David Swinson’s Long Road from Cop to Crime Novelist

by Jon Michaud


In this month’s Book Drop, our librarian Jon Michaud speaks to crime fiction writer David Swinson, who worked as a nightclub promoter, movie producer, and policeman before publishing his first novel. Swinson discusses his unlikely connections to Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy, and considers how screenwriting and police work influenced his Frank Marr trilogy.


"Every aspiring writer takes his or her own unique path towards publication. Few writers have taken a route that is as convoluted as that of Swinson. He is the rare writer whose biography would make for excellent fiction." READ MORE

Books Not to Give Dad on Father's Day 

(But Are Great for You!)


Okay, okay this may not be the most helpful list for Father’s Day, but you got him a tie anyway (#classicdadgift). From The Vegetarian to The Shining, this list features books we love, but they probably aren't the best gifts for your pop. 


"Yanagihara’s career took off with 2015’s A Little Life, but her first novel The People in the Trees is also a mesmerizing read. Unreliable narrator and scientist Norton Perina recalls his travels to a remote island on the hunt for a biological Fountain of Youth." read all of our picks

Our Favorite Movies About Writers


Not even we here at The Center for Fiction can read books all the time. Sometimes we take a break and put on a movie, BUT of course we only watch movies about writers. Here's a roundup of some of our favorite films featuring brooding authors of all sorts. We hope you enjoy our picks and that you'll maybe even get a little bit of inspiration from seeing these writers on the big screen!  READ

Congratulations to our 2017 NYC Emerging Writers Fellows!

We are thrilled to announce this year's NYC Emerging Writers Fellows, chosen from over 500 applicants. Congratulations to Amna Ahmad, Charlotte Crowe, Dana Czapnik, Erik Hoel, Andrew Mangan, Crystal Powell, Maud Streep, Alexandra Tanner, and Hubert Vigilla.


This program is made possible with generous support from the Jerome Foundation and individual donors. The 2017 fellows were selected by our judges: Manuel Gonzales (The Regional Office Is Under Attack!: A Novel), Alexandra Kleeman (Intimations), and Téa Obreht (The Tiger's Wife).  FIND OUT MORE

Something to Do with Work as Play:

David Foster Wallace and “The Nature of the Fun”

by Kristopher Jansma


Kristopher Jansma, author of Why We Came to the City, takes on David Foster Wallace, the pleasure of writing, and how to find a way back to fun when writing becomes work in this new essay.


"I find it remarkably comforting that someone who had recently finished a 1,079 page novel ends up right back where any young student does, trying to work out how to write every day." read

Shelf Life

by Jessie Chaffee


We asked debut author Jessie Chaffee to share a section of her bookshelf with us. Here, Chaffee talks about the books that she used for inspiration and research for her novel Florence in Ecstasy, and what she plans on reading next.


"I began Florence in Ecstasy in part as a response to work that I was reading at the time, novels by women that depict the interior lives of women who are on the fringes or isolated, butting up against societal constraints, and their own desires, addictions, and demons." READ 

The Book Drop: Dueling Dystopias 

by Jon Michaud


In this month’s Book Drop column, our head librarian Jon Michaud takes a look at two new works of dystopian speculative fiction—Omar El Akkad’s American War and Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan—and considers how current events, history, and myth influence the fearful futures imagined by these authors. 


"It’s a heyday for dystopian speculative fiction and for the fears and anxieties behind those fictions. Two novels published this spring offer diverging but equally dark visions of life on (and off) Earth in the near future." read

The Book That Made Me a Reader

by Jim Shepard

In this new Book That Made Me a Reader, Jim Shepard (The World to Come) recalls how he made his way to fiction by reading two very different authors.


"I was the first in my family to go to college, and my father’s not-so-secret plan for getting me there involved A) my getting good grades, and B) his filling the house with books." READ




The Center for Fiction is the only nonprofit literary organization in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction, and we work every day to connect readers and writers. 

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Our good friend writer Joseph O'Neill is currently raising funds for The Maya Association, a not-for-profit organization in Turkey that operates a small school for Syrian refugee children near Mersin, Turkey. There are around three million refugees from the Syrian war in Turkey and the demand for educational services is enormous.