were sold. I got to know the other author sitting next to me, and we spent a long time chatting and dreaming of the day when our book lines would be long, and we would be so well-known no one would dream of asking us to man a table for eight hours.
My new friend bought my book and I bought hers, and we promised to stay in touch but lives get busy and we never followed through. I didn’t think of her for a long time until one day I came across her book at the Barnes and Noble. Her name? Cheryl Strayed. She wrote a book called Wild.
Had I not been in the library, my jaw would’ve hit the floor. Instead, I sent a message to Karin. 🙂
Little Free Library is running a kickstarter campaign. Get books into the hands of those needing them the most:
The Write Crowd by Lori A. May is a great little book on literary citizenship, a topic I’ve discussed on the blog in an earlier post. Geared toward writers, chapter 2 is titled “The Writer and the Writing Life,” the book has good ideas for promoting literary citizenship for readers as well.
May starts the book with the chapter “What is Literary Citizenship? An Introduction.” She writes: “most often, contemporary writers refer back to Walt Whitman’s efforts in advocating a society connected through literature,” (2) so even though the phrase ‘literary citizenship’ seems new, it isn’t. Writers have a long history of promoting not only their own work, but the work of others, in an effort to enhance the common good. Now the common good not only applies to local communities, but to the World Wide Web, encompassing societies in ways Whitman couldn’t begin to comprehend.
May gives solid advice throughout the book, with one of the earliest pieces being one all writers are familiar with, but may not—like me—follow through on—the writing comes first. But if we focus on just the writing, we lose out on much more: “participating in the broader community, in engaging with others, and sharing our skills and passion with peers and emerging fellows, there is so much joy to experience outside of our individual worlds. We become more.” (11). It’s important to protect the writing time, but not to the point we exclude others. Writers need not just readers, but other writers.
May’s advice throughout the book fits writers (and readers) of all types—big city or rural (like me), those with a knack or willingness to work with organizations—established or built from the ground up—or introverts who’s day job drains them of energy, and mingling with more people is the last thing they can handle (again, like me.) The section “Creating Connections Online,” in Chapter 4, is the one I find most helpful because it fits where I’m at in life right now. May writes about Matt Bell, a Michigan author, but also a reader, and he uses his blog to post an ongoing reading list, seeking to connect to like-minded readers whose reading tastes run toward the unconventional and indie presses (48). I am first and foremost a reader, and sometimes finding fellow readers is just as difficult as finding fellow writers in my rural community, so examples such as Matt give me ideas for finding and connecting with others sharing my own reading and writing tastes.
Plenty of the ideas in May’s book are also free to do—so not having any spare cash isn’t an issue. Volunteer at a local organization, or a national one—an appendix in the back lists different organizations in need of volunteers. The chapters in the book cover a wide variety of topics, and one can find something of value in all of them.
After reading The Write Crowd, there are no more excuses for not doing even a small bit of literary citizenship. If you’re reading this, you have internet access, so send a tweet. Start a blog. Post on Facebook and share with the world at large your favorite books and support your favorite authors.
A humorous look at writer’s nightmares over at the Ploughshares blog:
You give a reading and only one person shows up. It is your ex.
You spend five years working on a novel about Marie Antoinette’s wigmaker. The day you finish your final revisions, Margaret Atwood publishes a novel about Marie Antoinette’s wigmaker.
Read the rest of Rebecca Makkai’s humorous blog post
Also over at Ploughshares, check out their Writing Lessons posts.
Ever wonder what literary magazines end up in Michael Nye’s, managing editor of The Missouri Review, mailbox?
Wonder no more
Baseball your game? Then Spitball magazine may be for you.
Are you a new or unpublished writer? These magazines may be for you.
I stumbled across this post this morning and wish I had found it sooner, but here it is. The sale date is tomorrow. Read on:
By Robin Black Any interest in having your prose or poetry manuscript reviewed by the likes of Philip Levine, Elizabeth McCracken, Ron Carlson, Tony Hoagland, or perhaps some other equally amazing author?? There’s an app for that. . .or anyway, there’s a website. And you’ll be …
This is a cool concept–a way to practice the ‘take a book, leave a book’ concept with your neighbors (or maybe anywhere you feel people would benefit?)
The concept started when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin wanted to honor his mom, a former schoolteacher and avid reader. When Todd got together with Rick Brooks, they saw potential and the rest is history:
They were inspired by many different ideas:
- Andrew Carnegie’s support of 2,509 free public libraries around the turn of the 19th to 20th century.
- The heroic achievements of Miss Lutie Stearns, a librarian who brought books to nearly 1400 locations in Wisconsin through “traveling little libraries” between 1895 and 1914.
- “Take a book, leave a book” collections in coffee shops and public spaces.
- Neighborhood kiosks, TimeBanking and community gift-sharing networks
- Grassroots empowerment movements in Sri Lanka, India and other countries worldwide.
This idea is a great way to promote literacy, especially in areas where libraries are lacking, and spread literary citizenship.
Ways to get involved in building your own Little Free Library are here.
Part voyeur, part inspiration, every Monday you get a glimpse into the lives of authors and other thinkers who share a picture of their bedside table, a view into what matters to them right now, the things that inspire them, that occupy their minds.
Regular contributor Gabrielle Brant Freeman has several poems published around the web:
“The Art of Deception” page 64 in the Minetta Review
“Guess My Name” and “Linen” at CSHS
A short story from Kyler Campbell. You can download a free issue and read his story “Caretta Caretta” & short interview from Driftwood Press. Story starts on page 13.
Travis Burnham is a fellow Converse alumi and his short story “The Bone Washer” is up at Bad Dream Entertainment.
Core faculty member and fiction member Leslie Pietrzyk, author of A Year and A Day: A Novel and Pears on A Willow Tree has an interview up at Reader’s Lane. Leslie also has a blog at Work In Progress and edits Redux: A Literary Journal
from the South85 blog:
“Yes, you. The concept behind literary citizenship is a simple one—become involved in the reading/writing community to support the work of others. It’s not that difficult to do, really. It requires time, but what worthy endeavor doesn’t? Does lit citizenship require money? If you have it to spend in a literary way, great, but even if you don’t, you can still be a solid lit citizen and grow the community.”
Read the rest of the post at South85