Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Grub Street Rag

March 4th, 2008
In this issue
--Helter-skelter Grub Gossip
--Orderly Grub Events
--Spreading the Love
"I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry: that is, prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in the best order."

~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Grub Street Gossip

Welcome to the latest installment of the Grub Street Rag, a newsletter of the Boston literary scene sent out every Monday (except when we are handing in a Mass Cultural Council grant application) from the meditation cave 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.

Mansion of Congratulations
We have so much great news to report, we've built a beautiful mansion to house it in! First up on our tour, in the expansive gourmet kitchen, is Grub Street Free Press managing editor Ron MacLean, whose short story “Last Seen, Hank’s Grille” will be reprinted this spring in Chautauqua magazine’s 20th anniversary issue. We also can't wait to read Ron's short story collection, Why the Long Face, out this August from Swank Books. Next up, in the East Wing, is longtime Grubbie (and great comic writer) Matthew Sandel, who won a contest you saw advertised right here in the Rag! Matthew's short story, "A Fistful of Goobers," won the Love & Dumpsters Writing Contest, which was a tie-in to an anthology of true stories, Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me, presented by Harvard Book Store. Read Matthew's prizewinner at http://harvard.com/events/thingsivelearned.html. Next, in the gazebo on the manion's grounds, Grub instructor Michelle Seaton just got word that her essay, "How To Work a Locker Room," first written for Ron MacLean's Structure of Short Fiction class last year, has been accepted by The Pinch. In the library and trophy room, we find Linda Mazurek, whose 10th article in the past 13 months just appeared in Heart of New Hampshire Magazine. Lounging in the parlor, Grub member Rose MacDowell has a hardcover novel due out from Random House/Bantam Dell on March 25th. Called Turning Tables, Rose wrote it with her identical twin, Heather, and you can read about it at www.turning-tables.com. Marea Beeman has a short story appearing this week in Meeting House, an on-line publication. In the 13th guest bedroom, we'll find Katherine Ozment, who has an essay in the March edition of Skirt! magazine. Annie Weatherwax has a story coming out in the Carolina Quarterly and in Quarterly West, and she says that "the story coming out in Quarterly West is being published in part because of the excellent feedback I got in a Grub Street class." In the ballroom, Nina MacLaughlin had a short-short accepted to Issue 12 of Quick Fiction. And last but never least, relaxing in the billiard room is Randy Susan Meyers, whose novel excerpt, "Mixed Prayers," was published in the Fog City Review. Congratulations to all!

Muse and the Marketplace 2008: filling fast!
You like it, you really really like it! We are surprised and pleased at how quickly our conference is filling up this year. Maybe it's the amazing author lineup, maybe it's the first-ever Agent Idol, or maybe it's the sure-to-be-inspiring keynote address by Jonathan Franzen. Whatever the reason, spots are filling fast, so if you're planning on attending we recommend registering sooner rather than later. This is especially true if you are interested in participating in the optional Manuscript Mart (which is already halfway sold out!)

Help stick stamps on postcards at your favorite non-profit
The Grub Street staff and interns are hard at work mailing out our Muse and the Marketplace postcards. If you'd like to stop by and help us this week, we would LOVE to have you, and will treat you to the Starbucks beverage of your choice as a small thank-you. Hours for the mailing are Wednesday - Friday, 10-6pm. Please email whitney@grubstreet.org to let us know when you'll be coming, and thanks!

Whitney, Sonya and Chris
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.

*RESCHEDULED* ALL-DAY SEMINAR, Saturday, March 8th, 2008, 9AM – 4PM, Creative Problem Solving for Novels In Progress
Instructor: Crystal King
This workshop will help you learn how to use new and practical creativity exercises – unlike any of those usually taught in writing workshops – to expand and enhance your existing ideas for your novel. Limited to 15 Novelists In Progress--read more on our website.
$95/$85 members, Grub Street HQ, 160 Boylston Street, Boston.

BOOK SIGNING: Tuesday, March 11th, 6:30 pm, 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.

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 whitney@grubstreet.org. Our apologies in advance if we cannot fit you in.

--READING: Tuesday, March 4th, 7pm, Scott Heim
Scott Heim reads from his riveting new novel, We Disappear. Check out the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Xl3TKx7mw. Or, check out an article about the book in Time Out.
Brookline Booksmith, 247 Harvard Street, Brookline.

--EVENT/FUNDRAISER: Saturday, March 8th, 7-9pm, 826 Boston Announces Greater Boston Research Institute’s Product Testing Seminar
826 Boston invites all curious and non-litigious literati to register for the upcoming Product Testing Seminar at the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute on Saturday, March 8, 2008, from 7-9 PM. Reservations are required ($50 per person) and can be made online only at www.826Boston.org. All participants will receive a first-run GBBRI t-shirt and the inimitable GBBRI Wilderness Survival Bundle. Wine and beer will be served. All proceeds from this memorable product testing seminar help support 826 Boston’s free writing and tutoring programs for local youth. Questions, call 617-442-5400 or email info@826Boston.org. Be you a Bigfoot believer or Sasquatch skeptic, be warned: be there.
3035 Washington Street, Egleston Square, Roxbury, MA 02119. See www.826Boston.org for detailed directions.

--CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Howl Press (Deadline is March 27th)
Howl Press is looking for topical essays or short stories (800-900 words) that are stimulating and thought provoking. Our audience is 35+, in the top 10% of earners and includes politicians, entertainers and CEO’s. This is a very unique, captive audience. Recyclable material is accepted. Pay - $200 - $250. Contact Lisa at lrehfuss@hotmail.com. Please include your submission in the email instead of as an attachment.

--WRITERS' RETREAT, JUNE 22-27 2008, Wakefield New Hampshire Retreat
Private room in historic house, mornings for writing, afternoons for technique class--teachers published writers and university teachers--and MSS workshop. Catered community dinner in restored barn. $500 fee includes room and board and classes. 8-10 serious writers. Please submit statement of purpose and 15-20 pages of your work to elizbarrett@gmail.com or 3 Downing Court Exeter, NH 03833 prior to April 1. Rolling admissions.
Welcome to the end of the e-mail, where, like a giraffe with a crick in his neck, 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: The Pulitzer Prize was established with a fortune derived from yellow journalism. Winner: Jon Woodward.

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