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CRAFT ESSAYS, ELEMENTS, and TALKS

lt text: image is a sepia photograph of a forest entrance; title card for the new craft essay "Hauntings of the Past, Hauntings of the Future: Crafting Dreams in Fiction" by @AudreyTCarroll

Hauntings of the Past, Hauntings of the Future: Crafting Dreams in Fiction

March 1, 2022

  By Audrey T. Carroll • Dreams have woven their way into fiction from The Iliad to The Lord of the Rings and beyond. They can, of course, serve all kinds of purposes—deepening understanding of a character’s fears, desires, or…

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alt text: image is a color photograph of sliced watermelons; title card for the craft essay "Gurov's Watermelon" by Patrick Thomas Henry

Gurov’s Watermelon: Prop Work as Character Work in Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Pet Dog”

February 15, 2022

  By Patrick Thomas Henry • Wherever I write, I stow props: photographs and notebooks, found objects, mementoes of life away from the page. Despite my effort to shake off the strictures of my own workshop experiences, I still believe…

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Hybrid Interview: Ira Sukrungruang

December 14, 2021

  Essay by Sam Risak • Author of a combined six books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College, and president of the literary nonprofit Sweet: A Literary Confection, Ira Sukrungruang…

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The Semantics of Belonging: Asian American Identity and Cost of the American Dream in Ling Ma’s SEVERANCE

December 7, 2021

  By Khushi Daryani • “Only in America do you have the luxury of being depressed,” claims Ruifang from Ling Ma’s Severance (Ma, 226). A recently resurfaced novel due to its uncanny similarity to the global pandemic, it contains several…

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Shaping, Containing, and Dissecting Emotion in Kristen Radtke’s SEEK YOU

October 26, 2021

  By Stephanie Trott • I learned to love long-form graphic narratives during a time often associated with loneliness: college. Neither wunderkind nor department darling, I often felt an imposter in my undergraduate English classes and struggled to determine one…

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Hybrid Interview: Alexandra Kleeman

October 19, 2021

  Essay by Claire Lobenfeld • Alexandra Kleeman’s latest novel Something New Under the Sun is a book about plague. Not necessarily about sickness—although there is an age-agnostic form of dementia in its pages—but the Biblical kind. A novelist moves…

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Classics in the Maze: Michael Ende’s THE MIRROR IN THE MIRROR: A LABYRINTH

September 14, 2021

  utque ope virginea nullis iterata priorum ianua difficilis filo est inuenta relecto —Ovid, Metamorphoses Das stammt alles aus anderen Zeiten. —Michael Ende, Der Spiegel im Spiegel. Ein Labyrinth   Essay by Tamara Beneyto • Writer Michael Ende is mainly…

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Hybrid Interview: Matt Bell

August 17, 2021

  Essay by Jesse Motte • Matt Bell’s new novel, Appleseed, explores the climate-disaster subgenre through an interlocking system of storytelling whereby myth, legend, and Bell’s own originality converge. The novel follows three characters as they navigate the spaces between…

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Flesh and Blood Ideas in J.M. Coetzee’s ELIZABETH COSTELLO

August 3, 2021

  By Maggie Kast • When I’ve given a character my own thoughts on a subject close to my heart, I’ve heard critiques of my writing like, “Sounds authorial,” or, “Your character wouldn’t say that—those are your ideas.” Explication by…

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The Second Iceberg Theory

July 27, 2021

  By Matthew Duffus • Every fiction writer I know is familiar with Ernest Hemingway’s “Iceberg Theory,” explained most succinctly in Death in the Afternoon, his nonfiction book on bullfighting: “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he…

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