Dalia Sofer was born in Iran and fled in 1982, at the age of 10, to the United States with her family. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College in 2002 and has been a resident at Yaddo. She currently lives in New York City. Her first novel, The Septembers of Shiraz, will be published by Ecco Press in August 2007.
The Sirenland fellowship provides travel, room and board and fees for attending The Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. It is given to a writer who is in the process of completing a project, but has not published a book before March, 2007. All entries were read blind and the winner was chosen by author Dani Shapiro. The fellowship is sponsored by Antonio Sersale, the owner and manager of Le Sirenuse and our host for the conference.
Sirenland would like to thank the following nominators:
Nicole Aragi Maria Campbell The Dial Press Ecco Press Epoch Grove/Atlantic The Paris Review Tin House William Morris Agency
I don’t think that any wedding is complete without an Awkward Wedding Speech. Matthew’s father delivers a classic one in One Story issue #84, “Wedding Pictures.” He actually ends with, “Let them eat cake!”
The most awkward wedding speech I’ve ever witnessed was presented at my cousin Mark’s wedding. His bride’s friends gave a shared speech, which means that two people decided it was a good idea to tell the wedding guests that, “Mark didn’t really want to go out with Judy at first. So she kept calling him and calling him, and when he didn’t respond, she took the train up to Cornell from New Haven and showed up at his doorstep.”
One of my other cousins leaned over to me and whispered, “Did Mark just marry his crazy stalker?” Which is exactly what everyone else at the wedding was thinking.
What are some of the Awkward Wedding Speech situations in your life?
Thanks to all the fans and friends who made it to the reading this month! The crowd was really good and the double-whammy of fiction was a great change of pace. Emily has some very conscientious advice on picking up her latest here (or snag “Yves Gundron” here), and check out some of Tom’s musings at the blog or Papercut Flophouse.
I first heard this story at Cornelia Street Caf�. David Petersen is an author who knows how to give a reading, and he did a fantastic rendition. I found it to be a combination of all that I love in a story�a situation that is familiar, with a twist, plenty of humor, and at the same time, an undercurrent that seeks the larger questions of life. The story stayed with me, and months later I found myself thinking about it again, and asked David if I could read it. On paper, “Wedding Pictures” buried itself a little deeper under my skin. There’s something about the character of Lucy, how she weaves her way through the wedding and sets everything right, and the final moment, when Matthew reaches for her, that just gets me. It works. David captures the chaos of this extraordinary wedding, and at the same time uncovers the love�all in the flash of a picture.
As One Story readers may know, the submission software created by webmaster Devin Emke has recently been picked up by several independent magazines.
As a user of this system I would imagine the switch from paper to .rtf was almost as exciting as the switch from paper money to plastic for these magazines. No longer would editorial assistants be forced to trudge home from work, carrying the dozens of unread manuscripts standing between them and the proposed editorial schedule. I imagine a New Era Dawning in various small press offices across the country–lateness obliterated, lost manuscripts a thing of the past, a literal glut of printer paper–but then, I can’t imagine a world without an internet (or some kind of WAN or LAN..)
Poets and Writers has an article up about online submission systems and the various reactions to them. Unsurprisingly, eye strain and love of printed word rank highly in the list of complaints against online systems. I say bite the bullet, go for the bifocals! After all, we’re all here to turn submissions into beautifully printed published works.
Is One Story (and Jubilat, Fence, et al) going too far in the name of efficiency? Or are we simply lazy readers with fantastic eyes and a disinclination to pick up stuff at the post? While questions like these will almost certainly be answered by the next generation’s history texts, it is never too early to begin judging, gentle readers. Are you annoyed we sent your manuscript back unread? Did you love submitting online only to wait as long as you normally would? Let us know what you think.