March/April 2022

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.

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Naming the Nowhere That Language Was Stuck In: A Q&A With Solmaz Sharif

by Douglas Kearney
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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

Reenvisioning the Writers Group

by Yona Harvey
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The author suggests writers group options that depart from the typical workshop model, such as freewriting, responding to prompts, and reading together.

The Perfectly Balanced Writers Group

by Aimee Christian
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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.

A Former Pollyanna Learns the Value of Critical Feedback

by Ashley Memory
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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

Jennifer Croft

Giving Translators Their Due

by Rachel Zarrow

A growing movement asks that literary translators receive equitable compensation and acknowledgement, starting with the inclusion of translators’ names on book covers. 

The Practical Writer

Book Advances 101: An Author’s Guide to Getting Paid

by Lincoln Michel
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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

by Rigoberto González
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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.

The Literary Life

The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises

by Staff
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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.