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Welcome to The Freelance Life

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[Announcing a new monthly column, The Freelance Life, by Ethan Gilsdorf, about the trials, tribulations, triumphs --- and tips to share --- along the path to becoming a freelance writer. This fall, Ethan is launching a suite of classes at GrubStreet called the Freelance Essentials Series, which teaches students the skills and craft to become working freelance journalists.]

by Ethan Gilsdorf

Back in the 1990s, when I first contemplated becoming a freelance writer, I was green. OK, I was more than green. I was chartreuse. I was viridescent. I was so naive-green, it hurt to look at me.

But for some reason ...

August 20, 2013 | Ethan Gilsdorf

Craft Advice Different ways to learn to be a better writer Secret The Workshop

An Editing Binge: Burp

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As luck would have it, I've recently been inundated with manuscripts to critique

August 1, 2013 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice Different ways to learn to be a better writer The Writing Life

On the grotesque in fiction (channeling Flannery O'Connor)

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Grotesque has gotten a bum rap. Too often, it's reduced to a variant of "gross," as in disgusting, or worse, turn-away-from-it-silly.

So it's time to invoke the ghost of Mary Flannery O'Connor and reclaim some space for the grotesque as worthy territory in fiction.

For O'Connor, the grotesque was essential, because it carved out space to address a reality beyond – apart from – mere typical daily existence

July 26, 2013 | Ron MacLean

Different ways to learn to be a better writer Inspiration

The Gestation Period

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I am due to give birth in four days, and I am ready to crawl out of my skin from impatience. I’ve done everything safely possible to get things going—yoga, walking, red raspberry leaf tea, primrose oil, spicy food, you name it. But my little boy is cozy and comfortable and doesn’t seem like he has any plans of coming early, or even on time. In fact, my midwife says, most first-time moms usually go a week or two past their due dates.

May 15, 2013 | Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Craft Advice Different ways to learn to be a better writer Inspiration Success Stories

Treasure or Junk? Notes from a Muse Past

A0429This weekend, while the sun was shining and the birds chirping, I was not outside. I was knee deep in the dust and junk in my office, looking for some old family photos for my new website.

May 2, 2013 | Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading Craft Advice Different ways to learn to be a better writer Inspiration Secret Success Stories The Writing Life