Writing contest offers travel prize

GuideGecko Travel Guides has announced an international writing contest for travel, lifestyle, and entertainment guides. All bloggers, budding writers, and established authors with a passion for travel, lifestyle, or entertainment writing are invited to enter. The winners get their titles published and showcased at the world’s largest book fair in Frankfurt, Germany in October 2009, and the first prize winner also wins a trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair, which draws 300,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists. The contest is open to all travel, lifestyle, and entertainment guides. There is no page limit, and authors are welcome to submit new and existing works. Authors keep all copyrights and participation is free. Three winning titles will be showcased, and the grand prize gets the free trip. It sounds like the perfect contest for students studying abroad or alums working abroad. For more information, check out the GuideGecko Website.

MUSE calls for student papers

MUSE, IWU’s own undergraduate literature conference, is looking for students to present papers at this year’s conference, which will be held Saturday, October 3. Students are invited to submit papers of 8+ pages that are critical/analytical in nature (not creative). Send the paper as an attachment in an email with your name, address, and year in school to: muselitconf@gmail.com. Submission deadline: 7pm, Wednesday, September 16. Questions can be directed to the same email address above.

If your paper is accepted, you will have the opportunity to read your work to a group of your peers and find out what it’s like to participate in an academic conference. It’s also a great resume-builder.

Alumni update: Jac Jemc (’05)

Jac Jemc (’05) writes,

“I went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago right after graduation to get my MFA in creative writing.  I finished that about a year ago.  I’m writing fiction and poetry and having good luck publishing in lit mags.  In May I found out that my first novel, My Only Wife, will be published by Dzanc Books, a young press out of Ann Arbor.  They have their authors lined up far in advance right now, so it won’t be out until 2012, but I don’t mind the wait.

“I’m working for a couple of online magazines.  I’m poetry editor for decomP and a fiction reader for Our Stories.  I just guest-edited a print magazine called Little White Poetry Journal, in which two other IWU students had work appear: Diego Baez and Megan Thoma.  I’ve been on a couple of artist residencies: Ragdale and right now I’m actually writing from the Vermont Studio Center.  This summer I went on a reading tour of 11 cities with 7 people from small US presses and magazines.  It was a hit and we’re already planning our trip for next year.

“I think that’s the gist of my writing update.  I am forever grateful to all of you at IWU for the education, support and encouragement I received while there.  It seems things are on the right track for me (or at least an enjoyable one) and I feel I owe much of this ‘success’ to the foundations I built while there.”

Our congratulations to Jac, who adds that she has a blog that includes links to her writing. Do check it out.

Wanna bat away? Department softball game is coming up!

Literature has yet to win the English department’s annual Literature vs. Writing softball game, but it’s always a fun time. Professors and students play together in a double-header and afterwards have a hot dog roast. Majors take up the rivalry again on Sunday, September 13, 2-5pm, at the women’s softball field (near Printing and Mailing Services on N. Franklin Ave.). BethAnne Roberts is the team captain for the Writing squad, and Mike Czajkowski will try to get the Literature team fired up.

Since not everyone has gloves, we play Chicago-style 16″ slow-pitch softball with no gloves and precious few rules. Just bare hands with a soft “mushball.” No spikes are allowed, and you don’t have to be a “player” to participate. It’s all for fun, and there are widely different skill levels each year. Please RSVP to Julie Lappin, jlappin@iwu.edu, by September 10 and let us know if you’ll be playing for Literature or Writing, or if you’ll just be in the stands to share in the fun and food. Alums in the area are welcome to drop by and share stories of the “real” world over hot dogs and sodas. Pictured are players from last year congratulating each other (at having worked up an appetite).

UPDATE: Writing did it again. After Literature had taken a 4-3 lead, Writing roared back with a big four-run inning to win 7-4 and keep their streak intact. It was a tale of two Mikes, with Mike Whitfield leading the Writing squad and Mike Czajkowski getting the most hits for Literature. But the difference may have been a circus catch near the home-run fence that Nathan Butters made to deny Literature a big inning.