ABCs and an MFA

MFA programs help children’s and YA authors develop craft and connections.

David James Poissant: Zoo story

David James Poissant captures plots, characters, voices and the occasional animal in his new story collection.

Anita Shreve: Soldier on

Anita Shreve wrote nine drafts of her latest novel, Stella Bain, before it was published. With persistence and passion, she saw the book through to its end, an approach that has paid off throughout her 24 years as a novelist. Time and again, her novels demonstrate how dynamic characters and complex plots can bridge the gap between mainstream and literary.

Don’t write for the money

A new survey shows that book writing is anything but lucrative. That doesn’t mean you should give it up.

Gaiutra Bahadur: How I Write

As Bahadur, a journalist, set out to discover the lost story of her ancestry, she realized her great-grandmother’s narrative was not unique; it was “emblematic.”

Literally

Our language is filled with idioms, phrases which have definitions different from their literal meanings. Clichés such as “at the drop of a hat,” “take … Read More “Literally”

Sea and fog

You wake up on the deck of an empty boat. The boat is adrift, and you’re surrounded by fog. You check your pockets. No cellphone and … Read More “Sea and fog”

World of words

Got writer’s block? Step outside with a pen and notebook and find the words you’re missing. Keep your eyes peeled for a sidewalk message, a … Read More “World of words”

Fashion passion

“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”—Marilyn Monroe Give an unusual piece of clothing or unique accessory to a character. … Read More “Fashion passion”

Alice Hoffman: How I Write

While studying for her master’s degree at Stanford University, Alice Hoffman was approached by Ted Solotaroff, founder of American Review literary journal, and she quickly learned two cardinal rules of publication: Write often and write fast.

Jenna Blum: How I Write

“It’s really not the writing that takes me a long time; it’s the ideation, and the underlying architecture that has to feel solid before I can even start cloaking it in words.”