The Merry Spinster, Defamiliarization, and Fairy Tales

Posted on Wed, Sep 19 2018 3:14 pm by Allison Wyss

Reading like a Writer with Allison Wyss

Daniel Mallory Ortberg's The Merry Spinster is a collection of retold fairy tales and children's stories that play with reality, both twisting and shedding new light on it.

First, a little bit about fairy tales—many of them come from an oral tradition, meaning they were originally passed from teller to teller, growing and shrinking and changing as they went. For this reason, they invite retelling and can become a conversation about the strangeness of the world we all share.


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Exploring Fairytales: My Father's Legacy

Posted on Wed, Sep 12 2018 12:17 pm by Wessam Elmeligi

Image of author's father's illustrations

In our old home, at Ibn Hawqal street, in Zizinia, Alexandria, less than a mile from the Mediterranean, I could distinguish the scent of each color.

Green smelled of lavender, the perfume Mother used around the house. She insisted on buying me a new bottle whenever I visited each summer, long after I had moved on from the family scent and succumbed to brands advertised for by strangers I would never meet.


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Book to Table: Supporting Local Bookstores

Posted on Wed, Sep 5 2018 4:21 pm by Dawn Fredericks

Image Text: "Publish.Me Publishing & Career Tips with Dawn Frederick"

One of my favorite things to do is to attend book readings. This includes our agency authors as well as authors who present interesting idea. Sometimes I will attend a reading without any expectations, and walk away with a new book and new author on my recommended reading list.


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This Book is a Monster

Posted on Thu, Aug 23 2018 9:00 am by Ellen Fee

Images of student writing and drawings


Eyes deep as the sea and green like grass. Noses black like rain clouds and pink like erasers. Teeth sharp as sticks. Mouths black as ink. Skin slimy like fish and blue as the sky. During my week teaching at the Loft, I was lucky enough to witness the creation of a whole herd of unique monsters.

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STORIES FOR A LOST CHILD and Frames that Vanish

Posted on Wed, Aug 15 2018 10:35 am by Allison Wyss

Image text: Reading like a Writer with Allison Wyss


In Carter Meland's Stories for a Lost Child, a teenage girl reads a packet of stories written by her grandfather, who she has never met. Among other things, the stories are about time-traveling astronauts, Misaabe (Bigfoot), and her Anishinaabe heritage.

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Agent Query Etiquette

Posted on Wed, Jul 25 2018 9:00 am by Dawn Frederick

Image Text: Publish.Me Publishing & Career Tips with Dawn Frederick


While this isn’t the search for a future mate (thank goodness)—the same amount of time, patience, and knowledge of any potential deal-breaker requirements is essential. In the best-case scenario, you’ll be working with that agent for a long time.

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Posted on Fri, Jul 20 2018 9:00 am by Allison Wyss

Image text: Reading like a Writer with Allison Wyss


Helen Oyeyemi's White is for Witching is about many things (twins, immigration, mental illness, losing a mother, coming of age…). But it's also a haunted house story, and that's what I want to talk about. Scaring a reader is one of the hardest things to do, and I want to figure out how Oyeyemi scared me.

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Ask Esther: Incorporating Feedback While Staying True to a Vision

Posted on Thu, Jul 5 2018 9:00 am by Esther Porter

Image Text: Ask Esther, Advice for the everyday writer


Even when feedback seems misguided, it still has the potential to help you solidify your vision. Regardless of whether you implement it, a seemingly irrelevant piece of advice can force you to articulate why you’ve written something the way you did.

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Posted on Thu, Jun 28 2018 9:00 am by Kate Allen

Funny, poignant, and deeply moving, The Line Tender is a story of nature’s enduring mystery and the people willing to seek meaning and connection within it. To celebrate the cover reveal, author Kate Allen reflects on how Loft classes helped her write this book.


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A BAD CHARACTER and Tense and Pronouns

Posted on Thu, Jun 21 2018 9:00 am by Allison Wyss

Image text: Reading Like a Writer with Allison Wyss


Instead of a strictly sequential chronology, this book uses another common technique to convey relative depth to the past: space breaks and fragmentation. Each break lets us know we're moving to a different time period, even if we don't immediately know when that time period is. Then, each segment can be tagged with a time marker, so that even though it's stated in the present tense, we know when it occurs in the past.

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