Faye Rapoport DesPres

Latest Blog Posts

A third place win for my first mystery story


I have some fun and exciting news to share today.

The winners have just been announced in the MYSTERY TIMES TEN 2013 Short Story Competition sponsored by the independent small press Buddhapuss Ink (publisher of my first book, due this spring). My story, “Who Let the Cats Out?”, won 3rd place out of 200 entries in the competition, which was judged by an independent panel of readers and publishing pros. The ten winning stories will be featured in an upcoming print and Kindle anthology set to be published in October.

You can read the full list of contest winners here.

I had a wonderful time writing this story, which I submitted in June. It was based on the characters and setting I created for the NaNoWriMo “novel” that I penned last November during the annual challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Although what you really get after that exercise is a rough draft full of ideas that might or might not ever become an actual novel, that proved to be exactly what I needed to pen my first mystery short story.

Many thanks to the judges and to Buddhapuss Ink. This small press has a number of exciting things coming up, including a full redesign of their website, more literary competitions, and new books. I’ll keep you posted on the news and opportunities.

My post/essay “Fireworks” is up at the Superstition Review Blog


Many thanks to the editors and students at Superstition Review, the literary journal out of Arizona State University. Today they published my guest post/essay, “Fireworks” on the journal’s online blog.

I’ve written for Superstition Review’s blog before; last time I wrote just 10 days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Guest contributors to the blog take different approaches to their posts; some offer writing tips or share writing experiences and others write short creative pieces (it’s a wonderful blog to bookmark, by the way). My first post on the blog, titled “What does this have to do with writing?” described the experience of being under lockdown as the authorities searched for the surviving bomber, and then used that experience to consider what makes a topic something one eventually writes about.

This time I went in a different direction and wrote what amounts to a short personal essay. Does this one have anything to do with writing? Here’s the link if you want to find out:


The first week of August…


“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone.”

~Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

The Long and Winding Road…


It’s been a long road between my last real blog post and this one — and it will likely be some time before I really get back to blogging. The summer in Boston has been hot, hot, hot…and I’ve been focused on completing a large number of freelance jobs while preparing for the release of my first book next spring.

In the meantime, my wonderful webmaster, Justin Sablich, has been tinkering with both my blog and my website. He’s been transporting everything into WordPress so that I can eventually manage the site on my own. That makes sense, because Justin is “moving on up” at The New York Times and he doesn’t have the time he used to have to devote to projects like my little website. I appreciate very much that he’s putting his heart and soul into the re-do so that I have something to work with. Sometimes you meet someone wonderful without ever even meeting them in person, and that’s been the case with Justin. He was referred to me by a friend who is an editor at the Times, and I’ve loved every moment of working with him.

I do have some new things coming up. I’ll be teaching Writing 1 at Lasell College in the fall as an adjunct lecturer, and I’ve also just completed another guest blog post for Superstition Review, a literary journal that I admire greatly and that was kind enough to publish one of my earlier essays, “Tulips.” The post is scheduled to be published on August 10th on their popular literary blog. I’ll post a link when it’s up.

I also look forward to what’s coming next for my book, the “memoir-in-essays” MESSAGE FROM A BLUE JAY. I’ll keep you posted as it winds through all of the steps before it is launched in Spring 2014 — I don’t have an actual publication date yet. It’s exciting, but also scary. I can’t wait to hold that book in my hands.

Finally, I’ve been working (for fun) on a “cozy mystery” based on a story that I initially wrote as a NaNoWriMo effort last year and then transformed into a mystery short story a few months later. Now I’m expanding that story into a full book, and it’s been a fun exercise.

Still, my heart is always called back by personal essays, and the blog post I wrote for Superstition Review is really more of a short essay.

Well, that’s enough of a round-up for now. I hope to get this blog and website back online soon, and in the meantime, I’ll keep popping in with news and notes. Have a wonderful rest-of-summer — and stay cool!