Thursday, November 17, 2011

weekend internettery

Throughout a typical week, I email myself a dozen links to articles, contests, literary magazines, online stores, and then I read or peruse them when I have free time. While I'm sure I'm not the only one to stockpile online reading material, and I'm sure no one sits around on their computer thinking "I wish I had something to read on the internet," I think I'll still share some of the most interesting links I found.

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.

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.

  • 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!

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