Monthly Archive:: October 2013

One Year In—Writing the Novel: Allison Lynn

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After one year of writing my novel, I took stock of what I’d accomplished—which seemed like very little. Would writing always feel like flailing? How do novelists find their way through? For guidance, I turned to published novelists, whose interviews are presented in One Year In: Writing the Novel. Today’s novelist is Allison

Episodia 1.14: An Antidote to Scripted Female Friendship

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A few months ago, I wrote a post on the best bromances on television. Since then, I’ve wanted to write a similar post on female friendship, but I came up empty when I hunted for good examples. There are so many storytelling techniques that current scripted television gets right

Writing Lessons: Portia Elan

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In our Writing Lessons series, writers and writing students will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing. This week, we hear from Portia Elan, a graduate of the University of Victoria’s MFA Program. You can follow her on Twitter @portiaelan. —Andrew Ladd, Blog Editor Pay

AWP Award Series: Julian Hoffman’s The Small Heart of Things and Andrew Ladd’s What Ends

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Recently, I put cream cheese, Nutella, and orange zest between two pieces of bread and cooked it up like a grilled cheese. A little butter, a hot pan. Grilled cheese is tried and true. It doesn’t need improvement. But I saw the recipe (though for grilled cheese, I’d call

Roundup: They’re Creepy & They’re Kooky

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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. The month of October is heralded by an onslaught

Getting Back to Books: An Interview With David Mikics

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Let’s face it: there is a big, flashing world of distractions vying for your attention, trying desperately to keep you from that book  looking increasingly dusty and dejected on your bedside table. People scoff at the very idea of reading. In this crazy world, the argument goes, who’s got

Revising Like Alice(s)

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There has been a flurry of praise for Alices lately—Munro for her much-deserved Nobel, McDermott for her highly-praised new novel Someone—and it has me thinking about why these two authors are having a cultural moment. They write about women, often small domestic lives, the kind of characters and plots

The Winged Seed

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The Winged Seed Li-Young Lee BOA Editions, April 2013 200 pages $16.00 Reading Li-Young Lee’s The Winged Seed reminded me of an argument by economist Tyler Cowen. Cowen cautions against our propensity to impose narrative on everything. He claims that life is not a story but a mess, and

Writers and Their Pets: Nathaniel Frank

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The ‘Writers and Their Pets’ series began with my own desire to celebrate my dog Sally, and since then I have also invited other writers to share with the rest of us the details of their lives with beloved pets. We also ask contributors to the series to tell us about their

Snack Time with Sherrie Flick

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When writer Sherrie Flick coordinated events at the immensely popular Gist Street Reading Series in Pittsburgh, one thing was certain, beyond the high caliber of the visiting writers and the fact the space would be packed: there would be fabulous food. Crusty bread, gooey cheese, in-season vegetables, jugs of