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Written by guest-contributor

Micro Lesson: An Exercise in Empathy by Ruth Joffre

Posted Thu, 4/05/2018 - 7:35am by  |  Category: , ,

It is often said that reading makes us better, kinder people. Many articles expound on how the act of reading benefits the mind and body by decreasing stress levels, teaching us about other people and cultures, and introducing us to…

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Accessing Hinduism in Your Writing by Shankar Narayan

Posted Wed, 4/04/2018 - 7:48am by  |  Category: , ,

Hinduism is an entire universe of gods, concepts, traditions, and philosophies. Just as you can practice any religion concurrently with being a Hindu, you don’t have to be a true believer to take advantage of Hinduism in your writing practice. Many of…

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Writing Women’s Lives by Susan Meyers

Posted Mon, 4/02/2018 - 7:00am by  |  Category: ,

In the United States, women buy statistically more books than men—but publish fewer books, win fewer literary prizes, and get reviewed with far less regularity. Similarly, women account for only 10% of op-ed pieces that are published nationally. Why is…

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Micro Lesson: Screenwriting for Fiction Writers by Michael Shilling

Posted Thu, 3/22/2018 - 10:27am by  |  Category: , ,

Interested in dipping your (electronic) pen into the screenwriting well? Not sure where to start, who to study, how to think about the form? In my class Screenwriting for Fiction Writers we’ll take up these matters and more, looking at…

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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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