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Announcement

Montana Book Awards… Honor Book!

by Susan Henderson on February 12, 2019

Many of you know I’m on hiatus from social media while I work on the new book. I’ve spent part of my hiatus in Japan and Vietnam. I’ll share more down the road, but this break has been good for my head and for the new book, so I’m going to stay with it until I have a solid first draft.

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But… need to share the news: The Flicker of Old Dreams was chosen by the Montana Book Award judges as an Honor Book. I’m grateful to be in such stellar company! Congratulations to the other Honor Award recipients—Rick Bass (The Traveling Feast), Sneed Collard (Warblers and Woodpeckers:  A Father-Son Big Year of Birding), and Katie Yale (Howl Like a Wolf)—as well as to the big prize winner, Chris La Tray (One-Sentence Journal:  Short Poems and Essays from the World at Large)!

Here are some news clips about it: KPVI NewsThe Missoulian, and Fact and Fiction.

Okay… heading back to my writer’s cave!

 

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I’m in the mood to celebrate. Want to win some cool prizes?

Good, because I have something special for you:

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Bestselling author, Caroline Leavitt, will give away 3 signed copies of her incredible, haunting novel, Cruel Beautiful World. I read this book in one sitting, my heart racing, as a lonely girl makes a series of terrible choices in order to feel loved. Here’s the official description:

Sixteen-year-old Lucy Gold is about to run away with a much older man to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have vicious repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy’s default parent for most of their lives, Charlotte has seen her youth marked by the burden of responsibility, but never more so than when Lucy’s dream of a rural paradise turns into a nightmare.

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty, chaos and control, as it explores what happens when you’re responsible for things you cannot make right.

Set against a backdrop of peace, love, and the Manson murders, the novel is a reflection of the era: exuberant, defiant, and precarious all at once. And Caroline Leavitt isat her mesmerizing best in this haunting, nuanced portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.

So, wait. A signed copy of this extraordinary book is not the only thing you will win…

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…because Caroline is also going to watercolor a bookmark just for you!

Okay, so she only knows how to paint these things, but you get to choose:

1. mermaid
2. dogs
3. fishes
4. a hand wearing a pair of pants (I know! Wha?!)
5. cups of coffee

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How do you enter to win? Easy. Just post a comment below, and I will make sure your name goes into a hat. This is the hat.

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At the end of the week, I’ll draw three names and announce the winners!

One last thing. Remember that first picture with a cover of Caroline’s book in it? Scroll back up to the top and look at the painting. I love this story: This painting (by Eileen Patten Oliver) is very important to Caroline because she’s terrified of the ocean but also loves it. So Eileen painted a small figure standing in front of a tsunami. And Caroline says this painting gives her courage.

And I love Caroline—for this and a million more reasons.

Okay, post a comment, and I’ll put your name in the hat. Hope you win because this book is spectacular!! (And if you’ve already read it, you can post a note to Caroline just because.)

UPDATE! UPDATE!

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As promised, one week after I posted this, I put all the names of you fantastic people into the hat. The 3 winners of a signed CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD and watercolored bookmark of your choice are:

Ric Marion
Nikki Dawson
and Joanne Mielczarski

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(See, I chose with my eyes shut and let the winners fall on to my filthy keyboard.)

Caroline will be in touch with each of you about prizes. Congratulations! And thank you, everyone, for playing!

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Announcing the Salt Cay Writers Retreat Merit Scholarship Contest

Oct 20-25, 2014 | Salt Cay, Bahamas

Did you know that William Styron put the finishing touches on Sophie’s Choice while vacationing on Salt Cay, Bahamas? Or that Anne Morrow Lindbergh worked on Gift From The Sea on Salt Cay as well?

Now you too can practice your craft on this beautiful private Bahamian island. While the Salt Cay Writers Retreat curriculum is particularly suited for advanced fiction writers, memorists, and narrative non-fiction writers, any author who wishes to take their writing to the next level is welcome to join us for a memorable week of writing and instruction October 20-25.

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The winner of the Salt Cay Writers Retreat Merit Scholarship Contest will be invited to attend the Salt Cay Writers Retreat with all program and tuition fees covered (travel and retreat hotel accommodations are not included).

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The contest will be judged by a well-qualified anonymous panel of publishing professionals including retreat faculty. More information at: www.saltcaywritersretreat.com

Entry deadline: April 1, 2014

Winner announced: April 15, 2014

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To enter, send your writing sample as an attachment to submissions@saltcaywritersretreat.com.

Maximum 15 pages. Your writing sample may be from a work in progress or from a published work, including essays and short stories. All materials should be in 12pt Times New Roman. Pages should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Please use the following file name format: TITLE OF BOOK-Salt Cay Writers Retreat Scholarship Contest. .doc or .rtf formats only, please.

Be sure to include your name and contact information in the email with your submission.

There is no fee to enter this scholarship contest; however, please remember that the scholarship covers tuition fees only; travel and hotel costs are the responsibility of the scholarship winner.

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2014 Salt Cay Writers Retreat Faculty:

Lorenzo Carcaterra, #1 New York Times bestselling author

David Ebershoff, #1 international bestselling author; Executive Editor, Random House

Robert Goolrick, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Jacquelyn Mitchard, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Téa Obreht, National Book Award finalist and winner of the Orange Prize

Erin Harris, Folio Literary Management

Jeff Kleinman, Founder, Folio Literary Management

Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Agency

Erin Niumata, Senior Vice President, Folio Literary Management

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“The SCWR was a life-changing experience I will never forget. The faculty was just superb across the board, especially the authors who were wise and gifted teachers. I appreciated how accessible, generous, and helpful everyone was. I was at a place in my writing career where I was ready for tools to take my work to the next level. I found this at the SCWR and so much more. Thank you all!” – 2013 Salt Cay Writers Retreat student

Questions? Email Salt Cay Writers Retreat administrators Karen Dionne or Christopher Graham at: admin@saltcaywritersretreat.com. You may also telephone Chris at 732-267-6449.

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Karen and Chris are co-founders of the online writers community Backspace, and have directed the highly respected Backspace Writers Conferences held in New York City for the past 9 years.

 

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I’ve been away for a while so I’d love to catch up a little. How are you? What’s happening in your world these days?

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I’m thrilled to say that after a month in Winnett, Montana, I finished the new book and have sent it on to my agent. He will be the first to read any part of it, so there’s always the butterflies in the stomach, the fear of being crushed, but also the excitement that he’ll take something important to me and show me ways to make it better.

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A little about my trip… at the end of March, I flew to Missoula, Montana, where my brother lives, stayed over night at his place and caught up over wine and risotto. The next morning, we made the 6-hour drive to Winnett, a town of 181 people in Central Montana where my father, uncles, and grandparents used to live, and where I’ve very-fictionally set my book.

My hope was that being in this small town would awaken all my senses and emotions during my final edits and ignite a physicality that seemed to be absent from my book. And, oh man, did it ever! I walked through and around town several times a day, looking, listening, smelling, touching.  The trip was envigorating, lonely, claustrophobic, inspiring.

If you’re my friend on FaceBook, you can see a whole lot of pictures of this trip, from my family cemetery to the mid-April snow to the newborn calf someone drove around in his truck to keep it from freezing. I will be sharing more about the trip and the book over the next few months, but I don’t want to make this post too long, so I’ll stop here for now.

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In other news, I am so, so happy to report that after a long, nerve-wracking wait, my 17-year-old has now heard back from all of the colleges he’s applied to, and he’s made a decision about where he’ll attend in the fall. His choice: M.I.T.

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I am full of joy, relief, and gratitude that he’s able to go somewhere that is such a profoundly good fit for him. M.I.T., by the way, sends their good news in a tube rather than an envelope, and then they encourage the students to hack the tube. My son made his into a working stylophone.

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Some thank you’s for reviews and links: The Never Dusty BookshelfFru Elde – En dag i mitt liv, Convertiv, Jocosa’s Bookshelf, Bethany Duvall, Crystal Clear As Mud, Well Read Westhampton, De Woordenregen, Laila’s Leseblogg, the Wesleyan University Community Blog, and something that made me cry at Juliet DeWal’s In Spite of All the Damage. Also, thank you to Emily Rapp for writing the beautiful non-fiction book, The Still Point of the Turning World, which I reviewed here at Great New Books.

Beautiful day so I’m going to get outside and walk!

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Question of the Month: On Location

by Susan Henderson on March 4, 2013

Tell me what it would be like if you spent some significant time in the setting of your current work-in-progress.

Because that’s what my plan is. I’m headed here to do the final edits on my book. Population: 181. That’s the sign to the hotel where I’ll be staying, and they do not take credit cards, I just discovered, but said they could give me a room with a table in it if I paid for the deluxe suite. Oh, yes, I will splurge for a table!

LitPark is on hiatus until the book is done, and then I’ll have so, so much to share! Be well, everyone!

Oh wait! Can’t leave without saying some thank you’s: Just Jenny, Feeding the Brain and the Body, howaboutabook, Brenda’s BlogMed Bok og Palett, and to everyone who has ever written an Amazon review for my book because it’s a generous thing to do. Okay, see you on the other side of this adventure!

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