The Mark Program

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Bookmark This: Literary Feuds of 2012


Woody Allen with his pet flea.

Seattle, I'm Sorry

I’m starting this blog post on a plane returning from a brief trip to Seattle, where I re-connected with old friends and saw a play called These Streets, about Seattle's underground music scene in the early '90s. I lived there for most of that period and for the majority of my 20s. Just being in the city again brought back many memories, and seeing the show on top of it only dipped me further into this endless pit of nostalgia.

Writers' Reel: John Hodgman on How to Make It As a Writer

Author and former literary agent John Hodgman gives tips on how to make it as a writer. Find out why writing what you know may not be enough.

Writing and Running


Image: Judy Evenson

Running is something that, like writing, I simply can’t put my finger on. It’s probably because it’s so precious, so close, something I love so much, that I can’t see it objectively enough to name why. I’m not particularly fast, I’ll never place in any category for any race, and I sometimes wheeze—but it makes me so happy. As author Benjamin Cheever says, I run “for the joy in it.”

Writers Helping Writers

This is not a new notion. Writers have been offering advice to other writers forever. Books such as Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke document this phenomenon.

Bookmark This: The 30 Best Literary Chat-Up Lines

Just in time for AWP! Shortlist.com has published a list of the 30 best literary pick-up lines. It's in the form of a slideshow so you'll have to visit the page to take a look. Here are some of our favorites:

Spring Reading List

On Friday I turned in my Mid-Project Review packet. There were a lot of late nights last week. The manuscript is by no means complete, in fact it’s a bit of a mess, but it’s coming together. I’m generating a lot of new material, which will have to be workshopped, re-re-written, all the usual stuff. But for now, I can breathe a sigh of relief that I turned in the project in its current, unfinished state.

Writers' Reel: Secrets and Fear

Great writers use the darkest parts of themselves to produce great work. Here's an excerpt from a Paris Review interview with Amy Hempel on how her darkest secret became her first short story. Below, watch Nora Ephron discuss how her biggest fear sparked the creation of When Harry Met Sally.

Like–No, Love

One of the many, many things I love about writing is revision. In real life, off the page, I often struggle to discern how I truly feel and what I’m actually trying to say. I’ve been known to mess up a punch line, fumble a story told aloud or, worst of all, say things I don’t actually mean—which we all know doesn’t work out well for anybody.