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Diving For Pearls

Online writers' resources by Ingrid Bruck

Ingrid Bruck is a new editor at Between These Shores.  She was a featured writer in BTSA Issue #2. Her column is devoted to online writer resources. She found her own writer support community online. Writing this column is one way of "paying it forward". 

Diving for Pearls: Online Writers Resources

BTS Books strives to be a writers resource. Toward that end, we invite writers to share their information, link, and news of interest for the literary community. 

Email your pearls of resources for writers to:

Ingrid Bruck, Network and Resource Editor

November 2019

"Hidden Meanings: Creative Fiction, Non-fiction, and Facts".

November 15, 2019 - December 31, 2019

A free online course from The University of Iowa.

Enrollment is open for "Hidden Meanings: Creative Fiction, Non-fiction, and Facts.” If you have never taken a MOOC from The International Writing Program (the IWP) at the University of Iowa, here is your opportunity. This online class is free and available over the internet to anyone anywhere in the world who writes English. The only prerequisite is English; course reading and writing is conducted in English. You will meet students from other countries working on their English language skills. You will encounter beginner to experienced writers, and life-learners, like me. Students are all ages. You engage and learn from people around the globe. 


I’ve taken several terrific IWP courses from the University of Iowa and highly recommend them. Classes are instructor led; teachers are excellent. Respect is the class culture. These classes have broadened my knowledge of literature. I’ve learned writing tools that I continue to use and have improved my writing. I value the global connections I’ve made and the understanding I’ve gained by interacting with writers from different cultures and backgrounds.


 "Hidden Meanings", a MOOC (massive online learning course), begins on November 15, 2019. A teacher-team leads classes. The course runs from November 15, 2019 - December 31, 2019.” The curriculum remains open for self-paced learning until March 15, 2020. "Hidden Meanings” is presented by The International Writing Program (the IWP) at the University of Iowa, with generous support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of State. Why that funder? An informed electorate is essential to the success of Jeffersonian democracy. The community building component of this class supports that objective. University of Iowa classes writing classes are truly an example of democracy in action. Democracy depends on the strength of enlightened people who take facts and make up their own minds.

Do you think writing is political? I do. We live in the post modern era. Information inundates us. Can you feel the overload? I do. Can you tell good information from bad? I struggle with that. The internet can be a friend that breaks down borders, opens communication and creates connections between people all over the world. But it can also be an enemy when it serves up fake news, misinformation and disinformation as facts. I struggle through the plethora of misinformation and disinformation. If you are like me, you resent anyone trying to recruit you based on self-serving lies. If you are like me, you want all the information you gather to be the ‘real stuff’, so you can make up your own mind. I look forward to learning techniques to uncover the truth, evaluate the reliability of sources and determine which information is factual.


That this new course received funding from the US Department of State speaks to the government's understanding that social change can come from public education and non-violent resistance. History has taught us that peaceful resistance can be as powerful as war. Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and even Martin Luther King, though assassinated, provide historical proof of the force of communal change that starts with one individual and values all life as sacred.  


International Writing Program classes nurture the growth of a vibrant, cooperative and respectful community of writers and independent thinkers who engage together across borders civilly and collaborate as students to develop a knowledgable community of writers. Anyone who is an advocate for peaceful change will get great satisfaction from taking this class. I am thankful to Chris Merrill and the IWP at the University of Iowa for helping the writing community to grow.


I enrolled in "Hidden Meanings" and look forward to taking it. I’ve met terrific writers in the US, between these shores and abroad. I hope to see some of you there. 


Link to enroll in "Hidden Meanings: Creative Fiction, Non-fiction, and Facts,” November 15, 2019 - December 31, 2019,  A free course from The University of Iowa: 


The University of Iowa


And Don't Forget...

Contemporary Poets, Their Works, Current Poetry Projects, News, Links: Free. Participation open to public. 15,971 members. Administered by Michael Lee Johnson. A Facebook page where a large community of practicing writers gather. Writers promote themselves by posting links to newly published work. This active social network is a place to discuss writing trends, read interviews of practicing writers, read reviews of newly published work.  Contemporary Poets, Their Works, Current Poetry Projects, News, Links

International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG): Women gather to write, be supported and learn. For women or female identifying. Non-Profit. Established 1976. Offers free and member services. Global village is public, free and open. Members receive discounted prices for events and services. IWWG presents an annual week-long summer conference, regional writer events, online webinars.  Closed Forums for members only include: IWWG Member Room; Writer Share Forum; online bookclub; online critique groups.  The International Women's Writing Guild - IWWG  &  The International Women's Writing Guild

Verse-Virtual: An Online Community of Poetry:

A free, public and online poetry community facilitated by Firestone Feinberg, editor. Verse-Virtual is an online poetry community AND an online poetry journal. The online journal is named Verse-Virtual. V-V has three FaceBook pages: Verse-Virtual (the place where members share links for published poem acceptances, writer career milestones, submission calls, etc.); V-V Talk (discussion of poetry and poetics); and V-V Shmooze (writer chat). Membership in the V-V writer community begins when a poet has one (or more) poems published in Verse-Virtual. V-V members are encouraged to share positive comments about other writer’s poems that appear monthly in Verse-Virtual. Connections are made; personal friendships develop. HOME - VERSE-VIRTUAL

Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (“Mod-Po”):

Massive free online course  (MOOC by Coursera) facilitated by Al Filreis, Kelly House, University of Pennsylvania. 31,790 students enrolled. No prior experience required. Global membership. To participate in the ModPo writer community, you must enroll in ModPo. Core curriculum includes a ten-week-survey of American poetry for writers and students of writing. Participation in this community of writers and students is incremental and on-going for lifetime learners. Writers complete ModPo, advance to ModPoPlus curriculum, join discussion groups in multitudinous areas of interest. Participants have an option to participate in study groups in their areas of interest. (EX: Haiku Corner participants discuss haiku and write collaborative renga). ModPo-ers don’t stop when they complete one area of interest. Instead, they progress to the next advanced group. (EX: Global Study Group exhausted ModPo & ModPoPlus resources but wanted more so they organized a discussion group to study, close read and discuss even more poems by featured authors in the course.) This unique ModPo community of writers runs year round in Slo-Po study groups. New class session starts Sept. 7, 2019. To enroll, follow this link to join:

Rats Ass Review: Closed Free Workshopping Group.

Reserved for published poets in the RAR family. Roderick Bates, editor of RAR, saw a need for writer workshopping and formed an online workshopping group. An invitation to the RAR workshopping group is offered to each poet that RAR publishes. The expertise and generous support of the RAR writers in this group has helped me improve as a poet. Many writers seem to be searching for a writer’s group to join; they are open to learn from other writers, want peers to read what they write and seek support for their writing. If this speaks to you, I recommend submitting to Rat’s Ass Review, a high quality and fine online poetry journal. The next submission period is not yet open.  Rat's Ass Review

High Quality Journals (No Fee to Submit)


Between These Shores Annual- Open: January 1 - June 30, 2020


Gold Dust Magazine  -  two editions per year, in June and December. They don't accept simultaneous submissions and recommend you submit two to three months prior to the publication dates.


Poetry Breakfast- Subscribe for a daily poem in your inbox. Submission Guideline:


Rat’s Ass Review- Open: Aug. 1-Sept. 30, 2019  Those published receive an invitation from Editor Roderick Bates to join a fine workshopping site.


Verse-Virtual— supportive poetry’s community that accepts submissions the first ten days of the month.


General Information About Where to Submit (Fee & Free to Submit)

Submishmash Weekly by Submittable- subscribe to receive the posts  


Entropy Magazine: Where to Submit: June, July & August 2019


Erika Dreifus- subscribe to Practicing Writing Blog\


Trisch Hopkinson- subscribe to her writer’s blog - Trisch emails weekly blasts of information about writer opportunities


NewPages - subscribe to receive information about writer opportunities and places to submit