Our annual Writers Retreats Issue features ten “award-winning” residencies, a guide to preparing for time away, and advice on surviving a toxic workshop; a conversation between poets Patricia Smith and Tyehimba Jess; an Agents & Editors interview with Mariner Books executive editor Rakia Clark; a Q&A with Samiya Bashir of Lambda Literary on creating nurturing space for all; one writer’s reflection on the power of letting go; tax tips for writers; plus writing prompts, contest deadlines, and more.
Unshuttered: Patricia Smith’s Journey Into the Aperture of History
Inspired by her obsession for old photographs, a search for belonging, and deep personal loss, Patricia Smith’s newest poetry collection fills in the gaps of history with imaginings of what might have been.
Agents & Editors: Rakia Clark
Mariner Books executive editor Rakia Clark talks about unlocking the full potential of an author, how writers can shine in the query letter, and effecting meaningful change in the publishing industry.
Award-Winning Retreats: Ten Residencies You Can Experience by Winning a Writing Contest
For writers, time and space to write are an incredibly valuable prize. These ten residencies partner with writing contests to offer privacy and serenity to winning writers at ranches, castles, and beaches around the world.
Do Not Hurry, Do Not Rest: How to Prepare for a Writing Residency
No matter where you’re headed, intentional preparation for a writing residency can help you to stay present on the page when you arrive. The author shares tips that helped her focus and shape her residency experiences.
Pigeons, Pride, and Pedagogy: Surviving a Toxic Workshop
It can happen to any writer: A workshop space that’s meant to be constructive instead turns poisonous or even predatory. The associate editor of Poetry Northwest suggests ways to navigate harmful workshop dynamics and practice self-care.
News and Trends
Poets at the Museum
In partnership with the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim is refreshing its connection to poetry with a poets-in-residence program, through which the museum is reimagining its offerings to engage the community with verse.
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including Welcome Me to the Kingdom by Mai Nardone and Feast by Ina Cariño.
Pushcart Rolls Through Fifty Years
Bill Henderson founded Pushcart Press with one goal: to empower overlooked writers to publish their own work. Fifty years later, Pushcart is still elevating independent publishers and authors with its annual prize anthology.
The Anthologist: A Compendium of Uncommon Collections
A look at three new anthologies, including A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing From Soil to Stars and Infinite Constellations: An Anthology of Identity, Culture, and Speculative Conjunctions.
Publishers Sponsor L.A. Bookstore
Two small presses, Rare Bird and Unnamed Press, opened North Figueroa Bookshop with the assistance of two major publishers, Grove Atlantic and MCD Books, which help support the store in exchange for dedicated shelf space and other perks.
Small Press Points: Write Bloody Publishing
Los Angeles press Write Bloody Publishing releases books by “troubadour poets” who can command the stage as well as the page. “We love getting knocked on our asses by honesty,” says Write Bloody founder Derrick C. Brown.
Literary MagNet: Jennifer Maritza McCauley
The author of When Trying to Return Home describes her connection with journals that first published her stories, including Jabberwock Review and the Vassar Review.
The Written Image: Crystallized Books
Inspired by books and magazines she found discarded on the street, Oakland-based artist Alexis Arnold explores the vulnerability of printed media by transforming books into sculptures with crystallized borax.
Q&A: Bashir Leads Lambda Literary
Lambda Literary’s new executive director shares her goals for expanding inclusivity at the nonprofit by engaging writers across genres, mediums, and identities.
The Practical Writer
Tax Tips for Writers: Save Money While Playing by the Rules
Tax season is coming up, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. The author explains how writers can follow the rules to their advantage to protect their earnings.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem about a formative childhood memory, a story with a powerful character who meets their demise, or an essay exploring your relationship with the spring rain.
Letting Go: How I Found an Agent After Giving Up
The author of Sing Something True recounts the path to writing the memoir she was afraid to write, grieving her identity as a writer after rejection, and finding solace (and representation) after shifting focus away from publication.