Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thanks Everyone

Hey Everyone,

I hope you all survived the terrible hurricane/tropical storm that hit the east coast of the US this weekend. We only lost power and had some nearby trees fall down but that was it. Friends in VT and NC were much more hard hit. :-(

Anyway, thanks to the few of you who donated to Mira's List after my last post. I really appreciate any donation, even if it is small, like $5. It all helps to keep this blog going.

I have some new things to tell you about but will save that for later this week or weekend....lots of deadlines coming up in September and October so if you are thinking about applying for a residency or grant, now is the time to get those applications out there.

More later....love y'all!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Some Random Advice from Mirabee on Grants, Fellowships, Residencies and Contests

Hi everyone,

Lately I have been getting a lot of mail—actually, I always get a lot of mail—and much of it the last month has been about some of the same things so I thought I would just post a list of some FAQs that keep ending up in my inbox. It is almost September, after all, and Sept. 15th is a big date for application deadlines. October is the big month for Fulbright deadlines.

Before I go into that though, a reminder, if you write me at:
[email protected], please make sure you check ALL my FAQs before writing, okay?
Here is the FAQ link for applying for grants and Fellowships: http://miraslist.blogspot.com/2009/07/faqs-grants.html
Here's the link for residencies, art colonies and retreats: http://miraslist.blogspot.com/2009/09/faqs-residencies-artist-colonies.html
For Fulbright Awards: http://miraslist.blogspot.com/2009/04/fubright-grants-inside-scoop.html

Okay, on to those random questions of yours:

1. HELP ME PLEASE! I am desperate! I need a grant right now! Can I apply for a grant that would start next month?

No. For most grants or large fellowships you must apply nine months to a year in advance. However, if you need emergency funding, check my sidebar on the right hand side for some links to emergency funding organizations.
Also--PLEASE DO NOT SOUND DESPERATE in your application. No foundation wants to give money to people who sound like victims. It is better to present yourself as a resourceful person. Tell them how many other places you are applying to and what you are doing to get out of your unfortunate situation.

2. If I write a nice letter to you, asking you to help me find a grant or a special residency, will you help me?

Nope. PLEASE DO THE WORK. I do this for free. I know I am crazy. I get barely any donations. I think I make less than two cents an hour doing this. Actually—not even that much. Basically, I bring you to the water but you have to fish for yourself, okay? There are special circumstances where I do help individuals, like a couple people who have limited internet access because they are living in countries like Iran and China where important sites are censored and blocked from view. Otherwise—do the work yourself.

3. I run a residency (or a grant foundation) and want you to post my deadline announcement. What's the best way to send you info?

NOT in a pdf. NOT in a word doc. Please send a BRIEF announcement in the body of an email to [email protected] and include deadline date, cost if there is on, stipend or award if there is one, location and something descriptive about the program. Also, which disciplines can apply. And please send me info way in advance. Thanks.

4. I am a poet who is nearly sixty years old (or an artist, composer, etc.) and have been rejected by every place I apply to. Can you help me figure out why?

Sorry—I can't. I just don't have time to critique people's work. I suggest you get involved with some kind of community—writing group, artist critique group, etc. and get feedback that way.

5. What is your opinion about writing contests that charge a fee to submit my piece?

I think some contests are good and some are bad. Here's my opinion, for what it's worth: Look to see what the big prize is. If the entry fee is, say, 10-25 dollars and the biggest prize is only 200 dollars, well, that's pretty bogus to me. That means they are just making money off you. And do they mention who the judge is? ONLY send work to contests if the judge is a reputable LITERARY writer, not some hack and if the contest is run by a literary magazine or a reputable literary online journal. The Council on Literary Magazines and Small Presses (CLMP) helps to set standards for good ethical practices among literary magazines. You can acquire a great list of presses and journals from their site: http://www.clmp.org/about/dir.html.

You can get a great listing of contests that are worth applying to on the Poets & Writers website: www.pw.org. And if you are a writer and don't subscribe to their inexpensive but invaluable magazine, I do believe you are a doody head.

By the way, you can apply this info to art and music and film contests. Just because someone is offering you money out there doesn't mean they are legit.

6. I'm a writer. Some of my friends say I should send my work to literary journals—ones like Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Yale Review, etc. But I notice that most of those journals don't pay you a cent! They just give you two free copies and publish your work. So why bother?

Good question. Well, here's the long answer: Many great writers started out in those smaller circulation literary magazines. And many acclaimed authors (and I'm talking LITERARY authors here, not the Danielle Steele kind of commercial bestselling blockbuster author) still send pieces to these magazines because they believe in them and they also respect the audience who reads them. That audience really loves great literature and brilliant, exquisite prose. They read the harder books, the ones you actually have to use your brain to read, not your basic page turner. i.e. We are not talking The DaVinci Code, okay? Nothing wrong with that stuff for entertainment but let's face it folks—it's not great literature.

Case in point—an earlier version of one of my chapters from The Memory Palace (which just made the New York Times bestselling list in paperback for next week :-)) was first published in Kenyon Review. And from there, KR submitted it to be in the Best American Essay series where it was mentioned as a notable essay. That stuff means something to agents and editors at larger houses who are looking for literary writers. And it meant a lot to me. You can't put a price tag on that kind of thing. These journals barely limp along financially. It is a labor of love. I used to work at one as an intern and certainly didn't do it for the money. Okay....I'm done ranting now....

A couple last things:

To people who run international residencies and want me to post deadlines: PLEASE have someone check your grammar and spelling. I spend a lot of time rewriting posts that are too hard to understand. PLEASE tell me WHERE you are located exactly. You'd be surprised how many people ask me to post about a residency with no info on what country it is, even on their website.

And, last but not least.....a reminder: if you are looking for a residency in a specific country, please don't write me and ask. Please check out my residency links on my sidebar because the places I list are amazing and you can search for each individual country.

Thanks....and hey, I'm going to bug you guys for donations soon, just so you know. Although my book is doing really well, I haven't made my advance back yet (a long and mysterious process that even I don't completely understand). I will actually run out of money in November with nothing on the horizon. I do this for free. I do not charge you. People say I am insane because I do not ask for a yearly subscription. I don't want to because I believe in a Gift Economy at heart. So pay it forward—send a donation if you can (see my sidebar for information on how to do that) and if you can't, spread some helpful information to a friend.

Thanks...I love you guys.

p.s. I forgot to mention this one:

I DO NOT POST ABOUT CONTESTS, PUBLISHING OR EXHIBITION OPPORTUNTIES, etc. unless they also offer a residency or there is some fellowship involved. So to all you wonderful places asking me to post about your upcoming artist call for an exhibit or for your writing contest, please go to my facebook MIRASLIST page and post it there, okay? If you write a short announcement it will also be tweeted on twitter.

By the way—I really, really try to post residencies that either don't cost money or that offer a stipend or that are pretty inexpensive. So if you send me an announcement for a residency that costs a lot of money, don't be surprised if I don't post it, okay? Thanks.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Artist Residency in India for Visual Artists, Performing Artists and Art Critics

Hi everyone...this new residency in India just contacted me—I have no idea what they are like but they seem worth checking out.

(ARTISTS & PERFORMING ARTISTS) Call for Artist Sowing Seeds 2011—International Artist Village Residency in India

Visual artists, performing artists, art critics and local community will collaborate to create work about environment and social development in rural Rajasthan (INDIA). There will be opportunities for collaborative work that interacts with the rural environment.

“Sowing Seeds” is a project that intends to create dialogues and exchanges amongst artists beyond their national identity and serves as an opportunity for rural artists to meet, share and exchange ideas, visions, and diverse views in order to create a deeper understanding of art. It acts as a social environment developing and improving the artistic impressions of experts as well as emerging artists. As an alternative art space in INDIA, “Sowing Seeds” is geared to exchange the challenges required to organize such a contemporary artist village residency within rural areas and thus giving rise to a new era in art.

Link: http://kamanartfoundation.com/programme.php

The key to our Artist residency projects will be creating local community collaboration to create works related to environment and social development in the village Gelawas, Barmer, Rajasthan (INDIA). The artist residency will bring together 15 international artists practicing in a wide variety of media, collaboration, outdoor sculpture, documentation, or performing to bring benefit to a specific site and share ideas and methods for a period of 14 days in the village Gelawas, Barmer, Rajasthan (INDIA).

The artists residency will provide the selected artists with full lodging and food, work space, local transportation and a small material stipend.

Residency period—20th December 2011 to 2nd January 2012 [14-days]

Eligible applicants

* Young and emerging visual artists, performing artists and critics - Artists who are able to stay at village Gelawas for the designated period of time

* Artists who are able to produce results of his or her residence activities, e.g. exhibitions, performances, concerts or presentations

* Artists who are able to communicate and collaborate with local people and participate in the exchange program,

How to apply

* Applicants should fill in all the required fields in the application form

* We will accept applications via e-mail

* Submitted information is only used for selection and not for any other purpose.


* Applications must be received by 30th September 2011.

* Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

* Results will be announced in the beginning of 15th October 2011

* All applicants, both successful and unsuccessful, will be informed of the results. A total of 15 artists will be selected.

Applications & inquiries should be addressed to

Email: [email protected]

MOBILE NO +91-9892672877 or +91-9314722004

Friday, August 19, 2011

Artist Residencies in Italy, Germany, Nebraska and Slovenia for Artists, Writers, Composers, and More!

Hey there...a couple new things for you today...I'm trying to get as much out as possible when I'm home because I go off on my book tour starting tomorrow and will be gone a lot this fall. Anyway, here you go (the first three are from www.re-title.com)

(VISUAL ARTISTS) Lo Studio dei Nipoti Calabria Artists Residency—Seeking: Southern-Italian-American & native Southern Italian visual artists;
various ages and areas of specialization April 1-June 30, 2012 residency period
1-3 month stay; 6 artists at a time, Cost: $0-$300/mo

Lo Studio dei Nipoti (studio of the grandchildren, nieces, nephews) has established a pilot artists' residency in collaboration with the town of Monasterace, on the Ionian Sea in Calabria, Italy. An important facet of the residency is the rich potential for positive engagement in the community. Exhibition opportunities, collaborative opportunities; contribute to workshop for the community. Application Deadline: Sep 10, 2011 for the spring residency. For complete prospectus, email [email protected]
For more info visit www.lostudiodeinipoti.com

(ALL) Artist in residence stipends—Kuenstlerdorf Schoeppingen Foundation Fellowships—Kuenstlerdorf Schoeppingen Foundation, Germany Guiding principle of Kuenstlerdorf Schoeppingen Foundation is to support writers, visual artists, artists in the field of new media and and interdisciplinary projects as well as composers by the way of artist in residence stays in the Foundation Kuenstlerdorf Schoeppingen (NRW, Germany) accomodation.

These stays go along with monthly stipends and can last as long as four months in total. The fellows can work highly focused during this period of time in the Foundation Kuenstlerdorf Schoeppingen (NRW, Germany) studios, apartments and flats on their respective art, book or score projects. With in total 14 fellows being on site at the same time and coming from different sectors of work a comprehensive and inspired exchange of ideas takes place. Application for the artist in residence stays is internationally open. There is no limit of age existent.

Grants: Grants for visual arts, new media art, interdisciplinary projects, literature and composition will be awarded each year. Different juries of experts decide on the incoming applications. Deadline for applications is 15th of September of the current year. The monthly stipend amounts to 1025,- Euros. An amount for the operating expenses of the apartments or studios of about 100,- to 200,- Euros has to be payed of this. There is an obligation to spend the artist in residence stay on place.


The studios and apartments of the artist village Schöppingen are in two completely renovated farmhouses dating from the early 19th century. A total of eight apartments for authors and new media artists and six studios for visual artists is available. There are a gallery space and a wood/metall workshop available.

For more information, go to: http://www.stiftung-kuenstlerdorf.de/english.html

Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen Feuerstiege 6 D-48620 Schöppingen Germany
tel: +49 2555 93810 fax: +49 2555 938120
[email protected]

Deadline: 15 September, 2011

(MEDIA, SOUND & VISUAL ARTISTS) Artist in Residency - Museum of Transitory Art MoTA, Ljubljana—MoTA Residencies

Deadline: 15 September, 2011

MoTA is the first Artist in Residency program in Ljubljana for media, sound or visual artists, who can live and work in the capital of Slovenia for a period of one month. MoTA accepts applications for production residencies for artists interested in transitory art. MoTA offers the opportunity to produce and exhibit art projects which research and experiment with: -transitions in space and time, transitions in legal, moral, ethical, political positions, transitions of digital into analog world.

Artists selected through this open call are offered full production support and a public showing of the work produced according to the nature of the project.During the residency, a public presentation of the artist is required. Each resident artist is also asked to donate an artwork to the MoTA museum collection.

More Information


MoTA, Rožna dolina cesta II/36, 1000 Ljubljana
[email protected]

ALL) The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the ArtsArtist Residencies in Nebraska City, NE offers 2- to 8-week residencies year-round for writers, visual artists, and music composers. Housing, studio space, $100/week stipend are provided.

Approximately 50 residencies are awarded per year. The upcoming deadline is September 1 for the following January through June 15 residencies. $25 application fee. See website for complete information, guidelines and application: www.KHNCenterfortheArts.org. The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, 801 3rd Corso, Nebraska City, Nebraska 68410. 402-874-9600,[email protected]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Artist Residencies in Ghana and Mexico

Hey there....here are a couple new things that just came my way. I THINK that this first one is in Ghana but they didn't tell me. If you run a residency somewhere and send me info about it....make sure you tell me what country it's in, okay? Just a thought! Thanks!
Anyway....here's number one...number two is below.

Community Arts Project Residency CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
(in Ghana? Your guess is as good as mine. :-))

Nka Foundation invites submissions of creative projects throughout the year that in some way involve the communities we serve. Our Community Arts Project Residency is a part of our ongoing projects of tapping local resources for sustainable human capital development through a focus on the arts. Thus, we have an open door to the multiplicity of expressions in the arts that connect international contemporary practices with the local communities we serve. Artistic persons or teams in diverse fields of the arts (visual, theatre, music, literary, film/new media, arts education, arts therapy, philosophy, cultural history, etc), and intersections of the arts with architecture (arts+architecture) and engineering (arts+engineering) are all welcome to apply for residency at our Arts Village. Length of project residencies varies from a few weeks to several months, according to project.

Often, we collaborate with other organizations and schools, and host a collective project in our Arts Village. The cross-cultural collaboration may be in form of rural community service project, community arts research, or a workshop-residency, whereby the project starts with a workshop session or course session led by one or more experts in the discipline. The interactive session would be followed by independent projects. All these culminate in an exhibition/community day, or other means of project documentation and dissemination in evidence-based society.

COSTS: Join us! Cost of food and accommodation is affordable. Food is by cooperative kitchen in which we all work together in sharing the planning, cost, shopping and cooking; the estimate is $7-9/day per person. We provide accommodation at an Arts Village setting - to defray program costs we welcome donations from participant’s sponsors at $90 / €71 / £62 per week, or pay what you can. The international participants are responsible for own return air ticket, and other personal costs. If proposing / initiating a project, you will have to raise the funds for that.

DEADLINE: Ongoing but apply 1 month in advance of residency.

APPLICATION: To apply, e-mail detail on what your plan to accomplish with us, your CV, and examples of your work to [email protected] For detail our projects go to www.nkafoundation.org.

(ARTISTS AND WRITERS) Artist Residency for Visual Artists and Writers in Mexico—The Residency is located in Central part of Mexico. South from the City of Guadalajara/ "Lake Chapala" Jalisco.
Contact info: [email protected]
Website linked: http://tabachines.blog.com

Dates of Application:
September 5th first Application 2011 ( Of two to four week period)
September 12th second Application for October 2011 (Of two to fourth week period)

Tabachines Artist Residency is created for the purpose of having international artists come and enjoy a peaceful, beautiful and relaxing space to do their artwork. Exchange their culture and enrich their own by having and sharing what Mexico has to offer them in terms of Art, Food, and the possibility of meeting other visual artists from Mexico. The Residency also offers this to writers and poets as well.

Transportation, food, room and board, studio space, internet and a museum, studio visits and historical tour is included in the price. The cost depends on the period of time you would like to stay. Cost for two weeks is $1,500 dollars, for three weeks is $2,000 dollars and for the whole month is $2,250 dollars. We offer residencies to two artist at at time. Be sure to make in advance reservation.

***message from Mirabee....as you know, I try to mostly offer opportunities that are FREE or that offer financial aid. But this place is new and does not have sponsorship at the moment. It is still not a bad deal if you think you can swing it financially or get some grant funding to help pay for the trip. I am posting it because a friend of mine (a sculptor) recently went there and had a wonderful and productive time.

Mira Bartok Reading and Book Signings

Hey everyone, my paperback book tour starts this weekend but don't worry, I will do my best to post as many opportunities as I can during yet another busy season. I hope to see some of you at my events across the country. This Saturday, August 20th, I will be reading at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT at 7 pm. You can find more info about the event here: http://www.northshire.com/events.php

I'll also be reading in New York City next week for the Bryant Park Festival that happens behind the New York Public Library. The event is an outdoor reading series called "Word for Word" and I will be reading with amazing novelist and memoirist Darin Strauss. The reading and book signing starts at 12:30 pm on Wednesday August 24th. You can find out more about this free event here: http://www.nyc-arts.org/events/14391/word-for-word-mira-bartok-and-darin-strauss
LOCATION: Bryant Park Reading Room West 42nd Street (between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas) New York, NY 10110 Tel: (212) 768-4242 Hope to see you there! In September I will be in the Midwest and the Northeast. I'll be touring until mid to late November. To find out where else I will be reading at, please check my calendar: http://thememorypalace.com/calendar
I will be adding more dates soon, including a couple in California.
Cheers, Mirabee

p.s. by the way, if you are a member of a book club and would like to arrange a phone Q & A with me, just email me at [email protected] and make sure you mention that you are a Mira's List fan!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fall Deadlines for Residencies and Grants!

Hey everyone....this is a big time for applications. Many residencies have September 15th deadlines. Some of you have recently written me asking about whether or not there are residencies in particular countries. Unfortunately, contrary to public opinion, my encyclopedic mind is not what it used to be. However, you are in luck—you can find the residency of your dreams by going to these websites and searching for the locations you are interested in: Res Artis, Trans Artists, and the Alliance of Artists Communities. And for now, check out some new opportunities below....

(ALL) Hambidge Creative ResidencyThe Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences is located in the Blue Ridge Moutains of North Georgia, USA. Deadline: September 15th for mid-February thru April. Eight-week residencies will only be scheduled in late fall, winter and early spring. This requirement may be waived under extenuating circumstances. Please note: due to high demand, the maximum length of residencies awarded for mid-May, through mid-August is four weeks. Applications for one week residencies are considered on a case-by-case basis. Collaborators must submit individual applications, but may choose to share studio/living space. There is a $30 application fee. For more info, go to: http://www.hambidge.org/.

(ALL) ART 342 Residencies in Fort Collins, COART342 offers 14-week and 6-week residencies to emerging and established artists, writers and composers. Studios, a kiln and basic equipment are available for most visual artists, including ceramicists. Quiet spaces exist for creative or scholarly writers. The composer’s studio is outfitted with a Steinway B, computers and software for writing and recording.

Awards for accepted applicants include 24-hour access to free studios, living space and a modest stipend. Residents are responsible for personal expenses and travel to and from the site. Situated in a semi-rural area, ART342 is just 6 miles north of Historic Old Town in Fort Collins. Up to 7 studios and 5 living spaces are maintained as private places for creative work. Pets, children, visitors and partners are strongly discouraged.

For more information regarding application and residency details, visit: www.art342.org
ART342 is now accepting artist-in-residence applications for 14 week and 6 week residencies in 2012. On-line application: https://art342.slideroom.com/ Deadline for all Spring 2012 residencies: October 1, 2011, Deadline for all Summer and Fall 2012 residencies: February 1, 2012

(ALL) BijlmAIR Artist-in-Residence ProgrammeCentrum Beeldende Kunst Zuidoost (CBK Zuidoost – center of visual arts), Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) and Stichting FLAT (FLAT foundation).

For 2011 BijlmAIR invites artists and other cultural producers to live and work temporarily in Amsterdam Southeast. This period can be used for project research or for realization of a project or work of art, following a relevant proposal made by the applicant. The selection committee of the participating organizations decides which proposals will be chosen.

The residency needs to relate to the transnational and intercultural society of Amsterdam Southeast. This can be done on all kinds of levels – urban, sociological, economical, historical, etc. The programme is primarily meant for young artists from the Netherlands and abroad, who finished their art education recently and are almost ready to enter the circuit of the larger art institutions.


BijlmAIR has a studio in Amsterdam Southeast, on the first floor of an apartment building called Florijn. The ground floor apartments of this building are all artists studio’s. The artists who participate in Stichting FLAT are neighbours of our studio. The studio is suitable for one or two artists. Kitchen, toilet and presentation space are shared with the office of Stichting FLAT. Stichting FLAT frequently organizes events in the presentation space of the apartment.

DEADLINE: You can apply the until the 15th of September for a residency in 2012.

APPLICATION: The application consists of a project plan (max. 1 page), completed with an indicative budget (costs and income) and a selection of relevant images to support your idea and which gives an insight in your work. The project plan concerns a living- and working period in Amsterdam Southeast.


BijlmAIR provides a furnished and well-equipped living and working space. On top there is a modest working budget of € 10.000,- available for the whole year. The height of the budget per artist depends on the number of proposals which are granted. We expect the artist to do his/her own fundraising, if necessary.

Three to eight artists are being selected per year; rejections are sent without giving reason. The application has to be sent digital through the following website: www.cbkzuidoost.nl For more information and applications visit: www.cbkzuidoost.nl

(PHOTOGRAPHERS) LIGHT WORK RESIDENCY PROGRAM—Each year Light Work invites 12-15 artists to participate in its residency program, including one artist co-sponsored by Autograph ABP. Artists selected for the residency program are invited to live in Syracuse for one month. They receive a $4,000 stipend, an apartment to stay in, a private digital studio, a private darkroom, and 24-hour access to our facility.

Light Work supports artists working in photography and related media. Through our partnership with the Urban Video Project, we can also provide some direct support to video artists. For more info, go to: http://www.lightwork.org/residency/resinfo.html

(WRITERS & TRANSLATORS) Ledig House International Writers' ResidencyLedig House International Writers' Residency is located approximately two and a half hours north of New York City in the town of Omi, in the scenic Hudson River Valley. Writers and translators from all fields are encouraged to apply for a residence lasting anywhere from one week to two months. Up to 20 writers per session - 10 at a given time - live and write on the stunning 300 acre grounds and sculpture park that overlook the Catskill Mountains. For more information visit: www.artomi.org Deadline November 30.

(ARTISTS) The Martha Boschen Porter Fund, Inc.—The Martha Boschen Porter Fund, Inc. provides grants to individuals in training, studying, or practicing in the arts, based on financial need. Giving confined to Northwest Connecticut and adjacent areas in Massachusetts and New York. This program does NOT support artists residing in New York City. Open application - initial proposal by mail. Include brief description of project (1 page) with rough budget. May also require personal resume, complete budget, and references upon request. No phone inquiries. Send proposal by mail: 145 White Hollow Road, Sharon, CT 06069-2108 USA.

(ALL) CREATIVE RESISTANCE FUNDThe Creative Resistance Fund (CRF) provides $1,500 distress grants to people in danger due to their use of creativity to fight injustice. The fund may be used to evacuate a dangerous situation or to cover living costs while weighing long-term options for safety. Discipline(s) and media are: Visual arts, Sculpture, Performing arts, Textile art, Music, Literature, Educational programmes, New Media. For more info: http://www.freedimensional.org/

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Interview with Children’s Book Author Jane Schoenberg!

Happy August 6th, y’all. Because I have been receiving dozens of requests over the last year to do this, I am launching another facet to Mira’s List—interviews and opportunities for children’s book authors and illustrators. Since I have written many children’s books myself, it does seem silly to not have been offering more in this area, so my apologies to all of you emerging kid’s book peeps.

To start the ball rolling, today I invited children’s book author and lyricist
Jane Schoenberg to talk with us today. You might remember an earlier interview I did with her husband, composer and pianist Steven Schoenberg. Well....welcome to the other half of Steven’s brain. First, a little about Jane...
Jane Schoenberg is an award-winning author and songwriter for children. Her songs have been featured on National Public Radio and kids’ music programs across the country. The first book of her new series for young readers,
The One and Only Stuey Lewis: Stories from the Second Grade, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, just came out in July. Other books include My Bodyworks, (Interlink Books) and The Baby Hustle, (Simon & Schuster). Jane was an educator and social-curriculum consultant for many years before turning to writing full time.

1. Jane, thanks so much for joining us. I know you have a new book for children that just came out so why don’t we start there? Tell us a little about your book and its main character, Stuey Lewis. And by the way, I recently read a review copy and loved that little guy. Rumor has it you have a sequel in the works?

Thanks, Mira, I’m excited to be here with you. The name of the book is The One and Only Stuey Lewis, and I have to say, I’m really happy you love this kid, because I’m looking for somebody to be vice president of his fan club. Perks include unlimited cappuccino, cocoa, and chocolate chip cookies.. Interested?

Always Jane. I live for chocolate.

Anyway, Stuey Lewis is a smart little guy with a big imagination, who eventually manages to pull a rabbit out of his hat every time, but only after he initially wigs out over something. The book is told in Stuey’s voice so we’re privy to all of his thoughts. From the very first sentence, “I wake up and decide to have a stomachache that’s so bad I have to stay in bed” we know he’s a bit of a worry-wart. He’s more than a little anxious about entering second grade, because the reading light bulb has yet to turn on for him; even though everyone else knows how, and his best friend has been devouring books since pre-school...Anxieties aside, Stuey’s capable of pulling off some daring schemes, including a Halloween caper that scores him enough candy to get through Christmas.

Once he makes up his mind, Stuey can survive practically anything–even his nemesis, Lilly Stanley, “Queen of Obnoxious,” whose sole mission in life is to be right about everything. The book is comprised of four very funny linked short stories that follow him through his entire second grade year at school. I think it’s a fun read that young kids will definitely relate to, even ageless kids like you!

And, yes...the rumor mill is alive and well. The sequel, Stuey Lewis Against All Odds, comes out in July, 2012. We get to watch Stuey negotiate his way through the third grade, where he’s far less anxious, but still pulling off some great schemes. And I’ve just finished a spin-off of these two books, told in the voice of the infamous Lilly, titled, Who Else but Lilly Stanley.

2. I loved Lilly as a character. She is so full of herself that you just can’t stop reading about her. Anyway, you come from a very creative family—your husband Steven is a composer, your son Adam is too, and your daughter Sarah Kate Jackson is an actress. I know that you also collaborate with your husband Steven from time to time. How is your creative process different when you work on projects alone, such as your children’s books that don’t involve an accompanying CD?

Yes, all of the members in our immediate family are in the arts, including our son-in-law, who is an actor, and our daughter-in-law to be, who is a playwright. We’re very lucky that we can support each other’s creative endeavors and visions from a place of really knowing what it’s all about. Besides emotional support, we all rely on each other for advice, as well as constructive criticism. My husband Steven has always been my main critic and reader, and I’ve been his. I now also rely on my children for their feedback, particularly for marketing, promotion and social media advice, and my daughter Sarah has always been a very astute reader.

So, how is my process different, when I’m working on my own projects and not collaborating? Hm, I’m not sure that it is all that different. Steven and I work at the same rhythm—intense and fast until something is complete and feels one hundred percent right. I like to work that way on my own projects too and can be very compulsive until I’m finished with something.

I think I’m really in my zone when that happens. When I’m crafting a lyric, which I tend to do before it’s set to music, I have to adhere to a far stricter writing code that involves rhyme, meter, accents, and form, which is more confining than when I’m writing a book. Of course, each genre has a story to tell, and if the song is part of a musical it also has dialogue. I think both of these processes feed the other. Because I write for young kids, I’ve learned to tell a story in a limited number of words, which is just what a successful lyric needs to do. Collaborating also affords you a partner who can kick you in the butt when you need it... when you’re writing on your own, you have to do that for yourself.

3. We recently met up at the NESCBWI (New England Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) conference this past May. I remember you saying afterward that it was an eye opening experience for you. What did you learn at the conference that you didn’t know before about the world of children’s book publishing? And did you learn anything new about yourself, or something you needed to work on in your career?

That was a great conference. I had been a member of SCBWI for a number of years, but had never attended a conference. I really missed out. This particular conference offered lots of business and marketing workshops, which was perfect timing , given the release date of my new book. That was invaluable information for me. Like all of publishing, the children’s book industry is in flux right now, given the impact of technology, and this was addressed in many of the presentations given by publishers, marketers, and writers. So much of the marketing is left up to the author, and there is such a small window to try and get the word out on your book. I took an intensive workshop, called, “I hate Twitter” (and other things to stop saying). I still don’t tweet, but since the conference I’ve got my toes wet on facebook, put out a book trailer, taken advantage of all the great ways Goodreads promotes authors, and—look who is interviewing me on her incredibly cool and famous blog. Need I say more?

4. :-) Well Jane...that takes a bit of bravery to join the ranks of all the other social media-saavy authors and illustrators out there. As far as the conference went, I also had an eye-opening experience. I hadn’t gone to one in a while and I was really struck by how much has changed in the children’s book industry.

In your opinion, why should children’s book authors and illustrators, published or non-published, go to regional events like this conference, or some of the larger ones sponsored by SCBWI?

To be a part of a community. And there is an incredible community of people who make up SCBWI. Published or not, everyone seems open, generous, and down to earth. Highly respected and successful authors and illustrators, like Jane Yolen, and Tomie dePaola give inspiring and entertaining keynotes, and there are a whole cast of people far more experienced than you are, offering resources, information and practical advice. And the networking potential is amazing. You never know who you are going to meet and what may come out of that meeting.

5. Jane Yolen is by far one of my favorite people. She has such a gift for championing and inspiring writers and artists, including myself. What a gift to the world she is!

So Jane, what are some of the biggest challenges for you right now, coming into the children’s book world as a more, shall we say, ‘mature’ writer, i.e. someone over 45? Do you think there might be an advantage to being a little bit seasoned in life?

I don’t know how mature I am, but I didn’t get published until after I was 45. I think you bring whoever you are to whatever it is you do. I guess what I’ve brought with me to the children’s book world is a profound respect and appreciation of children. I was an educator and a parent for many years before becoming a writer. I always remained very open in both of these roles, acknowledging that I was learning as much about myself and the world from kids, as I was hoping they were learning from themselves, each other, and from me.

I also was a voracious reader my entire life, and children’s books were always at the top of my list. I guess I’m looking at the same obstacles that any writer, who is less seasoned, faces in today’s challenging market. I’m trying to stay on top of all the changes in the industry, promote and market my material, and keep a pulse on what’s selling well and why. But in the end, I can only write what I know, and hope that it resonates with my readers.

6. Describe your perfect writing day for me.

I wake up and the voice inside my head telling her (or his) story is clear and ready to roll. I pay no attention to chores, even immediate ones that need to get done, like shoveling the walkways after a snowstorm. I pay no attention to my favorite distractions, like communing with the hummers in my flower beds early in the morning. A hot cappuccino with a thick crema, and maybe a fresh poached egg, on a great piece of multi-grained toast is brought up to me in my studio, when Steven figures out I haven’t fed myself, and it’s going on eleven. I don’t have to work hard to listen, I’ve stepped away from myself, and I’m totally in the zone.

Do you think you could convince Steven to pop over in the morning and bring me breakfast too? :-) Jane, thanks so much for visiting my site today. I wish you all the best with Stuey and the rest of your book tour!

I heartily encourage everyone to go out and get a copy of Jane’s book right now and please try to get it from your local independent bookstore. Without your support, more and more of these wonderful places will bite the dust. You can find where your closest indie bookstore is by going to IndieBound. You can also visit Jane and watch her book trailer for Stuey Lewis at www.janeschoenberg.com.

And for all of those readers out there who would like to know more about the ins and outs of writing and illustrating for children and young adults, I HIGHLY suggest visiting these two websites, which are the best ones in the biz. All your questions will be answered at: www.underdown.org, which is an amazing site developed by former editor Harold Underdown and the other great site is the SCBWI site: www.scbwi.org. And there are dozens of local chapters for SCBWI if you are looking for a local children’s book writing or illustrating critique group.

Thanks for joining us today. Cheers!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Things Coming Your Way....

Greetings everyone! So sorry I have been out of earshot as of late. I have been out of town, visiting with my sister and my oldest friends from childhood. We found each other after my book, The Memory Palace came out this past January. Speaking of which, it is coming out in paperback on August 9th! More on that later. But you should know that I will be going on book tour one more time, starting August 20th. You can check out my schedule on my memory palace website (under 'events') to see if I will be coming to a town near you. There are more events being added, including an event in Philedephia and maybe others, so please check my schedule from time to time if you think you might want to come and hear me read. The other announcement I have is that along with posting opportunities for artists, writers, composers, etc., I will also start posting opportunities for children's book authors and illustrators. To start the ball rolling, this weekend I will be posting an interview with children's book author Jane Schoenberg. So keep those eyes peeled.... For now, here are a couple things for you---there are tons of deadlines in September for many residencies and grants. And I will try to gather some good things for you soon. xoxo, Mirabee

(ALL) MILLAY COLONY ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT NEW RESIDENCY OPPORTUNITIESThe Millay Colony for the Arts is pleased to announce some important new additions to its roster of artist residencies on its pastoral upstate New York/Berkshire area campus. While continuing to offer month-long residencies to visual artists, writers and composers, the Millay Colony is now offering three new ways to spend time as a resident. "In our continuing efforts to meet the ever-evolving needs of the artistic community,” says Executive Director Caroline Crumpacker, “we are now able to support artists who can’t manage a full month away, but for whom a shorter residency could provide a tremendous boost. We also want to recognize the importance of collaborations and collectives to and within contemporary art-making."

The Two-Week Residency
In order to accommodate artists who cannot partake of a month-long residency, we are now offering two two-week sessions in the month of September only, for up to seven artists per session. These sessions function exactly as our popular longer sessions do, highlighted by private bedrooms, private studios, and all meals.

The Virtual Residency
This new residency is specifically for working artists and/or artists with children who cannot spend prolonged time away from home but could benefit from the support of a residency in modified form. The 'Virtual Resident' can participate in one of The Millay Colony's month-long residency on weekends only and will receive a stipend of $1,000 to assist in securing time off/childcare/art supplies or other resources necessary to the making of new work.

The application process for these residencies is the same as that for the month-long residencies. Applicants will note on their application form that they are looking for the two-week residency or the virtual residency.

The Group Residency
The Millay Colony awards one five-day Group Residency each year to a group of between three and seven collaborating artists. This is available to any artists groups, including but not only musicians and bands, publishing collectives, theater and dance troupes, galleries, etc. -- or simply individuals collaborating on a project.

The basis for the application as a group is work samples, a statement detailing the history of the collaboration or organization, and a project description describing proposed activities for the residency. The residency may be used only to support the creation and dissemination of new or revived art works. It is not available for institutional support or organizational retreats. The residency is awarded through a separate application process and includes private bedrooms, studios, public meeting spaces, and all meals.

The Millay Colony for the Arts is an artists' residency program and artists' center located on the extraordinary property of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in Austerlitz, NY. Our mission is to nurture and promote the vitality of the arts by providing artists with a rural home that encourages intensity and exploration in the context of nurturing artistic community.

New deadline for 2012 residencies is September 15, 2011.

To apply for any of these residencies visit http://www.millaycolony.org/apply. Or for more information call Residency Director Calliope Nicholas at 518-392-3103.

(SOUND ARTISTS/RADIO/MEDIA ARTISTS) WARM YOUR EARS = Apply for Sounds Elemental in NYC! | December 12 - 16, 2011
The summer temperatures are climbing. You know you'll be dreaming of these
days come shivery December. Make sure your ears keep warm this winter by
signing up for AIR's Sounds Elemental intensive at Harvestworks Digital
Media Arts Center in NYC. It's happening December 12 - 16.

We just finished up a smashing summer session focusing on ”metal," with
reviews like "…it was great to be surrounded by people who don't need an
explanation for why [working with] sound is awesome" and "I feel like I have
new ears for listening, a new toolkit for making sound." This time around,
our focus is Wood.

Are you up for it? We're looking for ten producers open to learning unconventional approaches to assembling sound and telling story. Slots are
already filling up!


This opportunity may be especially appealing to those working in traditional
documentary formats eager to recalibrate their orientation to sound and
craft. Producers benefit from intensely individualized attention from renowned
sound artists-teachers, Harvestworks’ Hans Tammen, and public radio producer
and musician Brenda Hutchinson. New York _Times_ new media editor Amy
O’Leary will also lead an afternoon mini-dive into audio slideshows - called
"bang on," "cutting edge," and "the highlight of the week" by participants.

The cost is $700. A non-refundable $350 deposit is required upon acceptance.
AIR members who live outside of New York City are eligible for a small
stipend to help underwrite the cost of the intensive and travel to NYC.

+++Attendance is mandatory for all sessions. If you are unable to attend
each day of the intensive, please do not apply.+++

Learn more:

_Listen to instructor and AIRster Brenda Hutchinson's audio montage of
Sounds Elemental: Sky:_

Questions? Contact AIR's Membership Director Erin Mishkin
at [email protected].
+++AIR is everywhere.+++

Welcome to Mira's List

This blog provides information on upcoming grants, fellowships and residencies for artists, writers, composers, and media artists. It is for serious professionals only, from emerging to mid-career to established. I also publish information for graduate students from time to time. However, I do not publish information on exhibition or publishing opportunities, nor do I advertise artist retreats and workshops that charge money. At least that is my current policy. For more info on where to exhibit or publish, please see my links section which I try to periodically update. I sift through hundreds of search engines and websites to find opportunities for YOU dear artist. In return, I ask you to pass the information along to those who need it. Also, since this is a free blog, I don't always have the time to weed carefully through everything. If you find a grant or website or residency that is not up-to-date, is dodgy in some way, or is no longer in existence, please let me know! Also, if you stay somewhere at one of the residencies I suggest and have a good experience, I want that feedback too. Please check my FAQs at the top right side bar if you have questions before starting your search. Best wishes and happy hunting!