Featured online class: Perfecting Your Prose with Arianne 'Tex' Thompson starts October 19.

Celebrate the Literary Arts at The North Shore Readers and Writers Festival this November

Posted on Thu, Oct 8 2015 1:15 pm by Rachel Gabriel

Just a basalt stone’s throw from Lake Superior, the Grand Marais Art Colony will host the inaugural North Shore Readers and Writers Festival on November 5-8, 2015. Readers and writers alike will find many opportunities to learn from and engage with more than 20 established authors and book professionals, including keynote author, Lorna Landvik. There will be readings, workshops, panel discussions, and community events, many of them led by Loft Literary Center teaching artists.

Read More Comments


The Twin Cities Book Fest is Coming

Posted on Thu, Oct 8 2015 9:00 am by Tierney Chlan

Get excited, because the Twin Cities Book Festival is coming soon. I’ll admit, I’ve never been there before, but it sounds like a wonderful time.

From 10 a.m.5 p.m., Saturday, October 17 at the State Fairgrounds, authors and readers will gather together for readings, discussion panels—anything and everything literary that you can imagine. Will Laila Lalami be kicking things off on Friday night with a reading from her latest award-winning novel? Yes. Will publishers and lit organizations be present for the all-day book fair? Yes. Will there be an entire area dedicated to children’s and YA? Yes.

Read More Comments


How to Attract Readers (or Publishers) With an Engaging First Page

Posted on Wed, Oct 7 2015 9:00 am by Angela Foster

The Minnesota Book Awards changed the way I write and teach. In 2006, I judged the memoir category for the program. The UPS man became a regular at my home. He would set the brown-cardboard containers inside my kitchen door and I would eagerly open the box flaps. The smell of new books—that heady mix of fresh ink and binder glue—assaulted my nose.

The books, a mix of soft and hard covers, totaled almost forty. I had promised to read them all. But where to begin? How could I be assured I would not run out of energy towards the end? 

Read More Comments


Navigating the Book Cover Design Process

Posted on Mon, Oct 5 2015 9:00 am by Laura Drew

I spoke recently with an author who had decided to self publish her book and was finalizing the design of its cover. Though she had enjoyed the design process, she found it nerve-wracking to be making all the final decisions. At the same time, a friend of hers was pursuing a more traditional publishing route and didn’t have much say at all regarding her final cover.

“I don’t know which is worse!” she told me, exasperated.

The answer is that neither is worse. Both scenarios have their ups and downs, and both, if pursued properly, can result in an appealing and appropriate cover.

Read More Comments


An Interview with Author Vanessa Blakeslee

Posted on Fri, Oct 2 2015 9:00 am by Robin Rozanski

Vanessa Blakeslee's debut short story collection, Train Shots (Burrow Press) won the 2014 IPPY Gold Medal in Short Fiction. Her debut novel, Juventud, explores the idealism of youth, the complexities of a ravaged country, and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive and is scheduled for release by Curbside Splendor Publishing this fall. She’ll be reading from Juventud at 7 p.m. on October 14 at Magers & Quinn Booksellers. To welcome her to Minneapolis I asked her to share some thoughts on the writing process, goal-setting, and writing with confidence.

Read More Comments


It's a Rough Draft, Not an Excuse

Posted on Thu, Oct 1 2015 9:00 am by Tierney Chlan

This is just a rough draft. A very rough draft. Definitely not finished. So, please, let me know what’s wrong with it, I want to know how to make it better, but know that I wrote it very quickly, and late at night when I was super tired, and also I haven’t read through it all because I didn’t have a chance to edit so…

If I had a nickel for how many times I prefaced a critique of my writing with some form of the above statement, I may have enough money to pay off my student loans. One of my chief writerly sins is using rough drafts as a crutch, as a cop-out for writing that doesn’t meet my standards for what I hope my writing can/should/will be.

Read More Comments


Loosely Literal: Seven Short Stories Made Possible By Birds

Posted on Wed, Sep 30 2015 9:00 am by Sally Franson

1. “Do you think we’ll ever be as happy as we are now?” Monica asked.

They were on the cabin’s back porch sipping white wine spritzers. Jake didn’t like wine, but a bottle was included in the honeymoon package. From across the lake he heard a loon call. He wondered when the pizza delivery guy would get there.

“Honey?” Monica poked his arm. “Haha, I mean, hubby?”

Read More Comments


Literary Roundup: Thurber Prize, Banned Book Week, and Julie Schumacher Interview

Posted on Tue, Sep 29 2015 8:44 am by Chris Jones

Today's roundup congratulates Julie Schumacher on winning the Thurber Prize, celebrates Banned Book Week, and looks back at a Julie Schumacher interview. 

Read More Comments


Inside the MFA: A Preface and Mixed Feelings

Posted on Mon, Sep 28 2015 9:00 am by Miriam W. Karraker

The title of this column is perhaps a little deceiving, I myself am generally skeptical of any title that alludes to sensation and am reminded of things like Dateline specials and conspiracy theories. I mean to say that Inside the MFA is a column in which I’ll be sharing my experiences as a first year student at the University of Minnesota. In a way, I’m “on the inside” of this MFA world, which, admittedly is somewhat secluded. However, my aim is to not to sensationalize. Rather, I’ll be describing my experiences here for perhaps potential MFA-ers thinking about applying to programs, and possibly current MFA-ers and creative writing educators interested in this particular experience, as I navigate teaching, writing, and building literary community.

Read More Comments


Writing from the Heart of the Rural

Posted on Fri, Sep 25 2015 9:00 am by Rachel Coyne

Small yellow houses. It’s August, the sky is high, bright. In a blink it’s September and I’m a child sitting in the yard. Playfully my mother throws a newly laundered sheet over me. Settling down. This is the sky. This how the sky feels in September outside those small yellow houses. The corn has red roots—have you looked? It’s all around. Hawk-footed, it claws fiercely at the earth. There are horses and snowmobiles and old cars in the yard. We’re all running around with soft lamb’s ears leaves hidden in our pockets. We hope they last. Of course they lose their softness. There’s always more in the field.

Read More Comments

Showing 1 - 10 of 1385 items