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Posts about “Hugo Classes”

How To Write Several Poems in the Course of an Afternoon by Kelli Russell Agodon

Posted Tue, 11/12/2019 - 9:45am by  |  Category: , ,

There is this belief that we can sit down at a laptop or open our notebooks and write a poem. While some can do that, there are many who, when they sit down and see the blank screen, follow that…

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Three Strategies for Reclaiming Your Writing Time by Liza Birnbaum

Posted Tue, 10/29/2019 - 9:35am by  |  Category: , , , , ,

At the top of every slippery slope is a spot that feels like solid, level ground.  For me, the top of one such slope came around mid-May of this year. After holding out for over 10 years, I’d gotten a…

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Writing Architecture through Fiction by Ayad Rahmani

Posted Tue, 10/22/2019 - 8:46am by  |  Category: , , , ,

The objective of this workshop is to practice architectural criticism through the lens of insight. Where most architectural criticism is evaluatory, leveling judgment on a given project, this form of feedback is not.  It assumes that the world is complex…

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“There Is Only the Joy of Hard Work”: An Exclusive Q&A with Chris Abani

Posted Mon, 10/14/2019 - 12:30pm by  |  Category: , , ,

Chris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, and published his first book at age 16. Jailed three times and sentenced to death…

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Widening the Scope of Your Personal Essay by Santi Elijah Holley

Posted Fri, 10/11/2019 - 12:01pm by  |  Category: , , ,

Personal essays can do many things. They can help us navigate our experiences, our grief, our trauma, or our joy. They can help show others how to navigate these for themselves. And they can unite us—author and reader—in a shared,…

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Looking at Ledes (in Critical Writing) by Kevin O’Rourke

Posted Thu, 10/10/2019 - 9:50am by  |  Category: , , ,

Openings are important in any piece of writing, but they’ve always struck me as particularly important to critical writing.  Why? Well, because critical writing bears the burden of always being about something else, often something readers have heard of and…

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What I am Trying to Say: A Micro Lesson in Revising for Truth by CMarie Fuhrman

Posted Wed, 10/09/2019 - 9:45am by  |  Category: , , , , ,

It was an essay about climate change.  At least that is what I wanted the essay to be about. I wrote passionately about finding trash on the trail, the bear hunter who passed us on the road, a meadow in…

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Using Sound: An Exercise by Corinne Manning

Posted Fri, 10/04/2019 - 9:10am by  |  Category: , , ,

In a workshop, the writer Dorothy Allison had us go around the room and all fake an orgasm.  She critiqued the authenticity and then had us write a sex scene where sound was present. This idea came up when she…

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4 Tips for Writing Good Dialogue by Ana Pastor

Posted Tue, 10/01/2019 - 9:01am by  |  Category: , , ,

Writing for the stage offered me an opportunity to explore the mechanics of dialogue.  In a play, the spoken word carries a weight that in other genres it shares with written descriptions, insights into situations, references… On stage the word…

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Seven Signs You Should Write a Novella by Jesse Edward Johnson

Posted Mon, 9/30/2019 - 9:41am by  |  Category: , , ,

Do you write fiction?  Maybe you’ve got a shoebox full of short stories, or the drafts of various novels. Maybe you haven’t yet found the right form in which to realize the full potential of your story. Maybe you’re wondering…

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How to Find Story Ideas when You’re Feeling Uninspired by Alma García

Posted Fri, 9/27/2019 - 9:45am by  |  Category: , , ,

Creativity is a slippery thing.  There’s nothing so thrilling as being in the flow of the creative zone…until the day your inspiration is gone. Then it’s like you’ve been dumped on the side of the highway. You’re lost, tired, stuck,…

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Three Steps for Selling Your Next Book by Rachel Werner

Posted Mon, 9/23/2019 - 9:33am by  |  Category: , , ,

How do you want the reader to be changed by the words you’ve written? We all know too well that what motivates one person to keep turning pages could equally trigger another to shut a book forever. Which is why…

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Motherhood is Not a Niche Topic: Writing Mother and Child with Anne Liu Kellor

Posted Thu, 9/19/2019 - 9:50am by  |  Category: ,

As a mother, I know how hard it is to find time to write. In the early years, it was all I could manage to scribble out a short journal entry in a 10-minute burst while someone else held the…

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Spotlight Poetry: An Interview with Kenji C. Liu & Ching-In Chen

Posted Fri, 9/13/2019 - 9:54am by  |  Category: , , ,

On September 26, poets Kenji C. Liu and Ching-In Chen will read from their latest work as part of our first-ever Spotlight Poetry night. Spotlight readings feature writers whose work transcends, engages, and recontextualizes poetry in the current moment. We…

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Micro-Lesson: Goal vs. Need by Jeff Bender

Posted Thu, 9/12/2019 - 9:45am by  |  Category: , , ,

There are a lot of names for these two ideas. Whatever we call them, they can shape some of our biggest decisions as storytellers. The Goal, or what Robert McKee (Story) calls the “conscious desire,” is the concrete and unconcealed…

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