Category: Craft

Our Craft column archive, which features an array of guest contributors.

The Writing Life: How I Joined the Working Class & Yet Also Maintained My Sanity and Lofty Literary Goals; or How Following Virginia Woolf’s Instructions Is Tricky by Hilary Meyerson

hilary meyerson

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. – Virginia Woolf — Women writers just love old Ginny. We quote her chestnut about the ‘room of one’s own’ at the drop of a pen. The quote isn’t limited to fiction, but writing in general. Usually, it’s centered around the “room” part – the need for a physical space

Craft: Habits by Donna Steiner

I spoke with some young writers yesterday.  They happen to be poets, and had just read a couple of chapters from The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser.  We were talking about establishing good writing habits, and one student said, “I always make sure it’s quiet where I’m writing, and I try to make…

The Writing Life: the unruled page by mensah demary

open moleskine with blank unlined pages

i allow myself many vices: cigarettes, more cigarettes, various Apple products [my apartment is wired to Apple’s hive mind], and Moleskine journals. while i don’t believe in the so-called “writing life,” there is value in journaling one’s thoughts. i guess. still, i buy Moleskines because somewhere in my reptile brain, a $17 journal makes me more of a writer than, say, a $0.99 notebook from Walgreens.

Craft: So What? by Risa Nye

rubber stamp on red ink pad

A couple of years ago, a writer friend of mine told me about one of his old high school English teachers who owned a lethal pair of personalized rubber stamps. One read “So what?” and the other, “Who cares?” Ouch… Harsh? Perhaps.

Craft: Falling Memories by Risa Nye

memory lane street sign on blue sky background

Ask a group of adults what they remember about the first day of school and you’ll get a wide range of responses—everything from excitement and anticipation to anxiety and dread. Can you remember anything about your first day of fifth grade? What about your first day as a senior in high school, when, finally, you made it to the top of the heap?

Jumping the Gun by Donna Steiner

When I began teaching, none of my students ever asked about publishing their work. They were content, it seemed, to learn the craft, hone particular pieces, and perhaps, someday, begin the process of submitting to literary journals or editors or agents. That has changed.

Word by Lori M. Myers

Words have substance, texture, definition. The word “word” is given distinction by Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – yes, the bulky print version – as being both a noun in the form of something that is said, as in “I just can’t think of the word right now,” and a verb meaning expressing something, as in “Benjamin, we have to word the declaration just right.”

The Art is in the Details

What makes you fall in love with writing? What makes you tumble into the story on the page the minute the words enter your body?

For me, it’s the details. I care about the music of the language and what the writing has to teach me about people and life; in the end, I want those bigger themes to change me. But as I read creative nonfiction, and the world of story rises before me, I want to see it, taste it, smell it, hear it, and feel it on my skin.