— I submitted an essay to a local publication.  It was the essay I’d written for the essay contest that was cancelled.

— Research continues for markets for “The Shadow,” the novel excerpt from Perceval.  I now have a list to check online.

— I’ll be mailing another follow-up letter to the literary agent who has the manuscript to Perceval.  I sent it to him on March 5, 2008. 

— I continue to read Publishers Weekly each week and receive Publishers Lunch/Today’s Deals from Publishers Marketplace.  The publishing and bookselling businesses have suffered in the current economy.  Deals are made for publication, books are sold in bookstores and online, but the industry has slowed.  It was difficult to begin with to gain attention and a possible deal for a book, even harder for a first novel, and now it’s probably one hundred times more difficult.  I’ll continue on the course I’m on, but may not query another batch of agents until summer or fall.  I am encouraged by what Barack Obama has already done for the economy and what he plans to do in the first 100 days of his administration.


— Work continues on the short story “The Rabbit.”  Deadline is January 31 for the contest.  I expect to make the deadline but haven’t decided if I’ll enter the contest….

— I need to list what writing work I plan to do this year.  It’s in my head, I just haven’t had a chance to do it and attach it to my work calendar.  I’ve begun work on a short story with the working title “Lights;” a memoir essay with the working title “Rare;” and notes for a full-length memoir about my father and power.  My writing life will experience a shrinking in available uninterrupted time, also, because of the job search.  If I manage to land a job, that will continue to cut into my time and I’ll need to work on my schedule to find time to write. 

Richard Carr Poetry Reading: 

Everyone is welcome to attend a poetry reading and release party celebrating Richard’s four new books of poetry on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 2 PM.  The fun happens at Dunn Bros. Coffee in the historic Smith Douglas More House at 8107 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie, MN.  For info on Richard and his poetry, visit www.RichardCarr.info.  I haven’t been to a poetry reading in probably years, so I’m looking forward to this one….


4 responses to “Updates

  1. /// I expect to make the deadline but haven’t decided if I’ll enter the contest….

    Why wouldn’t you enter?

    There’s a movie in ’07? ’08? based upon a book, non-fiction, about a mother in Ohio who practically ran her home based upon entering every single thing she could for prizes: writing jingles, ‘enter to win’ sweepstakes, write an essay about why you like our product … you name it, she did it. I didn’t see the movie, but I read an exerpt of the book, and heard an interview with the author, the daughter of the woman in question.

    Wouldn’t it be good to simply enter anything and everything you could? Not that you should try to enter everything possible, but why not enter contests, if you have the material to do so?

  2. A lot depends on the contest, rather than the prize, which in this case is a $25 gift certificate to B&N or Amazon.com.

    Is the contest being offered by a reputable publication? How big is the contest? Who judges it? Is it an established writer(s) who judges? Is the contest long established? What happens with the writing after the contest, i.e. rights, publication, etc.?

    In the case of “The Rabbit,” I’d received a notification of the contest in an e-mail. The publication is a website that caters to women and women writers. Publication would be online before the contest so that visitors to the site can vote on which piece they like best. I haven’t yet found any mention at the site about electronic rights, how long they plan to keep them, etc. Is this the kind of online publication I want to publish my work? And I’m still thinking about whether I want to be published only online….

    Entering contests the way the mother in Ohio did is a bit different than a contest for publication….

  3. Cinda, do you mind if I add my perspective here?

    Many of the college and university literary journals run short story (and poetry) contests, judged either by the journal editors or by a “celebrity” guest judge (i.e., a well-known, established writer)–reputable either way. The prizes are big–a big chunk of cash, maybe, but even better is publication of the story in the journal, which equals national recognition and a chance for your work to be seen by agents and publishers (both of whom definitely look in the journals for new talent). The contest entry fees are a disadvantage (10, 20, 25 dollars), but on the other hand, you can also just send the story directly to the journal editors for consideration outside the contest, and if accepted, you still have the distinction of a national publication plus exposure to agents, etc.

    And by the way, full rights always revert immediately back to the author after the first publication of the story, unless there is an associated website, in which case the story may be printed once there as well.

    I’m choosy about where I send my work, but in other ways, I’m like that mother in Ohio: I like to send out lots of stuff. Or if I only have one piece, I send it to several, even many, places at the same time. Simultaneous submission is now the norm (among sensible, thoughtful editors, at least, which is just about all of them)–but be certain to withdraw all other submissions immediately upon placing the story elsewhere.

    If you are looking for a top-ranked journal with an interest in women’s work, try Calyx:


    (I know I mentioned university journals up above, but I think Calyx is independent. Also, they read submissions only during October, November and December.)

    Another journal with women’s interest is Dust and Fire at:


    (This one is based in the Women’s Studies and English Department of Bemidji State University in Minnesota. They have a summer deadline.)


  4. Thanks, Richard! I agree with a lot of what you wrote. My problem is that I don’t have a pile of short stories to send out because I have spent my time working on my novels. Maybe this is a mistake, I don’t know at this point. However, the short story contest I referred to in the post is just one of many online, each with a different focus. I know about literary journals and their contests (I have the Directory of Little Magazines and Presses) and try to keep up with them through “The Writer,” which is fairly comprehensive.

    I may end up focusing on short stories and essays this year as I look for a second job (writing is my first job), or I may focus on something nonfiction, I haven’t decided. At this point, I plan to put the Perceval novels away, after some note-writing and outline sketching, until I have the time, uninterrupted, to think, muse, play and write on them.

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