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Posts about “Writing Advice”

“You Have to Let Your Obsessions Guide You”: An Exclusive Q&A with Tom Perrotta

Posted Mon, 11/04/2019 - 9:52am by  |  Category: , , ,

Tom Perrotta is the author of nine works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into Oscar-nominated films, and The Leftovers, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning HBO series. His other books include Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, Joe College, The…

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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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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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The Great Divide: An Exclusive Q&A with Jayne Anne Phillips, Mira Jacob, and Ruth Joffre

Posted Tue, 9/17/2019 - 12:17pm by  |  Category: , ,

On September 27, Jayne Anne Phillips, Mira Jacob, and Ruth Joffre will start off the 2019–20 Hugo Literary Series with new works on the theme of “The Great Divide.” In a recent email exchange, Jayne Anne, Mira, and Ruth revealed…

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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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What Can We Learn from Harry Potter? by Karen Finneyfrock

Posted Tue, 9/10/2019 - 9:41am by  |  Category: , , ,

It was July 2007 and I was in line outside the bookstore at quarter to midnight. I was in Maryland and the mosquitos were still biting and the heat of the day clung to the sidewalk. I was only a…

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Lyric Essay 101 by Jessica Mooney

Posted Tue, 9/03/2019 - 9:34am by  |  Category: , , ,

Don’t know what a lyric essay is? Not sure if you’re even intending to write one? Don’t worry! My class, Structuring the Lyric Essay, will explore the lyric essay as a form that can be used to help inspire your…

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