Agents and editors will be visiting the Loft April 20-21, 2018 to hear about your work. Register now for the Pitch Conference.

Reading Like a Writer: HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES and Writing Sex

Posted on Wed, Jan 17 2018 1:40 pm by Allison Wyss

Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties is a short story collection that is full of great sex scenes. The scenes are diverse in terms of groupings as well as style and objective. Some are steamy, some are quiet, and some are horrifying.

Machado uses many smart techniques in the depiction of sex, but I'm particularly struck by the attention she pays to the breathing of the reader...

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Wind Up for The Pitch: Meet Stacy Testa

Posted on Wed, Jan 17 2018 10:00 am by Loft Staff

Calling a client to tell them that a publisher has made an offer on their book will never cease to be a thrilling experience, especially if it’s a debut. Neither will seeing a client’s book out in the wild, being read by a fellow subway passenger or perused by a stranger in an airport. It’s just exhilarating to see something you love so dearly actually become a part of someone else’s everyday life.

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Preserving Memories in Snapshot Stories

Posted on Wed, Jan 17 2018 9:55 am by Karlyn Coleman

We saw how the sharing built community, created empathy, and helped the writers grow. As we talked, we became committed to the idea of helping students not only write their stories but share them. We realized that not everyone wanted or was able to write a 300-page memoir, but almost anyone could fill a 32-page book with snapshots of their life.

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Wind up for the Pitch: Meet Serene Hakim

Posted on Thu, Jan 4 2018 1:22 pm by Loft Staff

I think agents often seem like scary gatekeepers or like we're here to take advantage of an author, but that couldn't be farther from the truth for most of us. We want the best for authors. That means turning down projects that we know we can't do right by and when we do sign an author, we're with them every step of the way. An author's success is our success too and we will work as hard as we can to make sure that author gets the best deal and the best editorial guidance from the first book until their last.

Read More Comments Dispelling Publishing Myths

Posted on Tue, Dec 19 2017 3:43 pm by Dawn Frederick

I often find that there are many myths about publishing, despite the fact that the intended audience is already a naturally curious and resourceful group of people. Writers, as a practice, will ask many valuable questions; my goal is to help bring an understanding to a few of these “unknowns” of publishing. A deeper understanding will help in the larger picture, specifically in sidestepping unrealistic expectations along the way.


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Reading Like a Writer: THE IMPOSSIBLE FAIRY TALE and Atmospheric Violence

Posted on Fri, Dec 15 2017 3:18 pm by Allison Wyss

Even after I knew the intent of one character to harm another, both options (that she would or would not go through with the act) felt equally possible. Or maybe it's that they felt equally impossible. The suspense was chilling; the action itself was even more so, offering not a relief, but a fresh horror. This effect is incredibly compelling, but hard to achieve.

... I'm going to look at a much earlier detail, one that does important work to make the "inevitable surprise" possible.

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Poetry Out Loud: Public Speaking Skills

Posted on Thu, Dec 14 2017 1:55 pm by Jessie Lee-Bauder

I have never had to do anything like this before, and now I wish I had. Finding poise and confidence at a young, formative age is so essential. While I can stumble and stutter and still carry on after whatever happens in my own presentation, I like to imagine an alternate reality where I am excited to share these stories that I am very proud of, rather than nervous about how exactly to present them in the first place. I still remember the exhilaration, in my junior year of high school, when my English teacher asked each student to bring a poem to recite to the small class, and I sped through Margaret Atwood’s “Variation on the Word Sleep,” standing in front of the whiteboard. Each of us, that day, brought something close to us that we wanted to share, and it was a really wonderful and intimate moment spent appreciating the words and stories that other people carried, and made their own in those brief moments.

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Lit Chat: Sagirah Shahid

Posted on Wed, Dec 6 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

"I think I write more in the winter because I get easily distracted in the summer. That said, I think I’m more of a gatherer in the warmer months, my creative process is very fragmented, so I jot things down or immerse myself in experiences/experimentation when it’s warm. In the winter it’s ugly showerless isolation, where I play chicken with my own emotional vulnerabilities and fears to attempt getting at something that at the very least feels honest—even if it isn’t any good. I binge-read in waves and spurts."

Read More Comments Don't Forget Readers!

Posted on Fri, Nov 24 2017 10:00 am by Dawn Frederick

This is my gentle nudge that if you’re a writer, you never forget your own reader experience. That you remember any book you write just isn’t for you, it’s for your future readers. Assuming that if you write it (the book), they’ll find it (the book) is unrealistic. And when a person takes the valuable time of reading your book, the highest level of respect is given if they find a story they can connect with and hopefully want to read again. Or even better, they enjoy your writing so much, they commit to reading all the books you write into the foreseeable future.

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Lit Chat: Meet Maya Beck

Posted on Wed, Nov 22 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

image of writer maya beck, with caption "lit chat: sun yung shin interviews local literati"

"I was fascinated with the idea of magical girls, which is this whole genre in anime/manga focused on girls with magical powers who are as feminine as superheroes are traditionally masculine. I just really needed there to be a magical girl who wore a hijab so that I could feel that my hijab could be as pretty as their tiaras."

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