Our annual Inspiration Issue features 52 ideas for an inspired new year, our thirteenth annual look at the year’s best debut poets, and Jane Hirshfield on reigniting the creative process after a long silence; plus writing prompts, Steve Almond on unlikable characters, advice from agent Annie Hwang, a day in the life of book critic Leigh Haber of O, the Oprah Magazine, a Q&A with Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski, and more.
The Whole Self: Our Thirteenth Annual Look at Debut Poets
A look at some of the most exciting first books of poetry published in 2017, including WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier and Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar.
52 Ideas for an Inspired New Year
From albums and movies to naps and snacks, a series of suggestions from fifty-two authors on how to help keep your creativity flowing throughout the year.
A New Path to the Waterfall
With insight from authors Jennifer Egan, Jane Hirshfield, and Nayomi Munaweera, a writer explores ways to return to older writing projects with a fresh eye.
Reconnecting After a Silence
“Become an open door,” “Say anything,” and “Begin where you are.” Seven ways to reconnect to your writing, from one of the country’s most prolific poets.
Diving Through Windows
An exploration of windows as creative tools: how they expand our horizons in the world and in writing, acting as frames for observation and portals to the new worlds we discover in our art.
Imagination Under Pressure
The executive director of National Novel Writing Month and cofounder of 100 Word Story considers how constraints can help writers access inventiveness and increase productivity.
News and Trends
Bullets Into Bells
Poets, activists, and survivors respond to gun violence in a new anthology of poems and essays from Beacon Press.
Making Connections Through Books
In celebration of ten years, sixty-five million users, and sixty-nine million book reviews, a history of Goodreads—from its beginnings as a tool for readers to its growth into an important platform for book promotion.
The American Prison Writing Archive
A free online archive collects writing from more than 1,200 incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, as well as correctional officers and prison staff, from across the country.
The Written Image: The Poets Series
Melanie Janisse-Barlow turns the tables on a long tradition of poets finding their muse in visual art through her Poets Series project, a collection of painted portraits of poets.
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
Page One offers the first lines of a dozen new and noteworthy books, including Wild Is the Wind by Carl Phillips and No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin.
Literary MagNet: Danielle Lazarin
Fiction writer Danielle Lazarin discusses five journals that have published her short stories, some of which appear in her debut collection, Back Talk, forthcoming from Penguin Books in February.
Small Press Points: Saddle Road Press
Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features the Hilo, Hawai’i–based Saddle Road Press.
Q&A: Sokolowski’s Inspiring Word Work
Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large, Peter Sokolowski, discusses how the popular dictionary is driven by both definitions and data, and reveals the 2017 Word of the Year: feminism.
The Practical Writer
Agent Advice: Annie Hwang of Folio Literary Management
A literary agent answers readers’ questions—from how seriously agents consider a writer’s previous sales to how to responsibly seek new representation.
Reviewers & Critics: Leigh Haber of O, the Oprah Magazine
The books editor at O, the Oprah Magazine discusses how she got her start in the literary world, the selection criteria behind Oprah’s Book Club picks, and her favorite books of the year.
The Literary Life
The Darkness Within: In Praise of the Unlikable
How important is it for characters to be likeable? A look at a controversial question, and how literature’s darker actors can pose useful lessons about both the craft of writing and ourselves.
Why We Write: The Unwilling Suspension of Disbelief
Writing through trauma isn’t always a healing experience. A poet and novelist investigates the complexities and challenges of writing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Get deep into the fabric of a poem, strike a subversive tone in a holiday story, or ruminate on a relationship ritual—three prompts to get you writing in the new year. For more, check out our weekly online writing prompts.
You Are Not Alone: Finding a Group of One’s Own
Writing groups can provide community, accountability, and a fresh perspective on your work. One writer shares advice and insight on how to start and maintain a writing group that lasts.