Tag Archives: Writing

National Novel Writing Month: November is NaNoWriMo

Posted by Nicole Gartley, Poetry Reader for issue 6.1

Fall is in the air, and November is upon us, bringing with it NANOWRIMO, also known as National Novel Writing Month. The name alone is daunting: one month, to write a whole novel? The basic premise as listed on the website is even more daunting: starting November first, participants aim to write a 50,000 word novel. The first time I heard of NANOWRIMO, all I could think was that is a lot of words, and not nearly enough time to write them in. Since then, I have managed to complete the challenge not once, but twice. While neither work is necessarily publishable, there is a certain pride to knowing that you can write that much, you can make the time, and, in my case in particular, you can muscle your way through your writer’s block. Continue reading

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Former Contributors: What They’re Doing Now

Posted by Sara Munjack, Arts Editor and Poetry Reader for issue 6.1, Former contributor for issue 4.1.

A quick glance at where former Gandy Dancer contributors are now is all that is necessary to confirm that the literary journal acts as a spring board which propels emerging writers into the writing trajectory Poet Yael Massen, who just finished her MFA at Indiana University is currently working on a poetry manuscript, which she says is “emotionally exhausting.” Her poems can be found in Gandy Dancer’s inaugural issue. Since, she has been published in several literary journals including Columbia Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Southern Indiana Review, The Journal, and has a couple of poems forthcoming in print issues of Colorado Review and Fifth Wednesday Journal. She has also begun working on contemporary Hebrew poem translations—two of which have been published in Waxwing. Continue reading

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Love and Poetry in a Dark Time: Dante Di Stefano’s Love is a Stone Endlessly in Flight

Posted by Evan Goldstein, GD Managing Editor for 5.2

I finished Love is a Stone Endlessly in Flight, Dante Di Stefano’s debut poetry collection, alone under the harsh fluorescent lamp that hangs above my dinner table. It was a frigid winter night, and the wind howled its way under the door to my house and into the living room. Earlier, I had spent considerable time looking out of my bedroom window: trash and lost milk crates skated across the concrete past the students fighting their way to campus in the wind.

It’s easy, especially on Western New York winter nights like this, to feel unhopeful. We live in an unhopeful time, as well. As we watch the authoritarian Trump administration double down on America’s long bipartisan history of war abroad and austerity and state terror at home it can be easy to forget where to find hope, or at least solace, in the day by day. Continue reading

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Writing Advice from Idra Novey, Author of Ways to Disappear and Exit, Civilian

Posted by Kallie Swyer, GD Poetry Editor for 5.2, Former Contributor for 4.1 and 5.1

As a part of the Geneseo Literary Forum, translator, novelist, and poet Idra Novey came to our campus to discuss her books with in-class visits and a reading. I was lucky enough to be in one of the classes that she visited, where we got to discuss her latest novel Ways to Disappear,  and her recent poetry collection Exit, Civilian Continue reading

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What am I even doing here? Writing and Existential Angst

Posted by Lily Codera, GD Poetry Reader for 5.2

So you’ve decided to write, and nothing is going to stop you. You’re going to write, and no number of soul-draining barista or restaurant server positions (on the side) can slow your momentum now. At this point, you may have developed a routine that allows you to work on your writing regularly; you may have even pinpointed your most productive time of day so as to “protect” it, like Kate Daloz suggested at her recent reading. Maybe your dad has finally come to terms with the fact that you’re probably not going to become the doctor or lawyer that he always wanted you to be. Great. So why do you still feel so unsettled about all this? Continue reading

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Gandy Dancer Goes to AWP

Posted by Joshua DeJoy, CNF Co-Editor for 5.2

Several current and former Gandy Dancers attended the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)Conference in Washington, DC, February 8-11. The conference was a rewarding experience for all Geneseo attendees, including myself, Managing Editors Evan Goldstein and Oliver Diaz, Poetry Editor Kallie Swyer, former Poetry Editor Robbie Held, former CNF reader Isabel Owen and friend of Gandy Dancer Elizabeth Pellegrino.

The AWP conference has two main components: dozens of panels by writers, editors, and translators and an absolutely massive book fair. Even the most diligent and caffeinated attendee can only experience a small fraction of what the conference has to offer. For example, I attended a couple of panels and then spent the rest of the time at the book fair, going systematically past hundreds of tables and booths and seeing what they had to offer. Continue reading

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Gandy Dancer Reviews Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Posted by Hannah McSorley, GD Fiction Reader for 5.2

I first read Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff over the summer following a recommendation by my older sister, and I have since recommended this book, as well as all of Groff’s other stories and books, to everyone who knows me. I couldn’t put this book down!

Fates and Furies captures the marriage between Lotto and Mathilde Satterwhite. The book is split into two parts titled “Fates” and “Furies” respectively, and it is a fantastic exploration of marriage and it raises the question of how well we know others in our lives. Continue reading

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5 Literary Journals for New Writers, plus Cover Letter Help

Posted by David Sabol, GD Poetry Reader for 5.15 Literary Journals for New Writers, plus Cover Letter Help

As we all know, starting a career as a writer is pretty difficult. You’re a young writer who’s practiced your craft for years, writing page after page of work, until finally, you’ve written something that you feel the literary world needs to see… Now what? Most people don’t know where to go from here, whether they’re in high school or college. Continue reading

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Creating Autumn

Posted by Lexi Sammler,  GD Creative Nonfiction Section Head for 5.1

Creating Autumn in Nature and WritingFrom a young age, I discovered the ability to lose myself in nature. I pride myself in stopping to smell the flowers, going on walks in the woods, and embracing the quiet sounds of nature.  Each step I have made through crunching leaves has allowed me to better myself as a writer. I have learned to appreciate and meditate in nature beyond the small creatures of the forest. I am thankful for all the green grass in my life, the cool breezes, and the reminder of my childhood that comes from stepping outside. Continue reading

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Laying the Groundwork: The Importance of Opening Lines in Crafting Atmosphere

Posted by Morgan Staub, GD Creative Nonfiction Reader for 5.1

Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.” 

                        —Hunter S. Thompson

“Call me Ishmael.” “124 was spiteful.” “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” The literary nerds out there, such as myself, recognize that these opening sentences set the tone of the story to follow. Used to express tension, style, or character, these opening lines raise the bar of expectations for the narrative. While these lines are novel openings, the same can be said for short story openings, with the difference being that in the latter medium, there is less room to expand. When we write short stories, it is even more vital to use the first few lines of the story to set the tone for what will follow. Continue reading

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