2015 Children’s Lit Fellows

Applications are now open for the 2015 Children’s Literature Fellows program here at Stony Brook Southampton. If you write picture books, middle grade novels, or young adult fiction, you don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity!

All fellows will get the chance to study with our talented faculty for a year (mostly from home!), complete a manuscript (or more!), meet agents and editors, and earn a graduate certificate in children’s literature. The application deadline is December 1st, 2014

Visit http://childrenslitfellows.com for more information.

Applications are now open for the 2015 Children’s Literature Fellows program here at Stony Brook Southampton. If you write picture books, middle grade novels, or young adult fiction, you don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity. All fellows will get the chance to study with our talented faculty for a year (mostly from home!), complete a manuscript (or more!), meet agents and editors, and earn a graduate certificate in children’s literature. The application deadline is December 1st. Visit http://childrenslitfellows.com for more information. 

Applications are now open for the 2015 Children’s Literature Fellows program here at Stony Brook Southampton. If you write picture books, middle grade novels, or young adult fiction, you don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity. All fellows will get the chance to study with our talented faculty for a year (mostly from home!), complete a manuscript (or more!), meet agents and editors, and earn a graduate certificate in children’s literature. The application deadline is December 1st. Visit http://childrenslitfellows.com for more information. 

Look at that: Roger Rosenblatt!

nprbooks:

Time for new in paperback! This week, we’ve got two in fiction..

And two in nonfiction…

Reblogged from nprbooks

"And now, to delight my friends, I shall sing beautifully."

As humans, we are driven by desire––desire for our names to be spoken in love, desire for fame, for money, for pleasure, for friendship, for the warmth of a body next to ours. All of these desires are found in Sappho. In one of the fragments that has remained in my head for the last two years, Sappho says “And now, to delight my friends, I shall sing beautifully.” In another, she says “Someone, I say, will remember us in the future.”

Our very own Jordi Alonso has an essay about the process of writing his first book, Honeyvoiced, on the popular blog The MFA Years.

Honeyvoiced is a collection of poems inspired by the ancient Greek lyric poet Sappho that recasts her lines as modern American poetry. 

Read the essay here.

Jordi Alonso graduated with an AB in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Kenyon College in the spring of 2014. Currently, he’s a first year MFA candidate and Turner Fellow in Poetry at SUNY Stony Brook Southampton and has been published in The Southampton Review, Mountain Gazette, The Colorado Review, The Lyric, and other journals. He won The Lyric’s first prize in their College Poetry Contest in 2013. Honeyvoiced is forthcoming from XOXOX Press in the winter of 2014.

Three Weeks In: Finding My Rhythm Again As A Student

Stony Brook Manhattan MFA student Martina Clark wrote a lovely recap of her first three weeks in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature after a “25-year summer break.” Find the original post at The MFA Years.

Following a 25-year summer break, I now find myself back in school full-time. Three weeks in to my MFA at Stony Brook University, I am slowly beginning to find the rhythm of being a student again.

One thing for certain, this isn’t even vaguely reminiscent of my undergrad years. I was a full-time student then, as now, but apparently the definitions have changed.

Within the first three weeks, I’ve already submitted over 50 pages of writing, read a book and a quarter, several essays and done at least half a dozen in-class writing assignments. Granted, that’s what I’d signed up for, but I hadn’t quite realized how quickly it would consume my life. That said, I continue to pinch myself when my teachers share insights or quote literature or give us other glimpses into the elusive “writer’s life.”

Once a week, I travel approximately five hours in either direction from Brooklyn to the Southampton campus for a three-hour course with Roger Rosenblatt. The class falls in the category of “special topics” and is titled What We Write About When We Write About Love. We all simply call it the “Love” class. And yes, five buses, six trains and a thirteen-hour day for a single class are all totally worth it.

Rosenblatt is a generous and delightful professor, and I use those words with purpose. He gives us every ounce of his focus when we are together and, an entertainer at heart, he delights us to no end with his side-stories or references to music or sports or life in general. Each week we are expected to submit two 250-word pieces on love. Love of just about anything imaginable, as long as it is love. And well, really, what isn’t.

My other classes are, luckily, located closer to home at Stony Brook’s Manhattan campus. On Tuesday evenings I study fiction – specifically the novel – with Susan Minot. Equally gracious and doubly graceful, she deftly manages the class with both a kind soul and a strict adherence to structure. “We are here to discuss the writing,” she says regularly, redirecting us when we get off topic. “In this class, we are only concerned with fiction,” she reminds us when we relate stories from our lives.

Read the full article here

"Transitional Drafts: Close Your Eyes and Jump"

In his essay “After the Workshop: Transitional Drafts,” Robert Boswell presents a revision process that sounds downright tedious. Each new draft, he advises, should be written with only one or two problems in mind. The drafts, then, are transitional because they’re not complete drafts.

Boswell’s proposal involves a lot of hard work, but it is far from tedious. If writing and “finishing” a story is about crossing a river, then Boswell’s method provides a much better strategy than attempting to ford that river all in one go. Each transitional draft is like a stepping stone. You swim out to one. Rest. Then you let the river take you a little further downstream. Maybe you notice a turtle, pass some otters, and see a doe and her progeny sipping from the water. There’s another rock. Good, now where? The more time you spend on and in that water, the more of the river you’ll see. In other words, the more that you work at a story while also giving yourself up to it, the more of the story you’ll be able to receive.

"Installation Art and the Novel"

image

Martha Baillie talks here about reconnecting with her book in a physical way, of reclaiming it from the marketplace by taking its pages and doing weird things with them.

My manuscript has no marketplace, but I still like this idea. Of course I like the thought of books as cigarettes, burning down as you take a drag. But I also like the idea of books as cancer causing, because people have been predicting the death of the printed book for long enough, it’s time books inflicted some damage of their own. And I like that it reminds me of my uncle teaching us how they rolled joints in prison (page from the Bible and a Band-Aid). 

But seriously, what would you do with your pages, if you were going to do something other than sweat over them? Would you make a pillow out of them and rest your head on it at night? What if you made wallpaper out of your book, and covered the walls with your words?

On second thought that’s a terrible, crazy-making idea, but you catch my drift. 

—N.

As a group, Millennials are as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past 12 months, and more likely to have used a library website. Among those ages 16-29, 50% reported having used a library or bookmobile in the course of the past year in a September 2013 survey. Some 47% of those 30 and older had done so. Some 36% of younger Americans used a library website in that time frame, compared with 28% of those 30 and older. Despite their relatively high use of libraries, younger Americans are among the least likely to say that libraries are important.
Major new Pew study looks at millennials’ reading habits. This particular finding is striking — all the more reason to partake in the Knight Foundation’s 2014 NewsChallenge, which seeks breakthrough ideas to “leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities.” Because, lest we forget, “when a library is open, no matter its size or shape, democracy is open, too.” (via explore-blog)

Me, Myself, and Muse

Even the most inspired and creative writers struggle with writer’s block!

In this excerpt from New York Public Radio’s “Radiolab,” psychologist and author Oliver Sacks and Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, discuss their experiences with writer’s block and their own strategies for overcoming it.

Liz Gilbert’s advice is particularly useful for the highly stressed, over-caffeinated students among us—sometimes it’s just better to sweet-talk your muse than fight it!

http://www.radiolab.org/story/117294-me-myself-and-muse/

J.