Annie Dillard has written eleven books, including the memoir of her parents, An American Childhood; the Northwest pioneer epic The Living; and the nonfiction narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. A gregarious recluse, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Compiles ten years of essays from 55 writers, including Ray Bradbury, Stanley Karnow, and John Edgar Wideman, discussing how they write and where their ideas come from.
A unique, candid and intimate survey of the life and work of 12 of our most acclaimed writers: Patricia Grace, Tessa Duder, Owen Marshall, Philip Temple, David Hill, Joy Cowley, Vincent O'Sullivan, Albert Wendt, Marilyn Duckworth, Chris Else, Fiona Kidman and Witi Ihimaera. Constructed as Q&As with experienced oral historian Deborah Shepard, they offer a marvellous insight into their careers. As a group they are now the 'elders' of New Zealand literature; they forged the path for the current generation. Together the authors trace their publishing and literary history from 1959 to 2018, through what might now be viewed as a golden era of publishing into the more unsettled climate of today. They address universal themes: the death of parents and loved ones, the good things that come with ageing, the components of a satisfying life, and much more. And they give advice on writing. The book has an historical continuity, showing fruitful and fascinating links between individuals who have negotiated the same literary terrain for more than sixty years. To further honour them are magnificent photo portraits by distinguished photographer John McDermott, commissioned by the publisher for this project.
Whether you are a writer of fiction or essays, or want to explore poetry or memoir, Tiberghien's twelve fundamental lessons will help you discover and develop your own distinct voice. Tiberghien's inventive exercises focus on the processes unique to each genre, while also offering skills applicable to any kind of writing, from authentic dialogue to masterful short-shorts. With vivid examples from literary masters such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Eduardo Galeano, May Sarton, Terry Tempest Williams, and Orhan Pamuk, One Year to a Writing Life is an essential guidebook of exercises, practical advice, and wisdom for anyone looking to embrace, explore, and implement creativity in everyday life.
A prolific and award-winning writer, Lee Martin has put pen to paper to offer his wisdom, honed during thirty years of teaching the oh-so-elusive art of writing. Telling Stories is intended for anyone interested in thinking more about the elements of storytelling in short stories, novels, and memoirs. Martin clearly delineates helpful and practical techniques for demystifying the writing process and provides tools for perfecting the art of the scene, characterization, detail, point of view, language, and revision—in short, the art of writing. His discussion of the craft in his own life draws from experiences, memories, and stories to provide a more personal perspective on the elements of writing. Martin provides encouragement by sharing what he’s learned from his journey through frustrations, challenges, and successes. Most important, Telling Stories emphasizes that you are not alone on this journey and that writers must remain focused on what they love: the process of moving words on the page. By focusing on that purpose, Martin contends, the journey will always take you where you’re meant to go.
Celebrated author Ellen Gilchrist has played many roles-writer and speaker, wife and lover, mother and grandmother. But she never tackled the role of teacher. Offered the opportunity to teach creative writing at the University of Arkansas, she took up the challenge and ventured into unknown territory. In the process of teaching more than two hundred students since her first class in 2000, she has found inspiration in their lives and ambitions and in the challenge of conveying to them the lessons she has learned from living and writing. The Writing Life brings together fifty essays and vignettes centered on the transforming magic of literature and the teaching and writing of it. A portion of the collection discusses the delicate balance between an artistic life and family commitments, especially the daily pressures and frequent compromises faced by a young mother. Gilchrist next focuses on the process of writing itself with essays ranging from "How I Wrote a Book of Short Stories in Three Months" to "Why Is Rewriting so Hard?" Several essays discuss her appreciation of other writers, from Shakespeare to Larry McMurtry, and the lessons she learned from them. Eudora Welty made an indelible impact on Gilchrist's work. When Gilchrist takes on the task of teaching, her essays reveal an enriched understanding of the role writing plays in any life devoted to the craft. Humorous and insightful, she assesses her own abilities as an instructor and confronts the challenge of inspiring students to attain the discipline and courage to pursue the sullen art. Some of these pieces have been previously published in magazines, but most are unpublished and all appear here in book form for the first time.
Contemporary writers address questions of craft, art, audience, and culture
First published a decade ago, A Writer's Book of Days has become the ideal writing coach for thousands of writers. Newly revised, with new prompts, up-to-date Web resources, and more useful information than ever, this invaluable guide offers something for everyone looking to put pen to paper — a treasure trove of practical suggestions, expert advice, and powerful inspiration. Judy Reeves meets you wherever you may be on a given day with: • get-going prompts and exercises • insight into writing blocks • tips and techniques for finding time and creating space • ways to find images and inspiration • advice on working in writing groups • suggestions, quips, and trivia from accomplished practitioners Reeves's holistic approach addresses every aspect of what makes creativity possible (and joyful) — the physical, emotional, and spiritual. And like a smart, empathetic inner mentor, she will help you make every day a writing day.
Writing may be a solitary profession, but it is also one that relies on a strong sense of community. The Write Crowd offers practical tips and examples of how writers of all genres and experience levels contribute to the sustainability of the literary community, the success of others, and to their own well-rounded writing life. Through interviews and examples of established writers and community members, readers are encouraged to immerse themselves fully in the literary world and the community-at-large by engaging with literary journals, reading series and public workshops, advocacy and education programs, and more. In contemporary publishing, the writer is expected to contribute outside of her own writing projects. Editors and publishers hope to see their writers active in the community, and the public benefits from a more personal interaction with authors. Yet the writer must balance time and resources between deadlines, day jobs, and other commitments. The Write Crowd demonstrates how writers may engage with peers and readers, and have a positive effect on the greater community, without sacrificing writing time.
The long-awaited guide to writing long-form nonfiction by the legendary author and teacher Draft No. 4 is a master class on the writer’s craft. In a series of playful, expertly wrought essays, John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his career and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most esteemed writers of recent decades. McPhee offers definitive guidance in the decisions regarding arrangement, diction, and tone that shape nonfiction pieces, and he presents extracts from his work, subjecting them to wry scrutiny. In one essay, he considers the delicate art of getting sources to tell you what they might not otherwise reveal. In another, he discusses how to use flashback to place a bear encounter in a travel narrative while observing that “readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone’s bones.” The result is a vivid depiction of the writing process, from reporting to drafting to revising—and revising, and revising. Draft No. 4 is enriched by multiple diagrams and by personal anecdotes and charming reflections on the life of a writer. McPhee describes his enduring relationships with The New Yorker and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and recalls his early years at Time magazine. Throughout, Draft No. 4 is enlivened by his keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.
Aspiring doctors have medical school. Karate students have belts of different colors. Pianists have scales and arpeggios. But what system do writers have for getting and staying "in shape," to help them focus, practice, and make progress? A Writer's Workbook is Caroline Sharp's ingenious collection of exercises to inspire, encourage, warm up, and jump-start anyone who writes. A wise and funny friend who will cheerlead you through even your darkest can't-write days and "every idea I've ever had is awful" nights, she provides encouraging suggestions, hilarious observations, and an amazingly vivid catalogue of writers' neuroses (with advice on overcoming them, of course). From "Roget's Resume" and "Emulating Ernest" to "End Well," "The Rewrite Rut," and "Dear John," the exercises in this generous, wry workbook will keep your ideas fresh, your mind open, and your pen moving.
Frederick Busch has an enduring love affair with great books, and here he brilliantly communicates his passion to us all. Whether expounding on Melville or Dickens, or celebrating Hemingway or O'Hara, he explains what literature can ineffably reveal about our own lives. For Busch, there was no other recourse save the "dangerous profession;" it was to be his calling, and in these piercing essays, he demonstrates that we as a culture ignore the fundamental truths about fiction only at our own peril. With keen ruminations that recall the critcs of yore- Edmund Wilson, Lionel Trilling, and Irving Howe-Busch, in this era of moral indirection, has revealed how the literature of our past is the key to our survival in the future.