Thursday, November 02, 2006

Carnivals. Call for Submissions. Sidebar.

DisappearingJohn has done a splendid job with the latest Change of Shift, the twice-monthly nursing carnival.

Carnival hosts vie with each other to see who can come up with the cleverest "frame narrative," the text presenting the links to the carnival posts. If the host hasn't had a jolt of inspiration, sometimes the carnival is just a laundry list of links. If the frame is too High Concept, though, readers may not have any clue what the posts being linked to are actually about. Sometimes the presentation makes it harder to appreciate the carnival, instead of easier; a good host uses the frame to draw attention to the posts, not to him- or herself. (There are distinct parallels to writing fiction, but I'll spare you!)

I really admire John's frame, designed as a tour of the hospital. It's interesting and lively in itself, but also deftly guides readers to links while giving them just enough information about each post to pique interest. It entertains without showing off, and showcases the links beautifully. Bravo, John!

And on the topic of carnivals, remember that the deadline for Carnival of Hope, with a special Thanksgiving theme of gratitude, is one week from today at 5:00 PM PST. Here's my earlier call for submissions, with full guidelines and instructions.

You have a week. The weekend's coming up. Why not sit down and write a post about something for which you're grateful? It doesn't have to be long.

And, finally, regular readers may notice that I've slightly reorganized my sidebar; I haven't removed any links, but I've relabeled and redistributed them. A few of my favorite bloggers have announced that they're going on hiatus, so I may delete those links eventually. On the other hand, I may just keep them there so readers can browse those archives.

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