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Besides having one of the best writer’s websites I’ve ever seen, Joan Dempsey has successfully merged the craft she loves with a business model that helps others reach their writing goals. On March 8 at 6 PM EST, she joins me on the Behind the Prose Radio Show to tell us how she lives the literary life oh-so-well. There are things I want to know like: what is a "writing shed” and how does one get one? How do writers decide which genre to focus on? And can you really teach an old writer dog new cut-clutter-from-your sentences-tricks?
Besides delving into her original course, Improve Your Writing: Ten Essential Tools for Streamlining Your Sentences, we’ll focus on the craft of her short story, “Wild Swan” which appeared in The Adirondack Review.
Joan will take your questions live on the air via my studio call-in phone number 347-857-2225.
Tweet your questions or SKYPE in by clicking the button on the live show! #noexcuses
Let's listen, learn, and write!
On Sunday, January 25, 2015, Jennifer Genest, MFA will join me on Behind the Prose to discuss two of her recent publications in the genres of fiction and creative nonfiction.
We will be close reading and discussing her flash fiction story "Ways to Prepare White Perch" and her creative non-fiction essay "Her Fighting Weight - A Postpartum Experience," published in New Delta Review and The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review.
Genest holds and MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles and was a Peter Taylor Fellow for the 2013 Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Currently, she is shopping her literary novel, The Mending Wall.
Listen at 6 PM EST / 3 PM PST this Sunday on BlogTalkRadio.
*** UPDATE #2 - AFTER THE SHOW ***
This episode is filled to capacity with awesomeness.
First, you'll hear the rest of Associate Senior Editor Roxanne K. Young's interview about her work at the Journal of the American Medical Association and Dr. Andrew Bomback's essay "Errands" which ran in the "A Piece of My Mind Column" in JAMA. (BTW: His episode was named most popular writing episode by BlogTalkRadio. JAMA generously has made Andrew's episode available at no cost of a limited time.)
Next, we go behind the prose with Sarah Gerard, MFA whose novel Binary Star is blazing through the literary universe. SARAH GERARD WAS NAMED TO EIGHT BEST BOOKS AND WRITERS LISTS FOR 2015!!!
Finally, her publisher and editor, Eric Obenauf of Two Dollar Radio, talks book numbers and how his company keeps on picking winners.
I've never read Frankenstein. And honestly, I never wanted to. But then I found "This Monstrous Heart" by Aimee Baker. By the time she finished weaving in and out of three narratives in the creative nonfiction essay, I not only wanted to read Mary Shelley's legendary tome and every autobiography about her messy life, I wanted to devour anything Baker wrote, including her grocery lists and text messages.
On February 8, 2015, Aimee will join me on my Behind the Prose Radio Show to discuss her writing life and craft. Make sure you read "This Monstrous Heart" which ran in the December 2014 issue of New Delta Review and tune into the show on Sunday at 6 PM EST. Aimee will take your questions on the air!
Aimee Baker is an adjunct instructor in English for Clinton Community College and SUNY Plattsburgh, both located in rural, upstate New York. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Arizona State University. She is currently working on a poetry project about missing women in the United States as well as a series of essays about her brother's struggle with mental illness. Her work appears in journals such as The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, and The Massachusetts Review.
This episode of Behind the Prose is more like Behind the Lyrics. Indiana-born, New York-based singer/songwriter Gandhi takes us on a journey that starts when he taught himself how to play the guitar and write songs. That was 15 years ago. Today, like prose writers, Gandhi says through an process of experimentation and practice, he’s found his voice and is preparing for the release of Rebel On, an EP that reflects the musician with a mission he’s become.
In this interview, you’ll learn there are many parallels between penning lyrics and writing prose, including a surprising discovery about the role of the producer.
We listen to some of Gandhi’s song’s, dissect his lyrics, and invite you out to Brooklyn on May 1, where Gandhi will perform a collaboration show with writer and photographer Abigail Ekue. The Darker Side of Lust Private Reading and Concert features Ekue’s erotic poetry and Gandhi’s acoustic melodies and vocals.
Go ahead. Listen. Learn. Write songs.
Visit Behind the Prose for links and bios.
This week’s episode features a candid conversation with Washington Post reporter Soraya McDonald. In this interview, you’ll recognize right away the wit that shades much of her prose. Soraya is a graduate of Howard University and began covering the high school sports desk as an college intern. After traveling across the country completing journalism fellowship, internships, and eventually employment, Soraya returned to the Washington Post where she eventually became a staff reporter.
I discovered her work last year when I read an article about a female gamer who had received death threats. Soraya had been covering the story for some time, and I wanted her to speak to my article writing class.
That didn’t happen, but I’m glad this did! I’ll release her bonus material which includes a how-to make the most out of your college experience, a segment particularly helpful for students.
In this show, you also get the 411 on a new daily humor site, The Reject Pile. Founded by writer Joel Miller, the site wants your unwanted work. Thank goodness somebody finally does!
Visit the SHOW PAGE on Behind the Prose for Show Notes and links!
In this episode of The Prose and Ivy Chicago Cubs Internet Show, host Ryan Maloney discusses Milton Bradley's suspension, the 2010 rotation and lineup outlook, takes a look at Kosuke Fukudome's career thus far with the Cubs, and explains why Ryne Sandberg shouldn't manage in the majors until 2011. Call in and share your thoughts!
Woe be unto you writer, should you land in a Washington Post article titled “The five worst sentences I read in January.” When I read that post written by the new nonfiction book critic Carlos Lozada, I knew two things. First, I needed to interview Lozada. Second, I was afraid to write him an email.
Lozada’s voice engaged me because in addition to rhetorical smarts, he’s pretty funny. Though he’s been at the paper for several years, he began his new role at Book Party in January. I’m proud to announce the March 22 episode of Behind the Prose will feature an interview with Lozada. In classic Behind the Prose fashion, I’ll learn how he approaches his own writing craft and process and what it’s like to read and write for a living.
Besides the five worst sentences he read in January, we’ll discuss his Book Party posts including the hilarious book review “Reggie Love on life as Obama’s “chief of stuff” and the ballooning list of journalism cliches forbidden in the The Post’s Sunday Outlook section.
Oh, and if you do find yourself in one of Lozada’s worst sentences articles, don’t be upset. He just shames your offending sentence, not your entire book.
Unless, I suppose, it needed it.
Carlos Lozada is associate editor and nonfiction book critic at the Washington Post, where he has worked since 2005 in various capacities, including economics editor, national security editor and Outlook editor. Previously, he was managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine and a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at Columbia University. A native of Lima, Peru, he is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Princeton University.
It is with great Behind the Prose pride that I share awesome news about Natalie Baszile's first novel. Queen Sugar is moving to Oprah Winfrey's OWN network under the helm of "Selma" director Ava DuVernay.
I am proud, but I'm not surprised. Days before the news broke, I wrote "If there ever was a novel that surely will be a movie, Queen Sugar is it."
I met Natalie at the 2012 VONA Voices Workshop. In a nonfiction workshop taught by Faith Adiele, I had the pleasure of reading excerpts of Natalie's memoir in progress. The same rhetorical qualities that endeared me to her writing are earning her praise in a number of reviews: eloquence, description, and confidence.
But in the words of the first book reviewer I knew, "Don't take my word for it."
Listen to Behind the Prose on Sunday, March 1 at 6 p.m. EST!
This episode of Behind the Prose features an interview with writer and artist Soo Na Pak.
Soo Na Pak lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her essays and prose appear in The Butter; TheRumpus.net; AlterNet.org; “Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption” (South End Press); Hamilton Stone Review; and Digital Artifact Magazine.
On Sunday’s show, we’ll analyze her two pieces “Woman” - a tribute to Amy Winehouse and “Osiris.”
We will discuss Soo Na's use of voice and tone in her narrative. She's also skilled at adeptly mixing abstract and concrete elements in nonfiction, and we'll get to the bottom of how she does it! Or at least close to somewhere in the middle.
In the pilot episode of Behind the Prose, I interview writer Tavonne Carson who has her MFA from The New School. Tavonne's essay "Closer," which features her unique ability to convey details with rich description, was published in Gastronmica, The Journal of Critical Food Studies. She lives and writes in New York City and is pitching her first manuscript of essays.
Today's instrumental, Rusty Trees, was written and produced by Redvers West-Boyle.
Though she hesitates to call herself a “writer” (she thinks it sounds self-important), author and columnist Rachel Toor has written her way into a new Young Adult novel and onto my list of writers I want to be when I grow up. You’ll remember I blogged about her wise but rude writing advice, and as soon as I hit publish, I emailed her to invite her to the show.
Not only does she write monthly and bi-monthly columns for The Chronicle of Higher Education and Running Times Magazine respectively, she’s published three nonfiction books. Her latest work and first novel, On the Road to Find Out, dropped in 2014 on Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
In this two-part interview, you’ll learn about Rachel’s career (she’s been a publishing house editor and an admissions counselor at an Ivy League school) and how authors lose some creative control at commercial houses versus university presses. Plus, she tells us what exactly fiction writers mean when they say they can’t wait to see what their characters do next.
Also, in the Writer’s Check In, I give you a tidbit about my experience with submitting to The Reject Pile, which was featured in episode 13.
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