How negotiable is a fact? In 2003, after publishing his book of experimental essays, Halls of Fame, John D'Agata was approached by Harper's magazine to write an essay for them, one that was eventually rejected due to disagreements related to its fact checking. That essay which eventually became the foundation of D'Agata's critically acclaimed About a Mountain was accepted by another magazine, the Believer, but not before they handed it to their own fact-checker, Jim Fingal. What resulted from that assignment, and beyond the essay's eventual publication in the magazine, was seven years of arguments, negotiations, and revisions as D'Agata and Fingal struggled to navigate the boundaries of literary nonfiction.
This book includes an early draft of D'Agata's essay, along with D'Agata and Fingal's extensive discussion around the text. What emerges is a brilliant and eye-opening meditation on the relationship between "truth" and "accuracy" and a penetrating conversation about whether it is appropriate for a writer to substitute one for the other.
Teachers, exercises, mentors, critiques, humor, and inspiration: these form the fuel all writers need when they get down to work every day. For decades the Loft Literary Center has provided this fuel to an enormous community of writers. Views from the Loft brings together the collected wisdom of that community -- its authors, students, and editors -- giving anyone the tools and inspiration necessary to thrive in the writing life. A who's who of writers on writing ranging from the National Book Award-winning poet Mark Doty to Newbery medal-winning children's author Kate DiCamillo, and touching on issues as delicate as the representation of family in memoir and as hilarious as a "sad-epiphany poem" mad lib for frustrated poets, this book is an essential collection of crucial tips and challenging questions for everyone who puts pen to page. The essays and interviews in this book include superstar writers like Rick Bass, Michael Cunningham, Grace Paley, Susan Power, Susan Straight, Marilyn Hacker, and many, many more.
The seventh in our popular Words of Wisdom series, The Writer Says summons readers to an intimate gathering of novelists, essayists, grammarians, academics, and journalists--a glittering cocktail party, where the guests may be self identified introverts (like Patti Smith, who writes to set herself apart cocooned, rapt in solitude) but share their sparkling insights in this volume. Among the celebrated international guest list: Henry James and Mark Twain, squaring off about modifiers (James: pro and Twain: con); Charles Bukowski and Beverly Cleary, at odds about revision; Zadie Smith and Chinua Achebe, discussing the moral responsibilities of a writer; and Jonathan Ames and Jackie Collins, united in their desire to give readers pleasure. The Writer Says reveals the formative experiences, processes, preferences, and work habits of our most beloved writers, and will inspire readers, writers, and closet scribblers alike to follow Rick Bass''s dictum: Write every day. Don''t ever stop.
Natalie Goldberg's word-of-mouth hit has sold well over half a million copies. Goldberg, who has conducted writing workshops for both beginners and professionals all over the United States, sees writing as a practice that helps us comprehend the value of our lives. With insight, humor, and practicality, she inspires writers and would-be writers alike to take the leap into writing creatively and well.
In 2009, Kirsty Gunn returned to spend the winter in her hometown of Wellington, New Zealand, also the place where Katherine Mansfield grew up. In this exquisitely written "notebook," which blends memoir, biography, and essay, Gunn records that winter-long experience and the unparalleled insight it allowed her into Mansfield's fiction. Gunn explores the idea of home and belonging--and of the profound influence of Mansfield's work on her own creative journey. She asks whether it is even possible to "come home"--and who are we when we get there?
The Poet's Companion presents brief essays on the elements of poetry, technique, and suggested subjects for writing, each followed by distinctive writing exercises. The ups and downs of writing life--including self-doubt and writer's block--are here, along with tips about getting published and writing in the electronic age. On your own, this book can be your "teacher," while groups, in or out of the classroom, can profit from sharing weekly assignments.
Aspiring doctors have medical school. Karate students have belts of different colors. Pianists have scales and arpeggios. But what system do writers have for getting and staying "in shape," to help them focus, practice, and make progress?
A Writer's Workbook is Caroline Sharp's ingenious collection of exercises to inspire, encourage, warm up, and jump-start anyone who writes. A wise and funny friend who will cheerlead you through even your darkest can't-write days and "every idea I've ever had is awful" nights, she provides encouraging suggestions, hilarious observations, and an amazingly vivid catalogue of writers' neuroses (with advice on overcoming them, of course).
From "Roget's Resume" and "Emulating Ernest" to "End Well," "The Rewrite Rut," and "Dear John," the exercises in this generous, wry workbook will keep your ideas fresh, your mind open, and your pen moving.
Wild Mind will change your way of writing. It may also change your life.
Join the New Adult Fiction revolution
From Sylvia Day's Bared to You to Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster, new adult fiction has arrived--and it's hotter than ever. But there's more to this category than its 18-to-26-year-old characters: The success of your story depends on authentically depicting the transition of your young protagonists from teenhood to adulthood. With Writing New Adult Fiction, you'll learn how to capture the spirit of freedom, self-discovery, and romance that defines the new adult experience.
- Create memorable characters that act and sound like new adults.
- Sculpt a distinct personality for your fiction with POV, voice, tone, and word choices.
- Build a unique, captivating plot that satisfies your audience from beginning to end.
- Learn tools for revising effectively and efficiently in a speed-driven market.
- Weigh the options for your path to publication: traditional, indie, and hybrid.