Reading Like A Writer: A Drunk Sentence and Chelsea Girls

Posted on Thu, Aug 25 2016 9:00 am by Allison Wyss

I've been looking for a good drunk sentence—one that illuminates the experience, makes me feel the wobble, the high, and the stupidity of intoxication, and yet still can be read. I found an example in Eileen Myles's Chelsea Girls, which is a novel that is also a lot like nonfiction. It's about sex, drugs, art, and the life of a poet.

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Literary Roundup: Creative Nonfiction Edition

Posted on Tue, Aug 23 2016 9:00 am by By Emylisa Warrick

To prepare for the next Lonely Arts event, we’ve culled a list of fun resources all pointing to the ever-evolving genre of creative nonfiction.

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Literary Roundup: New Attractions at the Minnesota State Fair Edition

Posted on Thu, Aug 18 2016 9:00 am by By Emylisa Warrick

Every year, the Minnesota State Fair boasts bigger and brighter attractions, and this year is no exception. We’ve selected a few events to highlight as well as a book of poetry that could tie to the event or just something to read for fun. You can check out the new attractions on the Minnesota State Fair website for more details.

Read More Comments On Changing Editors in Publishing

Posted on Tue, Aug 16 2016 9:00 am by Dawn Frederick

Anyone who acquires books and works with authors will generally agree that it’s one of the most satisfying experiences when discovers a new book idea (in addition to its publication). While agents and editors have very specific categories they work with, once an offer to work together is on the table, please remember it’s 100% personal, as an emotional connection has been made. This isn’t a decision any of us take lightly, especially with the large quantity of queries received on a daily/weekly/annual basis.

Unfortunately the one thing authors never anticipate is the departure of an editor after the book contract is signed. This could happen at any point, including the last days leading up to the book’s release. I’d like to say this rarely happens, but then I would be lying.

Here are some ways to keep your head in the game.


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Why I love to Shop at Indie Bookstores

Posted on Mon, Aug 1 2016 9:00 am by By Emylisa Warrick

This past week of traveling has revived my love for independent bookstores. They’re everywhere! Rather than go to a big-box store, why not visit Seminary Co-Op Bookstore in Chicago, Illinois; Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.; or Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver?

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Subtracting to Add: Flat Language to Underscore Emotion in Lydia Davis

Posted on Fri, Jul 29 2016 9:00 am by By Erin Kate Ryan

Of all the stories in Lydia Davis’s 2014 collection, Can’t and Won’t, the one that consistently resonates the most with me is “The Dog Hair.” It is nestled across from another brief story, “Circular Story,” and I think it benefits from the close association. 

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Loosely Literal: Waiting for Vaporeon

Posted on Tue, Jul 26 2016 9:00 am by Sally Franson

Hey, what’s up.
What do you mean, what am I doing? Same thing you’re doing.
Aren’t you a little young for this?
I’m not old. How old are you? Twelve?
EHHH. Wrong. Thirty-five. Nice try, not.
Very funny. At least my mom doesn’t buy my clothes for me.
Cargo shorts are always cool. Look how much I can fit in the pockets!
Yeah, that’s my car.
Whatever, at least my mom didn’t drive me.

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Reading Like a Writer: Perspective, Intimacy, and Dare Me

Posted on Fri, Jul 22 2016 9:00 am by Allison Wyss

Megan Abbott's Dare Me is an intense novel about friendship. It's also about power, desire, and cheerleading. I've written about it previously. But after my class (How'd They Do That: A Craft-Based Book Club for Writers) discussed it, I can't help writing more.

The book is written in first person, but it's a special kind of first person. Even though we are ostensibly in Addy's head the whole time, we get frequent access to the thoughts and emotions of other characters. Addy tells them to us.

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10 Tips for Creating a Kick-Ass Author Bio

Posted on Thu, Jul 21 2016 9:00 am by Abra Staffin-Wiebe

Every writer needs an author bio, whether you're on the New York Times Bestseller list or you're about to submit a story for the very first time. You might wonder, But where do I start? The good news is that an author bio isn't that difficult to write, as long as you keep a few points in mind.

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Lit Chat: Meet Shannon Gibney

Posted on Wed, Jul 20 2016 9:00 am by Molly Fuller

By the time we met for coffee at 10 a.m., Shannon Gibney had already had a busy day. A friend’s job was on the chopping block for what amounts to a civic duty, and Shannon wasn’t going to let her get fired over it. Crystal Spring, a Washburn teacher, was arrested in May essentially for monitoring the arrest of a black man (not illegal, btw). Minneapolis Public Schools got wind of the arrest and marked her for termination, pending a vote from the board of education, for her “unbecoming” behavior, though she hadn’t been convicted of a crime (and all charges were later dropped). The school board vote was scheduled for the following Tuesday, and Shannon had been working to mobilize the community in protest of Crystal’s firing. (P.S., the community support was significant, the school board voted the right way, and Crystal was reinstated as an MPS employee.)

I thought this story was a great way to introduce you to Shannon because it gets at the root of her work: for her, activism and writing are inextricably linked. Writing is a vehicle she uses to illuminate issues that need a place in the public sphere, and one of my favorite things about Shannon is the multitude of formats and genres she does this in; from her journalism to her creative writing, activism is the basis of her writing life. 

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