What Moby Dick Can Teach Us About Trump: Steve Almond's Bad Stories

"Dear Sugars" podcast host, New York Times columnist, bestselling author, and longtime grubbie Steve Almond fished himself from a pool of dread after the 2016 election by asking, What are the bad, fraudulent stories that got us here? The result was his latest work of nonfiction, Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country? a book-length inquiry into the bad stories we tell ourselves as Americans and how we can use literature as a lens through which to understand what the hell happened in 2016. Earlier this year, Steve was on retreat at Wellspring House ...

May 24, 2018 | Sarah Colwill-Brown

Interviews

Getting to Grips with a Big Revision of Your Novel

by Katrin Schumann

I'm working on a major revision of a novel I wrote some years ago and put away in a drawer. I loved and still love the story, but I think it needs a more compelling central question. Right now, I'd call it a "family saga," and while there's nothing inherently wrong with that, I'd like to create a through-line in the story that makes it more compelling. I want readers to be thinking, Oh my god, what happens next?

April 4, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading Craft Advice

How to Navigate the Manuscript Mart at the Muse & the Marketplace 2018

By Katrin Schumann

As people mill about Grub's annual conference, The Muse and the Marketplace--eyeing the crowd for famous writers, catching up with old friends, and pitching themselves and their work--and attend sessions, there are a few rooms hidden away where extrememly nervous people trickle in and out, one by one, hour after hour

March 7, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Lessons on Writing, from the Sweat Lodge

By Katrin Schumann

It wasn't until I saw the tiny opening that we were supposed to crawl through that I started to panic. I was in Mexico, just about to clamber into a sweat lodge with seven strangers. I frantically scanned their faces to see if anyone else was also realizing that this plan was clearly nutso.

Everyone seemed perfectly calm. 

February 7, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice The Writing Life

Top Four Writers' Phobias, and What to Do About Them in 2018

By Katrin Schumann

I write a lot about writers’ insecurities because for 99.9 percent of us, fear lurks behind the brave faces we put on. Depending on where we are in our careers, we may all be afraid of different types of failures, but these deep-seated anxieties rarely go away completely.

Most artists learn to live with fear—and some learn to use it to drive toward better work. I might even dare to say that if you don’t experience doubt or fear, you should be worried. Overconfidence usually doesn’t serve writers well.

January 3, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice Events The Writing Life