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From the Magazine
Compose a poem from a stranger’s perspective, unlock your unconscious with “automatic writing,” or create your own astrological forecast—three prompts to help you reach new depths in your writing.
Adjuncting can be difficult, even for those who love teaching writing. A writer and teacher recounts the challenges of her adjunct experiences after graduating with an MFA and publishing her first book.
Not all MFA workshops are created equal. Eight writers and teachers describe their individual approaches to workshop and the culture of the classroom, revealing a range of aesthetic and pedagogical principles that reaffirm the value of writers coming together to share their work and learn from one another.
Shannon Reed’s friends didn’t quite understand her decision to go back to school at the age of thirty-eight to earn an MFA. For writers thinking about returning to school as an older student, Reed provides a primer for what to expect, soliciting sage advice from several writers who made the same decision.
Though helpful to many writers, the MFA degree is not a requirement to become a working writer, particularly if teaching is not one’s career goal. Novelist Marie Myung-Ok Lee talks about her decision to forgo the MFA, and forge her own path to publication.
How does a story collection happen? Justin Taylor, the author of two short story collections, offers advice about the various ways in which to build a book of short fiction.
The process of writing is one of discovery. A creative nonfiction writer describes how an essay in her new collection came to life, with a little unexpected help from Led Zeppelin.
Contributing editor Jeremiah Chamberlin discusses the value in understanding and appreciating the linguistics of place—in this case, the Midwest—in works of fiction, using the stories of Jack Driscoll and Bonnie Jo Campbell as examples.
Whether it’s simply spelling a name correctly in a query letter or proposing something new, advice for catching an agent’s eye can range from the obvious to the surprisingly counter-intuitive. Here, six agents speak candidly about what stands out to them.