And how open-ended could they be?
By Walter Paskoff
As technology continues to develop at an unmanageable pace, the mediums through which we consume and produce literature have expanded along a similar path. Blogs, forums, vlogs, songs, and interviews are all now looked at with some credibility and weight. Chuck Klosterman, in his existential ramblings of “But What if We Were Wrong?” even thinks that what we now know as a “book” will become obsolete in the future and that the word itself will likely change meaning entirely. This is not uncommon in our language, as we still talk about the best “albums,” “records,” and “singles,” in the music industry despite most of those releases being exclusively digital. With that in mind, many literary journals are embracing this change. Gandy Dancer accepts original songs, the SUNY Geneseo student-run Recess and Iris add playlists to their submissions list, and Catapult (along with countless others) is a journal that is fully online.
By Jessica Marinaro
When we write something about ourselves we open up the world to our life. While that can be a liberating experience, it is also littered with roadblocks. One such roadblock that many creative nonfiction writers deal with regularly is the struggle to write essays about family that are genuine to your own experience. Writing about family members is never easy, and more than one problem tends to arise when writers consider including their family members into their narratives. Continue reading
Posted by Charlie Kenny, Co-Fiction Head for Issue 10.1
Alice Mattison writes: “Writing about people from any marginalized group can be scary. It’s also bad for your imagination to put limits on it. You ought to be free to become anyone when you make up a story” [sic] (74). This raises an age-old question: should non-queer people write about the LGBTQ+ community? If you asked fourteen-year-old, newly out Charlie, the answer would have been a hard “no!” Back then every queer person I saw on T.V. or in books were always written the same—as a gay, not a person. The only time I ever saw someone like me not as a stereotype was when I saw or read something written by another queer person. Continue reading
Posted by Alison DiCesare, Creative Non-Fiction Head for Issue 10.1
When I began my studies in creative writing, I had a solid grasp on fiction and poetry as genres with specific rules and expectations – I had never heard of creative nonfiction. I had heard of memoirs, of course, and academic essays, but it had never occurred to me that nonfiction could really be creative. Since then, it has become one of my favorite genres to work with, and I understand that it has limitless possibilities. I know many fellow writers, especially students, also aren’t familiar with the genre, so I’m going to attempt here to introduce you to the possibilities of creative nonfiction as well as give you some tips on how to approach writing it yourself. Continue reading
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Posted by Anthony Lyon, Fiction Reader for Issue 9.2
This past year, I took a stay in a mental health institution for my severe depression. While I was there, I spent many hours thinking about my life, and talking to others about the crossroads where they had found themselves. How should I continue? I would ask myself. How should I continue when nothing else has worked?
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Posted by Maria Pawlak, Fiction Editor for issue 9.2
Picture this: the perfect writing playlist is pulled up on Spotify. Your favorite pen rests beside a pristine notebook (you needed another brand new one for this project, of course), and the coffee you reheated in the microwave steams gently in front of your fully charged laptop. It’s perfect. Now, you think, I’ll finally be able to start my next big writing project.
Posted by Sara Devoe, GD Managing Editor for 9.1
When writing fiction, we travel into a world with no limits. The writer is both the navigator and the passenger on a journey to which they may or may not know the destination. This destination most always, though, starts with a character. Most writers of fiction, including professor Rachel Hall with whom I took a workshop focusing specifically on writing characters with, will tell you that plot comes from characterization. A character must want something in order for there to be a story. But this raises the question–how does one go about writing a character? Sometimes, we can mine our lives for characters, but other times, the story calls for a character who is unlike us or who has experienced different things than we have. Continue reading
Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/red-cakes-flowers-fondant-286197/
Posted by Rebecca Williamson, GD Managing Editor for 9.1
As a fellow writer, I understand that submitting your work can be scary. You’ve probably revised and edited many drafts. You’ve poured countless hours into making sure each word, each punctuation mark, is perfect. All writing, even if it’s fictional, is personal. Now that I’m on the other side of the submission button, I’m recognizing that there’s more to submitting your work than just pressing the button once you have your final draft. One thing that writers need to consider is their cover letter. Continue reading
Posted by Emma Raupp, Poetry Reader for 8.1
Writing only seems simple. Each day we casually compose texts, tweets, posts, and reviews but as soon as we’re expected to break out our professional writer’s voice for an assignment, the pressure is on. Despite my experience writing papers for high school and college, I still find myself staring at a blank Word document, struck by the need to write something brilliant, but terribly unsure of where to begin. I can see a fuzzy mental image of all the brilliant points I want to make; however, I’m so overwhelmed by my ambitions that I’m having trouble materializing it. The confidence I’ve carefully curated over the years evaporates, leaving lackluster doubt where my words should be. Sound familiar? Well, read on.