Thursday, December 18, 2014

Getting Back into Travel Writing

When I worked as Director of Outreach for a trade association, I had the pleasure of traveling around not only the U.S., but internationally to conferences and meetings. My travels inspired my poetry, but I also wrote occasional non-fiction about the places I visited, or travel tips.

Living in Berlin, I have learned a lot about the city's history, its architecture, and its cultural attractions. Because of this knowledge, I wanted to get back into travel writing. Finally, after nearly a year and a half of research, topic brainstorming, and pitching, my first two articles are now published.

"The City behind the City of Berlin," GoNOMAD Travel, November 2014

"Kunstquartier Bethanien," Slow Travel Berlin, December 2014

I feel like I am now getting some traction with my efforts. Of course, having two very recent writing clips will help tremendously as I pitch ideas to other outlets.

As 2014 comes to a close, I am already beginning to think positively about the prospects for 2015.

And keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Art Book Festivals in Berlin, Part 1

Berlin is well-known for its art scene, so it is not surprising to find that it also has a fine selection of book fairs dedicated specifically to “art books.” I had the pleasure of attending two of these fairs in late-2014, and am happy to provide summaries of them.

------------------------------------------------


Report on artbook.berlin 2014 at Kunstquartier Bethanien

On 21-23 November, artbook.berlin held its third convention for art books, and artistic editions of books. This year, the event showcased the work of more than 100 art book publishers and graphic design artists from Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, and Switzerland.

Kunstquartier Bethanien

The event took place in Kreuzberg’s historic Kunstquartier Bethanien on Mariannenplatz, the former Central-Deaconess-Institute 'Bethanien' (Central-Diakonissen-Haus Bethanien). Following the signs for artbook.berlin, I wended my way through the vibrantly muraled hallways of the ground floor to the smaller of the two exhibition spaces, which contained a series of cozy linked rooms. The larger of the exhibit spaces was on the first floor, in a brightly-lit two-story hall.

View from the 2nd level of the larger hall

The event featured readings and discussions by authors including Pètrus Akkordéon and Rainer Stolz, as well as book-launch celebrations and signings by artists such as Anne Wenkel and Kat Menschik. On Sunday afternoon, visitors were treated to a guided tour of Kulturwerk’s printing studios by Mathias Mrowka, Assistant Director for the studio. Kulturwerk is a facility of bbk berlin, an association for professional artists in Berlin.

Many of the publishers showcased books presenting the art of individual or select artists – with the motivation of allowing a broader access by the public to works of art they may not be able to afford as originals. Also exhibiting at the event were an impressive number of publishers presenting art books featuring wonderful graphic designs to accompany fiction and poetry, for example:

Officina Ludi – This Hamburg-based publisher offered among its books the Kurt Tucholsky work “Der Hund als Untergebener,” illustrated by Klaus Ensikat. Also featured at the table was “Typoeten – Typographische Dichterporträts von Ralf Mauer,” wonderful portraits of famous poets and writers, crafted by Ralf Mauer.

Ralf Mauer's portraits of poets

edition offizin parvus berlin – This local publisher of hand-printed books featuring original graphics, offered a gorgeous selection of “folded books,” with excerpts of text from writers and poets such as Hermann Hesse, Georg Trakl, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Tatsuko. All editions are in German.

One of the "folded books" by edition offizin parvus berlin

On 13 December, I will attend Art Book Fair Berlin 2014, hosted by Friends with Books, a newly-formed non-profit organization dedicated to offering greater visibility to contemporary artists' books and art publications.



edition offizin parvus berlin – www.offizinparvus.de

Friends with Books – www.friendswithbooks.org

Kunstquartier Bethanien – www.kunstquartier-bethanien.de

Officina Ludi – www.officinaludi.de


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Percentages

Yesterday, I sent out what will likely be the last poetry submission of the year. Because it's been a bit of a crazy year, and because I am trying to focus on writing that pays money, I haven't been writing or submitting much in the way of poetry this year. But, since I was curious, I did a tally of my submissions to literary journals.

I sent 39 batches of poems to litmags. I am awaiting response from nine. I had four acceptances, but one of them was for translations and if I can't get the permissions fee waived (due to the fact that I, myself, will not receive any money for the translations), then that drops me back to three acceptances out of 30 responses so far. I consider 10% to be pretty good, considering that I've been extremely selective and aiming at some pretty high branches.

Nine batches awaiting response. If I keep up the percentages, that means one will likely be an acceptance. Which will it be? Hmmmm....

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Back to Work

The two-week fall break has ended and we are all back to work or back to school.

For me, two classes have ended. A new one starts this week, while the second is slated to begin next week. After that, I break from teaching until the new year.

Fountain in Bremen
October was a month of ups and downs, fits and starts, and then stops. Lessons were learned in the area of book image rights, travel plans were chaotic due to nationwide train strikes, the water pump on our dryer ceased to pump, and much tea was consumed to soothe the colds obtained from a chilly and rainy visit to a little island on the North Sea.

On the up side, family visited, Oktober was "fested", several kilograms of Halloween candy were eaten, we discovered the beauty of Bremen, Peter & I had successful meetings with potential clients and associates, projects were completed, movies were seen, an island was explored from coast to coast, and I even managed to get some scribbling done in my journal. No poems for now, but there's hope that one day soon.

Tonight, I will be one of the featured readers at Curious Fox Books. I'm looking forward to getting back to participating in Berlin's literary scene.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Looking for Inspiration Before the Holiday Rush Hits?

For those who are seeking some inspiration for poems, I'll be leading two online workshops in November:


Online Poetry Workshop II
Begins: 3 November 2014 (4 weeks) via "The Writer's Center"
With the same structure as Online Poetry Workshop I, this workshop will provide different topics for generating new poems. Lessons will be posted weekly, featuring example poems and links to additional reading. Participants will share and comment on each other’s work and will receive individual feedback from the workshop leader. Completion of Online Poetry Workshop I is NOT required for Workshop II. US$195.00 (members of The Writer's Center receive a discount). For more info or to register, visit
https://www.writer.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=353&__nccssubcid=69&__nccsct=Online+Workshops&nccsm=21&__nccspID=3805.

Poetry Exercises to Jump-Start Your Muse - II
Begins: 10 November 2014 (4 weeks) via "Women on Writing"
Are you tired of sitting around waiting for the muse to bring you the gift of an idea for a poem? Jump-start your muse with this workshop. For four weeks, you will receive inspiration for generating new poems, ideas you can return to time and time again to reinvigorate your writing. Themed lessons will be posted weekly, featuring example poems, articles, essays, and links to additional reading. Participants will submit drafts weekly for thoughtful, individual feedback from the instructor. (NOTE: This workshop is similar in structure to Poetry Exercises to Jump-Start Your Muse - I, but features four different thematic exercises.) US$100.00. For more info or to register, visit

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/classroom/BernadetteGeyer_PoetryExercisesToJumpStartYourMuseII.php


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Want to Write in Berlin? -- Fellowship Opportunities for Writers

Have you ever wanted to travel to Berlin to write? Funds for Writers newsletter has published my article about the fellowships available to writers who want to come to Berlin. There is a fantastic English-language literary scene here and I'd love to see some of my writer friends apply for these.

You can read the text of the article on the Funds for Writers web site at:

http://archive.aweber.com/fundsforwriters/7Dj8T/h/FundsforWriters_September.htm


Monday, September 15, 2014

Contests for Already Published (Poetry) Books - Updated

Because this list still gets a lot of page views, I'm updating it with new links and new awards. If anyone knows of additional contests for already published books (or galleys), please post a comment and I will add to the list.

--------------------------------

Recent additions:  Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards, Minnesota Book Awards

--------------------------------


BOOK AWARDS FOR POETRY BOOKS

Note: advice of most of these contests is to submit book as soon as possible during submission period.

ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards – poetry category
sponsor: ForeWord Magazine
cost to enter: $60, plus 2 copies of book
prize: publicity of being first, second or third place in category. Money only awarded to one best “fiction” and one best “non-fiction”
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: not specified
deadline: January 15
http://www.forewordmagazine.com/awards/

Levis Reading Prize (1st or 2nd book of poetry)
sponsor: Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept. of English
cost to enter: 1 copy of the book
prize: $1000 & expenses paid to give reading at VCU in Richmond
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no vanity presses
deadline: January 15
http://www.has.vcu.edu/eng/resources/levis_prize/levis_prize.htm

The Eric Hoffer Award for Independent Books (includes poetry)
sponsor: The Eric Hoffer Project
cost to enter:  $50.00
grand prize for independent books: $1,500; other awards & distinctions given as well, including the da Vinci eye award
submission/entry by: publisher, author or others
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: January 21
http://www.hofferaward.com/

The Balcones Poetry Prize
sponsor: Austin Community College
cost to enter: 3 copies of book plus $20 nomination fee
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: publisher, author or others
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: January 31
http://acccreativewriting.com/category/balcones_poetry_prize/

Paterson Poetry Prize
sponsor: The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College
cost to enter: 3 copies of book
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: minimum press run of 500 copies
deadline: February 1
http://www.pccc.cc.nj.us/poetry/Prize/2005/2006_Paterson_Poetry_P.html

Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry
sponsor: Southern Illinois Univ. Carbondale & GRASSROOTS
cost to enter: $15.00 plus one copy of book
prize: $1,000 & reading at Devil’s Kitchen Fall Literary Festival
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no vanity press or self-published books
deadline: February 1
http://grassroots.siu.edu/dkawards.html

Library of Virginia Literary Awards (VA writer)
sponsor: Library of Virginia
cost to enter: 4 copies of the book
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: February 5
http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/litawards/index.htm

Milton Kessler Poetry Book Award (book in previous calendar year)
sponsor: Binghamton University
cost to enter: 3 copies, plus entry form
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: minimum press run of 500 copies
deadline: March 1
http://www2.binghamton.edu/english/creative-writing/binghamton-center-for-writers/binghamton-book-awards/kessler-poetry-awards.html

Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY)
sponsor: Jenkins Group Publishing Services
cost to enter: $75/title/category (early entry), plus a copy of the book
prize: Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in each of 72 categories
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: March 15
http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/ipawards.php

Grub Street Book Prize (for a 2nd, 3rd or beyond book)
sponsor: Grub Street, Inc.
cost to enter: copy of book, CV, synopsis of proposed craft class, $10 fee
prize: $1000, reading/book party in Boston, all-expenses paid trip to Muse and the Marketplace conference to lead a craft class for Grub Street members.
submission/entry by: author or press
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: March 15
http://www.grubstreet.org/index.php?id=24#bookprize

Debut-litzer Prizes (for a first work of fiction or poetry)
sponsor: Late-Night Library
cost to enter: 2 copies of book plus $25 application fee
prize: $1000 plus featured appearance on Late Night Conversation; winning books will be discussed on Late Night Debut.
submission/entry by: author, agent, publicist, or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: published in North America in English
deadline: April 30

Brockman-Campbell Book Award (poetry book by NC-born or NC-resident poet)
sponsor: North Carolina Poetry Society
cost to enter: 1 copy of book, bio, $10 for non-members, free for members
prize: $200 plus invitation to read at fall meeting of NCPS
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: May 1
http://www.ncpoetrysociety.org/bcaward/

James Laughlin Award (2nd book)
sponsor: Academy of American Poets
cost to enter: 4 copies of the manuscript
prize: $5,000
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: published by a press with at least 4 previous books of poetry
deadline: May 15
http://www.poets.org

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize
sponsor: American Academy of Poets
cost to enter: $25 & four copies
prize: $25,000
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: minimum press run of 500; self-published not eligible
deadline: January 1-May 15
http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/108

Oscar Arnold Young Contest for the Book (NC resident or former resident)
sponsor: Poetry Council of North Carolina
cost to enter: 2 copies of book plus $10 entry fee
prize: 1st Place: $100 plus trophy w/name engraved to keep for one year; 2nd Place: $50
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: May 22
http://poetrycouncilofnc.wordpress.com/

Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award (not only poetry books) (must reside in greater Kansas City area – Jackson, Cass, Clay, Lafayette and Platte counties in Missouri; or Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties in Kansas)
sponsors: American Association of University Women-Kansas City Branch and the Kansas City Public Library
cost to enter: 2 copies of book
prize: $500 check, certificate of recognition, and listing on the library’s website
submission/entry by: anyone
POD or self-publishing restrictions: No text books, guide books, or how-to manuals. Previous winners not eligible.
deadline: June 1

National Book Award
sponsor: National Book Foundation
cost to enter: $100
prize: $10,000 top prize for poetry book; $1000 to each finalist
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: self-published is okay only if the "author/publisher also publishes titles by other authors"
deadline: June 14
http://www.nationalbook.org

Pulitzer Prize
sponsor: Pulitzer
cost to enter: $50.00
prize: $10,000
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadlines: June 14 (for books pub’d 1/1-6/15); Oct 15 (for books pub’d 6/15-12/31)
http://www.pulitzer.org

Housatonic Book Awards (for five categories, including poetry)
sponsor: Western Connecticut State University MFA program, in conjunction with the MFA Alumni Writers’ Cooperative
cost to enter: $25 plus a copy of the book and a completed entry form
prize: $1,000 for appearance at MFA residency in January, plus $500 travel stipend and hotel stay
submission/entry by: publisher, author, agent, or legal representative of author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: June 15

Towson University Prize for Literature (for book by Maryland authors)
sponsor: Towson University
cost to enter: copy of the book
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published books
deadline: June 30 (submit nomination during June)
http://www.towson.edu/english/7.1%20Towson%20Prize%20for%20Literature/index.asp

Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award (1st books)
sponsor: Great Lakes Colleges Association
cost to enter: four copies of the book
prize: All expenses paid trips to several of the GLCA colleges, each of which pays an honorarium of $500
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published
deadline: July 25
http://www.glca.org

PEN New England Awards (poetry is one of several categories for New England-based writers)
sponsor: PEN New England
cost to enter: n/a
prize: n/a
submission/entry by: publisher, author, agent, or publicist
POD or self-publishing restrictions: n/a
deadline: Guidelines will be posted in August/September 2014

Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize (for book of poems by an Upstate New York poet)
sponsor: Utica College
cost to enter: entry form, CV, plus two copies of the book
prize: $2000, reading at Utica College, meeting with students in master class
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published or vanity press
deadline: August 31

Kate Tufts Discovery Award (for a 1st book)
sponsor: Claremont Graduate University
cost to enter: 5 copies of the book
prize: $10,000
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: September 15
http://www.cgu.edu/tufts/

Kingsley Tufts Award
sponsor: Claremont Graduate University
cost to enter: 8 copies of the book
prize: $100,000 and 1-week residency at Claremont
submission/entry by: author, publisher, or agent/rep
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: September 15
http://www.cgu.edu/tufts/

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award (books by writers of African descent, various genres incl. poetry)
sponsor: Hurston/Wright Foundation
cost to enter: $30, plus four copies of the book
prize: announcement at the annual Gala fundraiser
submission/entry by: publisher (self-published authors may nominate themselves)
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: November 12

Drake University Emerging Writer Award (1st books, 2013 is novels; check future for poetry)
sponsor: Drake University Writers & Critics Series
cost to enter: $15 plus a copy of the book, cover letter
prize: $1000 plus travel and lodging for a reading at the University
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no vanity presses or self-published books
deadline: November 15
http://artsci.drake.edu/english/WritersandCritics
Send to: Drake University Emerging Writer Award,  c/o Nancy Reincke, Writers and Critics Series,  English Department, Howard Hall,  Drake University,  2507 University Ave,  Des Moines, IA 50311
email: nancy.reincke@drake.edu


UNT Rilke Prize (for a mid-career poet with at least two previous books of poetry)
sponsor: University of North Texas
cost to enter: two copies of book and completed entry form
prize: $10,000 plus travel expenses for trip to Texas to give readings at UNT and at The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published books
deadline: November 30
 
Lambda Literary Awards (LBGT content relevance, not based on orientation of writer)
sponsor: Lambda Literary
cost to enter: $35 plus a copy of the book
prize: award and ceremony
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 1
http://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/

National Book Critics Circle Award
sponsor: National Book Critics Circle
cost to enter: 1 copy of book to a board member, if they're interested, they will request one for each board member
prize: fabulous publicity, awards ceremony in NYC
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published
deadline: December 1
http://www.bookcritics.org

Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing
sponsor: Morehead State University
cost to enter: five copies of a book
prize: $1000
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 1
http://www.moreheadstate.edu/content_template.aspx?id=4944

Pushcart Prize (for individual poems from published poetry collections)
sponsor: Pushcart Prize
cost to enter: none (up to six entries from a single publisher)
prize: publication in annual Pushcart Prize anthology
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 1
http://www.pushcartprize.com

Minnesota Book Awards (various genres, including poetry books by MN writers)
sponsor: The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
cost to enter: $45, plus 5 copies of the book
prize: invitation to awards gala, unclear if there is a monetary award
submission/entry by: author, publisher, or agent
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 5

Norma Farber First Book Award (for a first book)
sponsor: Poetry Society of America
cost to enter: $20
prize: $500
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: "standard edition"; no self-published
deadline: December 22
http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/awards/annual/individual/

William Carlos Williams Award
sponsor: Poetry Society of America
cost to enter: $20
prize: purchase prize between $500-$1000
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: "standard edition"; no self-published
deadline: December 22
http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/awards/annual/individual/

American Book Awards
sponsor: Before Columbus Foundation
cost to enter: two copies of the book
prize: 10 to 18 awards
submission/entry by: anyone
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 31
http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/

Griffin Poetry Prize
sponsor: Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry
cost to enter: four copies of a book
prize: $65,000 (Canadian); $63,250 (American)
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published
deadline: December 31
http://www.griffinpoetryprize.com

Julie Suk Prize for Best Poetry Book
sponsor: Jacar Press
cost to enter: two copies of book, plus $10 reading fee
prize: $500, and invitation to North Carolina for a reading and workshop
submission/entry by: anyone
POD or self-publishing restrictions: independent, non-major presses only
deadline: December 31
http://www.jacarpress.com/submit/

PEN Center Book Awards (poetry is one of several categories, writers west of the Mississippi River)
sponsor: PEN Center USA
cost to enter: 4 copies of book, plus $35 fee, plus application form
prize: $1000, one-year membership in PEN Center USA, invitation to annual Literary Awards Festival
submission/entry by: authors, publishers, agents, or publicists
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no POD or self-published books
deadline: December 31