Theater video tags: writing advice

A Conversation With N. Scott Momaday

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“Words are the intricate bonds of language. Words make a family, a tribe, and a civilization. Language is the context of our experience.” Poet, novelist, and Native American scholar N. Scott Momaday speaks about the power of storytelling and his extensive writing career in a conversation with Dean Nelson from his home in New Mexico for the 2023 Writer’s Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University. Momaday died at the age of eighty-nine on January 24, 2024.

Fully Booked Chats: Ocean Vuong

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“I think I expect to suffer here, and my goal then is to suffer well or suffer skillfully.” In this conversation with Dawn Lanuza for the Fully Booked Chats series, Ocean Vuong discusses the differences between writing poems and novels, the question of whether literature can heal, and the story behind his name Ocean.

Brenda Shaughnessy’s Five Basic Rules

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In this 2014 State of the Arts video, Brenda Shaughnessy speaks about the themes of her first three books, what motivates her to write, and her “Five Basic Rules” for aspiring poets. Shaughnessy’s essay “Air: Speak and Breathe” is featured in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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An Interview With Derek Owusu

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“When you are comfortable with your own voice, you’re able to create other voices that are authentic as well.” In this short video, Derek Owusu, author most recently of Losing the Plot (Canongate Books, 2022) and one of Granta’s 2023 Best of Young British Novelists, talks about writing immigrant stories and finding your voice.

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Advice From Arthur Sze

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“When you think you’re getting good, be humble. There’s no end to the learning.” In this video, Arthur Sze visits his high school, the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, and offers advice from his years of experience as a poet. Sze is the recipient of the 2013 Jackson Poetry Prize and won the 2019 National Book Award in poetry for his collection Sight Lines (Copper Canyon Press, 2019).

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Editors on Good Writing

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Writers and editors Victor Dwyer and Charlotte Gill discuss how they determine good writing from bad writing, what they look for in a first read, and the changing landscape of writing in this 2014 conversation moderated by journalist Ian Brown at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada. “There’s the sense that the writer is being completely frank with their audience and yet at the same time, they’re completely in control and utterly trustworthy,” says Gill.

Aimee Bender on the Art of the Short Story

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In this 2007 Talks at Google event, Aimee Bender, the author of the short story collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (Doubleday, 1998) and Willful Creatures (Doubleday, 2005), reads from her work and discusses her writing regimen, favorite books, and her love of short stories.

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Sarah Moss

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“I don’t really think you can teach people to write, you can just teach them to read. Read everything you can about your setting or your characters or whatever it is you don’t know.” In this Granta video, Sarah Moss, author of the novels Ghost Wall (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) and Summerwater (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021), offers advice on first drafts, research, and the importance of reading to a writer.

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