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Submission window is now open for the 4th annual Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Anthropocene, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, For Writers, Oceans, Pollution, Veganism, Wolves, Writing Opportunities by John Yunker

Now in its fourth year, The Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature is now open for submissions of published and unpublished manuscripts, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections.. The 2017 prize will be judged by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Balcombe. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,000 and a four-week residency at PLAYA. The submission deadline is September 30, 2014. For complete writers’ guidelines, click here. All unpublished manuscripts entered for the Siskiyou Prize will be considered for publication. “New environmental literature” refers to literary works that focus on the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife. The prize …

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Book Review: Invisible Beasts by Sharona Muir

In Animal Behavior, Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Endangered Species, Fiction by Midge Raymond

Sharona Muir’s Invisible Beasts is an absolute delight, and not only for animal lovers. This smart, whimsical novel takes readers not only into a world of “invisible beasts” but into the mind of a charmingly quirky character. The novel is written in a nonfiction style, as a personal bestiary by a woman with a genetic gift (passed down from her granduncle and occurring again, she learns, in her nephew)—the ability to see invisible animals. “Why have I written a book that could expose me, and my family, to ridicule and imputations of lunacy?” Sophie asks in her introduction. The answer sets …

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Opportunity for writers: The Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

In Animal Rights, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Fiction, For Writers, Nonfiction, Oceans, Veganism, Writing Opportunities by Midge Raymond

Ashland Creek Press has just announced its new book award, The Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature. The 2014 prize will be judged by New York Times bestselling author Karen Joy Fowler, whose most recent book is We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. (Check out Shel Graves’ review of the book here.) The contest is open to unpublished, full-length prose manuscripts, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,000 and publication by Ashland Creek Press. The submission deadline is September 30, 2014. For complete writers’ guidelines, click here. “New environmental literature” refers to literary works that …

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Book Review: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

In Animal Rights, Book Reviews, Fiction by Shel Graves

If you managed not to hear about the animal rights theme before reading Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013), do comment with your experience of the novel. Or, it you haven’t yet read the book, maybe stop here, skip the cover blurbs, and go directly to your naked experience of this exquisite novel. The book is finely structured so that the identity of the protagonist’s sister may come as a revelation — it won’t spoil the novel to know ahead, but will it change your experience? Readers of EcoLit, however, might be enticed to read the …

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Book Review: Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

In Animal Behavior, Book Reviews, Nonfiction by Midge Raymond

It’s been wonderful to see new books about animal minds and emotions, from Barbara King’s How Animals Grieve to Virginia Morell’s Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures (Crown, 2013), which offers a fascinating look at the emotional lives of a wide range of animals. Morell writes that it was in part due to her dog Quincie that she began to think about writing Animal Wise—when Quincie created her own game to play, Morell realized the extent to which animals have imaginations. As a science writer, she’s reported on animal studies before, including the work of Jane Goodall, …

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Book Review: Penguins: Natural History and Conservation

In Animal Behavior, Birds, Book Reviews, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Nonfiction, Oceans by John Yunker

Let me preface this review by saying that I am a longtime fan of co-author Dee Boersma’s work. Years ago, I was part of a volunteer project at Punta Tombo, assisting Dee and her team with a penguin census. It was a week that changed the direction of my life in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine at the time. Dee has spent more than 20 years at Punta Tumbo researching Magellanic penguins — and helped to found the Penguin Sentinels organization. So now that you know of my affinity for penguins and those who work to protect them, on with …