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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, 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.

Interview: Kirstin Valdez Quade

April 20, 2021

  Albert Liau: The Five Wounds is a fantastic reading experience. It is an immersive story, and for those of us who are looking, we can find craft elements being used to these degrees that at least I had not…

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Conversations Between Friends: Sadie Hoagland and John McNally

April 13, 2021

  SADIE HOAGLAND: John, I so enjoyed reading The Fear of Everything. Each story balances humor and darkness so well, and each piece held the sort of “good surprises” I love in fiction—the unexpected turns. I think one of my…

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Conversations Between Friends: Nancy Au and Olga Zilberbourg

March 30, 2021

  At the beginning of October, 2019, Nancy Au and Olga Zilberbourg celebrated the publication of their books Spider Love Song and Other Stories and Like Water and Other Stories. The E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore of Oakland, CA,…

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Time Stamps: Eleven Ways of Managing the Clock in Memoir

March 23, 2021

  By Beth Kephart • All memoirists are ultimately marking time. They denounce or embrace chronology. They deploy fragments or amaranthine circles to supersede the clock. They suggest, by their very storytelling structures and frames, that the sequence of remembering…

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Interview: Jo Ann Beard

March 16, 2021

  Jo Ann Beard’s third book, Festival Days, is a truehearted work of art. Nine pieces lean into life’s difficult decisions and the daunting beauty within moments of uncertainty. Her writing masters precision in language, emotional urgency, and grief’s complexities.…

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Character Revealed Indirectly in Emma Cline’s “A/S/L”

March 9, 2021

  By Jessica Lampard • Revealing character—not just how a character serves the story, but who they are beneath their public persona—is the bedrock of all good fiction. It’s how real truths about human nature take hold within our imagination.…

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Art of the Opening: Move Fast and Make Things Happen

March 2, 2021

  When flash fiction works in fabulist ways “The speed is exhilarating,” Philip Pullman says of fairy tales in Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling, a collection of his perspectives on literary craft. Indeed, in little to no time at…

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Interview: Lara Ehrlich

February 23, 2021

  The woman on the cover of Lara Ehrlich’s debut short story collection appears to be almost airlifted from the 1950s—she could be an actor from The Donna Reed Show or perhaps a model for LOOK magazine, all aproned and…

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Nonfiction Explosions: THE BEST OF BREVITY

February 16, 2021

  By Jacqueline Doyle • Flash fiction has gradually come to be recognized as an important literary form, though there are still writers who dismiss flash as a passing fad, less important than the short story. Often, they are the…

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Interview: Joyce Hinnefeld

February 9, 2021

  Stories that Slip Sideways: An Interview with Joyce Hinnefeld by Ron MacLean Joyce Hinnefeld and Ron MacLean met as fellow doctoral students in the English Department at SUNY Albany in the early 1990s. They’ve stayed in touch since then,…

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