Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Residency (literary and visual arts)

Residency Near Salida, Colorado

Colorado Art Ranch and Art Works for the Heart of the Rockies will host 5 visual and literary artists near Salida Colorado. The residency begins September 28, 2008 and ends October 30, 2008. Deadline for applications is August 1, 2008.

For more information, please visit Colorado Art Ranch Next Residency

The Cliffside home sits above the Chalk Creek Valley and just under the 800 feet tall Chalk Cliffs. The home is a Frank Lloyd Wright design which makes all the spaces functional and useful. There is no internet access, but several sites in Salida have free Wi-Fi.

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is just down the hill, you may drive up to the famous ghost town of St. Elmo or go hiking along the Colorado Trail. Salida and Buena Vista are 15-20 minutes away.

This residency is a bit isolated. It's too far to walk into town. It usualy works out that there is at least one car at the residency, and there will be plenty of opportunities to get groceries. There is a small art supply store in Salida, but it is best to bring what you need. This residency is ideally suited for artists who work outdoors or have minimal studio needs. However, we will find studio space to match artist needs.

Residents will be able to attend the Artposium in Denver, and will have transportation and housing for that event.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Backspace Writers Conference

August 7 & 8, 2008 • Radisson Martinique • New York City

The 2008 Backspace Writers Conference brings together literary agents, acquisitions editors, best-selling authors, and publishing professionals for a two-day, two-track program of workshops, panels, and networking in the heart of the publishing world.

Come meet the people who can make a difference in your career!

Keynote Speakers: Mark Tavani, Senior Editor, Random House; John Searles, author, books editor Cosmo Magazine

Literary Agents : Richard Curtis, Simon Lipskar, Jeff Kleinman, Emmanuelle Alspaugh, Paige Wheeler, Laney Katz Becker, Maya Rock, Michael Bourret, Scott Hoffman, Ronnie Gramazio, Elisabeth Weed, Stephany Evans, Holly Root, Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Matthew Mahoney, Eric Myers

Authors: M.J. Rose, Harry Hunsicker, Jason Pinter, Jackie Kessler, Heather Brewer, Gail Konop Baker, Laurel Corona, Lisa McMann, Jenny Gardiner, Danielle Younge-Ullman, Claudia Gray, Marlys Pearson, Jessica Keener, Elizabeth Letts, A.S. King, Robin Slick, Susan Henderson, Pam Jenoff, Trish Ryan, Leora Skolkin-Smith, Caroline Leavitt, Reed Farrel Coleman, Chris Grabenstein, William Powers, Carolyn Burns Bass, John Robison, Jon Clinch, Linda Gerber, Claudia Gray, Douglas Clegg

Editors and Other Publishing Professionals : Hilary Rubin Teeman (editor, St. Martin's), Charis Conn (contributing editor, Harper's Magazine), Kristen Weber (senior editor, New American Library), Rachel Kahan (senior editor, G.P. Putnam), Courtney Bongiolatti (associate editor, Simon & Schuster), Bella Stander, Jerry Gross, Lauren Cerand, Eileen Winnick

Registrations accepted up to and including the day of the conference.

Julia Peterkin Fiction Award

Submission Guidelines for the Julia Peterkin Award


The 2009 Julia Peterkin Award is open to all writers of fiction writing original works in English. Previously published works are eligible for inclusion in the submission.

Manuscript Format Guidelines

Entries must be typed on quality paper, 8 1/2 by 11. Photocopies or copies from letter-quality printers are acceptable. Each entry must include one short story or chapter from a novel--a maximum of 15-18 pages. In addition, include a cover page with the writer’s name, address, daytime phone number, and title of submission. Also include a one-page biography. Author’s name should not appear on the manuscript.

Entry Requirements

An entry fee of $15 made payable to: Converse College English Department.
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2009.

Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like direct notification of contest results. Results will be mailed in May of 2009. No manuscripts can be returned.

Send one copy of the manuscript prepared according to format guidelines.

The winner will receive $1000 and travel expenses for a reading at Converse College. Winner must be willing to read in the Fall 2009 Visiting Writers Series.

Send entries to:

The Julia Peterkin Award
Converse College
Department of English
580 E. Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29302

Monday, July 7, 2008

Saving Your Work

Perhaps the greatest nightmare every writer fears is that sinking feeling you have when your computer crashes and you haven't saved your work. Hours of writing and editing are lost in a single electronic failure. As someone who has lived through more than her share of computer crashes and viral infections, I thought I'd pass along some tips for backing up your writing.

The first thing to remember is that not all is lost when a computer crashes. Some systems have automatic backups and temp files where you may be able to find MOST of your recent writing. You can also hire computer experts (for about $100-200 in my part of the country) to run a save disk that will back up everything they can find on your computer so you can transfer to a working system. In fact, when I had a computer crash a couple of years ago, the computer geek I called saved all but the last day's files from my dead computer.

But what can you do to prevent the loss in the first place? Back up your writing. Make it habit. Do it after every writing session or after a certain period of time. But do it. Accidents and failures happen, and you don't want to be in the unhappy position of trying to salvage possible years worth of effort.

There are several easy ways to back up your writing. Perhaps the most popular choice is email. You can email copies of everything you write to a Web-based email account where you can access it from any computer. Another popular back-up technique includes using a flash drive (also known as a thumb drive), a device that plugs into your computer and downloads all selected documents into its memory. Some people like to back up their work on CDs. I would also like to recommend another excellent resource for baking up your writing (that's free): Google Documents. If you Google "Google Documents," you will find an online server that stores all sorts of documents, everything from MS Word docs to PowerPoint. It's easy to use, password protected, and holds tons of material.

What are the risks of the various means of backing up your work?
Email--Be sure that your email service is accessible from the Web and not just a local network. Also, you should confirm that the email server can handle attachments and doesn't have limited storage options.
Flash Drive--The greatest risk of the flash drive is that it's easy to lose. Don't depend on these for your only back up resource. It's also important to know that not all flash drives are compatible with all systems. A flash drive compatible with MS XP make not be compatible with MS Vista, for instance.
CD--The most obvious risk of using a CD for a back-up system is that CDs are easily damaged and/or corrupted. I've had installation CDs fail after a couple of years, even though they were stored in their original jewel cases and seldom used.
Google and other online services--Make sure they are password protected. An online server should also have a long shelf life on the Internet. You don't want to place your work on a server only to discover that it has closed up shop after a year.

And sometimes, when the work is lost forever, it's good to remember that you can write it again--perhaps even better than the first time. Hemmingway once lost a manuscript on a train, never to see it again. But he believed the book he wrote to replace that one was a much better work.

Happy writing!