Our Writers Retreats Issue features stories of life-changing conferences and residencies; profiles of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith and novelist T. Geronimo Johnson; an in-depth interview with literary agent Jennifer Joel; the art of reading Norwegian novelist Per Petterson; the big business of film adaptations; Bread Loaf's new conference for translators; advice for poets on reading tours; and much more.
Agents & Editors: Jennifer Joel
Jennifer Joel, whose clients include Chris Cleave, Joe McGinniss Jr., Evan Osnos, and Shonda Rhimes, talks about the difference between selling fiction and nonfiction, what inspires her to go the extra mile for her authors, and what writers should really want out of publishing.
A Profile of T. Geronimo Johnson
For T. Geronimo Johnson, whose second book, Welcome to Braggsville, was published in February, writing is a way to push himself, and his readers, into uncomfortable territory—to start a conversation, a communion, that could open up our hearts.
Far From Ordinary: A Profile of Tracy K. Smith
In Ordinary Light, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith embraces a fuller sense of herself as a writer while cementing the connection between her children and her ancestors using the best glue she knows: words.
Wonder Woman: What My First Artists Retreat Taught Me About Writing, Murder, and Myself
On her way to the Vermont Studio Center and in a moment of panic, a writer tells a lie that leads her to realize an important truth about herself—and exactly what it takes to finish her novel.
Submission Blitz: Finding Courage at a Writers Conference
In response to the pervasive gender disparity in publishing, the Los Angeles–based group Women Who Submit encourages women writers to gather together and submit their work to magazines, and to celebrate the often intimidating process of sending work...
Be Bold, Be Free, Be Truthful
At the Sewall House retreat in Island Falls, Maine, the practice of yoga opens up new possibilities in the craft of writing.
The Moment of Truth: Eleven Authors Share Stories of Life-Changing Retreats
Melissa Febos, Jay Baron Nicorvo, and nine other authors share their stories of the major turning points they experienced.
News and Trends
Small Press Points: Fig Tree Books
Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features the Bedford, New York–based Fig Tree Books, which seeks to support the voices of American Jewish authors, publishing both new titles and rereleases of out-of-print works.
The Telling Room
The increasing success and growth of a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, reflects the incredible importance of storytelling in the lives of youths.
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 in America. This issue’s MagNet features Zoetrope: All-Story, Tweed’s Magazine of Literature & Art, the Normal School, Caketrain, and Irish Pages.
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
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 Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and Reif Larsen’s I Am Radar, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.
Lambda’s San Diego School Initiative
In the LGBTQ Writers in Schools program’s first district-wide partnership, Lambda Literary teams up with the second largest school district in California to bring LGBTQ books and authors to students.
Grotz Leads Bread Loaf Translators
The director of Bread Loaf’s new Translators’ Conferences talks about how the conference came about, what shape it will take, and what it means to be a translator in today’s literary culture.
Kundiman Expands to Fiction
Kundiman, the New York City–based organization that hosts a prestigious annual retreat for Asian American poets, celebrates its ten-year anniversary by launching its inaugural fiction retreat this spring.
The Written Image: Jennifer Collier
UK artist Jennifer Collier uses repurposed books and papers to sculpt an array of art objects inspired by the very materials used to create them—from stilettos made from the pages of Little Women to gloves fashioned from the illustrated text of Alice in Wonderland—each finished project a reflection of the written words from which it’s made.
The Practical Writer
Reviewers & Critics: Roxane Gay
The second installment of Reviewers & Critics features longtime book critic and culture essayist Roxane Gay, a true powerhouse in literary circles.
Going Hollywood: The Business of Film Adaptations
Though the process can seem arduous due to financing scrambles, creative compromises, production delays, and any number of countless obstacles, the successful adaptation of a literary novel into a film can be one of the most rewarding experiences in...
Writing the Road: Advice for Touring Poets
Scraping together funds and piling into vans, poets like Nick Demske, Kate Greenstreet, Ada Limón, Zachary Schomburg, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson take to the road for a different kind of book tour—one that puts human connection above book sales.
The Literary Life
The Art of Reading Per Petterson: Finding Appalachia in a Norwegian Novel
Even in translation, Norwegian author Per Petterson’s prose is intensely rhythmic and lyrical, evoking something akin to the oral tradition of Appalachian storytelling.
Where We Write: Iowa
Iowa isn’t just the Writers’ Workshop. A native Iowan talks about how she learned to capture the true nature of her home state, and the stoic people who live there, in her writing.