Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Dogs Are Happy During the Corona Crisis

I lost my beloved Bentley eight months ago. During this health crisis, I see so many people walking their dogs at all times of the day. And I must admit that I am rather envious… What a great time for them to have a companion and to be outside for an extended time!

Dogs must be happy right now that they have so much company.  They are the one member in a household who is enjoying self-isolation.  They love to have their pack (the family) together. They are now treated to our nonstop physical presence.  However, dogs like their routine.  Take them for walks at the same time every day, feed them on a normal schedule, give them regular bouts of attention.  They will learn the routine.  The more the owner is consistent, the more quickly the pup can adapt.  And it’s good for you too!

Pet adoptions are way up amid coronavirus crisis, even with shelters closed to the public. Appointment-only adoptions, drive-up fostering, online training, and at-home volunteer projects (such as making pet toys) are to help care for vulnerable animals during the pandemic. 

I hope that those who get a new dog now are not working full-time or have someone at home for most of the day.  And that those who get sick have someone to take care of the animals to prevent it being again set up for adoption.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few irresponsible folks who get a dog - only to leave it for eight or ten hours alone at home while they go to work.  Then they rush for ten minutes around the block - if at all.  Dogs are pack animals.  Holding them alone for most of the day is cruel and totally against their nature.  Not even mentioning the many hours they must hold their bladder.

Dogs are the only ones whose lives have been improved by the Corona Virus. Animals are making our isolation more enjoyable too.  Dogs are always there for you:

  • They are a part of the family
  • They won't judge you 
  • They remind us that we have an obligation and responsibility to nurture them
  • They need you for support, so they force you out of your ego and make you better

Let's recognize our amazing pets who keep us company during unsettling times. There are even Coronavirus Stars: BBC sports commentator Andrew Cotter's dogs Olive and Mabel go viral on social media.



Thursday, April 2, 2020

April Newsletter for Writers and Publishers

Many of us have had our routines disrupted due to coronavirus.  Being House-Bound?  Reading a book a day keeps the boredom away!  And writing helps even more!  Lose yourself in writing for a while.  Start another NaNoWriMo - this time in April.

My tip: read lots of books, write your next book(s), spruce up your book marketing, write articles for newspapers and magazines, apply for a grant, fellowship or writer residency, and participate in writing contests.

When you scrawl through this and all the other newsletters I write every month for you, you will find lots of opportunities. Don’t wait for inspiration, once you start working, inspiration often comes along later.

Content for this April Newsletter:


Florida Review Editors’ Awards
Each winner receives publication in The Florida Review and $1,000.
They accept submissions to three Editors’ Awards contests in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Poetry. We also frequently recognize and publish one or more finalists in each genre. For prose, submit up to 25 pages (6,500 words). For poetry, submit up to five poems.
$25 Entry Fee. Deadline April 14
Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction
The contest awards $1,500 and publication in Gulf Coast to the winner. Two honorable mentions will be awarded $250. All entries will be considered for publication, and the entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast. Limit 25 pages.
$23 Entry Fee. Deadline April 16
Craft Short Fiction Prize
International submissions are allowed. Limit 5,000 words. We review literary fiction but are open to a variety of genres and styles—our only requirement is that you show excellence in your craft. Winner: $2,000 award and a subscription to Journal of the Month. Runners-up: $500 and $300 award respectively for the second and third-place finalists.
$20 Entry Fee. Deadline April 30
Fiction Opossum Prize
First Place $1,000 plus Opossum Prize trophy featuring gold opossum! Second Place $400. Third Place $200. All winners receive publication in the 2020 issue of Opossum (release date October 2020) and ten copies of the issue/7" record. All submissions must be under 7,000 words and engage the world of music in some way.
$20 Entry Fee. Deadline May 31
Pipeline Adaptation Contest
$10,000 to winner, $2,000 to two runners-up ($1,000 each).
The Book Pipeline: Adaptation competition seeks published books, graphic novels, short stories, and plays for film and television adaptation. There are no genre restrictions, and judging criteria is weighed evenly between concept originality, marketability in the current landscape, and overall writing talent. Every entrant receives general feedback on their submission, specifically on its adaptation potential. $55 Entry Fee.
Deadline May 20
Yeovil Literary Prize
Five categories: novels (15,000 words max.), short stories (limit 2,000 words), poetry (maximum 40 lines), writing without restrictions (see general rules), West Gazette Best Local Writing Award. Prizes range from £50 to £1,000 with first, second, and third place prizes given in the first four categories. One £100 award in the fifth category.
£5-12 Entry Fee. Deadline May 31, 2020
William Van Wert Short Story/Novel Excerpt Award
Prize is $1,000. Any previously unpublished short story or novel excerpt of 25 pages or less. All novel excerpts must include a synopsis and outline of the whole novel and an explanation of where the submitted portion fits into the overall structure of the work.
$17 Entry Fee. Deadline June 30, 2020


Nevada Artist Fellowship Grant
Grant amount $5,000. Open to Nevada artists in the literary arts, submit creative prose (fiction and nonfiction), dramatic writing, and poetry. Must be a current Nevada resident and have been in residence for at least one year prior to the date of the application. U.S. citizen or legal resident status. Deadline April 15, 2020
Andrews Forest Writers Residency
Creative writers whose work reflects a keen awareness of the natural world and an appreciation for both scientific and literary ways of knowing are invited to apply for the Andrews Forest Writers Residency. The resident writers live at the Andrews Forest for one to two weeks, interact with the scientists, explore the forest, and write. Writers are encouraged to visit designated study sites for reflecting on and writing about the forest and their relation to it. These writings, which will form a collection spanning hundreds of years, will be gathered in permanent archives at Oregon State University. Free facilities and a $250 stipend. Deadline May 1, 2020
Turkey Land Cove Foundation
It is a working residency for motivated women to pursue their professional, educational, and artistic goals away from the distractions of daily life. Turkey Land Cove (TLC) provides a quiet home on Martha's Vineyard to achieve progress towards a defined goal. Deadline May 1
Prairie Ronde Artist Residency
Offering a stipend of $2,000 for four to seven weeks, a $500 travel grant, and use of a car.
Located in historic Vicksburg, MI, near Kalamazoo, the residency provides access to the 420,000 square foot former Lee Paper Company paper mill and its adjacent 80 acres of property to use as inspiration. They provide housing and studio space for one resident at a time, three times a year. Deadline June 1
National Parks Artist-in Residence
Whether staying in a remote wilderness cabin at Denali National Park in Alaska or contemplating history at the Hoover National Historic Site in Iowa or working in a contemporary studio in Connecticut: these programs provide artists with unique opportunities to create works of art in varied natural and cultural settings. There are programs for visual artists, writers, musicians, and other creative media. Programs are two to four weeks in length, most include lodging. Over 50 locations to consider.


Bronzeville Books - Rigor Morbid 2
A collection of horror tales for Halloween. Stories should be 3,000 words or less. Pays eight cents/word.
Deadline June 6, 2020, or when 175 submissions are received.
Bronzeville Books - Happy Hellidays
Unexpected holiday stories: Don't limit yourself to Christmas - all kinds of special occasions gone awry. Stories should be 3,000 words or less. Pays eight cents/word.
Deadline July 11, 2020 or when 175 submissions are received.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Selfcare
Taking care of yourself is not just about your physical health but includes your emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing too. Self-care includes that all-important "me time," whether that means exercising or reading or meditating or having lunch with friends. Whatever your psyche needs is your form of "me time." We are looking for your stories about how you neglected your self-care, how you realized its importance, and how you now engage in it. Pays $200 and ten copies for up to 1,200 words.
Deadline September 30, 2020
Write for South West Airlines
Southwest: The Magazine, published by Pace Communications for Southwest Airlines, attracts more than 6.3 million readers each month. They typically publish two works of narrative nonfiction each issue, somewhere around 3,000 to 3,500 words. Write a compelling tale with memorable characters, none of whom have to be famous. Additionally from our feature well, we also assign special advertising sections. Pays up to $1/word.
Discover Magazine
It reports captivating developments in science, medicine, technology, and the world around us. Spectacular photography and refreshingly understandable stories on complex subjects connect everyday people with the greatest ideas and minds in science. Want to get in touch with the Discover editorial staff? Email us at Pays $1 to $2 per word.
Freelance Writing
Chicken Soup: Age is Just a Number
We are looking for stories about the humorous or serious sides of life after 60. Limit 1,200 words. Pays $200 and ten copies.
Deadline May 31
The National
It is the onboard American culture magazine for Amtrak. In their pages, you’ll find in-depth reporting and beautiful photography from across the country, as well as fiction, poetry, and essays from some of America’s most acclaimed voices. Pays $1/word.

Good News in Canada: Extended To July 15 Over Coronavirus Pandemic
The federal government announced foreclosure protections for the next 60 days. And federal regulators are ordering mortgage lenders to grant mortgage relief to homeowners who have lost income or their job.

What else can you do while staying at home: Dig the garden, built new flower beds and fill them with cool weather plants, or file tax returns, sort and resize your photos, organize your computer files, tidy the garage, cellar or attic, repair your bike or car, barbecue in good weather, clean the windows, polish your silverware, empty the cupboards and your wardrobe and throw everything unnecessary into the bin or, if it's still good, donate the fine pieces to charity, buy lots of store-made wrapped sandwiches and deliver them to the homeless.

Spring is Here and We Are Alive!
Write letters to relatives and friends, finally write down your Will - you never know... There is so much to do - let's get on with it! Now, we have lots of time on our hands. Take care!

Everything will be fine!
Tutto andrĂ  bene!
Alles wird gut!
¡Todo estarĂ¡ bien!
Tout se passera bien!