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The Big Brick Review

Launch Party

Gregory Gerard introduces the mission of The Big Brick Review (BBR): to build on the narrative of our brick at a time.

Photo credit: Marty Nott


On Friday evening, January 9, 2015, Writers & Books in Rochester, NY, hosted The Big Brick Review Launch party. Although the evening's outside temperature dipped into the single digits, more than fifty guests turned out to hear the warm words of Georgia Beers, Erin Green, Sonja Livingston, Jenny Lloyd, Sejal Shah, and Gregory Gerard.

More than thirty participated in the evening's 'mini-memoir' contest, sharing a tiny brick in the narrative of their lives. Three entries were selected, winning publication and a gift certificate to enter the BBR Annual Essay Contest. The evening's winners included:

  • Patricia Roth Schwartz for her mini-memoir En Pointe:
    • First line teaser: She was only seven but in it from the beginning—longing to be a dancer—for the wardrobe only: the desire to wear pink satin toe shoes and a fluffy tutu.
  • Peter Teal for his mini-memoir Trees and Dogs
    • First line teaser: A boy born in winter.
  • Geoffrey Neil for his mini-memoir Come on Billy, Light My Fire
    • First line teaser: I quit smoking at 11.


The three winning mini-memoirs will be published in their entirety online as part of The Big Brick Review's upcoming feature, Little Bricks. View photos from the evening on Facebook here.

First Annual Essay Contest Deadline
Four Weeks and Counting

The Big Brick Review (Volume I, Issue I available online here) seeks personal essays which build on the narrative of our lives, finding new insight to old struggles…old insight to new struggles…and all shades-of-gray in between.

Now accepting submissions for the first annual essay contest; our 2015 judges include Georgia Beers, Susan Bono, Gregory Gerard, Sonja Livingston, and Alison Smith.

For 2015, the contest theme is loosely based on the concept of ‘building.’ Creative interpretation welcomed. Essays must be narrative non-fiction (that is, they must explore a truth of a human experience as interpreted/experienced by the author) and will be judged on overall strength of writing, compelling content/theme, and interesting style/voice. Maximum length 2000 words.

Deadline for contest submission, February 17, 2015, is just four weeks from today. Full details online here.



BBR Editor Talks Nonfiction
on Rochester Public Radio

On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, The Big Brick Review editor, Gregory Gerard, was honored to speak with Evan Dawson on Rochester Public Radio WXXI's Connections with Evan Dawson. During the hour-long discussion, Gerard read from his memoir, In Jupiter's Shadow, and talked about the struggles of a teen coming to terms with sexuality and religion at a Jesuit high school in 1980s Rochester NY.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Be who you are.

Interview replay available via streaming online here.



Help a Budding Journal to Bloom

Photo credit: Gregory Gerard

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