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The Mud Nest

Posted on Mon, Apr 27 2015 9:00 am by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Yesterday I witnessed something I wish I had not. My porch has an old mud nest, swallow-like, that many birds have taken advantage of in the time I have enjoyed living there. The pair this spring clearly had a clutch being warmed by their constant care and at times I heard peeps, as well. Stepping onto the porch, midday, I was heartbroken to find a not-ready-to-be-fledgling on the concrete below, neck broken, gone. The parents were clearly upset and yet, eventually, settled back in. A while later, when they went to feed nearby, I watched a pair of English sparrows, male and female, enter the nest and peck at the clutch, to wit I intervened chasing them off with my voice and hands waving. The parents soon returned and seemed to be fine and I went back inside to deal with my own dismay and to research killer sparrows, something I had not considered at all previously. Nature.

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Find the Image that Makes Your Writing Come Alive

Posted on Fri, Apr 24 2015 9:00 am by Stephen Wilbers

Vanessa Bell was falling in love with art critic Roger Fry when she learned he was having an affair with someone else. Her response was visceral. It was like getting hit in the stomach.

Except that’s not how Vanessa described her reaction in Priya Parmar’s historical novel, Vanessa and her Sister. Imagining Fry making love with another woman, Vanessa wrote in her journal, “A textured warmth roiled up my spine.”

Can you hear the difference?

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Memory Lane: Childhood Literature

Posted on Thu, Apr 23 2015 9:00 am by Valerie Cabrera

In light of the Loft’s Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference coming up, it seems a good time to reflect on some of the many happenings going on in the world of children’s literature: the tragic death of Anne of Green Gables actor Jonathan Crombie, a recent Wrinkle In Time never-before-seen passage reveal, and the touching trailer release of the beloved children’s book, The Little Prince all come to mind.

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Why Writers Should Read Their Work in Public

Posted on Wed, Apr 22 2015 9:00 am by Mary Ringstad

You’re in the spotlight. A dark gulf looms before you. All eyes are upon you. What does it really feel like to read your work in public? And why should writers go through the stress of reading to an audience? What makes the magic happen?

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Literary Roundup: Pulitzer Winners, Pinned Tweets, Bookish Apps, and The Little Prince

Posted on Tue, Apr 21 2015 9:18 am by Chris Jones

Today's roundup celebrates the Pulitzer winners, wonders whether you're pinning your book Tweets, explores bookish phone apps, and gets ready for The Little Prince.

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Reading Like a Writer: Hotel World and Words that Enact

Posted on Mon, Apr 20 2015 9:00 am by Allison Wyss

Yes. Yes. I'm always a sucker for writing that enacts what it describes. This isn't the first time I've praised and analyzed it in this space.

So how about a passage that enacts falling? One that makes us feel a glorious (though deadly) fall? Of course, I'm going to fall in love with such a passage.

Ali Smith's Hotel World is a novel that follows five very different women, all connected to a particular hotel. My favorite of the women is the ghost.

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Creating Anticipation

Posted on Fri, Apr 17 2015 9:00 am by Zander Cannon

The most important thing you can do as a storyteller is to continually convince your audience to keep reading. I know that doesn’t sound all that inspiring. It’s all well and good to have aspirations to create great literature or be the voice of your generation or even tell a true story about your life, but to be perfectly frank, none of that can happen if people find your work boring. When readers comes to a point in a story at which they just don’t care to go on, the writer has committed the most unforgivable sin of writing: failing to create and resolve anticipation.

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Define: writer

Posted on Thu, Apr 16 2015 9:00 am by Valerie Cabrera

As the writing world knows, AWP took it by storm last week. I won't go into "23 Things I learned from AWP This Year," because I'm sure that's been done before, and, to be honest all I really learned was that I've got a long way to go. And I'm okay with that. 

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Posted on Wed, Apr 15 2015 9:00 am by Dawn Frederick

There’s something about the creative process, from the conception of a new idea, to completion, that leaves a permanent impression on anyone. As many of us personally know, it can be a rollercoaster that’s both exhilarating, yet equally anxiety driven.

One of the biggest mistakes on the path to publication is rushing the process. Not only can this result in going the wrong direction and hastily making decisions that will be regretted later; it also impacts those special moments, those first moments that make the entire process feel complete.

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Literary Roundup, AWP 2015 Edition

Posted on Tue, Apr 14 2015 9:09 am by Chris Jones

It was a whirlwind, but after many sessions, great conversations, late night events, and early morning lines for coffee, AWP in the Twin Cities comes to a close. Thanks to all those who stopped by a Loft session, the Loft booth in the book fair, or one of the stellar events each night at Open Book.

We'll get back on track next week with our regular links roundup, but for now, if you missed it, here is a photo post that gives a taste of all the Loft happenings at AWP.

And just in time for an estimated 13,000 writers to descend on the Twin Cities, Minneapolis was named the most literate city in the country. Saint Paul was number 4.

Finally, we heard many questions about video from the Friday night events at the Loft. They should be available on our YouTube channel next week. Stay tuned.

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