writing Archive

Episodia 1.5: Mad Men’s Tell-Tale Heart

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For six seasons now, television viewers have been transfixed by advertising phenom Don Draper’s troubled smolder as he winds his way through Manhattan’s boardrooms, bedrooms, and bars. Each episode is loaded with literary jewels for writers to fawn over: the elegant use of space (that office elevator really knows

Riding In Cars With Words

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On long car rides with my father, you could count on hearing three questions: What kind of cow is that? What kind of roof is that? Is the moon waxing or waning? My answers were always as follows: a Holstein, a mansard, and waxing? (I never did work out which was which.)

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #4: Go Big

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part!  It was mid-morning but there were no shadows on my wall; the sun was being shy, so I knew it was

Roundup: Spring Cleaning

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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, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts on writing in the start

Episodia 1.4: Survival Archetypes

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Whether it’s in the wake of a zombie apocalypse in “The Walking Dead,” on an electro-magnetic island in “Lost,” or on Capitol Hill in “House of Cards,” any television show that portrays the fight for survival always seems to need the same kinds of characters. But these archetypes don’t

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #3: Letters

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part! Well, my plan was to do a prompt a day since the last post, ten minutes a pop. That did not

Relationship Rescue! Courting Your Long-Lost Writing

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First, a confession: I’m lousy at prioritizing fiction writing. I let everything else in my life take precedence. I even let other writing take precedence—articles, book reviews, syllabi, comments on student work, status updates, replies to all. And yet, good things have happened to the fiction I’ve written. I

Episodia 1.3: The Heart Is a Lonely Zombie

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I never thought I’d say this, but I love me some zombies. Allow me to count the ways: their appetite for live flesh, their disintegrating jowls, their nobody’s-home-stares. Luckily for me, we just might be living in the age of the zombie renaissance. The undead have been pop culture

Roundup: Marketing Your Writing

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

Roundup: Writing and Music

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