10 Library Fellowships for Writers
“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.” – Sidney Sheldon

I.  Boston Public Library’s Children’s Writer in Residence
United States of America

Library Fellowships - Boston Public Library - Credit Brian Johnston

Image: Brian Johnston

Boston Public Library was established in 1848 and is the oldest large municipal library in the United States. Today the service has 25 branches, including the beautiful Central Library in Copley Square. The Library’s Children’s Writer in Residence Program provides an emerging children’s writer with the financial support and space needed to complete one literary work for children or young adults. The writer in residence receives a $20,000 stipend and a private office in the Central Library. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry and script projects are all eligible. Applicants cannot have published more than three books to date.

II.  State Library of Victoria’s Creative Fellowships
Australia

Library Fellowships - State Library of Victoria - Credit Brian Yap

Image: Brian Yap

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What's in a Quotation Mark

A guest post by Craig Hildebrand-Burke, blogger for Momentum Books

Quotation marks are odd things. I guess this is true of most punctuation marks, but I find quotation marks especially odd.

Ostensibly there to mark the difference between prose and spoken dialogue, they dress the words up, label them as special, as different, and thus direct the reader how to read them. For me, as a reader, it’s the most overt direction a writer gives to the me, instructing me, telling methe characters are talking now! Pay attention!

So for me as a writer, it’s the most conscious I am of my writing as I’m writing. It is worth mentioning how much I enjoy Elmore Leonard’s golden rule for writing:

‘If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.’

And this is where I struggle with quotation marks. I have no problem reading them; it’s a convention of how we punctuate our stories that dialogue is practically expected to be held within quotation marks. We notice when they’re not there.

The first time I discovered that writers could do this was when I read James Joyce. I was probably too young to do so. Within the first pages I was thrust into dialogue like this:

– History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

From the playfield the boys raised a shout. A whirring whistle: goal. What if that nightmare gave you a back kick?

– The ways of the Creator are not our ways, Mr Deasy said. All history moves towards one great goal, the manifestation of God.

Stephen jerked his thumb towards the window, saying:

– That is God.

Hooray! Ay! Whrrwhee!

– What? Mr Deasy asked.

– A shout in the street, Stephen answered, shrugging his shoulders.

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Rainbow Rowell Reflections on Writing Fangirl

Nebraskan author Rainbow Rowell was recently described by Flavorwire as ‘the next YA sensation adults need to know about’ . Her second novel, Eleanor and Park, was the Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the Year, with Dreamworks buying the film rights earlier this year.
Rowell’s third novel Fangirl was written in 2011 as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the project that challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel in a single month. In 2013 she wrote the following inspirational letter other authors undertaking the month-long writing challenge.  

Dear Writer,

I was very skeptical about NaNoWriMo at first.

It seemed like something that amateur writers would do. Or young writers. People who needed to be tricked into finishing their books. I’d already written two books by October 2011, and sold them to publishers, and I couldn’t imagine writing either of them—or anything good—in a month.

That’s not writing, I thought, that’s just piling up words.

But then I thought about how wonderful it would be to have a pile of 50,000 words…

Maybe some writers enjoy the first draft—the part of the writing process when anything is possible, and you’re out there forging your own path. I hate that part. All I can think about when I’m starting a book are all the words I haven’t written yet. I actually feel them, hanging around my neck, tugging at me. First drafts always make me feel anxious and a little desperate—like, “Oh God, I just need to get all of this out and on paper, so that I have something to work with.”

I like having something to work with.

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How Writers Write Fiction

In February of this year, the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program ran its first massive open online course (MOOC). The course, Every Atom: Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, ran for six weeks with around 2000 students from around the world signing up. Starting on 27 September, interested word lovers can participate in the program’s latest MOOC – How Writers Write Fiction: Talks on Craft and Commitment.

The course will run until 8 November and intends to be an interactive study of the practice of creating writing. The program will be coordinated by Christopher Merrill, Director of the International Writing Program, and will feature a curated collection of talks created by fifty authors of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and literary translation. This will be complemented by online discussions, writing assignments and practical workshops.

In the Daily Iowan Merrill explained that “Anybody who has access to the Internet has the chance to hear really superb writers, and artists, and thinkers talk about what they love, and I think that’s a great boon for the writing and educational enterprise.”

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Boston Review Aura Estrada Short Story Contest 2014

Boston Review is now accepting entries for the Aura Estrada Short Story Contest for 2014.

Founded in 1975, Boston Review is one of America’s most prestigious literature and politics magazines. Past contributors have include Saul Bellow, Jhumpa Lahiri and John Updike.

Boston Review’s Aura Estrada Short Story Contest is open to all writers, regardless of citizenship or publication history. The winner of the contest will receive $1500 and have his or her work published in the July/August 2015 issue of Boston Review. The first runner-up will be published in a following issue, and the second runner-up will be published on the Boston Review website.

The 2014 contest will be judged by Ruth Ozeki, winner of the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for A Tale for the Time Being.

How to Enter the Aura Estrada Short Story Contest

The Aura Estrada Short Story Contest is for pieces up to 5000 words and all entries must be previously unpublished. Any author writing in English is eligible, unless he or she is a current student, former student, relative, or close friend of the judge.

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Cells for Writers - Old Melbourne Gaol - credit Duncan Chen

If having a distraction-free place to write has been that one thing stopping you from completing your manuscript, then this unique writers’ residency program might just be the answer. Since May 2012 Writers Victoria, in partnership with the National Trust of Australia, has offered writers the opportunity to work in the historic Old Melbourne Gaol.

Melbourne Gaol opened in 1842 and has played an important part in Australia’s history. Until its closure in 1929 it held some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including bushranger Ned Kelly who was hanged there for murder in 1880. Today, night-time ghost tours of the gaol are a popular tourist attraction.

Writers Victoria’s Cells for Writers program offers two spaces in unrenovated former double cells, located on the top floor of the gaol building. Each cell is furnished with just a desk and a chair. Since the program started two years ago, thirty writers have participated each staying a month or more.

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Eli Glasman - The Boys Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew
A guest post by Eli Glasman, author of The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was seventeen and was unwell for a number of years. I had an operation when I was twenty-four, which finally awarded me some control over the illness.

With my new found health, I felt like I wanted to ‘start my life’ and decided to start sending my writing off for publication. I had been writing since I was eight years old and had an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing from Melbourne University. But, at this point I’d had no publications.

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