Posted in life of riches and honor, literary magazines and publishing, photography, power of words, words of thoughts and spirit

beautiful friends

friends copy
Friends together

I decide to give the topic Friend another go. It is too good a theme to miss. Here is a picture I took of human and their dogs. It is reassuring to watch how friendly interactions can take place between: human and human, dog and dog, human and dog, nature and creatures. All basking in the backdrop of a beautiful day, a beautiful lake and its beautiful mountain, beautiful sunset, sky and cool breeze that touches the beautiful water before it touches those who stand at the shore. Such a lot of beauty manifests when we are in unthreatening friendship with each other.

Friendship draws thankfulness. Thankful for life. Thankful that we are alive.

A beautiful verse for us to ponder today:

John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. (A love note from Jesus to His friends)

Posted in blogging, life of riches and honor, literary magazines and publishing, photography, words of thoughts and spirit

Return to the house of dreaming swiftlets: an announcement


I regret to announce that the above fictional series will be discontinued. The protagonists have expressed the wish for a non-fiction book to be written instead for different purposes. Thank you for viewing and clicking “like”. I really appreciate.
From this blogger.

Posted in copywriter, literary magazines and publishing, photography, power of words, words of thoughts and spirit, writer's blog

a letter writer’s heritage

Heritage

I just received this WhatsApp message, “Would you please write another generic and/or personified donation letter for us on this new school project?” I cannot remember when I have stopped writing my own formal/informal letters. The last time I wrote was for someone else for charitable donation. As usual, when I receive a letter writing request I need all information of the project and meditate for a number of days, sometimes weeks. I could look at the numerous letters and newsletters I have received to find tips if any. But since they have not persuaded me to donate there is really no point looking at them.

In my recent month-long trip to clear a house of old stuff so that it can be put up for sale, I found and carried back some old books. They are mostly books printed in the 1950s. I asked for permission to keep some for myself. Here is one which I quite like: Ladies’ & Gentlemen’s Letter-Writer, printed in Great Britain, 1953. 

I cannot resist taking the liberty to quote the following sample letters. Enjoy.
All the names are fictitious of course.

November 20th
Dear Sylvia,
Here is a cheque for £5. I know just how difficult things are these days. In fact my own account is nearly overdrawn, so try and let me have the £5 promptly at the end of the month.
Love,
Pamela.

December 12th
Dear Sylvia,
What about my £5? Be a dear, and let me have it as soon as you can, since I’m getting rather short myself now.
Love,
Pamela.

December 20th
Dear Sylvia,
I wrote on the 12th, asking for repayment of my loan (which you promised to repay at the end of November), but I have heard nothing from you. I hope you haven’t spent all your last salary on Christmas presents, because I really need that £5 very badly. Could you send it by return?
Love,
Pamela.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hard times then and now. History does not change over mankind and circumstances. We now use digital ways to communicate instead of physical paper and ink. We gain speed. We can even delete our side of the record. But the mark is there on the other side unless he/she deletes too. In the house where I just cleaned up I found tons of paper records, old letters, magazines, books, exam papers, certificates, pictures, children’s school books, drawings, manuscripts, boxes and boxes of them. Some magazines are still in their original wrappers as though they have not yet been read. When I return to my own abode after a long absence, I too find many magazines (from some faithful mutual funds) in wrappers. I just do not have time to read them. The worst is that they come in two languages so I get two per month!

Many years ago I made a decision to get rid of my papers. So I gave away books. I burned my papers, pictures, certificates, thesis, whatever. Yet, many years later when I see some old pictures in my siblings’ collection I take a photo of those which depict me as a very young person. I find one such group photo lately. In those days people were expected to be respectfully serious and close their mouths when not talking. When all mouths were dutifully closed, me at five was captured in history with my mouth gapping, staring at the camera. Was it a premonition that one day I would do such verbose talking on screen?

“Every body allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female.”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“Every body at all addicted to letter writing, without having much to say, which will include a large proportion of the female world at least…”
― Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

“Andy: But they gave us an out in the Land of Oz. They made us write. They didn’t make us write particularly well. And they didn’t always give us important things to write about. But they did make us sit down, and organize our thoughts, and convey those thoughts on paper as clearly as we could to another person. Thank God for that. That saved us. Or at least it saved me. So I have to keep writing letters. If I can’t write them to you, I have to write them to someone else. I don’t think I could ever stop writing completely.”
― A.R. Gurney, Love Letters*

*Love Letters is a lovely play. Quoting from online sources:

A new Letter begins
In the age of instant communication, iPhones and Twitter, Love Letters is bringing memories of a simpler time to Broadway in 2014, helmed by Tony-winning director Gregory Mosher. The limited engagement includes appearances by Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Stacy Keach, Diana Rigg, Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen. The first celebrity pair in the new revival is Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy, who will reprise the role of Andrew. “[Love Letters] is an extraordinary piece,” Dennehy told Today. “You cannot stage a play more simply than this, and yet it’s about everything in life. First love, loss of opportunities, loss of life, loss of love…It’s a beautiful play, and all you do is speak it.” But there’s two things the play won’t include: “Tweets and twerks,” Dennehy joked. “There are no twerks in this play.”

Posted in literary magazines and publishing, photography, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

the narrow street in sentences breaking out

Narrow

“So I find words I never thought to speak
In streets I never thought I should revisit
When I left my body on a distant shore.”
― T.S. Eliot
“There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.”
― Charlotte Eriksson, Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps
~~~~~~~~~~
a poem ‘Homage’ by Rachael Boast
On each visit the waves would follow me down
the narrow street in sentences breaking out
of language to tell me homage means going
back to the same place until it knows you –
and I’d hesitate, listening for the way we came
out of the sea with our hands in a vow of give
and take to its turning page which reads
the narrow street leads to a double key.
(- See more at: http://www.picador.com/blog/july-2014/friday-poem-homage-by-rachael-boast#sthash.Xddyy3OO.dpuf)

I decided to post these quotes together with the two pictures on “narrow”streets I took today at random as the words aptly tell a side of the stories of the streets and their supposed narrowness. As traveler in life we often walk on streets that do not mean a thing to us because the time is short and we have too much to see and experience. The streets themselves become mere tools and conveyors for us to get from one point to another. And yet they become parts of our invisible lives.

I read a book by Orhan Pamuk recently, A Strangeness in my Mind, about a street-food vendor, Mevlut Karatas, who walks Istanbul’s neighborhoods at night calling out: “Booo-zaaaaa. Goooood boozaaaaa.” Boza is an ancient fermented beverage, made in Turkey from wheat. It’s yellowish and thick and often topped with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas.
Here are some quotes from the book:
“In a city, you can be alone in a crowd, and in fact what makes the city a city is that it lets you hide the strangeness in your mind inside its teeming multitudes.”
“You’ll learn it all soon enough . . . You will see everything without being seen. You will hear everything but pretend that you haven’t . . . You will walk for ten hours a day but feel like you haven’t walked at all.”
“The only antidote to the loneliness of the streets was the streets themselves.”
“Mevlut sensed that the light and darkness inside his mind looked like the nighttime landscape of the city. . . . Walking around the city at night made him feel as if he were wandering around inside his own head.”

Does the strangeness in his mind cause the wandering at night in the streets? Or does the wandering in the streets cause the strangeness in this poor man’s mind? Like many findings in medical study, often there are no definitive cause and effect variables. The variables can be a cause and an effect at the same time. Isn’t life this way?

Just my random musing today.
Muse

Posted in literary magazines and publishing, photography, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

“All you have to do is write one true sentence”

earnest hemingway“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. ( acceptance speech at Nobel Prize in Literature 1954)

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

“In order to write about life first you must live it.”

“The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”

“If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.”

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

I decided to share some quotes from Earnest Hemingway at random on writing. Simple yet relevant observations for would-be-writers to ponder and emulate.

Posted in blogging, books, creative writing, God's blessing, life of riches and honor, literary magazines and publishing, thoughts, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

writing with an aim

winter and branches
Writing without an aim is like taking this winter picture of bare branches at random while strolling by. Is it essential to have an aim? I believe so. HERE ARE SOME DEFINITIONS of AIM:
Objective, object, goal, end, target, design, desire, desired result, intention, intent, plan, purpose, object of the exercise; ambition, aspiration, wish, dream, hope, raison d’être.

I ask myself, “Why do I write this little note daily? What is my aim?” My answer is, “I need the practice.” Blogging is an effective way to practice writing and keeping your brain working a bit. Reading and writing are still the more tested way of keeping a person’s brain cells exercising a bit and not falling into stupor for too long to the point of eventual incapacity. A point of no return. The more reluctance one feels the more one should try to write and read. One way of learning to write is to copy. Take your favorite book and start copying chapters. Make it a daily habit. Another way is to write a letter to a loved one. You may not get to post the letter but it does keep you going and building a habit. I just read of someone who actually hand writes to many people. Over the years many have received and even collected his handwritten letter and notes. Some frame them up. (You know who the person is as he is in the news right now.) I have not posted a physical letter for years. Even my email has been replaced by short social text or multimedia messages. But I find that the short messages do not take brainwork to compose. It is more like clicking at random and giving automatic pre-programmed short replies.

When I interview some persons I find that they have nothing to say. They are not even capable to think. They have nothing to say about themselves or others. Their minds do not store words. I note that they spend the bulk of the interview time messaging or reading messages on their mobile handheld phone including iPads, iPhones and other smart phones. I find it sad to look at them or think about their lives. Can a man or woman happily leave out a big part of what God has perfectly created and designed for them to have and enjoy? I often wonder. Please do not get me wrong. I am not judging the rightness or wrongness of a lifestyle. I am just lamenting the loss of quality of life that God has given so richly to each of us as human.

Writers ad poets like to dream that one day the whole earth will be filled with readers of books. I am one of such dreamers.

Posted in creative writing, literary magazines and publishing, photography, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

writing without stress

highlights
Writing involves seeing and spotting little things that require spotlights. How can we see better or know where to highlight? My experience is that I see by reading others. I just read three biographies, two are translations from German and Russian. One is in its original language-Chinese. How did I have time to read three books in three days? I read them while I walked on my treadmill or ride on my stationary bike. Instead of watching TV I read while doing my physical exercises. Why do I do exercises? Because I enjoy them. I also unwind and relax my strained muscles from long hours of typing.

By pacing myself in my body and my mind I manage to complete five out of seven parts in the book I am translating and re-writing. Quite a good progress considering my reluctance to write this book.

On top of keeping fit body and soul, I keep fit in my spirit. Being a Christian I enjoy my daily communion with my Lord, reading the Bible, praying and sitting and talking to God before dawn. I receive my day’s supply of spiritual nourishment by actively seeking God. When not reading I pray too while walking (not running). Being refreshed in body, soul and spirit help me to write without stress and burnout.

Posted in blogging, books, creative writing, literary magazines and publishing, writer's blog, writing

Do we still need writers?

woman reading Irish copyToo often I write without thinking of what I shall do with the written words. When the words come, perhaps even at midnight I just sit up and write. I am doing a book in another language at the same time but it is based on a book already formed and written in English so the translated work is only a partial writing as I add new information I have since uncovered in my research and interviews. For that book I know the target audience so it is not exactly like writing without a direction.

But when it comes to my thoughts in words at midnight I have no audience except myself. I read yesterday that the traditional publishers of physically printed books have to collaborate with providers of e-technology so that the books can be published online or in other multi-media forms. The increasing spectacular growth in online internet environment and mobile-phone and portable hand-held e-book reading gadgets trend warrants that the traditional publishers change drastically and involve themselves in strategic alliance with paperless technology professionals.

Whilst the technology gadgets are dazzling and convenient for the young users and perhaps readers of books, the contents of books still cannot be replaced by gadgets. Content counts. That is why we still write. There is still hope for a content writer.

Posted in books, creative writing, life of riches and honor, literary magazines and publishing, photography, writer's blog, writing

Some people walk away from you. A few march with you.

jeffrey-archer-mary-archer
Jeffrey and Mary Archer

“Some people standby you in your darkest hour while others walk away; only a select few march towards you and become even closer friends.”
― Jeffrey Archer, Only Time Will Tell
“We all make mistakes but one has to move on.”
“If you make a deal with a fool, don’t be surprised when they act foolishly.”
― Jeffrey Archer, Only Time Will Tell
“I find I don’t learn a lot while I’m talking”
“While there may not be a book in every one of us, there is so often a damned good short story.”
“Are parents always more ambitious for their children than they are for themselves?”
― Jeffrey Archer, A Prisoner of Birth
“There are defining moments in one’s life when you learn about yourself, and you deposit that knowledge in the experience account, so you can draw on it at some later date.”
― Jeffrey Archer, Best Kept Secret
“Making a million legally has always been difficult. Making a million illegally has always been a little easier. Keeping a million when you have made it is perhaps the most difficult of all.”
― Jeffrey Archer, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less
“It’s one of the ironies of mountaineering,’ said Young, ‘that grown men are happy to spend months preparing for a climb, weeks rehearsing and honing their skills, and at least a day attempting to reach the summit. And then, having achieved their goal, they spend just a few moments enjoying the experience, along with one or two equally certifiable companions who have little in common other than wanting to do it all again, but a little higher.”
― Jeffrey Archer, Paths of Glory
“The sign of a great man is how you handle defeat. – Old Jack”
― Jeffrey Archer, Best Kept Secret
“No, Mr Redmayne, not my tears. Although I’ve read that letter every day for the past eight months, those tears were not shed by me, but by the man who wrote them. He knew how much I loved him. We would have made a life together even if we could only spend one day a month with each other. I’d have been happy to wait twenty years, more, in the hope that I would eventually be allowed to spend the rest of my life with the only man I’ll ever love. I adored Danny from the day I met him, and no one will ever take his place.”
― Jeffrey Archer, A Prisoner of Birth
“If you have talent and energy, you’re king. If you have only energy and no talent, you’re still a prince. But if you have talent and no energy, you’re a pauper.”
“You can often judge the character of a person by the way he treats his fellow men.”
― Jeffrey Archer, Only Time Will Tell
“only a fool blames the messenger.”
Mary Archer: ‘Jeffrey asked from jail if I wanted a divorce, but I’m not a quitter’
‘Hang on, hang on.” Dame Mary Archer is determined to interrupt her husband Lord Archer in mid-flow as he tells a story about the deal he did with her father to let her carry on with a career as a chemist after their marriage. “If I might be allowed…” she tells him in school-mistressy tones, fixing him with a look from across the drawing room of the Old Vicarage at Grantchester. But the bestselling novelist, entrepreneur, former politician, charity fundraiser and ex-prisoner is taking no notice. “You’ve said enough already,” he barks back, and the couple simultaneously burst out laughing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940) is an English author and former politician.
He was a Member of Parliament and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, and became a life peer in 1992. His political career, having suffered several controversies, ended after a conviction for perverting the course of justice and his subsequent imprisonment. He is married to Mary Archer, a scientist specialising in solar power. Outside politics, he is a novelist, playwright and short story writer.

Posted in creative writing, literary magazines and publishing, writing

10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online

creative_writing
creative writing

For those who aspire to write or want to improve their writing, many schools offer free online courses and materials through OpenCourseWare (OCW) projects. While formal admission isn’t necessary to access lectures and other materials, these courses don’t usually award college credit. Students looking for the same ease of access and the opportunity to apply their study time towards a degree or certificate program might want to consider courses that can lead to an alternative form of credit.

Free Online Non-Credited Writing Courses
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Writing and Reading the Essay
Writing and Reading Short Stories
Through MIT’s OCW program, students can download a variety of undergraduate and graduate-level course materials that cover topics in, among others, essay, expository and technical writing. Course activities and formats include assignments, exams, lecture notes and video presentations.Writing and Reading the Essay focuses on the essay as a popular literary genre. The syllabus indicates two essay anthologies as course texts, which can be purchased online. Course activities include a reader’s journal and a series of personal writing assignments.The course in Writing and Reading Short Stories offers students the opportunity to study character development, plotting and point of view. Featured authors include, among others, Flannery O’Connor, Alice Walker, William Faulkner and John Updike.

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Technical Writing
The New Jersey Institute of Technology is a scientific and technological university that offers OCW courses and materials. The Technical Writing course is geared toward the advanced writer. In this course, which consists of about 40 video-taped lectures, students apply theory to analyze and solve complex communication problems. Course topics include audience awareness, document design, ethics, gender equity and rhetorical theory.

Open University
Start Writing Fiction
Writing What You Know
The Open University is the largest educational establishment in the United Kingdom, as well as the country’s only distance-learning school. The university’s free online classes may not provide access to the same resources used by formally enrolled students, but course formats might include Web- and print-based content as well as the ability to interact with other students through a comments feature.Start Writing Fiction is a 12-hour, introductory course that can provide students with the inspiration and tools they need to put their words on paper. The course emphasis is on developing character and settings within a variety of fiction genres. Writing What You Know is designed to help students improve their descriptive writing skills. This 8-hour, introductory class encourages students to view their everyday lives from a new perspective, demonstrating how an author’s personal life can serve as a source of inspiration.

Purdue University
Professional and Technical Writing
The Writing Process
Through Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL), students and teachers around the world can enjoy 24-hour access to a variety of Web-based resources, including handouts, podcasts and PowerPoint presentations. These include topics in grammar and mechanics, professional and technical writing, English as a Second Language (ESL), research and writing style. Professional and Technical Writing provides a list of varied Web-based resources that can show students and professionals how to research and write business letters, memos and other office-related documents. Topics include audience analysis, parallel structures and writing tone. Additional technical writing resources include information on how to write scientific abstracts and white papers. The Writing Process includes a list of mostly text-based resources and exercises that cover everything from overcoming writer’s block to proofreading strategies. Additional topics include pre-writing, thesis statements, outlining and audience analysis, which can be applied to a wide variety of writing tasks.

University of College Falmouth
Introduction to Novel Writing
Writing for Children
The University College Falmouth is a specialized art institution based in the United Kingdom. The non-credit classes offered through the school’s ‘openSpace’ project allow students to work at their own level and pace but don’t provide all the materials from the original course. Although registration isn’t required to access assignments, lectures and other materials, registered students may be able to participate in online chats and peer reviews. Introduction to Novel Writing was designed to provide graduate-level students with the structural skills to organize and develop extended pieces of creative writing. In addition to writing assignments and suggested readings, open course materials include YouTube videos by Joyce Carol Oates, Salmon Rushdie and Amy Tan. Writing for Children introduces students to the genres and styles integral to the market and helps them find the right age group for their story. Open course materials include assignments, background reading, examples of children’s books and an online lecture.

University of Iowa
Flash Fiction
How to Find the Short Story Within Your Novel
The Writing University is a Web-based resource for the school’s literary and writing community, providing direct access to a number of free audio presentations. Recent podcasts have included presentations on the sentence, creative nonfiction and experiential writing. Flash Fiction introduces students to the concept of the super-short story and its emergence as a mainstream literary trend. Listeners can learn how brief experiences or even a life story can be condensed to a paragraph or a couple of written lines.How to Find the Short Story Within Your Novel helps listeners identify the dissimilarities between these two literary forms. Students learn how to extract a quality excerpt from a longer piece of prose and how first-time authors can prepare their work for publication.

University of Massachusetts at Boston
Critical Reading and Writing
Critical Reading and Writing, with some course materials available through the school’s OCW project, is designed to help students achieve college-level reading and writing skills through a critical exploration of U.S. foreign policy. Students have access to the course syllabus, an assignment list and website. Through the course site, students can open and download text documents and PowerPoint presentations on topics like critical analysis strategies, brainstorming and building concepts, as well documents and links to online resources on foreign policy issues.

University of Michigan
Principles of Research and Problem Solving
This university participates as a member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium by providing free access to educational materials and course content through its Open.Michigan website. Principles of Research and Problem Solving is a course directed toward graduate students in pharmacy school. In this class, students develop scientific writing skills as they develop research proposals. OCW materials include ten PowerPoint lecture presentations, handouts and examples of student projects, as well as a syllabus and reading list.

Utah State University (USU)
Intermediate Writing: Research Writing in a Persuasive Mode
Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose
Utah State offers OCW materials in several academic departments. Students may be able to apply the knowledge gained from use of these open materials to pass exams to earn credit. USU may give credit to students who pass subject tests offered by individual departments, the International Baccalaureate Organization or CLEP exams, among other options.Intermediate Writing provides access to 16 weekly lessons, with links to readings and related writing assignments. Students learn how to engage in various components of the writing process while developing critical reading and thinking skills. Topics include writing about controversial topics, argumentation styles, source documentation and how to use multimedia resources. Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose is an online complement to a graduate-level course. The course materials are presented in a similar 16-week format, with links to several online readings and assignment descriptions. The syllabus begins with assignments related to debate and dialogue, cultural myths and visual literacy. Additional writing activities include a family narrative, a school board project and a media analysis.

(above quoted from online sources)

Posted in books, literary magazines and publishing, writer's blog, writing

Eloquence in her writing

cynthia ozickReading good writings by others helps us to write better. Reading is enjoyable in itself even when we cannot write. Each reader has his or her particular likes and dislikes. I personally like reading Jewish writing. I decide to post some quotes about writing from Cynthia Ozick (1928-) today as I have just read her short story titled,”Envy; or, Yiddish in America”. She is a writer of fiction and also publishes critical essays, poetry and plays. She is one of the most celebrated Jewish American writers. I marvel at the eloquence she displays in her writing. Where do all those words come from? Perhaps reading some of her quotes we may catch a glimpse of her secret. I fully agree with her: “Read, read, read.”

Her Quotes about writing and novel:
“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
“No one can teach writing, but classes may stimulate the urge to write. If you are born a writer, you will inevitably and helplessly write. A born writer has self-knowledge. Read, read, read. And if you are a fiction writer, don’t confine yourself to reading fiction. Every writer is first a wide reader.

“If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage.”
“A writer is dreamed and transfigured into being by spells, wishes, goldfish, silhouettes of trees, boxes of fairy tales dropped in the mud, uncles’ and cousins’ books, tablets and capsules and powders…and then one day you find yourself leaning here, writing on that round glass table salvaged from the Park View Pharmacy–writing this, an impossibility, a summary of who you came to be where you are now, and where, God knows, is that?”

“To imagine the unimaginable is the highest use of the imagination”
“This is what travelers discover: that when you sever the links of normality and its claims, when you break off from the quotidian, it is the teapots that truly shock.”
“I write in terror…I have to talk myself into bravery with every sentence, sometimes every syllable.”

“What does the novel know? It has no practical or educational aim; yet it knows what ordinary knowledge cannot seize. The novel’s intricate tangle of character-and-incident alights on the senses with a hundred cobwebby knowings fanning their tiny threads, stirring up nuances and disclosures. The arcane designs and driftings of metaphor – what James called the figure in the carpet, what Keats called negative capability, what Kafka called explaining the inexplicable – are that the novel knows.”

“An author’s extraliterary utterance (blunt information), prenovel or postnovel, may infiltrate journalism; it cannot touch the novel itself. Fiction does not invent out of a vacuum, but it invents; and what it invents is, first, the fabric and cadence of language, and then a slant of idea that sails out of these as a fin lifts from the sea. The art of the novel (worn yet opulent phrase) is in the mix of idiosyncratic language – language imprinted in the writer, like the whorl of a fingertip – and an unduplicable design inscribed on the mind by character and image. Invention has little capacity for the true-to-life snapshot. It is true to its own stirrings.”

“On a gray afternoon I sit in a silent room and contemplate din. In the street a single car passes – a rapid bass vowel – and then it is quiet again. So what is this uproar, this hubbub, this heaving rumble of zigzag static I keep hearing? This echo chamber spooling out spirals of chaos? An unmistakable noise as clearly mine as fingerprint or twist of DNA: the thrum of regret, of memory, of defeat, of mutability, of bitter fear, made up of shame and ambition and anger and vanity and wishing. The soundtrack of a movie of the future, an anticipatory ribbon of scenes long dreaded, of daydreams without a prayer of materializing. Or else: the replay of unforgotten conversations, humiliating, awkward, indelible. Mainly it is the buzz of the inescapably mundane, the little daily voice that insists and insists: right now, not now, too late, too soon, why not, better not, turn it on, turn it off, notice this, notice that, be sure to take care of, remember not to. The nonstop chatter that gossips, worries, envies, invokes, yearns, condemns, self-condemns.”
― Cynthia Ozick, The Din in the Head

~~~~~~~~~~~
Definition of eloquence: fluency, articulateness, expressiveness, silver tongue, persuasiveness, forcefulness, power, potency, effectiveness; oratory, rhetoric, grandiloquence, magniloquence; informal gift of (the) gab, way with words.

Posted in copywriter, life of riches and honor, literary magazines and publishing, nerd, thoughts, travel, writer's blog, writing

“WORD NERD” on copywriters’ charges etc.

Wordnerd UK2When we read blogs from other nations we understand how much the writers around the globe are really alike and yet different. I find richness in varieties. Today I post a random link called “WORDNERD” from UK (my former and nostagic abode).

https://www.wordnerd.co.uk/2016-trends/

Here is a sample of what this article shares: How much do copywriters charge?

Let’s start with competition.

Competition is only one element of how I charge. If I really wanted to be price competitive I’d have to charge $5/hour to compete with non-English speakers who live in countries where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is in the UK.

I can’t compete with them on price and they can’t compete with me on quality so I’m not $5 an hour!

If you compete on price it’s a race to the bottom
– said someone insightful
Like lots of freelancers, I don’t see myself as having direct competition not because I’m an arrogant twit but because I’m the person my clients have met and like, I might be local which appeals to them, or they particularly like my work or what I offer, and they choose to work with me rather than anyone else.

Copywriting isn’t competitive in the same way as, say, children’s books. Last week I bought my Godson some books for his 3rd birthday and while I knew they had to be by Julia Donaldson (she wrote ‘The Gruffalo’ – my Godson’s got very good taste) I could shop around to save myself money. Wherever I ordered them from the books would be exactly the same.

Not so with copywriting…If you do work with freelance copywriters who charge by the hour, £35 to £100/hour is the going rate (or £250–£800/day) depending on their experience, location (you’ll pay more in London than elsewhere), specific skills or specialism…– ROI (Return on Investment): this is a funny one. Copywriters at the top of their game can charge £20,000 to write a sales letter, which would translate into a pretty hefty hourly rate. They’re using their competitive advantage – their experience, skills, masses of hard work and understanding of how to convert readers into paying customers to put that letter together – to justify that rate.

They’re also taking the client’s ROI into account.

If the letter is sent out to 500,000 homes and results in an increase in sales of £2m, it’s well worth the £20,000 spent on it.(read on in their website)

HOW LONG SHALL A BLOG BE? Here is another blog from them on 2016 trend:

https://www.wordnerd.co.uk/seo/writing-long-blog-posts/In 2009, the average blog was 250 words, now it’s 900 words and the average length of the results on page one of Google is over 2000 words. The first result has an average 2416 words, the tenth is a bit shorter at 2032…Why are blogs getting longer?1.
SEO
As I’ve mentioned, to get onto page one of Google for popular search terms you need to write longer posts (75% of people searching never go beyond page one and 60% of web traffic goes to the top three results).
Long-tail keywords (which account for 85-90% of searches) have far less competition so you’ve got a good chance of getting onto page one if you focus on them.
2. To rise above the noise
Google has to index billions of pages competing for readers’ attention, there are 4.87 billion pages (Source: World Wide Web Size) on the internet as of this moment and that number increases every day.
3. To build relationships & become a thought leader
But long posts are a lot more work. So how should you approach blogging for your business in 2016?
Think about what’s right for you
Don’t write long posts for the sake of it
be consistent…(read on in above link)
You can read more from the same author here: https://www.wordnerd.co.uk/author/directora/

Posted in creative writing, God's blessing, life of riches and honor, literary magazines and publishing, photography, power of words, thoughts, writer's blog

Conversation outside the box: football and writing exam questions

February flowers3 copyI include below excerpts from a recent casual social conversation between a reader-R (in her forties), a child-C (around thirteen) and me-M. The goal is to encourage thoughts outside the box about starting a (money-making?) venture like writing reviews or doing something interesting and useful for their own specialty lifelong hobbies.

C: we never have enough money. Mom’s earning is like below the market rate for her qualification and experience. We are classified as living below the poverty line.

M: ok. tell me what you like to do and what you are best at? (addressing R)

R: i like reading. my only talent is reading.

C: but reading cannot generate any money!

M: yes, you can. tell me, can you write something?

C: mom cannot write one word. her mind is full of numbers and horror fiction stories (she is a graduate in economics, with professional qualification in accountancy).

M: can you write something, anything, just jotting down your thoughts as you read?

R: i cannot. i don’t know how to express myself in words.

C: she has never done it!

R: i can write good english. i scored high in english language. i have never tried writing reviews. i don’t know how to do it.

C: (started yelling in the background that her mom cannot write, will not write,  and is not interested in writing words at all as she does not even want to communicate with her in words except shouting repeatedly a few short commands-all negative, for her to carry out).

M: (addressing the mother) ok. i suggest you start by reading others’ reviews. just do it. read and learn how others write reviews. since you have read so many (perhaps thousands) books, read good reviews on those books you like. start writing something about why you like or dislike in a book. write something from a different angle. your angle. read others’ reviews gives you the perspectives, structure, and essential contents of a review. send your reviews to me. i shall help you along the process. ok?

M: (addressing the child) ok. what can you use your best talent or interest for (in terms of making money)?

C: well, shall i start a blog? i am right now interested in stuff that cannot generate any money. i am not in the main stream. i like stuff others rarely like in my environment.

M: such as?

C: Well, i like football clubs that are way out here and i don’t quite like the local club. i have nothing to say about them.

R: the local sports writer is lousy. he writes poorly.

C: NO, MOM! he is good! he writes good sports writing! he is a good reporter!

M: ok. why don’t you start writing too? anything about what you know?

C: i can’t. what i know is noway compared with so many good football reporters/writers know. there are many many who know so much more than me. i cannot start a blog when there are people out there who know more.

M: there you are wrong. you don’t need to compare or compete or measure yourself with others. you measure yourself with yourself yesterday, one day at a time, always progressing in steps. today you are doing better than yesterday. at thirteen you know more than at twelve.

C: ha? i can do that!

M: from what you have been writing (poetry and short commentaries on football matches), you are pretty good at them. you have natural talent in the use of language and creativity in thoughts and perspectives. your imagery is rich and vibrant. i have always enjoyed your hidden sense of humor behind your sharp and accurate observation. you will make a good teenage sports commentator. send me your reviews and reports and i shall work through them with you. ok?

P/s While I was sending my visitors off at the train station, the avid reader suddenly remarked that she would write mathematics examination assessment books! What an insight! On the other hand, the kid thought of her own social media blogs with a more focused goal-targeting her own niche of one particular language speaking group of teen girls like her. The hurdle is she needs to further improve her communication skills in that language. On return from the station, I found a newly arrived email advising me of a job vacancy Associate/digital media/football in a global group in sports and entertainment. Certainly this is interesting and not a small coincidence. Of course I am not applying. But it does give relevant information and the kind of job opportunities for young people in the world of digital media.

Posted in creative writing, literary magazines and publishing, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit, writer's blog, writing

the twin sisters: some thoughts on reading and writing

Derby public libraryI was in a developed Western nation with good English library facilities for about six months recently and borrowed many books and literature periodicals. The library system for online access is good and efficient. I could ask for books from the whole county and even beyond in other States. During those months of research I managed to access to many printed resources. Resources of various media such as audio-books, large prints, DVDs, and e-books etc. The only area where I believe needs improvement is the limited resources in foreign languages.

Any serious writer will agree that reading is essential for writing. To write well we need to read well. There is no short-cut. Personally I became an avid reader at the age of perhaps four. When I was eight I was reading thick books in another language. I could not really understand the depth of the literature but I read them anyway. It became a lifelong habit like breathing. Words breathing. I became selective after I learned to differentiate the good ones and the bad ones. Why bother? Someone asked. It matters a lot when we intend to write. Other good writers become our mentors. In a way they are feeding us so that we grow. We cannot have the wrong food and expect a healthy growth. Although by nature and interest I used to like and engage in reading lots of classical detective stories exhausting nearly all the famous names. However I soon realized that I was not going to write them. So I learned to read the genre I specialized in and the ones I knew I had talent in. Reading taste can be acquired with changes of our lifestyle and belief. For example, I became a born again Christian many years ago and my reading taste changed. My writing too. Admittedly my published written work was confined mainly in another language and genre group, I continue to read English books as my main diet and other languages according to their availability ad accessibility.

What can I gain from reading English books? I find the thoughts, concepts and the varieties of creative materials useful and can be used as generic base for writing. I prefer to read the original English versions. Some translated books are able to reflect nearly the exact thoughts and expressions of the original English books but some are quite far off the mark due to the vast differences in culture, tradition, value system and even religious belief between the English author and the non-English translator. Can a non-English author write well in English if English is his or her second language? My personal experience is that unless you think in the English language you cannot write it as well as those writers who think in it. Can thoughts be conditioned to think in a particular language? My answer is yes. So there is still hope if you are really passionate to read and write in a particular language which is not your mother tongue. It might be a big hurdle but if you persist in reading, thinking and writing in that language you may make it. One word of caution: you cannot become English unless you acquire its socio-economic culture, tradition, intrinsic value system and even religious belief. On the other hand, you may still acquire a small group of niche readers even if you are writing English as a second language if they can identify with your contents.

Posted in books, God's blessing, literary magazines and publishing, photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

all about my editor friends: two ships

2 rabbits oakland zooHow to find a good editor? I have several good ones. Why several? Each for a specific genre of writing. One for each language too. If you are writing in two languages you will need editors conversant in each specific language. In terms of genre you just cannot mix up. For example, how can an atheist understand anything about Christianity? And vice versa. The depth and breadth of the editor is important too. I first encountered two editor friends in my younger days, working for two rivaling big newspapers. Both attended the same church! Both were in charge of the literature section. Later one was promoted to the section for the Editorial/Opinion columnists/contributors on politics,business,economics and social commentary etc. I was thus given a chance to contribute a variety of articles and get published. I was not aware of their professions until we were rather close friends. They knew I could write and they volunteered to read and publish for me. They even delivered the monetary payments to me together with the acknowledgement slips I needed to sign. Thinking back, I recall more of our friendship and the quality time we had spent together as friends standing for/with each other through thick and thin times. I was not really that concerned with whether my articles were published or not.  Often they had to keep reminding me to write so they could do something for me. What did I do for them? Lots of stuff that mattered to them. We grew together in our respective professions. I was fully engaged in the corporate fast-track. One of them got married and settled down in juggling her editorial (for a national newspaper) and family career (‘raising’ a husband and one son). Another one joined a big national Christian counseling publisher. I went on to where I am today, moving from one fast-track to another and eventually settling onto this relaxed narrow lane of writing as an amateur but almost full time. Sometimes I happen to pass by their cities and manage a call in the airport. Often I don’t. We just get on with each of our lives with a memory of a good time together. The time we were. From a long term perspective, I am touched today to quote the following from a poetic metaphor by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882):

1874, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn, part 3, section 4:
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.

Posted in life of riches and honor, literary magazines and publishing, photography, power of words, thoughts, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

more about the choice to write or not to write

a white flowerI do not choose to write. I just do it. It’s like breathing. Or crying. Or laughing. Or eating. Or loving someone. Not really a matter of choice. I can discipline myself not to do something which is normally done autonomously at a specific time or space. But It cannot be halted beyond a certain appointed limit. If anyone holds one’s breath beyond the limit she or he is conditioned to, she or he will expire. If writing is natural like a breath, it should be easy and relaxing. The body is preprogrammed and pre-conditioned to do a lot of activities which preserve its survival. On the other hand persisting abuse too conditions the body to do harm to itself. For example, subjecting your body to alcoholic or drug or other obsessive addictions. Easy to do but it does not mean good to you. What about writing? Is it good to a writer? The reward seems good, including monetary reward, recognition and esteem from others, a sense of self-achievement, a fulfillment of dreams, cultivating a good habit of using words and languages to communicate, self-therapy as an emotional outlet, counseling those who matter to you, positively speaking through writing to build up yourself and others, and many more (including telling someone how you really love them). For me? I started writing as a child as a venue to continue my story-telling habit (which started around the age of of four). I had lots of stories inside which demanded to burst out or I would explode. The newspaper got hold of them and paid me for writing serialized stories. I received fan mails from readers who did not know my real age (around 13-15 year old). Those who knew wanted to be my friends. A few classmates of the opposite sex volunteered to copy my handwritten stories so they looked presentable before I posted them to the editor. My family members treated me like a special guest in the house and exempted me from housework. I had the extra money to buy books to read and keep. I got to travel to another bigger town to sight-see. I can recall many benefits for a young person as a writer. Was it ever a deliberate choice? How did I know I could write? I do not remember choosing writing as a career. I wanted to be an architect. Later I chose two entirely different consecutive professional careers ad made a success out of them. In my real profession I write too, usually work and industry related factual scientific analytical papers, reports and even manuals . I did not know that I could write until grade four. One day I read an article written by my sister who is six years my senior and in grade 12. She wrote well. I thought to myself I too wanted to write like that. So I did. Thus I started my lifelong habit, hobby and lifestyle as a writer. My peers, teachers, and editors affirmed and liked what I wrote as a young person. Their recognition and positive encouragement gave me the motivation and momentum on this narrow path. I started by writing stories and later poetry. As a young adult I reverted to fiction-stories again. I have been an avid reader all my life. That helps too. Come to think of it, I cannot remember spending any day without reading and writing. That is why I equate writing with breathing. You do not choose. You just do it. Likewise, a flower does not need to be told to bloom. It just blooms.

p/s: I had a few editor friends who willingly published my work without question. Later a new acquaintance read something I wrote and asked to read my whole published portfolio of newspapers clippings. She then took the initiative to show them to the chief editor of a big publishing firm. The editor immediately called me for an interview and this introducer accompanied me to see the editor. The rest is history.

Posted in Bible verses, books, God's blessing, literary magazines and publishing, photography, power of words, thoughts, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

a writing contest between the sexes?

a backyard viewI have my suspicion confirmed when I read this following information about who the avid readers are and how female writers fare compared to male counterparts in terms of reviews and publicity. The statistics tells a story of the tough reality some or most women, in this case, writers, face in our society. You may wish to do some research on your own over the internet. It is interesting to note that there are more women readers than men in Britain. What makes the British women read more? This is a worthy topic to research into. Do women read reviews and buy books accordingly? Or do they have their own mind and ignore the critics? Interesting. This reminds me of the famous Bible character Mary who ignored the male critics and insisted on pouring her priceless perfume over her Lord as her highest form of appreciation and honor. The rest is history.

The following are quotes/excerpts:
Quotes from: Research shows male writers still dominate books world : Statistics from US campaigners Vida confirm dramatic gender imbalance in literary critics and the authors reviewed (The Guardian, February 4, 2011)

“The gender imbalance at the heart of the British and American literary establishment has been laid bare by a new study confirming that leading literary magazines focus their review coverage on books written by men, and commission more men than women to write about them. Statistics compiled by Vida, an American organisation for women in the literary arts, found gender imbalances in every one of the publications cited, ”

Quotes from: Male writers continue to dominate literary criticism, Vida study finds (The Guardian, April 7, 2015)

“The continuing bias towards men in the British and American literary establishment has been confirmed by a study released on Tuesday. Vida, a US organisation championing women in literature, examined a wide range of publications from both sides of the Atlantic, including.., and found that in 2014 the majority still had heavily male-centred literary coverage, both in their use of reviewers and the books that were reviewed. The figures are at odds with the publishing industry in the UK, where some of the biggest-selling authors of 2014 were Hilary Mantel, Donna Tartt and Kate Mosse. Women are also responsible for buying two-thirds of the books sold in Britain and figures compiled in 2009 found almost 50% of women were avid readers, compared with 26% of men.

The figures did show a gradual but still notable shift. Of the 15 major magazines surveyed, 14 had seen an increase in content by women over the past year, and for the first time in at least five years the New York Times Book Review had more female reviewers than male ones – an increase of 41 from the year before. Similarly the New Yorker had 17 more female contributors than in 2013, continuing a five-year trend, while in Granta original submissions were split almost equally between female and male writers.”

Erin Belieu, the co-founder of Vida, said: “We want editors, readers and writers to be aware of their habits and open their mind to other voices, and we at Vida do really think that is genuinely happening. And I would say overall we have seen a lot of positive trends over the duration of the five years we’ve compiled these these figures. Absolutely there is still this gender bias inherent in literary magazines. We are talking about people who have done things a certain way for many years and literary magazines tend to be places where one vision gets put forward and even commissioning editors can get trapped in this culture. But generationally I think it is a problem that is going to be taking care of itself more and more. People under the age of 40 have been raised in an entirely different environment.” She added: “Is it true that women are raised to feel culturally very uncomfortable putting themselves forward? Maybe not as true as it used to be – but of course it still has an impact. But we see Vida as a form of erosion, making gradual but permanent change.”

The Latest: a better picture:

Female authors make inroads at major publications – survey
Bylines by women at the New York Times Book Review and the New Republic are among the ‘dramatic increases’ over the last year, according to Vida’s annual survey of the publishing gender split (The Guardian, March 31, 2016)

For the first time, this year’s Vida count also looked at female reviewers and authors’ race and ethnicity, sexual identity and ability after surveying almost 700 female writers, finding that straight, white, able-bodied women were best represented. In these respects, some female writers better represented in print, Vida said in its report, asking: “To what extent is the status quo rendered bankrupt by such glaring absences? If the literary landscape is dominated by specific groups, how can we be healthy as a society and benefit from both our differences and commonalities? Isn’t one of literature’s effects to humanise populations beyond our own?”

Posted in Bible verses, books, copywriter, literary magazines and publishing, photography, thoughts, writing

foundation laying in Spring

Spring nearA friend sent me a series of audio lessons on the ministry of words. Focused teaching on how to be a profitable and successful ghost-writer/commercial copy-writer/editor/consultant/writing for fund raising etc. I am thankful. Occasionally I get invited to write for a church or a non-profit organization the appeal letter or web pages for donations to good course. The lecturer started as a humble unknown script and ad writer and went on to join a Christian organization to be their pamphlet and online web-page writer for sometime before he was finally given an opening to ghost-write an autobiography for a world famous evangelist. he has since been commissioned to write more books under that big name. He is of course now lecturing and having his own consultancy for others in the same writing industry. Will any of the others get this kind of exposure and opportunity? I have no answer. I have forwarded an article of his to another person struggling to raise funds for the Christian charity organization he is currently attached to. Knowing and actually producing results are two different things. I know from my own experience. One trusted way of learning is hands-on practicing what we learn. I am thankful for the exposure and opportunity I have personally encountered. My advice to my readers is, “Hands on and press on.” My personal conviction: Never look down on even a small opening. I never know what the next turn will bring. I like the analogy of building a house. I start by laying a foundation. A small opening is like adding a rock to the foundation. It counts.

Zechariah 48 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel
Have laid the foundation of this temple;[a]
His hands shall also finish it.
Then you will know
That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
10 For who has despised the day of small things?
For these seven rejoice to see
The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
They are the eyes of the Lord,
Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”

Posted in copywriter, literary magazines and publishing, photography, thoughts, words of life, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

We preserve words. Merely.

keeper of wordsI have in recent years encountered this question reading, writing, talking, interviewing and pondering over the matters of communication using words. In previous times it was very simple. We used a note/exercise book with lines and recorded our personal thoughts and we called it journaling. Journaling is good like a medicine or a therapy or a hobby or a physical training of the brain cells etc. It is good even on its own without any agenda or defined purpose. The mode that I have adopted up to this point is a free flow note/jot/scrawl/scrabble/put on paper of words just for its own sake. There is no agenda. No defined purpose. No motive to put the product into a book or publish. No marketing strategy. No customer-oriented or niche-focused intention in the production process. Nothing commercial whatsoever. In a way, this is exactly like the doodle I used to do on the margins of all my school texts and exercise books. I did it naturally without concern or even any conscious effort. While the teachers talked I doodled. This is a lifestyle. I started as a pre-schooled kid. I have built this into a whole life occupation without being consciously affecting, effecting, exerting, asserting and directing. Was I bored when I doodled or wrote? Or was I filled with passion and dreams in a un-physical zone? When I try now to analyze I admit I do not know. Is it strange not to know like the highly knowhow-oriented commercial publishing zone when every process must be precise and practicable and proceeded with robotic formula based on publishing industrial best practice and tested ROI  (return on investment) if any? Yes, it is somewhat strange. Not so to a non-profit-oriented journal keeper. To be honest, many of us are mere keepers of some words which do matter to us a lot. We do not want to forget. We preserve words. Merely. We preserve life.

Posted in books, creative writing, literary magazines and publishing, power of words, thoughts, words of thoughts and spirit, writer's blog, writing

top 50 of the class: to publish or not to publish

50litmagazineI decided to post a list of the Top 50 Literary Magazine from online source. Please check them out to see if any suits your needs for publishing and exposure as a writer/potential writer/poet. I have not read all. Some of those I have read are good. Please do not be overly concerned with the ranking by the source which compiled this list. For those who are Christian writers and those who believe in prayers, pray for guidance.

(The following information and suggestion are quoted/excerpted from: http://www.everywritersresource.com/topliterarymagazines.html)

“The most important criteria we used this time was date of founding, number of national anthologies publications (and we looked at a lot of them), and the quality of work of and names of passed greats published in the magazines. The purpose of this list is to help writers find a place to publish their writing that will get them some recognition. It gives the authors more opportunity for exposure. Also these magazines tend to have a very good name in literary circles.
We have a suggestion. Go down this list and pick out a literary magazine that takes online submissions. Go to their site and submit your work. Also while you are there buy a subscription. Support those who support writers.”

Top 50 Literary Magazine

New Yorker
The best of the best. We didn’t have any commercial magazines on our last list, but it was a shame to leave this literary magazine out. It is one the oldest and the most honored magazine of all. Started in the 1920s and has a circulation of over a million readers. Online submissions
Ploughshares
Founded in 1971 Ploughshares is our best and highest ranked university non-commercial literary magazine. It is more honored by national anthologies than any other magazine except the New Yorker. Ploughshares is excellent and outstanding. Online submissions
The Atlantic
Founded in 1857 and often honored by national anthologies. This is another outstanding commercial magazine with a very large circulation of about 400,000 readers. Submissions by email.
Harper’s Magazine
Founded in 1850 and always well honored. It is an outstanding commercial literary magazine with a circulation of 220,000 readers. Submissions by email
Tin House
Started in 1998 but quickly became one of the best and best known literary magazines in the country. It has been honored by national anthologies more times than many literary magazine that have been publishing for over 100 years.
Paris Review
The Paris Review started in 1953 and is one of the best known literary magazines in the world. It is always publishing great authors and great works. No online submissions.
New England Review
Started in 1978 and is one of the best known and best loved literary magazines in the country. It is outstanding. Online submission by payment.
Georgia Review
Started in 1947 and has won many awards. It is a great literary magazine that publishes great authors and great works. No online submissions.
Kenyon Review
One of the best literary magazines in the country. You can always find great writers in its pages. Started in 1939. The magazine is one of the best out there, always. Submissions online.
Five Points
Is published by Georgia State university and is in our top 10 of these 50 for being always in national anthologies and winning awards. Founded in 1996 still less than 20 years old but a great literary magazine. Online submissions
Threepenny Review
Founded in 1980 and one of the best literary magazines out there. It’s always in national anthologies and winning awards. Online submissions
Antioch Review
Publishes great authors and great writing. It has been published by Antioch College since 1941. We love the Antioch review. They are in our database, and an outstanding literary magazine. No online submission
Callaloo
A journal publishing great authors and great works. Founded in 1976. Online submissions
Virginia Quarterly Review
One of the very best journals out there. This journal is often honored. Published by The University of Virginia since 1925. Online submissions
Southern Review
A great literary magazine. No online submissions
Conjunctions
An outstanding literary magazine. No Online submissions.
Epoch
Published by Cornell University since 1947 and always publishes great authors and great writing. No online submissions.
Granta
An outstanding literary magazine that has been publishing since 1889. They are honored with awards often. No online submissions.
Gettysburg Review
Founded in 1988 this literary magazine has been honored and talked about in national press often. Great work from great authors. No Online submissions
Cincinnati Review
Started in 2003 this literary magazine has published many outstanding authors and outstanding work. No online submissions.
Yale Review
For 100 years this literary magazine has published great works by great authors. It’s always worth a read and a submission. No online submissions.
Southwest Review
This literary magazine can trace its roots back to 1915. Published by Southern Methodist University. The magazine is always publishing great work. No online submissions.
Hudson Review
Founded in 1947 this literary magazine publishes outstanding work and authors. No online submissions.
Triquarterly
Founded in 1958 Triquarterly has always published great work. The magazine is honored often by national anthologies. Online submissions.
Crazy Horse
This literary magazine has been publishing great authors since 1960. We really enjoy Crazy Horse Magazine. This is a rare gem among many magazines of its kind. They are old school, so to speak. We recommend you buy a copy. Online submissions.
Iowa Review
Founded in 1970 this literary magazine publishing great work again and again. No online submissions.
Agni
Published by Boston University since 1972. This literary journal is always publishing great work. Online submissions.
Alaska Quarterly Review
Founded in 1980 and published at the University of Alaska of Anchorage. The magazine publishes great work. No online submissions
Mcsweeney’s
This magazine was founded in 1988 and has a large following. They also publish book. The literary magazine publishes great names in writing. Online submissions.
Shenandoah
This literary magazine began publishing in 1949 and is one of the very best. No online submissions.
Boulevard
The literary magazine has been publishing great work since 1985. It’s one of the best. Online submissions.
Harvard Review
Has been publishing outstanding work since 1986. Online submissions.
Fence
This literary magazine has been publishing great work since 1998. Online submissions.
American Scholar
An outstanding literary magazine since 1999. Online submissions
Subtropics
This literary magazine has only been publishing for 6 years, but has been honored so many times it made our list. No online submissions.
Witness
First published in 1987 the literary magazine has come on strong lately with many honors. Online submissions.
Volt
Published since 1991 this magazine is always coming up with great work. On online submissions.
Glimmer Train
Glimmer Train is only way down here at 38 because they do not publish poetry. Most of our numbers that go into this list are based on awards and anthologies, and magazines on our list take a big hit for only publishing Short stories or only poetry. It’s not a perfect method. Glimmer Train is one of the best literary magazines in the country. If they published poetry they would most-likely be in the top 10.
Prairie Schooner
This literary magazine has been publishing since 1927 and is one of the very best. Their new website is very well done, and they now take online submissions!
The Missouri Review
Since 1978 this magazine has won many honors and has published great works by great authors. The Missouri Review is one of those old . Online submissions.
Oxford Review
The journal was founded in the 1970s and is always publishing great works. No online submissions.
Bomb
The literary magazine has been publishing since 1981 and always has great authors. No online submissions.
A Public Space
Was founded in 2006 but has won many honors in the short time it has been publishing. Online submissions.
Chicago Review
Founded in 1946 this literary magazine is always publishing great works. No online submissions.
Connecticut Review
An outstanding literary magazine. No online submissions.
Black Warrior Review
This literary magazine was founded in 1947 and always publishes great works. The Black Warrior Review is always publishing outstanding works by amazing authors. We are big fans of this unique and long standing magazine. Online submissions.
American Poetry Review
This literary magazine only publishes poetry and was founded in 1976. It is one of the top 2 poetry magazines in the country. No online submissions.
Poetry
The best poetry magazine in the country. Founded in 1912 and always publishing great poets. Online submissions.
Barrow Street
The literary magazine only publishing poetry and was founded in 1998. One of the best. No online submissions.
Massachusetts Review
One of the very best. Founded in 1959 and is always publishing great work. Online submissions.