November 26, 2020

Holiday Gift Ideas for Bookish Friends and Family

Holiday Gift Ideas for Bookish Friends and Family

The holidays are upon us! What better way to celebrate than with books and book-based products? I know, I’m biased. BUT there are many of us out there and we can be tricky to shop for. Here are some gift ideas for the bookivores in your life with a special offer from us at the Café at the end. I got my first Kindle recently! I finally caved because I was getting more than a stray submission to The Fictional Café as an e-book. I begrudgingly used it, hoping my REAL books wouldn’t scoff at me. Yet, I found myself loving this portable bookshelf for vacations or reading on the subway. Hey Jack, can I count this as a business expense for reimbursement? All kidding aside, here is a gift idea for readers that I…

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November 5, 2020

Free IPNE Writer’s Conference Starts Today!

Free IPNE Writer’s Conference Starts Today!

Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) is hosting a virtual conference for all writers this Friday and Saturday. Free and open to everyone! Check out the details below. FREE WRITING AND PUBLISHING CONFERENCE! Please Join Us for IPNE’s 9th Annual Independent Publishers & Authors Virtual Online Conference, Nov. 6-7, “Publishing During the Pandemic!” Conference Details and Registration at IPNE.org Are you planning on writing a book? Already working on one? Are you interested in learning more about the publishing process, from manuscript to published work? How to build an audience? “Publishing During a Pandemic” is the theme of the 2020 Conference, presented for you on Zoom over two days, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7. There’s no charge to attend and you don’t need to be a publisher, published author, an IPNE member, or…

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October 29, 2020

Free Writing and Publishing Conference Next Week!

Free Writing and Publishing Conference Next Week!

Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) is hosting a virtual conference for all writers next week. Free and open to everyone! Check out the details below. FREE WRITING AND PUBLISHING CONFERENCE! Please Join Us for IPNE’s 9th Annual Independent Publishers & Authors Virtual Online Conference, Nov. 6-7, “Publishing During the Pandemic!” Conference Details and Registration at IPNE.org Are you planning on writing a book? Already working on one? Are you interested in learning more about the publishing process, from manuscript to published work? How to build an audience? “Publishing During a Pandemic” is the theme of the 2020 Conference, presented for you on Zoom over two days, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7. There’s no charge to attend and you don’t need to be a publisher, published author, an IPNE member, or even a…

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October 28, 2020

October Edition of “The Break From HOKAIC”

October Edition of “The Break From HOKAIC”

Editor’s Note: We’d like to welcome back our new monthly feature bywriter, writing coach, and longtime FC barista, Jason Brick. Here’s his October edition of writing news from around the web. Greetings all! As many of you know, I run a weekly newsletter of useful, fun, or amusing pieces of writing industry news called The Break From HOKAIC. As writers and lovers of writing yourselves, The Fictional Café thought you’d enjoy some highlights for your information and entertainment: ASU posted a list of the common traits among the best writers 7 Hacks to help you start writing A cute article about writing for kids while you’re raising some How to organize an effective writing group How to write better dialogue The latest salvo in an ongoing discussion about trans rights and author responsibility A great video on…

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August 30, 2020

“The Break From HOKAIC” with Jason Brick

“The Break From HOKAIC” with Jason Brick

Editorial Note: We’re excited to announce a new monthly feature from writing coach and longtime FC Barista Jason Brick. In this column, he’ll bring you news and advice from the writing world. Greetings all! As many of you know, I run a weekly newsletter of useful, fun, or amusing pieces of writing industry news called The Break From HOKAIC (my own term for the writer’s daily grind, which stands for Hands On Keyboard, Ass In Chair). As writers and lovers of writing yourselves, The Fictional Cafe thought you’d enjoy some highlights for your information and entertainment: VICE magazine took a real look at how much can be reasonably made publishing online.  Check out this list and review of free online publishing platforms for new writers. A report on virtual writers retreats during the pandemic Writing advice delivered…

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August 11, 2020

A New Call for Submissions

A New Call for Submissions

Fiction writers, rejoice! Our fellow writer and Barista Jason Brick, after struggling through the Portland riots to get back to his computer, is launching a new publishing project, Flash in a Flash. It’s a twice-weekly email that delivers a single flash fiction directly to subscriber inboxes. Although you can write about anything, Jason asks that you keep it to 1,000 words or fewer. When you go to his submissions page, be sure to sign up for his list so you’ll be the first to see your story when it’s published. Jason is our most active barista in terms of publishing the works of other writers. He has published three flash-fiction anthologies, each featuring 100 different writers’ stories (think about that!), and is planning a fourth with the works from Flash in a Flash. He also publishes…

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May 25, 2020

Storyteller Foundation Calls to the Children of the World!

Storyteller Foundation Calls to the Children of the World!

Children of the World! Storyteller foundation is looking for drawings from you, wonderful children, to use in The Dreaming Tree Project which will be released after June 24th. The Dreaming Tree Project is first and foremost a book, written by Ruby Fink, but drawings from you will be added as illustrations not only to the book, but possibly to the audio/web video which is also being produced. The Storyteller Foundation is a non-profit organization, and the book, The Dreaming Tree, as well as any additional material, is intended to be a gift to the children of the world, not only to those who live through this quarantine, but also those who come after. RULES FOR ALL CHILDREN WHO PARTICIPATE! Children must be 12 or under to enter. Drawings must be from the list of options…

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May 19, 2020

Charles Baudelaire – An Art Criticism by Amanda Grafe

Charles Baudelaire – An Art Criticism by Amanda Grafe

Editor’s Note: This work was borne from a conversation about art criticism between Amanda, an artist and Fictional Café’s fine arts barista, and myself over lunch in a Chinese restaurant last winter in Providence, Rhode Island. (The restaurant shall remain nameless, as the conversation was much better than the food.) We tended to agree that contemporary art criticism, as well as literary criticism, had both lost much of their moorings as expressions of Aristotelian criticism.  We resolved to study this anachronism further.   We decided to read and write about the art criticism of the French poet, essayist and libertine Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867). Our source was the book Charles Baudelaire: Selected Writings on Art and Literature (New York: Penguin Classics, 2006). Baudelaire is best remembered for his highly controversial poetry collection, Les Fleurs du Mal, and for translating Edgar Allen Poe into French, yet while alive he was also highly regarded for his incisive writing about art. He favored Romanticism in the arts and attended many annual art exhibits in Paris known as Salons. “The Salon of 1846” was the second…

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April 28, 2020

The Jack & Phil Show Returns! A Book Marketing Strategy That Really Works

The Jack & Phil Show Returns! A Book Marketing Strategy That Really Works

UPDATE April 28: Our apologies for the snafu last week! Technical difficulties, which have now been addressed and corrected. We hope you’ll come back tomorrow, April 29, to enjoy our presentation. Please make sure to register at the link below if you have not re-registered since the presentation’s postponement. If you aren’t sure whether you are registered or not, you can click on the link below to make sure. Are you the author of a book, self- or indie-published, fiction or non-fiction? If you’ve tried any of the latest (usually costly and relatively unsuccessful) schemes and strategies to publicize and market your book, you may have given up hope. Here’s a free webinar that will help you do just that, and have fun doing it! Take heart. Fictional Café founder and author Jack B. Rochester and…

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March 12, 2020

Our New Baristas! Welcome Michael, Amanda & Yong

Our New Baristas! Welcome Michael, Amanda & Yong

Please join us in welcoming our new baristas to The Fictional Café! These three talented additions to our staff have rolled up their sleeves to help us brew the tastiest “fresh java” this side of Pluto. Michael Piekny has joined our Editorial Board, which also includes our editor and all-star submissions manager Ruth Simon and our editor and anthology barista, Mike Mavilia Rochester. As an Editorial Board Barista, Michael brings a robust enthusiasm for editing based upon years of practice, and the work he does at his own company, Hub Edits. If you’ve recently been published on FC, you’ve surely enjoyed working with him. Our new Visual Arts Barista is Amanda Grafe. She’ll be curating our visual art offerings, which includes anything from paintings to sculptures to photography. An artist herself, Amanda’s passion for art…

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