Litstack Recs | Changing My Mind & Time Salvager

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Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays, by Zadie Smith This collection of essays came about by accident, Zadie Smith tells us in the foreword, but the voice and curiosity behind it make this read seamless and satisfying. And with Smith, whether the subject is Nabokov or Forster, her person is an […]

Litstack Rec: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel & The Cost of Hope

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir are at their heart about writing—but they are also about striving to succeed as a […]

No Nonsense Writing Advice from Folks Who ‘Know’

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When you put yourself out ‘there’ as a writer, when you lasso the title of ‘writer,’ inevitably you are asked your opinion. You are also confronted by a litany of folks who make excuses. Now, I’m not adverse to the excuse bit. I hear and speak them daily. But what […]

You Are What You Eat

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There are many axioms that get tossed around writing advice columns and beginning writer’s workshops.  Show, don’t tell is a big one, as is Avoid -ly adverbs.  While these are good and useful, they’re really only pertinent to the actual process of writing.  Just as there is more to being […]

Inspirational Quotes from Writers You’ve Actually Read

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It would be a superlative world if the collective “we” would fess up. We’ve done posts before that were meant to inspire. We’ve quoted some of the most beloved, some of the most “important” writers in history. But let’s face it — not every “great” writer has been read by […]

Traveling Light: Unpacking a Story

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So there I am, in a small hotel between the Costa Brava and Sitges, once again unpacking the bag I’ve carried through France and Spain. It’s been five weeks, and by now the contents are painfully familiar: five t-shirts, two pairs of shorts, and various smaller items, including an excellent […]

Brutally Honest Writing Advice That You Should Be Following

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Being a writer isn’t always an easy gig. There are moments of struggle, of invented blocks that we use as an excuse to procrastinate and there is the thrilling, relieving seconds when a story is complete and we’ve finally wrote the two most beautiful words in the English language: The […]

The Most Common Phrases in ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ and ‘Twilight’

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From Flavorwire: Ben Blatt of Slate decided to see what adjectives, adverbs, and sentences pop up most in the popular young adult series Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter. Twilight is, to no one’s surprise, superficially glittery and “wrapped in emotion.” J.K. Rowling has a heavy “reliance on suspense.” Blatt […]

Opportunities for Midwestern Writers

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If you’re a writer from the Midwest, or who writes about the region, take note. the museum of americana has announced it will publish a special Midwest-themed issue. The online review, which features Americana-themed prose, poetry and art, will produce the issue in conjunction with Quiddity International Literary Journal.  The […]