From the Archives: “When structure is done well, it should be like architecture: you sense the overall feel of the building—tall, or airy, or strong—but you’re not looking at the buttresses that hold it up or the seams where parts are fastened together.”
This week’s feature is Lauren Groff‘s new novel, Arcadia (Voice/Hyperion). Groff’s past works include a collection, Delicate, Edible Birds and Other Stories (2009), and a novel, The Monsters of Templeton (2008). Her short stories have appeared in a number of journals, including the New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, and Subtropics, as well as in the 2007 and 2010 Best American Short Stories , Pushcart Prize XXXII, and Best New American Voices 2008. In her recent review of Arcadia, Founding Editor Anne Stameshkin writes: In Lauren Groff’s second novel, Arcadia, the community of this same name […]
Lauren Groff’s second novel, Arcadia, gorgeously renders a commune’s rise, fall, and life-long resonance for the people who grew up within it. Unfolding as a series of snapshots, the book’s events span the birth of this late-1960s utopia and its central character, Bit Stone, to his middle age in a bleak—and imminent—dystopic future.
Even the most dedicated writers go through “not-writing” phases, deliberate or accidental ones. And when we return to our writing desks after that week or month or year away, our fingers and voices may feel…rusty. How do we get back that indescribable “it,” the voice that drives our prose and compels us to write it? The following exercise has helped me get my groove back on more than one occasion. It’s adapted from an assignment used by my former teacher Blanche Boyd (Terminal Velocity, The Revolution of Little Girls), who designed it for beginning writers–yet its usefulness extends to writers […]
In conversation with Anne Stameshkin, debut author Erika Dreifus shares true stories that inspired her collection, Quiet Americans; wonders when it’s kosher for authors to write characters from backgrounds they don’t share; explores how reviewing books makes us better fiction writers; and recommends favorite novels and collections by 21st-century Jewish authors.
Is SSM really almost over?! Thankfully we can read stories year round, but I still feel the urge (while they’re center stage) to list two recommendations this week. They both come from Narrative magazine, which does require (free) registration. But I promise, these stories are so good, it’s worth filling out a quick form to read them. And Narrative offers a huge, inspiring, and ever-growing archive of fiction from emerging writers to authors as well known as Margaret Atwood and T. C. Boyle; if I weren’t headed to a wedding this afternoon, I might curl up with this site all […]
Short Story Month wouldn’t be complete without some first-rate flash fiction. This morning, enjoy the following selections by Tara L. Masih, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and author of the excellent collection Where the Dog Star Never Glows (Press 53, 2010) and the flash fiction chapbooks Fragile Skins and Tall Grasses. Below are first-line teasers; click on each story title to read (or listen to) the rest. “Dodging Frogs on Blackbird Road,” via Electric Flash (page 25 of the PDF) Never mind hindsight . . . after stretching and straining our bodies in […]
Every book we feature on Fiction Writers Review has won the admiration of our reviewers. But because it’s a new year, and it’s award season, and today is the official holiday of love, we asked our contributors to tell us which books of 2009 they most adored, cherished, and crushed on. What we received often transcended mere lists; writers shared why these certain books affected them, woke them up, even made them jealous. So in addition to the “favorites” that received the most votes, we’ve also included some of these endorsements and mini-reviews. Most selections are arranged by genre (Novel, Story Collection, etc.), and then there are less conventional categories–like Book You Loved But Would Be Embarrassed to Be Caught Reading.
The deadline to apply for the 2009 Dzanc Prize is rapidly approaching; be sure to get your work-in-progress manuscript and community service program proposal in by November 1, 2009. Here is a brief overview of what the submissions process and prize/service opportunity entail, via Dzanc’s website: In 2007, to further its mission of fostering literary excellence, community involvement, and education, Dzanc Books created the Dzanc Prize, which provides monetary aid in the sum of $5,000, to a writer of literary fiction. All writers applying for the Dzanc Prize must have a work-in-progress they can submit for review, and present the […]