Category: Guest Posts

  • Solving for X: Word Problems for Novelists

    By Tiffany Quay Tyson In elementary school, I sometimes[1] read novels behind my math book. The teacher would write multiplication tables on the chalkboard or drone on about common denominators while I was fully immersed in some story by Lois Duncan or Louise Fitzhugh or Judy Blume. What was the point of memorizing multiplication tables…

  • Finding the Line

    Creative Nonfiction by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle There is a point when you have to let off the brakes for your own safety. Every action you must take is contrary to everything you’ve ever known about self-preservation. Careful can get you killed. Speed up when a branch blocks the path in order to hit it head-on.…

  • Betwixt and Between

    By Karen Salyer McElmurray In my twenties and thirties, I traveled highways east and west. My 1967 Dodge Dart, its engine block cracked, took me from Kentucky to Arizona and back again. I road up the east coast to Maine, then far south to Key West. I kept a road atlas on the seat beside…

  • Not Everything is Gone Forever

    by Gabino Iglesias I love many things about writing, and one of them is that, once something is done, you can always go back and reread a line, a paragraph, a chapter. Life moves at breakneck speed and everything—life, love, happiness, depression, friendship, pleasure—is ephemeral, but once a book is in print, once it’s a…

  • WHY I AM NOT (and am)

    by Jane Hammons Decades ago, when I was earning a teaching credential at UC Berkeley, I was assigned a class of graduating high school seniors who were not going to graduate unless they passed a writing proficiency exam. Students from many backgrounds and dispositions filled this classroom: the school bully; depressed students unable to complete…

  • Maurice Carlos Ruffin on Heavy Things

    by Maurice Carlos Ruffin One of the biggest influences on my writing is weightlifting. Why am I somewhat embarrassed to admit this to a readership of very smart people? It may be because some of us were bullied by bigger kids back in grade school. Or maybe it’s the stereotype that writers, readers, and other…

  • Say Hi

    by Shome Dasgupta I have three guitars but I don’t know how to play any of them—or rather I can play three chords and I like to joke and say that I can play one chord for each guitar. I don’t have any musical talent—I can’t play any instruments, I can’t sing, and I lack…