The Cost of Competitions

Annika Perry's Writing Blog


To pay or not to pay?

Have you ever paid to enter writing competitions; either for short stories, poetry or even submitting a novel? Or perhaps you’d never contemplate having to pay for competitions? 

The topic of writing competitions came up at our last meeting of the local writing group and I was surprised at the varying opinions.

A couple of people seemed genuinely surprised that most competitions charged and that these were successful – I then had to admit to entering some myself with one win, a shortlist and a couple of long-list to my name. 

oldieimageAt first I was overjoyed to have my work professionally validated and deemed worthy to be read in print and it was the confident booster I so desperately needed. The deadlines, themes etc was a great incentive to sit down and write, producing a story in a day or two – then a…

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Laurie Easter

janna-3My introduction to Janna Marlies Maron came when my essay “Something to Do with Baldness” was accepted for publication at Under the Gum Tree, a reader supported, full-size, quarterly literary arts magazine that specializes in creative nonfiction, with visual artwork and photo essays alongside feature essays and four regular department sections: Fork and Spoon, Soundtrack, 24 Frames a Second, and Stomping Ground. Janna is the editor and publisher of Under the Gum Tree, which she began five years ago with the publication of the first issue in August of 2011.

Under the Gum Tree was my first creative nonfiction print publication in the January 2014 issue, and I was ecstatic when I received my copy, which has gorgeous artwork by Jane Ryder. utgt-cover-jan-2014The magazine is printed on high quality paper with a thick card-stock cover and the pages have that slick coffee table-display feel. I couldn’t believe my…

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday# October 13th

A Haven for Book Lovers

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly feature hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks . Please click on this link to get more details about the feature.


To take part all you need to do is answer the following questions:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

A Book I Have Read

sue monk kiddThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh…

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Writer’s Journal_9: Digging Deep for Meaning in Memoirs

The Accidental Writer

If my memoirs were only a capture of the facts and events as they’ve happened, I’d be able to publish one on my books this year and likely the other one next year.

But writing memoir is not about just chronicling facts and events. Writing memoir is about recalling and interpreting facts and events into something meaningful.

Yes, the events of our lives happened. BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

“What it means” is the whole point of writing memoir. For many of us who write or read memoirs, it is what drives us to write our own and to voraciously read someone else’s. We don’t want to regurgitate the facts or read someone else’s regurgitated facts. We want to piece together the clues of our own lives and determine what it all means. We want to read someone else’s clues and see what they believe it all means compared…

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It’s all about image: the skewed values of narcissistic families

Lucky Otters Haven


Last night I read a blog post by another survivor of narcissistic parents , and was astounded by how similar her parents’ values were to mine.

She writes that her father criticized her for being too idealistic. Now that would normally be a compliment, but because her family valued nothing but money, class and image, it was meant to be an insult. My father (who I don’t think is a narcissist, but has always been a huge narcissist apologist and enabler), said exactly the same thing to me.

We live in a narcissistic and materialistic society, that increasingly values traits that are narcissistic and exalt the individual over the community. In fact, studies have shown that a high percentage of CEOs, top executives, Wall Street tycoons, and others of the “One Percent” have narcissistic personality disorder. It’s a disorder that is very adaptive in modern society and whose traits are…

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Emotional abuse


Emotional abuse is very difficult to identify and even more difficult to prove. It’s sly, underhanded, artful and calculated. It’s important to know it is happening to you and it is important to notice it might be happening to someone else. Emotional abusers often have their reasons. It that awful cycle of abuse where you have been abused and you become the abuser. Emotional abuse can occur in the home , at work, from society at large …people. Unless we are clear about what it is and how to manage it then victims will continue to suffer. It can have dire consequences. A person can be so robbed of themselves, their hopes and dreams until they are in despair and dysfunctional. The worst thing is they have nothing to show anyone. Just what they think and how they feel. It has to be stopped like any other form of abuse…

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What I’m Reading | Memoirs | Racism & Poverty


I’ve rediscovered my love of memoirs this fall. Here are some of the things I’m reading these days and some of the best memoirs I’ve read this year, including three books that have helped me understand what it feels like to experience poverty and racism.

For more books to feed your soul, subscribe here.

Books mentioned in the video:

  • The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
  • Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  • American Hunger Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Four Seasons In Rome by Anthony Doerr
  • The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
  • The Chronology Of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch

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