Don't want to spend a fortune for your literary sanctuary? Our writing studio is located in a beautiful, sky-lit space on our top floor. It provides the perfect setting for writing. Each writer has access to a desk, a personal locker, an up-to-date reference library, lounge area, comfortable chairs, electrical outlets for portable and laptop computers, WiFi internet, wireless printer access, and a kitchenette/refreshment room stocked with coffee, water and M&Ms.
Exclusive to The Center for Fiction, we offer our Writers' Studio members full access to our circulating collection of 85,000 titles–perfect for inspiration and research in any genre. Membership also includes discounts on writing classes, reading groups, events at the Center, and in our bookstore. You also have full access to our entire building, including our second-floor Reading Room.
We know that the path to writing the next great American novel is a long one, and that everyone needs a little inspiration and help along the way. We hope some of these resources on our site will help you grapple with the craft and inspire you to keep writing!
Over at our Writers on Writing section, some of your favorite authors offer practical advice on craft.
Our Writing Tools page is just that! It has links to some of our favorite (off-line!) resources like lists of books, inspirational quotes and even tips on running a writing group.
Our Interview archives offer writers talking about their work (and their own struggles with writing!)
The Story of the Book features authors giving insight into their latest works.
The Model Short Story can act as your guide. Writers of all types introduce the stories that they think are exemplary of the form.
Publishing professionals weigh in on the process over at The Book Business.
And don't forget our archive of Audio & Video. Most of our events are available online for you to watch and learn from.
In this month's Book Drop, our head librarian Jon Michaud talks to Michael Knight about his new short story collection Eveningland. The two discuss the difference between writing short stories and novels, embracing the influence of other authors, and how a collection of stories by John Cheever inspired his book.
"We enter this book of stories, which are mostly about the gilded, well-to-do citizens of Mobile, Alabama, looking for jewels, only to be smashed across the head. Knight’s fictions are elegantly written and easy to read but they pack a punch."
In this new craft post, Crime Fiction Academy instructor and bestselling author Alison Gaylin offers concrete advice on how to control the tempo of your writing.
"For every one of my books, there’s been a 'cut file,' sometimes hundreds of pages long, of stuff that (much as I may have loved it) wrecked the pace of the novel as a whole. When it comes to killing your darlings, there’s no such thing as too brutal if you’re sacrificing them on the altar of pacing."
Peter Blackstock, senior editor at Grove Atlantic, talks about getting American audiences to read translated books, his advice for emerging writers & having passion for literature. Blackstock's authors include the Center's First Novel Prize-winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, actor Jesse Eisenberg & the Booker-longlisted writer Eve Harris.
"I’m interested in works that explore experiences that we don’t often see represented in fiction, and in strong original voices. The Sympathizer is in many ways a deeply American book, but it provides a profoundly new perspective on the Vietnam War, as Vietnamese voices have been largely sidelined in America."
We asked First Novel Prize finalist Kaitlyn Greenidge to talk about some of the unusual influences behind her fantastic novel We Love You, Charlie Freeman. Here, she discusses how a powerful nonfiction book, a country music song, a holiday movie, and a little corner of Boston all contributed to her debut novel.
"We Love You, Charlie Freeman is as much a frustrated love story between Charlotte and her friend Adia, as it is a novel about a family. This song is the epitome of the word 'bereft' and I imagine if Charlotte knew it existed, she would have worn out her Walkman rewinding it to listen to it over and over again."
"For years I took the old creative writing adage of “show, don’t tell” to heart. I’d detail every trip my characters took to the bank, the bar, the bathroom. They were stuck in micro-orbits of the same quotidian actions; I produced bloated scenes that barely moved their stories forward. It took writing—then scrapping—hundreds of pages of writing for me to realize I needed to shake off that conventional wisdom."