The Writer's Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House

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Tin House Books, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 264 pages
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CREATIVE WRITING & CREATIVE WRITING GUIDES. "The Writer's Notebook" combines the best craft seminars from the Summer Writers Workshop's history with craft essays by some of Tin House's favorite authors and features a list of contributors that reads like a veritable who's who of contemporary poets and prose writers. Jim Shepard, Aimee Bender, Steve Almond, D. A. Powell, Chris Offutt, and others distill elements of writing and share insights into the joys and pains of their own work. They explore a wide range of topics, everything from writing dialogue to the do's and don'ts of writing about sex. With how-tos, close readings, and personal anecdotes, "The Writer's Notebook" offers aspiring wordsmiths advice and inspiration to hone their own craft. Included is a CD of workshop discussions and panels.

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User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

Great writing, as a number of authors in this collection say, is hard to explain analytically. So, the essays in this book split into two camps. Some -- I found them the most useful - take a fairly ... Read full review


Lee Montgomery i
Hard Up for a Hardon I Steve Almond
Revisioning The Great Gatsby I Susan Bell

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About the author (2009)

Aimee Bender is the author of three books, the most recent being the short story collectionWillful Creatures. Her short fiction has been published inHarper's,Granta, Tin House, GQ, the Paris Review, and others, as well as heard on PRI's This American Life. She teaches creative writing at USC and lives in Los Angeles.

Steve Almond is the author of two story collections, My Life in Heavy Metal andThe Evil B.B. Chow, the non-fiction bookCandyfreak, the novel Which Brings Me to You, co-written with Julianna Baggott, and most recently the collection of essaysNot That You Asked: Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions. He lives outside Boston with his wife and baby daughter Josephine.

Susan Bell is author of The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself (W.W. Norton & Co. 2007), and co-author with Mayor Jason West ofDare to Hope: Saving American Democracy, a book of essays on political activism (Miramax, 2005). A former editor at Random House and Conjunctions magazine, she has edited both fiction and nonfiction professionally for twenty years. She has taught a seminar on self-editing in the New School's graduate writing program since 2001.

Anna Keesey is a Portland writer and a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the recipient of a Michener/Copernicus award and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Her work has appeared inGrand Street,Double-Take, and Houghton Mifflin's Best American Short Stories series.

Chris Offutt is the author of two story collections. Kentucky Straight andOut of the Woods, two books of memoir,The Same River Twice and No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home, and the novelThe Good Brother. His work has received awards from the Lannan Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation. Offutt has two sons and lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

D.A. Powell is the author of Tea (Wesleyan, 1998), Lunch (Wesleyan, 2000) andCocktails (Graywolf, 2004), the latter a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle and the PEN West Literary Awards. Powell is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, fellowships from the NEA and the James Michener Foundation, and awards from the Boston Review, Prairie Schooner, the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Society of America. He has taught at Harvard, Columbia, the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He is currently on faculty at the University of San Francisco.

Jim Shepard is the author of six novels, including most recently Project X (Knopf, 2004) and two story collections, including most recentlyLike You'd Understand, Anyway(Knopf, 2007), which was nominated for the National Books Award.Project X won the 20005 Library of Congress/Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction, as well as the ALEX Award from the American Library Association. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. His short fiction has appeared in, among other magazines,Harper's,McSweeney's, the Paris Review, the Atlantic Monthly,Esquire,DoubleTake, the New Yorker, Granta, and Playboy, and he is a columnist on film for the magazine theBeliever. He teaches at Williams College and in the Warren Wilson MFA program, and lives in Williamstown with his wife, Karen, two sons, tiny daughter, and some harried and unreliable dogs.

Jim Krusoe has written five books of poems, a book of stories, Blood Lake, and two novels,Iceland, published by Dalkey Archive Press, andGirl Factory, published by Tin House Books. His stories and poems have appeared in theAntioch Review,Bomb, Denver Quarterly, the Iowa Review,Field, North American Review,American Poetry Review, and theSanta Monica Review, which he began in 1988. His essays and book reviews have appeared in theLos Angeles Times Book Review, theWashington Post, and Manoa. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest fund. He teaches at Santa Monica College and in the graduate writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Iceland was selected by theLos Angeles Times and the Austin Chronicle as one of the ten best fiction books of 2002, and was on theWashington Post list of notable fiction for the same year. A collection of his stories,Abductions, which will be illustrated by Dani Tull, is scheduled for publication in September 2007.

Margot Livesey is the author of the novels The House on Fortune Street, Homework,Criminals,The Missing World, Eva Moves the Furniture, and Banishing Verona. Her fiction has appeared in theNew Yorker, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is currently a writer in residence at Emerson College.

Dorothy Allison is the author of the novels Bastard Out of Carolina,Cavedweller, which was aNew York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the forthcomingShe Who. Allison will be in residence at Davidson College in 2009.

Rick Bass is the author of twenty-three books of fiction and nonfiction, including, most recently, a memoirWhy I Came West, and the story collectionThe Lives of Rocks. His first short story collection,The Watch, won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award, and his 2002 collection,The Hermit's Story, was aLos Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. The Lives of Rocks was a finalist for the Story Prize and was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by theRocky Mountain News. Bass's stories have also been awarded the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award and have been collected inThe Best American Short Stories.

Antonya Nelson is the author of eight books of fiction, the most recent a story collection,Some Fun. She teaches in the University of Houston's creative writing program, and divides her time between Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Lucy Corin's short stories have been published in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, the Iowa Review, the Mid-American Review, and Conjunctions, and anthologized in the collections The Iowa Anthology of Innovative Fiction (Iowa University Press, 1994) andNew Stories for the South: The Year's Best (Algonquin Books, 1997 and 2003). Her novel,Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls was published by FC2 in 2004, and her collectionThe Entire Predicament was published by Tin House Books in 2007.

Kate Bernheimer is the author of two novels, The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold (FC2) andThe Complete Tales of Merry Gold (FC2), and a children's book,The Girl in The Castle inside The Museum (Random House). She is also editor of two essay collections,Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales (Anchor/Vintage) andBrothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales (Wayne State University Press). She is an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

Pete Rock was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. The author of four novels and, most recently, a collection of stories,The Unsettling, he has taught at San Francisco State, Yale, Penn, Deep Springs and Reed College. He now lives in Portland, Oregon, and is at work on numerous projects -- one of which, the novelMy Abandonment, will be published by Harcourt in early 2009.

Tom Grimes is the author of the novels, A STONE OF THE HEART,SEASON'S END,REDEMPTION SONG, and CITY OF GOD. He edited the fiction anthology,THE WORKSHOP: SEVEN DECADES OF FICTION FROM THE IOWA WRITERS' WORKSHOP. His essay, Bring Out Your Dead” appeared inTin House and was a Notable Essay of 2007. His interview with Roddy Doyle appeared in the Tin House Book of Interviews. He directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Texas State University.

Matthea Harvey's most recent book of poetry, Modern Life, won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2008 as well as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author ofSad Little Breathing Machine and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form and a forthcoming children's book,The Little General and the Giant Snowflake. A contributing editor tojubilat,BOMB and Meatpaper, she teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn.

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