Diversifying the Canon on the Writers' Block.

So, You Want To Be Published?

Posted on Fri, Sep 4 2015 9:00 am by Linda Back McKay

As Deborah Keenan has been known to say, “Publishing is a crap shoot.” One never knows the moods or whims of any editor. Still, my poems have been widely published. Why? Simply because I sent them out regularly. When I received rejections, I sent them somewhere else. I never give up.

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Contracts and Copyrights, the Legal Business of a Writer

Posted on Wed, Sep 2 2015 9:00 am by Patricia Zurlo

If you are at all like me, tending to the administrative and paperwork side of life and creative work is pretty much the last thing on your personal to-do list. In my role as artist and crafter, I would rather spend my time actually doing those things or at least dreaming about doing those things rather than administering to the details. On the other hand, in my role as an attorney, I love helping people embrace and navigate the legal and business aspects of their creative lives. It’s been my experience that by becoming conscious and intentional about these details, that nagging feeling of procrastination mixed with a sort of vague sense of fear is lifted, and most people feel empowered to do their creative work at a new level.

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Literary Roundup: National Book Awards, Parents in Kidlit, and Farewell Ancestry Books

Posted on Tue, Sep 1 2015 8:50 am by Chris Jones

Today's roundup looks forward to the National Book Award nominees, argues against always killing off the parents in kidlit, and bids a fond farewell to Ancestry Books.

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Loosely Literal: Writers Attempt “Casual Romance”

Posted on Mon, Aug 31 2015 9:00 am by Sally Franson

The following electronic correspondence took place in the weeks and months following a conference taking place deep in the American Pastoral that celebrated all matters of the Literary Arts. Names have been changed to protect the afflicted.

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Why Write Creative Nonfiction?

Posted on Fri, Aug 28 2015 9:00 am by Marge Barrett

Creative nonfiction is a difficult but rewarding genre. It’s a challenge to find a topic that grabs your attention and then to write about it in a way that engages your readers. After a number of drafts, you need to make decisions whether to do further research or to seek interviews in order to support or enliven your story with more or different facts. And always there are the big questions: What to put in? What to leave out? When is it finished?

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Performing Your Written Word: A Deliberate Science

Posted on Wed, Aug 26 2015 9:00 am by Thadra Sheridan

So I’ve been thinking about performance. I have a performance workshop coming up in October at the Loft, and I just spent a week teaching it every day at the National Poetry Slam. There are so many formats these days, from spoken word to slam to storytelling to however you fit in between that require a live audience and a microphone to showcase your work. And a lot of writers trust that if they put their genius on paper, the words will do the rest. But it’s not that simple. You have a whole new set of tools to work with to make your brilliance shine.

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Reading Like a Writer: Lucky Us and Perspective

Posted on Mon, Aug 24 2015 9:00 am by Allison Wyss

How do you write about an orgy? How do you write about an orgy without it feeling gratuitous or pornographic? How do you make it a little bit sexy, but mostly descriptive and peculiar and lovely? 

Amy Bloom's Lucky Us is a novel set in the years surrounding World War II. It's about rebuilding family from the unconventional people and pieces that remain after loss. After loss after devastating loss.

And there's an orgy scene—one that has some sex, but is also delightfully about things other than sex.

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Liberating Beauty

Posted on Fri, Aug 21 2015 9:00 am by Deborah Fries

When and how do we first encounter beauty?

Hers was the first naked female body I can recall. Cast in cold-painted bronze somewhere in Germany or Austria around 1920, gathered up by my soldier father in the Black Forest as spoils of war, she was a small statue of Phryne, a famous 4th century BC Greek courtesan.

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Who Is Your Boo Radley? Finding Characters Who Motivate You To Write

Posted on Wed, Aug 19 2015 9:00 am by Patti Frazee

We all have, within our memories, a treasure trove of characters. Maybe it was that quirky childhood friend or the mysterious neighbors next door. Perhaps it was that mean old lady down the hill or that big brother who (almost) always tried to protect you. Or maybe it was that strong, kind father who guided you through life's hardest lessons. Sound familiar? These are all beloved characters in Harper Lee's classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.

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Literary Roundup: New Carver Story, Reading Twin Cities, Murakami's Desk, and the Loft at 40

Posted on Tue, Aug 18 2015 9:29 am by Chris Jones

Today's roundup discovers an early Raymond Carver story, tours Twin Cities reads, marvels at the desk of Haruki Murakami, and gets ready for the Loft to go over the hill.

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