Rest in peace, Maya Angelou. You were so much more than an author.

Here is an interview with NPR. She was 80, and delightful and inspiring, just as one might expect.

http://www.npr.org/2008/04/06/89355359/at-80-maya-angelou-reflects-on-a-glorious-life

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Things you didn’t know about the birthday boy, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

You may have known he was into fairies. You may have even known that the “Sir” part wasn’t just a cool nickname. But you did not know all of this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10561577/Arthur-Conan-Doyle-19-things-you-didnt-know.html

Happy birthday, Sir!

Good literature: Bad for our (mental) health?

Author Lev Raphael explores the idea of “triggers” in literature–and why warning students away from all the “isms” robs them of the opportunity for connectivity¬†in his article “Novels Do Not Need Warning Labels.” Check it out here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lev-raphael/novels-do-not-need-warnin_b_5346788.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=1144211b=facebook

For all the flashers out there!

Flash fiction is a great way to hone our concision skills–when every word counts, we’re forced to make tough decisions about what stays and what goes. How do we imply more than we’re actually saying? What images would be most meaningful in terms of character or plot? How do we make those last lines echo in our readers’ heads? Here’s a contest to get you motivated!

Flash Fiction Contest

Submission deadline: June 30, 2014

Literary Juice is hosting its second flash fiction contest, for stories 500 words or fewer. First prize winner will receive $200 (USD), plus publication of winning story on our website; runner-up will receive $50 (USD), plus publication online. Please, visit our website for submission guidelines. www.literaryjuice.com

Check out Electric Literature’s very funny list of “why your manuscript is being returned.”

http://electricliterature.com/blog/2014/05/20/why-your-manuscript-is-being-returned/

Mother’s Day — Lev Raphael’s maternal influence

Beautiful article about his mother’s tremendous and continuing influence on his writing by Lev Raphael, author of Leapfrog’s “The German Money” and “Secret Anniversaries of the Heart,” among about 20 other books.

Loss of an author — Farley Mowat

Canadian writer Farley Mowat has died. Another great loss for the world and for the environment.

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2014/05/07/farley_mowat_acclaimed_canadian_author_dead_at_92.html