Jonathan Rogers

Jonathan Rogers is the author of The Terrible Speed of Mercy, one of the finest biographies of Flannery O’Connor we've ever read. His other books include the Wilderking Trilogy–The Bark of the Bog Owl, The Secret of the Swamp King, and The Way of the Wilderking–as well as The World According to Narnia and a biography of Saint Patrick. He has spent most of his adult life in Nashville, Tennessee, where he and his wife Lou Alice are raising a houseful of robustious children.


Making Friends with the Inner Critic

By Jonathan Rogers

I’ve gotten a few questions lately about how to start writing a book or story or essay. For many writers, the blank page or blank screen is a terror and a seemingly insurmountable barrier. So how do you get started?

There are a million substitutes for starting. You can outline, you can puzzle out plot problems, you can research. For years I’ve been wrestling around with a particularly sticky point-of-view problem for a novel that I “want” to write. I put “want” in quotation marks because if I really wanted to write it, I would be writing it instead of wrestling around with point-of-view problems.

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What’s So Bad About the Passive Voice?

By Jonathan Rogers

[Editor’s note: Jonathan Rogers has begun a newsletter in which he shares many years’ worth of practical advice on the craft of writing. He named it The Habit because, as he says, “good writing isn’t so much a matter of brilliance as a matter of habit: habits of seeing, habits of thinking, habits of working.”

What follows is a peek into his wisdom. If you’d like to read more, you can sign up for his newsletter here.]

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Inviting Your Reader Into A Scene

By Jonathan Rogers

[Editor’s note: Jonathan Rogers has begun a newsletter in which he shares many years’ worth of practical advice on the craft of writing. He named it The Habit because, as he says, “good writing isn’t so much a matter of brilliance as a matter of habit: habits of seeing, habits of thinking, habits of working.”

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On Finding Your Voice

By Jonathan Rogers

[Editor’s note: Jonathan Rogers has begun a newsletter in which he shares many years’ worth of practical advice on the craft of writing. He named it The Habit because, as he says, “good writing isn’t so much a matter of brilliance as a matter of habit: habits of seeing, habits of thinking, habits of working.”

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No Story Is Over: City of Man, City of God

By Jonathan Rogers

This past Sunday my pastor remarked that people who have been transformed by the gospel don’t say things like “I would never pay for somebody else’s healthcare. They don’t deserve it.” That surprised me, because Read More ›

The Get-Well Card, Revisited

By Jonathan Rogers

This is the story I read at Rabbit Room Live 2017. The first part, up to the ellipsis, reproduces one of the first pieces I ever wrote for the Rabbit Room, in 2007 or 2008. Read More ›

Writing with Flannery O’Connor

By Jonathan Rogers

Besides being a brilliant writer, Flannery O’Connor wrote quite a bit about the craft of writing. In this six-week online course, we will look at O’Connor’s essays about writing in Mystery and Manners, examine ways that she implemented her principles in her short stories, and implemented her principles in her short stories, and implement those principles ourselves in short writing exercises.

Writing With Flannery O’Connor: An Online Creative Writing Course

By Jonathan Rogers

Besides being a brilliant writer, Flannery O’Connor wrote quite a bit about the craft of writing. In this six-week online course, we will look at O’Connor’s essays about writing in Mystery and Manners, examine ways that she implemented her principles in her short stories, and Read More ›

Balaam’s Donkey Comes to Rural America: The Angel Knew Papa and the Dog

By Jonathan Rogers

I have always loved the Bible story of Balaam’s donkey (from Numbers 22). On the one hand, it’s a folksy, earthy, homey story. On the plains of Moab, a man has trouble with a stubborn donkey. Man beats donkey. Donkey talks back. Read More ›

Unsolicited Writing Advice: Be Less Introspective

By Jonathan Rogers

Writers write because they have seen something in the world around them, and they want to show it to someone else. Why, then, do we writers spend so much of our writing time thinking about ourselves? Read More ›

Henry and the Chalk Dragon: Release Day Review

By Jonathan Rogers

Besides being a student at La Muncha Elementary School, Henry Penwhistle is an artist and a knight-errant. Henry and the Chalk Dragon, Jennifer Trafton’s brilliant new novel for young readers Read More ›

An Evening Conversation with John Inazu

By Jonathan Rogers

For the last few years, The Trinity Forum has been enriching Nashville through “evening conversations” with some of the most engaging thinkers and speakers I’ve ever heard, including painter Mako Fujimura, Read More ›