Ellery Archive

Chucking “Art for Art’s Sake” – Writers and Social Impact

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
One morning in late September, I found myself backstage at the “Annual Day of Peace” in Covington, KY—an event that kicks off October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I’d been asked to perform a song I wrote about my family’s history of domestic violence, and was listening as speakers

STEAL THIS STUFF: What Writers Can Learn from Over the Rhine

Author: | Categories: Writing 6 Comments
Okay Writers. If you’ve been tucked safely away from Great Music over the last two decades, you may be new to the “aggressively beautiful” music of Over the Rhine. Today, the husband/wife duo Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist are invading my column, not just because they’re critically acclaimed songwriters—but because,

Help! How Do I Use Microphones??!

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 2 Comments
Okay. So you know that microphones are devices you put near your mouth to make your voice louder. Beyond that, there be dragons. So let’s bust through seven common mic Q’s. Then sail on, writers! #1. Won’t using a mic make me seem stiff and formal? If I hear another author

Giving a Reading? How Not to Panic.

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 7 Comments
In my previous post, I discussed the crying shame that is the Public Reading. You commented, shared, and agreed. You asked how to feel more confident, use a microphone, give more creative readings, etc. I’ll tackle all of these over coming weeks – starting, today, with confidence. HAVE SOME COMPASSION.

Why Are Readings So Awkward?

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 37 Comments
Hey Writing World. I love you. You’re brilliant. You make amazing things happen on a page. But you have NO IDEA what to do behind a microphone. And so many of your venues are grim! They make us forget that there’s ever been magic in words. Basically, there’s an

Introducing… The New Ploughshares Blog!

Author: | Categories: Events No comments
The Ploughshares blog has changed a lot since we first launched it in 2009. Back then, it was mostly a supplement to the magazine—a clearinghouse for announcements, extra contributors’ notes, and all the other little tidbits that wouldn’t fit elsewhere. Over the years we added more original material, too,