Monday, September 22, 2014

Take part in Blog Action Day October 16, 2014

Every year since 2007, thousands of bloggers have come together for one day to talk about one important issue, like Poverty, Climate Change and Human Rights amongst others.

The theme for blog action day 2014 is: Inequality

Bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, photographers, graphic designers, cartoonish, data geeks, tumblers and social media types from all over the world are invited to take part. Blog Action Day is a free event. To join, register your blog at the Blog Action Day website, which promotes participating blogs and websites and gives participants access to great content, tips and reminders.

Blog Action Day is also looking for volunteers to help to organize the event, more here.


Revisiting Blog Action Day 2013
In 2013, the focus was on the incredibly powerful topic of Human Rights. Bloggers from a record number of countries (130) created amainzg blog posts, info graphics, videos, podcasts and photography to explore what Human Rights means to them and take part in discussions with our partners such as Amnesty International. Just over 6,000 blog posts and social media updates about Human Rights were made for Blog Action Day from 130 countries. Highlights of Blog Action Day 2013 - Human Rights

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize: Winners 2014 + 2015 Prize guidelines

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize unearths and promotes the best new writing from across the Commonwealth, developing literary connections worldwide. The Prize enables and features writers from countries where there is little or no publishing industry, it identifies talented writers who will go on to inspire their local communities.

The Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction. Regional winners will receive £2,500 and the Overall Winner will receive £5,000. Translators will receive additional prize money. Established in 2012, the Prize now was awarded for the third time.

Winners 2014
Short Story Prize 2015 Info + More
The 2015 Short Story Prize will open for entry 15 September and will close on 15 November 2014. Eligible are unpublished stories, story length: 2000-5000 words, from Commonwealth authors.

More about the prize and the previous winners is online at the Prize homepage: Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Friday, August 01, 2014

International 21-Day Drawing Challenge

The website is hosting a drawing challenge this month:

"Join the exciting + free 21-Day Drawing Challenge! The challenge is to help you make drawing a daily habit —for artists and non-artists alike"

The challenge is on now, it's free to join. For each day, there's a challenge-video with the task and with some drawing advice (news tasks are presented from Monday to Friday, the weekend is free or for catchup).

Participants can share their drawings via Twitter: #draw21days

The task for day 1 is: "Cat"


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Travel Essay Sesaon at I Must Be Off!

Travel Essay Sesaon at I Must Be Off!
The travel blog "I Must Be Off!" organized its second annual Travel Essay Contest. After collecting the entries in spring, a choice of the entries is now being presented in the blog. The first entries are online, and are reaching from Australia to Europe, and from nature trips to city stories:

Australia: The Scarlet Mile by Gillian Brown
"It is the first time I’ve visited a brothel... I’m in Kalgoorlie, the epicentre of gold mining in Western Australia. Gold was discovered here in 1893 and is now a 24/7, multi-million dollar operation. The Super Pit mine is half a kilometre deep and almost four kilometres long..."

Bangladesh: Harvest Time by Rilla Norslund
"The day starts dusty green, stretching as far as the eye can see in the grainy morning air; clouds are low and heavy and the threat of looming monsoon rains drives people out of their homestead before dawn. Morning light creeping across the fields finds the first of them, already perspiring, swinging scythes and sickles, bundling the dew damp rice, piling and shifting the bundles...."

Bodrum, Turkey’s San Tropez by Jack Scott
"Locals have confidently dubbed Bodrum the St Tropez of Turkey and while this accolade may not be entirely deserved, its smart marina, wealthy yachties, Tiffany Blue waters and tiers of sugar-cube houses make it the prettiest of the three Muğly Sisters.."

From Lake to Lake to Lake to Lake -- Rafting in Mecklenburg "We leave Munich for Mecklenburg Vorpommern at 3:00 a.m. and arrive at the campground where the rafting company docks its beautifully crafted rafts at 9:30 a.m. Six lovely hours in the car. According to the I Must Be Off! distance meter, that's 165 pop songs, 12 news reports (all reporting the exact same news, which can drive a person bonkers) and 3 talk radio programs on various topics---"


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.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Caine Prize for African Writing: Shortlist Stories online

The shortlist for the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced in April by Nobel Prize winner and Patron of the Caine Prize Professor Wole Soyinka. The winning story will be announced on Monday 14 July.

The Chair of judges, award-winning author Jackie Kay MBE described the shortlist as, “Compelling, lyrical, thought-provoking and engaging. From a daughter's unusual way of grieving for her father, to a memorable swim with a grandmother, a young boy's fascination with a gorilla's conversation, a dramatic faux family meeting, to a woman who is forced to sell her eggs, the subjects are as diverse as they are entertaining.”

She added, “The standard of entries was exceptionally high so much so that it was actually very difficult for the judges to whittle it down to a shortlist of only five stories. We were heartened by how many entrants were drawn to explorations of a gay narrative. What a golden age for the African short story, and how exciting to see real originality - with so many writers bringing something different to the form."

To commemorate fifteen years of the Caine Prize this year, £500 will be awarded to each shortlisted writer. The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 14 July.

The 5 shortlisted stories can be read on the Caine Website, and are also offered as audio versions at Caine Prize podcast.

The Caine Prize 2014 Shortlist:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Poetry Storehouse

The Poetry Storehouse is an effort to promote new forms and delivery methods for page-poetry by creating a repository of freely-available high-quality contemporary page-poetry for those multimedia collaborative artists who may sometimes be stymied in their work by copyright and other restrictions.

Poetry Storehouse Links
  • View the video remixes from Poetry Storehouse poems at Vimeo: Poetry Storehouse
  • More about the project, including a list of poets whose poems are available for remix and guidelines are a online at
  • There also is a  ongoing interview series with poets and remixers in which they discuss their Storehouse experience, hosted by the  Moving Poems discussion forum –  read the interviews here
Some select direct links to video poems:

Team & Mission 
The Poetry Storehouse team is a collaboration and remix in itself, including Nic Sebastian, Rachel Barenblat, Dave Bonta, and several other. Their mission is:  " collect and showcase poem texts and, in some instances, audio recordings of those texts. It is our hope that those texts will serve as inspiration or raw material for other artistic creations in different media."


Monday, March 31, 2014

Indefinite Space 2014

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

Indefinite Space.

The 2014 edition of Indefinite Space contains work from 27 poets + artists: Linda King, Aimee Harrison, Bob Heman, Khaty Xiong, MJ Gette, Rob Cook, Joseph Cooper, Philip Miletic, William Garvin, arkava das, BZ Niditch, Guy R. Beining, Andrew Maximilian Niss, Wes Solether, Dorothee Lang, Stephen C. Middleton, Ariana D. Den Bleyker, Gabrielle Campagnano, Thomas Cochran, K.S. Hardy, Michael Albright, Mark Young, Andrew Topel, Michael Frazer, Ivan de Monbrison, Jeff Harrison, Simon Perchik, Tom Pescatore, Jean Esteve, Christopher Mulrooney, Bruce McRae, Robert Pfeiffer, Marie Nunalee, Dylan Joy

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

Indefinite Space 2014
single issue $8
ISSN 1075-6868

related links: poetry, art

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge - Round-up

Book blogger Shannon from Giraffe Days is hosting an international reading challenge this year: Around the World in 12 Books Challenge.

Participants can send links to their reviews, and Shannon puts together a monthly roundup that feels like a virtual world-trip:

Around-the-world February Round-up 
Participants covered all continents, yet again – including Antarctica! – and reviewed 4 books from Asia, 2 from South America, 10 from the UK and Europe, 3 from North America, 4 from Africa, 1 from the Middle East, and 5 from Australia-Antarctic and the Pacific. That’s an impressive 29 books reviewed for the challenge in February!! There was a real mix of genres, including older titles, historical novels, romance, mystery, folktales and non-fiction.

The round-up starts in South Korea, with a book blogger from Estonia.. "Toomas Nipernaadi from Estonia who blogs at Non-native Reader (I love the fact that participants of this challenge come from all over, it’s awesome!!), takes us to Korea: A Walk Through the Land of Miracles with this travel book by Simon Winchester from 1988.
After moving through Brazil, France, Poland, Canada, Nigeria, Israel, New Zealand and various other countries, the round-up ends in Antarctica: "Here’s a first for the challenge! Ekatarina (In My Book) journeyed to the less-visited continent of Antarctica (which I’m including under Australia and Oceania for convenience) with HP Lovecraft’s 1936 novel, At the Mountains of MadnessThis story about an old and mysterious civilisation discovered deep in Antarctic ice struck her, initially, as a great plot..." 

January round-up + Joining the challenge
For more international book suggestions and reviws, visit the January's Around-the-world Round-up

You can still joine the challenge, there are also easier levels: Happy Camper: 2 books, Wayfarer: 4 books, Casual Tourist: 6 books. Here's the Sign-up page.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Art + Humanity courses online: "A History of Art" + "Practical Ethics"

Humanity and Art 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. Here are 2 courses that just started:

"Live! A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers"
Organized by the California Institute of Arts, "Live! A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers" is a free and open art course: " xplore art history from the artist's perspective. Learn how contemporary artists, animators and gamers work from the art of the past as part of their creative process"

Practical Ethics
"In this course you will be encouraged to think about some of the ethical issues that we all face in our daily lives, and as concerned, global citizens. The course will focus on the following topics: Is abortion wrong? Should we eat animals? What is our responsibility to the world’s poor? This course will encourage you to examine your ethical beliefs on topics relevant to the ancient question posed by Socrates: “How am I to live?”

Other upcoming courses: Coursera Humanities courses 

Friday, January 24, 2014

#readwomen2014: who will you read in 2014?

2014 has been declared as the year of reading women by the Guardian in an article. This article now went viral with the hashtag: #readwomen 2014, with more and more readers joining, and new notes and links appearing continually in the twitterstream. Here's the key line from the original article:
 "Female authors are marginalised by newspapers and literary journals, and their books are given 'girly' covers. Take action against this inequality by making sure the next book you read is by a woman."

Here are the links to the original article, the twitterstream and a tagboard with collected messages:  

blog links
And some links to related features in this blog:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Words without Borders: Kurdish Literature

In their new issue, the international online magazine Words without Borders is featuring Kurdish Literature: "This month we present writing by Kurdish authors. Writers from the various regions and dialects of Kurdistan consider questions of nation, language, and identity, providing fresh perspectives on this ancient culture and its contemporary conflicts."

Issue Link: Kurdish Literature
Bakhtiyar Ali describes an assassin's tipping point. Yavuz Ekinci's widow remembers the true love of her youth. Murathan Mungan draws on the Kurdish oral tradition. Alber Sabanoglu surveys recent writing about the history of Kurds in Turkey. Poet Abdulla Pashew blends political and personal longing...

About Words Without Borders
Founded in 2003, Words without Borders promotes cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages.

Recent Issues include:

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

"I Hear the Wind Waiting" - Leaf Press 2014 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 2014 is: "Wind" - the poem is now online at: Leafpress coop poem 2014: I Hear the Wind Waiting

It's composed of lines by 37 poets, here the first 3 lines from 3 contributors:

"Thoughts, tousled by the wind
signposts of past years
There are thos who listen, see it,..."

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:
2013 - tree
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.

Friday, January 03, 2014

"Be There Now" - a collection of true travel stories

"Be There Now" is a collection of true travel stories featuring twenty-two contributors who share adventures and escapades from around the world.

The stories include the tale of an amateurish kidnapping in Nicaragua that could have been told by Woody Allen, and a David Sedaris-esque tale of two ships passing in a Paris art supply store. Existential stories from a man lost on the flooded Amazon River at night, and from a woman who encounters a grizzly–in the same area where her father and stepmother were killed by a bear.

Insightful stories about a woman’s spiritual journey in Peru (complete with hallucinogens!), and about a female journalist’s friendship with an Iraqi translator in Syria. And stories about endangered species in exotic locales, including helping a sea turtle lay its eggs on a Costa Rican beach, and taking a blind man to visit the mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

The book is available as paperback ($12) or as e-book for very travel-friendly 99 cents (link).  It's published by the indie book publisher "Dream of Things", you can find more about the book on their website: "Be There Now". 

Stories, places and authors include: 
  • Foreword by Mike O’Mary, Series Editor; Introduction by Julie Rand, Editor
  • Once in a Lifetime [Guatemala] by Terri Elders
  • Talk About “Embarrasant” [France] by Dominick Domingo
  • Día de los Muertos [Mexico] by Kathe Kokolias
  • Demon Blockers [China] by Jennifer Choban
  • Still Alive [Syria] by Kelly Hayes-Raitt
  • The Happiest Place on Earth [Disneyland] by Dina Kucera
  • Berlin [Germany] by Jennifer Lang
  • A Quick and Cozy Kidnapping [Nicaragua] by Ben Bellizzi
  • Turbulence [On a plane] by Roz Warren
  • Encounter [Alaska] by Shannon Huffman Polson
  • Perfect Pulpo [Mexico] by Suzanne LaFetra
  • Where Light Germinates [Peru] by Melissa Heisler
  • The Jigg’s Up [Newfoundland] by Carol McAdoo Rehme
  • A Trembling Voice [Costa Rica] by Frank Izaguirre
  • Horse, Horse, Tiger, Tiger [China] by Ferida Wolff
  • Open Eye [New Mexico] by Lynn Pinkerton
  • In the Footsteps of Fossey [Rwanda] by Irene Morse
  • Driving Compassionately [Bali] by Peter Marmorek
  • Pickles and Hiccups [On the way home] by Randy Richardson
  • Treks [Kathmandu] by Katherine Horrigan
  • Virtual Travel [On the Internet] by Trendle Ellwood
  • Nowhere [Drifting in the heavens] by William Hillyard