Writing contest

Those of you who are regulars here at my blog have heard me sing the praises of SPILLING INK: A YOUNG WRITER’S HANDBOOK. (If you haven’t, this is the sound of me singing: FALALALAFABULOUS! )

It’s one of my absolute favorite guides for young writers, and I recommend it all the time.  Click here to learn more about it.

Anyway, big news this week:  Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter, the delightful authors, are hosting a writing contest!  A teen short story contest, to be exact. And there are prizes, too. Click here for full information, then get out your pens, sharpen your pencils, and hop to it. I’m rooting for you!

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Hunger Mountain

The Vermont College of Fine Art’s journal has just been posted!

Hunger Mountain is a wonderful resource for writers and other artists, and I’m particularly thrilled about this latest edition because an excerpt from my dear friend and writing buddy Susan Hill Long’s work, Tornado, is featured in it.

Sue was a runner-up for the most recent Katherine Paterson prize, and having read Tornado in its entirety (lucky me),  I can only say that Ms. Paterson is obviously a woman of discriminating taste.  I LOVE this book, and hope that an equally discriminating editor will snap it up soon.  It’s so deserving of publication.

Go, Sue!

Louisa May Alcott on PBS

What are you doing tomorrow night? 

I know what I’ll be doing.  I’ll be watching the premiere of Louisa May Alcott — The Woman Behind Little Women.  (Dec. 28th/PBS)   

Those of you familiar with my novel The Mother-Daughter Book Club know that I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Concord, Massachusetts, the historic town where Louisa lived when she wrote Little Women.  I used to visit her home, Orchard House, regularly, hoping perhaps that some of its magic might rub off on me, and that I, too, might grow up to be a writer someday. 

Surprisingly, that someday eventually came. 

 And even more surprisingly, I eventually had the opportunity to write about Louisa herself, for in my novel a group of sixth grade girls and their mothers form a book club and dive into “Little Women,” learning about the book, its author, and themselves in the process.

I learned a great deal about my childhood hero in the process of writing The Mother-Daughter Book Club, and I can’t wait to see how the film (based on Harriet Reisen’s acclaimed biography) portrays her.  Advance buzz promises a real treat.

Julie & Julia & me

Julie & Julia opens today at theaters nationwide, and I’m guest blogging about it for The Christian Science Monitor  — click here to read my post!

I’m really curious to see how the filmmakers will manage to make the average-height Meryl Streep look tall.  As I mention in my CSM post, at six foot two Julia Child was the same height as my aunt.  In fact, inspired by Julia’s example, my aunt and uncle (talk about a match made in heaven – he dwarfed her at six foot eight) had their kitchen counters built an extra two inches high, just like Julia did in her Cambridge, Massachusetts, kitchen, now on display at the Smithsonian Museum

Reading Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia and Julia Child’s My Life in France while revving up for the movie was a delight.  I’m feeling inspired to go back and re-read other food-related books that I have loved over the years, including those by Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl and the late, great novelist and food writer Laurie Colwin, whose Home Cooking and More Home Cooking have a special place on my shelf and in my heart.