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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Joy, Interrupted"-- Spotlight on contributors Nina Bennett and Ann Mathew

In this and future blog posts, we will be featuring some of the contributors to our upcoming anthology, "Joy, Interrupted: An Anthology on Motherhood and Loss."
(Don't forget to enter our free giveaway!)

Introducing Contributors: Nina Bennett and Ann Mathew

Nina Bennett
Nina can be reached at ninabde@aol.com and you can check out www.transcanalwriters.com for more information. The two poems she has contributed to the anthology are "Symphony in E Minor" and "Sound Effects."  Below is the content of an interview we conducted with Nina:

What are your poems about, who are you, and why did you contribute?
My poems are about about my granddaughter's still birth.  I am a social activist who gives voice, through my writing, to those who have no voice. I am bereaved grandmother.  I am also a band chick-my favorite music is classic (60s and 70s) rock.

Where else have you been published?
My poetry has been published in numerous journals, both print and online. My essays on grief have been published in Grief Digest, MISSing Angels newsletter of the MISS Foundation, and on the website of Open to Hope. My essay "She Was Significant," is a chapter in They Were Still Born.

What inspired your writing?
Following a full term, healthy pregnancy and labor, my grand daughter was unexpectedly born still. I react to trauma and crisis by writing [and a] desire to honor the memory of my granddaughter by increasing awareness of grief resulting from perinatal loss.

Nina also said, "The books relating to motherhood I appreciate and devour are ones that deal with perinatal loss. Thank you for re-opening your wounded heart to make this anthology possible."

Ann Mathew

Ann's email address is thara15nd@yahoo.co.uk  and her contribution to this anthology is Smoothening the Crumples: Poetry Dancing on Paper through “Kumina” by Edward Kamau Braithwaite

What is your piece about?
The work talks of intense grief and how art participates in being a comforter in the time of the loss of a child. It takes into view Edward Braithwaite's poem Kumina. This dance form is explored in the poem to see how a mother wails and silences herself in the grief of the passing away of her child.

Who are you and what are you interested in?
I am a research scholar from Madras Christian College, Chennai. I am interested in interdisciplinary approaches to topics and my main focus is Diaspora, Music, African American Studies, Superheroes, Movies and many other related topics. My topics of interests always included an understanding of a woman and of the welfare of children.

What inspired you to contribute to this anthology?
When I saw the title of the anthology to be published, I knew right away that I could be a part of this process of comfort and healing, and that I can contribute to it. Undeniably, grief. The need to share it with those who are suffering and lighten their burden.

I have kept two people in mind while writing this piece, my best friend's niece Minnu and my close friend Sajini Daniel. They made this piece come to life.

What other representations of motherhood and loss do you appreciate?
This is a list of a few Malayalam movies: Makalkku,Deshadanam, Pookaalam Varavaayi, Maalootty.   Some Malayalam works include Basheer's "Amma",the poem by Edasseri's poem "Poothapattu."   Also the music of Idan Raichel, an Israeli singer-songwriter, in his songs Min Nhar Li Mshiti, Maisha  and several others

We are honored to have Nina and Ann share their work with us! Stay tuned for more interviews in future blog posts!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Promotional Ideas

Promoting your work online is a great way to find an audience for your work. Most of the below suggestions are geared to promoting the work in our upcoming anthology on motherhood and loss, but many of the ideas also work for all types of publications and artwork.

Promotional Ideas
  • Are there any blogs you follow or like to read? If so, you can send the blogger a request, either to guest blog, interview, or announce your work on the blog. Not sure where to find relevant blogs to our anthology or other work related to motherhood and loss? Here is a great directory of blogs related to this subject.  Or you can check out this blog directory for other subjects related to your work.
  • Are there any message boards you frequent?  If so, you can use it to announce where others can find information about your work.  Not sure what message boards to post to?  Here is a great list related to grief and bereavement that includes forums and message boards.Or check out this directory of message boards.
  • Social media is an important way to promote your work.  You can put information on your blog, twitter account or facebook page.  Or, you can also checkout Tumblr, Google Plus, Pinterest, or other types of social media.
  • Contact reviewers who might be interested in your work.  Don't worry about trying to get our anthology reviewed-that's our job.  You can try this site or this one to find some reviewers who might be interested in a book you might have written and want reviews for.  If you do request a review, make sure you follow the reviewers' guidelines.
  • You contact writers at examiner.com (they are called "examiners") who might be interested in promoting or writing about your work.   You can check out this list of writing examiners or book examiners in your local area or nationally.  Or, you can contact an examiner who might be interested in your particular topic by looking at this list.  
  • A great way to get the word out is to send an email to your friends about your work.  You can announce your upcoming or future project.  If you want to keep your friends updated about a project, you can even create a mailing list (just make sure you get permission before you add anyone to a list yourself) for people to subscribe to.  Check out this guide for creating buzz about your work through an email announcement. 
  • Find conferences to go to and promote your work.  Either create/participate in a panel related to your subject, have a reading of your work at a conference, or just network with people casually. For example, Fat Daddy's Farm will be represented at the AWP conference in Chicago. Here is a list of writing-related conferences and here is a general directory of conferences and conventions.  You can also check out this list of various academic conferences or this list of conferences related to the humanities and social sciences.
  • Another option is to set up a book signing or reading at a local bookstore.  If you want to do this for our anthology, let me know so I can get you books at cost.  If promoting your work this way sounds interesting to you, you might check out this guide or check out these suggestions
  • You can also set up a reading or book signing at your local library.  Or, you can give a copy of your work to the library so they can can loan it out to people.
This is not an exhaustive list of how to promote your work, but it is a great way to get started.  Do you have your own ideas or suggestions?  Feel free to share in a comment to this blog entry!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pre-Order your copy of "Insanity: A Love Story"

Information about how to pre-order an expanded and revised e-book edition of "Insanity: A Love Story" for only five dollars is available here.

Or if you want to win a free e-book copy, check out our giveaway!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Giveaway of "Insanity: A Love Story"

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An intimate journey into the bipolar mind of one woman struggling to cope with the symptoms of madness and the elation of mania. It chronicles the resulting hospitalization that led to a diagnosis that challenged the distinction between sanity and insanity.
Insanity: A Love Story

A Memoir of Madness and Mania
by Melissa Miles
March 25

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Confirmed List of Contributors

The contributor list has been finalized for "Joy, Interrupted: An Anthology on Motherhood and Loss" to be published in October 2012.

Merrill Edlund
Aliki Economides
Monika Pant
Grace Benedict
Chris Reid
Paul Salvette
Terri Elders
Liz Dolan
Mark Moore
Lottie Corley
Thomas Gibbs
Sandra Kolankiewicz
Megan Moore
Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier
Anna Steen
Katie Arosteguy
Kim Hensley Owens
Cara S. Klempner (Sophia)
Chinenye I. Okparanta
Nina Bennett
Robyn Parnell
Joanne L. Detore
Svetlana Bochman
Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow
Margaret Kramar
Carol Alexander
Olivia Good
Valean Iolanda
Kristin Anderson
Lisa Wendell
Janeen McGuire Nelson
Anindita Chatterjee
Jenn Williamson
Rebecca Manning
Oludolapo Ojediran
Pooja Sachdeva
Nancy Arroyo Ruffin
Ruth Krongold
Gabriella Burman
Madeline Summers
Sheila Hageman
Karen Lockett Warinsky
Jennifer Molidor
Trangđài Glassey-Trầnguyễn
Jemila Modesti
Alan Nolan
Jessica Karbowiak
Ann Mathew
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro
Mathel Lazo-Flores
Deborah Finkelstein
Ivan Jim Layugan
Ione Citrin
Lori Lamothe
Melinda Miles Guillory
Mary O'Neil
Emily Polk
Michèle AimPée Parent
Erin Williams