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Not just a notebook: The Journal as the beating heart of the writer’s practice

by Tzivia Gover Its cover, the color of tangerines, is pocked with rows of mechanically precise dots. The small brick of a book is girdled with a taut elastic, and when I cinch it closed, it snaps with satisfaction. I slide it into the drawer of my bedside table after recording my dreams in the morning. There it slumbers until …


Embracing Failure

by Dori Ostermiller A student who recently submitted her essay for publication and was bombarded with rejection letters emailed me the other day: “Does it ever get any easier?” she asked. “Please, tell me it does.” I wanted to reassure her.  I wanted to say that yes, it will for sure get easier.  I wanted to promise that with each …


Discovering the Story Beneath the Story: A Generative Approach to Revision

by Arya Samuelson Aside from simply sitting down to write the damn thing, revision is often considered the most challenging part of writing. That’s because revision is such a nebulous, amorphous process. Everyone can agree that revision is necessary for helping a story or book become the strongest version of itself, but how do we accomplish that? How do we …


Five Things to Consider Before Writing Your Historical Novel

by Susanne Dunlap Planning ahead is especially important when you’re writing a historical novel—whether it’s based on family or local history or anything else. Why? Because there are plenty of research rabbit holes and world-building pitfalls you can avoid, or at least mitigate, if you’ve thought through the broad strokes first. That doesn’t mean you can’t follow your instincts and …