Monday, March 10, 2008

The Grub Street Rag, 3/10/08

March 10th, 2008
In this issue

* Cordial Grub Gossip
* Convivial Grub Events
* Spreading the Love

"The short story is like an old friend who calls whenever he is in town. We are happy to hear from it; we casually fan the embers of past intimacies, and buy it lunch."

~ R. Z. Sheppard
Grub Street Gossip

Welcome to the latest installment of the Grub Street Rag, a newsletter of the Boston literary scene sent out every Monday by the marshmallow-toasters around the woodburning stove at Grub Street's world headquarters. As always, if you are receiving this e-mail in horror, please advance to the bottom of the page to unsubscribe yourself.
Born Before Plastic debuts at Borders Books

Come celebrate Born Before Plastic, the first anthology of the Memoir Project. Seniors whose work is featured in the anthology will be celebrating with friends and family and signing copies of the book. Mayor Menino and our favorite Artistic Director, Chris, will introduce the book and The Memoir Project, which brings writing workshops to elderly seniors in Boston neighborhoods. Born Before Plastic celebrates a generation’s unique histories and gives voice to stories that have been undocumented until now. Details below.
Department of horn-tooting

Grubbies are winners! The 2007 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Awards were just announced, and not one but TWO Grubbies have won awards, which are given annually to New England authors for books with New England settings. Former Grub student and Grub board member, Rishi Reddi, was the fiction award winner for Karma and Other Stories, and Ann Killough was the poetry winner for Beloved Idea. Huge congratulations to both of these wonderful writers! Next up, a Grubbie publishing success story: Grub instructor Ethan Gilsdorf was a student in agent Sorche Fairbank's "The Hook and The Book: How To Snare An Agent With Your Query And First Five Pages " weekend workshop last February. Based on some random memoir chapters, he wrote a proposal, and she signed him as a client. One year later, she sold his memoir-travelogue Escape Artists: Travels through the Worlds of Role Playing Freaks, Online Gaming Geeks, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms to Lyons Press, to be published fall 2009. Ethan says: "Now I've just gotta write it. . . Were it not for Grub, this never would have happened. . ." Hurrah to Ethan--we are so psyched for you! Also, for all you would-be writers, Sorche will be attending the Muse and the Marketplace and participating in the Manuscript Mart, so get a spot with her while you can.
Thanks for sticking

A huge thank-you to Lillian Ling, Alyssa Mazzarella, Sunny Davidson, and Mo Hanley for helping us send out our postcard mailing last week. Thanks also to the many people who offered to help later in the week once we were (happily) done with the mailing. Don't worry, we'll have many more opportunties to volunteer coming up.
O spring schedule, where art thou?

As our winter classes wrap up, many of you are calling and emailing wondering when you can get your next Grub fix. Rest easy: the spring schedule, in all its springy glory, will be online by the end of the week. Check it out and give us a call to register or get advice on what class might be right for you.

* Cheers,
* Whitney, Sonya and Chris

The P.S.: The Penny Dreadful makes its triumphant return to the blogosphere! After a hiatus based solely on our staff being too busy to blog, the Dreadful returns with more tales of literary life in Boston and beyond. Check it out.

Grub Events

In addition to our ongoing workshops, Grub Street offers numerous writing-related events around town. See our website for a long-term view of all we do. Ready to sign up? Call us at 617.695.0075 and we'll get you on the list.

BOOK SIGNING: Tuesday, March 11th, 6:00 - 7:30pm, Born Before Plastic book signing
Come celebrate the release of the Memoir Project’s first anthology of true stories written by forty seniors from three of Boston’s most vibrant and enduring neighborhoods: the North End, South Boston, and Roxbury. These stories vividly bring to life the individual and collective experiences of a generation, as well as a city’s history. Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Christopher Castellani will introduce the program and the book. The evening will close with food, refreshments, and conversation among the seniors, their families and guests, readers, and anyone who wants to learn more about the book and speak with the authors.
Borders Books in Back Bay, 511 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

BOOK PARTY: Thursday, March 13th, 2008, 7-9pm, Naming The World
Come celebrate the publication of Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Fiction Writer, an exciting new anthology edited by acclaimed author (and Grub Street board member) Bret Anthony Johnston. The book features exercises by the country’s most eminent writers and is an irresistible interactive guide to the craft of narrative writing. At this event, we’ll hear some examples from some of our favorite local writers who’ve contributed to the book, and try some of the exercises on-the-spot. Followed by drinks and appetizers at a local bar and restaurant.
FREE, Porter Square Books.

TEENS: Saturday, March 15th, 12-4pm, YAWP! (Young Adult Writers Program)
Do you like to write poems, lyrics, stories, novels or screenplays? Come to YAWP, a free monthly teen writing workshop for Boston-area high schoolers like you. YAWP provides writing exercises in small groups, feedback from experienced writers, pizza and inspiration. You provide the energy to write, share your work, and try new things. Please sign up in advance by emailing or calling 617.695.0075.
FREE (includes lunch), Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

SEMINAR: Monday, March 24th, 2008, Two For One: Writing Fiction and Non-fiction
Join author Lynne Griffin for a discussion of how to nurture the fiction and nonfiction writer in you. She’ll take you through the process of identifying genre elements of each, creating environments conducive to accurate research as well as offer tips for navigating the marketplace. Lynne is the author of Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment and her novel, Life Without Summer, will be published next year. Read more on our website.
$45/$40 members, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

SEMINAR: Monday, March 24th, 2008, Tears of Laughter
In this seminar taught by Sonya Larson, we’ll explore the special function of humor in fiction, in its power both to rivet a reader and give unnerving and surprising edge to a story’s emotions. Learn how humor can strengthen voice, energize dialogue, drive a scene, and complexify a character. Read more on our website.
$45/$40 members, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

SEMINAR: Monday, March 24th, 2008, Cortiscrawl: Writing With the Brain in Mind
In this class, we'll see how understanding a bit more about the brain can boost our own writing. We'll revisit staple topics like detail, description and character, learn how we can tap into the dreaming brain for inspiration, and even look at writer's block and hypergraphia (the compulsion to write) from this new vantage point. Read more on our website.
$45/$40 members, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

SEMINAR: Monday, March 24th, 2008, The Art of the Scene
This seminar, taught by Amy Marcott, will focus on the elements of scene writing in fiction: pacing, choreography, dialogue, subtext, description, character and theme development, and more. We'll look at the techniques various authors use, then practice these with in-class writing exercises designed to inspire and elevate your own writing. Read more on our website.
$45/$40 members, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

Be sure to check out our events calendar for a comprehensive view of upcoming events.
Spreading the Love

Grub Street wants to promote YOU!!! Please send events for consideration to Our apologies in advance if we cannot fit you in.

--CALL FOR WRITERS: Can you review?
Grubbie Becky Tuch is looking for writers for The Review Review, her new website dedicated to reviewing contemporary literary magazines. Reviewers will choose or be assigned a lit mag to review. This is a chance to have your writing read by editors around the country, while also familiarizing yourself with the style and culture of various lit mags. If you are interested, please send two 700-word writing samples to Becky Tuch, along with a brief bio. Your bio shouldn’t be a list of publications but rather something that shows who you are and why you’re interested. Please paste your writing into the email text or send as an attachment to

--LECTURE: Tuesday, March 11th, 7PM, Janice Pieroni, founder of Story Arts Management
In this relaxed and informative event, literary manager/agent, writer, editor, and consultant Janice Pieroni guides experienced and novice writers through the steps of creating a marketable book proposal. In addition, Janice will provide tips for finding representation, discuss strategies for proceeding once a book proposal is finished, and suggest ways of building an audience for a book even before it is published. She also will note important industry trends. (Fun trivia: Janice is also Martin Scorcese's former assistant.) Newtonville Lecture Series.

--READING AND PARTY: Sunday, March 16, 2008, 7pm, The Dirty Water Reading Series presents "Get Lucky"
"Get Lucky" is a St. Patty's-themed reading at Grub Street Headquarters, featuring mad-libs of famous Irish writers and short readings by Sommer Browning, Steve Himmer, Nina MacLaughlin, and Felicia C. Sullivan. Organized by local journals Quick Fiction, Redivider, and Fringe, along with Black Ocean Press. Free food and drinks, plus door prizes. Come on down and have a pint!
FREE, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

Welcome to the end of the e-mail, where, like the aroma of despair, we offer you the chance to win a prize. On this day in history, a writer wrote a letter saying he had finished a new book. He considered the book an epilogue to everything he had ever written. Name the author, the title of the book, and who the letter was addressed to. E-mail your answers to Whitney. First correct answer wins a gift certificate to any local J.P. Licks.

Answer to last week's quiz: No one has guessed correctly yet, so we're trying again. I guess Google has failed you at last. Mwah ha ha ha ha! Winner: Not Google.

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