Friday, May 28, 2010

Blogging About Blogging

The other day I attended a brown bag lunch discussion on blogging led by’s lead blogger, Edward Vielmetti. He offered some suggestions about how to effectively blog, from finding your own voice to being interested in your subject in order to interest your reader.

Here are a few suggestions that I found most useful:

Follow the AP style guide, especially if you are interested in attracting serious readers who are accustomed to reading newspapers.

If you need to brainstorm ideas, try writing a list of headlines for posts you wish you’d already written.

Cultivate your audience through social networking sites and commenting on other blogs, but also by asking particular readers (via email, phone, etc.) for comments on individual posts.

After you’ve blogged for a year, build on the seasonally relevant posts you wrote the year before.

There’s nothing wrong with writing something and scheduling it for the future after you’ve had a chance to more fully consider, revise and edit your post.

Make your blog part of a reading journey, rather than a destination. Be generous and link to other related blogs.

If you are interested in more, I highly recommend the Huffington Post’s Complete Guide to Blogging.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Creative Writing Prompt: Translate Music

Yesterday I posted resources to help get you started thinking about literary translation. When an author translates a text into her native language, she must be flexible with language and ideas in order to convey, as much as possible, meaning and form.
Today I challenge you to translate music – preferably a piece without words – into a poem. You could also try a piece in a language that you don’t speak.

Listen to the song several times and consider the story that is being told through the individual instruments, rhythms and tones. If necessary, close your eyes and truly listen to the music. If you can, try to follow the voices of the various instruments. For example, consider what the piano has to say and its relationship to the flute. A narrative or emotion will emerge.

Your task is to describe the narrative and/or emotion in your free-write. Write for ten minutes without stopping and see what emerges. Afterwards, read through your writing and underline the sections that you’d like to explore further.

Would you share your result with us in the Comments section below?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Literary Translation

There is no doubt that literary translators deserve applause. They offer us greater access to authors, texts and cultures. We can enter into worlds through the translated text and better understand our global world. I would even add that they help to fight racism and xenophobia by allowing us to see the humanity of others who might initially seem so different from us.

As writers, you learn the intricacies of a text by working to translate it. You must consider so many aspects at once: rhythm, rhyme, word choice, voice, cultural knowledge and references, form, etc. If you speak another language, I encourage you to try your hand at translating a text or a section into English. Translation asks such flexibility of language that your own writing will naturally get a workout through this exercise.

Here are a few resources to help get you started in reading translated texts and becoming involved in the international translation community. I encourage you to add your own recommendations in the Comments section below.

American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)
ALTA’s list of resources
ALTA’s list of literary translation programs

American Translators Association (ATA)

PEN American Center : U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization

Words Without Borders: online literary magazine

Renditions:Chinese-English translation magazine

Two Lines Literary Magazine
Two Lines Literary Magazine’s host organization, Center for the Art of Translation’s list of resources

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

All Over the Map

A student in my memoir writing class asked recently about whether memoir writing is self-indulgent. A good question, since it is easy to cross the invisible line. As memoirists, our goal should be to share a universal truth through our particular experiences instead of narcissistically sharing personal details.

Laura Fraser’s book, All Over the Map, offers the reader necessary truths through her journeys around the globe and in her heart. The chapters are organized chronologically and by location, everywhere from Oaxaca, Mexico, to San Francisco, USA, to Upolu and Savai’i, Western Samoa. She details not only the difficulties she’s experienced, but the things she’s done to persevere. With a strong narrative, it is far from being a self-help book. Fraser travels the world while keeping the reader close by with a steady pace. She writes after meeting with a personal coach (page 203):

If I don’t let myself be a victim in my stories but understand my role as the protagonist of my own life, I can get my power back and trust myself that I can, through my actions or attitude, make things turn out all right.

The advice that she receives from friends, and even a personal coach, resonate with anyone – male or female – working to sort out this increasingly demanding, social and yet isolating- world.

There is a longing that follows Fraser throughout the book. On page six, she muses on her early travels to Mexico (page 6.) The reader desperate to explore the world will immediately recognize her sentiment:

It was when I got my first taste of the wide world and felt a hunger for its endless sights and flavors. It was also when I first understood that being able to speak another language, even the few phrases one can manage at ten, isn’t just a matter of translating familiar words; it’s a way of expanding your internal territory and venturing outside the borders of your culture and family. The fresh new sentences change the very nature of your thoughts, your usual reactions, and your sense of who you are. I learned, that summer, that I couldn’t speak a little Spanish without becoming a little Mexican. That exciting summer in San Miguel de Allende – discovering the pleasures of discovery – was when I first became a traveler.

Fraser’s physical relationship to the external world is just as strong as to her internal world. She dances often and describes part of her dance journey (page 49):

The subtler lessons of dance class were harder to learn, such as the idea that in order to improvise with someone else you really have to listen to them, to respond rather than react, a notion that has tickled my brain every since but which I’ve rarely managed to embody.

The metaphor, here rudely torn from the rest of the narrative, is one that we can recognize, as dancers or non-dancers.

I took Fraser’s non-fiction writing workshop at the A Room of Her Own’s writing retreat last summer on the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Her advice was attentive and crisp, offered with great respect for the writing. She read a section of this book, on her Outward Bound experience, and we were captivated by the humor and connection we felt to her experiences.

And so, writers, no, a memoir or a story that features you as the protagonist doesn’t have to be self-indulgent. As Fraser suggested at the retreat, read William Zinsser’s On Writing Well and you’ll be fine on your own journey. Like a journalist, be sure to tell the truth. In an interview with author Mary Roach, Laura Fraser discusses truth in her memoir writing, “I guess the journalist in me believes that memoirs should be true. I mean, dialogue is never word for word, and memory is always faulty – memoir is about the truth to the best of your ability to remember it – but I don’t believe in embellishing anything. If you want to do that, just call it ‘fiction.’”

Monday, May 24, 2010

From the Diary of Sally Hemings

In the current memoir writing class, we’ve been discussing the ethics of including other peoples’ stories in our work, as our personal story inevitably intermingles with others. Historical fiction is similar in that facts and the lives of others are relevant to our own work. At a recent discussion at Borders Bookstore in Ann Arbor about the new CD From the Diary of Sally Hemings, this same question arose.

Author Sandra Seaton wrote a song cycle recreating the thoughts and feelings of Sally Hemings throughout her long relationship with Thomas Jefferson by means of fictional diary entries. These diary entries may contain details and emotions that are imagined, but they draw upon historical fact. Seaton noted that if Hemings had had a diary, it would have been destroyed.

Along with composer William Bolcom, Sandra Seaton answered questions about the music and the conversation was moderated by Naomi Andre, University of Michigan professor and author of Blackness in Opera. They shared excerpts from the CD, which were beautiful. Even for me, who usually understands material better when seeing it on the page, after hearing an explanation of the piece, the songs really came to life.

The monodrama, sung by Alyson Cambridge & music played by Lydia Brown, gave voice to a woman whom we can’t hear from directly. The music, as Bolcom describes, was created to refer to traditional African-American music, as well as French music, to represent the various cultures with which Sally Hemings identified.

I often refer to the importance of connecting to readers through an emotional truth in my writing classes. Through the particulars of a unique individual experience, a universal emotion allows readers to enter into a work, fiction or nonfiction. In this CD, the words and music combine to share an emotional truth while giving voice to a woman who cannot speak for herself. I believe that the sincerity behind this work makes it ethical. I look forward to hearing the rest of the CD.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer Writing

Myth: Creative, academic types have three months of pure, vacation bliss every summer.

Fact: The summer is when we hunker down to do our own writing and often continue to teach a few classes in order to pay our rent and keep ourselves honest.

As I wrote yesterday, the real work and fun begins in the summer. We love what we do and enjoy it – what else would compel us to continue to write against the odds? When that quarter of a piece of paper comes in the mail with another pre-printed rejected note, it can be difficult to muster the strength to continue on.

But of course we do. Writing is work and play rolled into one crispy-on-the-outside,-soft-in-the-middle fry. It is invigorating, bad for you, addicting and an inspiring, golden color. And you can’t eat just one.

It can be difficult to effectively organize your time if you have a wide expanse available to you. I have luck nibbling on the various aspects of the writing life each day. For example, I’ll spend some time reading literary magazines and books, then turn my eye to submissions management and later settle into writing and editing particular projects. A few minutes is usually dedicated to organizing the work that I’ve done, as well. By giving myself a time limit on each aspect, I can ensure that I won’t find that an entire day has passed without, say, reading. I am also someone who likes diversity in my day; others have more success spending an entire day writing and the next day reading.

I usually teach a class or two in the summer and the lighter load allows me to read, write and revise as much as possible. I find that teaching helps to keep my editing eye sharp and honest as I answer student questions about writing issues I might have forgotten to consider. I find that my own creative work is inspired by the students’ questions and the readings I assign. And of course, it helps to pay the bills.

Summer is a great time to attend a writing residency or conference, although many of those deadlines have passed this late in the spring. Now is a great time to find the ones you are interested in for next year and make a calendar of deadlines.

What projects will you work on this summer?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summer Reading

I submitted my final grades for the semester and declare it officially summer. Now is the time to focus on writing, revising and reading. What are you reading or planning on reading this summer?

I have a stack of books that I’m slowly working on, including Laura Fraser’s newest memoir All Over the Map  (review to follow in a few days), Kay Ryan’s newest poetry collection  and in preparation for our summer travels, Greek poet C. P. Cavafy’s Collected Poems in a bilingual edition translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard.

I’m curious to know if you are reading your books digitally and what you think about your reader. Hope you’ll share below in the Comments section below.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Writing Prompt: Salad Greens

Last night I prepared a salad: washed the lettuce and then added cannelloni beans, sliced tomato, avocado and then tossed it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Like Proust’s madeleine, I was brought somewhere else as I looked at the bowl. Specifically, I was brought back to my favorite restaurant in Florence, Italy. I remembered sitting at the wooden tables in the back garden with one of my best friends, laughing over a glass of house Chianti and occasionally killing a mosquito.

For today’s writing prompt, let your mind bring you someplace else. Cook, walk, read, clean, Google a town, look at old pictures, listen to music – do what you need to do to bring you back to a place and time.

Write for five to ten minutes without stopping. If you need to, close your eyes for a few minutes first to meditate on that place, what you were doing, what it looked like. As my mother, a photographer always reminds me, look around. Don’t just look ahead, but also look up and behind you. See what there is to see and share that with the reader. Your musings will bring you beyond simple description.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Online Beginning Poetry Writing Class Offered in July

The online Memoir Writing Class has just started and is a great success! I look forward to reading the students’ writing as it develops. If you are looking for a summer online writing class, I encourage you to consider taking my upcoming Beginning Poetry Writing Workshop. This class is 100% online and will integrate a daily writing routine into your everyday life.

Email me (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com) anytime with questions or to register. I will save you a virtual seat in the class and include payment information. You can pay via check or Paypal.

Beginning Poetry Writing Workshop (online): Wednesday, July 21st – Sunday, July 25

Interested in writing poetry, but not sure where to start? In this workshop we will discuss how to write, edit and read a poem carefully. Short reading, writing and peer editing assignments will be given throughout the week. A virtual writing “staycation,” you’ll learn to integrate a regular writing routine into your life. The environment will be a safe and nurturing one which will challenge you to discover your individual voice.

You will write and workshop your original work with published writing teacher Chloé Miller and receive longer, individual feedback from her on your two longer assignments. Through group peer editing sessions, you will hone your editing abilities and receive additional feedback on your work.

The class will be held for one week from Wednesday, July 21st – Sunday, July 25. Class enrollment is limited to ten adult students. Beginners are encouraged in this class. Adults (18 +) only, please. The class will be held in a private Google group that will be available 24/7. With a free Gmail account, you will be ready to start.

The cost is $100.00 payable by check due July 15th. Chloé’s current and previous private writing students receive a 10% discount. To register, email Chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

For daily writing tips, please visit Chloé’s writing blog:

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email: Chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

For more information on Chloé:

Chloé Yelena Miller has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Italian language and literature from Smith College.

She has taught writing at a number of places, such as Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ; Northampton Community College, PA; Hudson County Community College, NJ; Maplewood South Orange Adult School, NJ; Recreation and Education, MI and presented at a number of writing conferences, such as The Association of Writers and Writing Programs; Sarah Lawrence College’s Conference Women’s Stories, Women’s Lives; Rochester Writers’ Conference in Michigan; Ann Arbor Book Festival’s Writer’s Conference; Writer’s Center of Indiana’s Conference; and Winter Wheat: The Mid-American Review Festival of Writing.

Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Cortland Review, Narrative Magazine, Alimentum, Sink Review, Storyscape and Lumina, among others. She currently reads poetry for The Literary Review and was previously an editor for Portal Del Sol and Lumina.

Her writing was a finalist for the Narrative Magazine’s Poetry Contest and the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry. She has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, A Room of Her Own’s Retreat in New Mexico and Summer Literary Seminar’s program in Prague.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ann Arbor Book Festival Writer’s Conference ... Still Excited Two Days Later!

This is the second year that I’ve presented at the Ann Arbor Book Festival Writer’s Conference and the second time I’ve left feeling invigorated by the other presenters and participants. As a thank you, I would like to offer the participants a 10% discount on one of my private writing classes or a free twenty minute trial of private coaching (email your inquiries: chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.)

Some highlights and resources from the Conference:

I presented “Brainstorming, Work, and Creativity” to a group of about six adults who were willing to share ideas, questions and encourage the others. The program asks participants to apply creative skills to brainstorming upcoming writing and employment opportunities. If you missed the workshop, email me (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com) and I’ll share the worksheet I distributed.

Poet Rachel McKibbens’ session, “The Girl with no Hands” had me scribbling notes and ideas for future poems throughout the entire hour and fifteen minutes. Here is the description of the session:

This workshop will take a look at the cultural and literary significance of magical realism, as well as provide participants with writing exercises that ignite the use of startling imagery. We will also discuss the importance of cutting loose the binds of "truth" by allowing the fantastic to co-exist with the factual.

An acclaimed spoken word poet, teacher and author, Rachel McKibbens was mesmerizing as she offered a group creative writing exercise based on Marilyn Monroe after a quick lecture on magic realism. On her blog, you’ll find numerous writing exercises similar to the one we did. Rachel encouraged us to uncover the unfamiliar word and image to push our writing to the next level. As homework, she suggested that we create our own word banks for writing by listing 100 words that describe or represent a list of words related to a subject. A challenge that will surely break traditional connections between words and ideas! I encourage you to try them out and open the many doors in your long hallway of your mind, as she described our thoughts. I look forward to reading her book of poetry, “Pink Elephant” from Cypher Books.

Micheline Maynard, the New York Times journalist and author of recent creative non-fiction book, “The Selling of the American Economy,” offered her experience in writing articles and books. Forthright and encouraging, the session was wonderful. She encouraged preparation as an important aspect of writing. Not only for creative non-fiction authors, she encouraged research and learning how to do a good search. She suggested simply stopping by a library and asking a research librarian to spend fifteen minutes to show you how to use technology to improve your search. Similar to Rachel’s exercises that helped us to stretch the creative writing muscles, she prompted us to write something unique. The subject could have been, and likely has been, written about before, but the trick is to find your own angle. She noted the required bravery that it takes to be a writer – brave to write what you believe to be true, come to your own conclusions and then read your readers' responses – immediately! – in this day and age. I couldn’t agree more.

Many of us desire to write full-time. Considering the economy, this is a potential financial risk. Micheline Maynard suggested that if you want to work as a freelance writer, you should spend 70% writing and 30% on the administrative details, like finding the next gig. (See the links under "Publishing Resources" in the sidebar for some resources.)

The final event I attended was the Publishing Session with Mary Bisbee-Beek, owner of an independent publicity and marketing consulting office, and authors Ellen Meeropol, Bonnie Jo Campbell and Ann Pearlman. This was a lively discussion about three authors’ experiences of being published by big, small and university presses. Squad 365, the book marketing blog, was recommended for regular advice on publicizing your work.

In almost every session I was in, there were questions about how authors can create and improve an internet presence. Especially for those who are less inclined to blog or spend hours a day online, this can be mysterious. The general advice was to set up Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter accounts, along with a website and blog. In the panel, it was encouraged not only because book publishers require you to because they can be used to market your work on a larger scale, but also as a simple means for friends and readers to recommend you.

Writers often discuss the difficulties of becoming published and consider Print on Demand companies. This panel in particular warned against it, since it will be very difficult to get your book into a bookstore, unless you are publishing for a very small community, such as your family or a small group that is not served by a publishing house and/or bookstore. Not everyone would agree with this approach, but I wanted to share their perspective.

There were a number of questions about protecting your work under copyright laws. For more information on that issue, I recommend the Copyright Alliance’s worksheet for details for writers.

The Ann Arbor Book Festival has events throughout the year. Check their website regularly for updates.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Three Events... Three Days

This is a big weekend: I am presenting at three events over the course of the next three days.

It all begins with a poetry reading at the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature’s Annual Conference in East Lansing today. Saturday I am leading a workshop entitled, “Brainstorming, Work, and Creativity: Thinking Outside of the Box” at the Ann Arbor Book Festival’s Annual Writer’s Conference. The busy weekend will end with a food-oriented poetry reading at the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor’s “Afternoon of Poetry.”

For more detailed information about each event, please see my Readings & Presentations page.

I am really looking forward to each event. If you are able to attend one or all of them, please come and say, “hello!”

I am available to read, lead creative writing workshops and present at conferences or other events. Please contact me for more information: Chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Last Chance to enter to win Prompted!

Today is the last day to enter to win a copy of the anthology Prompted! Don't miss out!


I recently blogged about the anthology Prompted. Now you can win a copy of this collection of creative pieces culled from the Greater Philadelphia Wordshop, directed by Alison Hicks.

To be eligible to win Prompted, share this blog’s link ( with friends and let us know in the comments section of the original announcement HERE.

The contest ends at midnight EST *TODAY!* The winner’s name will be chosen at random and announced here tomorrow.

Are you in the Philadelphia area? Don’t miss the Prompted reading by anthology authors. It will be on May 22nd at the American Swedish Historical Museum.
Guidelines to win a free copy of Prompted:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Threads Give Way by Shannon K. Winston

Congratulations to Shannon K. Winston on her first published book of poetry, Threads Give Way (Cold Press Publishing)!

Shannon and I met at the Prague Summer Program (hosted by Western Michigan University) the summer of 2004. A lovely poet who has traveled the world, we lost touch and were reconnected by a friend through Facebook (to all those Facebook naysayers, see? It does have the power to do good.) I attended her book launch reading the other day at the University of Michigan and enjoyed her poems which had a deep sense of observation of the world around her.

For the writers reading this blog, Shannon inadvertently offered a creative writing prompt. She prefaced a poem by describing how she likes to start each day swinging on a park swing. She suggested, “try starting the day with your feet in the air.” A lover of swings, I think this is a great idea. I challenge you to try this more physical start to a poem and see what comes to mind. Perhaps you want to bring a journal to the park and free-write after swinging.

More about the author and the book:

Shannon K. Winston grew up in Chicago and Paris and has also lived in Italy. Vulnerability, moments of dissolution, and new beginnings are central themes of her poems. In this debut collection she engages in a process of “translation” in which sensory vibrations and murmurings are transformed into language. Winston is currently completing a PhD on perception, aesthetics, and genre in Modernist art in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. While her work has appeared in such places as Reed Magazine, Her Circle Ezine, and Two Review (2007, 2009), Threads Give Way will be her first full volume of poetry, as well as the first full length book by a single author published by Cold Press.

Praise for Shannon K. Winston's poetry:

"Immediately I am struck by the splendor of the images in this book, the richness of the reading, the desire to forge a world on the page. Yet I believe Shannon K. Winston’s poetry finds itself even more when passion meets concentration, even more when the words are simple and essential, as it was with the beloved Montale. The poet finds a palpable balance in poems like “Fez, Morocco,” where thought, sound, and emotion converge like “sesame seeds blooming” inside of men’s mouths. Threads Give Way is a mature debut book."
- Antonella Anedda, author of Il catalogo della gioia

Friday, May 7, 2010

Win a Free Copy of the Anthology Prompted!

I recently blogged about the anthology Prompted. Now you can win a copy of this collection of creative pieces culled from the Greater Philadelphia Wordshop, directed by Alison Hicks.

To be eligible to win Prompted, share this blog’s link ( with friends and let us know below. The contest ends at midnight EST on Wednesday, May 12. The winner’s name will be chosen at random and announced here on Thursday, May 13th.

Are ou in the Philadelphia area? Don’t miss the Prompted reading by anthology authors. It will be on May 22nd at the American Swedish Historical Museum.

Guidelines to win a free copy of Prompted:

1. Link to this blog and share something about it with your friends. You can do this on your website, blog, Facebook profile, Twitter account, LinkedIn update, Meetup group, etc.) If you don’t have something to link to, please email the link to at least three friends.

2. Return to the Comments section of this post and let us know where you linked to us. The winner's name will be chosen from the posts in the Comments section below. Be sure to comment before the deadline, midnight on Wednesday.

3. Come back on Thursday to see if you’ve won! The winner’s name will be posted after being chosen at random.

4. The winner will be asked to send his or her address privately to receive a free copy of the book.

Good luck!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Writing prompt: Changing Space

Sure, National Poetry Month is over, but that doesn’t mean you should stop writing.

Today’s writing prompt has two parts. First, choose a space and describe it. It can be a public or private space. Consider who and what is in the space and what action is occurring.

Second, enter the space and focus on what changes. Consider people’s body language, conversational topics, the general tone, the light, animals present, etc. It is possible, of course, that nothing changes. Your goal is to determine what, if anything, changes and describe it for the reader.

Would you share your writing with us in the comments section below?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Travel Writing Workshop @Presse Bookstore in Georgetown this September

I will be presenting a Travel Writing Workshop at Presse Bookstore in Georgetown one weeknight evening in September. This two hour, interactive workshop will ask a small group of participants to write, peer edit and discuss travel writing.

There is no travel requirement. I like to say that many people have never been where you currently are. Good writing requires an attentive eye and precise writing. The skills you work on in this workshop will be applicable to almost any other kind of writing. More details to come as we get closer to September.

I met with Presse’s owner, Harvetta Asamoah, when I was recently in Georgetown. A translator and avid reader, she is enthusiastic about good books and welcoming the community into her bookstore for events. Her website lists book clubs, language classes, readings and more. Keep up to date by joining the related Meetup Groups.

I think you’ll love the book selection at Presse. There is a large selection of world literature and language study aids. (And you know how I love world languages, especially Italian!)

Hope to see you there in September! The bus stops right outside the bookstore. Nothing could be easier.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Swing Into Spring with the Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan

The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan will host Swing Into Spring, its 9th annual fundraiser and celebration, on Friday, May 7, 2010. This special event will be held at the Barton Hills Country Club from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

The volunteer auction committee has planned a wonderful event for people in the community to support The Women's Center and, in turn, provide women in our community with an interwoven "safety net" of critical services.

This fun evening features both a silent and live auction with over 200 items, a strolling supper, swing dance entertainment and live music. Tickets are $75 each.

Look for my donation at the auction, one hour of private coaching on your writing project.

The Women’s Center is a nonprofit grassroots resource center dedicated to emotional and economic self-determination for women, girls and families. Their quality services include:

• Personal Counseling

• Job Coaching

• Divorce Support

• Legal Clinics

• Financial Counseling

• Tax Preparation Assistance

• Referral Resources

The Women’s Center is a major human service provider in the Washtenaw County area. Each year, they provide direct services to over 500 women and girls (and some men) which represent about 7500 appointments. Additionally, they assist an estimated 3000 people who call for help in accessing community resources. Their services help women change their lives.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Attn: Philadelphia friends! Prompted Reading @ the American Swedish Historical Museum on May 22

If you are in the Philadelphia area, I encourage you to attend a reading at the American Swedish Historical Museum, from the new book Prompted.

Prompted is edited by Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio Director Alison Hicks, the author of the novella, Love: A Story of Images, and Falling Dreams, a volume of poetry. I first met Alison four years ago at a writing retreat at the Zen Arts Retreats with poet Jane Hirshfield. Alison is a wonderful writer and reader. We’ve shared work and writing news over the years. She’s insightful, kind and challenging with her comments. If you are in the Philadelphia area, I encourage you to consider her workshops.

Information on the Reading:
When: May 22, 2010, 4-8, rain or shine

Where: American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Ave., Philadelphia 215-389-1776

Reserve your tickets by May 20 for just $10 by emailing christine(at)philadelphiastories(dot)org, or $12 at the door. Admission includes food, beverages, fab tunes from DJ Ted Offensive, readings, and live music from local band, The Tights.

The party will also celebrate the third release from PS Books. Prompted presents poetry, personal essays, and fiction from Alison Hicks' Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio. From internationally published author Julie Compton (Tell No Lies, Rescuing Olivia) to first-time poet Marsha Pincus, Prompted's connective tissue lies in a deep love and respect for the craft of writing.

The online auction starts Friday, April 30.

You are invited, although not required, to RSVP for the reading on Facebook.

About Prompted
PS Books, a division of Philadelphia Stories, in partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, presents Prompted, an anthology that explores the human condition via poetry, personal essays, and fiction.

From internationally published author Julie Compton (Tell No Lies, Rescuing Olivia) to first-time poet Marsha Pincus, Prompted’s connective tissue lies in a deep love and respect for the craft of writing. Prompted is edited by Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio Director Alison Hicks, the author of the novella, Love: A Story of Images, and Falling Dreams, a volume of poetry.

Hicks began the Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio (GPWS) in October1996 with five people who met for three hours once a week in a church in Center City, Philadelphia. The process was the same then as it is today, and the Center City workshop still meets in that same church. Hicks began a similar workshop in the Delaware County/Main Line in 1999.

“I did not create the process,” Hicks says of the GPWS method. “It is the Amherst Writers & Artists method, brainchild of Pat Schneider, with whom I studied in the early 1980s. The core beliefs underlying it are simple and true: everyone has creative genius and a unique voice and vision to offer the world. The workshops aim to cultivate that voice.”

The anthology will be available for purchase through PS Books, Amazon, and all major bookstores. For additional information on Prompted, its content, and PS Books, visit their website or contact christine(at)psbookspublishing(dot)org.

About PS Books
PS Books publishes literary and commercial fiction, nonfiction and anthologies with a preference for, but not limited to, the Delaware Valley. PS Books is a division of Philadelphia Stories, a nonprofit literary magazine and companion website that publishes literary fiction, poetry, and art from PA-NJ-DE and provides it to the general public free of charge.