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CRAFT ESSAYS, ELEMENTS, and TALKS

Image is a photograph of a wooden board wall dripping water into a pool, causing ripples; title card for the new critical essay "Crafting Endings in Short Fiction" by Jennifer Murvin.

Crafting Endings in Short Fiction

November 8, 2022

  By Jennifer Murvin • There are two quotations I often turn to when thinking about ending a short story; the first comes from Flannery O’Connor, in her essay, “On Her Own Work,” which reads, “I often ask myself what makes…

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alt text: image is the book cover for CHOUETTE by Claire Oshetsky; title card for the new hybrid interview between Cavar Sarah and Claire Oshetsky

Hybrid Interview: Claire Oshetsky

November 1, 2022

  By Cavar Sarah • I have never understood the fear of birds. “Because they are so far from us,” I am told by well-meaning humans. “Because we lack ways to tell what they are feeling.” I try to understand. I…

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alt text: image is a photograph of black tires in a matrix against a white background; title card for the craft essay "Wisdom and Wisdom Teeth: Against Relatability" by Karen Babine

Wisdom and Wisdom Teeth: Against Relatability

September 30, 2022

  “The human life is individual; it is not unique.” —Bee Yang, via Kao Kalia Yang “There are two types of people in the world: them who have and them who will.” —Dad By Karen Babine • Over the years,…

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alt text: image is a colorful book cover for THIS DISCONNECT; title card for Tyler Barton's new interview with Roisin Kiberd

Hybrid Interview: Roisin Kiberd

September 6, 2022

Essay by Tyler Barton • Someone recently asked me why I set many short stories in the aughts. It’s true that I have a fascination with those years because they were my formative ones, ones in which I was not…

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alt text: image is a color photograph of textured orange stripes; title card for the craft essay "Against Twists" by Vera Kurian

Against Twists

August 30, 2022

  By Vera Kurian • How I wish I could go back and watch The Sixth Sense for the first time again, because when I first saw it, someone had already revealed the twist to me. In retrospect, it was…

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alt text: image is the color book cover for YOU NEVER GET IT BACK; title card for Samantha Dilling's new interview with Cara Blue Adams

Hybrid Interview: Cara Blue Adams

August 15, 2022

  Essay by Sam Dilling • Cara Blue Adams’s debut short story collection, You Never Get It Back, is a nuanced portrait of love, loss, and longing. The stories follow the life of Kate Bishop, the central character, from childhood,…

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alt text: image is a color photograph of a few birds flying in an overcast sky; title card for the craft essay "Art of the Opening: Microcosm to Macrocosm" by Albert Liau

The Art of the Opening: Microcosm to Macrocosm

July 25, 2022

  How “The Ghost Birds” Spreads Its Wings after Taking the Leap By Albert Liau • How does a story begin to enchant us? When speaking with First Draft host Mitzi Rapkin, Richard Powers seems to suggest an answer: “You…

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alt text: image is a color photograph of tangled thread; title card for the craft essay "In the Expanded Field: The Lyric Essay & Genre Queerness" by Katy Scarlett

In the Expanded Field: The Lyric Essay & Genre Queerness

July 15, 2022

  By Katy Scarlett • In 1979, Rosalind Krauss published her now-famous essay “Sculpture in the Expanded Field,” which explored how new forms of three-dimensional art-making borrowed from sculpture, monument, architecture, interior and landscape design. She writes, “as the 1960s began…

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Hybrid Interview: Sara Lippmann

May 31, 2022

  Essay by Michelle Ross • Since the first time I read a Sara Lippmann story, I’ve been smitten. Among the inventory of qualities I admire is her wit, her raw honesty, her faith in her readers’ ability to keep…

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Radical Empathy via Free Indirect Speech: Luis Alberto Urrea’s “Mountains Without Number”

May 17, 2022

  By Anne Elliott • One of the noble aims of fiction is the fostering of empathy across difference, including difference of beliefs. Most difficult for me is finding empathy for those with unpalatable beliefs. Softening my gaze puts my…

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