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V.20 No.20 | 5/19/2011

Culture Shock

Writer Power

How do you get published? What’s a query letter? How do you get an agent or a manager? Should you get an agent or a manager? All these questions and more will be answered for writers—both beginning and experienced—during the ninth annual Latino Writers’ Conference, held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center May 19 through 21. Internationally successful authors, editors and agents will present workshops and lectures. Participants are guaranteed one-on-one meeting time with the professionals. “The mission of the conference is to encourage Latinos to publish their work,” says Carlos Vásquez, the history and literary arts director at NHCC, “and to bring to them other Latino writers that are now successful.”

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writing

The Freelancer's Prayer

Confessions of a former meeting attendee

John Bear attends a monday staff meeting.
Clara Speer
John Bear attends a monday staff meeting.

I had an editor once who wore sweat pants to the newsroom.
I did not approve. While I’ve never been a GQ type of guy, preferring cheap khakis and work shirts to slacks and dress shirts, I always tried to dress well enough to go to court.
When my editor would come in clutching a bag of McDonalds and a lip-balancing a cigarette, decked out in blue or black sweat pants, I couldn’t help but scoff (and cringe at the knowledge that a soul-crushing, spirit-trashing staff meeting was soon to steal an hour of my day.) Sure, we are print people, but that’s no reason to dress like like one had awakened under a freeway overpass.
I’m not too big to admit that I was wrong. I wrote an article this morning dressed in a t-shirt and boxer shorts. It was heaven. I felt like I had found Jesus after a life in mortgage banking. I have seen the light and been reborn. Hallelujah. Can I get an amen?
I am trying to freelance full time and I think I have just found the first perk among the many terrifying unknowns: no pants. Pants are overrated and a large portion of my operating budget. They have to go.
Lord, I don’t ask you for much, and I’m calling in a favor. Bless me with enough freelance work to continue to revel in the unbearable lightness of chortes. Amen.

V.19 No.31 | 8/5/2010

Feature

More Flash Fiction!

Just for you, dear web readers, for your reading pleasure.

And even more Honorable Mentions ...


“How Many This Evening?” by Elisa LaBeau

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Feature

Show Us Your Fiction!

The winners of our Flash Fiction contest

Usually, I’m that guy. The one in the corner, nose stuck in a giant book. My best blow-off at a bar is to ask guy what he’s reading and then tell him all about my “favorite” book, the Mahabharata. “It’s, like, eight times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined!” I announce to the poor sap. It works every time. And no, that’s not actually my favorite book. It just scares people and I have read a big chunk of it and there’s this whole part about the land of the snake people that’s really weird and not what some dude at a bar wants to talk to a girl about.

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