Culture & Literature
The Writer

The Writer November 2019

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
Read More
R 118,38
R 558,01
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
read it and reap

Every now and then, I meet a writer who doesn’t read. I’m not talking about writers who are too busy, frazzled, or exhausted to pick up this year’s Great American Novel; I’m talking about writers who have the time, energy, and resources to read and refuse, because – well, because of a number of reasons: 1. They are too busy writing to read. (Fair enough.)2. They are not interested in what Other People are doing.3. They worry it will dull their own Unique Voice and Thoughts.4. They think it’s unnecessary because writing, not reading, is the only way to improve. There may be tiny kernels of truth or logic in all of these points, but I admit I never quite know what to say when I hear them. Personally, I learn something new…

1 min.
this month on writermag.com

We’re just here for the FOOD Join us in November for a month-long celebration of food writing, where we count down the year’s best nonfiction books about food, sparklingly well-written cookbooks, foodie novels with a decidedly delicious bent, and more. On the hunt for the best fall fiction Our fall short story contest ends on Dec. 2! Don’t miss your chance to win $1,000 and publication in our magazine – we can’t wait to read your best work. Find some NaNoWriMo inspiration Stuck in your NaNo draft? We get it – writing a book in 30 days isn’t easy. Smash that bout of writer’s block with the help of our writing prompt archives. With hundreds upon hundreds of exercises and prompts to choose from, you’re bound to find something to get those creative juices flowing…

9 min.
a class on how to fall down

IN ORDER TO MAKE a living while also pursuing the arts, I feel it’s best to aim low. Being a writer, I myself cobble together a living from multiple, mostly unimpressive sources. One: I work part time at a community center, where I’m paid a modest wage to unlock the building on Saturdays for toddler ballet, shred papers for the office staff, read the newspaper, and add up attendance numbers. I also pass on comments from patrons to my supervisor, such as: “There’s a bee’s nest under that metal thingy that holds the basketball hoop.” Or: “We don’t like these toddler dance classes to start so early. We like to sleep in on Saturdays.” Two: I work a few hours a week for a pair of old people, who honestly value my…

2 min.

“Learning how to shape your ideas into well-crafted pieces of writing is essentially learning how to think critically and creatively at the same time,” Tara Mokhtari writes in the introduction of The Bloomsbury Introduction to Creative Writing, now in its second edition. “Any good writing teacher will tell you that learning how to write is tantamount to learning how to think…The key theme of this book is the relationship between knowledge derived from experience and the pursuit of writing.” Mokhtari asserts this approach is part of what makes her text stand out from the rest in the industry: “I am interested not only in craft, but also in how the creative process creates new ways into knowledge, and how refining and practicing craft can complicate our relationship to the world,” she…

1 min.
cooking the books

“I love writing about monsters and food.”—Nnedi Okorafor 1. A SMART SET OF CUTTING BOARDS Prep your moveable feast in style with these three book-themed cutting boards. $60, nordstrom.com 2. WELL-READ TEA TOWELS These Roostery kitchen towels don’t play favorites when it comes to literature: Every genre (including graphic novels, folklore, and humor) is featured in this quirky illustrated print. $39, amazon.com 3. DEBONAIR DINNERWARE Fact: Book club snacks taste best served on this bookish set of plates and platters. $13, library-of-congress-shop.myshopify.com 4. COASTER TOASTS If your book club’s more into drinking than eating, these coasters featuring alcohol-themed quotes from writers are sure to please (and preserve your coffee table). $11.99, literarygiftcompany.com 5. LITERARY LIBATIONS Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist offers recipes for a bevy of bookish beverages, including “Vermouth the Bell Tolls,” “Love in the Time of Kahlua,” and “The Pitcher…

5 min.
crash and burn

AFTER A LONG TIME AWAY, I’ve rejoined the world of indoor climbing. This is that relatively tame sport in which, in a semi-controlled environment, you strap on a bunch of gear and pretend you are on a cliff face with the eagles* and fresh air, when, really, it’s Black Sabbath from the in-gym stereo system and a bunch of chalk dust up your nose. I am lazy, and also impatient, with the idea of having to strap on a bunch of gear and communicate a bunch of things to a partner – partner! more gear – so I have opted to boulder instead. This is an offshoot of climbing in which you crawl around on a bunch of holds in prescribed routes, “solving problems.” Do not get me wrong. I really like…