Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Call for Poetry Submissions to UCLA Anthology and More Writing Tips for Children

Call for Poetry Submissions
"Spiraled Connections: 40 years of Indigenous Journeys at UCLA"

The American Indian Studies Center at UCLA is seeking poetry submissions for a fortieth-anniversary anthology commemorating its forty years of publishing books by and about Native peoples. We envision this anthology as a collection of materials by Indigenous poets directly connected to UCLA in the past forty years and those they have mentored or influenced.

Our aim is to illustrate and celebrate the ways that Native people present at the core of the American Indian educational movement have radiated their innovation and empowerment out to the community in all directions. Submissions do not have to be education-oriented.

Deadline: February 1, 2009

WHO CAN SUBMIT: Indigenous poets (having origin in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition) connected in some way to UCLA (alumni, former/current professor/ undergraduate /graduate/staff, folks previously published in AICRJ or other American Indian Studies Center publications) and those they have mentored or influenced.

WHAT TO SUBMIT: Up to five poems (single spaced), not to exceed a total of ten typed pages. We are open to all poetic styles and forms. Poems in your Indigenous language will be considered but you must also provide English translation with your submission. What have we become in these past forty years of American Indian scholarship, education, community, intellectual, creative and academic adventure? Who have we become, who have we touched, how have we grown, transformed, helped each other, learned to negotiate the academy, our multiple roles and lives? How can we, as poets, express this Indigenous journey?

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Please include name, email, phone, address, and a brief bio along with your submissions. While unpublished pieces are preferred, previously published material will be considered. If something has been previously published, please let us know where and when it was published, and whether you have the rights to your own material.

Inquiries can be directed to Deborah Miranda:
Deadline: February 1, 2009. Please send submissions with an SASE for response to:

Deborah Miranda
English Department
Washington and Lee University
204 W. Washington St.
Lexington, VA 24450

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Deborah Miranda is an Esselen/Chumash poet and scholar, currently an associate professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, where she teaches creative writing, literature, and composition. She has published two poetry collections, Indian Cartography and The Zen of La Llorona; projects forthcoming are The Light from Carrisa Plains: A Tribal Memoir, and Written on the Bark of Trees: Praise Poems.

More Writing Tips

A Writing Tip from Highlights coordinating editor Kim T. Griswell
Wake Up and Smell the Pine Needles

You've probably been told a thousand times that writers must show, not tell in their stories. What does that really mean? Showing means writing all five senses into your story: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

To find out if you're using all five senses, get a set of five highlighters, each in a different color. Go through your text and highlight all the sensory details, using a different color for each sense: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. You'll be able to see right away if you're favoring one sense to the exclusion of others. Sight is the sense most of us favor, though if asked what stays in the memory longest, smells, tastes, or sounds often come to the fore. If your writing leaves a sensory vacuum, go back and add sensory images to enrich your story and allow readers to experience it as if they were there.

Kim T. Griswell spent six years as the coordinating editor of Highlights. She currently serves as senior editor, special projects, for Highlights for Children, Inc. Her service has spanned the worlds of publishing and teaching, leading her to positions as senior editor, book development manager, a university instructor, and a teacher with the Institute of Children's Literature. She holds master's degrees in teaching writing and in literature. A prolific writer and committed editor, Kim has published more than two hundred short stories, articles, and columns. Her children's book, Carnivorous Plants, was published by Kidhaven Press in 2002.


A Writing Tip from Charlesbridge Editor Randi Rivers

Unfortunately, many submissions tend to be familiar story types. Bedtime stories, fairy tales, stories about an outcast whose bad trait makes him/her the hero, Tooth Fairy tales, and birthday stories top the list of overdone types. A lot of stories have the sole aim of teaching a lesson, but stories should be stories first—they should entertain.

If you have a fresh idea or a unique way to tell a story, that's what catches an editor's eye. Think about your writing style and your story's presentation. Decide how your tale stands out from the pack and capitalize on that. If you write nonfiction, then decide what holes it fills or how it's different from other similar books. Keep revising until you're ready to submit. Be your own toughest critic.

In the early 1990s, Randi Rivers worked for a magazine publisher based in the Los Angeles area. While in L.A., she coauthored the play Heart of the Matter, which was later produced by the Dunwoody Stage Door Players in Atlanta, Georgia. After returning to Massachusetts, she joined Charlesbridge Publishing. Currently an editor, Randi acquires and edits eight to ten children's books per year.


A Writing Tip from Journalist Peter P. Jacobi

Passion. That's my P word. Boris Novak, in celebrating International Children's Reading Day in 1997, said: "Adults look at colors, yet do not see them. Adults perceive shapes, yet do not understand their speech. Adults live in light and from light, yet do not notice it at all. Adults cast long shadows, yet do not play with them. Adults take up much (indeed too much) space, yet never just for once marvel at it spaciousness. Adults look at the world with closed eyes. This is why space shrinks, shadows die, light darkens, colors fade, and shapes fall silent. Children are different. Children, with eyes wide open, gaze out at the world and marvel at things. Children play with colors and with shapes. Their play blows away the dust from the faded colors and returns to them the sheen with which they were born. Play brings to life new shapes, unseen and unheard before, fresh in their beauty." For children particularly, we must have passion.

Peter P. Jacobi is professor emeritus of journalism at Indiana University and a consultant with magazines and corporations, helping CEOs, writers, and editors learn to express their ideas more effectively. His articles have appeared in World Book, The New York Times, Highlights, and others. His two guidebooks, The Magazine Article: How to Think It, Plan It, Write It and Writing with Style: The News Story and the Feature, are standard reference sources for journalists.


A Writing Tip from Newbery Award Winner Jerry Spinelli

Write your book. Underline your. (Not someone else's). That's one of those things that sounds so obvious that it's not even worth saying, but in fact it is.

Writing your book simply has to do with tapping into whatever we have. We all grow up, and all we're doing is simply making use of something that is as common as gravity—memories. When we grow up, our past is not irretrievably lost to us, like the juice squeezed from an orange. The past stays with us. Tap into it for your writing.

If I were training you to be writers, I would say pick your best experiences and write at least a hundred pages, covering your life up to age fifteen or so. You'll be giving yourself a lifetime's worth of material to draw on, like ore in the ground. It's just a matter of extracting it, refining it, and purifying it until you're laying out pure wrought iron.

With titles like Do the Funky Pickle, There's A Girl in My Hammerlock, and Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush?, Jerry Spinelli has won the hearts of many young readers. His 1991 release Maniac Magee won the Newbery Medal, and his eighteenth book, Wringer, received a Newbery Honor. Jerry's latest, Milkweed (Knopf), has been called "stunning" by Kirkus Reviews.


These tips come from general sessions given at the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. Find out more at

The Highlights Foundation
814 Court Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: (570) 253-1192

saludos René Colato Laínez

No comments: