Mississippi is known as the Hospitality State, which is fitting because Mississippi is up next in our State Writing Resources series, and Justine and I spent Thanksgiving week there and enjoyed some of the finest Southern hospitality we’ve experienced yet. (Although said hospitality was delivered by Northerners, they proved to be quick studies.)
When one thinks of Mississippi writing, two names pop immediately to mind: Welty and Faulkner. But the list of writers with ties to the Magnolia State carries many, many more household names: Richard Wright. Donna Tartt. Tennessee Williams. John Grisham. Jesmyn Ward. Natasha Trethewey. Various Barthelmes. And many more. It’s like the ’27 Yankees. (But not, because few Southerners would align themselves with a team called the Yankees.)
Perhaps living in a state whose postal abbreviation is the same one we use for manuscript is part of what makes Mississippi such a fruitful place for writers.
Presented in no particular order, here are ten Mississippi writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you live in the Magnolia State or are planning a move there, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more
Over the past few months we’ve been introducing you all to the wonderful consultants and coaches who help keep WriteByNight running like the smooth, well-oiled writers’ services machine it is. Next up is … owner Justine Tal Goldberg! Because we’ve gone through everybody on the list except for WBN’s owners.
A Q&A with Justine:
Minnesota, the Gopher State, is next up in our State Writing Resources series.The 32nd state admitted into the Union, Minnesota is the 12th largest U.S. state in area, the 21st largest in population, and, despite being known as “The Land of the 10,000 Lakes” (though I defy you to name more than 250 of those lakes off the top of your head), is only the 8th-most-covered-in-water state.
Minnesota writing boasts plenty of well-known and well-regarded names, such as: current National Book Award for Fiction titleholder Ms. Louise Erdrich, born in a place called Little Falls; Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby) of St. Paul; Mr. Sinclair Lewis, the first U.S. writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (born in Sauk Centre [sic]); and self-pubbing sensation Amanda Hocking, who hangs her hat in Austin, Minnesota.
Presented in no particular order, here are ten Minnesota writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you live in the Gopher State or are planning a move there, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more
Over the past few months we’ve been introducing you all to the wonderful consultants and coaches who help keep WriteByNight running like the smooth, well-oiled writers’ services machine it is. Next up is … me! Because we’ve gone through everybody on the list except for WBN’s owners. So below is a Q&A with me, with questions which I wrote and then answered myself. Me me me me!
Where are you from?
Milwaukee. Which, as I learned from Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World, is Algonquin for “The good land.” It also means “I wish there were a tiny bit more culture here, and hey, how about some sunshine, and maybe the Brewers could win a World Series once in my lifetime, actually forget it, I’m outta here.” read more
I’ve just started reading Marguerite Duras’ 1984 novel The Lover, and boy, so far, so good. The opening graf is a grabber, and since it’s been nearly two months since we’ve looked at a Great Beginning, let’s kick off the week with a new one. Literature, yo!
Duras opens the book with:
One day, I was already old, in the entrance of a public place a man came up to me. He introduced himself and said, “I’ve known you for years. Everyone says you were beautiful when you were young, but I want to tell you I think you’re more beautiful now than then. Rather than your face as a young woman, I prefer your face as it is now. Ravaged.”
So, what do we learn here about the narrator and the narration? What is Duras up to with “One day, I was already old, …”? Does she make you want to continue reading? Why or why not?
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There’s no doubt that “absquatulate” is a fun word to say (and a major pain in the ass to write), but it sure ain’t easy to make a story out of it. Seven brave souls tried, but only one can walk away with the prize, which is a whole mess o’ of free books. Because, as most of you know by now, we’re closing up shop and leaving Austin and will likely be moving into a closet-sized apartment in NYC, and most of our books must go. To that end, we’re also having a fire-sale of the WBN library, so stop in during this week’s open hours (our last ones!) for $2 hardcovers, $1 paperbacks.
And Mr. Humphrey B. Bardem, if you are an Austinite you’re welcome to stop by this week and grab an armful of freebies, for you are the winner of the Micro Fiction Challenge, Absquatulate version, for the following story: read more
Michigan, the Great Lakes State, is next up in our series of State Writing Resources. The only state comprised of two peninsulas (though I prefer “peninsuli”), Michigan’s motto is “Si Quæris Peninsulam Amœnam Circumspice,” which means “If you seek a pleasant peninsula look about you.” As if anyone seeking a pleasant peninsula and is presently standing on a pleasant peninsula is unaware that he/she is already standing on a pleasant peninsula.
Michigan writing has a storied history, boasting acclaimed wordsmiths like Nelson Algren, Terry McMillan, Edna Ferber, Bonnie Jo Campbell and Austin’s James Hynes. Screenwriters Sam and Ivan Raimi were born in suburban Detroit.
Presented in no particular order, here are ten Michigan writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you live in the Great Lakes State or are planning a move there, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more
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