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Latinidad Newsletter - August/September 2003

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  • Marcela Landres
    Latinidad Newsletter – August/September 2003 You are receiving this newsletter because you have expressed an interest in Marcela Landres and her work. If
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2003
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      Latinidad Newsletter – August/September 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 are
      archived at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marcelalandres/

      1. Saludos
      2. FAQ
      3. Success Stories
      4. Recommendations
      5. News to Use
      6. Upcoming Workshops
      7. Writing Opportunities

      1. Saludos
      Muchisimas gracias for the outpouring of good wishes I received from
      so many of you in response to July's inaugural issue of the
      Latinidad Newsletter, as well as in response to my departure from
      Simon & Schuster. Many of you have asked what my plans are—rest
      assured, I will continue, through my workshops, web site, and this
      newsletter, to forge ahead with my mission to help talented Latino
      writers launch writing careers. I welcome you to join me in my
      mission by sharing the information I offer with interested friends
      and colleagues.

      2. FAQ
      Q: I know Latino writers are hot right now, but I want to be judged
      on my talent, not because I'm Latino. Do I have to identify myself
      as a Latino when I submit my proposal?

      A: Many people want to believe that writing talent is the only thing
      agents and editors seek in a writer. This is not the case. If it
      were, then the only component necessary to a proposal would be a
      writing sample. The reality, as you can see from the submission
      guidelines on my web site http://www.marcelalandres.com/id20.htm, is
      that a complete, professional proposal is composed of many parts.
      The purpose of a proposal is not to convey the talent of a writer,
      but rather to persuade agents and editors that a writer has a
      platform from which to launch a writing career.
      A platform can consist of many things. For instance, authors
      of self-help books can have a high profile on the speaking circuit,
      a newspaper or magazine column, and a psychology or counseling
      background. For fiction, authors can have an MFA from a highly
      regarded program, a well-connected mentor, and literary awards. If
      there are two proposals on the same subject that are equally well-
      written, the one with a weaker platform is more likely to end up in
      the rejection pile.
      Your proposal is competing against countless others. I have
      rejected more proposals in a week than I've published in a year.
      Large publishing companies receive hundreds of submissions a day.
      Agents and editors wade through piles of submissions seeking
      proposals that will offer the greatest return on their investment of
      time and energy. But on your side is the growing interest in Latino
      authors. Latino writers who are savvy enough to clearly identify
      themselves as such will get—and the ones with talent and a platform
      will keep—the attention of agents and editors. Latino writers who
      don't identify themselves as such risk getting lost in the
      bottomless submission pile. Being Latino is not a platform in and of
      itself, but it is a hook that may keep you away from the rejection
      pile long enough to have someone fall in love with your talent—and
      your platform.

      For more FAQ visit http://www.marcelalandres.com/id54.htm

      3. Success Stories
      Below is an example of one writer, Laurie, who used the advice I
      shared with her to start laying the groundwork from which to launch
      a great writing career. As I mention above, talent alone is not
      enough—writers need a platform. For fiction writers a platform could
      include having short pieces published in
      magazines/journals/anthologies, as well as garnering awards and
      recognition from the literary community. Congratulations to Laurie,
      on being published in the anthology, winning the award, and being
      chosen for the mentorship program—all things that will make her
      proposal stand out amidst the scores of submissions editors and
      agents receive.

      "I read your email a while back about you leaving your job. I have
      to admit my first thought was what happens to my book now? I'm not
      sure if you even remember me; we met 2 Julys ago at Gemini Ink here
      in San Antonio. I've been working a lot on my novel, but it's much
      harder than I first thought it might be. I have however taken your
      advice about doing everything I can with my poetry in the meantime:
      Last October I had some work published in an Anthology and in March
      I won a monetary award from the National Society of Arts and Letters
      for a small collection of poetry. I just found out that I was hand
      picked by Barbara Ras to study with her in a mentorship program
      through Gemini Ink—and they're going to pay for it.

      So, thank you, Marcela Landres. You have been a large voice in my
      life. Because of you I feel like a real writer.
      Laurie Guerrero-Garces"

      For more success stories visit http://www.marcelalandres.com/id57.htm

      4. Recommendations
      VONA (The Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation) is a non-profit
      organization associated with the University of San Francisco's
      School of Education that is dedicated to nurturing developing
      writers through the traditions, perspectives, and aesthetics of
      writers of color. VONA was founded by Junot Diaz (author of Drown),
      Elmaz Abinader (author of Children of the Roojme and In the Country
      of My Dreams) and Executive Director Diem Jones. I've heard nothing
      but raves from both writers and speakers who have participated in
      their Summer Writing Workshops. The impressive faculty has included
      such acclaimed writers as Terry McMillan, Martin Espada, and Willie
      I highly recommend their Summer Writing Workshops. This year's
      workshops are already closed, but bookmark their web site and visit
      regularly to find out how to register for next year's session, as
      well as to find more information about VONA http://www.vona-

      For more recommendations visit http://www.marcelalandres.com/id25.htm

      5. News to Use
      Last year I attended a writing conference in a region of the U.S.
      that has a large population of Latinos. As such, I expected to meet
      a significant number of Latino writers. Over 200 writers attended—
      but only about six were Latino. To my dismay, numerous non-Latino
      writers approached me and said "I'm not Latino, but I have lots of
      Latino friends who would love to submit their work to you. Can
      they?" To which I responded "Why aren't they here?"
      The writing life is a solitary one, but Latino writers seem
      more removed from the writing community than other writers. This
      needs to change, because writers who are part of the writing
      community are more likely to be happily published than those who are
      isolated. One effective way to become connected is to attend writing
      conferences, which offer the opportunity to create and maintain
      relationships with agents, editors, and other writers. Over the
      years I've met numerous writers at conferences who stay in touch
      with me, and I naturally pay more attention to their submissions
      than to submissions by writers I've never met. At one conference
      alone I met two writers who I signed up—one for a six figure deal.
      Writing conferences are more about cultivating your rolodex instead
      of honing your craft. Consider the cost of attending a conference,
      like the cost of a good computer and printer, as an investment in
      your writing career. Below is an article that offers excellent
      guidance on how to choose the right conference for your needs. To
      help you get started, look up some of the conferences I've attended
      on the left hand side of this page on my web site:

      Writermag.com article "Writing Conferences: How Do You Choose the
      Best One for You?"

      For more News to Use visit http://www.marcelalandres.com/id41.htm

      6. Upcoming Workshops
      I will participate in a panel regarding Spanish language publishing
      in the U.S., as well as present my "What Latino Writers Need to Know
      About Getting Published" workshop.

      Location: 2nd Annual Latino Artist Round Table Congress, The King
      Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, New York University, 53 Washington
      Square South, New York, NY 10012
      Panel: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday, October 23, Auditorium, 1st floor
      Workshop: 11:00 – 1:00 p.m. Friday, October 24, Rm. 404, 4th floor
      To Register: tk

      For a list of upcoming workshops visit

      7. Writing Opportunities
      The Jim Preminger Literary Agency is looking for television series
      (comedy or drama) and feature writers for representation. Please fax
      your credits to Hilary Stern at 310-860-1117. You must have at least
      one completed spec television episode or spec feature screenplay to
      be considered. Please do not send unrequested material.
      Do you want to ensure the way you think you should promote your work
      is indeed the best way? At the end of this six-week class you will
      know for sure, and you'll have a customized plan that is tailor made
      for your book--and only your book.
      M.J. Rose (www.mjrose.com) and Douglas Clegg (www.douglasclegg.com),
      novelists, co-founders of Pigeonhole Press and co-authors of Buzz
      Your Book will do much more than teach theory. Rose and Clegg will
      work on each student's marketing plan, word for word. The work is
      done in the class assignments and, when it's done, each student will
      have everything they need to go forth and get attention for their
      book. To register, and for more information about the course, visit
      Start-up Latin Magazine aimed at young, ambitious, urban, Latin
      markets of metro NYC is seeking talented writers with hot story
      ideas. We want a Maxim with citysearch type flavor to it. Articles
      and stories must be sexy not vulgar, hot, creative, intelligent but
      not geeky, funny but not immature, opinionated, clever articles,
      columns, lists, letters, blurbs, charts. . . the list goes on. Send
      in idea for articles in the following categories:
      -Sex/Dating - online dating, blind dates, etc.
      -Entertainment - Hip hop, Latin, alternative, dance, rock, Latin
      rock, etc.
      -Music - Hot recording artist and upcoming ones.
      If your idea rings a bell with us, we'll give you a call and work
      out the details. If this sounds like you, send ideas and salary
      requirements to: dssraft@...
      Guidelines: We're calling on mature women of color from 45-105.
      We're developing an anthology that's a celebration of your years of
      seasoning; a place for all of those stories you want to share with
      your Sistahs. You've triumphed as a mother, you've become a dynamic
      businesswoman; you're gifted, or perhaps you've come to terms with
      negative events in your past.
      Write a story, essay, or poem about a unique event in your life.
      Submissions should be typed, double-spaced, no more than 2500 words.
      Poetry should be no more than two double spaced pages. Send via
      email as a Microsoft Word attachment, to vicki@....
      Submissions must be received by 11/30/03. You're encouraged to
      submit early, as decisions to publish will be made as entries are
      received and reviewed. If manuscript is accepted, author will
      receive $100.00 and one copy of anthology upon publication. For more
      information, please visit: www.seasonedsistahs.com
      Willamette Writers announces the 2003-2004 Kate Herzog Writing Award
      to recognize exceptional student writing. Open to all high school
      seniors or college freshman/sophomores in the U.S. This year's theme
      is "Winners & Losers". Prizes include college scholarships: first
      place = $500; second and third place = $250 each; plus a free
      scholarship to the 2004 Willamette Writers Conference. To apply,
      please forward the following by no later than Sunday, February 1,
      2004 to Kate Herzog Scholarship, 9045 SW Barbur Blvd., Suite 5A,
      Portland, OR, 97219:
      1. A writing sample, typed, double-spaced. For fiction include an
      original, unpublished writing sample of 1000 words or less. For
      poetry include an original, unpublished poem, 2 pages or less in
      length. The sample should be titled, but should not include
      information about the writer. Writing published in school
      publications is eligible.
      2. A cover letter with contact information, the title of the writing
      sample, and a paragraph describing the student's goals as a writer.
      3. A letter of recommendation from an instructor in the student's
      current academic year.
      For further info about the award, please contact Willamette Writers
      at 503-452-1592. For more info about Willamette Writers, visit
      Young Willamette Writers - Students in grades 4-8 in the greater
      Portland area are invited to join an ongoing creative writing
      program. For more information visit online
      http://www.willamettewriters.com/ or contact Joni Heyman, Willamette
      Writers, 9045 SW Barbur Blvd, Suite 5A, Portland, OR 97219.
      A. M. Homes will judge. First prize: $1000, Second prize: $500,
      Third prize: $250
      Winners and seven honorable mentions will be announced at the
      website December 1, 2003, and in the spring 2004 issue of Zoetrope:
      All-Story. Mail entries to: Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction
      Contest 916 Kearny Street San Francisco, CA 94133
      Complete Contest Guidelines - We accept all genres of literary
      fiction. Entries must be: unpublished; 5,000 words or less;
      postmarked by October 1, 2003; clearly marked "Short Fiction
      Contest" on both the story and the outside of the envelope;
      accompanied by a $15 entry fee per story (make checks payable to AZX
      Publications). Please include name and address on first page or
      cover letter only. We welcome multiple entries ($15/story) and
      entries from outside the U.S.; please send entry fee in U.S.
      currency or money order. While we cannot return manuscripts, we will
      forward a list of the winning stories to all entrants who include an
      SASE. Entrants retain rights to their stories. For more info visit
      Poet Lore is the oldest continuously published poetry magazine in
      the U.S. Under the stewardship of its present publisher, The
      Writer's Center, Poet Lore publishes semi-annual installments of the
      finest contemporary poetry both by established writers and by those
      breaking into print for the first time.
      Submission Guidelines: 1. You may submit three to five poems. 2.
      All poems must be typed with name and address on each poem.
      Photocopies are acceptable. 3. If a poem is more than one page,
      please indicate if the second page begins with a new stanza. 4.
      Submissions must be poems or essays never before published. 5.
      Reviewers: Please query the editors with a sample of your writing.
      6. We prefer poems or prose not be simultaneous submitted. However,
      we ask you let us know in your cover letter if this is the case. We
      also need immediate notification if the work is accepted elsewhere.
      7. A SASE must accompany all submissions. No manuscripts will be
      considered without an attached SASE. 8. Send your work and SASE to:
      Poet Lore, The Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD
      20815. For more information visit http://www.writer.org/poetlore/
      $1000 Honorarium and Publication
      Postmark Deadline: October 6, 2003
      Reading Fee: $15, includes a year's subscription. All entries
      considered for publication. All entries considered anonymously.
      Send no more than one story per entry, 35 double-spaced pages
      maximum. No previously published works, or works forthcoming
      elsewhere. Cover letter must include name, address, phone number,
      and title. Simultaneous submissions acceptable, but fee is non-
      refundable. Entrant's name should appear ONLY in the cover letter.
      Entries must be accompanied by SASE for notification. Manuscripts
      will not be returned. Make checks payable to Indiana Review. Each
      fee entitles entrant to one-year subscription, an extension of a
      current subscription, or a gift subscription. Please indicate your
      choice and enclose complete address information for subscriptions.
      Send entries to: Fiction Prize/Indiana Review Ballantine Hall 465
      1020 E. Kirkwood Ave. Bloomington, IN 47405-7103
      Final Judge: Aimee Bender, author of two books: The Girl in the
      Flammable Skirt, a collection of stories and a New York Times
      Notable Book of 1998; and An Invisible Sign of My Own, a novel and
      an L.A. Times Pick of 2000. For more information visit
      September 15-19, 2003
      Kathy Cano Murillo, Latina artist and author, will be teaching
      students how to express themselves through the fabulous world of
      assemblage art, via shrines and shadow boxes. A form of "dimensional
      scrap booking", it takes her recent how-to book, Making Shadow Boxes
      and Shrines (Rockport Publishers) and brings it to life in a hands-
      on way. Students will create all kinds of collage-friendly projects
      such as cigar box shrines, tin travel shrines, spirit houses,
      dashboard shrines, and much more. Students can bring their own
      photos or mementos to incorporate in their projects, otherwise all
      supplies are included.
      To register, or for more information about the workshop,
      5/; for more information about Kathy Cano Murillo, visit
      For past writing opportunities visit

      Changing the world one e-mail at a time,
      Marcela Landres

      If you'd like to share a question, success story, or information
      about an organization/event/job opening, please email me at

      "Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage."
      —Anais Nin

      Latinidad Newsletter © 2003
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