Thursday, September 13, 2012

Writing and Publishing Panel

This past Saturday, assistant manager extraordinnaire Kate Robinson and I hosted a panel on writing and publishing. Kate covered poetry, I covered fiction and nonfiction. We weren't sure if anyone would come and we were thrilled when we walked out and saw a full audience. Turns out, after hours and hours of workshops, writers conferences, of getting rejection slips in envelopes that we addressed to ourselves, Kate and I came out with a little bit of hard earned wisdom.  If you missed the panel, here's a quick run-down on some writing tools and guides that will help you have a productive fall. And if you're interested in similar writing-related events in the future, let us know in the comments section and we'll put you on our writing events mailing list.

Publishing Guides
Poets & Writers Magazine - The magazine that covers all things publishing. Find out about MFA programs, read agent and author interviews, keep a list of upcoming contests and deadlines. Check out the Connect With Others section of their website- you can ask questions and vent your writing-related frustrations on their Speakesy message forum.

Writers' Market Series - Writers Digest publishes these huge compendiums that include lists of agents, how to query, places to submit. You can get books specifically on poetry, novels and short stories, agents, and children's literature. If you're fed up with clicking around from website to website and keeping your own lists of where to submit, these books are for you.

Writing Guides
Nonfiction writers, check out The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick, which focuses on the art of the personal essay. Tell It Slant by Brenda Miller is a great craft-oriented book for the creative nonfiction writer. Fiction writers looking to generate new material check out, Now Write! which offers prompts from writing teachers.  And those interested in poetry, have you read Mary Oliver's A Poetry Handbook? In this book Mary Oliver not only teaches you about rhyme and meter but she also teaches you how to read poetry. Even for fiction and nonfiction writers, this is a great book that helps you understand the power of rhythmic language.

And the one thing we said over and over again - read! Actually, William Faulkner says it best.

“Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.”

No comments: