Latest entries from the Pen on Fire blog:

Rachel Cantor and Tracy Robert on Writers on Writing

Novelist Rachel Cantor, author of Good on Paper, talks to co-host Nicole Nelson about the finer points of the art of translation, her approach to writing complex child characters, and the benefits of taking advantage of artists’ colony residency opportunities. Then Tracy Robert, author of the novel Flashcards and The Curse of Ambrosia, talks about the role of setting in her work, her experience following her story into a dystopian world, and her advice to embrace messiness, recognizing it as a prerequisite for creating art.

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(Broadcast date: February 3, 2016)

Novelist and short story writers Jean Thompson & Michael Czyzniejewski on Writers on Writing

Novelist and short story maven Jean Thompson joins Marrie Stone to give decades worth of writing advice and share a preview of her forthcoming novel, due in June 2016.  Jean discusses finding the telling details, how to approach new work, when to abandon things that aren’t working, and much more.  Jean in the author of six novels and six short story collections.  Her collection Who Do You Love was a finalist for the National Book Award.

In the second half, writer and professor Michael Czyzniejewski joins to talk about his collection, I’ll Love You For the Rest of My Life: Break-up Stories.   Mike also shares his awesome blog, Story 366, where he reviews a new short story every day in 2016.  Check it out.  He is full of wonderful writing advice, as well as some incredible story recommendations.

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(Broadcast date: January 27, 2016)

Submitted by Marrie Stone

Ryan Gattis and Jen Beagin on Writers on Writing

Ryan Gattis, author of All Involved, talks to Nicole Nelson about the energy in his work discovered by writing in first person, the challenge of authenticity, and the way talking to people — and really listening — can be as useful as getting an MFA. Then debut novelist Jen Beagin, author of Pretend I’m Dead, talks about her preference for third person (even when journaling), how she uses dialogue as a point of entry to a story, and the importance of knowing your inner critic’s sleeping habits, so that you can build your writing practice around those hours.

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Ryan’s TedX talk “Pain and Art: Write What you Honestly Know.”

(Broadcast date: January 20, 2016)

Eric Weiner and Sari Wilson on Writers on Writing

Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Genius, joins Marrie Stone to offer ideas about sparking creativity.  While we can’t all be geniuses, we can all benefit from techniques that stimulate genius ideas.  From walking to collaborating, traveling to drinking a little, there are a number of practices writers and artists can use to further their craft.

In the second half, Sari Wilson talks about her debut novel, Girl Through Glass.  Drawing on inspiration from her own youth, Sari discusses why certain subjects won’t leave writers alone, how ballet helped and hurt her as a writer, the conflicts between the corporeal woman and the spiritual woman, and the best advice Grace Paley ever gave her.

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(Broadcast date: January 13, 2016)

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