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Archive May 2012

Amazon announced yesterday the three finalists for its fifth annual Breakthrough Novel Award in fiction.

Amazon announced yesterday the three finalists for its Breakthrough Novel Award in fiction. Along with two genre titles, Portland, Oregon, writer Brian Reeves's novel, A Chant of Love and Lamentation, was selected by editors at Penguin for the shortlist.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 5.24.12

Write about the moment that everything changed. For inspiration, check out Smith Magazine's The Moment (Harper Perennial, 2012), a collection of personal essays about the key experience—"a moment of opportunity, serendipity, calamity, or chaos"—in each of the author's lives, whose effect was revelatory, profound, and life-changing.

Write a story where nothing takes place outside of one small room. You can describe the interior of the room, but refrain from describing anything outside of it. Take note of how this restriction forces you to rely on certain techniques of storytelling.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 5.22.12

Revisit a poem of yours that is longer than one page. Try rewriting the poem by condensing it to ten lines or fewer. Cut and rearrange lines from the original poem, or write a completely new one that gives fresh attention to an evocative image or line from the original. 

Social justice activist and Cave Canem fellow Ama Codjoe blogs about participating in a P&W–supported Cave Canem regional workshop with formalist poet Marilyn Nelson in 2009. 

Poet and writer Michelle Tea has been both a P&W–supported writer and presenter of literary events. Her many books include a poetry collection, novels, and memoirs. Tea's novel, Valencia, won the 2000 Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction. Tea founded the literary nonprofit RADAR Productions and co-founded the spoken word tour Sister Spit. We asked her a few questions about her experience as a writer and reading series curator.

The Poetry Foundation announced yesterday the winner of its 2012 Emily Dickinson First Book Award, given occasionally for a poetry collection by a writer over forty.

The most recent episode of the literary podcast Other People with Brad Listi features novelist Emily St. John Mandel, whose new book The Lola Quartet, is just out from Unbridled Books. The entire interview is worth a listen—Emily and Brad discuss a wide range of subjects, including literary life in Brooklyn, Emily's career in dance, and taking language courses in French leading up to a book tour of France.

Choose a topic that interests you—it could be an animal, a scientific process, or a historical event, for example—and research it. Next, think of an unrelated experience from your life—a particularly memorable moment from childhood, perhaps, or when a loved one passed away—and write an essay on the two subjects. Alternate between short paragraphs of factual reportage on the topic and brief, more lyrical vignettes about the remembered experience, with the end goal of finding a way to relate the two. 

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