First Drafts Archive

Octavia Butler’s Notebook Represents All The Anxieties Of Writers Of Color

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On its blog last week, the Huntington Library released previously unseen photographs of some of the late Octavia Butler’s papers, which the library catalogued after Butler’s untimely death nearly ten years ago. Included in the collection are some of Butler’s early science fiction stories, contracts, drafts, and notebooks, one

One Year In—Writing The Novel

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 6 Comments
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 the One Year In: Writing the

Writing Lessons: Brendan Mathews

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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 Brendan Mathews, a writing and literature instructor at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. You can follow him on Twitter @Mathews_With1T. —Andrew

“Dear Lucky One”: The Westing Game Invites Us to Play

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Thirty-five years after the publication of Ellen Raskin’s novel The Westing Game, readers still rave about it. As one literary agent tweeted recently, “if I could find the new Ellen Raskin, I would be the happiest agent ever.” Bestselling novelist Gillian Flynn ventures that in Gone Girl, she maybe,

What Happened to My First Draft

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I have this memoir that’s coming out next year. I had never written a memoir before so it was more fraught of a writing experience then I had expected. I rewrote the first fifty pages nine times before I could move forward. And when I say I rewrote, I

First Drafts: Poetry

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A Conversation With Traci Brimhall, Amy Gerstler, Andrew Hudgins, and Timothy Liu 1. How do your poems come to you?  Traci Brimhall: They rarely come to me. Usually I have to go find them. They’re a bit wily like that and generally prefer midnight over noon and my office

First Drafts: Fiction

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A Conversation with Lauren Groff, Kevin Moffett, and Christine Schutt This week, I’m excited to introduce a series of conversations I’ll be posting in the coming months: First Drafts. I’m talking to writers across genres about that tenuous and thrilling moment when something new arrives and, in one way