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Friday Finds for Writers

Treasure Chest
Writing-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend.

  • Meant to post this one earlier: Michael Nye “In Praise of Print Submissions” for The Missouri Review‘s blog. I’m especially fond of the last paragraph.
  • On TheProsenPeople blog, Shulem Deen describes “Making My Own MFA.”
  • Greatly enjoyed Jamie Herndon’s “Jo March Have I Loved: On Identifying with Fictional Women” (Book Riot) and thinking over the fictional women with whom I have identified over the years.
  • Congratulations to my friend Debra Ross on her new book, Seasons and Reasons: A Parent’s Guide to Cultivating Great Kids. (And kudos to her as well as mother of one of the great kids mentioned in this Publishers Weekly article!)
  • Finally: I can’t explain why I enjoyed this tweet so much, so I’ll just share it with you sans commentary.

  • Have a great weekend!

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    1. In Praise of Print Submissions brought back memories of my first creative writing class. The class’s final assignment was to have a submission ready for mailing. I marched students to the post office, where everyone bravely posted their envelopes…with SASEs enclosed, and then met them at the ice cream shop, where we enjoyed an afterglow of sundaes and conversation. “I see why you made us do this,” remarked one member of the class. “Writing became real for us at that moment.”

      • I have to agree Sandra. I recently re-vamped an intermediate fiction course I teach, to focus on prepping a specific project for submission by the end of the course. While some people had actually requested to work on assignments with this in mind, others found the reality of such a goal daunting. Submitting does make it real. I think it is a key milestone in a writer’s development and the hallmark of a serious writer.
        If we never submit for publication, we can stay in a kind of “safe” zone, calling ourselves writers but never risking rejection. I believe a successful writer is one who is willing to take risks, to be willing to fail in order to grow.
        Funny how judgements on our writing can feel like judgement on our very selves; our intellect or our value as a person. I often wonder why this is so common.
        I tell students again and again, ” You are not your writing. Separate yourself from the work so that you can view it with a more objective eye.” Easier said than done, I know. I’ve told myself in the past that I did not submit something because “it wasn’t ready.” Maybe it was just me that wasn’t ready.

    2. I had to laugh at the title of Jamie Herndon’s piece–not only did I identify with Jo March for most of my childhood and early adulthood, but my family used to tease me that I was Jo.

      Other heroines I identified with: both Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse (created by Jane Austen) and perpetually muddled Lucy Honeychurch from Forster’s A Room with a View come to mind.

      And that Greenman tweet is too funny for words. And true, to boot. 🙂

    3. I am always so glad to see that these selections resonate!

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