Archive | April, 2012

Will you be in Labor?

30 Apr

Announcing our next installment: LABOR! May 16th!

Submission deadline:  Saturday, May 12th. 


An evening of writers reading original pieces– one of Hartford’s best little secrets.

Writers: we need your pieces about LABOR, whatever that means to you. Go nuts. (Work, babies, unions, whatever.)

Listeners: just come, listen, laugh at the funny parts.

Syllable takes literary submissions of all kinds. No reading will last longer than 10 minutes (about 4 prose pages), so your submission must stand alone in that time frame. Shorter submissions are very welcome. Submission guidelines:

Songs, diaries, and creative interpretations of literature are welcome!

The mission of Syllable: A Reading Series is to provide a space for Connecticut writers of all levels to showcase their work, and to expose the public to a variety of writing styles. Syllable aims to be another brick in the strong arts community in the Greater Hartford area. This event is possible in part by a grant from the City of Hartford.

Please visit for more information. Happy writing!


See the Light tonight!

18 Apr

Tonight: light. (I’m never going to get tired of that.)

7:00 pm

$5 suggested donation

La Paloma Sabanera

405 Capitol Avenue


We still have room for one or two more submissions, so if you’re feeling bold, send them our way at

Friday the 13th: Throwback to Luck?

13 Apr

It’s Friday the 13th! Perhaps we should have done Luck this month…

Just a reminder that your deadline for “Light” submissions is this weekend. Email them to If you’re not quite done, that’s ok– we can slate in your time and you can have until the 18th to finish it all up.

Now go get writing!




Dear writers: I…

12 Apr

Dear writers: I thought I should probably alert you to a cool writing program at the Mark Twain House. (Full disclosure– I work there, but it’s so relevant to Syllable I just couldn’t let it slip by.)

Next weekend, we’re having a Writers’ Weekend. Here’s the schedule:


Friday 4/20: Keynote Lecture by Lewis Lapham

Saturday 4/21: Food, workshops, and lectures all day long!

Eighteen panels, talks and workshop sessions. No fewer than two winners of the Connecticut Book Award Lifetime Achievement Award holders will be participating in sessions at the Weekend: Lary Bloom, longtime editor of Northeastmagazine, columnist, author of many books, and sage teacher of writing at the Mark Twain House and many other places; and Bessy Reyna (Memoirs of the Unfaithful Lover), the beloved Cuban-born poet who has been called “a clear-eyed guide to the world we see but don’t see” by Martin Espada.

Among the authors slated to lead 50-minute sessions on Saturday are Susan Campbell(Dating Jesus), Susan Schoenberger (A Watershed YearSuzanne Levine (The Haberdasher’s Daughter), Denis Horgan (Ninety-Eight Point SixCindy Brown Austin (By the Waters of Babylon) and Wendy Clinch (The Ski Diva).

There will be sessions on blogging, the business of getting published, and new forms of storytelling unleashed by the existence of the Internet.

The cost of the Writers’ Weekend for participants is $100. This includes the Friday night reception and lecture, all Saturday sessions, a box lunch and the Saturday night closing reception. Participants will also receive a voucher good for a tour of the Mark Twain House at any time. Space is limited, and advance registration and payment is a must: Call 860-280-3130 to register.

So will I see you all there?

— Julia



11 Apr

Our “Light” reading will be on the 18th– but I’m always surprised by how few people write about the literal opposite of the theme. Writing about darkness or heaviness is still, in its way, writing about light.

When I think about darkness, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness immediately comes to mind. This tale of journeying up the Congo eventually was remade into the Vietnam movie Apocalypse Now, and it’s from Conrad that we get “the horror, the horror!”

Give it a read if you’ve got time and are looking to bone up on your classics. It’s short and very powerful. Perhaps it’ll get you thinking about darkness and light a little bit more.

Let There Be Light!

9 Apr

I originally picked the “Light” theme because of this month’s event’s proximity to Easter, but I realized recently that there are an astounding number of songs with the word “Light” in the title.

Enjoy these, and then write your own for the series!



Deadline for “Light”

6 Apr

Our “light” reading will take place on Wednesday, April 18th. Make sure your calendars are marked!

The deadline for submissions is Saturday, April 14th. But: the sooner the better!

— Syllable Series

The Theme Meme

4 Apr

Themes: a blessing and a curse. When I speak to our readers and writers after each installment of Syllable series, I find that the theme scares people, but ultimately drives them to write a story they didn’t know they had in them. I got the idea of themes from some of my favorite literary magazines, like Tin House. I always found that their themes compelling and sort of weird. Not only did they draw interesting pieces, but the writers always made me think more deeply about the theme itself.

We all found this when Karin, one of our “Love” readers, read about her love for her nurse while she was fighting cancer. We were impressed by the unluckiness of Earl’s mother being his substitute sex-ed teacher while he was in high school. When a bunch of boys decided to read prologues from video games, that seems right on target for “Fantasy.” I didn’t expect any of those things– and you didn’t either, I’ll bet.

“Light” is either the hardest or the easiest of the themes we’ve ever had. Abstract. I can’t wait to see what you all will do with it.

Send us “Light” pictures

2 Apr

Blogs tend to be a very visual medium, and I really have trouble coming up with enough pictures with which to hammer home the word-nerdiness of our endeavor.

Therefore, I turn to you! Send me your pictures of anything “light” related. It might even inspire your piece.

Here’s mine: light on the Gold Building in winter. What could I write about this?

Name that bookstore

1 Apr

Earlier this year I found myself with my family in this  bookstore. Every inch of it looked like this. Overjoyed as I was, there was a “knocking over a stack of 40 books about sailing ships” moment with my brother. He managed to save them all by holding them up with the side of his body. Totally worth the moment of disaster for the hour of intellectual adventure.

Anybody know where this is? I’ll be really impressed.

Tell me about your favorite bookstores, and any little bookstore adventures you may have had recently. We can never get enough.