Category Archives: Audience Participation

Call for Submissions: 2013 Poem Project

In honor of National Poetry Month in April, I’ve decided to hold my own, month-long celebration of excellent poems. But I need your help! You see, inspired by Favorite Poem Project and my friend Jen Knoch’s Keep Toronto Reading coverage, I’m asking you to contribute a video where you talk about and read aloud one of your favorite poems. No need to be fancy or to speak at length, please just share a poem that spoke to you at some point in your life, for whatever reason. I’m hoping to create a small scale kaleidoscope of good poetry, something along the lines of a limited term Verse Daily.

Here’s an excellent example from the Favorite Poem Project, where photographer Seph Rodney explains his love for Plath’s “Nick and the Candlestick”:

Entries will be accepted until April 30th, 2013. Email me at: thatklickitat [at] gmail [dot] com for more information or to submit a link to a YouTube or Vimeo hosted video. I’ll also accept a SoundCloud audiofile, if you’re camera shy. 


Filed under Audience Participation, Housekeeping

Can A “Poor Reader” Affect A Love of Books?

There’s an interesting discussion happening over at Fuse #8 today. Betsy asks if it’s possible for “bad readers to affect a love of books.” I’ve enjoyed reading people’s thoughts. What do you think?

For the record, here’s my response:

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Filed under Audience Participation, Musings, Youth Literature in the Wild

Wherein Julie Is Heavily Influenced By Speech Patterns of Turn-of-the-Century Novels, and Asks A Question of Her Audience

At some point in late elementary school, I read Gene Stratton-Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost. (After seeing the WonderWorks movie, I’ll admit.*) Every chapter title in the book starts with the word “Wherein…” For example: “WHEREIN ELNORA GOES TO HIGH SCHOOL AND LEARNS MANY LESSONS NOT FOUND IN HER BOOKS” and “WHEREIN ELNORA DISCOVERS A VIOLIN, AND BILLY DISCIPLINES MARGARET.”  My educated guess is that the book was first published in a serial format and the chapter titles served as teasers for that week’s content.

A side effect of this titling quirk is my habit of internally narrating my life in a similar matter. Such as, “Wherein Julie goes to the fridge and realizes she should have gone grocery shopping yesterday after all.” I remember starting to do this as a fourth-or-so grader because I thought Stratton-Porter’s titles were funny. And I guess the habit stuck. Give it a try, it’s pretty fun.

I know I’m not the only person who unconsciously incorporates key quotes from children’s literature into her daily speech. The other day a friend informed me that she often quotes the heroine of Tanith Lee’s Black Unicorn. Any time she sees a gross mess she can’t help but think: “Nasty pancake!”

So, my question for you, Reader, is this: What book or series do you quote or think of without meaning to?


*What’s this? The movie was filmed in Southern Oregon, not Indiana, where the book is set? Oh, IMDB, you teach me so much.


Filed under Audience Participation, Youth Literature in the Wild

How You Benefit From A Rival’s Success

It’s no secret that creative types are prone to jealousy when their rivals succeed. But, in a recent post on his blog, Cockeyed Caravan, screenwriter Matt Bird argues that spite is the incorrect response. Instead a rival’s success should be celebrated because it’s a win for the creative community at large.

Bird explains:

“Every success story helps all of us. The danger is not that people will see the other guy’s movie instead of your movie. The danger is that people will stop going to the movies. Anyone who gets people into theaters is creating a bigger audience for everybody. There is almost no limit to the potential demand for movie tickets. When people see good movies, then they want to see more good movies. When people see bad movies, they want to see a good movie next time instead. If you want to sell movies to people, then anyone who gets people into theaters is your friend.”

He’s addressing screenwriters but I think it’s a viewpoint from which all writers could benefit. Just replace “movies” with “books,” etcetera.

Read the full post here.

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Filed under Audience Participation, Musings, Quote of the Day, This Business of Writing

(Review from the author)

I asked earlier if authors should rate their own books in social media and used Goodreads as an example. Now I notice that Goodreads has updated their site’s coding so that reviews from the author are identified (see below, emphasis mine). I think this is useful because there’s less guesswork and it places the author’s comments in context. How about you? Does this alter your opinion?

Credit: Goodreads, Susan Issacs' Angry Conversations with God

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some three day weekend sunshine to appreciate.

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Filed under Audience Participation, Musings