Culture et Littérature
The Writer

The Writer

December 2020

Since 1887 The Writer has provided the motivation, writing techniques, expert tips and compelling author insights that turn good writing into great writing. We’ll help you become a better writer, find markets for your work, understand the business of writing, follow industry news and trends, reach your goals, and more!

United States
Madavor Media, LLC
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12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

5 min.
book it!

This month, my first book, From Hang Time to Prime Time, comes out. I had dreamt of writing a book in the way some folks dream of traveling to the moon or winning Powerball. It would be nice to be in that position, sure, but getting there seemed incomprehensible, too foolish to consider. Yet here I am. And you can be here, too. Really. Now that I have some distance, I can see that writing this book was a lot like pitching an article. The difference: It took a lot more time – seven years – to go from hazy idea to tangible object. This is how I did it. I found a larger theme in a smaller story. In February 2013, I wrote a feature on Marvin Gaye’s rendition of the national…

9 min.

I lie curled up in a towel, drowsy on mama’s lap. My green psychedelic-print bikini is wet and cold, but mama is warm. She runs her fingers through my damp hair, teasing out snarls with one hand. The other hand holds a fan of cards. Bella, two years younger, is curled up in her own hotel towel asleep on a nearby lounge chair, shaded by a big blue parasol. Rosemary spreads a set of three threes and a set of three eights on the table, and before she discards, my mother feigns a scowl and asks, “Terremoto?” Rosemary discards an ace with a dramatic flip and responds with a sly smile, “No, Clara, todavía, no.” Not yet, she answers. The water shimmers on the pool, a gathering place for ex-pat families in Santo…

7 min.
how something you hate can reveal a voice you love

Every writer has to find their own voice. But how do you define what makes your writing special? How do you define what makes your writing uniquely you? There may be a way. In every Creative Writing 101 class I teach at Gotham Writers, there’s a very clear pivot point. It’s a six-week class, and in week three, that pivot occurs. While the discussion centers around what makes these burgeoning writers in the class unique, the common responses of “I don’t really know” or “Nothing, really” are quickly eradicated by the writing exercise, after which each of the students has the beginnings of a clear and distinct voice, one that stands out in its own way from everyone else’s. That’s because of the writing activity in week three: “Write About Something You Hate.” That’s…

9 min.
find your niche

AS a freelance writer, you have more options for magazines to pitch your ideas to than you may realize. When you peruse the racks at Barnes & Noble or other newsstands, you only see a fraction of the publications circulating the country. Most people are familiar with general-interest consumer magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, People, and AARP The Magazine, but many more lurk in the background. Have you heard about Bee Culture, a trade magazine for professional beekeepers and those interested in the science of honeybees? Or how about the niche publication Teddy Bear Times & Friends, which explores all aspects of the wonderful world of teddy bears? Then there’s Get Lost, Australia’s leading adventure travel magazine. All of these, along with many other niche, trade, and international magazines,…

4 min.
reads and eats

Novelist and essayist (and The Writer columnist) Yi Shun Lai wanted to start a literary magazine for years – specifically, a magazine focused on writing by marginalized writers about food. “A few years ago, people started pointing out the fact that most articles about ethnic food – Japanese, Thai, Mexican, etc. – are written by white people,” she says. “When I first started writing for publication in the ’90s, I saw that publishing wasn’t as friendly to marginalized writers as it needed to be, and I wanted to do something about that as well.” Enter Reads & Eats, a monthly online magazine written exclusively by marginalized writers showcasing culinary delights from grilled cheese and tuna casserole to Brussels sprouts and chai tea. “It behooves us to read more minority perspectives,” Lai says.…

5 min.
todos santos writers workshop

When Jeanne McCulloch and Rex Weiner co-founded the Todos Santos Writers Workshop on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula seven years ago, they knew they wanted to create a community of writers in a location rich in history and culture. Each morning of the annual workshop, participants gather in the garden of the Casa Dracula and read an inspirational quote from the Paris Review Writer’s Chapbook. Then they meet in small groups with genre instructors under fruit trees on the property before setting out to explore the town and surrounding areas. In 2021, Weiner and McCulloch are approaching the week-long event in a different manner. Like so many other conferences, theirs is going online. “We’re going to reproduce what we usually do in person, minus the fruit trees and the…