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"This Book is tight, intelligent, and important, and sure to secure Woods a seat in the pantheon of critical twenty-first-century voices." — Booklist See All
"This Book is tight, intelligent, and important, and sure to secure Woods a seat in the pantheon of critical twenty-first-century voices." — Booklist
"[Things To Do When You're Goth in the Country is a] collection of eight uncompromising stories set in rural Illinois. In visceral descriptions of decay, boredom, and limited opportunities, Woods’s characters struggle to eke out an identity, as they confront the bleak difficulties of their lives and persist in surviving." - Publisher's Weekly
"Think of Woods as a literary exorcist, calling out certain entities that possess rural America: isolation, working-class poverty, drugs, incarceration, military dogma, and evangelical religion." — The Rumpus
"I can’t think of any other book that captures the essence of America the way this collection does—it is nuanced and provocative, heartfelt and funny and wise."
—Lambda Literary Review
“The characters in Woods’ collection speak to us from the edges (…) You can say that these stories seem like they were ready made for a post 2017 election but they were written during the Obama presidency; the experience of America that many people have woken up to in the last six months is the America that has been happening since the beginning of this country. Chavisa Woods writes with vision and experience from “this moment between” delivering us into the world that’s always been here.” – Electric Lit
Chavisa Woods is the author of three works of full-length, literary fiction: Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country (short fiction collection, 225 pages) Seven Stories Press (Distributed by Random House) May, 2017; The Albino Album (novel, 600 pages) Seven Stories Press, March, 2013; and Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind (short fiction collection, 200 pages) second edition release from Autonomedia/Umbearables, 2013, original publication by Fly by Night Press 2009.
Woods was the recipient of the Cobalt Fiction Prize (2014), and the Jerome Foundation Award for Emerging Writers (2010). She is a current finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award in fiction, her third nomination.
Her work has received praise from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, The Brooklyn Rail, the Lambda Literary Review, The Riverfront Times, Pop Matters, and others.
Her fiction, poetry and essays have been featured in such publications as Tin House, Lit Hub, Electric Lit, The Brooklyn Rail, The Evergreen Review, New York Quarterly, Cleaver Magazine, Jadaliyya, and others.
Woods has appeared as a featured author at such notable venues as The Whitney Museum of American Art, City Lights Bookstore, Town Hall Seattle, The Brecht Forum, The Cervantes Institute, and St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and has presented lectures and conducted workshops on fiction and poetry at a number of academic institutions, including: New York University (NYU), Penn State, Sarah Lawrence College, Bard College, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn Tech and the New School.
I believe writing can be taught, and, as writing is a craft, can continuously be improved upon. When I look at your work, I’m going to focus on what is unique to your style and content in order to help you build upon the assets you already possess as a writer, but may not be completely aware of.
As an editor and teacher, I am interested in honing in on what matters most in the work and cutting out the excess, which can be related to both form and content. I want the writers I work with to manifest the strongest version of their individual voices. For emerging and newer writers, I can help you move away from stylistic leanings that might be imitating other writers who have influenced you, allowing you to develop your own voice more poignantly and concisely. I pay attention to detail as well as the bigger picture, understanding that every word and every sentence matters immensely. For newer as well as more seasoned writers, I will provide my impressions as a reader, and notes around potential feedback from publishers, regarding overall themes of the novel or collection. I love to read, and I very much enjoy being part of creating new, meaningful and compelling literature. Creative writing is an art, and I see books as art objects. My goal is to help you create a literary art object that is well constructed and can pass the test of time, creating an emotional, aesthetically unique experience for the reader; a book that will stay with a reader long after they have finished it, leaving your audience with something exacting and meaningful.
I provide feedback imbedded in the text of the manuscript as line-edits and comments. I also provide a and a 2-3 page assessment of the work overall. Where appropriate, I will also provide suggestions around which publishers (presses and magazines) might be most interested in the piece. I am also available for 1-2 hour in-person consultations in both Seattle and New York City.