1) There’s till time to enter the Hint Fiction contest, which ends midnight April 30th. If you don’t know what hint fiction is–seriously?–it’s creating a story that’s 25 words (not including title) but still a story. Stewart O’Nan — author of Songs for the Missing (I reviewed it for the Miami Herald) — is the final judge. Winner gets $25 amazon gc.

2) It happily appears to be true that not only the first female poet, but one who is openly gay, will succeed my writing mentor Andrew Motion as the UK’s next poet laureate. Carol Ann Duffy is soon to be chosen, so they say.

3) Coughing and sneezing like it’s 1976–check out these PSAs on swine flu from the ’70s, and then follow the cases on Google Maps. Geez.

4) A few spots are left in Rebecca Walker’s ART OF MEMOIR workshop on Maui, June 14-21. According to Walker (the daughter of Alice), you can expect “morning work periods, evening readings, marketing strategy sessions, plenty of free time to enjoy the island, and one-to-one meetings with Rebecca. Key elements of writing and publishing memoir, including theme, voice, structure, genre, and querying agents and publishers in the quickly changing publishing industry will be explored throughout.

5) Remember late author James D. Houston in your prayers, who died last week; may he rest in peace. Throughout his esteemed writing career, Houston has authored nine novels and many books of nonfiction. His stories and essays have been anthologized and have appeared in myriad publications from the New York Times and the New Yorker, to Honolulu Magazine and Manoa Literary Journal. His last novel, Bird of Another Heaven, vividly positions readers inside King Kalakaua’s inner circle, following a half-Hawaiian, half-Native American girl from California who becomes a mistress of the Merrie Monarch. Read more about Houston in Jacket Copy.

6) Just for fun, read Eric Puchner and Katharine Noel’s humorous essay about what it’s like to be married to another novelist.