The Loft Bookshelf - Books on the Craft Recommended for Students
Featured Items
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Bird by Bird
Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Paperback      ISBN: 0385480016

For a quarter century, more than a million readers--scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities--have been inspired by Anne Lamott's hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne's father--also a writer--in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"

An essential volume for generations of writers young and old, Bird by Bird is a modern classic. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition will continue to spark creative minds for years to come.
The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot
The Art of Subtext
Beyond Plot
Paperback      ISBN: 1555974732

Charles Baxter inaugurates The Art of, a new series on the craft of writing, with the wit and intelligence he brought to his celebrated book Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction.

Fiction writer and essayist Charles Baxter's The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot discusses and illustrates the hidden subtextual overtones and undertones in fictional works haunted by the unspoken, the suppressed, and the secreted. Using an array of examples from Melville and Dostoyevsky to contemporary writers Paula Fox, Edward P. Jones, and Lorrie Moore, Baxter explains how fiction writers create those visible and invisible details, how what is displayed evokes what is not displayed.

The Art of Subtext is part of The Art of series, a new line of books by important authors on the craft of writing, edited by Charles Baxter. Each book examines a singular, but often assumed or neglected, issue facing the contemporary writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The Art of series means to restore the art of criticism while illuminating the art of writing.
Growing Up White: A Veteran Teacher Reflects on Racism
Growing Up White
A Veteran Teacher Reflects on Racism
Hardcover      ISBN: 1578868378

Growing Up White is for everyone who wants to know more about our schools, our community, our country, and ourselves. Julie Landsman takes the reader on an inventory of her life, pulling from events and scenes, a set of lessons learned. She discloses honestly and unflinchingly the privileges she has experienced as a white person and connects those to her presence in city classrooms where she taught for over 25 years. As a teacher Julie made mistakes, learned from them, made more and concludes that understanding race in America is an ongoing process. Her book is rich with suggestions for working in our schools today, where we find a primarily white teaching force and an expanding population of students of color. She believes that these students make our schools rich and exciting places in which to work. Landsman also believes that white teachers can reach their students in deep and positive ways. Because she invites you to go along with her in revealing the basis of her upbringing and her choices, the story itself is engaging. Readers arrive at the final chapters with an appreciation not only for the complexity of our history as individuals around race, gender and class but with real hope in education as a way to create a place where all children get a fair chance at success. Julie can be reached at jlandsman@goldengate.net.

The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life
The Right to Write
An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life
Paperback      ISBN: 1585420093

What if everything we have been taught about learning to write was wrong? In The Right to Write, Julia Cameron's most revolutionary book, the author of the bestselling self-help guide The Artist's Way, asserts that conventional writing wisdom would have you believe in a false doctrine that stifles creativity. With the techniques and anecdotes in The Right to Write, readers learn to make writing a natural, intensely personal part of life. Cameron's instruction and examples include the details of the writing processes she uses to create her own bestselling books. She makes writing a playful and realistic as well as a reflective event. Anyone jumping into the writing life for the first time and those already living it will discover the art of writing is never the same after reading The Right to Write.

The Writer's Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House
The Writer's Notebook
Craft Essays from Tin House
Paperback      ISBN: 0979419816

The Writer's Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House combines the best craft seminars in the history of the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop with a variety of essays written by some of Tin House's favorite authors, offering aspiring writers insight into the craft of writing. Dorothy Allison, Jim Shepard, Aimee Bender, Steve Almond, D. A. Powell, and others break down elements of craft and share insights into the joys and pains of their own writing. This cast of deeply respected poets and prose writers explore topics that vary from writing dialogue to the dos and don'ts of writing about sex. With how-tos, close readings, and personal anecdotes, The Writer's Notebook offers future scribes advice and inspiration.

A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write
A Writer's Time
Making the Time to Write
Paperback      ISBN: 0393312631

This book, based on his writing seminars, research into dreams and creativity, and film development, is, as the New York Times states, "crammed with the sort of useful advice that it seems to take some people years to learn."
The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970
The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction
50 North American Stories Since 1970
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 1416532277

Fifty remarkable short stories from a range of contemporary fiction authors including Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, Jamaica Kincaid, Jhumpa Lahiri, and more, selected from a survey of more than five hundred English professors, short story writers, and novelists.

The Best American Short Stories
The Best American Short Stories
Paperback      ISBN: 0618197354

Presents a collection of stories selected from magazines in the United States and Canada

Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction
Follow the Story
How to Write Successful Nonfiction
Paperback      ISBN: 0684850672

An indispensable guide to nonfiction writing from the Columbia Journalism School professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist behind the bestsellers Blind Eye, Blood Sport, and Den of Thieves.

In Follow the Story, bestselling author and journalist James B. Stewart teaches you the techniques of compelling narrative writing, from nonfiction books to articles, feature stories, or memoirs. Stewart provides concrete directions for conceiving, reporting, structuring, and writing nonfiction--techniques that he has used in his own successful books and stories. By using examples from his own work, Stewart illustrates systematically a way of thinking about and executing stories, a method that has helped numerous reporters and Columbia students become better writers.

Follow the Story examines in detail:
    How an idea is conceived How to "sell" ideas to editors and publishers How to report the nonfiction story Six models that can be used for any nonfiction story How to structure the narrative story How to write introductions, endings, dialogue, and description How to introduce and develop characters How to use literary devices Pitfalls to avoid

Learn from this book a clear way of looking at the world with the alert curiosity that is the first indispensable step toward good writing.
How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetry
How to Read a Poem
And Fall in Love with Poetry
Paperback      ISBN: 0156005662

How to Read a Poem is an unprecedented exploration of poetry and feeling. In language at once acute and emotional, distinguished poet and critic Edward Hirsch describes why poetry matters and how we can open up our imaginations so that its message can make a difference. In a marvelous reading of verse from around the world, including work by Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and Sylvia Plath, among many others, Hirsch discovers the true meaning of their words and ideas and brings their sublime message home into our hearts. A masterful work by a master poet, this brilliant summation of poetry and human nature will speak to all readers who long to place poetry in their lives.