Friday, January 29, 2016

Writing Conference in Portugal! Win a Scholarship!

Disquiet has extended the deadline for the 2016 Literary Prize by one more week. But why wait? Enter now to win publication, airfare, accommodation & tuition.

2016 Faculty & Guests include Denis Johnson, M.T. Anderson, Molly Antopol, Erica Dawson, Arthur Flowers, John Hennessy, Cyriaco Lopes, Maaza Mengiste, Sabina Murray, Padgett Powell, Catherine Tice (associate publisher, The New York Review of Books), Chanan Tigay, Katherine Vaz & Terri Witek. Portuguese writers include Teolinda Gersão, Susana Moreira MarquesJosé Luís Peixoto, Jacinto Lucas Pires, Patrícia Portela, Patrícia Reis, Gonçalo M. Tavares, and many more TBA.

You have one more week to enter The Disquiet Literary Prize for writing in any genre.

The top winners in each genre will be published: the fiction winner in Guernica, the nonfiction winner in, and the poetry winner in The Collagist.

The grand prize winner will receive a full scholarship including tuition, lodging, and a $1,000 travel stipend to Lisbon in 2016.

Runners-up and other outstanding entrants will receive financial aid.
Read the contest guidelines and enter here.

For more info on the program, see our website or write us

Lit Prize Contest now closes 11:59PM E.S.T. on February 7, 2016.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Upcoming Events!

Monday, February 8, 2016
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA
Merten Hall, Room 1203

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
6 pm – 7 pm
Towson University
Towson, MD
College of Liberal Arts building/CLA, Room 3150

Saturday, February 13, 2016
3:00 pm – 5 pm
St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub (in Del Ray)
2300 Mount Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA
Reading with the Neighborhood Prompt Group
The reading will feature work by Mary Daly, Nina Sichel, Charlotte Safavi, Joanne Lozar Glenn, Michelle Berberet, Mark Morrow, Grace Morsberger, and me. Each of the pieces was generated by a prompt and developed during a 15-minute writing session.

Valentine's Day Fast Approaches....

From one of my favorite literary magazines, The Sun:

Flowers wilt, chocolate is fattening, and lingerie is a gamble.

Why not share the gift of great writing with your beloved this Valentine’s Day?

In The Mysterious Life of the Heart, fifty writers explore the enigma of romantic love in personal essays, short stories, and poems that originally appeared in The Sun. With candor and humor, Cheryl Strayed, Poe Ballantine, Steve Almond, Sparrow, and many others lead us through ecstasy and heartbreak, anger and forgiveness, fleeting crushes and lasting relationships.

Order today to save 20 percent off the cover price and ensure delivery before Valentine’s Day. (Only $15!)

(Disclosure: One of my stories in included in this collection, “Ten Things,” which is the first story in THIS ANGEL ON MY CHEST.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Book Review from The Potomac Journal: "A Really Impressive Piece of Work"

I’m very pleased to read this smart review of THIS ANGEL ON MY CHEST in The Potomac Journal, a journal of poetry & politics. I’ve heard of writers who claim not to read their reviews—an impressive feat, if true—but I’m too nosy not to. Writing thoughtful reviews is hard work, and I appreciate when one hits the mark, as this one does. No, not just because the reviewer says nice things! But because the reviewer seemed to me to “get” what the book was trying to do and be, and that is always exciting for any writer, to feel the reader understands. 

Also, I will have to confess that I like this last paragraph a lot, even with its criticism:

This Angel on My Chest is a really impressive piece of work, viewing a core event as through a prism, an ingenious concept for a book and fully deserving of any prize out there that recognizes literary brilliance. If I have any criticism at all, it's that the book is a little too tour–de–force–y. Stories like "What I Could Buy" and "Chapter Ten: an Index of Food (Draft)" seem too clever, written in service of the general theme. If it weren't for the bedrock existential seriousness of the subject, one might accuse Pietrzyk of being too clever at times in trying to balance irony and sincerity. But in the end I think she pulls it off. This is serious work.

Read the rest here:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Reading in Baltimore!

Thursday, January 21at 7 PM
The Ivy Bookshop
6080 Falls Rd, Baltimore, Maryland 21209

Come hear DC writers David Ebenbach and Leslie Pietrzyk, and Baltimore writer Kathy Flann read from new books.

David’s newest book, his first full-length collection of poetry, We Were the People Who Moved, is “a journey across America…a journey you will be grateful for having taken” (poet Jesse Lee Kercheval), and “a post-modern ‘wagons west’ of dislocation, brief homesteading, and the threads of regeneration” (poet David Gewanter). Poet Kelly Cherry calls We Were the People Who Moved “a book of continual brilliance.”

Leslie's short fiction collection, This Angel on My Chest, won the Drue Heinz Prize at University of Pittsburgh Press. It's a collection of unconventionally linked stories, each about a different young woman whose husband dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Ranging from traditional stories to lists, a quiz, a YouTube link, and even a lecture about creative writing, the stories grasp to put into words the ways in which we all cope with unspeakable loss.

Kathy's collection of short stories, Get a Grip, all set in Baltimore, won the George Garrett Award at Texas Review Press. Writer Stephen O'Connor says, "In her smart and beautifully observed stories, Kathy Flann drops us straight into the complex lives of a collection of imperfect strivers, who want love, want to be good, or want somehow to transcend their makeshift existences, and who are often their own worst enemies. Each of these tales is simultaneously a portrait of its grim-funny, yet touching protagonist and of a land, very like the United States, where everything is possible, and nothing is quite what it should be."

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

February 13: Meet the Prompt Group at Our Reading!

I'm pleased to announce that St. Elmo's Coffee Pub (billed as the living room of Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood) will be hosting our prompt group as we read some of our favorite short writings on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 3 - 5 pm.

The reading will feature work by Mary Daly, Nina Sichel, Charlotte Safavi, Joanne Lozar Glenn, Michelle Berberet, and more (including me!). Each of the pieces was generated by a prompt and developed during a 15-minute writing session. Come share this chance to meet and socialize with the writers in a relaxed and convivial setting. Refreshments will be available for purchase from St. Elmo’s.

Free! And a wonderful way to learn more about the benefits of starting your own prompt writing practice.

3PM ~ Purchase coffee/social
3:30 ~ 4:30 ~ Reading/discussion
4:30 ~ 5 ~ Q&A/social

St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub
2300 Mount Vernon Ave.

Alexandria, VA 22301



DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.