publish.me: Critiques

Posted on Wed, May 17 2017 9:00 am by Dawn Frederick

The sign of a strong writer is the ability to listen to critiques. In addition to developing thick skin during the publishing process, it’s equally important to be able to discuss your book; to take the necessary critiques and general responses from editors/agents.

As a person who respects the role of any writer, and happily wants to stay in the role of agent, I often get to witness the general anxiety of writers in conference settings, let alone the inbox queries. I recognize it’s hard to put oneself on the line without a sea of emotions attached to one’s book. 

While we often talk about the need to accept rejections—to learn from them—it’s equally harder to take the specific reasons (for those rejections) and to look at your manuscript with new lenses. How does one tackle this without sacrificing the spirit of the book?

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It's Lit: Recap

Posted on Thu, May 4 2017 9:00 am by Sara Krassin

Well folks, it’s been fun but every internship must come to an end. I’ve eaten copious baked goods, looked behind the curtain of the Twin Cities lit scene, and met dozens of amazing and inspiring artists and arts supporters along the way.

I’d like to thank the Loft for granting me this opportunity, the artists below for sharing their time and thoughts with me, and YOU for reading! Before I go, here’s one last look at some of the talented and passionate folks who are keeping the Twin Cities lit.

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Binti and Mental Trajectories

Posted on Fri, Apr 28 2017 9:00 am by Allison Wyss

In Nnedi Okorafor's novella, Binti, a teenage girl leaves her planet for the first time. It's science fiction and imagines new technology, culture, and ways of thinking. I'm interested in how Okorafor makes us comprehend what is necessarily "beyond" the mental grasp of a contemporary reader.


First, it's not a matter of dumbing down the ideas or making them seem simple. Because if that happened, we would necessarily lose the wonder of it—it would become easy. When the unfathomable is fathomed, it's sort of not unfathomable any more, right?

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Summer Classes at the Loft

Posted on Wed, Apr 26 2017 9:00 am by Sara Krassin

Block out some time and circle your calendars, summer classes are here! Summer at the Loft is full of vital conversations, creative outlets, and opportunities to connect. Whether this is your first class at the Loft, or you're a regular returning for more, it can be hard to choose from the dozens of options available each season. Don’t worry: I’ve culled the depths of our catalog to create this condensed list of offerings. There really is something for everyone!

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publish.me: Oh, the Many File Formats We Use!

Posted on Fri, Apr 21 2017 9:00 am by Dawn Frederick

You’ve queried your favorite editor, maybe that agent you met at a conference. They indicate an interest to see your book. Once you’ve finished your happy dance, you immediately send off the book (electronically). Maybe hours, days, or even months tick by, and when the agent/editor tries to open the file, they can’t. Fingers crossed, they’ll ask for a new version (I do), but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The life of a book, from the moment of creation to the point of publication, will require constant pivoting. This includes being knowledgeable about the file format(s) of your book.

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It's Lit: Water~Stone Review

Posted on Thu, Apr 20 2017 9:00 am by Sara Krassin

Water~Stone Review is a literary journal produced by the The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University and publishes work in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry from both established and emerging writers. The journal is a collaborative project between faculty editors, MFA student editorial board members, and Minneapolis College of Art & Design student designers and photography curators. Beginning in 1998, Water~Stone is currently in the process of curating its 20th volume.

I recently sat down with Managing Editor Meghan Maloney-Vinz to talk about literary journals and the roles they play not only in the literary landscape, but in our cultural landscape as well.

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Lit Chat: Meet Jordan Thomas

Posted on Wed, Apr 19 2017 9:00 am by Sun Yung Shin

Last month I got to have a wonderful, meandering conversation with creative non-fiction writer Jordan Thomas about his reading and writing, and we also covered the topics of Jayden Smith, Obama’s fatherhood, the school to prison pipeline, masculinity, religion and churches, the trajectories of black and brown artists, and much more. Thomas, possessing of a lively mind, a sharp sense of humor, and bounteous gifts as a writer, is someone who we definitely want to watch. He, lucky for us, moved to Minneapolis a few years ago to attend the MFA program at the University of Minnesota and is in the same cohort as previous LitChat interviewees D. Allen and Roy Guzmán. Thomas is hard at work finishing his thesis this semester, which will be a collection of essays on, among other things, his relationship to blackness. 

 

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Cruel Intentions: Ottessa Moshfegh’s HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD

Posted on Tue, Apr 18 2017 9:00 am by Seth Conover

Ottessa Moshfegh writes from another world. She wields human cruelty and hypocrisy with a kind of unapologetic swagger. Her newly published collection Homesick For Another World should leave little doubt about her talent and capabilities. The stories in this book feature ugly human behavior written in a deft and singular voice. It’s a gloomy triumph of hard truths. One of the major motifs is the relatable feeling of otherness; characters who are unsure of where they belong and how to exist in a world that doesn’t feel like home.

 

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How I Became a Freelance Writer After a Job Loss

Posted on Mon, Apr 17 2017 9:00 am by Jessica Staszak Abitz

I tried to hold my head high, walking through the downtown Minneapolis skyway alone, juggling a big white box in my arms. A kind stranger rushed over to help when the bottom of the box started busting at the seam. Why did I ignore the option to have my box mailed? For free?

When that mysterious private appointment showed up on my calendar that morning, I knew what it meant. After eight miserable years, I was losing my job at a major retailer. Rumors had been flying about major layoffs for months.

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Discovering the World of Copywriters: From the Outside In

Posted on Fri, Apr 14 2017 9:00 am by Caitlin Nugent

Meet the arbiter of arboretums. The expert on emergency room etiquette – yes, it’s a real thing – and the maven of manicures. Never knew such experts existed? Neither did I – at least not until recently.

Through my career, I’ve been the graphic designer and at times even the illustrator, but never the copywriter. At work, copy came to me almost anonymously, usually by way of a project manager. Ping! An email would come in, “see attached copy,” it might read. But I never really considered where the copy came from, or how it came to be. But then I got curious. I wondered whom these Johnny-on-the-spots and wordsmith wonders really were, and how they did what they did.

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