Saturday, August 25, 2007
  Islamic Writers Alliance Releases 1st Catalog
The Islamic Writers Alliance, of which I'm the director, released it's first catalog of member works.

You can download the catalog at: http://www.islamicwritersalliance.net/Projects/IWAcatalogfinalprint.pdf

There are children's books, novels for adults, non-fiction, poetry, magazines. A smattering of everything. It' s really cool to see the diversity of work being done by this amazingly supportive group of writers.

Writing and publishing for a niche market as many of the IWA writers, editors and publishers do presents it's own marketing challenges. Even those of us who write for the mainstream, but hope to tap into the Muslim market have to deal with the same challenges in our marketing. Connecting to the market. Describing your work in a way that will be appealing to your audience. Convincing them that a book is worth the cover cost.

As an author, the idea of marketing your work seems odd. As though it taints the creative process. The mere fact that you want people to buy your work, not just read it, that you want to reach a particular audience seems somehow to sully the purity of the act of creation.

But the fact is that writers have to eat too. :)

Hopefully the IWA catalog will become an annual event, and will become a recognized resource in the Muslim community. Hopefully people will start looking for them in their masjids or local Islamic stores. That will probably take several years to accomplish, perhaps longer. That IWA has gotten this first catalog off the ground is proof that we are committed to being a real assistance to Muslim writers, not just an online support group, or a group that promotes awareness of Islamic writing to the world. I hope more Muslim writers will join us... the more the merrier is true, but even more so, the more authors who take advantage of this catalog service, the greater it's reputation will be.
 
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Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.


What I'm reading now



Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too.
MoveOn.org. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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