You may add these to your weekend reading list, if you're so inclined.
- First, an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education on what defines success post-MFA. If you know me, you can guess why this is the first on my list. People always ask me, "So, what are you going to do once you graduate?" I tell most people I'll probably do more of the same until something else comes along. Definitely hope to publish stories and a book, and then maybe teach. Unlike many graduate programs, the MFA doesn't feed directly into an academic job, as this article explains:
"substantial publication is a prerequisite for a good teaching job in creative writing, and that almost always means a full-length book. Unlike young literature scholars, who need a book to keep the job they get, creative writers almost always need a book to get the job, plus another to win tenure."
I'm not even sure I want an academic job. I think I'd like it, but as I like to say, the career options for a writer are endless.
- Second, this interview with Josh Weil on the Fiction Writers Review about that overlooked middle child: the novella. Again, if you know me, you know why I find this interesting. A big part of my work this semester was on a novella. I read Weil's The New Valley back in August, and the three novellas it contains still inspire me. I learned that the University of Miami holds a novella contest every year. Big Fiction Magazine and Nouvella both specifically publish and promote novellas. Will the novella finally get the attention it deserves?
- Next, a series of questions and answers on writing with Barbara Kingsolver. I love this:
I struggle with confidence, every time. I’m never completely sure I can write another book. Maybe my scope is too grand, my questions too hard, surely readers won’t want to follow me here. A novel is like a cathedral, it knocks you down to size when you enter into it. I falter and fidget and worry it won’t be good enough, and then the day comes when I give myself permission: just write, I tell myself. No one has to see it, you can throw everything away if it’s terrible, we’ll keep it a secret unless or until it becomes wonderful. And then I get to work.
- Fun poster designs of fairy tales and children's stories from Square Inch Design.
- A couple of unique writing opportunities: The Masters Review, a journal featuring the fiction and non-fiction of students in masters and PhD programs; and Escape Into Life, which combines literary, visual, film, and music arts, is holding its first fiction (and non-fiction) contest. Read more about the guidelines for each. Both close to submissions on December 31.
Have a great weekend!