Archive for the ‘sadye’ Category

Five Up and Coming Workshops and Conferences

We gave you the heavy hitters when we announced the Best Writers Workshops in the Country. Of course you’d heard of most of them. Find here, five truly excellent workshops and conferences that while slightly younger, are a cut above the rest. Many of them are smaller, more intimate — and ho! — more affordable than their larger counterparts. This list represents five great resources and opportunities for the up and coming (as well as the established writer) to focus, learn, and grow. Enjoy!

issuesOne Story Workshop for Writers

Dates: July 13 – 18.

Application Deadline: Rolling applications open on February 20th and close on April 30.

Cost: $1,400 includes workshops, lectures and writing excursions in NYC as well as daily lunch, coffee/tea, wine/beer, refreshments and goodbye dinner. No scholarships offered. (Guys, wine and beer!)

Location: Center for Fiction; 17 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

Workshops Offered: Two fiction workshops.

History: We started the One Story Workshop for Writers in 2010 to open our office doors to our readers and writers. It’s been wonderful to expand our literary community, and we look forward to sharing our experience and resources with you in 2014.

What a Typical Day Consists Of: Each day starts with a three hour-long workshop. Afternoons include excursions to New York City literary landmarks meant to inspire and generate new work, writing exercises, craft lectures, special guests, and panels on how to get published. This intense and fulfilling week ends with a celebratory dinner and an evening of readings by the students.

-Michael Pollock, Manager

Link to more info:

RTNC2014_webRiver Teeth Nonfiction Conference

The conference, hosted by the River Teeth journal, is entering its third year. It covers many forms of nonfiction, focusing on essay, memoir, and literary journalism. This year’s conference features guest speakers Philip Gerard and Brenda Miller.

Dates: May 30 – June 4

Application Deadline: May 9; March 15 for those interested in book-length manuscript consultation; Deadline for scholarship applications: March 1.

Cost: $425 registration fee includes conference admission, Saturday and Sunday breakfast, and a one-year subscription to River Teeth. Applications submitted before April 1 receive a $50 discount. Essay consultations are an additional $50. Book-length manuscript consultations are $300. Merit-based scholarships are available.

Location: Ashland, Ohio

Workshops Offered: The River Teeth conference focuses on panels and seminars rather than the workshop. However, half-hour essay consultations and hour-long manuscript consultations are offered at an additional cost.

What a Typical Day Consists Of: Days at the River Teeth conference start early and are crowded with classes and seminars, with a break in the middle for manuscript consultations and an evening reading or book signing.

What Makes It Different: “The River Teeth Nonfiction Conference follows the journal’s charge, that ‘good writing counts and facts matter.’ The conference seeks to build and sustain a community of nonfiction writers who are passionate about improving craft and pursuing truth in nonfiction, with all of its uncertainties and complexities. The conference prides itself on being both persistently committed to the pursuit of excellence in writing while maintaining a measure of levity and humility, creating an environment conducive to friendship and growth.”

—Sarah M. Wells, Managing Editor

Link to more info:


Book Review: Beside Myself by Ashley Farmer

0109448c9dbe2c566ebe44fab74d8c70Beside Myself, Ashley Farmer’s debut story collection, is out March 3, 2014 from Tiny Hardcore Press. Farmer’s flash fiction surprises from story to story and from sentence to sentence, constantly asking the reader to re-evaluate impressions formed just a moment before. These stories are often surreal, but sometimes not; some are longer and more narrative; others are just a few sentences and focus on an image or scene. Whatever the case, the collection as a whole appeals to our desire to fantasize. The book begins with a shared fantasy, as two characters imagine a high school football game played out on the front lawn. In this way, even the stories that are not surreal convey the presence of imagination. In “The Ridge” the narrator remembers:

My mother used to drive us up to The Ridge, a neighborhood that overlooked ours. My favorite house was a lavender cube with pink windows. My grown self flickered like heat in the kitchen. I imagine the owner imagined what I imagined: that she lived in the successful future. (more…)

Book Review: MFA vs NYC

mfa-vs-nycMFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction, edited by Chad Harbach, is the first book in a new nonfiction series by n+1 and Faber and Faber. In the collection’s title essay, Chad Harbach identifies MFA programs and New York Publishing as the two dominant forces in American fiction. He assigns an aesthetic to each culture: MFA writing is composed of short stories that take after an older, anthologized cannon. MFA writers don’t worry about their book’s profitability because their sole aim is to earn money through teaching. New York writers produce readable, socially relevant novels that aim to sell. Then, Harbach claims that it is the pressure to fit into one of these two aesthetics (implicitly: not the writer’s own creation and vision) that shapes contemporary fiction. He writes, of the book’s two beasts: “Each affords its members certain aesthetic and personal freedoms while restricting others; each exerts its own subtle but powerful pressures on the work being produced.”

Luckily, many of the authors in MFA vs NYC achieve a level of subtlety and insight that is missing in the editor’s title essay.

The book’s two main sections are determined by Harbach’s essay: MFA and NYC. In between essays are quotes by people in these fields talking about their experiences publishing books, entering MFA programs, or being picked on in workshop. This is really what the collection should be aspiring to. MFA vs NYC is at its best not when it makes generalizations about its title subjects, but when it focuses on the particulars of one person’s experience with them. The best essays are by people who speak candidly about themselves: “My Parade” by Alexander Chee on his path to the Iowa Writers Workshop; “Basket Weaving 101” by Maria Adelmann on her days in the UVA MFA Program; “A Mini-Manifesto” by George Saunders, which offers a frank, individual perspective on the workshop. (more…)

Nine Literary Magazines You Should Be Reading

Forget the heavy hitters for a moment. Sure you’d give your left arm to be published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Tin House, Glimmertrain… but there is a bevy of truly fantastic literary magazines that deserve your attention — and your submissions! — so take a look and be prepared to fall in love.

attAtticus Review

 Atticus Review is a weekly online journal. The issues are themed, but the writing is anything but uniform. Each author published takes a dramatically different approach to featured themes such as Hair, Beginnings, and Swimming. Every issue of The Atticus Review presents a collection of writing that is witty and weird in just the right proportions. The review is affiliated with the independent press Atticus Books. The website also includes interviews with featured poets and fiction writers.

They Publish: The Atticus Review publishes, in its own words: “stories, poems, electric literature, and other genre-busting words of wisdom and interactive whimsy.”

From the Editors:Atticus Review isn’t so much different or better than other indie lit journals. It requires the same amount of creativity, passion, keen curatorial instinct, and blind faith as any underground humanities movement. What makes it invaluable is the mutual respect and admiration that we as editors and writers gain from our sophisticated readers.” –Dan Cafaro, Publisher

Learn more about Atticus Review here.

issue35_smallPassages North

 Passages North is run out of Northern Michigan University. While the print journal comes out annually, the website is frequently updated with “bonus content” that includes stories, interviews, and an extensive series of short “Writers on Writing” essays. Established in 1979, Passages North offers a fresh look at contemporary fiction. It also holds a short story and a short-short prize every other year; it is not too late to enter this year’s contests.

From the Editors: “We’re a journal whose central office is in the basement floor of a building that’ll eventually be demolished due to university progression; this is an office next to a health center where flu patients come without appointments and nineteen year-old girls are afraid they’re pregnant. There’s no sunlight, and the work we print reminds us that this is not the world exclusive.”

— Tim Johnston Managing Editor, PN

They Publish: short fiction (short shorts and longer stories), poetry (spoken-word and written word), creative nonfiction, hybrids

Learn more about Passages North here.


New Voices: Megan Giddings

You guys, this story, it will cling to your bones. Megan Giddings does some remarkable work in this playful yet poignant piece, in which she experiments with point of view, stretches the imagination, and mixes whimsy and sadness in perfect amounts. As soon as we read it, our editors pounced to make sure it was a part of our New Voices series, and we’re thrilled and honored to be publishing it here. Congratulations Megan on a wonderful story. Readers, enjoy.

Brothers What

The Brothers Wham!

By Megan Giddings

The Voice of Fortune

It’s easy to assume that when people hear George Michael sing and sigh, “that’s a voice that can raise the dead,” they’re just complimenting him. It’s not a compliment. It’s true. I experienced it. His voice is an alarm clock urging all dead within hearing distance to rise.

It was a little over five years since I’d died when his voice penetrated through the soil and my casket’s lid. My bones started clanking, reforming, growing solid. The coming together shook loose the ant colony that had burrowed into the cardboard. It ejected the maggots and broke off the long-ends of my fingernails. Flesh grew back. My face became firm again and my eyelids filled out, thin and crepey. I heard the satisfying slurp of my spleen growing back crimson and full. My heart played a cadence and then returned to a steady rhythm. Rapids of blood flowed from it, making my body whole.

I pushed out into the darkness. As I tunneled up, stronger than I had ever been in life, especially near the end, I felt my muscles working in striated unison and knew definitively I was alive. I’d spent the last years lying in beds, vomiting into toilets. It was a time spent reading the pauses when doctors and nurses looked at charts and learning how to understand glances interchanged between my primary care physician and the specialist brought in for consultations. My parents began speaking to me like I was a child not only because I was on heavy medication, but because fear had caused them to reduce me to the version they best knew how to take care of.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

Question and Answer: Pursuing your MFA

Untitled-2Masters Review editor Sadye Teiser received her MFA from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Here she answers a few questions about her experience, why she chose the school that she did, what she learned, and the value of pursuing an MFA in creative writing.

Tell us a little about your MFA Program.

I went to the University of North Carolina Wilmington for my MFA. For me, it was a great fit. It’s a three year program. I focused on fiction, but we were required to take both forms classes and workshops in other genres (creative nonfiction or poetry). The third year was mainly about the thesis.

How did you decide on that specific school?

I chose UNCW for a few reasons. I had read and admired the work of professors in the program, and liked the curriculum. I was also given a fellowship and the opportunity to teach. In the end, I was choosing between UNCW and Columbia, a much larger program, with a much higher tuition, which would have landed me deep in debt. When I visited Columbia, it just didn’t click for me; it’s obviously a great program, but it felt large and spread out. When I visited UNCW, though, I was overwhelmed by the sense of community. The program is in a small coastal town, with about 15 students per class, and there is just such a strong network of support. I thought: this is a place I could really write.

How many schools did you apply to and what were your top criteria in choosing a program?

Eleven. I applied mostly to highly ranked schools with funding and faculty whose work I liked. Though I’m happy with where I ended up, I don’t think mine was the best approach. I would encourage people not to be so fixated on the top ten list and to take more time with their research than I did. There are some really great places—like Portland State and The University of Florida—that I did not even know about when I applied.

What advice would you give for someone applying to an MFA program? What do you wish you had known? What was the most difficult aspect in applying?

In deciding what schools to apply to: keep an open mind, but determine the factors that are important to you. Many programs will offer opportunities to support yourself in the program through teaching, and I would pay attention to this. While I don’t think it’s an absolutely necessary part of the MFA experience, it’s something that I really enjoyed. Consider things like funding, tuition and cost of living. There is no reason to go into debt, at least not crushing debt, for an MFA.

In terms of the application itself: just send them your best writing. That’s by far the most important element. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a chapter from a long novel or a 5 page story, as long as it’s good. (more…)

The Best Writers Workshops in the Country

WritersSpring is nigh, and with it comes deadlines for the prestigious and exciting Summer Writers Workshops. But which to choose? We’ve narrowed down the field to six of the country’s best. Whether you’re a new writer, seasoned veteran, agent, or editor, these six workshops provide the perfect environment for cultivating and improving your craft.

Bread Loaf

General Info: Bread Loaf is America’s oldest, and some would argue best, writers conference. It offers small, intensive workshops on the scenic Bread Loaf campus of Middlebury College in VT. Days at the conference are packed with lectures, classes on craft, readings, and talks by editors, agents, and other professionals in the publishing industry. The conference brings together established and emerging writers. A range of financial aid is available for writers in varying stages of their careers. They even offer work-study scholarships for emerging writers, which include being a waiter in the Bread Loaf dining room. Who would pass up the opportunity to serve dinner to the likes of this year’s attendees Natasha Trethewey, David Shields, and Percival Everett?

Location: Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont

Workshops Offered: fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Deadline: March 1

Cost: $2,935 for general contributors; $2,810 for auditors; fees include room & board Some financial aid available.

Dates: August 13 – 23


What Makes It Different: In his letter on the program’s website, Michael Collier, the director says: “[Bread Loaf] provides a stimulating community of diverse voices in which we test our own assumptions regarding literature and seek advice about our progress as writers.”


General Info: The conference is held each summer on the campus of Sewanee: The University
of the South. Thanks to the generosity of the Walter E. Dakin Memorial Fund, supported by the estate of Tennessee Williams, the conference subsidizes every writer’s cost of attendance. Like those at Bread Loaf, days at Sewanee are made up of workshops, craft lectures, and readings. Among the members of this year’s lustrous faculty are Jill McCorkle, Alice McDermott, Claudia Emerson, Charles Martin, Mary Jo Salter, Daisy Foote and Dan O’Brien. Many literary agents and publishing professionals come to Sewanee each year.

Location: The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee

Workshops Offered: fiction, poetry, playwriting

Deadline: April 15

Cost: $1,800-$1,100 tuition; $700 for room & board. Financial aid available.

Dates: July 22 – August 3, 2014


What Makes It Different: “Enjoying what one contemporary poet has called Sewanee’s ‘remoteness without cultural dislocation,’ the Sewanee Writers’ Conference gathers a distinguished faculty to provide instruction and criticism through workshops and craft lectures in poetry, fiction, and playwriting.” – Adam Latham, Admissions and Creative Writing Administrator Sewanee Writers Workshop