Don’t Write Alone: Notes on Craft

The Way Into the Poem Is the Decision to Write the Poem

The fear of writing a “bad” poem keeps me from writing at all. But I can’t write a “good” poem without writing any poem.

Jul 12, 2022
As an Indigenous Writer, I Push and Protect My Readers, My People, and Myself

Redactions can be both silence and explanation. They function purely on my own terms and for my audience, my community.

May 05, 2022
Writing Social Media Into Fiction

Social media is often portrayed as the enemy of the writer—but like any good enemy, perhaps it’s best to keep it close. Don’t miss this craft essay by Isle McElroy for our Social Media Week series.

Apr 26, 2022
To Write for Middle-Grade Readers is to Write About Elsewhere

We’re not writing for us as we are now, but us as we were, or could have been, or should have been.

Apr 21, 2022
Who Is Steven Hotdog? Or, Untangling the “Braided Essay”

A personal essay of the Steven Hotdog form needs the interior experience, the exterior fact, and the meaning that connects them—in order to work its magic.

Mar 30, 2022
On the Limits and Possibilities of the Sentence

After another breath, I return to the sentence “This is because that is.”

Mar 29, 2022
I Couldn’t Stop Updating My Memoir

Writing a memoir is a process of curation. But I kept wanting mine to reflect my up-to-the-moment present.

Feb 17, 2022
The Anxiety of Exclamation Points

My exclamation points are part of a decades-long project to be as truthful as possible to my lived experience as a child of immigrants.

Teaching Freshman Comp Was the Best Writing Education I Ever Got

As part of our Education Week series, Jaime Green describes how teaching the fundamentals in undergrad writing comp made her a better writer.

Jan 24, 2022
Lessons from the Paintbrush to the Pen

I discovered that storytelling is also just as much science as art.

Dec 22, 2021
Why We Should Translate Literature About Trauma

Translating trauma and violence is not just about deciphering pain but also about recreating an emotional language that helps us to understand each other better.

Dec 16, 2021
What You May Never Find During the Research Process

What happens to your writing project if you are unable to find a particular source? Adin Dobkin shares two options: either you carry on or decide the project is valueless without it.

Dec 15, 2021
The Working Metaphors of Novel Writing

Ingrid Rojas Conteras speaks to Naima Coster, Alexandra Kleeman, R. O. Kwon, Laura van den Berg, and Bryan Washington about the language they use to describe writing novels.

Bringing Acting Technique to Exploratory Writing

When beginning a new written work, apply acting exercises to explore the intent, sensory experiences, and focus of your writing.

Native Flowers and True Names: Using Research to Write Richer Narrative Fiction

To write her book ‘If You Leave Me,’ Crystal Hana Kim used research to be true to Korea, down to its roots.

Nov 30, 2021
What If We Taught Writing the Way We Teach Acting?

Actors studied movement, script analysis, emotional connection, our bodies, our voices. In my writing MFA, we got . . . workshop.

Nov 10, 2021
Drafting a Personal Essay Is Like Stumbling Through a Dance

You can study all you want, but it’s only in the act of doing that you learn what’s right and what isn’t.

Don’t Call It Writer’s Block

It’s rare to hear writers—especially more established ones—claim that term in public.

Sep 23, 2021
Writing Down the Ghosts

My whole process of writing is tricking my brain into writing without realizing what I’m doing, to make myself write even when the idea of writing instills a vomity feeling in my gut.

Sep 20, 2021
The Memoir Time Machine

As a writer of personal nonfiction, I worry that with every memoir or essay, I risk fragmenting and simplifying my life into words living on pages.

Aug 18, 2021