Our November/December issue features an interview with Rumaan Alam on his third novel, Leave the World Behind; a conversation with novelist Naomi Jackson and Danielle Evans, author of the new story collection and novella The Office of Historical Corrections; our fifth annual 5 Over 50 roundup of debut authors; a roundtable discussion with six Black editors on independent publishing; essays on publishing the narratives of BIPOC writers in the Midwest and reevaluating the practice of blind submissions; advice on revising your poetry manuscript; writing prompts, contest listings, and more.
Leave the Expectations Behind: A Q&A With Rumaan Alam
In his third novel, Leave the World Behind, Rumaan Alam delivers a propulsive narrative that speaks to the challenges and crises of the moment while defying any expectations of what a novel written by a gay Indian man should be.
Ten years after her debut story collection was published, Danielle Evans returns with her second book, The Office of Historical Corrections, a timely reckoning with, among other things, America’s history of racialized violence.
Five authors over the age of fifty—Elizabeth Wetmore, Vivian Gibson, A. H. Kim, Susan Buttenwieser, and Daniel Becker—share excerpts from their first books.
The Abundance, Joy, Beauty, Persistence, Power, and Potential of Independent Publishing: A Conversation With Six Black Editors
Six Black editors—Heather Buchanan, Kwame Dawes, Mensah Demary, Parneshia Jones, Alexandra Watson, and Camille T. Dungy—discuss the work of bringing writing into the world, finding new contributors, and shaping the literary culture.
Stories From Here: Sharing the Personal Narratives of BIPOC Writers in the Midwest
The author debunks common stereotypes about Midwestern writers and literature, and reinforces the importance of recognizing and sharing the many stories by BIPOC writers in the region.
A writer and editor questions the practice of blind submissions at literary journals as an additional barrier against equity in publishing, and makes the case for diversifying editorial mastheads.
News and Trends
Sidney Clifton, the eldest daughter of poet Lucille Clifton, has purchased her childhood home in Baltimore with plans to recreate the space as a haven for emerging and established artists.
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including Dearly by Margaret Atwood and Memorial by Bryan Washington.
Big Shoulders Books publishes writing from and about Chicagoans whose stories are overlooked—and then gives its books away for free.
For the first time in its 113-year history, MacDowell launches a virtual residency in an effort to build artistic community and fellowship during a time of social distancing.
Two new notable anthologies, And We Came Outside and Saw the Stars Again and African American Poetry, published in the second half of 2020.
The Texas press publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that is “not only invested in self but also community” by writers from the United States, Latin America, and beyond.
The fiction writer on five journals that published stories from her debut collection, If the Body Allows It.
In response to libraries shutting down during the pandemic, artists Katie Garth and Tracy Honn have collected a series of short artists’ books that can be downloaded for free and printed at home.
Dr. Gloria House, a longtime editor at Broadside Lotus Press, discusses the publisher’s future and role in the literary community.
The Practical Writer
Small Press Perseverance: Indie Publishing During the Pandemic
The author explores how bookstore shutdowns and social distancing measures have affected indie presses and the writers they publish.
An author suggests several strategies for ordering a poetry collection that can help poets generate new poems to make a stronger, more cohesive book.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem considering the beauty of a vestigial organ, a story in which the main character is reflected in the setting, or a lyric essay on memories of intimacy from the past.
The Infallible Continuum: A Scientific Theory of Writing Education
The author presents his theory of the writing life as a “toilsome, magical, unpredictable road,” and illustrates the hurdles an ambitious writer might encounter.
The author finds solace in rereading George Saunders’s novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, while mourning the death of her father during the pandemic.