Monthly Archive:: September 2013

Roundup: Bold Beginnings & Sensational Starts

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In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. Autumn is upon us and students everywhere are getting

Exercising Your Craft: 3 Writers Who Get Physical

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I have a writer friend whose employment info on her Facebook profile always makes me laugh. Under “Position,” she wryly reports “Hunched Over a Desk.” Treadmill desks and Hemingway-style standing aside, most writers spend a lot of time sitting. We’re exhorted to with quotes like this one from Mary

Self-Help Seduction

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There are certain books we all hide. You know them. The ones purchased late at night when no one we know is in the bookstore. Or better yet, ordered from Amazon for further anonymity. These are books we don’t want anyone to know we read, certainly not our literary

My First Nemesis

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I can only admit this because I believe I’m not alone. I believe that every writer—maybe every creative person, maybe anyone whose life is ruled by ambition, by a calling beyond rationality—has an imaginary nemesis. The person isn’t imaginary, mind you. But the rivalry is. Here’s what I mean

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #12: The To Do List

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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!  Can you believe we’re nearly ten months into this year-long writing extravaganza? I’m pretty damn impressed that we’ve all made it this

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Helpful Products for Family Men: A User’s Guide” by Ryan Trattles

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You guys, I gotta tell you: I’m a sucker for any story that plays with form. Send me your recipes-as-failed-date stories, your museum-tours-as-conspiracy plots, your PowerPoint-homework-as-family narratives. I’m all in. So when I found Ryan Trattles’s story “Helpful Products for Family Men: A User’s Guide” published in Indiana Review,

Writing Lessons: Gerardo Mena

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In our Writing Lessons series, writing students—and this month, writing instructors!—will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying and teaching writing. This week, we hear from Gerardo Mena, an MFA student at Goddard College. You can follow him on Twitter @tonyidigmusic. —Andrew Ladd, Blog Editor I heard

Peter Ho Davies Reading and Craft Talk

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Ploughshares literary magazine is pleased to announce that Peter Ho Davies, author and guest editor of the Fall 2013 issue of Ploughshares, will give a craft talk and reading at Emerson College. This event is free and open to the public! WHEN: October 10, 2013. Craft talk at 4:00

From the Slush Pile: The Numbers

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When I see numbers I generally shut down, but I know there’s a whole host of you out there who want to see pie charts, graphs and digits. So if my ranting about pluck and resiliency isn’t enough for you folks, here are the cold hard facts when it

“Let’s Get You an Agent”—An Agent’s How-to for Writers

So—Eric Nelson is an agent with the Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. His own blog, “How to Think Like Your Agent,” is full of quick, no-nonsense advice. Here, he lends our readers a special dose of it: how to get an agent, from an agent’s POV. Check out his words