Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Contest for New Writers!! Enter by December 5!!

I am so fortunate to have so many connections to various writers, editors, readers and literary journal people! I've met them at conferences, in person or over the internet. They write and promote styles very different from my own, some very secular, some very Christian-oriented, but all graceful, wonderful people. Along the way, you learn how giving the writing world is, whether it is a reader who uses their time and talents to give you a review, or writers who haves taken the time to start a literary journal to showcase new talent. Today I get to interview two such wonderful people, Patricia Florio and Sue Richter, editors of the East Meets West Literary Journal. Pat and I were friends during our MFA program, so it is especially nice to see what she's accomplished since school let out!

Ginger: Welcome Ladies! It's a pleasure to have you stop by.Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.  

Pat: I’m a graduate of Wilkes University’s MA/MFA Creative Writing Program. I’ve been married to my husband Ralph for 40 years. We both shared a career in court reporting in the federal court system, which I left in the year 2000 to continue my education in liberal studies and creative writing. We have four children, a set of twin boys, Anthony & Joseph, another son Jude, and a daughter Kristin. We have four grandchildren: Lauren, Madison, Joseph and Amelia. We live in the Historic town of Ocean Grove at the Jersey Shore. My first published book is a memoir called My Two Mothers. It came out July 2011. I have several short fiction stories published by Phyllis Scott Publishing, Fiction 365; my nonfiction story Theresa took second place in All Things If magazine, and my latest short story Golden Boy will be featured in their Spring 2013 in Newton Literary. I write for Striped Pot, an online travel magazine and freelanced for local and regional newspapers from Philadelphia to New York City while in school. 

Ginger: And Sue? 

Sue: I’ve been in the publishing industry for 20 years. I started SERA Publishing 15 years ago and previous to that I worked for McGraw Hill in San Francisco and two independent publishers in Austin, TX. I’m an author, journalist, and writing coach. I was asked to present at the Jack London Writing Conference in San Francisco two years in a row, while I lived in the area, and loved working with new writers. I moderated a book tour with Luba Brezhnev (niece of Leonid Brezhnev), Myriam Chavez (daughter-in-law of Cesar Chavez), and Lailee Bakhtiar (niece of Shapour Bakhtiar) that took us from San Francisco to Washington D.C. I then co-wrote a speech that was delivered to the U.N. and subsequently won an award. I currently live in Temecula,

California located in between San Diego and Los Angeles. I’m married to Alan Phillips, an Account Supervisor for Weber Shandwich (the largest Public Relations corporation in the world). I’m a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Economics and Business Administration. Since completing my degree, I’ve taken several writing courses from UCLA including screenwriting and persuasive writing.

Ginger: So Ladies, what exactly is East Meets West and what is its purpose?

Pat: East Meets West, American Writers Review is a literary print journal that features authors, poets, writers of all genres, and emerging authors coming on the scene across the United States and Territories and/or possessions of the U.S.

Sue: The purpose is to acknowledge new and seasoned writer’s work. Our vision is to allow a platform for these writers to showcase their work and get published.

Ginger: And how did you both get involved with East Meets West?

Pat: I met Sue Richter online while both of us were contributing writers for Examiner.com. I needed to learn Windows Publishing for my MFA project in publishing and put out a call for help on Examiner’s group email. Sue introduced herself, and the rest is history. After the Cohort Review, my MFA project at Wilkes, I received high praises from my site supervision in publishing Dr. Phil Brady, Sue and I wanted to continue working with writers, and East Meets West was born.

Sue: And by the way, we are both still writing for Examiner.com!

Ginger: You two are crazy busy. Typical writers by the way! Tell us about the contests and prizes in your East Meets West publication.

Pat: We’re trying to produce two issues a year at East Meets West. We put out an announcement through Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, on Wilkes’ student posting board, and to writers’ groups, giving information about our present contest, asking writers to submit their short stories, fiction or nonfiction, poetry, prose poems, narrative poetry, hoping to bring hidden new talent and seasoned talented writers to readers across the U.S. We pay a $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. We charge a $15 reading fee to defray our cost of printing the journal.

Sue: Each submitter whose work is accepted, gets a full critique from our judges, and receives a copy of the issue and publication. We also have a free contest, which aligns with our logo, “bridging the gap”. It’s a contest that asks the question: What’s so Great about your State? Writers who want to participate in the free contest should submit an essay about their state, city, or community with a maximum of 1,000 words. We also are requesting one or two black and white photos that enhance their essay. Each author that is selected receives a free copy of the journal and publication of their essay.

Ginger: You have a very ambitious schedule and some great contests for new writers. So are all genres accepted?

Pat: Right now, we have poetry judges, fiction and nonfiction short story judges, and an essay judge.

Sue: We do not have a playwright or a screen-writing judge. We hope some time in the future to be able to include those specific genres.

Ginger: Sounds like you have most things covered. Do you have a word count?

Pat: Yes, we do. We’re looking for approximately 3,000-3,500 words for short stories and/or three poems consisting of one to three pages each (or shorter for all content submitted).

Sue: Multiple entries are acceptable, with a reduced entry fee of $10 for second or third entries.

Ginger: Explain how your contests are judged?

Pat: That’s the best news of all. Our judges have full credentials of an MFA or PhD, and are fully qualified and experienced writers themselves. They read and give each submitter a personalized critique. At this point in time, our judges are not paid. They do receive our gratitude and share a place in our latest issue with a piece of their own writing.

Sue: We hope someday to be able to give our judges a stipend for their time and effort in selecting the prize winners, which is totally and completely in their control. Pat and I market, layout and manage the journal. We are not involved in reading or critiquing a submitter’s work. We do however go through the issue after it’s been approved by our judges for errors before it goes to print.

Ginger: Wow! That sounds very professional. The personalized critique is so important for new writers. Now tell us about your upcoming contest?

Pat: Our latest contest is our most exciting contest to date. It’s our Valentine’s Day 2013 Issue.

Sue: We have asked the question: do you have a Valentine’s Day story that involves Love, Lust, Sex and other Bawdy Adventures?

Ginger: From the sweet and tender Christian love story to the over-the-top secular tale will be allowed?

Pat: And everything in between!

Ginger: Sounds like fun! How can writers enter?

Sue: We are an open submission journal in the United States, territories and/or possession of the United States. Just go to www.serapublishing.com and click on the contest link.

Ginger: That's easy enough! What do you hope to accomplish with this publications?

Pat: Good writing and fun reading is our goal. And as always, we want to showcase the work of new and seasoned writers.

Sue: We want writers to have a platform to present their work. All the writers keep their copyrights and can use the Review to launch their writing careers.

Ginger: Before we go is there anything else our readers might like to know about either of you or what you do?

Pat: We’re passionate about writing. I've founded two writing groups in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Sue’s thinking of creating a new blog called Spontaneous Combustion within the purview of East Meets West to ignite fellow writers to write on a daily basis. Even if it’s two productive sentences or a paragraph, write it down.

Sue: We love being surrounded by the blood, sweat and tears of creative energy that writing inspires. We want EMW to grow and allow fellow writers to chat across the U.S. Sound crazy? There are more exciting things on the horizon for EMW. We hope to be launching those exciting updates early next year.

Ginger: Well, thank you ladies for taking time out to share this great information with my readers! Sorry I couldn't get your photos to post! For those of you who have not yet submitted any of your work for publication or you wanna-be writers, now's the time! (TC, I am thinking of you here:) Here's the contact info for the ladies! Thanks and stop by again soon!

***And as for extra good news, my novel, Run, River Currents, will be offered as a free Kindle download on December 5 & 6!!! Tell your friends and download away!!! 

Twitter handles: Patricia Prato-Florio AND @SueRichter

Facebook page: East Meets West, American Writers Review

Contest: East Meets West, American Writers Review, Valentine’s Day 2013 Issue

Deadline for Contest: December 5, 2012


1 comment:

  1. Wow, Thanks Ginger for thinking of me. I'll have to get on this!
    Great interview! I'll share this on twitter.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and God bless.


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