Gordy Sauer Headshot

Adding Facts to Your Fiction: 5 Questions for Gordy Sauer

“You have to sit down and write. And you have to do it intentionally. Carve out some time, carve out a space, devote yourself to putting words down. It’s as simple as that. Inspiration follows action. Sometimes it’s the other way around, but most often it’s not. Don’t worry about how much you’re writing each day or whether it’s true to the project, particularly in the early days of a project. But do write, and write, and then write.” -Gordy Sauer

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Laekan Zea Kemp headshot

Transitioning to a Full-time Author: 5 Questions for Laekan Zea Kemp

“Usually, any problems I may be having creatively or with the business side of writing are the result of me straying too far from my personal values as an artist and person. In those moments, I refer to a mantra from clinical psychologist Dr. Sandra Lewis and ask myself, “What does this have to do with what I came to the world to be?” Refocusing on what matters to me, on my purpose, usually grants me clarity in those areas where I’m struggling to make progress.” -Laekan Zea Kemp

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Welcoming Fictionalization into Experience: 5 Questions for Nan Cuba

“Authors like Chekhov, Austen, Mansfield, Dickens, Faulkner never studied writing in an academic program. Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing quit school at the age of thirteen. These masters learned craft by analyzing the work of celebrated authors. My advice is to read widely like they did, and notice craft features: word choice, a sentence’s musical replication of a character’s action, the convincing accuracy of an idiosyncratic voice, the tension and pacing of a scene, the symbiotic nature of the story’s elements. When you love something you’ve read, figure out why.” -Nan Cuba

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Working with Memory in Memoir: 5 Questions for Rachel Starnes

“I’m hoping what people come away with this time is a bit of grace and forgiveness for how complicated memory really is, and how clever our brains can be with telling us we’ve got the whole truth, when what we’ve got is really a fraction that changes shape. We’re conditioned in this culture to believe that facts will reveal the ‘Truth,’ but I think where memoir really gets interesting is where it allows for slippage, makes room for other interpretations, and invites the reader into the struggle of making meaning from experience rather than telling us the ‘One Right Way’ to see what happened.” -Rachel Starnes

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