Daily Archives: August 29, 2008

Review, Write and Win…

Field Report is a free site that holds cash-prize contests for good writing. The sort of writing they’re interested in is first person nonfiction. You don’t have to be a professional writer to win cash prizes…and the site provides a video of one lucky winner who was a postal worker.

There are basically two aspects to the site – reviewing other people’s submitted work, and submitting work yourself.

I read through the submission agreement carefully, and am a little wary of it. The agreement requires writers to grant certain rights to the site which may impact the writer’s ability to publish their work later; or if it is published later, Field Report may be entitled to certain commissions.  But even if you decide not to enter your writing on the site (and become eligible for prizes), you can still enjoy reading and reviewing submitted materials.

I joined the site and played on it for about 45 minutes. I read five submitted pieces and found a couple that were pretty well written and interesting.

Why not check it out? It’s free and fun – and a great way to kill an hour on line! To get started, visit this page to learn more.

Friday Finds – August 29, 2008

August 29, 2008

I belong to several book groups on Yahoo – and often my book “finds” come through them. This week I discovered Pears on A Willow Tree, by Leslie Pietrzyk as recommended by Gayla (from the Yahoo group Weekly Reads). Gayla writes: ‘The prose is beautifully composed; the bevy of voices allows an intimate feeling about each character and a love for this stubborn family who believe everyone must live by each other.‘ Doesn’t this sound like the kind of book you’d love?

The September/October edition of Bookmarks Magazine arrived this week and in it I found many books to add to my burgeoning wish list. They include:

As usual, the lit-bloggers keep tempting me to buy yet more books:

The Night Villa, by Carol Goodman as featured on S. Krishna’s Books. Although the book is considered mystery genre, S. Krisna writes: ‘Carol Goodman’s ability to craft yet another novel which is rooted in so much history with so many mythological aspects astounds me. I don’t know how she isn’t a master of Greek and Roman mythology by this point. I can’t even begin to imagine how much research must go into her novels, but however much work is required, I’m glad the author takes the time to do it well. Her books really are unsurpassed, especially because they are so unique.

Short Stories: Months and Seasons, by Christopher Meeks as featured on Adventures in Reading. Meeks’ name keeps popping up on the book blogs, and so I payed attention when I saw this book being reviewed. Adventures in Reading notes: ‘…within these short narratives Meeks talent at exploring the power dynamics within relationships, almost exclusively between men and women, is fascinating. Of these eleven stories all of them provide a unique glimpse on the interaction of men and women.‘ I love reading literature that explores relationships and this books sounds like a good read.

The Sorrows of an American, by Siri Hustvedt as featured on Joanne’s blog Aspiring Writers. Hustvedt has appeared on the Orange Prize for Fiction lists and so I was eager to see what Joanne thought of this book. She wrote: ‘This is an engrossing and intelligent novel. Set in Brooklyn, NY and Minnesota. Erik, a psychoanalyst narrates the story of intrigue that besets him and his family. He’s also trying to reclaim his life after divorce.‘ I’ve added it to my wish list and maybe I’ll read this one for the Orange Prize Project Yahoo group in February when the group celebrates this author.

The Secret History, by Donna Tartt as featured on Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-A-Holic. Stephanie found herself thinking about the book even after flipping the last page – and it sounds wonderful. Stephanie writes: ‘A brilliant, well-written novel, The Secret History is going to be one that sticks with me for quite some time.‘ AND ‘Donna Tartt’s writing is amazing. It’s beautiful, and the story which is a tough read seems to flow with ease.‘ On to my wish list it goes!

Visitors, by Anita Brookner as featured on Adventures in Reading. Last month I read Hotel Du Lac by this author (read my review) and loved it. So when Adventures in Reading wrote: ‘Visitors is a delicate and subtle novel filled with well-crafted complexities and demands.‘ I knew this is one I’d enjoy.

So what books ended up in your “I need to have” pile this week? To see other reader’s “finds” visit today’s Friday Finds post on Should Be Reading.