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Exploring the art of fiction

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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, 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.

Naming Makes Visible: Building a Craft Vocabulary

August 20, 2019

  By Caitlin Horrocks • I was well into my MFA in creative writing before I encountered anything that might be called a craft essay. The previous writing-on-writing I’d encountered consisted of inspirational texts, collections of writing exercises, or literature…

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Hybrid Interview: Molly Gloss

August 13, 2019

  Essay by Nicole Barney • “Your opening line is a throwaway,” Molly Gloss said during workshop, not unkindly, just matter-of-factly. “An editor wouldn’t read past it.” Granted, my first sentence was no Dickensian gem. It presented no intriguing riddle…

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What We Talk About When We Read Submissions

July 30, 2019

  by David K. Slay • Since the beginning of this year, I have been on a team of first readers for CRAFT, a literary journal with a mission to “explore the art of fiction with a focus on the…

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If You Can Name It, You Can Fix It: A Craft Glossary

July 16, 2019

  By Jody Hobbs Hesler • “It seems like you don’t really care about your main character,” someone once told me in a workshop. Maybe they sensed an underlying issue with the character’s authenticity? A nebulous not-rightness about the prose?…

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Hybrid Interview: Ariel Gore

July 9, 2019

  Essay by Melissa Benton Barker • In this cultural moment when bodies and embodied experiences that resist conforming to the cisgender, heterosexual male norm are increasingly marginalized and criminalized, Ariel Gore’s We Were Witches, feminist novel and anti-shame manifesto,…

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Telling Time: Fiction As Clockmaking

June 18, 2019

  By Alix Ohlin • A few years back, in New York, I sat through four hours of Christian Marclay’s 2010 video art work “The Clock.” This was actually the third time I’d seen it, but I still went in…

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What’s in a Name? Only Everything

May 7, 2019

  By Aaron Hamburger • One of the most vexing tasks fiction writers face is naming their characters. Over the years, I’ve heard of writers searching for names in baby books, phone books (back when people had phone books), and…

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A Closer Look: MEANDER, SPIRAL, EXPLODE

April 23, 2019

  I hope…that thinking about patterns other than the arc will become natural, that evolving writers won’t feel oppressed by the arc, that they’ll imagine visual aspects of narrative as well as temporal, that they’ll discover ways to design, being…

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Joke-Telling in Lorrie Moore’s “You’re Ugly, Too”

March 19, 2019

  By Kate Kaplan • People tell jokes to attract attention or deflect it, to express a point of view, to connect, to offend, or in the hope of shared laughter. Some people (disclosure: me) tell jokes to themselves, rehearsing…

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The Ears and Noses of Beholders in THE PRICE OF SALT

February 19, 2019

  By Candace Walsh • As thousands of tweets and several articles attest, women have grown weary of the way many male writers describe female characters: zooming in on their body parts with a Porky’s-gaze, to the exclusion of describing…

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