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Exploring the art of prose

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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.

For Better or Worse: On the Failure of the Stand-Alone Excerpt

October 20, 2020

  By Maria Cichosz • The first time I tried to turn part of my novel into a publishable excerpt, I immediately knew it was hopeless. I had just finished working on one novel and was deep into another, having…

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Interview: Leesa Cross-Smith

October 13, 2020

  Inventive. Authentic. Honest. All these words have been used to describe Leesa Cross-Smith’s work, yet the same very well could be said about the author herself. Writer, wife, mother of two, unabashed Christian, she often credits her family and…

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Art of the Opening: What’s an Opening to Do?

October 6, 2020

  Toward a Taxonomy of How Stories Start An invitation. A doorway. A promise to—or even contract with—the reader. There are various ways to think about the opening of a story, but rather than consider what it should be, let’s…

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Detail: Applying a James Wood Lens to Deborah Eisenberg’s “Like It or Not”

September 29, 2020

  By Christopher Hathaway • In reading James Wood’s literary criticism, specifically the essays “What Chekhov Meant by Life,” “Serious Noticing,” and “Anna Karenina and Characterisation” from his latest collection, Serious Noticing, one comes to understand how detail functions in…

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Looking at LOVE: Toni Morrison’s Construction of Desire and Obstacle

September 22, 2020

  By Emilee Prado • Toni Morrison’s novel Love grapples with the vast, mutable, apparitional human experience that we compress into that four-letter word taken as the title. For those who have fallen in and out of romantic love, for…

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Hybrid Interview: Megan Cummins

September 15, 2020

  Framing the Stories: If the Body Allows It by Megan Cummins Essay by Laura Spence-Ash • The architecture of If the Body Allows It, Megan Cummins’s stunning debut story collection, is unique: there are two sets of stories within…

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Master of the Touching Detail: Emmanuel Bove, the Ultimate Writer’s Writer

September 8, 2020

  By Peter Selgin • Beckett said of him, “More than anyone else he has the instinct for the touching detail.” Anyone who has read the works of Emmanuel Bove (1898–1945) would agree. This is especially the case with Bove’s…

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Practicing the Ecstatic: On the Value of Escapist Fiction in the Internet Age

August 18, 2020

  By Tim Weed • Ours is an age of online media. We imbibe great doses of it through our laptops and smartphones and large-screen TVs. With the help of algorithmically informed techniques that are addictive and sometimes close to…

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Thick with Noir: Tom Lutz’s BORN SLIPPY

August 11, 2020

  By Sean Hooks • “A drunk sees the world in fragments and I wanted to recreate that,” says Karl Hyde of pioneering British electronica outfit Underworld. “The first time we played it live, people raised their lager cans and…

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Art of the Opening: Laura van den Berg

August 4, 2020

  A friend tells you a story. It makes you pause each time you enter the bathroom, eyes sliding to the linen closet. Each time you pull a fresh bath towel from the shelf, the warm musk of cedar reaching…

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