Writing University Podcast

July 24, 2014
One of the best ways to participate in, and help define, contemporary literature is to start your own press or literary publication. This may sound intimidating, but you might be surprised to find that such projects need not be prohibitively expensive or overwhelmingly difficult. This talk will discuss a variety of media (print and electronic) and... more
July 23, 2014
“It sounds like a simple thing say what you see,” Mark Doty has written. “But try to find the words for the shades of a mottled sassafras leaf or the reflectivity of a bay on an August morning." In this hour, we’ll take refuge in the sensory experience found in some contemporary poets, as a way of thinking about a number of questions: How does... more
July 22, 2014
Many book editors say that they read the first paragraph of a manuscript, and if they like it, they skip ahead to read some dialogue. If the dialogue is strong, they go back to page one and keep reading. If the dialogue is weak, the editor sets down the manuscript, and the chances for publication (with that particular house, anyway) end there.... more
July 21, 2014
A novelist has it easy—his characters, sprung from his imagination, don’t talk back when they’re not happy with the way they’re depicted on the page. But what if your character is your ex-husband, your twin brother, your mother? Are familial loyalty and literary integrity necessarily at odds? How can we most effectively navigate this touchy... more
July 17, 2014
In an age of technophilic positivism typified by the TED-talk, the smartphone, and the MOOC, why do we still need a shadowy, cobwebby, grave-y form like the Gothic? What darker truths about contemporary life—economic, environmental, political, bodily—can the Gothic mode bring up to the surface? This talk will look at the way authors from around... more
July 16, 2014

Over and over I hear my students, my peers, and my own interior voice talk about failure as writers. Often this is linked to an idea of ‘productivity’, and in particular to a perception of others as ‘more productive’. As publication online increases the speed at which writing can appear in public, the distance between writing as a process and... more

July 14, 2014

Although writing is a seemingly solitary and introspective act, this craft talk investigates the myriad ways in which the process of writing is, in fact, always a conversation. This communal take on the writing process can invigorate and sustain writers across genres and at all points in a life of writing, and this talk will provide both... more

July 10, 2014
When we write narrative, both sides of our brains ideally work together: the left brain controls linear thinking, logic, and language skills, and the right brain creates context and inserts emotion. This Eleventh Hour Lecture will emphasize the importance of using both sides of the brain when writing fiction and nonfiction, to push beyond an... more
July 9, 2014
Sometimes when we look at what we’ve written we realize we’ve created characters who are basically all some version of ourselves. It’s like multiple clones of the writer only with different haircuts. Or we find that we have a group of wonderful, quirky characters but that our protagonist is dry and uninteresting, exactly the kind of person you’d... more
July 8, 2014
From its beginning in the 1960s, literary journalism and its writers typically acknowledged their contextual debt to the traditional questions journalists ask about the five “W's”—the who, what, where, when and why that lie at the heart of any good reportage. The difference for creative nonfiction writers lies in their ability to create a... more



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