Archive for August, 2012

A Week in Provincetown: Mailer Center

August 29, 2012

A Week in Provincetown

By Patricia Florio

Patricia Florio

If you’ve ever had a dream come true, or received a wonderful compliment, or someone really special came into your life when you needed him or her most, that’s how it felt when I received notice that I had been a finalist in the 2012 Norman Mailer Fellowship Contest and I could choose two weeks in Provincetown at the Norman Mailer Center. I settled on one week to keep my life and my family’s life uncomplicated.

We were nine nonfiction writers sitting around the conference table in Norman Mailer’s house under the guidance of Dr. J. Michael Lennon.  Six of us had never met before.  Three of us were alumni from the Wilkes Creative Writing Program.

We all were in awe of our surroundings as Norman Mailer’s energy filled the room.  Dr. Lennon gave us a tour of the home early on Sunday morning. You have to experience this tour through his home to understand the magnanimous legacy that he left behind. His office and writing desk were exactly as he left it on the day he died.  Books surrounded him.  Papers, drawings, ideas on index cards filled his desk.  We were on the third floor of his home looking at the view of Provincetown.  A view, we were told, that Norman Mailer loved.

Every morning as we entered the house, the view of the beach and Cape Cod Bay filled our eyes. Dr. Lennon’s voice filled our ears.  It was the perfect storm for creative juices to flow.  And flow they did.

Young, Andrew, and Diane seated to my right hailed from Los Angeles CA, Lexington KY, and Brooklyn NY, along with all of the other writers, listened attentively as Patrick, across the table, shared his creative ideas for his book. Patrick is a state court judge from Chicago who has fought a tough fight for justice over the past forty years. Directly after his pitch that involved a fire in his building where his secretary and friends were killed, trapped inside a stairwell, is when our discussions took shape.  We elaborated on our critique for his opening chapters. Our minds worked on overtime, much to everyone’s delight. Patrick wrote down our suggestions. I think everyone of us would agree we would have stayed around that table discussing ideas through the night, if they would have let us.  But there are house rules at the Mailer Colony.  By six o’clock we all had to be off the premises. Most days we broke at four and sat on the deck together as boats went by, people swam in the bay, and our minds churned over the day’s events.

We were a forceful team thirty minutes into our first session. It’s amazing how it all happened. We bonded like glue; nine people who didn’t have a relationship when we entered the room became a force of creative power.  We were like a thunderbolt of electricity.  Light bulb after light bulb went off in our minds as we went around the table reading each other’s work.

Nick from Miami was working on a memoir he completed for Kindle Short: an exceptional piece of polished work that blew the rest of us writers away. Peggy from Dallas shared her memoir and memories of Paris, a love story that captured our souls.  Nicole from Boston is working on her dissertation for her PhD about Norman Mailer’s Ancient Evenings.  We worked extensively on this brilliant piece filling in the blanks for readers to understand how complicated his novel is to decipher.  Rachael from Wilkes-Barre struggled with the opening of her of memoir, as did I with my new memoir.  By the end of the week we sailed into the room, perhaps a bit tired, but we all made amazing breakthroughs in our work.

You can’t put a figure on what we received and gave each another that week.  And you can’t put a dollar amount on how blessed we were to have Dr. Lennon as our facilitator. A week for writers at Provincetown: Priceless!


Patricia A. Florio is the author of My Two Mothers and a graduate of the Wilkes University MA/MFA programs. She writes travel related articles for Striped Pot and lives in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Find Patricia online at

call for female MFA graduates and students: damselfly press

August 22, 2012

damselfly press, an online literary journal for women, is pleased to announce our twentieth issue dedicated to female MFA graduates and students.

We are seeking electronic submissions of original fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by female writers only. The twenty-first issue of damselfly press will be available October 15th, 2012. If you’d like to submit, please first visit our guidelines section at and send us your submission by September 15th, 2012.

These are the e-mails per genre editor:

Fiction- <jennifer(at)>replace (at) with @)

Poetry- <lesley(at)>

Nonfiction- <nonfiction(at)>

fiction writing contest: Family Circle

August 15, 2012


Family Circle 2012 Fiction Writing Contest

One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a check for $750.00, a course of his or her choice, up to a value of $610.00, a one-year AvantGuild membership valued at $55.00, and a one year How-to Video membership valued at $99.00. The Grand Prize winner’s story may, in the sole discretion of Sponsor, be published in a future issue of Family Circle magazine. One (1) Second Place winner will receive a check for $250.00, a one-year AvantGuild membership valued at $55.00, and a one-year How-to Video membership valued at $99.00. One Third Place winner will receive a check for $250.00 and a one-year AvantGuild membership valued at $55.00. Runner ups’ stories may, in the sole discretion of Sponsor, appear on Subject to Official Rules at To enter, send your original (written by entrant), unpublished, fictional short story of no more
than 2,500 words to:

Family Circle Fiction Contest
c/o Family Circle Magazine
805 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10022

All entries must be typed, double-spaced, and page-numbered on 8-1/2-x-11-inch paper, and must include your name, address, daytime phone number and e-mail address (optional). No purchase necessary to enter or win. Contest begins March 1, 2012, and ends September 7, 2012. All entries must be postmarked on or before September 7, 2012, and received by September 14, 2012. Entries must be original (written by entrant), unpublished and may not have won any prize or award. Up to two (2) entries per individual will be accepted, but each entry must be a unique short story. Open to amateur writers who are legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, age 21 or older. Void where prohibited.


Sponsor: Meredith Corporation.

Hippocampus CNF Contest Judges Announced

August 8, 2012

A memoirist whose life story was turned into a popular movie. A prolific literary travel writer. An award-winning essayist. Hippocampus Magazine is honored to announce our guest judges for the Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction. Our three panelists bring with them decades of collective literary and publishing experience spanning genres and professions.

>>Meet the Judges Now!
The contest, which will award $400+ in prizes, is accepting works of creative nonfiction of up to 3,500 words until Sept. 15, 2012. Winning stories will be published in the November 2012 issue of Hippocampus, coinciding with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. A portion of the $10 contest entry fee will benefit the organization.

To learn more about the contest and view submissions guidelines, visit our Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction page.

New book by faculty member David Poyer

August 1, 2012

The ever-prolific writer and faculty mentor David Poyer has a new release available. David Stick calls Happier than This Day and Time: An Oral History of the Outer Banks of North Carolina “A major contribution to the preservation of the lore and heritage of the Outer Banks.”

Book Description

How much would you give to talk quietly for just one hour with your great-grandmother? Most likely, almost anything. But probably you can’t buy it at any price. Time’s torrent rushes by, isolating us like a hurricane-driven tide, the rising sea cutting us off from those who went before. It bears away the old voices and the old ways. Bears away too much of what we loved, and what we realize, too late, we still desperately need.

This book’s a bridge to that past. In a series of interviews conducted in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, nine old people recounted their lives on a string of isolated islands of the North Carolina coast. The Outer Banks are a hundred-mile arch of barrier islands, from a few thousand feet to three miles across, punctuated by narrow inlets to the Atlantic. Low, backed by wide brackish sounds, they’re lands of the margin; half-land, half-sea; shaped by the eternal struggle of sea-currents, vulnerable to hurricane and war. These nine survivors tell of childhood, courting, marriage, and children; of hurricanes, depressions, wars, and death; of faith, doubt, love, and fear. They watched the Wright brothers fly; saw U-boats torpedo ships close offshore; dealt with blindness and heartbreak and shipwreck. Then, near the end of their voyages, they lingered for a little while to tell us of The Way Things Were.

And they’ll tell us more — if we’ll listen. With a little urging, they’ll share their thoughts on the ultimate questions; good and evil, youth and age, triumph and suffering. From their first word, they cast a spell.

Welcome to the past.

Happier than This Day and Time: An Oral History of the Outer Banks of North Carolina is available on Kindle at Amazon or on Nook at B&N for a mere $3.99.

Visit David Poyer’s website: