Latinidad Newsletter - July 2003
- Latinidad Newsletter - July 2003
You are receiving this newsletter because you have expressed an
interest in Marcela Landres and her work. If this newsletter has been
forwarded to you and you wish to receive it directly, please visit
<http://www.marcelalandres.com/id51.htm>. Past newsletters will be
archived at <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marcelalandres/>
3. Success Story
5. News to Use
6. Upcoming Workshops
7. Writing and Job Opportunities
I launched my web site <http://www.marcelalandres.com/> in May, and
the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I created the site
because I discovered Latino writers would travel from as far as Los
Angeles, Miami, and even Mexico to New York to attend my workshops.
In order to continue sharing information that I think is of value,
and to maintain and extend my connection to the Latino writing
community, I'm launching the Latinidad Newsletter, and this is the
inaugural issue. The intention of this newsletter, like my workshops
and web site, is to encourage and enable Latino writers to realize
their dreams of being happily published. I hope you find it helpful,
and I invite you to share it with friends and colleagues. Information
is power, but only if you share it.
July is National Foreign Language Month, and in honor of this, I'd
like to focus on a FAQ I receive from Spanish language writers. (Of
course, Spanish is hardly a foreign language in the US. In fact,
there are places, such as Miami, in which Spanish is arguably the
Q: I write in Spanish, and want to submit a proposal to you, but your
submission guidelines indicate that the proposal must be written in
A: Good question. This is because of the realities of the publishing
process. While editors have the power to say "No" (reject a
manuscript), most don't have the power to say "Yes" (acquire a
manuscript). What this means is that unless an editor happens to also
be a Publisher or very senior management, editors have to take a
manuscript through an acquisition process before an author can be put
under contract for publication. Different publishing houses handle
the acquisition process in different ways, but it usually runs along
First, an editor has to persuade her Editor-in-Chief that a
manuscript is a good fit for the department's list. If, after reading
the manuscript, the Editor-in-Chief agrees with the editor that the
manuscript is worthwhile, then the Editor-in-Chief must consult with
the Publisher. This is because it is the Publisher who controls the
money. The editor and Editor-in-Chief need to persuade the Publisher
to offer an advance large enough to convince the agent and author to
sign up with their publishing company.
These days, it is becoming more and more important to have an
author that is promotable. As a result, sometimes someone from
Publicity may be asked to read the manuscript to assess the
promotability of the author and manuscript. In addition, the
Marketing and Sales departments may be queried to see how marketable
an idea is, or how enthusiastically they think the bookstores and
other accounts will respond to an author.
Bottom line: several people are usually involved in the
acquisition process, not just the editor. It is very unlikely that
any of these people, with the possible exception of the editor, can
read in Spanish. As such, your chances of convincing a publisher that
they should not only publish your work, but do so with great passion
and enthusiasm, increases exponentially if the people involved can
actually read your proposal. So while it is okay to write your
manuscript in Spanish, it is to your advantage that the proposal be
written in English.
More answers to FAQ can be found at
3. Success Story
The more connected you are to the writing community, the closer
you'll be to making your dream of being published come true. This
newsletter, like my web site, is intended to strengthen and expand
the Latino writing community. Below is an example of one writer who
used the information I shared in a past email about the $25,000 John
T. Lupton "New Voices in Literature" Awards sponsored by the Books
for Life Foundation, and he became a finalist. Congratulations Raul!
May 19, 2003
Wonderful news to share with you folks.
I believe that I am now finally on the entrance ramp of the road to
fruition....SKUNK ALPHA is on course and at flank speed.
Good News and Bad News....
Bad News - I didn't win the $10,000 plus $2,500 travel expense award
for the John T. Lupton New Voices In Literature competition that I
entered a while back. Winners are to be announced (and must be
present) at the BooksAmerica Expo in Los Angeles on the 28th of this
month. A query letter, book proposal and sample chapter were being
Good News - my book proposal will be pitched to literary agents, NY
editors and publishers as a result of being selected as one of the
ten nationwide finalists in the Non-fiction genre!
A special thanks goes to Bob Shirley. Your web site (
<http://www.pcf45.com/index.html> ) added a great amount of
credibility to the book proposal. I'm committed to working hard at
finishing the work quickly and thus pay tribute to those Swift Boat
Sailors "Still On Patrol" and to the rest of you that served by their
side in Vietnam.
An added "gracias" goes to my good friend Richard Rios whose editing
hand works magic! But, without Tony Diaz having forwarded Marcela
Landres' lead on the competition, someone else would have filled my
spot on that Finalist list....."gracias" to you as well.
Raul "Bean" Herrera
Karen Quinones Miller is a bestselling writer who I've had the
privilege of working with at Simon & Schuster. She launched her
literary career by self-publishing a novel. At my workshops, I often
recommend that Latino writers seriously considering self-publishing
because it has proven to be an excellent way for many African-
American writers (including Michael Baisden and E. Lynn Harris, among
others) to land a book deal with a major publisher. Self-publishing
is such an effective means of gaining the attention of agents,
editors and publishers, that I wonder why more Latino writers don't
pursue this option.
Of course, there's a difference between simply self-publishing and
successfully self-publishing. To learn how to do it right, I highly
recommend writers check out Karen's "Booking It! Publishing/Self-
Publishing Seminar". For more info, visit her web site
Recommended Archives can be found at
5. News to Use
Street Life books (literature by and for the hip hop generation) are
growing in popularity, and below are two articles that describe this
popular phenomenon. Street Life books, like hip-hop itself, are
identified strongly with the African-American community, and rightly
so. However, Latinos have arguably been instrumental in creating and
shaping hip hop culture, and are certainly major fans and consumers
of this culture. Case in point, the first reader interviewed in the
AP article below is a fellow by the name of Jose Perez.
However, none of the authors mentioned are Latino. Which begs the
question: Where are the Latino Street Life authors? If your writing
is of and for the hip hop community, or you know of Latino writers
who have this sensibility, please let me know. I'd love to read (and
possibly publish) their work, 1) because I myself grew up with hip
hop, and 2) because one of my missions is to publish books that will
inspire nonreaders to read, and these books have proven to do just
AP "Street Life" article
PW "Urban Fiction" article
For other articles of interest, please visit
6. Upcoming Workshops
I will be participating in a "New York Editors Q&A Panel". In
addition, I will be conducting one-on-one consultations with writers.
Conference Dates: August 8 through 10
Panel Time and Date: 8:15 am - 9:15 am, Saturday August 9
Location: The Sheraton Airport Hotel, 8235 N.E. Airport Way,
Portland, Oregon 97220-1398
To Register: To attend the conference and to reserve a one-on-one
meeting with me, please visit Willamette Writers' web site:
Program: For a copy of the conference program, please visit their web
Questions?: For more information, please contact the Willamette
Writers office at:
9045 SW Barbur Blvd, Ste 5A
Portland, OR 97219
Voice: 503.452-1592, FAX: 503.452-0372
To see a list of all my upcoming workshops through 2003, please visit
7. Writing and Job Opportunities
THE POETRY LIFE PRIZE
24th Open Poetry Competition
ENTRY FEE £4.00 for each poem
1st PRIZE £3000
2nd PRIZE £500
3rd PRIZE £250
20 Special Commendations winning a £25 book token.
Deadline July 26, 2003.
The magazine for African-American and Caribbean women. We
feature personal-growth articles, celebrity profiles, and
well-reported pieces on political and social issues. We are
also looking for how-to pieces on careers, money, health and
fitness, and relationships. And we run short items on people
in the arts and community activists. Word length is given
upon assignment. Please send a query letter rather than
submitting a completed manuscript. The only exceptions are
for the Interiors, Our World, Brothers and Back Talk columns.
Essays submitted for these pages should run no longer than 600
words and should be clearly addressed to the editor of the
column. We cannot discuss story ideas over the telephone, nor
can we respond to queries that come by fax or e-mail.
About 50 cents/word.
SCIFICTION is looking for literate, strongly plotted science
fiction and fantasy stories between 2,000 and 17,500 words--on
a variety of subjects and themes. We want to intrigue our
readers with mind-broadening, thought-provoking stories.
Characterization is crucial. Stories must be written in clear,
understandable prose. Payment is 20 cents a word up to $3,500.
Originals only; no reprints.
NEW CENTURY WRITER NOVEL/NOVELLA AWARDS
ENTRY FEE $35 per each novel excerpt
Two or more novels/novellas for $30 each.
1st Place $2,000 cash
2nd Place $1,000 cash
3rd Place $500 cash
4th - 10th Places $100 cash each
Plus, the TOP 10 novels/novellas will be listed by title and
author, along with author bios, in a New Century Writer Awards®
Best of paperback original anthology. Deadline July 31, 2003.
Winners announced in November 2003.
We publish about three travel features and at least one major
automotive feature every issue. We also feature one-page columns
on lifestyle (gardening, hobbies), health and finance topics,
with a travel or automotive slant. Journey is published four
times per year and represents the CAA clubs in the Maritimes,
as well as Hamilton, Ottawa, Kitchener and Niagara regions in
Ontario. Feature articles are 1200-1500 words ($800); mini-
features are 800-1200 ($600); columns are 400-500 words ($400).
Each article should include at least one sidebar. Payment is
upon publication -- sorry about the wait. A kill fee of 50
percent applies to stories we have assigned but cannot use for
whatever reason. We expect tourist board photos to be used free
of charge, and pay $40 per photo to freelancers.
SPOKEN WORD ENGLISH INSTRUCTOR
The Center for Black Literature seeks a spoken word/poetry instructor
to work in a project in the Center's CUNY Arts Consortium Program.
This project is part of a program that introduces students to the
elements of the spoken word as an art form. Although performance is
emphasized, students study the history of the spoken word as well as
elements of poetry. Students will be expected to compose poems and to
perform them. Students will also have an opportunity to meet spoken
word artists. The class meets Friday afternoons from 3:30 - 5:45.
The ideal candidate should have a minimum of three years teaching
English (poetry) in a middle school or high school. He/she should
also write and perform poetry.
Interested persons should submit their resume with a cover letter,
writing samples, and references to:
Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Executive Director
Center for Black Literature
Medgar Evers College, Metrotech
1650 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11225
Resumes will be accepted through July 30, 2003.
Poetic Spontaneity: Writing on the Spot
American Book Award-winning author Martín Espada will share hands-on
writing experience as a model for teaching poetry workshops in the
community and the schools. Participants will explore a variety of
written forms, including traditional forms, such as odes and elegies;
and not-so-traditional forms, such as San Antonio haiku and
bilingual jazzpoems. The workshop will consist of two sessions. In
the morning, we'll explore a variety of innovative writing
exercises. In the afternoon, teachers enrolled in the University of
Texas at San Antonio's Summer Institute for the Inclusion of Mexican
American and Latino Literature and Culture in the Classroom will join
the discussion. This workshop is co-sponsored by the University of
Texas at San Antonio's Division of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies.
Instructor: Martín Espada
Date: Thursday, July 17; 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (one-hour break for lunch)
Limit: 20 students
Location: UTSA Downtown Campus (specific location will be mailed to
Registration Deadline: Friday, July 11
Fee: $90/member; $100/nonmember
To register, call 210-734-WORD (9673) or 1-877-734-9673, toll free.
Registration may also be completed online at www.geminiink.org
Writing and job opportunities from past email alerts are archived at
Changing the world one e-mail at a time,
If you'd like to suggest a question, share a success story, and/or
offer information about an organization/event/job opening of interest
to Latino writers for me to feature in an upcoming newsletter, please
email me at marcelalandres@...
"If you bring forth what is inside of you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is inside of you,
what is inside of you will destroy you."
--The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas
Latinidad Newsletter © 2003