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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.

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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CRAFT Fiction by the Elements

January 29, 2019

Here’s a roundup of CRAFT short and flash fiction pieces that each exemplify a certain element. Don’t forget the Author’s Note that accompanies each piece, in which the writer considers an aspect of craft in their story. Character Check out…

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The Queer Gaze and the Ineffable in THE PRICE OF SALT

January 22, 2019

  By Candace Walsh • I almost didn’t read Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt, one of the most influential, relevant, and exquisite novels I’ve ever encountered. Why? I felt like it would be dated. I thought that I should…

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How to Link Up a Short Story Collection: A Fairy Tale

December 18, 2018

By Micah Perks • A reader recently emailed me about my new collection of linked short stories, True Love and Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape: she appreciated “all the tiny details, like breadcrumbs that you sprinkled along the way. Reading…

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