ESSENTIAL READING

Our Other Futures

by Malka Older

 

In this essay, author Malka Older reflects on her time as an aid worker in Darfur and how it influenced her near-future political thriller series, The Centenal Cycle. Null States, the follow-up to her groundbreaking debut Infomocracy, is out now.

 

"At the time I was there, Darfur was in the news occasionally, and none of it was good. None of it even suggested that there was life there beyond attacks and atrocities. Yet there I was, going for milk in the market after dark, and imagining a desert future of isolated settlements and itinerant traders." read

Shelf Life

by Sophie McManus

 

We asked the author of The Unfortunates and our new workshop instructor, Sophie McManus, to give us some insight into her disordered book collection and the importance of searching the shelves.

 

"I love photos of authors sitting in front of their books. These photos always convey a hint of pride, but also a sense that the author is laying herself bare to the viewer. However distinguished or enigmatic her half-smile, the story behind the author offers all her secrets. It says: these books are who I am." READ

 

And don't miss McManus's course, Inside→Out: Writing Point of View, which starts on October 3rd

JUNIOR EDITION: New Fiction for Younger Readers #34

by Celia McGee

 

We're headed back to school with JUNIOR EDITION: New Fiction for Younger Readers which searches recent releases to discover the best kids' fiction out there. Writer, editor, and Center for Fiction board member Celia McGee covers four fantastic titles in this month's column. Kids learn what makes a book a book (and a few lessons about getting along) in Give Me Back My Book! New York provides adventure for Cricket and her grandmother who take off across the city in The Half-True Lies of Cricket CohenA much more dangerous adventure awaits Reza in the gripping Lost Boys about child soldiers in Iran. And finally The Wood hides many secrets including portals to lands across time. 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

An Interview with Rene Denfeld on The Child Finder 

 

Rene Denfeld first caught our eye when her debut novel, The Enchanted, made the short list for our First Novel Prize. Now Denfeld is back in the spotlight with her riveting sophomore novel, The Child Finder, out this month. In this interview we talked with Denfeld about tackling difficult subjects, bringing characters to life on the page, and her secret to writing a literary thriller.

 

"The character has to have autonomy and make their own decisions, and not feel directed by me. But I also make sure I know the lives of the characters and feel authentic writing them." READ 

The Writers' Trove

by Alissa Torres

 

In this craft post, the author of the acclaimed graphic novel memoir American Widow talks about how to mine your own experiences for inspiration, how your memories can become "tangible monuments," and how to trust your readers. 

 

"You validate what happened to you from your own perspective, with your own creativity. As such, the process and result is powerful and therapeutic." READ


Don't miss Torres's writing workshop Writing Trauma, beginning September 26.

Announcing the 2017 First Novel Prize Short List!  

 

We are pleased to announce the short list for the 2017 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, which was chosen from the 22-title long list by a panel of five distinguished writers: Sonya Chung, Anne Landsman, Fiona Maazel, Rick Moody, and Kia Corthron, who won the 2016 Prize for her debut novel The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter. Over 140 debut novels were submitted by publishers this year. CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR FINALISTS

On Wandering and Writing:

An Interview with Sybil Baker 

by Iris Mahan

 

In this interview our Development Associate Iris Mahan talks with writer Sybil Baker about her recent nonfiction collection Immigration Essays, which explores the history of Chattanooga against the backdrop of Baker's own familial history and the experiences of her life abroad. Here, they talk about identity, personal and political responsibility, and the contentious idea of ‘home’ in the context of our modern global lives. READ

Five Lessons from a Writing Workshop

by Molly Tolsky

 

As part of our expanding coverage of the literary world outside of NYC, intrepid writer Molly Tolsky reports on becoming a student again at the Tin House Writing Workshop in Portland, Oregon.  

 

"I wanted to take a break from my 9-5 life, and New York in the summer—its stench and humidity, its gasping subway cars. More than anything, I wanted to think of only writing for one week. I wanted to come home motivated, energized, less prone to watching an entire season of Frasier in one day and more loyal to the page." READ



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Please join us for our Annual Benefit & Awards Dinner on December 5th honoring this year's Maxwell E. Perkins Award Winner, Morgan Entrekin of Grove Atlantic, and announcing the winner of the 2017 First Novel Prize.

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