In the Inspiration Issue we present our seventeenth annual look at ten of the year’s best debut poets; essays on writing past burnout by Dan Beachy-Quick, Crystal Hana Kim, and Blair Hurley; authors Ann Hood, Manuel Gonzales, and others consider the inspiring push and pull of other arts; Beth Gilstrap on writing her latest story collection while caring for her dying mother-in-law; Michael Bourne on honoring a loved one’ s literary legacy; plus writing prompts, agent advice, contest deadlines, and more.
Ten debut poets who published in 2021, including Threa Almontaser and Shangyang Fang, discuss the inspiration for their books, their writers block remedies, and advice for other poets.
Oxygen in Ash
The author reflects on the forest fires near his home in Fort Collins, Colorado, and considers their lessons on inspiration, writing, and what we gain from a crisis.
The author recalls being pregnant in the early days of the pandemic and asks: How we can continue to create in times of uncertainty?
The author of the illustrated collection of essays World of Wonders recommends sparking creativity by chronicling changes in the natural world or writing one line at a time.
Tiny Doable Things
The author explains how her Library of Tiny Doable Things—a running list of micro-actions and edits that hone her work—might help others bring their writing to fruition, one small step at a time.
Like Coming Home: Four Writers On the Push and Pull of Other Arts
Four authors celebrate the other creative pursuits—baking, painting, knitting, and learning a new language—that shape and inform their writing practices.
Writers’ Demons and Angels
Confront the writing “demons” that hinder your work and celebrate your writing “angels” and goals in these interactive, illustrated pages of guided exercises.
News and Trends
Launched in New York City in 2015, the Lambda Literary Writers in Schools Program celebrates queerness by bringing LGBTQ authors to meet local students. Thanks to increased funding, the initiative is now reaching even more schools.
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including Manifesto: On Never Giving Up by Bernardine Evaristo and To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara.
After collecting poetry books to lend to students, poet and educator Hiram Sims opened the Sims Poetry Library in Los Angeles. Today the library boasts a collection of over six thousand books and serves as a home base for poets in the community.
A look at the growing number of online scams that lure writers with offers of speaking engagements or by posing as an agent or editor online. Two writers directly affected by scams share their experiences.
Since 2015 this indepedent press in Richmond, Virginia, has been championing “offbeat books” of poetry and lyrical nonfiction by queer and trans writers.
The author reflects on five journals that published essays from their debut collection, Dark Tourist.
Anitra Budd got her start at Coffee House Press as an intern and now serves as publisher and executive director of the press. She discusses her approach to leadership and putting people before profit.
The Practical Writer
The agent answers questions about attracting agents using self-published books and whether to use a summary or a writing sample to pitch a memoir.
Still So Much to Say: Honoring a Loved One’s Literary Legacy
After his mother’s passing, the author discovers the writing she left behind. Through his own experience as well as interviews with other literary executors, he considers the question: How can he publish a loved one’s posthumous works—and should he?
The Literary Life
A Monstrous Silence: Caretaking and Writing in the Presence of Death
The author of Deadheading & Other Stories recounts how caring for her dying mother-in-law affected her writing life and ultimately shaped her book.
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem about your relationship to the past, a story about a character at a crossroads, or an essay about the role storytelling has in your life.