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Something new! A Poem to Read: "Hot-Rod" by Phyllis Moore



Valerie Nieman on Meli's Way--Meli's Way on YA Books Central

New Class at NYU: MSW is teaching a brand new reading class called Literature and Medicine!

MSW is also teaching Advanced Novel, Novel II: Advanced Novel Writing at NYU/SPS Spring 2016.

Books for Readers Newsletter #181:
Marilyn Levy, Valerie Nieman, Yorker Keith, Ken Champion, F.R. Leavis, Dickens, Conrad, and more.

A Journal of Practical Writing

Links to articles especially for writers




Reviews of Meli's Way by teen-agers

More Reviews:

Midwest Bookwatch/Children's Bookwatch says, "Meli's Way is deftly crafted and inherently absorbing read from beginning to end...very highly recommended for personal reading lists,as well as school and community library YA Fiction collections."

Suzanne McConnell writes: "Contemporary, entertaining, instructive, and satisfying! One of the tough things a teen-ager begins to negotiate is realizing what their parents are like as people, complete with their histories and failures. Along with discovering her own place in the universe, Meli, a New York girl who lives with her single mom, discovers the disturbing secrets her mother has kept. A new school, new friends, sex, the world of erupting violence we live in now: Meli's got a lot to negotiate and in this novel, we follow her sturdy voice with page-turning interest."


Carole Rosenthal says: "Meli’s Way is a delightful novel featuring a clear-thinking fourteen-year who persuades her mother to allow her to change schools. Meli’s former private school shapes students towards a conventional expectationsand values, but when Meli meets Gray, a self-styled “dancer” who attends the alternative public high school Ciudad City School of the Future, Meli realizes that she too may have an unscripted identity that might be uncovered...."( read more)


Diane Simmons says, "Meli, heroine of Meredith Sue Willis's young adult novel, is a sophisticated and witty young Manhattanite. (She's so witty she knows she must sometimes avoid being witty and thereby a New York cliché)....Her great passion, for example, is Chinese porcelain and in times of trouble she goes into the Metropolitan Museum of Art to gaze at the collection there, sometimes to imagine herself curled up inside one of the immense silent vases. They provide a kind of stability and peace that is not always present in other parts of her life: 'What I love most in the Museum up there on the Chinese vase balcony is their graceful giant shapes and splendid colors that haven’t dimmed in eight hundred years. This is what makes me a weird kid. Sometimes if I stand in front of them very quietly, concentrating, there will be a little shudder in the air, and then I’ll be inside, in this perfect place, and whatever problem I have makes a shift, and I either have a solution or it isn’t a problem anymore.'" (read more).

Meli's Way was the featured book for October 2015 on Armored Oxfords!
Meli's Way is now an e-book for Kindle and OtherFormats!
Excellent review of Meli's Way at Ed Davis Blog: "A profound exploration of the technology-driven, terrorist-threatened, family-fragmented world in which young people today come of age."
More Meli's Way: reviews and a sample chapter! (click on "read an excerpt").

For more information, or to buy, visit the publisher's web page. The book is also, of course, available online at and Barnes & Noble.   Contact:


Beautiful obituaries for my friend Vera Williams in The New York Times and Publisher's Weekly.

My post on the death of Merle Moore, library builder.



Poetry by William Aarnes, Ace Boggess, Doug Bolling, John Davis, Camillo DiMaria, Keith Dunlap, John Freeman, Howie Good, James Grabill, Nels Hanson, Tricia Knoll, Susanna Lang, Michael Lauchlin, Rita Maria Martinez, Larry Narron, Stan Sanvel Rubin, David Salner, Sanjeev Sethi, D. E. Steward, Millie Tullis, James Valvis, Laryssa Wirstiuk, and Mark Young; Fiction by Tyler Atkinson, Jane Lazarre, Anne Leigh Parrish, Adam “Bucho” Rodenberger, Fred SkolnikEvelyn Walsh, and Iromie Weeramantry; Nonfiction by Jim Brega, Reamy Jansen, Johnathan Jones, Alice Lowe, Helen Park, and Kenny Yuan.

Blog Post: The First Time Ever I Didn't Like an Exhibition at the Met.

Forbes Magazine says so (also The Irish Times, Time, and others): Neurotic obsessions use the same part of the brain as creativity!

Beautiful poem about whether or not to cling to life by Ellen Bass.

The case for keeping your novel short. This writer says 80,000 is the publishing standard, and it's just fine with her. For more articles of interest to writers, click here.


Anthology of contemporary Appalachian fiction called Appalachia Now: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalalchia from Bottom Dog Press—and I'm honored to have a story inside it alongside Darnell Arnoult, Marie Manilla, Charles Dodd White, Rusty Barnes, Mark Powell, Chris Holbrook, Chris Offutt, and many others!


A web site that converts word count to number of pages with a choice of fonts.

Irene Weinberger Books

Article about the study of adjective order in English and other languages.

My short story "Sheherezade and Dunzyad" collected in Re-Visions, was translated into Arabic by Mohammad Abd alhalim Khanyam and appeared online in Elaph, republished in AlHilal Magazine (Cairo, Egypt, as a hard copy). It was used in a comparative literature class at Kuwait University, and the professor tells me that the students are impressed to see the influence of their culture on American literature in the twenty first century.

MSW interview
about the South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race.

Scholarly article on Oradell at Sea: “A life of ‘Unfinished Business’: Cursed Inheritance and Blessed Heritage in Meredith Sue Willis’s Oradell at Sea” by Sarah Dufaure in Thy Truth Then Be Thy Dowry: Questions of Inheritance in American Women’s Literature, Stéphanie Durrans (ed.), Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014, pp. 199-211.





MSW E-books!

(To buy any of these books as e-books, click on the image. They are also available at the Kindle Store and at the Nook Store as well as the iBook store and other e-book stores.)

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I'm running occasional haiku-esque poems by poet-photographer Randi Ward.
These poems are from a book called Whipstitches to be published in the spring
by MadHat Press. See more of Randi Ward's work here.
Images and photos found on the various pages of this web site may be used
by anyone, but please attribute the source when it is specified.



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