Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grub Street Rag, 3/17/08

March 17th, 2008
In this issue

* Brimming Grub Gossip
* Fluent Grub Events
* Spreading the Love

"Poetry is going on all the time inside, an underground stream. One can let down one’s bucket and bring the poem up."

~ John Ashbery
Grub Street Gossip

Welcome to the latest installment of the Grub Street Rag, a newsletter of the Boston literary scene sent out every Monday from the roadside lemonade stand 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.
Spring schedule: as welcome as warm weather would be, if we had it

We are proud to announce our spring schedule, now online in all its springy glory on our website. We have a wonderful lineup of seminars, weekend workshops, 6- and 10--week workshops, and free events. We're also excited to be offering our first-ever class in Jamaica Plain (Fiction I), a six-week Travel Writing class, and our first online course, How to Get Freelance Work. Click here to view the entire schedule, and call us at 617.695.0075 to reserve your spot today.
Step up to the plate, Hoss: do your thing

It's time to take your cleats out of the closet, dust off your jerseys and wax your mitt. The Grub Street Wordslingers, Boston's one and only, all-time, relentlessly defeated softball team is kicking into gear. If you have not been with us for the past three years, you have been missing so much fun. We swing. We miss. We swing and miss again. And we have a great time. Please come play with us. We are like The Bad News Bears, but wittier and with more publishing credits. We need players! In particular, we need women! Interested players should email Grub Ambassador Becky Tuch at softballmania08@gmail.com.
Agent of good fortune

Grub Street founder Eve Bridburg, now a literary agent at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, just brokered a huge book deal for Grub Street instructor and writer Michelle Seaton and Boston psychologist Dr. Anthony Rao. More than a dozen major publishing houses were vying for Rao and Seaton's book, Odd Boys Out: Protecting Our Youngest Boys From Today's Climate of Unfair Expectations, High Demands, Quick Diagnoses and Pills, but they accepted a 4th pre-empt deal from HarperCollins that they couldn't refuse and cancelled twelve meetings in NCY to go with the pre-empt. The book is expected to be in stores by fall 2009. Hats off to an exciting Grub success story!
Week in review

Oh, what a week! Last Tuesday, over 100 seniors, their families and guests celebrated the launch of our first-ever Memoir Project anthology, Born Before Plastic, at Borders Bookstore in Back Bay. Senior authors from the North End, South Boston and Roxbury autographed copies of the book and heard tips from Chris, who instructed them in the best way to sign books for adoring fans (hint: cross out your printed name and scrawl your signature above it). Then on Thursday, a lively group gathered at Porter Square Books to hear tips and inspiration from Grub board member Bret Anthony Johnston's new book of writing exercises, Naming the World. The book includes essays on writing and over three hundred exercises to get your creative juices flowing (freebie: "Spend fifteen minutes finishing a paragraph that begins 'George would never have guessed a coffin could hold so many marbles'"). After the reading, a crew of fearless and fabulous Grubbies joined Bret and Grub staff at Tavern at Porter Square, where inspiration continued to flow (almost) as fast as the drinks. If you missed these events, we hope to see you next time, and thanks for everyone who made the events so special.

* Cheers,
* Whitney, Sonya and Chris

The P.S.: The Penny Dreadful makes its triumphant return to the blogosphere! Check out stories of eraser-clapping and more.

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.

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, taught by Tim Horvath, 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.

LUNCHTIME COURSE: Tuesday, March 25th, 12:30–1:15PM, Brown Bag Lunch Series
Bring your lunch and come on over to Grub Street for a Brown Bag Writing Workshop – a series recently profiled in the Boston Globe. For 45 minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some cool writing exercises. Led by one of our award-winning instructors or ambassadors. Best of all, you’ll leave lunch with some new ideas to ponder for the rest of your day, and beyond. Maximum of 15 students. To sign up, email sonya@grubstreet.org or call 617.695.0075.
FREE, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

SEMINAR: Wednesday, April 2nd, 7-10pm, Who Told You You Were a Writer?
Co-sponsored by The Writers' Room of Boston with panelists Anita Shreve, Mameve Medwed and Stephen McCauley
Who supported you as a child, teen, and emerging adult, in the pursuit of becoming a writer? Who didn't support you? For many writers, this issue is core, speaking to what we've internalized, not always consciously. It can affect not only our ability to write, but our ability to perceive of ourselves as writers. Our moderator will offer a psychological framework for these issues; our three super-illustrious writers will describe their own journeys. NOTE: The final hour of the seminar will be a meet-and-greet downstairs at Remington’s, which includes a drink and complimentary appetizers.
$45/$40 members, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

SEMINAR: Wednesday, April 2nd, 7-10pm, Writers' Paradise: The Truth About Residencies
In this seminar, Jamie Cat Callan will guide you through researching the residency that's right for you, how to write a winning project description, the secrets to being accepted and how to get the most out of your time in paradise. The final hour of the seminar will be a meet-and-greet downstairs at Remington’s, which includes a drink and complimentary appetizers. Read more on our website.
$45/$40 members, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

SEMINAR: Wednesday, April 2nd, 7-10pm, Out of the Slush Pile and Into Print (Non-Fiction)
Do you have a book proposal or memoir that agents have passed over? Do some of your essays strike out at literary magazines? In this class, we'll discuss strategies to help you catch the attention of editors and agents. The instructor, Pagan Kennedy, has been working as a writing coach for over ten years and will share with you many of the tricks that have helped her clients leap into print. 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 whitney@grubstreet.org. Our apologies in advance if we cannot fit you in.

--SEMINAR: Saturday, March 22, from 3-4:30pm, "Yoga for Writers"
Yoga for Writers is an all-levels class designed to address practical concerns to writers (wrist, shoulder, low-back issues) and to explore the creative process of writing and how yoga can enhance this process. You don't need to be a writer to participate. All are welcome--especially those new to yoga! South Boston Yoga is on the Red Line (Broadway stop). Cost is $15/$10 for students. on at the South Boston Yoga Studio.

--READING: Monday, March 2nd, Blacksmith House Poetry Series presents Linda Pastan and Rachel Pastan
Linda Pastan reads from her new poetry collection, Queen of a Rainy Country, with Rachel Pastan, author of the novel Lady of the Snakes. The Blacksmith House Poetry Series was founded in 1973 by poet Gail Mazur and is sponsored by CCAE.
$3, Blacksmith House, 56 Brattle Street, Harvard Square.

--JOB OPPORTUNITY: Copywriter positions at Grand Circle
Responsibilities: Conceptualize and write promotional copy for direct mail catalogs, letter packages and collateral communications; update and edit existing copy from various sources according to project specifications, marketing directives, and new product information; review circulated copy and implement changes and edits as necessary; serve as freelance liaison as needed. Position Requirements & qualifications: B.A. in English or journalism preferred; Strong writing skills with 2-5 years direct mail experience (or other professional travel-related writing), catalog, letter, and "advertorial" experience a plus; passion for travel and knowledge of faraway cultures; must be deadline-oriented; able to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Salary: $43,815 - $65,196. Application deadline: 03/19/2008. Send cover letters and resumes to Laura Vater at lvater@gct.com.

--CALL FOR INTERNS: Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency
Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary and Entertainment Agency is looking for candidates for its summer internship program. Intern duties consist of both clerical and project development work specifically including phones, filing, computer research, proofreading, evaluating manuscripts and developmental editing. Candidates must be motivated, dependable, energetic, cheerful and possess standard computer skills. Please contact Mary Beth Chappell at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth via email at mchappell@zshliterary.com.

Welcome to the end of the e-mail, where, like a fool with a pot of gold, we offer you the chance to win a prize. Writer a limerick about Boston and St. Patrick's Day. Best limerick, as judged by Master Limerick Judger Whitney, wins. 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: On March 4th, 1952, Ernest Hemingway wrote a letter to his publisher, telling him that he'd finished his latest novel, The Old Man and the Sea. He was working on a huge novel that he called The Sea Book, and The Old Man and the Sea was originally written as an epilogue to the novel, but he thought it was good enough to publish by itself. In the letter to his publisher, Wallace Meyer, Hemingway wrote, "I know that it is the best I can write ever, for all of my life I think. . . . [It's] an epilogue to all my writing and what I have learned, or tried to learn, while writing and trying to live." Winner: No one.

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