Category Archives: honors/awards/readings

Tonight’s Google Hangout with Gum Tree Live!

true stories, live reading, lit mag


Don’t forget about tonight’s Google Hangout with Gum Tree Live, at 5 pm Pacific time.

Here’s our Google+ site. 

Here’s the Under the Gum Tree Facebook page. The link to the reading will be in one or both of those places. Please join us for a cross-continent live reading of true stories by great writers.


Soul Making Literary Award Honorable Mentions

The National Pen Women have announced the 2014 winners of their Keats Soul Making Literary Awards.

In a marvelous testament to the company I keep <winkwink>, I need to extend congratulations to my client Samuel Autman and my friend/colleague Jen Palmares Meadows for their honorable mentions in three categories!

Samuel’s piece, “The Tongues of Angels,” is part of a creative non-fiction collection we worked on together, called Sanctified: A Memoir. Other stories from the collection have been published, including the one called “Genesis,” which is here, and one of my favorites. His agent is shopping it now, and we have high hopes! (Another story Samuel wrote was made into a short film called The Long Walk, and can be viewed here.)a3e996_c659c7beda27479db305c24dde14501a.jpg_srz_382_546_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

Jen has an admirable short story and essay publication record, including The Denver Quarterly, The Rumpus, the doctor tj eckleburg review, and upcoming in Brevity, and has also produced a chapbook:

Annotated Pai Gow Poker

She writes creative non-fiction, humor, religious essays, and is a real talented woman (with three kids under 7!).

These writers are working hard, and deserve every bit of recognition they get.

Congratulations Jen and Samuel! I’m proud to know you and not ashamed to brag about it.


New York Times Mag, Maud Newton & the Wreckage Tour

Maud Newton, who I know originally from my work with Narrative Magazine, talks about Wreckage of Reason II in her last New York Times Magazine mini-column this weekend, out online today and in the print magazine this Sunday. In her column, titled,”And for the Rest of Us, There’s Twitter,”  Newton writes: 

In her latest story, “How to Shake Hands With a Murderer,” published in the anthology “Wreckage of Reason II,” Elizabeth Bachner turns to ancient myth for inspiration, charting a modern katabasis — a tale of descent into the underworld. Borrowing from “Leda and the Swan” and Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” she creates a lyrical narrative about lost love and the lengths to which the lonely will go to recapture the feeling. “Wreckage of Reason” is a collection of experimental writing…” You can read the rest here. 

This week’s stop on The Blog Tour, features a fascinating interview with Laynie Browne and Julianna Baggott.

Also, last week, WoRII blog tour organizer Lillian Ann Slugocki posted Holly Anderson’s link to her Author’s Corner Interview. Check it out!
WORII contributors Margarita Meklina & Karen Lillis did a reading at Bird & Beckett Books with two other women experimentalists in San Francisco on July 27th. (Sorry to get the word out late; for sure it is sad to have missed it!)  It was called “Fertile Chaos: Experiments in Prose & Narrative.” One of those other women experimentalists was my colleague at Narrative Magazine, Olga Zilberbourg. About her: “Where Does the Sea Flow, a short film based on one of Olga’s stories, was short-listed at the Manhattan Short Film Festival. Olga’s English-language writing has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Santa Monica Review, Eleven Eleven Journal, Café Irreal, Mad Hatters’ Review, Prick of the Spindle, HTMLGiant, and other print and online publications. Olga serves as a consulting editor at Narrative Magazine.” 

The literary world is indeed a small one.  Best of luck to Maud Newton on her book. Hi Olga! Sorry to have missed your reading.

Wreckers, keep on working it! 


True Story: Reading Creative Non-Fiction in Sacramento

Excited to have been invited to read at the July 17th presentation of True Story, Sacramento’s creative non-fiction reading series. Wish me luck, as I haven’t read my own work in quite a few years. If you’re there, please make sure you say, “hi!”

True Story, creative non-fiction, Robin Martin

Self Publishing Boot Campers- Help me plan my presentation.

Starting to think about my presentation at Carla King’s Self Publishing Boot Camp, Nov 12, 2011.

A full Saturday in Palo Alto at Stanford University’s Tresidder Memorial Union.  I have 30 minutes to speak on the role of the developmental editor. That’s not a lot of time. What do you think:  Should I talk about the business side of editing or the craft side of editing?

If you’re going to be there, please take a moment here and tell me what you’d like my focus to be. I’m looking forward to your comments and questions.

Narrative Mag at Lit Quake

Narrative authors Carol Edgarian, Will Boast, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Skip Horack, Bridget Quinn and Renee Thompson will be reading in conjunction with LitQuake

Saturday, October 9, 2010
6 to 7 p.m.
at The Lab  2948 16th St.San Francisco


Peter Grandbois Reading my story, “Homework”

A great “final” reading at Sac State by departing professor Peter Grandbois was a retrospective of sorts, as he generously read from the works of his colleagues who, as he put it, he ended up writing “in conversation” with. He read what he called “PPFF” pieces–prose poetry/flash fiction. Work by Doug Rice, Josh McKinney, Steve Owen, and yours truly. I was very honored to be included in this esteemed group, and was able to surreptitiously film it with my little pink cybershot. Sorry for the shakiness.


Photo Gallery: Official Release of The Lobster, September 30, 2009

Memoirs by athletes lure readers in by promising to follow the storyline through training and emergence, heyday, downfall, and ultimate redemption.

Memoirs by kids from the mid-west are usually read because of the subject’s ascendance from tragedy and abuse.

Cocktail hour at The Hive release partyA memoir by a mild-mannered Sacramento professor, devoted husband and father of three from Colorado whose life, in his own words,  “is very bland and nothing [really] terrible [has] happened,” gets mildly more interesting once you learn that he was a contender for the US Olympics in fencing, studies flamenco guitar and has lived part of his life in Spain.

But what makes this memoir so terrific, and it is terrific, is the way Peter points out the repartee and parry of autobiography and fiction. The way he has used second person to both distance himself from the Peter he portrays and to include the reader as participant, or as he explains,   — quote— “the “you” was somehow more universal–speaking for the suburban every man (or woman), the artist in all of us who wants to break free from the conventions of society and the demands of consumer society in particular.”  As a writing teacher, he says, he‘s “met so many people who say they want to write but can’t seem to break out of the patterns of their lives.”  He says that he wrote the memoir in part for them—for us—because, and I quote, “I am/was them.”

My Introduction

Well, maybe.

Peter has earned two bachelor’s degrees, (one of which was in Environmental, Populational, and Organismic Biology) an MA, an MFA, and a PhD from American universities, and a Curso Superior in Spanish Language from the University of Barcelona.

His latest publication, The Arsenic Lobster: A Hybrid Memoir is, as it says, hybridized; embracing the traditional bildungsroman, humor, metafiction, post and post post-modern elements. Illustrative of the author’s diverse talents, The Arsenic Lobster is a completely different work than his first novel, The Gravedigger, which is in the realm of magic realism a la Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

His writing has appeared in The Dos Passos Review, Post Road, Flatman Crooked, Necessary Fiction, and Writers’ Chronicle, and more short stories are forthcoming from Gargoyle, Eleven Eleven, Artocratic and Zone 3.  His novel Nahoonkara has been picked up by Etruscan Press and is scheduled for release in 2011. The Gravedigger (Chronicle Books, 2006), was a Borders “Original Voices” and Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, and is under consideration to become a motion picture.

Peter reading @ The Hive "Groupies" Jill, Kylee, Marie in the back watch the reading at The Hive

“You call them shadow memories because they flicker in and out of the dark recesses of your unconscious, inchoate (IN KO IT). There is a reason for that. The mind must protect itself. It’s not that these are repressed memories of traumas—this is not that kind of memoir. Rather, they are memories of almost selves, branches in the infinite plan, forks where you made your choice and yet, that almost life whispers back to you across time and space, that almost self haunts the person you are, reminding you of the many people you could have been.” (43-44)

I’ll see you @ The Urban Hive

I am happy to be able to say that I am one of two winners of a free 3-month Resident membership at The Urban Hive: a co-working community of creative independent professionals. Brandon, James & Janna, The Urban Hive Co-founders, say: “The place that we work should enhance the work that we do. And we believe that there is a value in working alongside other creative professionals and entrepreneurs that share our values.”

So starting some time next week, I’ll be there, with Ken’s novel spread out around me, working on that substantive edit in the company of others who would otherwise likely be, like me, home arguing with the pile of dishes in the kitchen sink, attempting to ignore the bad metaphors hurled at them from the unmade bed, and spending too much time taking calls from the snack foods in the pantry.

Sacramento co-working space: the un-office
Sacramento co-working space: the un-office