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From the Magazine


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The New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author of The Orchid Thief talks with musician Ben Arthur about her music, inspiration, distraction, adaptation, and her new book about the Los Angeles Public Library fire in 1986.

The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises

by Staff

The Literary Life

January/February 2017

<p>Compose a series of poems addressed to an unknown person, write a story with an unexpected arc, or predict the future—three prompts to spark your creativity.</p>

The Heart-Work: Writing About Trauma as a Subversive Act

by Melissa Febos

Special Section

January/February 2017

<p>Writing about trauma is sometimes called narcissistic or “navel-gazing”—particularly for women writers. An essayist and memoirist confronts this stigma, and calls on writers to explore their personal traumas and truths—a practice that can lead to stronger writing.</p>

The Long Thaw: How a Concussion Revolutionized My Writing Life

by Nancy M. Williams

Special Section

January/February 2017

<p>When a writer suffers a serious concussion as a result of a car accident, she fears she might never write again. What she discovers instead on the long journey to recovery is a whole new writing practice.</p>



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