Suspend Your Disbelief

Author Archive

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Help FWR grow—join The Great Write Off! (UPDATED)

Here at Fiction Writers Review, we run this website as volunteers, in our spare time and out of our own pockets. We think we’ve got a great site with great content—and since you’re here, reading this blog, we hope you agree! This fall, we’re running our first-ever fundraiser, and it’s your chance to help FWR just by doing what you do normally: writing. On October 3-5, Fiction Writers Review will compete in The Great Write Off, a three-day write-a-thon. (Think walk-a-thon, but with writing.) It’s a friendly fundraising competition involving six Michigan lit organizations—each fielding its own team of writers. […]


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Is it okay to say "Boring!" in workshop?

Author and teacher Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich says YES—and in fact, she hopes more people will say it. Writes Marzano-Lesnevich: [W]orkshop students tend to forget that they’re required to be there. I don’t mean in attendance, sitting around a large table, but rather in the page—in the world of the story. They’re required to read. They’re even required to finish the piece. This simple requirement changes everything about their relationship to what’s on the page. I’ve come to think that this gap is at least partially responsible for stories that do well in workshop sometimes floundering out there in the real world. […]


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Are You There, Author? It's Me, A Lazy Student

As we’ve seen of late, sometimes professional book reviewers (or, rather, less-than-professional ones) forget that Authors Are People, Too. Well, so do book-reviewing students. Behold this exchange, in which a student turned to Yahoo! Answers to help write his book report on DC Pierson‘s The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To… and the author responded. Pierson posted the kid’s question and his response on his Tumblr feed, giving the kid some reasons he might actually want to read the book and suggesting strategies for doing it. Here’s an excerpt: I’m not going to sit here and act like […]


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First Looks, September 2012: Tell Everyone I Said Hi and BASS

Hello again, FWR friends. Welcome to the latest installment of our “First Looks” series, which highlights soon-to-be released books that have piqued my interest as a reader-who-writes. We publish “First Looks” here on the FWR blog around the 15th of each month, and as always, I’d love to hear your comments and your recommendations of forthcoming titles. Please drop me a line anytime: erika(at)fictionwritersreview(dot)com, and thanks in advance. I can’t say I wasn’t warned that Chad Simpson’s essay, “An Epilogue to the Unread”—which connects the illness and passing of Simpson’s mother, her love for reading, examples of generosity in our […]


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Book of the Week: The Law of Strings, by Steven Gillis

Our new feature is Steven Gillis’s most recent story collection, The Law of Strings (Atticus Books, 2012). Gillis is the author of four previous novels, Consequence of Skating (2010), Temporary People (2008), The Weight of Nothing (2005), and Walter Falls (2004), as well as an earlier story collection, Giraffes (2007). He is also the founder of 826michigan and the publisher of Dzanc Books—one of the great contemporary forces in indie publishing. In the introduction to Tyler McMahon’s recent interview with Gillis, he describes the collection as “strange, surprising, and ever original.” As McMahon notes, the collection “features magicians, tightrope walkers, […]


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Book-of-the-Week Winners: We Sinners

Our most recent feature was Hanna Pylväinen’s We Sinners, and we’re pleased to announce the winners: Tanya Egan Gibson(@tanyaegangibson) Lisa Hechesky (@_creativelisa) Auden Johnson (@audendj) Congrats! To claim your free copy, please email us at the following address: winners [at] fictionwritersreview.com If you’d like to be eligible for future giveaways, please visit our Twitter Page and “follow” us! Thanks to all of you who are fans. We appreciate your support. Let us know your favorite new books out there!


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Novel-writing as performance art

What an awesome and terrifying idea: novelist Silvia Hartmann will write her next novel live on Google Docs and let anyone who wants to follow along—and send her feedback on her work. (Via.) Hartmann explains in a press release on her website:     This project, known as “Hartmann Book Live” aims to go one step further and give fans the chance to not only see the manuscript being typed, but to also comment on the storyline and provide feedback as the novel develops. […] On Wednesday, 12th September at 9am the author will let her social network followers know […]