Written by guest-contributor

Why I Write by Participants in Building a Writing Class with Anne Liu Kellor

Posted Tue, 11/21/2017 - 7:49am by  |  Category: , ,

The passages that follow are excerpts from a ten-minute in-class free write from the prompt Why do you write? Afterwards, we read aloud in a round and the energy in the room was palpable. I feel so grateful each time…

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Micro Lesson: Jeanine Walker on Discovering Poetic Voice

Posted Fri, 7/07/2017 - 11:04am by  |  Category: , , ,

Our voice as poets is a mix of who we are, what we think and feel, and a summation of everything we’ve read in our lives. Voice is the result of both experience and influence. In her book Black Lightning:…

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On the Poetry of Witness and Protest by Merna Ann Hecht

Posted Wed, 6/28/2017 - 8:13am by  |  Category: ,

At this turbulent time in our country and globally, many poets feel summoned to write about events that pose grave threats to justice and endanger our common humanity. We turn to poetry in order to find a language that provides…

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Micro Lesson: Magical Realism with Stephanie Barbé Hammer

Posted Tue, 5/09/2017 - 11:04am by  |  Category: , ,

Aimee Bender is a fan of both magical realism and surrealism, meaning that she likes to put magical characters into mundane and even boring situations. The key to making this move work for readers is languaging the “quotidian,” or every…

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How to Transform the Work of Another Writer

Posted Tue, 5/02/2017 - 10:18am by  |  Category: , ,

This is the Hugo House “How-To” series, where Hugo House instructors share tips related to the writing life. This week’s post comes from writer Cara Diaconoff, whose six-session course, Fanfiction and Other Transformative Writing, explores the concept of “transformation” of…

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Micro Lesson: Poetry as Translation with Sharon Bryan

Posted Sun, 4/30/2017 - 11:00am by  |  Category: , ,

Writing poetry in your own language is a kind of translation—you put your thoughts and feelings into words and music on the page. Nothing gets to the heart of that process faster than comparing actual English translations of the same…

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How to Get Perspective on Your Messy First Draft of a Novel

Posted Tue, 4/18/2017 - 7:44am by  |  Category: , ,

This is the Hugo House “How-To” series, where Hugo House instructors share tips related to the writing life. This week’s post comes from Waverly Fitzgerald who is teaching Deep Novel Revision, which will help writers with a rough draft (maybe…

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How to Write a Collage Memoir

Posted Thu, 4/13/2017 - 12:30pm by  |  Category: , ,

This is the Hugo House “How-To” series, where Hugo House instructors share tips related to the writing life. This week’s post comes from writer Anne Liu Kellor. Her ten-session course, Memoir as Collage, will explore personal narratives as told in…

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Micro Lesson: Staying Energized with Susan Meyers

Posted Mon, 4/10/2017 - 11:00am by  |  Category: , ,

Writers often ask how to get a story started—but just as important is the question of how to keep one going. There’s quite a distance between the first and final pages of a novel or memoir—and it’s not just the…

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Micro Lesson: Building Characters from Real Life with Madeline Ostrander

Posted Thu, 4/06/2017 - 8:01am by  |  Category: , ,

Last fall, I met a pair of reclusive military veterans at a house that lay down a leafy, mossy backroad of the Quinault Valley. I told them I wanted to hear their thoughts about noise pollution—the rattling Navy jets that…

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At the Loom of the Inner Weave by Willie Fitzgerald

Posted Mon, 3/20/2017 - 7:07am by  |  Category: ,

When I was twenty-three and full of vague and unpromising ideas about how fiction might work, I was constantly asking myself how a piece of fiction earns it. ‘It’ was loosely defined, as was ‘earn’; basically, I was looking for…

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Micro Lesson: Vignettes with Jeff Bender

Posted Fri, 2/03/2017 - 4:46pm by  |  Category: , ,

Jeff Bender teaches Short-Short Stories and Vignettes, an online course beginning February 11 that allows you to move at your own pace through the lessons. The four-week workshop will guide you through the stages of drafting original short pieces.  …

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How to Get Past Writer’s Block to Writer’s Habit

Posted Mon, 1/30/2017 - 11:16am by  |  Category: , ,

We’ve all experienced it—the dreaded writer’s block. According to Wikipedia, “many famous writers have suffered from the affliction, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, British songwriter Adele, and even Herman Melville, who stopped writing novels a few years after completing Moby Dick.”…

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How to Hold a Literary Salon

Posted Fri, 1/13/2017 - 10:37am by  |  Category:

Which famous American expatriate in Paris ran one of the last full-blown literary salons? Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein. Which notoriously reclusive American poet attended a salon in her sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert’s home, The Evergreens? Emily Dickinson….

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Six Ways Writers Can Help Their Publicists by Michelle Bonanno Triant

Posted Mon, 12/05/2016 - 10:32am by  |  Category: ,

Writers always want to know what they can do to help facilitate publicity efforts for their books, especially during that unbearable wait between the last pen stroke and publication date. First, it’s important to get into the mindset of a…

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