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Summer Guest Post Series: Joyce Barton

Out of the Closet, Into the Fire:How I Burned My Old Darlings and Got Back to Writing FictionJoyce Barton (Guest Blog Post)I was coming off of a year of transcription and research for a nonfiction project and feeling ready to get back into fiction, but I was stuck. It had been so long since I’d used that muscle, could I even write fiction anymore?Write something new? What about my orphans, my piles and files of decades-old material—leave no story behind, I’d promised my characters, and myself.Here’s how I burned through my indecision (aka resistance) by feeding some old friends to the fire.State Your MissionI’m a writer, right? I write things down. So it seemed natural to define, in writing, what I wanted and why, when this would happen, how I’d get there, and commit to it—a good old-fashioned Mission Statement. Here’s my ‘Mission Bonfire’:Mission: Go through old files of stories and...

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Summer Guest Post Series 2018

My summer guest post series is so successful, I'm continuing this summer.My first guest post is from Andrea Hunter.5 Reasons Why Every Writer Should be on Instagram You don't need me to tell you that social media is a powerful tool. It's evident in the fact that we can upload and share a photo, video, article, message, or opinion - on an ever-growing variety of social platforms - in a matter of seconds. That's pretty impressive in its own right. But the real power comes into play when you consider that the content you just posted has the potential to be seen by literally millions of people around the world.Millions.It's mind-boggling when you stop and think about how connected we are. I won't tell you that social media is the new word of mouth. (It is.)I won't even tell you that almost one-third of the global population is using some form...

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Release date October 2018

New Story in

I'm excited to share with you that my new story "No Entry"will be published in in September 2018. As soon as it's up, I'll post the link.

Great News: Passport Control is coming out fall 2018

I'm thrilled to share with you that my novel Passport Control will be coming out with S&H Publishing October 2018."Many novels have attempted to orchestrate the impossible marriage of politics and human relations in the state of Israel, but few have presided over that perilous ceremony with the grace, affection, and emotional clarity of Gila Green's Passport Control.  A stunning achievement."Steve Stern, author of The Book of Mischief, A Plague of Dreamers, The Frozen Rabbi, and The North of God.What's it about?Miriam Gil flees Canada for Israel when her Israeli dad says he needs more room in their house — for his new girlfriend. Soon at university, living in a dorm with three bickering roommates, she falls in love with Guy, a former combat soldier who dreams of peace. Miriam is caught off guard when her visa and passport application are rejected on the grounds that she’s suspected of being a Syrian Christian. In rapid order, the university...

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Short story accepted to The Fiddlehead

The Fiddlehead, Atlantic Canada's Literary Journal, accepted my story "Winnipeg 1987."Look for it in the autumn 2018 issue.

White Zion and Other Stories is on its Way

My short story collection White Zion is coming out with Cervena Barva Press.White Zion migrates between 19th century Yemen, pre-State Israel, modern Israel and modern Canada. Stories explore racism, alienation within the family unit, and the fall-out after generations of war.In a journey of generations from Aden to Palestine to Ottawa, one Yemenite family encounters new and difficult realities: racism and war, rejection and divorce, resourceful survival and tragic death. With smells of delicious breads wafting up from the page, embroidering detail upon detail in fine literary stitch, Gila Green draws us fully into her narrative, as she generously shares with us the hidden core of family life and the stories she is not afraid to tell. Yael Unterman, author of The Hidden of Things: Twelve Stories of Love & Longing. Voices in the collection include Assaf, a Yemenite boy growing up in pre-State Israel, Miriam, a young Canadian girl growing up in...

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Are You a Serial Smile Writer?


Writers must write emotion. That's a given. But many writers lean too heavily on stock emotional body language when they describe their characters: the wink, the nod, the yawn, the shrug and that American favorite, the smile. North Americans smile more than people from other cultures. And we don't just smile (way) more, we smile bigger and brighter. Scroll through a brief comparison of photos of American vs. Chinese leaders and you'll see it, too. As an editor, I don't go more than five pages without spotting it in first drafts for longer pieces and there's a rare Flash piece without at least someone smiling by line four. From the first grin in a draft, it's everywhere, way too much of it. For many writers it is a crutch whose sell-by-date has expired. So short of moving to Russia or Japan and imbuing a whole new body language vocabulary, what's a...

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The Forgotten Character in Story: Your Story World


Setting is an often overlooked story element for many writers.  I cannot tell you how many short fiction submissions I've received that take place No-where in No-time. When queried the most common answer I receive from writers is, "this story can take place in anywhere USA." Or, "It doesn't matter. They could be in any modern city." If you've ever sat down to write fiction or non-fiction and used this approach to setting and location it's way past time to stop. This response couldn't be more wrong. There are several key points for you to remember about your story world. Today I will discuss one of them. Remember this: no one has ever been to your story world except for you. Consider the world you live in every day. Who inhabits that world? You do. Nobody else. You have a unique perspective on your world. Not sure? Don't think you're very different from anybody else?...

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Dear Gila....

I took one of your classes and, you may remember, the story (The Storm) I wrote? Anyway I entered it in a contest and placed third which pleased me.Nancy SheltonSpringfield, MO

Five Ways Living in One Language Affects Your Writing in Another

Diction. Slang and other everyday words sneak into our vocabularies. If you don’t live and write in the same language, it takes an extra effort to root out unintended foreign words from your work.Names. Many writers spend time enhancing their work with thoughtful character names. But when you live in one language and write in another naming story characters can be frustrating. Names from your adopted country often seem awkward in your mother tongue, or worse become words that take the reader out of the story. On the other hand, mother tongue names may appear mundane.Setting. If you choose to write about your adopted country, it may appear too exotic or you may worry you lack the background to make the country come alive. How long do you have to live somewhere to feel you have the authority to write about it, especially if the country operates in a language that...

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Save Time Article Writing

8 Easy Time Savers

Summer Guest Post Series. Welcome Sari Friedman's "With Love"

With LoveBy Sari FriedmanIf I’m lucky, something spectacular happens at some point in my writing process. I fall in love. Sometimes I’m in love with my protagonist, but not always— it’s impossible to predict which character, setting, technical aspect or plot sequence will fill me with that combination of tender regard, affection, allegiance and the desire to start writing a sonnet.As I wrote my first novel, which is about a New Yorker who starts to remember her past-life 4,000 years ago in the Land of Canaan, I fell in love with the antagonist’s manipulative pyrotechnics. I loved the technical challenge of revealing the conniving of a hurt-causing personality. I’m not conniving in real life. I'm nurturing and empathic. Strangers have been known to call me “Mom.” But this meant that I’d never understood how a hurtful personality could function. And that led to my sometimes being very hurt. In practical terms,...

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Mondays are Murder

Please see my latest noir flash fiction in Akashic Books Mondays are Murder Series./

Find me in May 2016

Come see me at WriteSpace for Spring Flash Fiction SeminarsCan't come to Jerusalem? Virtual Classes start May 11, 2016Eight Weeks Flash, Six Weeks Short Story, Four Weeks Mini Publishing Workshop. OR join me at the Jewish Women's Writers Seminar May 24

The launch of WriteSpace Jerusalem is on April 7th

3, 2, 1, lift off…Come meet fellow writers and flex your writing muscles with guided prompts.Find out more about WriteSpace Jerusalem and meet a selection of our instructors:Jane Medved (poetry), Gila Green (flash fiction), Mitch Ginsburg (literarytranslation), Anna Levine (young adult & children), Sheffi Raiskin (bibliotherapy),Batnadiv Hakarmi-Weinberg (creative nonfiction), and Nadia Jacobson (fiction).Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016Time: 19:30-21:30Location: PICO Jerusalem, 4th floor, Poalei Tzedek 2, Talpiyot, Jerusalem (oppositeHadar Mall)Entrance is free of charge and light refreshments will be served.An additional perk: Receive 10% off your first seminar or workshop.Reserve your place:Subscribe to our mailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flash Fiction in Jerusalem

 Focus on Flash Fiction Half-Day Seminar Date Options:​March 7 / 8 / 13 / 14  To Register and for more Info: WriteSpaceEveryone has time to read flash fiction. That’s one of the reasons why it’s become such a popular genre.What value is there to distilling whole stories into narratives under 1,000 words, down to even 6 words? We read fiction to build empathy, to explore new realities, to escape, Can you do that in so few words? Yes, you can.Flash is ideal for our modern short attention spans (though there’s nothing really new about it). The 21st-century reader has made flash fiction "in-demand" fiction. It’s ideal for our screens: tablets, smartphones, netbooks, and laptops. Reading a whole story on a single screen is an aesthetic experience and, best of all, it’s an increasingly sought after genre offered by small presses. There’s even a National Flash Fiction Day on, you guessed it, the shortest...

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I'm continuing my Guest Post Series. Andrea is a past class participant and it's great to have her on board today.

Revision Decisions"It hurts when someone calls your baby ugly." My co-author's comment rang painfully clear over the metallic thrum of the Metra train coasting along its tracks. We were on our way home after a writer's workshop in the city, and the "baby" she referred to was our book. After years of balancing schedules, juggling real-life responsibilities, and carving out countless hours to write together our novel was finally finished. The result? Over 250,000 precious words detailing the beginning, middle, and end of each of our fictitious characters' journeys. We did it! [insert enthusiastic high five] But even as newbie authors we were keenly aware that just because you peck out those two little words on the very last page: The End doesn't necessarily mean the end. In fact, quite the opposite is true. As fate would have it, one frosty winter morning, we each received an email announcing an upcoming...

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One Demure Chastity Belt Bust

Some Flash to Read by Gila Green TMy Mom fought the fifties. I never knew. If anyone would have asked me I would have told them that my mother was straight-laced, demure, a Canadian Capital City poster girl, not just in character, but on the ground.In the photo I like best, my mother is a teenager, a head turner, a talent. She and her acting group have just returned from yet another triumph at the annual Dominion Drama Festival. Mayor Charlotte Whitton has come as part of the surprise welcome home to the young, gifted locals. The camera has captured the confetti in my mother’s bark colored hair and I imagine the scent from the rose petals overpowers the usual train station smells of machinery and cigarette smoke. Well, it’s not the usual train station atmosphere, it’s a party.The thought that she is going to be giving birth in six years time...

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Guest Post: Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel

I'm continuing my author guest posts this week and welcome Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel. Dear Gila...As Long as the Candle Burns written by Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel is “moving and inspiring. The author's stories are culled from her experiences throughout her working career,” (Jewish Book World). Ausubel's careers varied from directing a program in Headstart, to forming chapters for Emunah Women’s Organization throughout the United States. In Israel she put all of her heart and soul into directing and teaching students from all over the world returning to Judaism or in the process of conversion.  Even as a single mother she was able to accomplish and contribute to many causes such as, the New York Conference for Soviet Jewry, founder of Gush Emunim in America and Ausubel was involved in forming the Israeli town of Bet El.“Chana openly discusses the challenges of supporting and raising four children in a single-parent home....

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Guest Post: Diana Bletter

I liked Diana's post so much, I got permission to repost it. If you are in Israel Diana's novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is available at Steimatsky or you can get free shipping via bookdepository. Pope Francis in the Great Synagogue and Guess Who at the Open Door Bookshop in Rome on the Same Day. Posted on January 19, 2016by dianabletterPope Francis visiting the Great Synagogue in Rome, January 17, 2016Just an hour before I spoke at the Open Door Bookshop in Rome, Pope Francis was speaking at the Grand Synagogue just a few minutes away. It was the third time in modern history that a pope visited the synagogue. Quite incredible. Just to put this in perspective, historian David Kertzer, who wrote The Popes Against the Jews, said that throughout history, the Vatican forced Jews to live in ghettos (the word itself is Italian) and subjected them to forced conversions, expulsions and persecution. And now the Pope said, “Every...

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It's not too late to sign up for January Virtual Classes

We just started this week, but there's still plenty of room and lots of time to catch up.Four Fantastic Virtual Workshops:Flash: 8 weeks Devices I & II 6 weeks: to Publish Your Short Story 4 weeks: if you're in the area, sign up for my four week workshop in Jerusalem offered through Temech. The JWWS network, in conjunction with Temech, is pleased to announce our FOURTH SESSION for all women writers…The JWWS Writers’ Educational NetworkFor WomenRegistration is via Temech’s office (02- 538-8665, press 0 and say you are calling for JWWS/ Writers’ Courses) and tell them you are registering for the next JWWS course that is to begin on Jan 19th. To ensure your place you must pre-register. These JWWS courses will be a pre-paid and pre-booked only in advance option.Price for full course, all four sessions: 200 NIS per personPrice for only one session at a time: 75 NIS per...

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Dear Gila,

I have enjoyed the (Flash Fiction) course. I found the way you gave us pieces to study most helpful. The two lessons which gave me the most were those on sensory detail and pacing.Thank you,Regards, Eileen Cooke              Australia.

Guest Post Sue (Batya) Kroopnick

If you want to know what it really feels like to live in Israel and why people stay, even when the challenges become formidable, then you should read For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odyssey –the book that captures that 'Only in Israel' feeling.Based on real people and true events, For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odyssey shows an inside glimpse of Israel through the experiences of a new immigrant over a period of 25-years. Through inspiring, funny and thought provoking stories, the book presents a positive yet realistic perspective of what it's like to live in the Land of Israel, fall in love with the country and the people, and cope with the many struggles that come with being an Israeli.Along with the wonders and miracles that accompany an uplifting life in the Holy Land, For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odysseyreveals the strengths and weakness of  the...

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The Art of Short Story Writing: Four Jerusalem Workshops

The JWWS network, in conjunction with Temech, is pleased to announce our FOURTH SESSION for all women writers…The JWWS Writers’ Educational NetworkFor WomenRegistration is via Temech’s office (02- 538-8665, press 0 and say you are calling for JWWS/ Writers’ Courses) and tell them you are registering for the next JWWS course that is to begin on Jan 19th. To ensure your place you must pre-register. These JWWS courses will be a pre-paid and pre-booked only in advance option.Price for full course, all four sessions: 200 NIS per personPrice for only one session at a time: 75 NISper personHurry to reserve your spot – spaces go quickly!_____________________________________________________The JWWS Session FOURCourse Title: The Art of Short Story WritingCourse Instructor: Gila GreenCourse dates: Jan, 19, 26, Feb 2, Feb 9th  Tuesday mornings, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 pmCourse Description: Get your creative story juices flowing!This course is for anyone who wants to sharpen her short...

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I can write, but I can’t edit

I often receive e-mails from class participants (Thank you. Keep them coming).One of the most troubling comments is this: I can write, but I can’t edit. This type of writer usually proves she really believes this when she sends in a new piece instead of an edited version or revision of a piece she’s already sent me.If this sounds familiar, you need to stop thinking this way because it hurts your chances of publication. This bears repeating. Stop selling yourself this line. I don’t know who made it up, but it’s got to go.All writers need some self-editing skills. This is not to say that writers don’t need editors. They do. I do. Still, at some point all writers must switch from writing to editing mode. Editing mode is not the same for all literary forms. If you are editing a Flash Fiction piece, your first goal will be to eliminate...

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Crash! Crunch! Cabang! Where have all the Literary Devices Gone?

By Gila GreenWriters are forever hearing they need to improve their writing skills. No matter what we produce and how frequently, there’s always some well-meaning editor, fellow writer or classmate hinting that you can never learn enough about writing. Interpret that as you wish. Perhaps, you see great writing as an exercise bike you need to ride forever, or like a sink in which dishes grow (if it’s anything like my kitchen sink). Either way most of these messages are downers. The answers we’re given repeatedly once we ask that inevitable question: how does a writer improve her craft are often framed as more of a chore than a bowl of cherries.  No doubt you’ve read that writers have to be voracious readers, readers so starved for reading material that only the dry end of a book cover or sharp end of a kindle is true nourishment. Food is blasé in...

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Dear Gila...

Dear Gila: This course has been superior so far. I can't thank you enough for your keen attention to detail and piercing critiques. A great learning experience!Also, thanks for your summary, How Not to Write flash. I see it covers most of the mistakes I've been making--so an invaluable guide. A great course, and I appreciate that you made it available to me over email. You're the best, Gila--may you thrive in your writing, editing, and teaching.Best wishes,Tom Allan

How not to Write Flash Fiction

I read a lot of Flash Fiction. Over the years I’ve noticed that some writers continuously flounder over these common misconceptions and mistakes. If you’re trying to master the art of Flash Fiction writing, these eight “don’ts” might help you jump up to the next level. Don’t approach Flash Fiction as though it’s just a very short story. Flash has its own set of rules and the king of those rules is this: you have no time. This means spending the first eight lines on background and leaving minimal space for any action to occur is sure to flop. Don’t do it.Flash Fiction is supremely brief. But the buck stops there. You can write non-fiction flash, romance flash, fantasy flash and any other genre you feel passionate about. For some reason many of the submissions I receive in my Flash Fiction courses forget all about genre, so focused are they on...

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Second set of fall classes begin November 16, 2015

Flash Fiction (8 weeks)Create Memorable Writing with Literary Devices (6 weeks)Create Memorable Writing with Literary Devices II (6 weeks)Publish Your Short Story (4 weeks)

Latest Books

No Entry

No Entry

In No Entry, Canadian teenager, Yael Amar, signs on to an elephant conservation program and ends up coming face to face with violence, greed, and murder and the taste of a very real danger for all of us: elephant extinction.

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White Zion

White Zion

White Zion is a novel in stories forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press (April 2019). The novel takes readers into the worlds of 19th century Yemen, pre-State Israel, modern Israel and modern Canada...

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Passport Control

Passport Control

Miriam Gil knows little about Israel. Her father won’t talk about his life there or the brother he left behind when he came to Canada. Hurt and angry when he tells her to move out to make room for his new girlfriend, she enrolls in an Israeli university. She falls in love with Guy... 

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King of the Class

King of the Class

Eve and Manny are engaged in post-civil war Israel, but Manny has a secret: he’s falling in love with his religious roots and turning his back on moral relativism. As their wedding date approaches...

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Forthcoming Books

With a Good Eye <br>Release Date: Aug. 18, 2024

With a Good Eye
Release Date: Aug. 18, 2024

This family drama is part crime fiction and part domestic noir. With A Good Eye will make you question: can you ever save anyone but yourself and do any of us ever really leave home?

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The Inheritance  <br>Release Date: 2025

The Inheritance
Release Date: 2025

This suspense/thriller asks, if you were to walk away from your family, would you ever go back, even if you received a desperate text message?

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