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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.

Mystery vs. Confusion

August 27, 2018

By Sarah Stone In writing fiction, we’re always looking for ways to manage the release and restraint of information, introducing our characters and situations while avoiding the dreaded exposition junk pile at the beginning (many of us do have a…

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Interview: D. Wystan Owen

August 20, 2018

CRAFT: Linked collections are so often the best of both worlds: the beauty of a short story combined with the scope of a novel. At what point as you were writing the stories for Other People’s Love Affairs did you…

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The Hook: More Than The Opening Line

August 17, 2018

By Tommy Dean Think about your favorite verbal storytellers, those people in your family who have passed down the history of the joys and tragedies, the small coincidences, and the shared DNA that results in a similar nose, an ornery…

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Object Lessons: An Exploration

August 13, 2018

By Laura van den Berg This summer, I spent five weeks at an artists’ residency in Italy, where I had the good fortune of crossing paths with a Swedish composer-performer and visual artist named Charlotte Hug. Known for her musical-visual…

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Toward Inspiration as Craft

July 25, 2018

By Mercedes Lucero Until recently, I had a very clear notion of what craft meant. It meant technique. Literary devices. Structure. Figurative language. Setting. Point of view. In short, it meant what happens on the page. It meant careful construction.…

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Five Craft Books Off the Beaten Path

July 19, 2018

By Katharine Coldiron Writers at all stages of their careers need help understanding where they’re going. Sometimes, when a writer gets stuck, a craft book can help unstick her. Many craft books offer general information about how writing works, or…

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Realistic Absurdity in DeLillo’s WHITE NOISE

July 16, 2018

By Christina Ward-Niven There is so much to admire, craft-wise, in Don DeLillo’s classic novel White Noise: compelling, empathetic characterization; sharp dialogue; handling of theme through plot and subtext; a tone that consistently weaves wryness with heart. In this essay,…

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Interiority Complex

June 20, 2018

by Rebecca Makkai It’s hard enough to make our characters act, make them do and say interesting things. You know what’s harder? Well, lots of stuff. Coal mining, for one. Come on, writing is a pretty cushy job. But here’s…

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Book Review: CREDO

May 22, 2018

Credo: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing Editors: Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai Reviewed by Katharine Coldiron   Often, writing reference books labor under a single focus, but Credo, a collection of essays assembled by members of…

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Punctuation as Art

May 17, 2018

By Ariel Lewis I. For a long time I was under the belief that punctuation was of secondary interest to the writer, a micro-concern only for the truly fanatical snob or the lowly copywriter. I held this belief, as a…

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