Our annual Writers Retreats Issue features Annie Proulx, Danez Smith, and others on the retreats where big books are born; Caroline Leavitt and Jonathan Evison on learning from failure; a look at the national recitation competition Poetry Out Loud; three top indie publicists on the art of publicity; practical advice for first-time authors; writing prompts; submission information for 118 contests with upcoming deadlines; and more.
The Poem Chooses You
Poetry Out Loud offers high school students a new way of seeing the world.
The Novel I Buried Three Times
Novelists Caroline Leavitt and Jonathan Evison discuss the books that just didn’t work.
The Writers Retreats Where Big Books Are Born
Annie Proulx, Tayari Jones, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and ten more authors on the retreats that changed their lives.
Ten More Retreats Where Your Big Book Could Be Born
Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Fogo Island Arts Residency, Iceland Writers Retreat, and more.
The Aha! Moment: A Literature Panelist for the MacDowell Colony
An anonymous juror weighs in on a residency applicant’s successful writing sample.
Where Big Books Are Born: Danez Smith on the Millay Colony
The author of Don’t Call Us Dead on the retreat in Austerlitz, New York.
Where Big Books Are Born: Tayari Jones on the Ucross Foundation
The author of An American Marriage on the retreat in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Where Big Books Are Born: Reginald Dwayne Betts on the Cave Canem Retreat
The author of Shahid Reads His Own Palm on the retreat in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Where Big Books Are Born: Kirsten Lunstrum on the Mineral School
The author of What We Do With the Wreckage on the retreat in Mineral, Washington
Where Big Books Are Born: Stephan Eirik Clark on the Anderson Center
The author of Sweetness #9 on the retreat in Red Wing, Minnesota.
Where Big Books Are Born: Nathan Englander on the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
The author of The Ministry of Special Cases on the retreat in New York City.
Where Big Books Are Born: Viet Thanh Nguyen on the Fine Arts Work Center
The author of The Refugees on the retreat in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Where Big Books Are Born: Amina Gautier on the Camargo Foundation
The author of The Loss of All Lost Things on the retreat in Cassis, France.
Where Big Books Are Born: Christine Schutt on Yaddo
The author of Pure Hollywood on the retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Where Big Books Are Born: Tommy Orange on the MacDowell Colony
The author of There There on the retreat in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Where Big Books Are Born: Duy Doan on the Kundiman Retreat
The author of We Play a Game on the retreat in New York City.
News and Trends
Q&A: Sarah Browning Splits This Rock
Split This Rock’s outgoing executive director on the intersection of poetry and politics, and the organization’s upcoming festival.
The Written Image: The Little Book of Feminist Saints
Julia Pierpont and Manjit Thapp’s new book features a hundred women who have changed the world.
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
The first lines of a dozen new books, including Feel Free by Zadie Smith.
Small Press Points: Gold Wake Press
A small press based in Austin, Texas, and Des Moines offers a new model for submissions.
A Different Kind of March Madness
The Tournament of Books kicks off its fourteenth year.
I, Too Arts Collective
A literary organization brings new life to Langston Hughes’s house in Harlem.
The Endangered Poetry Project
A London-based initiative works to collect and archive poems in endangered languages.
Literary MagNet: Dionisia Morales
Dionisia Morales on five journals that published essays from her debut collection, Homing Instincts.
The Practical Writer
Publishing Your First Book: Advice for First-Time Authors
What to expect once you’ve published your debut book.
The Art of Publicity: How Indie Publicists Work With Writers
Independent publicists Lauren Cerand, Kima Jones, and Michael Taeckens on what they do for authors.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Shape-shifting poems, reimagining fairy tales, and envisioning an exhibition—three prompts to get you writing, plus our suggested reading: A Primer for Poets & Readers of Poetry by Gregory Orr.
On the Trail: Rejection and Revival in Joshua Tree
A memoirist hikes through rejection during a do-it-yourself retreat in the California desert.
Why We Write: Redemption Song
A writer and editor reflects on her work as both creative impulse and ancestral redemption.
Piano Lessons: Do Writers Need a Teacher or a Coach?
A former writing teacher explores the best methods for encouraging new talent.