Featured online class: The Remembered Image with Elizabeth O'Brien starts April 2.

Loosely Literal: 10 Must-Try Literary Diets

Posted on Thu, Apr 28 2016 9:00 am by Sally Franson

Ladies! Spring has sprung and you know what that means: IT’S TIME TO DIET! These winter muffin tops aren’t going to eat themselves, ladies, and ladies: nothing feels better than fitting into a smaller pair of pants. But ladies! There are better ways to lose weight than jumping on a treadmill or throwing your bread in the trash. Books not only give us something to talk about with your friends besides television, they’re also hotbeds of thinspiration. Follow the advice of these fabulous literary ladies to the letter (get it?!), or mix and match from below. But whatever you do, ladies, remember: you are what you eat!

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Reading Like a Writer: Rooms & Crossing the Senses

Posted on Wed, Apr 27 2016 9:00 am by Allison Wyss

Lauren Oliver's Rooms is a novel about a house with two ghosts, then one more, and about a troubled, living family who returns to the house after the death of a member.

The novel is narrated, in part, by the ghosts, whose existence is not like that of the living. The difference is felt particularly in the language, as in the following passage narrated by Alice, the oldest of the ghosts.

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Inside the MFA: The Ups and Downs of AWP

Posted on Mon, Apr 25 2016 9:00 am by Miriam Karraker

I was fortunate enough to attend the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference a few weeks ago in Los Angeles. Students in my program talk about their past experiences at AWP in almost mythic terms. AWP is the place where you might bump into your literary idols while waiting in line at the book fair, meet your future agent through some mystical circumstances, or simply party it up with people whose names you only know because of Twitter. Part of this myth exists the less talked about phenomena of going to panels upon panels, getting lost in the book fair, going to off-site reading after off-site reading, losing your crew at some party that feels unnecessarily fancy, crashing the Airbnb (you’re sharing with nine other bodies, of course), then waking to do it all again. In many ways this was my introverted self’s nightmare. On my last day in Los Angeles I took an hour bus to The Museum of Jurassic Technology by myself to get a dose of alone time. On my red-eye home, sleep-deprived while planning the lesson I was to teach in the hours after landing, I wondered if it was worth it. My short answer is yes.

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CYA Literature Spotlight #2: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Posted on Thu, Apr 21 2016 9:00 am by Payal Doshi

Editor's Note: Yesterday and today, we're featuring blog posts about New York Times bestselling author and publisher Andrea Davis Pinkney, who will be the keynote speaker for the Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference May 5-7. She will also be at Book Talk: A Dialogue with Andrea Davis Pinkney on May 6 (free and open to public) in conversation with Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections at the U of MN. We hope you'll join us!

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CYA Literature Spotlight: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Posted on Wed, Apr 20 2016 9:30 am by Lisa Von Drasek

Editor's Note: Today and tomorrow, we'll feature blog posts about New York Times bestselling author and publisher Andrea Davis Pinkney, who will be the keynote speaker for the Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference May 5-7. She will also be at Book Talk: A Dialogue with Andrea Davis Pinkney on May 6 (free and open to public) in conversation with today's blog post author, Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collections at the U of MN. We hope you'll join us!

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Lit Chat: Meet Sun Yung Shin

Posted on Tue, Apr 19 2016 9:00 am by Molly Fuller

One of my very first days as publishing assistant at Coffee House Press, I filled a book order for Sun Yung Shin. She wanted copies of both of her poetry books—Skirt Full of Black and Rough, and Savage—was very sweet and gracious, and signed her email as SYS. Hardly a noteworthy interaction, not like my first time engaging with her poetry or listening to her read her work, for example, but I remember being struck by the artistry and movement in her initials, like the S’s were going to protest their fixed state and begin climbing the Y. There was some kind of unseen muscle contracting and relaxing that would eventually break the confines of the static shape. I didn’t know where that thought came from exactly, nor did I know how oddly fitting this thought was in relation to her work. What I do know after our recent conversation is that she is undoubtedly as tempted as I am right now to stop writing/reading and instead research the history of the letters S and Y, not so much to see if there’s some underlying answer for my thought, but just to see where it might take us.

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Writers Earning Badly: Cracked Walnut Fights Back

Posted on Fri, Apr 15 2016 9:00 am by Linda White

A recent article in The Guardian bemoans the state of author earnings in the United States. Well, Cracked Walnut wants to do something about this! You may remember Cracked Walnut—that "readings in the most unusual places" reading series. In solidarity with authors and writers everywhere, Cracked Walnut is on a mission: they have pledged to pay performers at their literary events!

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publish.me: How to Develop Your Book Past the Query Letter

Posted on Thu, Apr 14 2016 9:00 am by Dawn Frederick

One of the biggest tasks as an agent is reading query letters, which takes lots more time than most would imagine. Time is a valuable commodity, so once the book is requested, we hope (and expect) the book idea to be best it can be. The writer has already won us over with a query letter, we’re excited to see if the book is even better.

Here are some things to remember before the query and book idea reach our desks.

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10th Annual Motherhood & Words Reading

Posted on Tue, Apr 12 2016 9:00 am by Kate Hopper

When I began coordinating the Motherhood & Words Reading in 2007, I thought it was a one-time deal; I’d bring together a couple of local authors who were writing about motherhood, and that would be it. But when I saw and felt the excitement in the room as friends and community members gathered to celebrate women’s stories, and thus women’s lives, I knew I had stumbled on something bigger, something lasting.

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Loosely Literal: A Serious Person's Top Five AWP Events

Posted on Tue, Mar 29 2016 9:00 am by Sally Franson

The annual, and very serious, Association of Writing and Writing Programs conference is just around the corner, and if you’re a serious person flying to Los Angeles in order to attend, you might already be feeling overwhelmed by how much serious opportunity will soon be available to you. We here at Loosely Literal, a very serious blog, are committed to streamlining and optimizing your AWP experience so that you can get the most out of your serious registration fees. Here’s our rundown of the events you should seriously plan on attending. For more information, come check out our booth in the LA Convention Center’s boiler room.

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