Critic’s Cap: How I Approach a Book for Review or Manuscript in the Judging Process

My friend Vanessa Blakeslee received the Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs in 2013 and was a judge on the Literature Fellowship panel this year, 2014.  Vanessa explains what a judge or editor is looking for in manuscripts.  Worth the three minutes!  Vanessa hits all the points, and she is concise.  


Critic’s Cap: How I Approach a Book for Review or Manuscript in the Judging Process.


Are You Shielding an Abuser? Victims Deserve to be Believed


Sadly, the allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of everyone’s favorite TV dad of the 80s and 90s, Bill Cosby, makes the following in-depth essay written in the wake of the allegations against Woody Allen timely and relevant again.  Different celebrity, different allegations, same old bull from small-minded people who say the predictable type of things small-minded people say when a victim comes forward: she wasn’t actually raped, she’s only after his money or out to ruin his reputation or to make a name for herself, and if she took so long to come forward it can’t be true because all real rape victims report their rape immediately.

Below is my essay, “What Would You Say if I Told You? Talking About Sexual Abuse,” that covers sexual abuse from allegations against Woody Allen to sexual abusers who prey on those in their own families to a case where I represented a teenage girl for an injunction for protection against her mother’s husband.  What is “real” evidence?  If charges aren’t filed against an accused rapist, does that mean police and prosecutors don’t believe he did?  Read on for answers.  


Are You Shielding an Abuser? Victims Deserve to be Believed.

An FSU Student Writes About the School Shooting This Morning

Catherine Frederick is a former student of Siren Susan Lilley, and she’s a student at FSU. Here, she shares her story of the shooting that occurred in the early hours of morning. She makes some very strong points. One of them: “We shouldn’t even feel lucky if twenty years goes by without another school shooting. Because to feel lucky that it hasn’t happened, means that we anticipated that it would.”


It Can Happen Anywhere. It DOES Happen Anywhere..