The Lonely Reader (Part One)

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Guest post by Greg Schutz   “I have always wondered why short stories aren’t more popular in this country,” muses Barbara Kingsolver in her introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2001. “We Americans are such busy people you’d think we’d jump at the chance to have our literary

Mother Tongue

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Guest post by Fan Wu It was a day thirteen years ago. I sat in a packed classroom looking out on an oval-shaped garden flanked with lush palm trees, my eyes fixed blankly on Professor Chaffee’s bearded face. He was the department dean, elegantly-attired, soft-voiced, in his sixties. I

Objects of Affection

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman It was 2000, late September. I was twenty years old, studying abroad in Italy, and on my way to Munich on a train. Just before boarding, I picked up a copy of Anne Michaels’¬†Fugitive Pieces. I didn’t have a lot of extra spending

Letter to a Fiction Teacher

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Guest post by Greg Schutz Dear Fred, You don’t remember me. You would, perhaps–I hope so, at least–but you don’t. I just wanted to tell you that I reread a story of yours the other day, and then, even though I didn’t really have the time to spare, I

Writers Rule

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Guest post by Fan Wu David, an entrepreneur, world traveler, and longtime friend, e-mailed me to say he disliked my latest blog entry, “Being Published, and Then…” He wrote: “This post is too dark and negative…I hope that in your next post you will talk about solutions to writers’

Trying to Write the Southern Accent

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman Confession: I used to hate forms that asked for your place of birth, because I had to write Gaffney, South Carolina–a city best known for its stucco outlet malls and peach-shaped water tower that some refer to as “the ass in the sky.”

Why I Fish Is Why I Write

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Guest post by Greg Schutz Because I enjoy fishing and have several tech-savvy friends who do as well, Google will every so often sift through the contents of my GMail inbox and offer me a targeted advertisement from PETA. “You wouldn’t impale a dog in the mouth,” the text

The Art of the Author Photograph

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman Every now and then, someone in the writing world wants to know what I look like, and put a picture of me next to my work. This is kind, and probably a great design principle, but it propels me into a spiral of

Of Stone Tools and Stargazing

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Guest post by Greg Schutz “Take control of your writing process,” I tell my students. “Be aware of the ways in which how you write affects what you write–and how well you write.”   And as my students look up at me–we’re in Composition I, Argumentative Writing, or Developmental

Being Published, and Then…

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Guest post by Fan Wu We’re all familiar with Anna Karenina’s famous opening: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” It applies to authorship, too. All unpublished writers are alike–wanting to be published; each published writer is unhappy in his or her