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. 


Happy writing! 


Congratulations to our 2018 NYC Emerging Writers Fellows!


We are thrilled to announce this year's NYC Emerging Writers Fellows, chosen from over 500 applicants. Congratulations to Cara Blue Adams, Mariam Bazeed, Diane Chang, Sidik Fofana, Kim Coleman Foote, Chantal Johnson, Jeremy J. Kamps, Katherine Augusta Mayfield, and Kimarlee Nguyen. Each writer receives a grant of $5,000, the opportunity to work on a manuscript with a distinguished editor, the chance to read at public events at The Center, and more. Find out more

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

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

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