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 I’ve discovered in my brief [….]

Fictional Family Ties

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It’s been said that families are like fudge—mostly sweet with a few nuts. If we’re lucky, the balance between the two is just right, but even then, we have moments when we wonder what it would be like to have a different set of relatives. Reading gives us that opportunity. For the span of a [….]

The Writers We Lost Too Soon

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Death and taxes, as the old cliche goes. Both are unavoidable, and while we won’t give you our political opinions on paying taxes, we will say that it’s never easy or expected when we lose someone we love. Even if that “someone” is known to us from afar, from the words we read in their [….]

OpEd: Young Adult Lit and the Classroom

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A few years back I was asked by a dear friend if I teach the classics and I answered with an emphatic “No!” He scrunched up his face, tilted his head to the side and replied “Why not?” I sighed and then prepared myself for explaining why I feel like some of the writings of [….]

OpEd: The Varying Poverties of Now

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The Varying Poverties of Now In the appendix to his brief but radiant 2010 manifesto ‘Reality Hunger’—a supremely confident and practically pedagogical collage of quotations and personal observations published in order to define a perceived new age of literature—David Shields writes with this kind of over-excited, unnecessarily aggressive tone. He’s explaining why those hundreds of [….]

LitStack Recs: Pushcart Prize 38 & Leviathan Wakes

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Pushcart Prize 38: Best of the Small Presses, ed. by Bill Henderson Now in its thirty-eighth year, the Pushcart Prize is the annual selection of important stories, poems essays and memoirs. Culled each year from nominations made by hundreds of publications, the series has become the standard for contemporary prose and poetry—featuring both established and [….]

LitStack’s Recs: Shakespeare’s Sonnets & Writing Inspiration

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William Shakespeare The Sonnets It may be a day late to pin this recommendation to the 450th anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare, but I still can think of no better way to mark the end of National Poetry Month than to pause and take note of some of the (in my [….]

The Books We Can’t Wait to Read: February 2014

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There’s nothing quite like the thrill of getting our hands on a book we’ve been waiting to read. Kicking off our new “we can’t wait” feature here on LitStack, we begin with the books that we are eager to yank right off the shelf. These selections are far reaching…from SciFi and Fantasy to some of [….]