Category: writing

Sure-footed writing

Sure-footed writing

I often stumble when I begin writing a short story. I don’t know enough about the characters or the setting for brilliant sentences to come pouring out of my fingertips. But I learn. I adapt to the story’s needs. And eventually—eventually I find the path, and the characters are just there, and I can feel...

10 reasons I didn’t submit to your literary magazine

10 reasons I didn’t submit to your literary magazine

Writers often feel desperate for publication. We feel like we NEED to be published, and we’ll settle for any magazine, for any contest, as long as our work is being validated by someone other than our moms. (Okay, okay, I’ll admit it: When I say “we,” I really mean “I.”) But we have to remember,...

Good, bad, what if?

Good, bad, what if?

I am always asking, “What if?” What if I turn this story in a series of flash pieces? What if I apply to this job at a different library? What if I write an essay about every library I’ve used? What if I put my hair into dreadlocks? What if I just dye it purple?...

How college writing workshops prepared me to work with an editor

How college writing workshops prepared me to work with an editor

I’ve been sending my short stories and essays to literary magazines since 2009, but I didn’t really start to accumulate publications until recently (something I will attribute to the amount of work I’ve put into improving my craft). So far, all my stories have been accepted as-is. Except for one. One I’m really, really fond...

Why I love experimental fiction

Why I love experimental fiction

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes fiction is truer than truth. And sometimes, in order to tell a story the right way, you need to let the story know it’s a story.