March/April 2012

Our spring 2012 guide to writing adventures featuring inspired destinations, from Hemingway’s Key West to Oregon’s Great Basin, as well as tips on choosing the best residency and expert application advice; plus an in-depth look at how authors can preserve their literary legacy; lessons in writer envy; and more.


Conferences & Residencies

The Key West Literary Seminar: A Report From the Past and Multiple Futures of Literature

by Kevin Nance
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For thirty years literary heavyweights such as Margaret Atwood, Billy Collins, Jennifer Egan, and Gary Shteyngart have headed south to Key West to shed some layers and talk shop among peers.

Applying to a Writers Residency: An Expert Breakdown of the Requirements

by Grant Faulkner
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The process of applying for a retreat can be as mystifying as writing itself. How do residency juries weigh a work plan? Would your boss make a better reference than a former writing teacher? Is published or unpublished work more desirable in a...

Choosing the Best Writers Residency: Dare to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

by Elizabeth Greenwood
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Back-to-back stays at two very different residencies—the socially vibrant Norman Mailer Writers Colony and the secluded Saltonstall Arts Colony—taught author Elizabeth Greenwood that the key to taking advantage of the experience is to embrace the...

Seven Days on Playa's New Planet: Notes From the Edge of the Writing World

by Laura Pritchett
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Aside from accommodating a small cohort of writers, artists, and natural scientists focused on research and creative projects, a new residency in Oregon’s remote Great Basin practically resembles planet Earth without people, a perfect retreat for...

The Cúirt International Festival: Ringing the Bell of Literature in Galway, Ireland

by Shawn Andrew Mitchell
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A six-day literary celebration rich with poetry, fiction, performances, slams, and art exhibitions has become an institution in Galway, Ireland, over the past quarter century.

Hemingway Days: Papa Lives on in Key West

by Staff
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An annual celebration in Key West, now in its thirty-second year, highlights Hemingway’s work as well as the author’s more esoteric interests, from marlin fishing to the Running of the Bulls.

Destination: Writers' Houses

by Staff
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From James Merrill’s quaint Connecticut apartment to Jack Kerouac’s bungalow in the Florida wetlands, seven former authors’ homes now serve as truly one-of-a-kind writers residencies.

News and Trends

Q&A: Philip Levine’s American Lyric

by Michael Bourne

The late poet laureate Philip Levine spoke in early 2012 about his plans for the position and the range of influences on his work through the years.

Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

by Staff

With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues and Adam Levin’s Hot Pink, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.

Literary MagNet

by Travis Kurowski

Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines. This issue’s MagNet features Digital Americana, Lumberyard, Sawmill, draft: a journal of process, and Poetry.

The Library as Incubator Project

by Melissa Faliveno

In the midst of the political protests that were escalating in Wisconsin last winter, three library science majors at the University of Wisconsin devised the Library as Incubator Project, a website for writers, artists, and librarians to share their creations and ideas in one collaborative space.

Small Press Points

by Staff

Small Press Points highlights the innovative and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features the new Sacramento-based Nouvella, publisher of “collectible, one-of-a-kind mementos that will become dearer and dearer as the authors career progresses.”

Literary Hoop Dreams

by Kevin Taylor

Sherman Alexie, winner of the other NBA, along with other poets and writers, shows off his jump shot in HooPalousa, a basketball tournament-cum-fund-raiser that aims to help create an endowment at the University of Idaho for a Native American MFA candidate.

The Written Image: Millennium Magazines

by Staff

In this issue we offer a look at the first four issues of the limited-edition magazine Lovely Daze on display February 20 through March 14 in Millennium Magazine, an exhibition of artist-magazines at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The Practical Writer

First: Amy Franklin-Willis's The Lost Saints of Tennessee

by Michael Bourne
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For Amy Franklin-Willis, getting her first novel into print was an exercise in resilience. But after nearly ten years, the forty-year-old author’s debut dream became a reality, thanks to an enduring faith in the core of her story and dedication to...

Living the Dream: How to Beat the Postpublication Blues

by Kim Wright
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For many authors, the long-awaited launch of a book into the world can be accompanied by doubt and disappointment rather than a sense of ultimate accomplishment. Novelist Kim Wright offers some valuable advice that can help new authors ride the...

Literary Archives: The Business of Preserving History

by Kevin Nance
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Authors can command up to six figures in the sale of their papers (and, in the future, maybe even their hard drives, too) to college and university library archives, where manuscripts, outlines, notes, and ephemera will be used, not just stored.

The Literary Life

Middle Eastern Rhythms: Report From Literary Jordan

by Stephen Morison Jr.
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Contributing editor Stephen Morison Jr., who works as a schoolteacher outside the capital city of Amman, reports on the varied literary and political perspectives in the changing nation of Jordan in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Writer Envy: Slaying the Green-Eyed Monster

by Maura Kelly
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Long hours and self-sacrifice without recognition paired with a complicated cocktail of peers’ successes can send a writer into a jealous spiral—unless of course all that dedicated time is spent not in the service of bettering cohorts, but of...

Why We Write: The Tax Man Cometh

by Jennifer Wisner Kelly
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As if rejections from literary magazines weren’t enough, the ultimate rejection (with an eight-thousand-dollar invoice to boot) comes from the IRS. Contributor Jennifer Wisner Kelly chronicles what it takes to be a Writer in the eyes of Uncle Sam.