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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.

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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Art of the Opening: Close Reading I

February 2, 2021

  If something nearing a primal pleasure skitters high up beneath your ribs and low in your gut when you read the first page of a story—if you experience a flume of anticipatory longing for the ways in which diction…

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Blood and Agency in Raven Leilani’s LUSTER

January 26, 2021

  By Candace Walsh • Raven Leilani’s Luster is a craft and theme kaleidoscope, every turned page yielding a new configuration of angles and juxtapositions. What happens in this novel—twenty-three year old Edie, a Black woman artist manquée working slackly…

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Hybrid Interview: Matthew Salesses

January 19, 2021

  Essay by Candace Eros Diaz • The first sentence of Matthew Salesses’s Craft in the Real World reads, “[T]his book is a challenge to accepted models of craft and workshop, to everything from a character-driven plot to the ‘cone…

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More than Mere Oblivion: Alexander Trocchi’s CAIN’S BOOK

January 12, 2021

  By Peter Selgin • Like rock stars, some novelists are eaten alive by their ardent fans. Embraced by severely circumscribed subcultures, their best performances are transformed from works of art into manifestoes, and cease to be read by ordinary…

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Interview: Joy Castro

December 15, 2020

  Joy Castro grew up in Miami, London, and West Virginia, and lived in Texas and Indiana before settling in Nebraska, where she is the Willa Cather Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and directs…

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