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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.

Interview: Benjamin Percy

November 26, 2019

Benjamin Percy’s new book, Suicide Woods, released in October with Graywolf Press, is a collection of eerie and visceral short stories that walks an electric tightrope of genre and literary fiction to the pulsing phantoms of boogeyman and creatures that…

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Hybrid Interview: Cathy Ulrich

November 19, 2019

  By Kate Finegan • The Pieces Left Behind In Cathy Ulrich’s debut flash fiction collection, Ghosts of You (Okay Donkey Press, 2019), the murdered lady sets the plot in motion. These forty stories are all named in the same…

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Diane Williams and a Taxonomy of Flash Fiction Endings

November 12, 2019

  By Matthew Duffus • In a June 2014 interview with The White Review, Diane Williams described one of her writing goals as “to provide some mystery, a place to meditate, where I might be nearing a new insight, if…

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Suspense in Flannery O’Connor’s “The River”

October 29, 2019

  By Alyson Mosquera Dutemple • Long before we discover that the main character, a little boy named Harry, will drown in the final moments of Flannery O’Connor’s “The River,” we are unsettled while reading the story. On the surface,…

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Hybrid Interview: Shane Jones

October 22, 2019

Essay by J.A. Tyler • There was something about Shane Jones’s new novel Vincent and Alice and Alice that held me at bay. I’m a huge fan of his work, loved his previous novels, have admired his style for years.…

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Withholding Information in Nathan Englander’s “Reunion”

October 15, 2019

  By David Saltzman • As students of fiction, we’re often taught that in crafting a story, the writer should rigidly mete out information, ensuring that a reader is always, without exception, situated as to speaker, scene, and story. When…

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Self-Salvation, Structure, and Sex Part II: Intertextuality in Carmen Maria Machado’s “The Husband Stitch”

October 8, 2019

  By Candace Walsh • In Jess Walter’s “Famous Actor” and Carmen Maria Machado’s “The Husband Stitch,” the authors use intertextuality as a structural element: a rhythmic, outside-of-time interruption of the chronological main story. Simultaneously, each of the female narrators…

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What Tells You

September 24, 2019

  By Gabriel Brownstein • For years, I’ve assigned Joan Didion’s essay “Why I Write” to my fiction writing workshops. For me, as a short story writer, there are two crucial sentences in the essay. Didion precedes these sentences with…

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This Story Would Make a Good Essay

September 17, 2019

  By Paul Crenshaw • As an undergraduate I wrote a lot of autobiographical fiction in which narrators from small Southern towns attempted to escape the confines of their region, all the conservative culture and Christianity that wrapped around them…

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Unsayables and Invisibilities

September 10, 2019

  By Nancy Au • In the title essay of The Empathy Exams, a 2014 collection by Leslie Jamison, the author writes about her time as a medical actor playing Stephanie Phillips, a fictional patient who experiences seizures as a…

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