Archive - April 3, 2009

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What I Say To RPCV Writers About Getting Published
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Establishing The Peace Corps: America Responds, Post 20
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Margaret Mead Weights In

What I Say To RPCV Writers About Getting Published

Agents Yes, it is difficult to find an agent. But you can start here and have a list of names, addresses, and what these agents want to see. http://www.1000literaryagents.com. Remember, if an agent says he or she only publishes YA novels then don’t send them your Peace Corps story, unless, of course, it is written for Young Adults. Agents are in the business (and it is very much a business) of making money so if they think your book will sell, they will represent you. If they think your book is wonderful but won’t sell to a publisher, they won’t represent you. Very few agents are in the business of literature. They leave that work to the academics. Editors & Publishers You have heard, I’m sure, how Catch 22 went to more than 50 publishing houses before it was published back in 1960. That novel is still selling! There are . . .

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Establishing The Peace Corps: America Responds, Post 20

The question now was would anyone apply to the Peace Corps? Could the United States produce enough Americans of high quality and character to make the Peace Corps successful?      Between March 1 and June 1, 1961, after the Peace Corps preliminary policies were set, approximately 10,000 Americans filled out and mailed in Peace Corps applications. From June to December 31, 1961, Americans volunteered at the rate of 1,000 per month.      In those early months, the Peace Corps made little effort to attract Volunteers, preferring to wait until it had a clear mandate from the Congress both in terms of authorization and appropriation. That mandate came on September 22, 1961. With bipartisan national endorsement, the Peace Corps took the initiative in explaining its program and the opportunities for Peace Corps service. October and November 1961 were taken up in preparing an adequate public information and public affairs program for . . .

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Margaret Mead Weights In

One of the seminal books on the Peace Corps was published in 1966 and entitled Cultural Frontiers of the Peace Corps. It is a collection of fifteen essays by social scientists who visit Peace Corps projects to observe and write about Peace Corps activities. It was edited by Robert B. Textor, who was then an anthropologist at Stanford and a consultant to the Peace Corps. Textor is important in Peace Corps history and mythology if only for drafting the original memorandum that detailed the “In, Up & Out” personnel policy of the new agency. I’ll discuss that in a later blog, but now I just want to reprint a quote from the Foreword  written by Margaret Mead who at the time was in Aghios Nikolaos, Crete. This was July 1965, very early in the life of the Peace Corps. Mead writes in summing up her views of the Peace Corps: “…the Peace Corps . . .

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