Dishing up writing advice and inspiration every day

The Power of Scary Stories

Why am I drawn to scary stories? Because they're hard to write well, and challenge is always attractive to me. But also because fear is primal. Fear is part of who we are (or at least part of who I am), and I'm interested, more and more, in how people respond to what terrifies them. Psychological terror intrigues me most. I'm less interested in blood on the page than I am in perceived danger that might or might not be true

May 22, 2015 | Ron MacLean

Craft Talk Fiction monthly columnists Muse Author

Get Lost

The only way to find the story is to lose the moment. Forget checklists, guidebooks, and maps. Stop asking for directions. Walk the crumbling footpaths and forget where you're going, where you are. 

It never occured to me that losing my way would give me direction, but it did. The picture above was taken two weeks ago in the city of Pompeii. I had no map. My idea of Pompeii was circumscribed by a diarama I'd done as a child, and though I had to realize, I tell myself now, that the city was surely larger than a shoebox, I roamed Pompeii without care

May 21, 2015 | KL Pereira

Advice Creativity Inspiration Slaying Genre

The Ice Palace: Storming the Iceland Writers Retreat


I arrived in Keflavik at four in the morning on April 8th, midnight in Boston, and tottered through immigration. The officers on duty beckoned me through with a wave.

“How was your flight? Good? Good! Welcome to Iceland. We hope you enjoy yourself here.”

They were a chipper pair, sunny golden-haired young men in beige shirts that tightened around the biceps. They stamped my passport in front of a window brown with the whale-back of mountains just before dawn.

May 18, 2015 | Nicole Miller

Guest Post Residencies writing life

News from Dead Darlings

Welcome to the bleary-eyed edition of the best of Dead Darlings. We spent last weekend at the Muse and the Marketplace conference, soaking up all the writerly love, and are still recovering. To help, we thought we’d revisit some of the best posts from April

Art and Writing

Belle Brett in Creative Symbiosis talks about being both an artist and a writer and how the two pursuits complement each other.

May 15, 2015 | The Editors at Dead Darlings

Dead Darlings

Teach What You Don't Know

As a writer and teacher, I’m interested in both the gaps and overlaps between the two fields.


Not surprisingly, I feel most at home in front of my creative writing classes – I’ve studied craft formally, have read hundreds of books about the creative process, and have been practicing writing steadily for the past twenty years.


But this year, I have found myself in the strange position of teaching a film class – strange because I don’t own a television, haven’t watched a movie all the way through in years and know next to nothing about the art ...

May 14, 2015 | Ben Berman

Amusements Provoking Thought

@TheReviewReview's Message for Writers from an Editor tells you why you should send your work! #ToClickOrNotToClick?