A little known fact, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina was inspired by a writing prompt suggested during his Thursday evening writing group at the Moscow library. The prompt: “write a story that ends with a suicide via railway. Make vocab twelfth grade reading level and use numerous flashbacks, a minimum of one blizzard, and two characters with names ending in ‘nina.'”
I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining the Philadelphia Stories team as the new Creative Nonfiction Editor. Susette Brooks, my predecessor, has moved to Baltimore for a job opportunity.
George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo and several excellent short story collections, visited Rutgers the other day to do a reading. I went to his master class, which was an informal-ish discussion and Q&A for students and rabid Saunders fans like me. He showed up, this ordinary man in jeans and a button […]
Since we launched the Marguerite McGlinn Fiction Contest in 2008, I am tasked each year with two duties. First, I must find a judge who is also willing to come to Philadelphia and deliver the keynote address at our Push to Publish conference, as well as offer a master class the day before. I start […]
My stepson is reading Romeo and Juliet for his eighth grade English class. I asked him what he thought about it the other day during dinner.
I’m excited to announce that I’m the new
Pretend that you find yourself in a scary situation.
My mother bought tickets to a book luncheon the other day. I’d never heard of that, but it’s a place where a lot of women wearing Chico’s mix-and-match outfits spend $60 to eat chicken while listening to an author speak about his or her books. The author in this case was a very nice man […]
Answer the following questions as honestly as you can. If you say no at any point, stop. You are not suited to pursue your MFA. If you say yes, continue on to the next question. Do you want to be surrounded by other writers of varying temperament, talents, and levels of dedication? Think carefully […]
Are there any topics we cannot write poems about? Can we write about love or death or the soul or suicide or any other abstraction when Shakespeare and Dickinson and Frost and Plath have covered that territory so well already? Can we write about the funeral of our grandmother with her cold hands folded as […]