September/October 2018

Our annual MFA Issue features a comprehensive index of more than 220 graduate programs in creative writing; an interview with poet Ada Limón on her new collection, The Carrying; a day in the life of editor Caroline Bleeke of Flatiron Books; the best debut literary nonfiction of 2018; how seven literary outsiders forged their own paths to publication; writing prompts; agent advice; contest deadlines; and more.

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Features

The Poetry of Perseverance: An Interview With Ada Limón

by Carrie Fountain
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In her fifth collection, The Carrying, Ada Limón digs deep down to the roots of what she sees happening in the world today—and she is deeply troubled by what she finds.

Outsiders on the Inside

by Michele Sharpe
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Seven writers who exist on the margins—women of color, disabled women, and queer women who have no MFAs, literary agents, or industry connections—have forged their own paths to publication.

The Genre of Resistance: Debut Literary Nonfiction of 2018

by Melissa Faliveno
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A look at some of the year’s best debut literary nonfiction, including books by Sarah Viren, Nicole Chung, Shaelyn Smith, Brian Phillips, and Casey Gerald.

Special Section

Practice Imagining Change: A Workshop Manifesto

by Helen Betya Rubinstein
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A writing teacher proposes a new way to approach workshops—without the language of “good” or “bad.”

News and Trends

The Practical Writer

Strategic Thinking: Business Management Tools for Writers

by Danielle Hanson
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How traditional business strategies can be adapted to your writing life.

Like the First Time: The Persistence of a Midcareer Writer

by Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum
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The challenges and rewards of publishing a third book after a long hiatus.

The Literary Life

In Praise of Darkness: The Art of the Essay in Fraught Times

by Heather Lanier
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Exploring the dark to write a better essay, including practical tips in making room for essayistic thinking.

#MeToo: Crafting Our Most Difficult True Stories

by Tracy Strauss
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Using elements of craft to tell powerful stories about sexual assault and trauma, with examples from work by Roxane Gay, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Megan Stielstra, and others.

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Breaking the Rules: When to Ignore Good Advice

by Lenore Myka
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A fiction writer breaks up with her novel and learns that sometimes it's more important to follow your intuition than take advice.

The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises

by Staff
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Consider earthly and celestial bodies, write a prequel to a horror story, or explore emotional ties to clothing—three prompts to get you writing.

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