Monthly Archive:: July 2013

A Walk Around the Lake

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“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” —Wallace Stevens I think about writing more than I actually write. I think about writing when I wake up in the morning, how I should dash to my computer and type up whatever thoughts I had just dreamed about

Writing Lessons: Rose Waldman

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In our Writing Lessons series, writing students will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing. This week, we hear from Rose Waldman, a student in the MFA program at Columbia University. —Andrew Ladd, Blog Editor Like many emerging writers, I had become resigned to

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #9: Q & A & Q & A ….

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part!  Alrighty pals! Let’s consider this a bit of a clean slate. We’re about half-way through the year, and last session’s Cut &

People of the Book: Debra Di Blasi

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People of the Book is an interview series gathering those engaged with books, broadly defined. As participants answer the same set of questions, their varied responses chart an informal ethnography of the book, highlighting its rich history as a mutable medium and anticipating its potential future. This week brings

From the Slush Pile: Don’t Fall Flat

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Alfred Hitchcock says, “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”  That is absolutely true for the stories that are being passed on to editors. It is your job to tell the story but get rid of the boring bits. A reader wants to travel seamlessly from scene

Between Centuries: A Six-Month Perspective

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The year is more than half over, which means those of us who attempted New Year’s resolutions have either mastered, given up, or heavily revised them. It also means my year of reading 100-year-old books is halfway finished. It all started, in February, with a dead poet and a

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “The Disappearance of Herman Grimes” by Michael Shou-Yung Shum

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It’s not often that I cry a little while reading a short story. I’ve been known to cry at badly written episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, at the emotional conclusion of certain novels, and in the presence of pretty much any crying person. (My tear ducts are sympathetic—what can I

Up and Out: Five Things We Can All Learn from Roald Dahl

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When I was six years old, I copied out the entirety of Roald Dahl’s The Twits. By hand. When I filled  one lined page, I’d apply an inch-wide swath of rubber cement and attach the next paper to the bottom, so that I wound up with a scroll the

Writing Lessons: Judith Conte

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In our Writing Lessons series, writing students will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing. This week, we hear from Judith Conte, a student at the 2013 Kachemak Bay Writers Conference. You can follow Judith on Twitter @JudithConte. —Andrew Ladd, Blog Editor At the 2013

Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Round 2 – The Mighty Duck Palahniuks vs The Holden Caulbabies

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After a fevered start to the competition, with spirited fights from each side, the competition slowed this last week as Buckle Your Corn Belts and Vonnegut to the Chopper! tortoised their way through the match-up. The teams ended at a stalemate, and we were forced to implement a tiebreaker: