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Archive August 2012

In July, P&W–sponsored poets Brendan Constantine, Nicelle Davis, Larry Eby, and Robbi Nester kicked off LitLandia, a new reading series in California’s Inland Empire region. Project director Cati Porter reports.

The New York City-based PEN American Center recently announced the winners of the 2012 PEN Literary Awards. For over fifty years, PEN has given awards to the most promising and distinguished voices in the literary community. This year, eighteen grants, awards, and fellowships have been given to emerging and established writers from all over the country. The following are just a few of this year's winners.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 8.29.12

Tell a story through the journal entries and/or correspondences of the central characters. Note how the switch between different perspectives and the reliability—or lack thereof—of the characters affect the way the plot is revealed to the reader. For inspiration, read Gary Shteyngart’s novel Super Sad True Love Story.

Spend a day at a museum or reading an art book. Choose a piece of artwork that you enjoy or that you find thought-provoking. Rather than composing an ekphrasis that comments on the artwork itself, try your hand at writing a poem in the “mode” of the artwork. This may mean writing a poem in the poetic style that you think is reflected by the artwork, or it may mean trying to write in what you perceive to be the “tone” or "voice" of the artwork.

Author Rick Moody will serve as the judge for the Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review’s inaugural Gertrude Stein Award for Fiction. The winner will receive $500 and publication in the Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review.

Compose a table of contents for your life. Include titles, subtitles, sections, and chapters that outline a period—or the entirety—of your life. Once you've finished the table, write a brief summary for each section.

Writer and literary organizer Rochelle Spencer blogs about P&Wfunded writers, Patricia Spears Jones and Tan Lin, and how they engage their audience. Rochelle teaches at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York, and is the author of the e-book Ella Jones and Her Magical Vagina.

The Center for Fiction and the American Booksellers Association have announced the short list for the 2012 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. Of the seven finalists for the prize, the winner—to be announced in December—will receive $10,000.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 8.22.12

Compose a story by making a fairy tale or old folktale contemporary. Aim to retain the basic plot of the original tale, but have the characters' tensions and fears reflect twenty-first-century encounters and conflicts. For an added challenge, offer an alternate ending or tell the narrative from an unexpected perspective.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 8.21.12

Write a poem that addresses a past or future version of yourself. Write in the second-person singular. Reassure a younger self, send warnings to a future self, or ask questions to which you don’t know the answers.

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