Archive for the ‘Literary Happenings’ Category

Apple iPhone orchestra here & Is it art? here


Reading and Writing: The Rhetoric of eBay & Amazon?


Accept credit card payments…with your iPhone


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Other than using search engines to find readings/readers, the following sites are rich with content–more than we could get through in a lifetime:

Links to sites about readings:

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Even though making sure the writing is happening daily/habitually and is of high quality should always be our top priority, most of us will also want to attempt to get published so our work can be read. In our class, we have a captive audience of readers who are willing, and often eager, to read and respond to our work. Once class ends, it’s back to being on our own with the writing (unless y’all keep meeting with your small groups or latch on with another group or form your own writer’s group HINT HINT!), and you may find yourself getting the itch to send work out and see if there’s an audience for it.

When writing cover letters and putting together a submission manuscript for publication, pay close attention to the publication’s published submission guidelines and make sure you know what kind of work they publish. In general, it is best to be concise when crafting cover letters. I’ll bring an annotated sample to class tomorrow.

Some don’ts:

  • don’t gush about how much you love the publication (it sounds fake, and a good submission proves you like the rag)
  • don’t address the editor or editorial staff in a friendly way (calling them by their first name) unless you really are friendly with that person (odds are a reader will handle your work first and the reader will be some snot-nose grad student like me, and false familiarity makes me feel icky)
  • don’t overdo your biographical information (I’ve seen cover letters listing 70+ journals, cover letters with gushy blurbs from poets I’ve never heard of, cover letters that are philosophical or anecdotal)–overdoing it makes you appear pretentious
  • don’t send photocopies of poems or form cover letters
  • don’t send anything to a publication you would not purchase or read yourself just for the sake of trying to be published
  • don’t be ashamed to submit without any previous publications or biographical material–everyone starts there at some point
  • don’t get discouraged when the rejection slip(s) come–if you get one acceptance out of twenty submission (5% acceptance), that’s really good, amazing even

Some do’s:

  • do make sure you’ve read the publication you’re sending work to and that your work fits the bill for what they might publish
  • do list the publications and biographical information you are most proud of (it will help situate you in the in-bred creative writing world)
  • do (briefly) mention a previous relationship with the publication (i.e. you have submitted before, been rejected and possibly received a brief, handwritten note), in your cover letter e.g. “Thank you for the encouragement with my previous submission.” Often, readers will be instructed to forward these submissions straight to the editor(s) who make final decisions, bypassing initial readers (this is the benefit of having a relationship with a publication over time–they get to know you a bit, even if you are rejected a few times)
  • do make you submission neat–neatness and appearances count
  • do make your submission seem like it was made especially for that publication
  • do target a variety of publications: print and online, start-up journals, mid-range and top-notch publications
  • do utilize (but don’t exploit) connections and friendships in the creative writing world
  • do submit your work simultaneously (i.e. send out the same piece to different places) regardless of what guidelines say–life is too short to wait on readers and editors and in the age of e-mail, it is easy to notify editors if a piece is accepted and needs to be removed from consideration

Other considerations:

Envelope size does not matter, in my opinion, and the majority of submissions are in 4 1/8 x 9 1/2 plain white envelopes (two folds of submission; fold in thirds), which easily fit six pages and folded SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope). Second in popularity is the letter-sized yellow/manila envelope (no folds). Third is the mid-size envelope (one fold of submission). Personally, I like the large, letter-sized envelope because it provides the reader with a clean copy–no folds, and the submission can be paper clipped together. I think this affords me the most control over how my print submission is viewed.

For online journals, follow the submission guidelines to the letter: does the publication want submissions attached? what format (pdf, .rtf, .doc, etc.)? as one document? or one document per poem? in the body of the e-mail? do they publish formally experimental work (HTML is a killer for projective work that uses the space of the page)? do they have a style guide?

I hope this helps and provides some practical information about publishing, the business side of creative writing.

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HoTT is Hot at FSU


Less for More at Public Universities


Thoughts on the Neuronovel


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

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Here.  The only thing missing is coverage of fancy writing implements…

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Jeremy Bushnell, who blogs over at racoon: notes and scavengings, is apparently teaching a writing course on reading video games, and he has come up with 64 canoncial titles.

I’m not much of a gamer myself, but the level of interactivity in games makes them a much more potent literary form than even hypertextual works. Lots of emerging philosophy exists on interactivity and neuroscience. It’s really interesting.

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Check out this article that posits new use value for fiction as it can help humans to empathize and imagine themselves as part of something larger than the self.

Or this one that says Franz Kafka’s stories increase cognitive function (notice, too, the positive effects are generated by surprise and enstrangement…)
Further links:



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