Look for Matt Komatsu's moving essay "When We Played" to be included in the upcoming anthology Best of Brevity, drawn from 20 years of the nonfiction journal's relationship with Rose Metal Press. OK, fine, go ahead and read it now.
Fiction writer and playwright Katrina Byrd recently read three guides on how to plot and structure a story and summarizes each book's approach in a post for literary agent Jane Friedman's site. She also addresses the question "But Do Formulas Work for Literary Writers?" by suggesting that it's best to first recognize whether your work is more aligned with the literary or commercial culture of book writing and publishing. Before you leave the post, be sure to check out Friedman's extensive collection of writing resources.
For his practicum, Cameron Murray is hosting a show, "The Tumid River," on KRUA Radio every Monday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 88.1 FM. His next show airs on January 7, but you can hear his first four shows on-demand here. His interviewees include our own Tiffany Rosamund Creed and Barry Donaldson, as well as writer Don Rearden, a graduate from CWLA and current UAA professor, and English Professor Toby Widdicombe. Email Cameron with ideas, guest inquiries, requests, or other comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to read Cameron's recent publications, which include two poems in the October issue of Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and a flash fiction piece in West Texas Literary Review's December issue. And one of his short stories appears in the "Last Call" issue, Vol. 26, of The Raven Chronicles. Congratulations!
If you're stuck while writing or revising that novel, story, or essay, here's novelist Jane Delury has a simple suggestion: Write a perfect sentence instead.
And if you like receiving the occasional tip, word of advice, or pointer from other writers, sign up for Glimmer Train's regular bulletins here.
Third-year nonfiction writer Sarah Mouracade recently published a flash nonfiction piece in "Tiny Love Stories," an edition of the regular Modern Love column in The New York Times. This photograph depicts an important element in the story, but we'll let you enjoy the revelation. Scroll down the page to find Sarah's story, "An Unexpected Sign."
A multitude of congratulations to Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, class of 2018, whose young adult novel, Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, is forthcoming in summer 2020. The publisher is Simon Pulse, an imprint of a little ol' book company named Simon & Schuster. And did we mention that her 2018 book, Tales from the House of Vasquez, won the Rattle Chapbook Prize?
UAA grad students can earn practicum credit for attending writing conferences, and fortunately three worthy conferences take place in 2019. Take advantage now of student and/or early registration discounts for these events, listed here in chronological order:
The annual AWP Conference and Bookfair, from March 27-30 in Portland, Oregon, is the country's largest gathering of scribblers. More than 12,000 writers, teachers, students, and publishers will gather in Portland and choose from among 550 panels, readings, and craft lectures. Also, the book fair is to die for. Keynote speakers and featured readers include Colson Whitehead, Tess Gallagher, Camille Dungy, Tayari Jones, Cheryl Strayed, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Lidia Yuknavitch. This year's event will be especially well-attended by Alaskans, s0 look for an announcement about a UAA-sponsored reading. Preregistration for students is $50 and ends Jan. 3.
The North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway features best-selling nonfiction writer Susan Orlean at the 10th annual gathering from May 30-June 1. MFA mentor Nancy Lord, Alaska State Writer Ernestine Hayes (a graduate and former mentor), and UAA grad and professor Don Rearden are among the faculty at this intimate event. Only 40 participants can attend, so register now to avoid the wait list.
The always-popular Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference in Homer from June 14-18 includes poet and essayist Diane Ackerman as well as a stellar faculty, including UAA mentors Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Nancy Lord, Rich Chiappone, and Ishmael Hope. Other invited writers include poet Kazim Ali, nonfiction writers B.J. Hollars and Barrie Jean Borich, and novelist Jamie Ford. In addition to daily panels, talks, and classes, participants can sign up for open mic readings, a manuscript review (fee required), and brief meetings with an agent or an editor. Discount registration is open until May 1. Conference organizers often seek UAA volunteers to lead writing circles, so let Erin or Sherry know if you're interested.
Narrative's Fall Story Contest awards $2,500 and publication for a short story, a short short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a longer work of prose. Second prize is $1,000 and publication. Deadline is Nov. 30 with a submission fee of $26. See guidelines here, and submission details for other contests and categories here.
Creative Nonfiction magazine has its origins in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, the site of the recent tragedy at the Tree of Life synagogue. In response, the magazine is offering two free webinars for anyone writing about grief, loss, and trauma. The sessions will take place Sunday, Nov. 4, and Tuesday, Nov. 8, each at 7 p.m. EST. See here for more details and to register. The magazine also seeks submissions for upcoming issues focused on Games and Memoir.
Submissions are open until Nov. 30 for the Prize for Women Playwrights. The prize is pretty darn good, too: a world premiere production of the play in November 2019, with royalties, and $500. This biennial prize is sponsored by the Kentucky Women Writers Conference.
Black Lawrence Press announces an open reading period through November during which editors will read novels, novellas, short story collections (full-length and chapbook), poetry collections (ditto), and creative nonfiction. If you have the urge to submit your novel for The Big Moose Prize, be advised there's an "early bird" special submission fee of $30 through November. Details for this and other reading periods and upcoming competitions are here.
If none of these publications suit, be sure to check Poets & Writers' database of contests, grants, and awards, several of which have November and December deadlines. So get busy.
In days of yore, literary salons gathered the artistic and the intellectual for vigorous but genteel discussions of the day's provocative ideas and creative work. Most people associate salons with France, but others trace similar traditions to Chinese women in the Hunan province and Arabic women in the pre-Islamic era. Today, the Internet offers its own version of literary salons for those seeking provocative ideas, dispatches from the world of publishing, or a few minutes spent in the company of writers and readers.
Not that you need more reasons to swan around the Internet, but if you're wasting time doing something other than writing, then you might as well read about writing. A few sites worth exploring when you need a literary fix:
Everybody needs a little artistic nudge sometimes. When the blank page is accusingly blank, check out this collection of writing prompts for poets, creative nonfiction writers, and fiction writers, courtesy of Poets & Writers magazine.
For those of you writing genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, or mystery), The Writers' Academy offers a ginormous list of "short story ideas you can use and add to" from around the globe. This one sounds suspiciously like a thesis colloquium: "You awake in a still battlefield, under a pile of bodies, blind in one eye. You recall fighting; nothing else."
The New York Times has created a list of 500--wait, make that 650--writing prompts for narrative and personal writing.
National Poetry Month is over, but here are 30 writing prompts with no expiration dates, courtesy of Washington poet Kelly Russell Agodon. She is also the co-author of The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice.
Now go forth and be brilliant.
This unofficial site is part of the Low-Residency MFA program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It is not officially sanctioned by any officials at the official UAA campus.
David Stevenson, Director
Fiction & Nonfiction
Fiction & Nonfiction
Erin Coughlin Hollowell
Fiction & Nonfiction
Fiction & Nonfiction
Department of Creative Writing and Literary Arts
University of Alaska Anchorage
UAA Graduate School
Alaskan Writers Directory
Advice for Writers
Ten Words You Need
to Stop Misspelling
The American Scholar
With your jokes, links,