November/December 2018

Our November/December issue includes a profile of Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book; a conversation between best-selling novelists Barbara Kingsolver and Richard Powers; our third annual 5 Over 50; a special section on literary magazines, including articles on navigating contracts, cultivating inclusivity, and the changing landscape of digital submissions; plus an interview with Emily Nemens of the Paris Review, agent advice, writing prompts, and more.


5 Over 50: 2018

by Staff

In our third annual installment of this series, five authors over the age of fifty who published their debut books this year—Jeanne McCulloch, A. G. Lombardo, Anne Youngson, Maw Shein Win, and Laura Esther Wolfson—share their paths to publication.

Talking to Strangers: A Profile of Susan Orlean

by Kate Tuttle
Print Only

In more than twenty-five years at the New Yorker, during which time she has written eight books, including The Library Book, published in October, Susan Orlean has displayed a remarkable talent: getting people to talk. 

Special Section

Fight for Your Rights: Understanding Literary Magazine Contracts

by Laura Maylene Walter
Print Only

An author seeks advice from an agent and an Authors Guild representative about what to know before signing a contract—and how to identify and address questionable terms.

Telling a Different Story: How to Cultivate Inclusivity at Literary Magazines

by Jenn Scheck-Kahn
Print Only

More than a dozen writers and editors offer insight on how literary journals can effectively develop and maintain inclusive publishing practices to open the door to diverse readers and writers. 

Diving Into the Digital Slush Pile: How Online Submissions Are Changing Lit Mags (and Your Chances of Publication)

by Michael Bourne
Print Only

With the rise of platforms like Submittable, it’s easier than ever for writers to submit work to magazines—but the slush piles keep getting bigger.   

News and Trends

The Practical Writer

The Literary Life

A Forgotten Form: The Art of Letter Writing

by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes
Print Only

Ernest Hemingway’s great-granddaughter makes a case for writing letters to help strengthen and sustain your writing practice.

Writing Partners: Working Together Through Writing and Life

by Steph Auteri
Print Only

A memoirist posts a want ad to find a writing partner—someone to keep her on task and help her finish her book. What she discovers is so much more. 

The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises

by Staff
Print Only

Explore emotional ties to personal objects in a poem, write a short story about the holiday season, and use interviews for an essay—three prompts to get you writing.