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THE CLASSROOM CORNER

We often hear from creative writing instructors that they find CRAFT to be very useful in the classroom. We listened, and we've made this corner as a quick resource, a curated list of some of our favorites. This list is NOT exhaustive—our pages are full of short fiction, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, critical essays, interviews, book reviews and annotations, roundups of all things literary, and more. This is a handy place to start!

We will continually update this list, so check back when making those syllabi, and for quick inspiration anytime.

Radical Empathy via Free Indirect Style: Luis Alberto Urrea’s “Mountains Without Number”

May 17, 2022

  By Anne Elliott • One of the noble aims of fiction is the fostering of empathy across difference, including difference of beliefs. Most difficult for me is finding empathy for those with unpalatable beliefs. Softening my gaze puts my…

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Conversations Between Friends: Gale Massey and Louise Marburg

March 29, 2022

  Gale Massey and Louise Marburg met in 2016 at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference over a tarot card consultation. Discovering a shared interest in exploring the dark side of human nature, they immediately clicked and have been friends and writing…

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alt text: image is a color photograph of a rabbit with its identity obscured by a black bar; title card for Lee Upton's new craft essay "Never Rush a Rabbit"

Never Rush a Rabbit: Prey Animals & Choices in Fiction

March 15, 2022

  By Lee Upton • Probably like many writers I’m protective toward my characters—even though I put them in impossible situations or give them unfulfillable longings. I pretty much pickle them in vulnerability. Sometimes I let them avoid any action…

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Hybrid Interview: Rebecca Kuder

March 8, 2022

  Essay by Jahzerah Brooks • The Eight Mile Suspended Carnival is, at its core, a story about tearing down and building up. In this debut novel set against the backdrop of a working carnival and a wartime munitions factory,…

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lt text: image is a sepia photograph of a forest entrance; title card for the new craft essay "Hauntings of the Past, Hauntings of the Future: Crafting Dreams in Fiction" by @AudreyTCarroll

Hauntings of the Past, Hauntings of the Future: Crafting Dreams in Fiction

March 1, 2022

  By Audrey T. Carroll • Dreams have woven their way into fiction from The Iliad to The Lord of the Rings and beyond. They can, of course, serve all kinds of purposes—deepening understanding of a character’s fears, desires, or…

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alt text: image is the book cover to Thea Prieto's novel FROM THE CAVES; title card for "Conversations Between Friends: Thea Prieto and Peg Alford Pursell"

Conversations Between Friends: Thea Prieto and Peg Alford Pursell

February 22, 2022

  Thea Prieto and Peg Alford Pursell first became acquainted when Pursell submitted her hybrid flash writing to The Gravity of the Thing, a literary journal edited by Prieto, and over the years their conversations on writing have grown to…

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alt text: image is a color photograph of sliced watermelons; title card for the craft essay "Gurov's Watermelon" by Patrick Thomas Henry

Gurov’s Watermelon: Prop Work as Character Work in Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Pet Dog”

February 15, 2022

  By Patrick Thomas Henry • Wherever I write, I stow props: photographs and notebooks, found objects, mementoes of life away from the page. Despite my effort to shake off the strictures of my own workshop experiences, I still believe…

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alt text: image is the book cover to Lan Samantha Chang's novel THE FAMILY CHAO that features a black backdrop with red font; title card for an interview of Chang by Candace Walsh

Interview: Lan Samantha Chang

February 1, 2022

  In The Family Chao, publishing today from W. W. Norton, Lan Samantha Chang presents a contemporary Midwestern family in fascinating crisis. I was fortunate to work with Sam in 2018 during the final semester of my MFA studies at…

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Interview: Randon Billings Noble

January 18, 2022

  As a writer and professor, I am often on the lookout for books on craft to expand my thinking when I write and to expand my explanatory powers when I teach. A new anthology edited by Randon Billings Noble…

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Hybrid Interview: Ira Sukrungruang

December 14, 2021

  Essay by Sam Risak • Author of a combined six books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College, and president of the literary nonprofit Sweet: A Literary Confection, Ira Sukrungruang…

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