Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

My friend Beth Polen submitted the manuscript for her middle-grade novel, Wish, to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest late last year. She recently received word that the novel has been selected for the semi-finals.

I’ve had the good fortune to read portions of Wish in progress. It’s terrific. The characters are lively and engaging, the plot trips and twists along, and it’s a great read.

You can read an excerpt of Wish and the other semi-finalists, and submit your reviews as well, at Any reviews you write will contribute to the decision of which books reach the finals, plus if you submit reviews you’ll be eligible to win prizes as well.

What we talk about when we talk about editing

Dept. of Corrections, originally uploaded by p373. Caroline of Pinky’s Paperhaus raises interesting questions about a recent piece in The New Yorker about Raymond Carver, his editor Gordon Lish, and the editing of Carver’s work. The piece is highly critical of Lish, but more importantly it’s unsigned — no indication is made of who wrote […]

Xtreme Critique Weekend

Coming in two weeks, it’s Fat Plum’s Xtreme Critique Weekend in Greensburg, PA. It’s the perfect writing get-away: a full weekend to focus on your writing and to connect with other writers. You’ll participate in five 3-hour critiquing sessions (each group will have six or fewer writers), receiving feedback from your session leaders as well […]

One lump or two? Or three?

Friday was a three-coffeeshop day. I started at Cummings Candy and Coffee, not working but writing, trying to restore to memory what I’ve done so far in the writing of my novel. Cummings has terrific booths with classic wood seats and marble table-tops, and a warm small town vibe, which makes it ideal for writing […]