Sep 20 2017
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5 reasons why word choice matters so much in good writing

5 reasons why word choice matters so much in good writing

Writing is one set of choices after another—about imagery, sound, what to include, what to leave out, who to name, who to kill off, where to give background info, when to let readers fill in the blanks for themselves, and so on and on and on. I want to talk a little about our building blocks, as writers: individual words. In workshops and writing courses or groups, feedback frequently references “word choice.” One of my…

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Sep 05 2017
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How to make more time to write (and why it’s probably not a time problem you have)

How to make more time to write (and why it's probably not a time problem you have)

I hear that phrase so much, writers: make time. As if we can possibly manufacture more time than there actually is in a day, week, month, or year. Or can we? My suggestion to you, if you’ve ever complained that you can’t make time to write in your busy life, is to re-frame the problem. My guess is, it isn’t always a time problem you have…

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Sep 03 2017
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Letter from the director, September 2017

Letter from the director, September 2017

In a few short weeks, summer will be over and fall–and the first fall session of Center courses–will arrive. As usual here in the northeastern U.S., it feels too soon, like we can’t possibly have already moved through the warm months even though we can feel with visceral clarity the morning chill in the air. At this time of changing seasons, I am reminded that there are seasons in our creative lives as well. Sometimes…

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Aug 22 2017
Comments Off on Which writing form is right for you? 7 questions to ask yourself

Which writing form is right for you? 7 questions to ask yourself

Which writing form is right for you? 7 questions to ask yourself

You have an idea, an image, or an interesting phrase that you want to turn into a piece of writing. You sit down in your favorite chair with your favorite pen or device and start getting some words down. Maybe the question of whether this is a poem, short story, or essay begins to pull at your attention while you’re writing, or maybe you create a full draft of…something…before you begin to consider form or…

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Aug 15 2017
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How to create your own personal writing retreat

How to create your own personal writing retreat

If you need a change of both setting and pace and a reprieve from distractions to put in some serious, focused writing time, consider creating your own retreat. Make no mistake, there are some fabulous organized writing retreats out there. The Center offers affordable and scenic writing retreats, but we don’t have any scheduled for 2017. When we do, we’d love for you to join us! Until then, if you’re browsing the offerings on Poets…

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Aug 08 2017
Comments Off on Tips for beginning writers: Resist distraction and embrace solitude to write more and better

Tips for beginning writers: Resist distraction and embrace solitude to write more and better

Tips for beginning writers: Resist distraction and embrace solitude to write more and better

For a long time now, I’ve wanted to say something to writers, especially to beginning and aspiring writers, about embracing solitude. Perhaps it’s an overly romanticized notion, that writing is a solitary path. Perhaps it’s even strange for me to say–me, who tries to create a community around writing through the Center and in my personal life, and who emphasizes to my students the need for community. The need for community, though, is born of…

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Aug 01 2017
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Letter from the director, August 2017

Letter from the director, August 2017

Dear writers, How is it August already? The last session of the Center’s online writing courses before a late summer break is in full swing, but here I am, thinking about the harvest. I remember that in pagan culture, the first of August is the first of three harvest-oriented celebrations. To harvest is to work, to bring forth the proverbial fruits (and vegetables!) of one’s labor. In the context of writing, a harvest might be…

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Jul 18 2017
Comments Off on Writing is carpentry! Must-read Granta post by Natasha Pulley

Writing is carpentry! Must-read Granta post by Natasha Pulley

Writing is carpentry! Must-read Granta post by Natasha Pulley

I came across a post on Granta called “The Myth of the Creative Genius” and it so encapsulates how I feel about writing–not to mention, the Center’s philosophy about writing–that I had to share it here. Author Natasha Pulley writes: It’s tempting to feel like writers have some sort of special, unique connection to a well of creativity – everyone else can look in and make a wish, but writers go down on the chain…

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Jul 02 2017
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Letter from the director, July 2017

Letter from the director, July 2017

Dear writers, It’s Fourth of July weekend and all I can think about is fireworks–how to light up the sky with words. Like you, I write. I have several projects in progress at the moment, and probably also like you, I sometimes struggle to get to the page. Life gets busy, and between our various obligations, sitting down to write (especially when the weather is gorgeous!) can pose a challenge. To myself and to all…

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May 30 2017
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Letter from the director, June 2017

Letter from the director, June 2017

Greetings, writers, I’m actually writing this letter on May 30, the first day of a new session of courses here at the Center. Our teachers and students are gearing up to spend the next five weeks reading, reflecting, and of course writing. I am fielding inquiries, organizing course materials, updating the website, and getting to know my own students. The first day of school has always made me feel giddy. I always looked forward to…

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