ESSENTIAL READING

Congrats to our 2017 First Novel Prize Winner

Julie Lekstrom Himes for Mikhail and Margarita

 

Congratulations to Julie Lekstrom Himes for Mikhail and Margarita (Europa Editions), winner of the 2017 First Novel Prize. Last year's winner, Kia Corthron (The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter), presented the award to her at our Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner on Tuesday, December 5th at The Metropolitan Club. 

 

Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, wrote: “Himes’s confident, carefully crafted debut novel...adeptly details brutality and betrayal as well as creativity and the uncertainties of censorship....” FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR WINNER

Don't Miss out on Our Last Bootcamp of the Season

with Tiphanie Yanique

 

We know December can be a super busy time full of parties, gift-giving, and travel, but don't forget to treat yourself! We're offering one last bootcamp to get your writing in shape on Saturday, December 9th with Tiphanie Yanique. Yanique won our First Novel Prize for Land of Love and Drowning, and her one day workshop will focus on creating characters including the good, the bad, and the not so attractive! You can find out more and sign up here.

 

And if you're curious about Yanique, please read her essay from our Why Fiction Matters series. It's a great reminder of why representation matters and the power of fiction in our lives. READ NOW

Meet Our New Librarian Allison Escoto!

If you've dropped by the Center in the past few weeks you may have noticed a new face behind our front desk. We're thrilled to introduce you to our new librarian Allison Escoto—an avid reader who became a librarian after working in bookstores and in publishing. In this brief interview, our web editor Kristin Henley talks to Escoto about how she decided to become a librarian, her favorite books, and her work for the Newtown Literary Journal.

 

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What Was the First Book You Fell in Love With? 
by Our First Novel Prize Finalists 


Ahhhh first love... there's nothing like it, especially when it's found between the covers of a book. Over at Lit Hub our First Novel Prize Finalists talk about the books that first had them swooning. From classics like Green Eggs and Ham to a book about mutating kids, they prove that you never know what will capture a child's imagination. 

JUNIOR EDITION: New Fiction for Younger Readers #35

by Celia McGee

 

With fall leaves crunching underfoot it's time for JUNIOR EDITION: New Fiction for Younger Readers which searches recent releases to discover the best kids' fiction out there. Writer and Center for Fiction board member Celia McGee covers four fantastic titles in this month's column. Marco the adventurous fox sets sail in The Antlered Ship, while Corinne has a supernatural time above and below the waves in Rise of the Jumbies. Zig believes a GPS will lead him to his father in The Exact Location of Home for middle-graders. And in a near future, young lovers struggle in a barren landscape full of magic in All the Wind in the World. We hope Celia's terrific choices inspire the kids in your life to pick up a book (and you may even find yourself flipping through these pages!) read

Open In Emergency: An Interview with Mimi Khúc 

 

Discussions about mental health can be difficult, but Open In Emergency, a new work of book art published by the Asian American Literary Review, aims to open up the conversation. This unique issue of the review features tarot cards, a special "version" of the DSM, an annotated brochure on postpartum depression, and more. In this interview our web editor Kristin Henley talks with Mimi Khúc, scholar, writer and guest editor of Open In Emergency.

 

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From Scratch

by Bill Cheng

 

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." "Call me Ishmael." Every story needs a beginning, but finding the perfect opener can be tough. In this craft post, Bill Cheng (Southern Cross the Dog) talks about tricks for starting stories, and why beginnings are so important.

 

"There must be a need underlying not just the text, but the act, the author—every sentence, every page, every chair you sit in with your coffee and laptop, every idle thought about your characters, when you open your eyes in the morning, or make love, or dream." read

The Model Short Story: 

Josh Weil on "My Aeschylus” by Jim Shepard

 

Josh Weil, author of the new collection The Age of Perpetual Light, shares one of his favorite stories—“My Aeschylus” by Jim Shepard—in this Model Short Story. Here, he discusses how short stories are mystical experiences and why Shepard's is so powerful.

 

"The best short stories are simultaneously the least understandable and most fully felt. They hits us with undeniable force, a concrete impact, but why they do, how they cause us such hurt or buoy us or knock us flat isn’t immediately clear. They operate like a kind of magic. They are mystical experiences." READ

Interviewing for Fiction

by Min Jin Lee

 

Who was your favorite teacher growing up? What do you like eating for breakfast? What do you do on an average Sunday? In this craft post, Min Jin Lee, author of the National Book Award shortlisted novel Pachinko, writes about the benefits of conducting "pointless" interviews to improve your fiction.

 

"If you are fortunate enough to spend time with strangers who will tell you very harmless facts about their lives, very often, you will be allowed to enter their intimate space as they remember their lives. I am not a smart journalist when I am interviewing my subjects; I am more like a curious old aunt who is just interested in getting to know you better." READ



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