Archive for October, 2011

Tupelo Press Dorset Prize & Poetry Tips

October 26, 2011

The 2011 Dorset Prize is open for submissions! The Dorset Prize includes a cash award of $3,000 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. The final judge is Tom Sleigh and submissions should be received by December 31, 2011. Full details are available here: 

Rumor of Cortez by Jeffrey Levine

If you’re considering entering your manuscript, you may want to visit the blog of Tupelo’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Jeffrey Levine. In a recent post, “On Making the Poetry Manuscript,” Levine provides advice on making a book out of your individual poems, from the perspective of one who reads three-to-four thousand manuscripts a year. 

In another post, Levine discusses the idea of order within the poetry manuscript. The following comes from “On the Idea of Order: A Western Key”:

Poets write to me, despairingly, “but there are so many equally good orders for a poetry manuscript!” And I suggest, of course there are. But, well before you settle on the order that suits, the key to creating a memorable book is to take the matter of creating order as an opportunity to look so much more closely at your poems.


Whether you plan on submitting to the 2011 Dorset Prize or are knee-deep in the manuscript revision phase, Levine’s blog is a great resource offering tips to consider for improving your manuscript.

SenArt Films Partners with Wilkes

October 19, 2011

New York-based SenArt Films has found a new home in the Wilkes University Creative Writing building. The independent production company was founded by producer Robert May, who is also an advisory board member for the low-residency creative writing program. 

In 2004, SenArt Films received an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary for The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. In 2003, The Station Agent won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for Best Original Screenplay. 

SenArt Films is providing student internships inclusive of research and production assistance. Students in the master’s in screenwriting have immediate access to producers and SenArt’s staff, providing an enhanced academic—and practical—experience.  

“Having worked with Wilkes for several years now, I’ve been impressed with the creative writing program, and we’re excited to give qualified students the chance to get actively, creatively involved with our ongoing film projects. It’s hard work, but for students with the right attitude, we offer the opportunity to experience what the film business is all about,” said producer and founder Robert May. 

“We are delighted to host SenArt Films on campus and offer our students the opportunity to work with a top shelf independent film company,” offered program director, Bonnie Culver.  “This partnership underscores the Wilkes mission of real life learning.”  

Other acclaimed SenArt Film projects include The War Tapes, winner of Best Documentary at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and Best International Documentary at BritDoc 2006, and the feature film Bonneville, starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen.

International Win for Colum McCann

October 12, 2011

Wilkes creative writing program advisory board member Colum McCann has received international recognition for his novel, Let The Great World Spin (Random House). The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the largest and most international prize of its kind. McCann’s was selected from a shortlist of ten nominees and brings home a literary prize worth 100,000 euro (approx $139,000 USD). More than 160 titles were nominated by 166 libraries worldwide. 

Let The Great World Spin opens with a true-to-life historical event, when Philippe Petit walks a tightrope nestled between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. It is the life happening beneath the tightrope that McCann explores, using the shared experience to branch out into an homage to the city and its people within it. 

In The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Jonathan Mahler credits Let The Great World Spin as “one of the most electric, profound novels” he has read in years. USA Today praised McCann’s novel, calling it “Stunning… [an] elegiac glimpse of hope…It’s a novel rooted firmly in time and place. It vividly captures New York at its worst and best. But it transcends all that. In the end, it’s a novel about families – the ones we’re born into and the ones we make for ourselves.” 

McCann is a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review. His short film Everything in This Country Must, directed by Gary McKendry, was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. McCann’s other works include the bestsellers Zoli, This Side of Brightness, and Dancer.

Knowledge is Power

October 5, 2011

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and what better way to connect, relate, and educate than through some heartwarming real-life tales of survival and commitment. Below is a mere sampling of some collections and memoirs from writers you know and love who have shared their stories. Direct links have been provided to the books available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon, but you may also find your selections at your favorite Indie Bound shop. 

Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer

by Nancy G. Brinker with Joni Rodgers 

From Kirkus Reviews: “A powerful memoir…  Raised in Illinois by hardworking, charity-minded parents, the Goodman sisters, Suzy and Nancy, remained extremely close until Suzy died of breast cancer in 1980. Before she died, Suzy made her sister Nancy promise that she help change the national dialogue about breast cancer, at that time a disease still commonly referred to as “women’s cancer.” In 1982, Brinker began Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which has raised more than a billion dollars for breast-cancer research and spawned a worldwide pink-ribbon phenomenon. Here the author tells the story of how and why this foundation came about….” 

Buy on B&N or Buy on Amazon


Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors

by Barbara Delinsky  

From Barnes & Noble:  “Courageous, inspirational, and relentlessly optimistic, Uplift is a wellspring of information about getting through breast cancer and going on with your life, straight from women who have not only survived the disease but have thrived. Barbara Delinsky, the hugely popular author of novels such as Coast Road and The Vineyard, conceived of this project as a way of showing women that there is life after breast cancer, and it can be as full of activity, laughter, and intimacy as you choose it to be. In addition to collecting and organizing the submissions of women throughout the nation, Delinsky also reveals her own personal experience with breast cancer. Filled with humor and warmth — and scores of tips for making it through diagnosis, chemo, hair loss, sickness, tattooing, recovery, and more — this book is a must for any woman determined to join the “sisterhood of breast cancer survivors” (with emphasis on the word survivors), and the friends and family who love them.”

Buy on B&N or Buy on Amazon  


Cancer is a Bitch: Or, I’d Rather Be Having a Midlife Crisis

by Gail Konop Baker 

From Barnes & Noble: “Approaching midlife, Gail Konop Baker hadn’t really imagined that she would be confronted by anything more irksome than menopause, aches and pains, and, eventually, the quiet of an empty nest. Instead, this runner, mother of three, and physician wife got hit by breast cancer. Despite that blow, Gail’s spirit (and ambitions) remained buoyant. As she wrote on her blog, “I want to be brave. I want to be big. I want to be gracious and cool. I want to be the Audrey Hepburn of cancer.” And in this endearing, ebullient memoir, she succeeds.” 

Buy on B&N or Buy on Amazon


Stand by Her: A Breast Cancer Guide for Men

by John W. Anderson 

From Foreword magazine: “Such candor as one finds here, along with page after page of sound practical advice and empathic counsel for every stage of this fearsome disease, make Anderson’s book an undisputable choice for a place on the shortlist of guides for caregivers.”

Buy on B&N or Buy on Amazon 


The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming: And Other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer

by Jennie Nash 

From Library Journal: “She doesn’t miss a beat or minimize a moment in describing her biopsy, mastectomy, reconstruction, and complications from the reconstruction. Women who fear the “unknown” of breast cancer will find solace here: cancer might be as awful as they suspect, but they will get through it, too. This wonderful book is highly recommended.”

Buy on B&N or Buy on Amazon


Find your selections at your local shop through Indie Bound.