What We’re Reading

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron: This classic self-help recovery for creatives book has given me back my sealegs after beginning the MFA. Fighting imposter syndrome, feeling creatively blocked, wondering whether or not poetry is a worthwhile pursuit? This book's week by week readings and activities get me out of my head. Right now I'm … Continue reading What We’re Reading

Five Tricks to Succeed and Survive the Writing Ultra-Marathon (10-16hrs)

  We tend to idealize the writing marathon. Such a delicious, romantic image of writing all day, so into your craft you forget to eat etc. But suppose you do get that one day to make up for all the others you missed, how do you make the marathon (6+ hour chunks of writing time) … Continue reading Five Tricks to Succeed and Survive the Writing Ultra-Marathon (10-16hrs)

Applying to Grad School? A Quick (Real) Guide to Applying to MFAs

Application season is a dreadful, exhausting season for many MFA-seeking writers. It's true when they say ('they' being current MFA students, past applicants, and program faculty) applying to MFA programs is not for the faint-hearted. For one, it takes forever. Researching and deciding on your top schools is not a simple task. Most programs require … Continue reading Applying to Grad School? A Quick (Real) Guide to Applying to MFAs

A Complete, Totally Definitive Guide to Short Story Craft

1. Start the story with an intriguing first line, something that propels the reader forward, captures their attention, makes them feel compelled to read on. Do not start with something boring or commonplace. This is the worst thing you can do. This will make the reader throw your story into a trash compactor and compact … Continue reading A Complete, Totally Definitive Guide to Short Story Craft

Making Those Last Words Count

Hopefully you already read this wonderful piece on first lines in fiction. Those sentences are important because, of course, they color a reader’s perception of the rest of the story. Daniel discusses a “solicitation of trust”—“a chance for the author to communicate that the reader is in capable hands.” And he’s right: I’ve put down … Continue reading Making Those Last Words Count

The Novel is Back! (Well, sort of.)

I’m so excited I might split my pants. This fall, the literary world gets two giant releases: Jonathan Franzen’s Purity and Avenue of Mysteries, John Irving’s fourteenth novel. I might very well drive to Barnes & Noble, pluck these novels from the shelf, and stand in the checkout line. I might take my time with … Continue reading The Novel is Back! (Well, sort of.)

Things You Will Learn From Spending A Day With Percival Everett

You will learn that Percival Everett’s favorite word is No. You will learn that the gizmo used to castrate a horse is called – somewhat appropriately – an emasculator. You will learn the importance of reading forklift manuals. You will learn that Percival Everett doesn’t believe in the ‘craft’ of writing. You will learn about … Continue reading Things You Will Learn From Spending A Day With Percival Everett