Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mindful Writing Challenge - January 2014

The Mindful Writing Challenge  started in January 2011 with a blog and an invite: "Why would you want to join in? - Because choosing something to write about every day will help you to connect with yourselves, with others, and with the world. It will help you to love everything you see - the light and the dark, the happy and the sad, the beautiful and the ugly. You don't have to be a 'writer' to get involved. The process of paying attention is what's important."

The result: more than 350 people across the world paying more attention to what was around them, and writing mindful notes, also called "small stones". Which induced an ongoing twitter stream: twitter/smallstone.

Mindful Writing Month
Now the next month of mindful writing month is coming closer, with an announcement and an invite to join. The Mindful Writing Challenge will start on January first, it's a great way to enter the new year on a fresh note. Here's the very short version of the invitation:

Mindful Writing Month - The Very Quick Version:  
1. Pay proper attention to one thing every day during January. 
2. Write it down (this is a small stone). 
3. Get daily support & inspiration.

For more, visit the blog paget: Mindful Writing Challenge January 2014

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The 2013 storySouth Million Writers Award: Finalists + Notable Stories

2013 storySouth Million Writers Award: Final Voting is open!

Great stories are being published online. The storySouth Million Writers Award for best online fiction of the year will help all internet-based journals and magazines gain exposure and attent. The purpose of the 2013 storySouth Million Writers Award is to honor and promote the best fiction published in online literary journals and magazines during 2012. The award process includes several steps, the first steps was nominations from editors and readers.

The Million Writers Award Finalists are now online, and voting is open, it will end December 31st. The voting will determine the top 3 selections from 2012, to be announced in January. Together with the Finalists, the list of all 50 notable stories of 2012 is online on the same page.

For even more stories, visit the Editor Nominations List: more than 70 online magazines nominated their best stories, creating a wonderful mixed list - great to explore new magazines, new authors and new stories.

There's also a Reader nominations List, but sadly some readers and writers misread the guidelines, thninking that this already is the voting stage and so several stories pop up again and again and again,

The reason for the Million Writers Award is that most of the major literary prizes for short fiction (such as the Best American Short Stories series and the O. Henry Awards) have traditionally ignored web-published fiction. This award aims to show that world-class fiction is being published online and to promote this fiction to the larger reading and literary community.

Guidelines The award is for any fictional short story of at least a 1,000 words first published in an online publication during 2012. To help promote online stories, the Million Writers Award accepts nominations from readers, writers, and editors. There is no entry fee. For more details, visit the Award Rules.

Each year, the Million Writers Award offers prizes to the authors of the winning story, a runner-up, and an honorable mention. These prizes are possible thanks to your generous support. Please click on the donate link below to offer your support. Donors have the option of being listed on the Million Writers Award Page or remaining anonymous.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month

The 50.000 word marathon is on again: National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo) is an annual internet-based creative writing project which challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and November 30.

Writers wishing to participate first register on the project's website, where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopsis and excerpts. Word counts are validated on the site, with writers submitting a copy of their novel for counting.

Pep talks give advice along the way, and the extended NaNoWriMo forums offer the chance to interact, motivate each other, and procrastinate.

About NaNoWriMo
This writing project was started by Chris Baty in July 1999 with 21 participants in the San Francisco Bay area. In 2000, it was moved to November "to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather" and launched an official website. With more writers joining each year, NaNoWriMo turned into a global event. In 2010, over 200,000 people took part - writing a total of over 2.8 billion words.

Best of luck and energy and inspiration and perseverance to all who join!

NaNoWriMo Website

related links: other web projects; on writing

Friday, October 04, 2013

Open Culture - free e-books, lessons, films, courses, readings..

Open Culture is a web resource for free cultural media in the web.

The mission of Open Culture is "to bring together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. Web 2.0 has given us great amounts of intelligent audio and video. It’s all free. It’s all enriching. But it’s also scattered across the web, and not easy to find. Our whole mission is to centralize this content, curate it, and give you access to this high quality content whenever and wherever you want it. Free audio books, free online courses, free movies, free language lessons, free ebooks and other enriching content — it’s all here."

Website link: Open Culture

Some selected categories:
- free audio books
- great science videos
- free Science Fiction classics
- top cultural video sites

It's also worthwile to browse the diverse entries on the starting page, with features like:
30 Free Essays & Stories by David Foster Wallace on the Web
Two Scenes from Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, recreated in Lego
Listening to Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, (Maybe) the Longest Audio Book Ever Made

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wiki Loves Monuments - photo contest

Wikipedia international photo contest around cultural heritage 

Since September 1st, more than 50 countries from all over the world are in the race to show the best pictures of their heritage to the world through their participation in Wiki Loves Monuments 2013.

It's the fourth year the contest is on, and 2013 might just turn into a new world record photo contest: "This year we are very excited to have for the first time Arab speaking countries join: Algeria, Jordan, Tunesia and Egypt all joined for the first time! But also in Asia the contest sees more participating countries, with China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Nepal and Azerbaijan. Also, the only continent without a permanent population (but with monuments!), Antarctica, is participating this year. But even in Europe where the competition started we’re able to welcome new participating countries, such as Armenia and the United Kingdom. The biggest country participating is Russia, and the smallest is Aruba."

How to join
If you would like to participate in Wiki Loves Monuments (which also includes an international contest and prizes), the only thing you have to do for that is upload a freely-licensed image of a monument in one of the participating countries to Wikimedia Commons. Links to the respective national websites are available in the sidebar of the contest/participate page.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Found Poetry Review - Special Issue: W/R/T David Foster Wallace

September 12, 2013, marks the fifth anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s passing. 

The Found Poetry Review remembers his life and contributions with a special online edition of their journal: W/R/T David Foster Wallace

"Though Wallace’s articles, interviews and books are like he was — finite — our capacity for conversation with him through found poetry continues. In this special issue, nearly 30 poets share their conversations with David Foster Wallace. As the world remembers his life and work this September, I invite you to pick up one of his texts and consider what conversations of your own you might have with him."
- FPR Editor-in-Chief Jenni B. Baker


30 Free Essays & Stories by David Foster Wallace
For his own words, visit the link list that was collected by the magazine Open Culture: "We spent some time tracking down free DFW stories and essays available on the web, and they’re all now listed in our collection of Free eBooks. But we didn’t want them to escape your attention. So here they are — 23 pieces published by David Foster Wallace between 1989 and 2011, mostly in major U.S. publications like The New YorkerHarper’sThe Atlantic, and The Paris Review. "

The list of essays and stories starts, painfully fittingly for this week, with...

...and ends with:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Women to Read: Where to Start & New Voices

In April, author Kari Sperring started a twitter initiative, basically by asking readers to recommend science fiction and fantasy by women after several frustrating experiences both in bookshops and in review surveys.

Following the initative, SF Signal invited author A.C. Wise to write a series of guest posts, and give a sampling of female sf authors and recommended reads. Here are the links:

SF Signal: Women to Read: Where to Start
Part 1: Le Guin, Jacson, Eskrigde, Hopkinson
Part 2: Morrison,  Bradley, Bell, Files
Part 3: SF books with women to read about

New Voices
A.C. Wise also but a long list together of new voices: "Ccalling on the power of the internet hivemind, I asked for examples of women who made their first speculative fiction sale (pro or otherwise) within the last two years or so. And lo! The internet delivered onto me a glorious list of names, which I’m delighted to share with you:"
Women to Read: New Voices

100 Great SF Short Stories by Women
After reviewing the reprint of the sf-anthology "Women of Wonder", Ian Sales collected a list of science fiction short stories by women: Toward 100 Great SF Short Stories by Women

The original blog post of author Kari Sperring who started the initiative is online at  Womentoread
Make sure to visit the ongoing twitterstream #womentoread


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Impossible Spaces

"Impossible Spaces" is a new collection of twenty-one dark, unsettling and weird short stories that explore the spaces at the edge of possibility.

Sometimes the rules can change. Sometimes things aren’t how they appear. Sometimes you can just slip through the cracks and end up… somewhere else. What else is there? Is there somewhere else, right beside you, if you could only reach out and touch it? Or is it waiting to reach out and touch you?

Don’t trust what you see. Don’t trust what you hear. Don’t trust what you remember. It isn’t what you think.

The collection is available as paperback + e-book: Impossible Spaces

Authors + Editor: The collection is edited by Hannah Kate, with stories by Ramsey Campbell, Simon Bestwick, Hannah Kate, Jeanette Greaves, Richard Freeman, Almira Holmes, Arpa Mukhopadhyay, Chris Galvin Nguyen, Christos Callow Jr., Daisy Black, Douglas Thompson, Jessica George, Keris McDonald, Laura Brown, Maree Kimberley, Margrét Helgadóttir, Nancy Schumann, Rachel Yelding, Steven K. Beattie, Tej Turner, Tracy Fahey

About Hannah Kate
Hannah Kate is a poet and short story writer based in North Manchester, UK. Her work has appeared in local and national magazines, as well as in anthologies. In her other life, as Dr. Hannah Priest, she is an academic researcher and writer. She blogs at

book page: Impossible Spaces

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"I Must Be Off" Travel Essay Competition: winners, links, destinations

The travel blog "I Must Be Off!" organized its its first annual Travel Essay Contest. More than 80 travel essays went online, from destinations all over the world

Now the winners have been announced. Editor Christopher Allen explained: "Choosing the top twenty essays from the 87 sent in, many in the last few hours before the submissions deadline, was not so difficult; but I have lost a bit of sleep choosing the top two. One reason I decided to give two top prizes was because I knew there would be drastically different interpretations of the "travel" essay. And indeed, I Must Be Off! received so many different styles of writing--informative, humorous, reflective, academic, just plain fun, etc--that selecting only two is actually no fun at all. But it must be done."

Read the full announcement here: I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Competition


Travel Essay: Winners + Recommended Reads

And here are the direct links to the winners and highly recommended reads,  in no particular order:

The WINNERS of the I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Competition:

The Children of Chitwan, Nepal by Hannah Thompson-Yates
"Jyoti. Jaya. Jyomi. Babita. Sangita. Sanju. Kamari. Nabina. Jeet. Samir. Bimala. Susma. Salina. Thirteen children, one bedroom and four beds. Four stone walls and a stone floor, with one ABC poster hanging from the door. Down the corridor they also have a kitchen, and nineteen year old Jyoti spends day after day preparing roti and dhal bhat for the family...."

God's Own Country by Saahil Acharya
"The boat ride took an inordinately long time to complete. Most of my companions dozed right through its duration, while a few occasionally woke up, peered through the windows at the water and the surrounding jungle, and went back to sleep. There I was, in a motorized boat, being taken around an artificial lake in the middle of Periyar tiger reserve in Kerala, India...."

Travel Essay Competition: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


About I Must Be Off & Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), an episodic adult cartoon about a man struggling with expectations. Allen's award-winning fiction and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly's Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, The Best of Every Day Ficton, Pure Slush, Bootsnall Travel and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice. He is the managing editor of the daily litzine Metazen. Recently, Allen--along with editors Michelle Elvy and Linda Simoni-Wastila--hosted Flash Mob 2013 in celebration of International Flash Fiction Day.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Flash Mob 2013 & International Flash Fiction Day 22. June

Flash Mob 2013 is a hybrid blog carnival and competition celebrating flash fiction. On June 22 — International Flash Fiction Day — winners will be announced and feted in various ways, beginning with a flash mob happening here and elsewhere, and also prizes, prizes and more prizes.

Flash Mob stories from Africa, Asia, Europe, America, Oceania... Following the flash call, authors from all around the world wrote a flash story and published it directly in their blog. Links to the stories are now online at: Flash Mob 2013 - click the different continent links on top, and then on the author images to get to the story - here are the shortcuts:
Flash Mob: Africa - Asia - Europe - The Americas - Antarctica - Oceania

Flash Mob Team: The organizers represent various points on the globe: Christopher Allen (Munich, Germany), Linda Simoni-Wastila (Baltimore, Maryland) & Michelle Elvy (New Zealand). The competition will be judged by an international panel that includes Robert Vaughan (USA), Leah McMenamin (New Zealand), Marcus Speh (Germany) and Nuala Ni Chonchúir (Ireland).

More Flash

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Literary courses online: The Fiction of Relationship

Literary courses online: Last year, the online eduction platform Coursera launched. In partnership with many universities, Coursera offers free online courses in the fields of Computer Science, Medicine, Biology, Finance and Information, but also in Humanities and Social Science. The current course program also includes another literary course, and 2 culture / arts courses:

Starting 3. June: The Fiction of Relationship
"What is the nature of our relationship to others and the world? How can literature help us see these relationships more clearly? This course seeks to explore such questions through adventurous readings of ten great works of narrative fiction from the 18th to the 20th century."

Ten major works of narrative fiction from the 18th century to the present are read and discussed in this course, these include: Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost; two works by Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener and Benito Cereno; Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and two stories by Franz Kafka, “Metamorphosis” and “The Country Doctor”; Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and William Faulkner’s Light in August; an anthology of stories, Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges and The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas; Tony Morrison’s Beloved and Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee.

Course details and registration: Coursera: The Fiction of Relationship

Other upcoming Coursera courses:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eurovision of books 2013 - what to read from the final

Eurovision of books
Inspired by the Eurovision song contest, book blogger Winstonsdad - who focuses on translated fiction from all four corners of the world in his blog - created a long blog post with books from each of the countries that participate in the final show, and with the song clips: "Well tonight sees the 2013 Eurovision competition, I see this as a good chance to do a Europe wide reading guide suggesting a book I’ve read / A book I want to read (in some cases just this I've not read books from all 25 countries )"

Link: Eurovision of books 2013 - what to read from the final

Danish literature
Winner of the Eurovision 2013 is: Denmark. So here, 2 extra links: Wikipedia: Danish literature + Goodreads: Shelves > Denmark

More about the Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual singing competition held among many of the active member countries of Europe. Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world (more about the contest). Yesterday, the 58th annual Eurovision Song Contest took place in Malmö, Sweden.

Friday, April 26, 2013

10 Ways Self-Publishing has Changed the Books World

The wider cultural significance of self-publishing - that's the topic of an interesting Guardian article by Alison Baverstock, Course Leader for the Publishing MA at Kingston University, who recently researched the growing trend to self-publish: 10 ways self-publishing has changed the books world 

 Here are the first 4 of her conclusions and results:
1. There is now a wider understanding of what publishing is – and that it is more difficult than it looks.
 2. Gone is our confidence that publishers and agents know exactly what everyone wants to (or should) read.
 3. The copy editor, a traditionally marginalised figure, is now in strong demand.
 4. The re-emergence of the book as precious object.

Braverstock also formulates this different, more faceted look at the self and publishing: "Self-publishing means recognising, and preserving, content that has value for someone – but the process does not have to yield an income to be worthwhile."

Additional Links

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Guide to Girl Geek Culture: The 2013 Eisner Award Nominees + links to online reads

The Eisner Awards are prizes given for creative achievement in American comic books, sometimes referred to as the Comics Industry's equivalent of the Oscar Awards. The nominations in each category are generated by a five-member panel and have now been announced. They ate voted on by comic-book professionals, and presented at the annual Comic-Con International convention held in San Diego, California, in July.

"And you know what we do with nominees here!" says the geek web magazine The Mary Sue: "We try to find links to previews, excerpts, first issues, and entire runs that are available to read online for free." 

Check out their page for the full list of nominees and links: The 2013 Eisner Award Nominees You Can Read For Free On The Internet

Nominees Range:
Interesting to see that the nomination inlcudes famous names and publishers, but also self-published works, and webcomics and 
comic-related online magazines. Below the links to the works that can be accessed online completely or as excerpt:

Direct links to the nominated short stories, single issues, continuing series:

Direct links to the nomintated webcomics

Best Graphic Album and Best Adaptation

Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

About The Mary Sue
The Mary Sue hopes to be a place for two things: highlighting women in the geek world, and providing a prominent place for the voices of geek women. Because all we really want is to just be able to geek out with all geeks, of any gender, without feeling like our femininity is front and center for scrutinization. To not feel like we have to work harder than guys to prove that we’re genuinely into geek culture. We want simple things, like to be able to visit a comic book store without feeling out of place. To be able to buy a video game without getting the sense that the cashier thinks we’re buying it for someone else.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Small Press Book Review

A long-time reviewer of small press books, author Mel Bosworth now put together an online archive of his own book reviews from OWC and some reviews of fellow authors from OWC and Darksky, to keep them online and accessible.

He explains: "Anyway, as long as blogger exists the site will exist and the links will be good. I'm calling it The Small Press Book Review. And I'm looking to keep it going. Needless to say, I'm also looking for a few good reviewers. Call me. There's a chance I can get you good books to read."

The Small Press Book Review has 2 main sections:
- Small Press: Poetry Reviews
- Small Press: Fiction Reviews

About Mel Bosworth
A two-time Pushcart nominee, Mel Bosworth is the author of the fiction chapbook When the Cats Razzed the Chickens (Folded Word Press, 2009) the novella Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom (Brown Paper Publishing, 2010) the novel Freight (Folded Word Press, 2011) and the poetry chapbook Every Laundromat in the World (STE, 2012). His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and journales. He is also an associate series editor for the Wigleaf Top 50. Mel lives, breathes, writes, and works in western Massachusetts.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success is a guidebook for authors. It is written by Mark Corker, the founder of the e-book platform Smashwords.   An author himself, Corker already has published several guidebooks, like the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. In contrast to that, this book covers a wider field. In it, Corker talks about:

  • Changes in the Book Market
  • Platform
  • Pricing
  • Cover
  • Algorithms

  • The book includes several examples on especially succesful e-books and average e-books, their development in time, and effects of pricing, serialization. It's a practicle and thoughtful read, and also giving some perspective, like this advice from the first chapter: "Eighty percent of your book's success will be determined by the quality of your book. The other 20 percent is distribution, marketing and luck. If you remember nothing else from this book, remember this: The very most important marketing you can do is to write a great book that markets itself on the wings of reader word-of-mouth."

    Here's the offical introduction: "The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success reveals the best practices of the most commercially successful self-published ebook authors. This ebook is a must-read for every writer, author, publisher and literary agent. Learn over 25 best-practices you can implement today at no cost. These secrets will help you become a more professional, more successful writer and publisher. Share the secrets!"

    book page: The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

    Direct link to PDF: The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

    Mark Coker is founder of Smashwords, an ebook publishing and distribution platform for indie authors, publishers, literary agents and retailers. His is co-author of Boob Tube, a novel that explores the wild and wacky world of Hollywood celebrity. He also wrote the The 10-Minute PR Checklist.

    related links: 
    - a quick guide to book publishing services
    - e-book formatting guides (via GalleyCat)
    - how to create a book cover

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, April 2013

    The A-to-Z Challenge is a yearly blogging event: every April, a growing group of bloggers attempts to post every day inspired by the Alphabet. The challenges: for the month of April, blog daily, corresponding with the letters of the alphabet. The challenge starts with "A" on April 1, and ends with "Z" on April 30 (sundays are free).

    A to Z history 
    The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the event took place for its first time in 2010, with 100 bloggers joining. In 2011, nearly 1300 bloggers signed up. 2012 saw 1700 participants - and for 2013, so far almost 1400 bloggers signed up.

    A to Z links
     There's a whole challenge website online at: A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Here's the link to the sign-up list (sign-ups end March 31). The story of the event is online at What is blogging from A to Z. The original post is still online at 200 for me and a challenge for you

    The Facebook-page of A to Z is A to Z Challenge, the Twitter Hashtag is #AtoZChallenge

     Thanks to the Bathroom Monologues for monologuing about the challenge.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Indefinite Space 2013

    from minimalist to avant-garde ---
    open to innovative, imagistic, philosophical, 
    experimental creations---
    poetry drawings collage photograph--

    Indefinite Space.

    The 2013 edition of Indefinite Space contains work from 27 poets + artists: Eric Hoffman, E.J. Evans, Matt Dennison, Andrea Moorhead, John Sibley Williams, Emily Strauss, M. Pfaff, Haley Rene Thompson, Guy R. Beining, Jenny Drai, Gary Lundy, Michael Berton, Dorothee Lang, Keith Dunlap, Lewis Gessner, Denny E. Marshall, Alan Catlin, Ruth Berman, Jessie Janeshek, Raymond Farr, John Marvin, G.A. Scheinoha, Bruce McRae, Changming Yuan, Felino A. Sorriano, Holly Day, Mark Young

    Indefinite Space is edited by Marcia Arrieta. Her first book of poems triskelion, tiger moth, tangram, thyme is available through Otoliths (+ was reviewed by Melusine, here). Her chapbook experimental: was published by potes & poets press, and another collection the curve against the linear is part of The Quartet Series— An Uncommon Accord, published by toadlily press. She has a MFA in poetry from Vermont College.

    About Indefinite Space
    Marcia Arrieta founded Indefinite Space in 1991 after receiving a grant for her work from the Pasadena Arts Council. She has continued to publish the journal independently for 22 years. Indefinite Space has a penchant for the avant-garde, the philosophical, the minimal (but not always), the natural, and the intangible.

    Indefinite Space 2013
    single issue $7
    ISSN 1075-6868

    related links: poetry, art

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    The Art of the Book Review - a series of interviews by Karen Lillis

    Karen Lillies is currently posting a series of interviews with small press writers and reviewers about the art of book reviewing, and the state of book reviews.

    Update: there's a new interview up now with author & reviewer Lavinia Ludlow, who reviews small press books for several publications, links are included directly here for the joy of browsing & reading:
    Small Press Reviews
    The Nervous Breakdown
    Smalldoggies Magazine
    Plumb Blog
    American Book Review

    Book Review Interviews - a quote from the introduction: "Has new media itself degraded (or evolved) the idea of a book review? To some writers, the blog format seems like a good excuse to write a casual review that may be even less thoughtful than a blurb. To other writers, a Goodreads account is a fine platform to write intelligent responses to steady reading. And there are plenty of writers, young and old, who are writing well-considered book reviews and getting paid much less than they were a decade ago, or not getting paid at all."

    Interviews: The interview series so far includes interviews with  Spencer Dew (a writer of short and long fiction),  Barrett Warner (poet and reviewer), Lynn Alexander (edior of Full of Crow), and Djelloul Marbrook (writer and poet).

    Book Review Debate: Following the rich discussion of the state of bookreviews in August and September, the series also includes an annotated timeline of the key essays: "Book Reviews Debate Rages On"

    Karen Lillis is a writer of novels, poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, and journalism. She lives in Pittsburgh. Her novella Watch The Doors As They Close has just been published by SD. She is currently finishing her first book of nonfiction, Bagging the Beats at Midnight: Confessions of a New York Bookstore Clerk. She blogs at Karen the Small Press Librarian.

    The Art of the Book Review
    all entries / blog post tag: The Art of the Book Review

    Wednesday, March 06, 2013

    Story Tapes

    Story Tapes is a space for writers to voice their work. Edited by Eliza Smith and Faith Gardner, the page publishes monthly podcasts and videos featuring established and emerging writers.

    Contributors so far include: Lauren Becker, Josh Denslow, Berit Ellingsen, Sarah Rose Etter, Casey Hannan, Tania Hershman, Molly Laich, Scott McClanahan, Mary Miller, Alicia Mountain, Delaney Nolan, Alissa Nutting, Owen Poindexter, Matt Rowan, Sean Schlemmer, Amber Sparks, xTx, Buzzmutt, Doom Dong, High Anxiety, Jonathan Mann, Moonwatcher, Sean Pierce, Ben, Shakey Graves, The Shants, Patrick McGilligan.

    Storytapes is currently open to submissions: "We like stories that beg to be read out loud. We take stories under 2,000 words. Reprints and simultaneous submissions are fine. Send one story at a time via Submittable."

    Recent Story Tapes:

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

    Indie Author Networks + Indie TV + 3 extra book clips

    There are several websites that offer listings and services for independent authors who are self published or published by a small indie press and who actively promote their books - one of them is the Independent Author Network (IAN), a community of like-minded authors, with 750 authors who joined. Similar in idea is the Independent Author Index, with about 200 authors who joined. Both sites require set-up fees for joining authors (around 20-25$), but also offer extra services.

    Indie Authors TV
    The Independent Author Index now launched a special website that is dedicated to book video clips: Indie Author TV, and in a starting promotion, invited authors of recently published books to send their book video and a brief description. They are now featuring the clips, in a colorful and vivid mix of all genres. Watch and visit here: Indie Authors TV

    3 Extra Book Clips
    And some extra book clips, from Vimeo + Youtube:
    - Birth of a Book: a book being created + printed
    The Bibilo-Mat: a random book dispenser
    - The Joy of Books: in a bookshop at night..

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Litro Lab - A Podcast on Literature

    A London-based magazin with a focus on short fiction, that is Litro: "We find new ways of looking at the world through stories, seeking out the compelling and the controversial, the funny and the fantastic, the sad and the strange." 

    Recently, Litro ventured into podcasting. Starting with a simple call for submissions from readers and writers in the form of a MP3 reading of a story, they developed Litro Lab: a literary podcast in episodes "with interviews and readings from guest authors... each episode will take on a life of its own as we explore the audio possibilities of short stories, poetry, readings and interviews."

    The Litro Lab is hosted by Emily Cleaver, the co-editor of the Litro website, here's her bio: Cleaver is passionate about short stories and writes, reads and reviews them. As a former manager of one of London’s oldest second-hand bookshops, she also blogs about old and obscure books. You can read her tiny true dramas about working in a secondhand bookshop at and see more of her writing at

    Recent Litro Lab episodes include:

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    9 Film Festival Links: Oscars, Berlinale, Sundance, Independent Spirit..

    It's the season of film awards again - the countdown to the Oscar Awards has started, and in Berlin, the international film festival opened its doors, with more than 400 films. 

    All of the festivals have extensive websites, plus there are additional features and trailer pages. So even when you aren't there, you can visit virtually:

    Film Festival Websites: 
    Film Trailers Online:
    Berlin / Berlinale / & the Language of Hollywood 

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    The Last Vispo

    The Last Vispo Anthology is the first major anthology of visual poetry in decades. Edited by Crag Hill and Nico Vassilakis, the complete manuscript is 336 pages in length with poems, many produced in color, interspersed with essays from poets, critics, and scholars of visual poetry.

    With its global scope of 148 contributors from 23 countries, The Last Vispo Anthology has three purposes: to document the recent upsurge in visual poetry, to make visual poetry available to a wider audience, and to be used as a pedagogical tool in poetry and art curriculum at the secondary and post-secondary level - and to extend the dialectic between art and literature that began with the concrete poetry movement fifty years ago.

    Vispo Links
    For more about the project, visit the website:, which also includes the list of contributors and their bios online at Vispo / Bios, and an interesting list of Visual Poetry Blogs/Websites

    There also is a 35-page preview online underneath the order info and the quotes, the preview includes the introduction of the editors Crag Hill and Nico Vassilakis:  The Last Vispo / preview.

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Literary courses online now: Fantasy & Science Fiction + Philosophy + The Language of Hollywood

    Literary courses online: Earlier this year, the online eduction platform Coursera launched. In partnership with several US universities, Coursera offers free online courses in the fields of Computer Science, Medicine, Biology, Finance and Information, but also in Humanities and Social Science. The current course program also includes a literary course & a philosophic course, and a course on storytelling and the language of Hollywood:


    Starting Now: "Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World"
    This week, Professor Eric Rabkin will start to his course on fantasy and science fiction again. Here's the short summary: "We understand the world — and our selves — through stories. Then some of those hopes and fears become the world. This course will explore Fantasy in general and Science Fiction in specific both as art and as insights into ourselves and our world."

    For those who are into sci-fi, this is a great opportunity to read one of the classics and parallel to that, watch the lectures. The course runs for 10 weeks, and in each week, another author is featured in several video lectures. Novels/authors discussed include: Caroll's "Adventures in Wonderland", Bram Stoker's "Dracula", Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", Hawthorne & Poe, Wells, Bradbury, Le Guin and Doctorow. 
    Here's more: Fantasy & SciFi course info

    The 2013 Sci-Fi Experience
    And here an extra-link for sci-fi fans: all through 2013, readers of sci-fi books (or watcher of sci-fi films) are invited to share and discuss their current reads at the "2013 Sci-Fi Expericence" which is hosted by Carl Anderson at his blog: "And so I officially welcome you to The 2013 Science Fiction Experience, which runs from January 1st, 2013 through February 28th, 2013. The “rules” of the experience are simple: there are none. Remember, this isn’t a challenge. If you would like to join us in discussing any science fiction reading or television viewing or movie watching you do over the time period, please do."


    Starting Monday 28th: Introduction to Philosophy 
    On Monday, 28th January, the 7-week course "Introduction to Philosophy" will start: "This course will introduce you to some of the most important areas of research in contemporary philosophy. Each week a different philosopher will talk you through some of the most important questions and issues in their area of expertise." For more, visit the philosophy course info page and watch the intro video.


    Starting February 4th: The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound, and Color 
    This Film History course explores how fundamental changes in film technology affected popular Hollywood storytelling. We will consider the transition to sound, and the introduction of color. .. Our aim is to illuminate popular cinema as the intersection of business, technology, and art. Through film history, we will learn about the craft of filmmaking and how tools shape art." - course info

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    February is National Novel Reading Month - join #NaNoReMo with a classic novel

    How about reading a classic novel in February? John from the Bathroom Monologues and fellow bloggers are initiating a National Novel Reading Month:

    "It’s a simple idea. We’ve all got at least one classic book we think we ought to read and have put off too long.

    Check your shelf. Check your conscience. Isn’t there something long removed from the Bestseller’s List you think you ought to read? Be it for craft, for history, or some gap in your personal English canon. #NaNoReMo is about catching up with the classics.

    It begins on February 1st. We’ll be on the honor system; nobody cheat and start reading now. In advance you’re welcome to hop onto blogs and Twitter to chat about your potential choices. Our hashtag is #NaNoReMo. Then join us throughout February as we discuss our progress through our chosen classics. If it works the cross-pollination of encouragement will increase our reading lists as well as encourage us to finish reading great works."

    for guidelines and a list of participating blogs, visit:
    #NaNoReMo Megapost

    and here's more about it: 
    introduction blog post: #NaNoReMo: National Novel Reading Month
    twitter: #NaNoReMo


    The classic image above? That's as classic as books get: it's from the King's Library in the British Library in London.

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Anonymous Drawings 2013 - Call for Entries

    Anonymous Drawings was founded 2006 by the artist Anke Becker in Berlin, Germany. Since then, more than 5000 artists from all over the world have taken part in the project. More than 10 shows of Anonymous Drawings took place in Berlin and abroad up until today.

    New exhibition upcoming in March
    The next exhibition of Anonymus Drawings will take place in March 2013 in Berlin at the Uferhallen. Like all previous exhibitions, it is preceded by an international call for participation. 800 selected drawings of international artists will be presented anonymously in the exhibition. Everybody can take part: old and young, professional artists or laymen. Deadline for submissions: 31. January 2013 
    The concept
    The age, biography or gender of the participants will not be requested and do not play any role in the selection: selection will be made without looking at the names. What counts is the art itself and not the biography! All the drawings are available for a symbolic unit sales-price of 150 Euros each – no matter if they come from established artists or from unknown laymen. For each drawing sold, the artists receive 100 Euros – the rest will be used for the partial financing of the project.

    Further information:

    Tuesday, January 08, 2013

    "tree" - Leaf Press 2013 co-op poem

    Since 2009, the editors of Leaf Press organize a collaborate winter poem for the start of the year, collecting couplets from different poets, to publish as co-op poem on the first Monday of the new year.

    The theme for 2013 was: "Trees" - now the poem is online: Leafpress co-op poem 2013: tree

    It's composed of lines by 37 poets, here the first 4 lines from 4 contributors:

    "the sea, the raft, the harbour and the shore
    home of hope
    lungs of the earth
    a ballet, osmosis, umbilicus, nursling: bless..."

    Beneath the poem is a version with poet names included. No one knew what the others wrote, the brief guidelines were: "An entry consists of one line or one couplet. Each line approximately 12 syllables."

    The co-op series
    And  here, for the joy of poetic cooperation, the previous poems:
    2012 - Lines Drawn from Greening Winds
    2011 - The Change in Winter Light
    2010 - Cold
    2009 - Snow

    About Leaf Press
    Leaf Press is an independent press located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Ursula Vaira founded Leaf in 2001 as a poetry chapbook publisher. Since 2007 Leaf has been publishing trade poetry while continuing the chapbook tradition and the weekly on-line Monday's Poem.

    Wednesday, January 02, 2013

    Blue Fifth Review: the blue collection 3: collaboration

    For the Blue Fifth Review's "blue collection 3: collaboration", ten writers respond in poem and flash to five art pieces selected from Blue Fifth Reviews’s 2011 issues. The connections between the art, poetry, flash, and commentaries are a true testament to the possibilities of the creative process.

    Featured authors and artists: Christopher Allen, Jenny Baker, Ann Bogle, Sheldon Lee Compton, Cheryl Dodds, Rupert Fike, Jane Hammons, Lynne Knight, Dorothee Lang, Sara Lippmann, Leslie Marcus, Felicia Mitchell, Rebecca Seiferle, Christopher Woods, and Bill Yarrow.

    About Blue Fifth Review
    The name of this online journal, Blue Fifth Review, has its origins in jazz: the mysterious third blue note, the blue fifth. Sam Rasnake began Blue Fifth Review in the winter of 2001, and from then until 2010 BFR appeared twice yearly in journal format, adding a themed supplement issue every other year. A quarterly Broadside series was added in 2006. In 2011, Michelle Elvy joined as an editor and BFR moved its online site to WordPress, launching the Blue Five Notebook Series. The format and number of issues broadened to include flash, while limiting the selections to five written works and a single piece of art per issue.

    Recent issues include the Poetry Special – (December 2012) and the Fall Quarterly with the theme "Ekphrastic / Music" (November 2012)

    magazine link: Blue Fifth Review