Our Writers Retreats Issue features advice on choosing a residency that's right for you, ideas for do-it-yourself retreats, and a visit to the Color of Children's Literature Conference; plus an interview with short story master George Saunders on his debut novel, Lincoln in the Bardo; a Q&A with Laura Miller of Slate; Kevin Wilson on the necessity of failure; tips for savvy self-publishing; writing prompts; submission information for over 120 contests with upcoming deadlines; and more.
Already established as a master of the short story, George Saunders turns to the long form in his debut novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, an imaginative tour de force in which nearly all the characters are dead.
Smart Retreats: Five Questions to Consider Before You Apply
Two veteran retreat-goers offer advice for writers considering a residency, and pose important questions to consider before applying—from cost and length to setting creative goals to identifying the current stage of your project.
Sounds of Silence: A Workshop With Pico Iyer
Essayist and novelist Pico Iyer leads a writing workshop at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in the Ventana Wilderness of California, helping his pupils to understand the role of silence—and its relationship to language—in their work.
Writing in the Eternal City: Four Seasons at the American Academy in Rome
The director of the American Academy in Rome and the program’s current literature fellows discuss the opportunities that the Academy’s eleven-month residencies offer emerging writers, as well as exciting new changes to the historic program.
The Aha! Moment: Residency Codirector Steve Kettmann
As part of a continuing series, Steve Kettmann, cofounder and codirector of the residency program at the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods, discusses why novelist Thad Nodine’s writing submission earned him two all-inclusive weeks in a picturesque...
A children’s book author reports from the second annual Color of Children’s Literature Conference, where she finds myriad professional resources and an inspiring community working to publish more children’s books by and about people of color.
Ten writers prove that, with a little imagination, you can create your very own writing retreat to fit your life and schedule—either at home or away.
News and Trends
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 Afaa Michael Weaver’s Spirit Boxing, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Refugees, and Patricia Smith’s Incendiary Art, for a glimpse into the worlds of these new and noteworthy titles.
Launched in February, the New York–based organization Singapore Unbound supports Singaporean writing and cross-cultural literary exchange through a reading series, an annual literary festival, and a book review blog committed to promoting independent publishers and writers of Singaporean heritage from around the world.
Less than a year after the celebrated author’s death, the Pat Conroy Literary Center in Beaufort, South Carolina, has opened its doors.
Twenty poetry organizations from across the United States have joined forces to enhance the visibility of poetry and its growing popularity and cultural impact, beginning with a monthlong, nationwide suite of programs investigating the relationship between poetry and migration called “Because We Come From Everything.”
In his Instagram-based photography series, artist B. A. Van Sise creates powerful portraits of American poets who are influenced by Walt Whitman, of whom Van Sise happens to be one of the closest living descendants.
Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features the Little Rock, Arkansas–based Sibling Rivalry Press, which has sought to provide “a stage and a microphone for anyone who is ‘other’” through the publication of poetry collections, chapbooks, and journals for LGBTQIA writers since its inception in 2010.
This issue’s MagNet features fiction writer Deb Olin Unferth, who takes us through five journals that first published stories appearing in her new collection, Wait Till You See Me Dance.
The national ambassador for young people’s literature encourages children and young adults to read books from unfamiliar genres and cultures through his new Reading Without Walls program.
The Practical Writer
Laura Miller discusses how she chooses books, the effect of the Internet on literary criticism, and her belief that reading is as profoundly creative as writing.
Lucetta Zaytoun discusses the process of self-publishing her debut memoir, It’s Already Tomorrow Here. A publicist and a publishing consultant offer their advice on design, distribution, and long-term marketing strategies to the author.
The Literary Life
The Necessity of Failure: An Examination of the Writing Life
A fiction writer reflects on the meandering and far-from-perfect path that led to the publication of his second novel, Perfect Little World.
Where We Write: Fountain City, Wisconsin
After decades away, a decorated poet returns to his hometown in rural Wisconsin to read from a recent collection inspired by the very people he now finds himself addressing.
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Try your hand at poetry translation, write a story with a deeply flawed protagonist, and reflect on your relationship to the natural world—three prompts to ignite your imagination this spring.