Our March/April issue features a special section on writers groups, including a guide to starting your own; Douglas Kearney in conversation with poet Solmaz Sharif about her second collection, Customs; Rigoberto González on Paul Tran’s journey to writing their debut book, All the Flowers Kneeling; Namrata Poddar on becoming a mother-writer; Steve Almond on learning from failure; Lincoln Michel on book advances; Sarah Fay on fact-checking the memoir; plus writing prompts, contest deadlines, and more.
Naming the Nowhere That Language Was Stuck In: A Q&A With Solmaz Sharif
Six years after her acclaimed debut, Solmaz Sharif returns with a second poetry collection, Customs, that builds upon the poetic scrutiny she has leveled at the nature of language, forever in tension with the nature of being.
Writers Groups: Creating a Space Where Your Writing Can Thrive
The novelist and teacher offers advice on starting a writers group where your creative work can thrive.
A look at the ways writers can benefit from distinctly different kinds of gatherings, including groups offering accountability partners, workshop feedback, and publishing advice.
The author suggests writers group options that depart from the typical workshop model, such as freewriting, responding to prompts, and reading together.
The author’s failed attempts to find a writers group eventually lead her to build one of her own that offers the right mix of rigor and support.
After experiencing a writers group that only delivered praise, the author realizes the value of constructive feedback and offers guidance on how best to give it.
News and Trends
Created in response to social uprisings and the pandemic, Lampblack offers direct aid and community to Black writers and publishes an annual magazine that furthers Black literature.
A growing movement asks that literary translators receive equitable compensation and acknowledgement, starting with the inclusion of translators’ names on book covers.
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books including Pure Colour by Sheila Heti and Dream of the Divided Field by Yanyi.
The inaugural cohort of Letras Boricuas Fellows showcases the vitality and diversity of Puerto Rican literature.
After a period of transition, the Fayetteville, New York, press will begin a new chapter with a focus on publishing poetry in translation from contemporary writers.
The author reflects on magazines that offered homes to stories in her second collection, Jerks: “All the journals I’ve been lucky enough to publish with celebrate nervy writing.”
To bring attention to gendered book marketing, designer Christine Rhee reenvisions the covers of classic and contemporary books in her satirical series “Fake Books for Men” and “Fake Books for Women.”
David Treuer, a writer, teacher, and recently appointed editor-at-large at Pantheon, discusses his focus on publishing emerging Indigenous writers and the possibilities of his new role.
Three new anthologies, including The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood.
The Practical Writer
Book Advances 101: An Author’s Guide to Getting Paid
Drawing on experience publishing with both indie and large presses, the author answers the most commonly asked questions about book advances, like: Do I have to pay back my advance if the book doesn’t sell? And, what can I expect as a royalty rate?
First: Paul Tran’s All the Flowers Kneeling
Paul Tran speaks with Rigoberto González about their family and the intergenerational trauma at the center of their debut poetry collection, All the Flowers Kneeling.
While editing her memoir about the history and methodology of mental health diagnoses, the author gains a new respect for fact-checking and more confidence in her book.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem that meditates on the origins of a meal; a fiction piece about a character corresponding with a historical figure; or an essay about accepting the onset of spring.
Advice on becoming a writer ignores the impact of motherhood—and fails to acknowledge the privileges of canonical writers. The author describes learning “to see art-making as a professional possibility” as a brown mother-writer.
The best-selling nonfiction author describes the craft lessons he drew from the false starts that paved the way for his debut novel, All the Secrets of the World.