Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
It’s been awhile since Writer Abroad did an international writing round-up, but you’ll have to excuse her. Frau V, concerned neighbor, has been doing Writer Abroad's gardening in her high heels. Again. But now that Writer Abroad has survived Swiss Gardening Boot Camp, Part II, she’s had time to gather some thoughts unrelated to her Katastroph of a garden.
Paris-based writer Laurel Zuckerman just announced a contest for the Best and Most Delightful Stores about Paris. All authors are welcome to submit. There's a 10 Euro entry fee. Deadline: November 30, 2010.
Author Philip Graham writes about how reading books on vacation is an escape from an escape. He welcomes your comments on the Companionable Presence of a Book.
The Zurich Writers Workshop has announced its guest instructors for its October workshop: Coming to Zurich will be New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Jane Gilman and University of Oxford Fiction Tutor Amal Chatterjee.
Looking to connect with writers working on travel memoirs? Join Alexis Grant’s Travel Memoir Writers twitter list.
Finally this post wouldn’t be complete if Writer Abroad didn’t toot her own horn. Yes. She went to Swiss Alphorn School and wrote a feature story for swissinfo.ch, on the growing popularity of the alphorn in Switzerland. She gives the alphorn students credit. It’s a hard instrument to play. But one note will get you a loyal audience. The cows love it.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Writer Abroad has long lamented the lack of writing events in Zurich.
Geneva has its Writers’ Group.
Paris has WICE.
Shanghai has Out Loud! The Shanghai Writers Literary Salon.
Nuremberg has the Nuremberg Writers Group.
And Zurich? Well. Writer Abroad is not going to lament any more. She’s going to plan. Along with two other Zurich-based writers, she is co-founding the first ever Zurich Writers Workshop. It will be held October 1-3, 2010. The event will include a fiction workshop, a non-fiction workshop, a literary tour of Zurich (no, we are not all bankers here!), an apéro at the James Joyce pub and more.
Registration will open in mid-August. More details to come soon.
Have you ever planned a writing workshop? Or started a writing group in your new city? Writer Abroad welcomes your planning tips.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Where to stay
Here are a few websites where you can find rentals that typically cut out the agent (and the agent fees).
Because Writer Abroad didn’t know these great websites ahead of time, she had to pay for a hotel during her conference. C'est la vie. But this turned out to be the best hotel she’s ever stayed at in Paris for the price, so she recommends it for stays under 7 days (the minimum stay for most apartments in Paris):
Huge, newly renovated bathroom (finally a Parisian shower that you can bend down in!), quiet street (no traffic noise), price (between 80-90 Euros/night for a double), clean, modern chic.
37 rue de la Bucherie, 75005 Paris
They have readings once a week.
22 rue Saint-Paul, 75004 Paris
Tiny but charming, with a great selection of books on Paris written by expats.
36 rue du temple paris, 75004 Paris
Cute shop in the Marais with English and French books as well as cards and gifts.
Restaurants and Cafés
3 rue Racine, 75006 Paris
Gorgeous art deco interior, this is where the closing dinner for the Paris Writers’ Workshop was held. I’ve had better food in Paris, but recommend this place for the décor.
153 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris
If you want southwestern inspired French food, this is a cozy spot.
12 av. Rapp, 75007 Paris
Avoid the overpriced cafes near the Eiffel Tower and eat reasonably priced Indian food instead. 8 Euro vegetarian dishes.
Creperie de Port-Manech
52 rue du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris
Just one of the many charming creperies on the rue du Montparnasse. When in doubt, eat the dessert crepe first. Crepes from 5 Euros.
66-68-70 rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris
The best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. The street itself is also worth walking down for its cute shops and cafes. Desserts 5 Euros.
32 rue de la fontaine au roi, 75011 Paris
Fantastic, reasonably-priced Moroccan food. Main dishes from 11 Euros.
42 quai d’Orleans, 75004 Paris
The best ice cream sodas in Paris. Ice cream from 3 Euros.
33 Boulevard Arago, 75013 Paris
Ginger juice, chicken and onion stew, and more from this fantastic Senegalese restaurant. Main dishes from 14 Euros.
(shopping for writers on a budget!)
Freep ‘S’ Star Bretonnerie
8 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris
Freep ‘S’ Star Verrerie
61 rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris
Other planning tools
A Writer’s Paris, by Eric Maisel
36 Hours in Paris, sans la Tour Eiffel: blog post from Zurich-based writer Kelly Jarosz
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
By Diana Santelli
In life, we judge.
Consciously or unconsciously, we categorize people by the way they look or act or dress or speak. Or write.
Most often new writers are the guiltiest of this offence. We view everyone as a rival and decide our value as a writer based on whose works we’ve read recently or how many praises your work has received. After reading a new author, someone experiencing the Jealous-Writer Syndrome will often react in one of two ways. He will either:
A) Say “Wow, this is really good writing,” and then proceed to feel hopeless that he or she can one day too write at this level
Or B) Think, “Wow, I can write way better than that,” and allow themselves to experience a temporary ego boost.
If you too are guilty of ever harboring such thoughts—fret not. It’s ok. Sometimes jealousy happens, but from my own experience, it’s a whole lot healthier and a heck of a lot happier life when you’re not comparing yourself to everyone around you—and that includes your writing. Otherwise you’ll end up lonely and bi-polar.
Just don’t do it.
Because writing is such a hard business to break into, it is easy to see another writer’s win as your loss—but truth of the matter is, taste fluctuates. Many written works didn’t see the printer’s ink in their writer’s lifetime, but then lo and behold, many years later, are discovered to be rare and precious gems.
“Alright Diana, I see what you’re saying, but what if I don’t want to wait until I’m dead before someone will publish or read my work?”
That’s a fair question and to be honest, I’m not particularly fond of that idea either, but I will say, while there are few that make it to Elisabeth Gilbert or Dan Brown or Stephen King status, there are many, many more writers whose works gain fame or popularity on a smaller, localized scale.
There are so many outlets these days to “be a writer”. Either through entering competitions, or starting a blog, or writing for local or state anthologies or publications, or even joining a writers group (hint, hint). One has to start small. And not expect a big paycheck.
Instead, no matter how many stories you write or how many years you’ve officially dubbed yourself a “writer”, let yourself always be a beginner and allow yourself to learn from others. You’ll make more friends that way and you’ll give yourself more room to make mistakes and develop your art on your own terms.
Diana Santelli is a New Jersey expat living and working near Nürnberg, Germany. She has spent about three years abroad, working and living in places such as Slovenia, France, Switzerland, the UK, Belize and South Korea. She is co-founder of the Nuremberg Writers Group and recently won first place in her first short story competition for her story, Le Big Mac. She blogs about her American existence in Deutschland here at http://americanadeutsch.blogspot.com/.
Note: This piece originally appeared on the Nuremberg Writers Blog on 8.03.2010.