Roundup: Bold Beginnings & Sensational Starts

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.

Autumn is upon us and students everywhere are getting into the routine of yet another semester. You may have started a new job or a life in a completely new city. Maybe you’ve just cracked open book you’ve yet to read. Either way, you’ve begun! And we hope it’s the start of something great.

Here, we’ve compiled some blog posts and things found across the Internet with fresh starts in mind.

5783321374_7f6b3e2b4dFrom Ploughshares

  • Coming up with a good beginning is often the hardest part. So make it count with some advice from Sarah Banse’s “From the Slush Pile…”

Roundup: Reading it By Ear

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.

We’ve had a few posts lately at our blog about the aural aspects of writing, so we decided to roundup some posts on the connection of silent, physical writing to the act of reading, speaking, and listening.

From Ploughshares:

  • 4808475862_01243f6740We recently posted Amber Kelly-Anderson’s “Writing by Ear,” where she advises you to play with your words, Seuss-like.
  • Thomas Lee asks if you should really try to recreate how people really speak with your dialogue – or if it just sounds fake – in “The Way We Talk.”

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Roundup: Writers and Their Mentors

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 posts about writers and their mentors.

From Ploughshares:

Roundup: Getting Rejected

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, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts on getting rejected.

In baseball, if you get out seven times out of ten, you’re considered a great hitter. You’re considered great at what you do. Like baseball players, writers have to face rejection, and they have to face it most of the time. 

rejection letter

Wine helps.

From Ploughshares:

  • In “Many Forms of Rejection,” Thomas Lee writes, “If there is an award for taking rejection without being fazed, I’m pretty sure I could win.”

Roundup: Women’s Voices

As we launch a new blog format for the new year, we’re also looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009.  Our roundups explore the archives and gather past posts around a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.  This week we have posts on women’s voices in writing.

We are no strangers to women’s voices here at Ploughshares.  Many of our contributors, guest bloggers, staff, and readers are women.  Occasionally our guest bloggers turn their attention to how female voices affect writing, Ploughshares, and the literary world.  Here are some of their posts:

Roundup: Writing advice, tips, and lists

As we look forward to updating the Ploughshares blog for the new year, we’re also looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009.  Our roundups explore the archives and gather past posts around a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.  This week we have posts on with writing advice, tips, and lists.

Last week we saw someone tweet this collection of writing rules from famous writers.  We loved the lists of rules so much, this week we gathered posts that contain writing advice and tips (some in list form).

Roundup: Finding Time and Space to Write

As we look forward to updating the Ploughshares blog for the new year, we’re also looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009.  Our roundups explore the archives and gather past posts around a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.  This week we have posts on finding time and space to write.

Some writers have the luxury of structuring their lives around writing, but most of us are juggling a combination of work, classes, family, and everyday tasks like laundry and taking out the garbage.  Our guest bloggers are here to help with advice on finding time and space to write.

  • If you prefer to listen to music while you write, you might appreciate Michael Klein’s post “Music to Write By.”
  • Finally, if you are someone who works best with a deadline, then you might be interested in National Novel Writing Month.  The challenge, to write 50,000 words in November, is a great excuse to sit down at your desk and work.

Image – Flickr: Nick in exsilio

 

Weekly Roundup: Revision

As we look forward to updating the Ploughshares blog for the new year, we’re also looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009.  Our weekly roundups explore the archives and gather past posts around a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.  This week’s theme: revision.

If you are still a young writer, like me, revision may be intimidating.  More experienced writers may struggle with when to stop revising.  Fortunately, our guest bloggers are here to help!

  • For those just learning to revise or any who would would like to take a fresh look, Eric Weinstein posts about his introduction to revision (re-visioning a piece) and discusses the inherent pros and cons in “Which a Minute Will Reverse”.

Momentum

I’ve heard of a mythical thing that some writers get to experience: momentum. Like a heavy stone, a writing career starts out motionless and seemingly without hope of ever moving, but then it starts to roll, and, sometimes, builds speed. Momentum can happen to “good writers,” or so I’ve been told.

Up until recently, I clearly had no momentum. I was stuck in the slush pile, lucky only to emerge a couple of times a year. Just when I thought being published in a journal might get me somewhere, I would get another pile of rejection letters which confirmed in my mind that I was not going anywhere anytime soon. Continue Reading

In Response: Five Books That Changed Me

A few weeks back, Eric Weinstein had a great post about the five books that changed the way he wrote. His post inspired me to think about my own influences. I realized that, though I am a short story writer, some of the most important influences on my writing were not short stories. Also, for truly important works, I remember not only the words, but also the moment in time that they struck me. Timing was important to me. The below works hit me at the right time, when I was either looking for or was susceptible to great change.Continue Reading