Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

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Writers Ask: Worm Cans

On this week’s Writers Ask, we counsel someone who’s been rejected from all the MFA programs to which he’s applied. Should he simply give up? Choose a different path? Or put his head down, keep working, and apply again next year? We also tell someone whether they should self-publish, and we share a few of the writing prompts we use in our creative writing classes that have proven particularly useful.

After this week, we’re taking a little break from our Writers Ask episodes so we can embark on a special summer project. We share some details of that project this week, and also workshop potential names for it. (Not to worry: there will still be an episode every week; but these alternate-week episodes will be a little different for the next 2-3 months).

Talking points this week include: rejection, cargo sweatpants, bookshelf organization, worms, Philly dirtbags, and clubs: welcoming or off-putting?

Here’s a link to the Jill Talbot essay Tom mentioned w/r/t formal experimentation.

As always, you can stream the episode here on our site, download the mp3 file, or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can catch up on back issues and subscribe (for free) to never miss another weekly installment.


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Writers Ask: M.E.N.T.O.R.

We’re back in the basement this week, talking heartbreak at church lock-ins and awkward encounters in rest stop bathrooms. Also we manage to answer some questions about writing. How does one go about finding a mentor? Do a few acceptances ease the sting of rejection? And what’s the deal with book trailers?

Got questions for a future episode of Writers Ask? Just click on the ‘Fight Back’ tab at the top of the page, or you can tweet at us. We’re @Book_Fight on your Twitter machine. Or just run up onto Tom’s lawn and shout your question while shaking your fist at the heavens. Whatever works for you!

Here’s a link to the story Mike mentioned during the episode, Last Days, which would be a lot crappier if not for Charles D’Ambrosio’s careful notes and suggestions.

If you’re interested in taking an online workshop with either of your friendly Book Fight hosts, now’s your chance: Barrelhouse is offering workshops starting June 1, with Mike teaching fiction and Tom doing nonfiction. Money raised from the workshop will help Barrelhouse stay in business, and keep paying contributors. Space is limited, so register now. We can also vouch for Stan Mir, our coworker at Temple, who will be teaching a poetry workshop for Barrelhouse this summer.

As always, you can stream the episode here, just by clicking on the little player thingy below:

Download Writers Ask: M.E.N.T.O.R. (right-click, save-as)

You can download all our episodes for free in the iTunes store, where you can also subscribe, so you never miss another update. Finally, please consider visiting our sponsor, Powell’s Books. If you click on any of the Powell’s links on our site, then shop as you normally would, a small cut of the purchase price will come back to the show.