writers Archive

The Ploughshares Round-Down: What NYC Publishing REALLY Thinks About Self-Publishing

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 1 Comment
Last week, I had an author ask me the earliest his publisher could have his book out. I told him January 2016. Even if he turned it in this week. “And, they wonder why big publishers are dying,” he said. He wondered aloud if he should crowdfund a shorter

Unburied Memories: A Tiny Interview with Carlos Villacorta Gonzáles

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing 1 Comment
My newest literary kick is immersing myself in literature from Latin America that hasn’t been translated to English yet. Reading outside of the American canon, you learn new tricks and new ways of cutting familiar narratives—but if you’re lucky you learn a new kind of reading altogether.

I’m in Love With a Writer: A Survival Guide

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Being in a relationship with someone in the same profession is tricky business. While there is a shared understanding of the ins and outs, it can also cause friction, particularly in competitive fields. Dating a writer was one of my bigger relationship snafus—his ego often made our duo a

Seven Types of Writers That Don’t Play Well With Others

Author: | Categories: Writing 6 Comments
Wromance, a word I invented, refers to a friendship between writers at its ideal—respectful, supportive, and considerate. You champion each other but never abuse your relationship. Friendship is not confused for a professional agreement or misconstrued for therapy. Your commonality may lie in a shared passion, but it does

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why “Do What You Love” Is Bad Advice

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 6 Comments
In 2005, Steve Jobs gave a now-famous graduation speech at Stanford University. “You’ve got to find what you love,” he said. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great

Fictional Writer Master Class: The Bamboozlers

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice 2 Comments
One of the perks of working in academia is ordering desk copies of books. While more often than not these things are tedious tomes that would put me to sleep, never mind my students, sometimes I happen upon gems, such as The Twentieth-Novel: An Introduction by R.B. Kershner. I’ll

Fictional Writer Master Class: the King’s Men

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice 2 Comments
Stephen King has a particular knack for fictionalizing the tortured lives of writers. Scribes of varied success people the pages of his works, from protagonists to supporting characters. (Under the Dome’s Thurston Marshall is a recent Ploughshares guest editor!) Many of these characters are also readable as Author Avatars

Fictional Writer Master Class: The Wisdom of J.B. Fletcher

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice 1 Comment
Writers love to create writer characters, so much so that fictional writers are their own sub-character set. Maybe it’s because we understand the torture of the artistic monkey better than anything else; creating fictional writers is one way of following the adage of writing what you know. Or perhaps we

Punctuation I Have Known And Loved

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing, Writing Advice 2 Comments
Fall is correcting season for me, and while I try not to turn into the grammar police while I’m reading, I usually cannot resist the chance to amend errors. One of my all time favorites was an essay that suggested that two parties in disagreement solve their problem in

Author-Spotting for Amateurs

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing 3 Comments
It’s summer! Time to get out those binoculars and spot some writers. If you are unable to find writers, a simple whiskey trail should suffice to lure them to your backyard. Be on the lookout for these newly identified species. Laureatos bolanos The dead foreign writer who wrote eight