Blending the boundaries of genre

Do you identify with a certain genre? Or do you shun labels for your work?
By Alicia Anstead | Published: August 18, 2015


AliciaAnstead3When it comes to writing, I’m strictly a journalist, but within that “genre,” I can stretch in so many directions: reporting, essays, reviews, interviews and more. Each approach requires a unique point of view and style.

That’s one reason I enjoyed putting together the October issue of The Writer. Our general focus is on genre, and it was exciting to read so many angles on creating stories whether science fiction, romance, historical fiction or crime fiction.

Do you identify with a certain genre? Or do you shun labels for your work?

After years of talking to artists, including writers, I know labels can function more comfortably in the commercial world than in the creative world. A good example of that comes from K’wan Foye, who is featured in the October issue. His first books were marketed as “urban fiction,” but now that he’s more established, he prefers to call his work crime fiction. You’ll be interested, I am certain, on his take regarding this subject.

Ali Shakir, a fellow reporter from Iraq (where I also worked for a while), tells another, more internalized story about shifting genres – and making peace with his own voice. His compelling essay is one you won’t want to miss.

Whether you’re reading about Foye, Shakir or any of the substantial writers represented in the October issue, we hope you’ll find entry points to your own voice and style. After all, that’s what it comes down to in the end. And that’s our mission regardless of the genre we’re covering.

Enjoy reading the advice, insights and how-tos this month. As you head into the fall season – when many return to their desks and classrooms and, as we say in the business, caves – we wish you productive and inspired creative times. We delight each month in celebrating and supporting the craft and conversation that bring us together in the pages of The Writer.

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Alicia Anstead
Editor-in-Chief