Not long ago, an out-of-town friend and I were sitting in a train station discussing book recommendations over lunch. On my way to meet him, I had been reading John Irving’s In One Person on the subway, and I was considering where I wanted to go next.
My colleague had recommended The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, and novels by Elif Shafak and Malorie Blackman were high on my list. That morning, I had heard an interview with Edward St. Aubyn (whose Patrick Melrose stories I’ve read). Both my friend and I were marveling: How do you write stories so meticulously brilliant as St. Aubyn’s? This led to a discussion about works by Spencer Quinn and Fred Vargas.
Clearly, we spun out of control naming books each thought the other would enjoy. If you’re a writer, you know this moment. It happens to us all the time.
I like to think of our magazine as being the same kind of “meeting at the depot” experience for our readers – except our topic is craft. Within these pages, you’ll find stories about writing comic fiction, researching nonfiction, a power agent’s approach to her work, methods for finishing your first novel and getting it out into the world. You’ll read about living the writer’s life, tapping your imagination and going deeper into flânerie – an old form of eavesdropping – to develop the texture and truths of stories.
Like a train station, our magazine is where you go to take journeys to your particular destination – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, scripts, social media, publishing. Our job is to keep you moving toward the places you want to go with your writing. You’ve bought the ticket; it’s time to get moving.
We hope you enjoy this issue of The Writer. We are delighted to be accompanying you on your trip, whether you’re sitting in your basement office, the family kitchen, a book-lined studio or on a train. Travel well.