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Archive October 2012

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.17.12

Choose one of your stories that needs revision. Create a timeline that includes each year of the main character's life, fleshing out details that support who he or she is. After you've finished, return to the story and revise it in terms of this more fully developed understanding you have of your main character.

The San Francisco-based City Lights Booksellers and Publishers announced last week that its founder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who had been selected as the recipient of the inaugural Pannonius Prize, would decline the award.

The prize, which was announced in September, is funded by the Hungarian government and the Hungarian chapter of PEN International, and offers an award of 50,000 euros.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 10.16.12

Take one of your poems that you're not satisfied with and use scissors to cut it up into its lines. Rearrange the lines, omitting ones that no longer fit. With this fresh arrangement as a working draft, compose an entirely new poem. 

October writer-in-residence Sehba Sarwar blogs about Voices of the Displaced, a workshop led by P&W-supported Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB).

P&W-sponsored poet Gowri Koneswaran is also a singer and lawyer whose parents immigrated to the United States from Sri Lanka. Her advocacy has addressed animal welfare, the environment, and the rights of prisoners and the criminally accused.

Mo Yan, the Chinese author best known for his 1987 novel Red Sorghum, has received the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Revision is often the hardest part of writing—and, some writers say, a craft all its own. As an exercise in this craft, revisit an essay you've written and try to both significantly cut down the length and restructure the piece, while maintaining the story. We tend to tell stories as they occurred in life, but a narrative can often become mired in chronology. As you restructure, move things around, play with the order, and don't be afraid to get experimental. As for trimming the length, take Faulkner's timeless editorial advice: "In writing, you must kill all your darlings."

Buy yourself five postcards. Write one question on each postcard and send them to yourself every other day. When you receive the postcard, write for twenty minutes, responding to the question. Use these responses as the ingredients for a story.

The National Book Foundation announced the finalists for the sixty-third annual National Book Awards today. Among the most prestigious literary honors in the United States, the awards are given for books published in the previous year.

Choose one of your poem in which you've used the first person. Rewrite it without using "I" at all. (If you don't have a poem to revise, try writing one without using the first person.)

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