Inside Look

Journaling to Memoiring

Journaling to Memoiring

 By Kelsey Weber

            For the 2016 Winter Residency, every participant was required to read a book of linked essays called Small Fires by Julie Marie Wade. It’s a wonderful book and if you like to read memoirs then I highly recommend it to you. Even if you don’t like to read memoirs I would recommend this book, since it might just change your mind.

I Know You're in There

by Rebecca Daff, BGWS Student

Attendees of this year’s Bluegrass Writers Studio winter residency were treated to a craft lecture by author Allen Wier. His thoughts on writing, and why writers work even when fame and fortune are far from guaranteed, were compelling. I wrote down as much as I could, but my skills in short-hand are nonexistent, so I eventually put my notebook aside and just enjoyed listening. But before I did, I wrote down something that I continued to think about long after the lecture ended:

“Beginning writers may mistrust the autobiographical impulse, thinking they don’t deserve credit for stories or poems they didn’t make up out of whole cloth.”

Writing What Hurts

Writing that Hurts

By Carissa Stevens, BGWS Student

     As a fiction writer, I have no qualms about putting my characters through the ringer. Death, heartbreak, illness, loss—these have all befallen my characters in different degrees of severity. Perhaps it is sadistic, but I relish the impact traumatic experiences can have on a story.

But, admittedly, when it comes to penning my own misfortunes, I clam up.

On Querying an Agent

By Joey Burke, BGWS Student

An open letter to a friend.

Dear Dr. John,

I found your Literary Agent!

Mackenzie Brady Watson at New Leaf is everything you would want in a literary wife: poise, wit, and intellect.  She is a great partner for you and like a good wife; she nudges you in the right direction.  This is not her first marriage and as such, she brings experience to the relationship. She also represents R. Dean Johnson, author of Delicate Men. You can rejoice at his inclusion in her dowry.  She has great taste in men. I mean writers. Yes, good taste in writers. That is what I mean to say. 

On Querying an Agent

By Joey Burke, BGWS Student

An open letter to a friend.

Dear Dr. John,

I found your Literary Agent!

Mackenzie Brady Watson at New Leaf is everything you would want in a literary wife: poise, wit, and intellect.  She is a great partner for you and like a good wife; she nudges you in the right direction.  This is not her first marriage and as such, she brings experience to the relationship. She also represents R. Dean Johnson, author of Delicate Men. You can rejoice at his inclusion in her dowry.  She has great taste in men. I mean writers. Yes, good taste in writers. That is what I mean to say. 

Hello Semester

By Deri Ross Pryor, Graduate Assistant

Here we are at the beginning of yet another wonderful semester at the Bluegrass Writers Studio. As each new semester approaches, I’m filled with excitement for what it has in store for me, as well as a bone-deep fear that I won’t live up to anyone’s expectations, most of all my own.

I believe that combo of excitement and fear is a normal, even necessary, component anytime you find yourself going after something as important as your dreams. Even more so for anyone in the arts, since tastes are subjective, and deep down we know we cannot please everyone with what we produce, but yet we press on. The excitement keeps you going and taking chances; the fear keeps you humble enough to keep learning and growing. Somewhere in between is where the magic happens.

My Humps, My Humps, My Awful Writer Humps

By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

You Might as Well Plot It

By Sherri Williams, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     I admit it, I used to hate outlining what I was going to write. Sometimes I still do.

     The reason is that as we write we typically flow away from the outline even if it does give us some sense of where we are going and what we are trying to do. It’s that frustration of feeling like you put all that work into it for nothing when you finish the paper or the book and you think, “well, I didn’t even really use that!”

The Five Stages of Grief In Writing

By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Mind Your Own Business

By Deri Pryor, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

How Seriously Do You Take The Business of Writing?

As writers we say it all the time, either shouting it aloud or whispering it in the back corners of our minds: “Boy oh boy, I wish I could make enough money from writing that I didn’t need a real job.”

I mean, really, who of us wouldn’t love to sit at home day after day, in our coziest clothes, doing nothing but indulging our imagination.

Here’s the thing, though: writing is a real job.

Success doesn’t happen by accident, and hard work doesn’t do itself. Anything that will support you financially is going to take effort and organization.

I’m not preaching from the pulpit here. When it comes to disorganization and laziness, I’m offender Numero Uno.

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