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Latest entries from the Pen on Fire blog:

Nora Baskin and Alexander Weinstein on Writers on Writing

Young adult author Nora Raleigh Baskin joins Marrie Stone to discuss her new middle-grade novel, Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story.  She discusses survivor’s guilt, unprocessed emotion, how books for young readers can be the best way to explore difficult subject-matter, rules for middle grade writers, and more.

In the second half, Alexander Weinstein joins Marrie to talk about his debut short story collection, Children of the New World.  He talks about experimental fiction, inventive structures for a story, point of view choices, knowing when things aren’t working, as well as a host of practical advice for writers.

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(Broadcast date: September 7, 2016)

Dana Johnson and Anna Solomon on Writers on Writing

Dana Johnson, author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark talks with co-host Nicole Nelson about how her journalism background informs her documentarian approach to writing about place, the value of reversal in constructing tension, and her affection for the short story form.

In the second half, novelist Anna Solomon, author of Leaving Lucy Pear, talks about her process of having a good idea of the story but not overthinking it in the first draft, the various kinds of research that went into writing a story that takes place in the Prohibition Era, the art of motivating coincidence in a story when a lot is at stake, and how a Post-it note that says, “You will fail,” is her key to writing freely.

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(Broadcast date: August 31, 2016)

Authors Natashia Deón and Judith D. Schwartz with Nicole Nelson on Writers on Writing

Debut novelist Natashia Deón, author of Grace, talks to co-host Nicole Nelson about writing complex characters, letting readers laugh in tense situations, taking her story from a screenplay to a novel, and getting to a place of honesty.

In the second half, environmental journalist Judith D. Schwartz, author of Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World talks about how highlighting hope is important when writing about climate change, how her career in journalism evolved, how technology has affected her reading life, and more.

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(Broadcast date: August 17, 2016)

Patrick Ryan and Ottessa Moshfegh on Writers on Writing

Short story writer and editor Patrick Ryan, author of The Dream Life of Astronauts, talks with Marrie Stone about the short story form, writing from the space of childhood, how being an editor impacts his writing, how stories reveal themselves over time, and more.

In the second half, Ottessa Moshfegh joins Marrie to talk about her novel, Eileen.  Moshfegh creates psychologically complex and challenging characters, and talks about her intense relationship with the people she creates, what fuels her, what satisfies her, and why her novel will leave a lasting and important impression.

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(Broadcast date: August 10, 2016)

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