Matteo B. Bianchi

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Read the Prize-Winning Story Picked by Jess Walter for Selected Shorts

Joan of Arc Sits Naked in Her Dorm Room| Issue №11<p>by Rachel Engelman<p>Joan of Arc sits in her dorm on a Saturday night. Joan of Arc is always home on …

Books

How Do I Make Writing a Career?

Electric Literature and the Authors Guild are partnering up to launch the Emerging Writer Membership program, which for the first time will allow …

Writing

What You Were Looking for in the First Place: Stacy Schiff on the Writing Process

The Pulitzer-winning author of “Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov)” talks about revision, misery, and research in completing a book<p><i>The following remarks</i> …

Pilgrimage to the Site of My Mother’s Suicide

<i>[]</i>I find myself with five luxurious, uninterrupted hours after I drop my 18-year-old daughter off at a television taping in Van Nuys, my …

Luxury Lifestyle

Behold the Winners of the 280-Character Story Contest

Our five top microfictions, illustratedTwo weeks ago, we asked you to write 280-character short stories, in honor of the unasked-for, unappreciated, …

University of Michigan

How to Write a Novel

Alexander Chee is the author of two critically acclaimed (and beautifully written) novels, <i>Edinburgh</i> and <i>The Queen of the Night</i>, as well as numerous …

Writing

How Long Is Writing Supposed to Take?

<i>Some books take years to write, others months. Can we learn to accept the inefficiency and unpredictability of writing?</i>Photo: Cliff JohnsonI n 2010, …

Writing

The 28 Best Books on Writing

An Editor's Advice to Writers<p>For both established and prospective authors alike, the publishing house can seem like a jungle. Luckily, Betsy Lerner is here to lead a safari, citing her vast collection of experiences as an editor as her field guide. <i>The Forest for the Trees</i> motivates writers by …

10 Rules for Book Editors

What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing<i>, edited by Peter Ginna, is a collection of essays by editors from many different</i> …

The Weirdest Mom in the Neighborhood

Paul La Farge recommends Matthew Lansburgh’s story about the happiest unhappy family“vintage: mom with her cat, 1968"Issue №283<i>Jump to story</i>AN …

Empathy

How Should You Order A Short Story Collection?

The first story in a short story collection should do two things:<p>1) Open strong to establish the writer’s authority<p>2) Prepare the reader for the rest …

Books

Not a Real Writer: How Self-Doubt Holds Me Back

When I was in high school back in the late 90’s, I had so much confidence and ambition that I got myself a copy of <i>Writer’s Market</i>, studied it from …

Advice from Kurt Vonnegut that Every Writer Needs to Read

I can give you professional writing advice until the cows come home, but at the end of the day, I’m not a bestselling author or a member of America’s …

100 Must-Read, Best Books On Writing And The Writer's Life

If you’re a working or aspiring writer, you already likely know about the classic best books on writing–King’s <i>On Writing,</i> Strunk and White’s <i>Elements</i> …

Writing

So You’ve Decided to Write: When to Drown Your Darlings

Another editor, a rival of mine with a fondness for hypocrisy, once said there was nothing worse than a truthless writer, but I have never known any. …

Creative Writing

How to Write an Expat Novel Without Succumbing to the Old Clichés

Nicholas Bredie on life in Istanbul, the start of an uprising, and subverting the tropes of the expat novelSunset in Istanbul. Photo by 仁仔 何 via …

Books

John Grisham’s Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Popular Fiction

<i>Since advice is usually ignored and rules are routinely broken, I refer to these little pearls as merely “suggestions.”</i><p><i>There is nothing original about this list. It has all been said before by writers much smarter than me. I’ve just arranged things differently, and I keep changing them as the years</i> …

Creative Writing

Don’t Make Yourself the Hero of Your Own Story

Eight years ago, I decided, very reluctantly, to write a memoir. I had never really planned on it—exploring other people’s lives was always more …

If You Want to Write a Book, Write Every Day or Quit Now

The key to getting your book written, says Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Hunter, isn’t talent or luck or inspiration. It’s the act of sitting down …

John Waters: I Love Women Who Hate Men and Hate Men Who Hate Women

John Waters has, defying most people's expectations, become one of those artists who are beloved by nearly everyone. Like RuPaul, Dolly Parton, and …

The Writer’s Process

Hmm, what’s my process? Funny, I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me that before. I don’t really have a “process,” per se, just a simple routine that I meticulously follow every day like a disciplined genius robot.<p>I usually wake up around 5 or 5:05 <i>A.M.</i>, and get out of bed immediately. I do not press …

How Do Writers Find Their Voice?

The Blunt Instrument on cultivating your personal style as a writer<i>The Blunt Instrument is a monthly advice column for writers. If you need tough</i> …

Creative Writing

Want to write a book? Stop talking about it. Entirely.

There’s an old Korean saying that my mother is fond of repeating: “You have nothing to fear from someone who threatens that he is going to kill you tomorrow.” In other words, if the speaker’s true intention were to kill you, he would have done it already. He would not have told you he was going to …

Writing

With Serial Mom, John Waters and Kathleen Turner Sliced Open the Boxes the World Puts Us in

Waters’ frequent collaborations with Divine were exercises in subversion by their very nature. Here was a performer whose exterior image could not be …

Normative

John Waters Has a Very John Waters Theory About Mike Pence

The legendary director talks his film Serial Mom, delightful Feud cameo, and adoration of Joan Crawford.<p><b>John Waters,</b> the eccentric filmmaker with a penchant for divinely dark material, is known for a great many things, particularly the cadre of unique nicknames he has acquired over the decades. …

Mike Pence

The Therapeutic Benefits of Writing a Novel

Please welcome guest Jessica Lourey (rhymes with “dowry”) whose new book <i>Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction</i> …

Books

How to Get Out of a Slump in Your Writing

Your goals fell by the wayside when you got sick in February. You stared at your keyboard for five minutes three mornings in a row before the kids …

Creative Writing

A Story of Intellectualizing an Affair

“Her Thirty-seventh Year, an Index” by Suzanne ScanlonRecommended by The Iowa ReviewIssue №258<i>Jump to story</i>AN INTRODUCTION BY LYNNE NUGENTIn 1928, …

Literature

My working day ‘I began on Wednesday morning and continued for 60 hours’

The author on writing every day, through the night, and completing the first draft of his The Boy in Striped Pyjamas in two days<p>When I was an aspiring writer in my mid-20s, I had something shocking: a real job. I worked in Waterstone’s in Dublin and would rise every morning at about 5am in order to …

Creative Writing

Should Fiction Be Timeless? Pop Culture References in Contemporary Novels

Should fiction be timeless? It was a debate that became especially heated in the 1980s, as a younger generation of writers, raised on corporate …