Jennifer De Leon Archive

Roundup: Writers and Their Mentors

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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. This week we bring you

Roundup: Literary Mothers

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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. In honor of Mother’s Day,

Patience and Courage: Finding the Balance between Teaching and Writing

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I can count the days: seventy-seven. This is a very long time to go without writing a single sentence that has nothing to do with confirming a meeting over email, reminding my husband via text message to add chocolate-covered pretzels to our grocery list, or scribbling on a pink

Myths About Lit Mags — With Becky Tuch, Founding Editor of The Review Review

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This week, I asked Becky Tuch to respond to some common misconceptions about literary magazines. Here are her responses. 1. No one reads them. Literary magazines may not have a mainstream audience. But they do have a very specific and enthusiastic audience. Their readers are poets, lovers of the

Telling the Fairytale: Explaining Hedgebrook to My Four-Year-Old Nephew

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Growing up, I never knew it was possible to be a writer. No one in my family ever talked about reading books, never mind writing them. It wasn’t until September of my senior year in high school that I discovered that Barnes and Noble was a bookstore and not

Bridging the Generation Gap: Grub Street Teens Visit Ploughshares

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This past summer, during Grub Street’s Young Adult Writers Teen Fellowship (http://www.grubstreet.org/index.php?id=22), one of my students wrote a ghazal that left me speechless with awe and envy. She is fifteen. Most days during the three-week program, she wore flannel shirts, jean shorts, and black Gladiator sandals. Her shoulder-length brown

How Much of Your Salary Would You Spend on a Book?

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Last year my husband, Adam Stumacher, and I moved to Guatemala so we could work on our novels. That was the plan. Our first week there, he worked diligently, often using Freedom on his computer so he could stay focused on his daily word count goal. Me? Not so

The Borderlands of Language: Using Italics for “Foreign” Words (Part I)

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Junot Díaz once told me that he writes for his six best friends and the rest of the world.  This was a few summers ago in a VONA fiction workshop in San Francisco. We had been discussing the meaty issue of how much to explain in our short stories

Bridging the Divide: Why I Brought My Mom to Bread Loaf

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I didn’t grow up in what I would call a literary family. We delivered newspapers; we didn’t read them. We told stories constantly, but we never wrote them down. My mom is a housekeeper. All her life she has never taken a sick day. No work meant no paycheck.