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Inside Look

A Jury of My Peers

By Kristen Roach Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     “But I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. Still crazy after all these years.” -Paul Simon

     Maybe this lyric can explain my long-overdue, 40-something studies at Bluegrass Writers Studio. A jury of my peers always sounded like a dream enterprise. But who, exactly, did I picture as my peers, way back in the 1970’s, when Simon crooned this and taught me what nostalgia was? At the ripe old age of five, having seen a meeting of the minds among a certain Skywalker/Solo/Kenobi/Bacca crew, my idea of justice and equality may have been a bit overwrought. Not only would my “peers,” whoever they were, not convict me for my behavior, they’d probably be alongside me, wreaking the havoc we deemed necessary.

Still Hungry?

By Laura Wooffitt, Bluegrass Writers Studio

This is part three of series on where to eat in Lisbon, our home away from homepage. For part one, click here, part two, here.

Continuing my list of favorite cheap eats and how to get there from the Baixa-Chiado Metro stop; all directions are given from Rua Garrett, facing the elaborate cafe A Brasileira:

Where to Eat in Baixa Chiado

By Laura Wooffitt, Bluegrass Writers Studio

This is part two of series on where to eat in Lisbon, our home away from homepage. For part one, click here.

Welcome to Lisbon! Está você com fome?

By Laura Wooffitt, Bluegrass Writers Studio

To the Lisbon Bound and others interested,

When you finally make it to the top of the quadra-decker escalator (meaning the four sets of escalator/stairs rising out of the depths of the Baixa Chiado metro station), a lot of things can be overwhelming. There are tons of people, crazy taxis, trams curving round the street in front of you, and again, lots and lots of people. It’s difficult to get your bearings, especially on good places to eat, usually it’s a spur of the moment, let’s try this and hoping it’s not outrageously priced sort of thing!

The Value of a Thing

By Joseph Nichols, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Steam For Your Workshop Self-Esteem

By Heather Noland, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Keeping an Open Mind

By Jen Parks, Bluegrass Writers Studio

“I’m not a poet.”

Add that to the long list of things that I swore I’d never do: work in an operating room, run a marathon, become a vegetarian, go back to school. The list goes on. You would think that at thirty-four years old, I would’ve figured it out by now: that karma has a way of reminding me to keep an open mind, and that the path I have directions for isn’t always the one I end up following. I'm a vegetarian marathoner who works in an operating room, and am currently working on my second Master's degree.

This Ain't Zig Ziglar

By Joseph Allen Nichols, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

            How do you write about combating the fear of putting yourself out there, as a writer, without sounding like some Zig Ziglar-Mary Kay-esque inspirational euphemism? For me, it is a particularly threatening endeavor – after all, I spent my childhood reading such affirmations pasted all over the mirrors and walls of our home (my mother did, yes, sell Mary Kay).

            The truth of the matter is this: We fail, if by failing we are describing the loss of a contest, the pass-over from a possible employer, or a declined submission to a literary journal. It is the business that we have chosen, or has chosen us.

Accelerated Freefall

By Kristen Roach Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     Three months have passed since eager BGWS participants gathered in Lexington, KY for our annual Winter Residency. We know what we’ve been up to – reading, writing, workshopping, discussing, revising, and freezing – but what about our esteemed guests from January?

     Rigoberto González is one of 20 finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards, which celebrates the best LGBT books of 2013. The competition is in its 26th year and read more work than ever for this year’s awards. The Advocate has selections from all of the finalists here. Go Rigoberto!

Faces of Revision

By Julie Hensley, Associate Professor, Bluegrass Writers Studio

I go back and forth on “required” revision. My students know this. One semester, I include a formal revision assignment, usually as a closing project, in my ENW 820 workshop; the next semester, I take it out in favor of a book review. How do you do real revision in a sixteen week course? Don’t you need to leave the file unopened on your desktop for at least that long? Don’t you need to shut all the hard copies of your manuscript in a drawer for three months or so? One of my own mentors was fond of saying that, optimally, when you come back to that poem or story, the words should no longer feel like your own. I think she was right, that the best global revision happens only with some serious distance; however, I think there are many ways to revise, not all of them global.

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