The Hen and Her Eggs

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Guest post by Fan Wu An acquaintance recently e-mailed me to announce her upcoming book launch party, to be held in an expensive restaurant, with free food and drinks and a near-celebrity’s attendance. Each guest will pay a small entrance fee and receive a signed copy of the book.

The Power of Redemption Narratives

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman Two things caught my eye before the Thanksgiving holiday: 1) Michael Vick’s electrifying performance against the Redskins 2) James Frey’s “Fiction Factory”, and his alleged tactic of asking his employed writers to follow a Greek three-act narrative structure in their commercial work, with

The Book You Didn’t Know You Needed

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Guest post by Greg Schutz The advent of another holiday season reminds me that, as readers and consumers, it’s easier than ever these days to get what we think we want. Looking for Jonathan Franzen’s new novel? A couple clicks, a couple keystrokes, and it’s on its way to

Q&A: Literary Agent Julie Barer

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman Q: I used to think agents were really scary, city-savvy people only concerned with the bottom line. However, the more agents I’ve met, the more I realize how many of them truly love literature and care about the authors they represent.   Basics

Thank You, Mr. Venturini

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Guest post by Greg Schutz Thanksgiving is almost upon us. For me, this means a welcome weeklong vacation from teaching: a chance to dig into that stack of student essays awaiting grades; a chance to sort and stow or recycle the countless handouts, worksheets, rough drafts, lesson plans, and

Why Must I Write?

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Guest post by Fan Wu In 2004, I attended the Key West Literary Seminar–my first literary event–where I met Sandra Cisneros, a keynote speaker. Though I had just begun to write and was unpublished, she was encouraging and generous with her advice and wisdom. Later that year, after reading

Writing in a “Phrensy”

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Guest post by Greg Schutz In Book II of his De Oratore, Cicero stages a dialogue between Marcus Antonius, Caius Julius Caesar, and several other figures, one of whose subjects is the evocation of emotion in the audience and the consequences of emotional speechmaking on the orator. According to

The Great Indoors

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Guest post by Greg Schutz I read my friend Sara Schaff’s story “Our Lady of Guazá” in the latest issue of Inkwell with rapt attention, to say the least. This is not simply because the story, about the relationship between two half-sisters in Bogotá in the wake of their

A Powerful Movie: Blind Mountain

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Guest post by Fan Wu When you tell people you are a writer, they often say that they’d love to read your books but just cannot find the time. “But,” they continue, “If they’re made into movies someday, I’ll check them out.” Maybe it’s just a polite way to

Playing Favorites

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Or, My Zealous Adoration of Faulkner’s “The Bear” “The Bear’ is at once so simple and so complex that it surrenders its meaning to the conscious mind only after repeated readings and much brooding,” Daniel Hoffman, Faulkner’s Country Matters, 1989 Guest post by Megan Mayhew BergmanYou’ve read it, too–the