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    Best of 2018

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Dec
    22

    Christmas is in only three days, New Year’s Eve is in only nine days, 2019 is staring us in the face, and many of us are out on the road, or on the tracks, or on the water, or in the sky, or, just as likely, stranded somewhere due to weather.

    And we need reading material! To get us through these dull and lonely hours of lines and waiting.

    I figured I could either write a novella-length post for you this week on a particular topic or offer variety in bite-size chunks.

    We published about fifty posts in this space this year, and if you’ve read all of them, you’re my hero. But between general busyness, life hiccups, and the fact that not every blog post topic will grab your interest, I suspect few of you have done so. Hell, I doubt I’ve read them all!

    So I thought I’d pick some highlights from our blog this year and offer them up this week as extra reading material for your travels. I’ve chosen ten of my favorites. Some I picked because I like the content or have some fond memory of writing it; others I chose not so much because of the post but because of the wonderful discussions you guys sparked in response to it.

     

    I’m going to start with a couple of posts that might come particularly in handy this week:

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    10 Wyoming Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Sep
    25

    WyomingThis is the end, friends and readers and friend-readers — the final entry in our State Writing Resources, a series which began a full year-plus ago and has taken us through forty-nine states, one district, and, randomly, South Korea. Of course, our work is not done; these lists of resources are ever evolving, often based on input from you fine readers. If you know of an organization that would make a fine addition to any state list, simply drop us a line and let us know about it, or leave a comment on that particular state’s blog post.

    Wyoming. It’s one of our largest states, but has the smallest population. Even Cheyenne, the capital and biggest city, hosts only a little more than 60,000 people. Between the Rockies to the west, the High Plains to the east, and parks such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Wyoming is a gorgeous state. I’ve also been there during some hellish, super-sudden storms. The kind of storm you may come across in, say, an Annie Proulx story.

    A few prominent names in Wyoming writing include Proulx, whose most popular work, the short story “Brokeback Mountain,” originally appeared in a story collection titled Close Range: Wyoming Stories; Patricia Frolander, the state’s current poet laureate; Craig Johnson, whose Longmire series of books became a popular TV show; and George Clayton Johnson, best known for the novel Logan’s Run.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 10 Wyoming writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are an Equality Stater or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    15 Wisconsin Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Aug
    28

    WIThe penultimate state in our alphabetical series on State Writing Resources is my home state of Wisconsin. (Go ahead, get your Cheesehead jokes out of the way now.) Wisconsin — the Badger State, America’s Dairyland — in 1848 became the 30th state. Ninety years later, my dad was born in a tiny map-dot of a couple of thousand people called Richland Center. Seventy or so years after that, his son moved to New York City, the most populous area in the country, and he lives in a house where the only other person on his floor hails from … Richland Center, Wisconsin. There’s your small-world anecdote for the day.

    But we’re here to talk about writing! Some featured names in Wisconsin writing include: Ellen Raskin, author of The Westing Game, one of my favorite books as a child growing up in Raskin’s and my hometown of Milwaukee; Glenway Wescott, whose slim novel Pilgrim Hawk is an excellent read, and whose Apartment in Athens I think will be even better, if I ever get the chance to tackle it; Laura Ingalls Wilder, no introduction necessary; Thornton Wilder (Our Town); and Liberace! Born in West Allis, WI.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 15 Wisconsin writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are in America’s Dairyland or are planning a move there, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    10 West Virginia Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Aug
    7

    West VirginiaNext up in our State Writing Resources series is the Mountain State, good ol’ West Virginia, the 35th state admitted to the Union, ranked 38th in population and 41st in area. Trivia, yo! Did you know that West Virginia was the only state to separate from a Confederate state (Virginia, obvi) during the Civil War? This was after delegates from the region voted against Virginia’s secession from the Union. In a vote where apparently only 34% of them showed up at the polls, West Virginians were like, “Peace out, Virginia.” That’s a pretty wild and wonderful story. Fitting then that the state’s present motto–after retiring “Open for Business”(!) and “Almost Heaven” (thanks to John Denver)–is “Wild and Wonderful.”

    Some major players in West Virginia writing, past and present, include: Pearl Buck, who was born in West Virginia before being moved to China, out of which came her famous novel The Good Earth; Walter Dean Myers, whose YA novel Fallen Angels I must’ve read two dozen times as a kid; Scott McClanahan, whose Crapalachia is book we at WBN thoroughly enjoyed; John Knowles (A Separate Peace); Booker T. Washington, whose family, after emancipation, moved from Virginia to West Virginia, where Washington worked in coal mines to save up some money; and the distant Pancake cousins, Ann and Breece D’J, both of whom are known for writing fiction evocative of rural West Virginia.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 10 West Virginia writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a Mountain Stater or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    10 Washington DC Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Jul
    10

    Washington DCNext up in our State Writing Resources series is a city. A city within a district. But not exactly within, since, as I understand it, the city of Washington is exactly the size of the District of Columbia.

    Among the list of nicknames for Washington, DC, is “Nation’s Capital,” which is less a nickname than just a fact; “A Capital City,” again, fact; “The Capital of the World,” blech; and “The American Rome,” which is a bit dubious. Also, “City of Magnificent Distances.” What?! Apparently Dickens called it “City of Magnificent Intentions.” It’s also known as “Hollywood for Ugly People!” But don’t take offense. I didn’t, when I lived there.

    What I did do when I lived there was learn that there’s a vibrant Washington DC writing community. (A community that clearly didn’t teach me good syntax.) Presented in no particular order, here are 10 Washington DC writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a Federal City dweller or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    12 Washington Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Jun
    26

    Washington StateThe great state of Washington is next up in our State Writing Resources series. My goodness, we’re down to the final five states (or states and districts. Spoiler alert.) We’ve come a long way since Alabama, gang!

    Washington, known as the Evergreen State, was the forty-second state admitted to the Union, which happened in 1889, a full thirty years after Oregon, the Beaver State. Make your own jokes.

    Some heavy-hitters from the Washington writing world include the late, great Raymond Carver, the wildly popular Debbie Macomber, and Margaret Craven (I Heard the Owl Call My Name). Tom Robbins, who I got to mention in our Virginia post, lives, and has written most of his great books, in Washington.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 12 Washington writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are an Evergreen Stater or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    15 Virginia Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments 1 comment
    Jun
    5

    VirginiaThe next state up in our State Writing Resources series is … not a state. It’s a commonwealth, yo! Beautiful Virginia, known as Old Dominion, or the Mother of States(!). Yeah, the Mother of States is not a state. Figure that one out. I once took sort of a gap year in Virginia, worked at a bookstore in a tiny town called Shirlington, slipped over into D.C. as often as I could, which was hardly ever.

    Virginia writing boasts some heavy hitters with state ties, as you might expect, including such names as: Edgar Allan Poe, V.C. Andrews, Tom Wolfe, Adriana Trigiani, and Elizabeth Massie. My man Tom Robbins spent some years in Virginia, honing his hilarity. Rita Dove was the state’s commonwealth’s poet laureate in 1987. Ann Beattie grew up in nearby D.C. and teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. And the list goes on and on. Don’t even get me started on Diane Mott Davidson.

    Point is, Virginia writing has a rich past, and perhaps an equally rich present. And the following organizations are a large part of that.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 15 Virginia writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are an Old Dominioner or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    12 Vermont Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    May
    15

    VermontGeographically it’s a long way from Utah to Vermont, but we here at WriteByNight roll alphabetically, yo! (Gosh, what a silly intro. I guess there are only so many interesting ways to introduce a State Writing Resources series post. It’s a good thing we’re at the Vs.)

    Didja know that Vermont wasn’t one of the original 13 colonies, contrary to what you may think without Wikipedia handy? Between 1777, when it declared its own independence from Great Britain, and 1791, when it joined the Union, Vermont was an independent republic called … Vermont Republic. Before then, New Hampshire, New York and England each wanted its grubby paws on Vermont’s resources.

    Does that include its writing resources, you may wonder? Well, take a peek at the list below and judge for yourself. But if we were New Hampshire, New York or England, we’d sure want to claim these as our own.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 12 Vermont writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a Green Mountain stater or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    10 Utah Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments 1 comment
    Apr
    16

    Utah writingWe’ve finally reached the homestretch of our State Writing Resources series; after getting over the Texas hump we’re now barreling west toward Utah. Ah, ‘tah. Its motto is “Industry.” A state of few words. A resident of Utah is known as a Beehive Stater, not because Utah is abuzz with hornets but because when one thinks of industry, one thinks of a beehive. And because some of the state’s founding Mormons initially called the place Deseret, which according to the Book of Mormon (according to Wikipedia) is “an ancient word for honeybee.”

    Utah writing boasts a Pulitzer and NBA winner, Wallace Stegner (aka “the Dean of Western Writers”), Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card, Mormon poet Eliza Snow, and author of the Runelords series Dave Wolverton.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 10 Utah writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a Utahn/Utahan or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    21 Texas Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments 1 comment
    Mar
    20

    Texas writingNext up in our State Writing Resources series is the massive Lone Star State, Texas. As many of you likely know, WriteByNight, though born in Florida, grew up in Austin, and so we had the chance to work with and get to know many of the institutions, organizations and publications listed below. We continue to work with the wonderful O. Henry Museum in Austin through our In Short Fiction Workshop, and a little digging on our staff page will tell you that a handful of our fine writing coaches and consultants hang their ten-gallon hats in Texas. We sure do miss y’all. We even miss saying “y’all.”

    Presented in no particular order, here are 21 Texas writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a Lone Star Stater or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    12 Tennessee Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Mar
    5

    Tennessee writingToday our State Writing Resources series takes us to Tennessee. But first it takes us to Milwaukee, my hometown and birthplace of R&B artist Speech, co-founder of Arrested Development (the band), whose first major hit was “Tennessee,” a song I can’t help but think of nearly every time I hear the name of this fine state.

    Tennessee writing has an impressive history and present. Among the more famed writers who were born or grew up in Tennessee are Alex Haley, Ann Patchett, Cormac McCarthy, and Jo Carson. Dorothy Dix, at one time the U.S.’s most widely read female journalist, was born on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky. James Agee was a Knoxville boy, and Elizabeth Kostova is a Knoxville gal. And last but not least, Tennessee Williams was born and raised in … Mississippi.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 12 Tennessee writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a Volunteer Stater or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more

    10 South Dakota Writing Resources

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Writing Resources     Comments No comments
    Feb
    12

    South Dakota writingToday our State Writing Resources series takes us to the great state of South Dakota, capital Pierre, largest city Sioux Falls, biggest tourist attraction Mount Rushmore (in fact, South Dakota’s official nickname is the Mount Rushmore State). South Dakota is the 17th largest state in area, but is 46th in population.

    South Dakota writing can boast of bigwigs such as: Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose time in South Dakota she fictionalized in Little Town on the Prairie; Adam Johnson, whose The Orphan Master’s Son was a smash hit in 2012; Vine Deloria Jr., famous for Custer Dies For Your Sins and, to me, memorable for writing the introduction to Black Elk Speaks; and screenwriter Bob Nelson, nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for South Dakota Nebraska.

    Presented in no particular order, here are 10 South Dakota writing resources, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you are a Mount Rushmore Stater or are planning to become one, these are some organizations you might want to take a peek at. read more




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