Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Embracing Hard Truths About Writing

Okay writers. My last Round-Down was about the impact of self esteem on our creativity. Several readers asked for a followup about how to cultivate said esteem, and for a half-second I was so on it. But I can’t deny that the news around … Continue reading

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The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “My Wife, in Converse” by Shelly Oria

Stories written in the first person are supposed to be more intimate and allow us greater access to the emotions and thoughts of the narrator than second or third person. But what about the characters who aren’t eager or able … Continue reading

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Of All Things: The Signature

Congratulations! You’ve published a book, and people are lining up to buy it. Now begins the trickiest part of an author’s journey: signing your own book. You’ve read an excerpt, charmed the crowd. You’ve perfected the swooshy drama of your signature. … Continue reading

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Announcing Ploughshares’ 2014 Emerging Writer’s Contest Winners

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest recognizes work by an emerging writer in each of three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  After receiving thousands of submissions from talented writers, Ploughshares is proud to announce the three winners of the 2014 Emerging Writer’s Contest, chosen by … Continue reading

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Great Tennis Player: Looking Back at Foster Wallace on Federer

Under Review: “Federer as Religious Experience,” article by David Foster Wallace for New York Times, August 20, 2006. Collected in Both Flesh and Not: Essays (Little, Brown and Company, 2012, 336 pages). On July 6th, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Labels, Action, and Confidence

A couple weeks ago, author and marketer Ryan Holiday wrote a piece for Thought Catalog titled, “Can You Call Yourself a Writer?” In it, he argues that “[j]ust because you have done something, doesn’t mean you are something.” In other words, calling yourself … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: How To Screw Up A Book Proposal

When I first start working on a proposal or a manuscript with a writer, I tell them I have two stages of advice: breaking things and fixing things. At first, I’m going to keep asking hard questions and recommending big … Continue reading

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Suggestions for the Next iBooks Update

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Get Real! Or Maybe Don’t Get Real? A Conversation with Lincoln Michel (Part 2)

Recently, on social media, Gigantic magazine editor Lincoln Michel questioned the label of “realism.” I write “realism,” and I’m branching into other genres, so I introduced myself and asked a few more questions. Our conversation, conducted over e-mail, spanned several days, topics, and … Continue reading

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Las Damas: The New Generation of Latina Writers

A student of mine asked the other day if Latinos still wrote. He was dead serious. And by the reddening at the tops of his ears I could tell it was a completely sincere question, a bold one with all … Continue reading

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