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Friday, November 30, 2007

Local Author Wins Strauss Literary Award

Madison Smartt Bell, a novelist and an English professor at Goucher College, has been presented with the 2008 Strauss Living Award from the American Academy ofArts and Letters. The literary award includes a cash prize of $250,000. The association made the official announcement yesterday.

I’ve met Madison at local readings and literary events and am thrilled that the local writer — a neighbor — has been presented with such an honor. And a nice windfall to go with it.

The news of his prize has been published in the New York Times and The Baltimore Sun.

Read more about it in The Sun.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Thanksgiving Interview with Deborah Norville

Being thankful is still in season.

Today I’m thankful that my Thanksgiving-themed story was published in last week’s Thanksgiving edition of Writers Weekly — the most widely-circulated freelance writing ezine in the world.

The story is not just about giving thanks. In fact, it’s an exclusive interview with Deborah Norville — anchor of Inside Edition and author of the new bestselling book, Thank You Power.

I had the pleasure of meeting Deborah at a luncheon last month called “A Movable Feast.” She’d already read Writeful prior to our meeting and was open to the idea of an interview centered on Thank You Power.

The article appearing as the feature in last week's edition of Writers Weekly, “Give Thanks for Your Writing” specifically addresses Norville’s Thank You Power and how it relates to writers.

In a nutshell, Norville suggests you write down three things you’re grateful for every day. Doing so can have a physical and emotional impact on your life — as proven in her book.

This works specifically for writers and their careers when they focus on what they are grateful for in the writing arena.

I’m grateful because this is the third story I’ve had published in Writers Weekly this year. Hey, I met my quote for the day — see how easy it is?

To learn more, read my article, “Give Thanks for Your Writing,” in Writers Weekly.


And to learn even more, visit Deborah Norville at her site.


Monday, November 26, 2007

A Feast of Books

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I did. In fact, I had two. One on Thanksgiving Day with my family. The other, about a month prior, was a sort of literary thanksgiving with other writers.

The luncheon, called “A Movable Feast,” was part of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Conference. I was there to talk with the authors about their books, and about writing in general.

The authors were there to talk about their own new books, either freshly available or coming soon. I got a chance to talk with several of them, and have kept in touch with a few. Here are some of the authors who participated in the “Movable Feast” and their new books.

Sunshine O’Donnell has gotten a lot of good ink this year. Her book, Open Me, enters the secretive world of professional wailers. The prose is beautifully written and well-paced. Learn more at Sunshine’s website.


Deborah Norville, best known for her Inside Edition gig, talked about her book Thank You Power. This extensively-researched book provides evidence that people who count their blessings are healthier, happier, and more successful. Find out more at her site.


Barbara Lehman writes wordless books. That is, her childrens’ books are filled with pictures that tell a story. And she tells her stories so well that she’s even won a Caldecott Medal. Her newest book is Rainstorm. Find out more about Barbara’s books here.


Bathsheeba Monk has gotten great reviews for her novel in stories, Now You See It … Stories from Cokesville, PA. Tim O’Brian of The Things They Carried has called her a brilliant new writer. What more is there to say? Novels in stories can be successful! Find out more about hers here.


Felicia Sullivan has written her memoir, The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here. You can learn more about her, and even pre-order her book, at her website.


Matthew Reinhart has done his part to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Wars with a ground-breaking pop-up book. And get this – Matthew’s Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy actually got a stunningly favorable review in the New York Time’s Sunday Book Review. When’s the last time you’ve seen a pop-up book there? Read the review here.


Now that you’ve filled up on turkey, time to fill up on books. Each book here is a good place to start.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

When Your Novel In Progress Does Not

When I met author Alice McDermott for the first time, it was at a craft lecture she was presenting at The Writers’ Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The topic of the craft lecture was, “When Your Novel-in-Progress Doesn’t.”

Most authors who have written a novel — or tried to — can relate to that.

Alice McDermott, despite her two Pulitzer Prize nominations, her National Book Award Win, and her regular trips onto the New York Times Bestseller list, is no exception.

She described a novel she has never finished to date. “I was in middle-book syndrome,” she explained. She was halfway through the novel, she knew where it was headed, but she didn’t want to finish it.

“The best practice is to write through your reluctance to continue — even if you begin writing a different story, keep writing.”

That’s what Alice did. She shelved the project she was no longer interested in and focused on another.

So if you’ve lost interest in what you’re writing, perhaps it’s time to move on.

Learn more about Alice McDermott’s words of writing wisdom at the following links.



Monday, November 19, 2007

The Perfect Place for Maryland Writers

A popular location has been set for writers from all across Maryland and the surrounding states to join together.

The Maryland Writers’ Association 20th Anniversary Conference will take place at the Maritime Institute of Technology, in the conference center. The address is 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090.

This was the setting for last year’s MWA contest, and the writers in the crowd seemed to agree — this is the perfect place for Maryland Writers to come together and hone their crafts.

The Conference takes place on Saturday, May 3, 2008 from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m..

Join local experts and established writers at the 20th annual Maryland Writers' Association's conference. You’ll have the opportunity to hone your craft in sessions led by established authors, instructors, and experts. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s plenty for you at the conference. Come explore the many worlds of writing.

Register now to take advantage of our EARLY BIRD SPECIAL -- now through December 31!
To register, or for more information, visit the conference website.


Friday, November 16, 2007

National Novel Writing Month Is Underway

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is off to a fast-paced start. More than 100,000 writers from 70 countries are already well into their NaNoWriMo novels.

Last year, about 79,000 people took part in the challenge. And while the event stresses fun and creative exploration above publication, sixteen NaNoWriMo novelists have had their NaNo-novels published, including Sarah Gruen, author of New York Times #1 Best Seller, Water for Elephants.

My own novel-in-fast-progress, CLICK!, is off to a good start with about 27,000 words — well on its way to the 50,000 word goal.

You can learn more about National Novel Writing Month -- and even read an excerpt from CLICK! -- in my NaNoWriMo lounge.

While you’re lounging, I’ve got to get back to writing!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gluckman Brings Espionage and Conspircy

At the November meeting of the Maryland Writers’ Association Baltimore Chapter, author Geoffrey M. Gluckman brings espionage and conspiracy to Baltimore as he talks about how to use research to add authenticity to fiction, including where to find resources and how to cultivate them. The name of his presentation is Authenticity: Facts in Fiction.

Gluckman is the author of the spy thriller Deadly Exchange, an exciting novel of espionage and conspiracy. To write the thriller, he drew on his experience as a federal agent and recruitment by the CIA, as well as his experience as an exercise physiologist and international lecturer.

This exciting event takes place at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in the Power Plant Live complex, right in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner harbor at 601 E. Pratt Street. Just look for the Hard Rock’s guitar. The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 26 and is sure to be a thrilling one.

This will be the last monthly meeting of the MWAB for 2007, but an exciting line up is in the works for 2008.

To learn more about Geoffrey Gluckman and Deadly Exchange, visit his website.


For more information, visit the MWAB website.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Baltimore Writers Conference This Weekend

If you’re a writer, and you’re in the Baltimore area, you’ll want to check out this weekend’s Baltimore Writers’ Conference. The CityLit Project, Towson University, and Johns Hopkins University always put on a great conference.

This year’s conference takes place this Saturday, November 17, 2007 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. — at which time the wine and cheese reception begins.

Diverse sessions taught by experienced professionals allow you to tailor your day to your needs and interests. Whether you’re into fiction, poetry, non-fiction, screenwriting, or you’d like to get a taste of it all, you can do it at this conference.

The keynote speaker this year is Marion Winik, a regular commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered, and author of several books, including First Comes Love, Telling, The Lunch-Box Chronicles, and Above Us Only Sky.

To learn more about the Baltimore Writers’ conference and to see the full schedule, visit the conference website. From there, you can also register online – reserve your spot now!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My High Five Published in JMWW

I’m published in the Fall issue of JMWW. Give me a high five!

JMWW is a popular online literary journal based in Baltimore that publishes “the best fiction, poetry, essays, and art on the web. Or at least a close approximation.”

Jen Michalski, the editor, recently announced the new issue: “The Fall 07 issue of JMWW is now floating in space — featuring artists Elizabeth Crisman and Peter Schwartz; Eric D. Goodman's five favorite Johns; and new expanded fiction, flash, essays, poetry, and book reviews! We are seriously rich with pleasure this issue, so sit back and have a cuppa.”

Each issue of JMWW begins with a note from the editor, then a “High Five.” In this issue, I write about my “five favorite Johns” of writing.

“We're definitely excited that Baltimore writer Eric D. Goodman meditates on his five favorite Johns in this issue's High Five,” Jen wrote in her editor’s note.

Enjoy the fall 2007 issue of JMWW now!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Year of Happy Hours for Writers

Join us where it all started.

One year ago, writers began joining together in the Baltimore area for a series of Writers’ Happy Hours. The events draw writers from all over the Baltimore area. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate and commiserate with other writers while doing something that many writers do best – drinking!

The eighth Writers Happy Hour takes place from 6:30 p.m. until the cows come home on this Friday, November 9th at Max's on Broadway, in Fells Point. We’ll be staking our claim in the upstairs lounge.

It’s worth noting that this very lounge is the setting of a pivotal scene in “Futures,” a story from TRACKS, my novel in stories. What an ideal place for a literary setting!Bring your leftover Halloween candy.

And remember what Homer said about alcohol: “Here’s to Alcohol: the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.”

Homer Simpson, that is.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Election Already Decided

The election has already been decided. No, not that one — the election for the Maryland Writers Association’s Public Relations Director.

The state-wide organization needed someone to help promote the MWA events, including the monthly meetings, writing contests, and convention. They wanted someone with experience doing PR writing. Someone with a proven record of getting results.

They couldn’t find their ideal candidate, so they elected me.

In part because I’ve already been helping to promote literary events, in part because of how persistent I’ve been at promoting literary events and news, not to mention my novel in stories, TRACKS – especially during the time when it was a semi-finalist in the Gather First Chapters Contest. I do PR writing for a living and seem to have a knack for it.

If I could just use these PR skills to convince a publisher to give my novel a chance.

In the meantime, I’ll be telling you all about MWA meetings, conferences, contests and events … as I usually do.

To learn more about the MWA, visit the website.


Be sure to check out the Baltimore Chapter here.