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CRAFT BOOK SUMMARIES and REVIEWS

Five Craft Books Off the Beaten Path

By Guest Author | July 19, 2018

By Katharine Coldiron Writers at all stages of their careers need help understanding where they’re going. Sometimes, when a writer gets stuck, a craft book can help unstick her. Many craft books offer general information about how writing works, or…

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Book Review: CREDO

By Guest Author | May 22, 2018

Credo: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing Editors: Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai Reviewed by Katharine Coldiron   Often, writing reference books labor under a single focus, but Credo, a collection of essays assembled by members of…

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WRITING IN GENERAL, Rust Hills

By CRAFT | April 23, 2018

Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular, Rust Hills Mariner Books, 2000 Originally published in 1977, this book examines the elements of craft, with an emphasis on the short story, examining the components of a successful short story…

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LIGHT THE DARK, edited by Joe Fassler

By CRAFT | March 21, 2018

“Light the Dark,” edited by Joe Fassler Penguin Books, 2017 A collection of craft essays from a series in The Atlantic, this is a book to treasure, one to read again and again. The online series, called “By Heart,” is…

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NAMING THE WORLD, Bret Anthony Johnston

By CRAFT | December 14, 2017

Naming the World, Bret Anthony Johnston, editor Penguin Random House, 2007 Naming the World is a craft class in a book. Edited by the writer Bret Anthony Johnston, the book is broken into typical craft chapters: Plot and Narration, Dialogue…

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THE ART OF HISTORY, Christopher Bram

By CRAFT | November 9, 2017

The Art of History, Christopher Bram Graywolf Press, 2016 A recent addition to Graywolf’s wonderful “Art of…” series of books, The Art of History is a terrific resource for any writer. Although writers of historical fiction may be the primary…

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Book Review: RAGGED; OR, THE LOVELIEST LIES OF ALL

By Guest Author | October 24, 2017

Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All, by Christopher Irvin Reviewed by Nick Fuller Googins For those who tire of life in the Anthropocene, with near-daily headlines reminding us of the many ways our species continues destroying vibrant swaths of…

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HIDDEN MACHINERY, Margot Livesey

By CRAFT | October 19, 2017

Hidden Machinery, Margot Livesey Tin House Books, 2017 A collection of ten essays on writing by the great Margot Livesey is a book to be savored, to be read again and again. A thoughtful reader as well as writer, Livesey’s…

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CRASH COURSE, Robin Black

By CRAFT | October 12, 2017

 Crash Course, Robin Black Engine Books, 2016 This lovely collection houses a series of essays on writing and on life. Many of the short essays live in the place where writing and life intersect, and as the book progresses, you…

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SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING, Verlyn Klinkenborg

By CRAFT | September 26, 2017

Several Short Sentences About Writing, Verlyn Klinkenborg Penguin Random House, 2012 There is much good advice in Klinkenborg’s book, and the way that it is written—in a series of sentences and passages—makes it an easy book to read. It feels…

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