From the Intern Desk: The Value of Structure and Creativity in Poetry

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by Isabelle Parker 

In the spring of my freshman year at Bennington, I decided to take two very different poetry courses with the same teacher, Michael Dumanis. One was called Dada and Surrealism, the other was Art of the Sonnet. Right off the bat, you can tell that one would be all about imagination and experimentation, and the other about rigidity and structure. So what drew me towards these two very different classes?

August 29, 2013 | Info

Guest Post Intern Desk

Five Writing Traps John Grisham Helped Me See

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By Tony Vanderwarker

I had 7 unpublished novels languishing away on my hard drive and an overflowing shelf of rejection notices when John Grisham -- a friend and neighbor -- took me under his wing and taught me his writing secrets.  Along the way I gained immense appreciation for the craft and expertise required to construct and realize powerful plots engaging millions of readers.

August 13, 2013 | Info

Guest Post Inspiration

Writer On the Holiday Rooo-ooo-oooo-oad!

FINALLY: It's that time of year when we can ALL be writers on the road! If you're like me, you may be planning something that looks like this:  click this link. You know you want to.  And in case you're wondering what to read on your Holiday Roooo-oooo-oooo-oad, here are my summer reading picks.

THE CARETAKER_Amin Ahmad The Literary Thriller Pick.

A.X. Ahmad's debut novel THE CARETAKER is my literary thriller pick of the summer. How often do you get a book from a guy who writes with the beauty of Jhumpa Lahiri AND spins a story that ...

June 27, 2013 | Jenna Blum

Books & Reading Craft Advice Guest Post


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By Michael Geisser

For the past five years or so, whenever someone asked me what I did for work, I have answered, “I’m a writer.”  Before exhaling the final syllable of that simple sentence, a wave of self-doubt would wash over me.  Then I would hear the standard comeback: “What have you written?” or “Have you published anything?”  My answer was often a sheepish, “I’ve had some small pieces published, but I’m still working on my craft.”  That usually moved the conversation to another topic, but not for me.

June 25, 2013 | Info

Guest Post Inspiration The Writing Life

Top Secret Work Habits of the Successful Novelist

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By Randy Ross

(Note: this piece first appeared in Calliope)

Recently, I've been working on my novel at the local library, where I don't have Web access to distract me. Last week, a successful novelist* started coming in to work on what I'm assuming is his next book. So, I've had the good fortune to observe his routine, which I'd like to share.

June 24, 2013 | Randy Ross

Guest Post The Writing Life