Speaker: Kathleen Sweeney
Topic : How To Create Professional Looking Images to Market Your Books and More with Book Brush

May 15 2021, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Zoom Meeting — Register Here

Kathleen Sweeney

Join Kathleen Sweeney from Book Brush for a fun live walk-through of the Book Brush tools. Get ready to embrace the marketing side of writing & see why authors say Book Brush saves them both time and money! Learn how easy it is to use Book Brush to create your own eye-catching marketing images for all things social media. Plus explore video effects, create Box Set images, design your own book covers, animation and more! Kathleen will share handy tips & tricks along the way and have time for Q & A, too.

Bio: Kathleen is the Manager of Marketing and Customer Service at Book Brush. She has over 19 years of client service and business assurance experience. She thoroughly enjoys working with authors and helping them create eye-catching images. She lives in central Illinois with her husband and three busy boys. Her hobbies include reading and turning socks right side out.


You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: May 15, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

GCWA Contest Winners


GCWA 2021 Writing Contest Winners

Children’s Stories
1st — K.J. (Kathy) Boyd — Too Many Kids
2nd — Mariah Julio — Where is Everything?
3rd — Nancy Leake — Sammy Snail’s Wild Ride

1st — Vic Larson — Drafted
2nd — Carol Light — A Tough Nut to Crack
3rd — Pat McAnulty — The White Side of Aurora

1st — Jeanne Meeks — Ode to Otis
2nd — Geneva Kelly — Ready or Not
3rd — Alina Steele — Mrs. Murphy

1st — Jeannette Batko — Critique-Mystique
2nd — Maya Fleischmann — Patience Stillwater’s Sestina
3rd — Teresa Falsani — A Single Dolphin

Youth Category
Poetry — Christopher Kozlowski — Silencing the Star of David
Fiction — Samadhi Salazar — The Mother of All Natures
Nonfiction — Nishini Fernando — The Wicked Wall of Water


Submissions for 25 Miles From Here Pure Slush Vol. 21 have now opened.

Submissions will close 30th June 2021.

What are we looking for?

Well … stories, poems and essays that feature someone not wanting to be where they are now, or something that is happening somewhere else but definitely not right here, or a longed for travel destination … or maybe definitely not here, because somewhere else is better … or anything that suggests someone might want to be somewhere else or doing something different.

Click HERE for more info and submission

friendshipPure Slush Submissions for Friendship Lifespan Vol. 3 are NOW OPEN.

Submissions will close 16th June 2021.

Through 2021, 2022 and into 2023, Pure Slush is planning a 12-volume anthology series, looking across the Lifespan.

This is a unique opportunity to contribute works taking characters across the arc of their whole lives, whether prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction.

More information and submissions HERE


Black Lawrence Press May Manuscript Consultations :: Accepting Fiction and Poetry

During the month of May, Black Lawrence Press authors Brandi George and Leigh Camacho Rourks are on board to critique poetry and fiction manuscripts.
Brandi is the author of Gog (Black Lawrence Press), which won the gold medal in the Florida Book Awards, and the play in verse, Faun (Play Inverse). Her poems have recently appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Fence, Gulf Coast, and Forklift, Ohio, also winning first place in the Dana Awards and the Zone 3 Poetry Awards. Brandi has been awarded residencies at Hambidge Center for the Arts, the Hill House, and the Time & Place Award in France.
Leigh is a Cuban-American author who is the recipient of the St. Lawrence Press Award, the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and the Robert Watson Literary Review Prize. Her fiction, poems, and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, TriQuarterly, December Magazine, and Greensboro Review.

The Black River Chapbook Competition is a semi-annual prize from Black Lawrence Press for a chapbook of poems or prose (including fiction, creative non-fiction, lyric essay, and prose hybrid manuscripts). Entries should be between 16 and 36 pages in length. The winner will receive $500 and publication.

Entry deadline for the Spring Competition:
May 31, 2021
Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee ($17) exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. All entries are read without identifying information by our panel of judges and editors.
Visit us online for complete submission guidelines. Submissions are accepted via Submittable now through May 31. We look forward to reading your work!

book awards

The 2021 CIBA Fiction Series Awards! 16 Divisions

We have received many requests for a Fiction Series Book Awards program! You asked. We listened.

Deadline October 31, 2021

Click here to learn more.

The 2021 CIBA Short Stories, Novelettas, and Novellas

Submissions Deadline for the CRS – Chanticleer Reviews Shorts December 31, 2021

So many great authors (Hugh Howey, Andy Weir, Julie Powell, Leonard Elmore, Robert Dugoni) use this format to attract readers.

Click here to learn more.

Sandhill Writers Retreat
Friday & Saturday, May 14-15, 2021
Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, Florida

Register here

The Eighth Annual Sandhill Writers Retreat is our biggest yet! Our full-day retreat will take place on Saturday, May 15th from 9 am – 4 pm on Zoom. Participants will have access to sixteen hands-on writing classes in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for veterans, environmental writing, publishing, spoken word, and creating literary community. Classes will focus on lessons in craft, insider tips, and imaginative exercises that lead to new works and new skills. We plan to offer all workshops live, record them, and make them available online for several weeks after the retreat. That means every participant can “attend” every session. One BIG advantage of being virtual!

This year, for the first time, we’ll open the retreat with a free Friday night reading. We are thrilled to welcome celebrated veteran writer and award-winning poet Brian Turner (Here, Bullet; Phantom Noise; My Life as a Foreign Country). What a way to kick off Central Florida’s most popular writers retreat! 

Retreat classes on Saturday will be led by a nationally-acclaimed faculty. Along with Brian Turner, visiting faculty include American Book Award and Pushcart Prize winner Janisse Ray; poet Yolanda J. Franklin (Blood Vinyls); spoken word artist Walter B. Jenningscreative nonfiction writer Bob Kunzinger (A Third Place: Notes in Nature)Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Venus in Retrograde)literary community impresario Tiffany Razzano (founder of Wordier Than Thou)Saint Petersburg Poet Laureate Helen Pruitt Wallace; and novelist and founder of Writers in Paradise Sterling Watson (The Committee).

These outstanding writers will be joined by Saint Leo writing faculty members Steve Kistulentz (Panorama; Little Black Daydream)Patrick Crerand (The Paper Life They Lead); Anne Barngrover (Brazen Creature); and retreat director Gianna Russo (One House Down; Moonflower).

A very limited number of private one-on-one manuscript consultations is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Sandhill Writers Retreat is open to writers of all levels who wish to hone the craft and renew the joy of writing. Teachers, students, service members, and the general public are all invited to attend.

We can’t wait to see you there!



Edgerton Essays

Edgerton Essays from American Compass

Today’s public square is too often closed to those without a narrow set of credentials. Politicians and pundits in Washington are consumed with ideological battles far removed from the day-to-day concerns of American workers and their families, and often seem incapable of even understanding them. Our policy debates are poorer for it, our policymakers less informed, and our fellow citizens excluded.

* * *

The Edgerton Essays feature working-class Americans sharing their perspectives on what they wish policymakers knew about the challenges facing their families and communities. Read executive director Oren Cass’s introduction to the series here.

The Edgerton Essays are named for Norman Rockwell’s famous 1943 painting, “Freedom of Speech.” Rockwell depicted Jim Edgerton, a farmer in their small town, rising to speak and being respectfully listened to by his neighbors. That respectful, democratic spirit is too often missing today, and what we’re hoping to cultivate with this series.

We are now accepting Edgerton Essay submissions from working-class Americans, particularly those without four-year degrees; please feel free to share our call for submissions or email Patrick Brown.