Writing



Down with the Grammar Bullies: Rebecca Reynolds Interviews Jonathan Rogers

By Rebecca Reynolds

Jonathan Rogers was one of my favorite writers long before I received his writing help through an early online class. When looking for a coach for Courage Dear Heart, I knew he would be clear and solid. I’m so thankful to have had a literary hero serve as a writing guide.

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Free Online Course with Jennifer Trafton

By The Rabbit Room

Jennifer Trafton just launched a free online course for readers of Henry and the Chalk Dragon who want to use Henry’s story as a springboard for their own creativity. Click through for more details.

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Field Notes for Writers

By Jonathan Rogers

Writing is the act of sitting alone and trying to connect with other people, some of whom may not even be born yet.

By necessity, writing is a solitary enterprise. When it comes time to put words on a page you have to go somewhere and be by yourself. Nevertheless, writers need other people.

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Talk to Strangers—Everybody Has a Story

By Jonathan Rogers

In a recent episode of the Radiolab podcast, producer Latif Nasser shares some of his techniques for finding stories to research and write about. The episode grows from this article, in which Nasser offers even more techniques, which range from setting Google alerts to rummaging around in library collections of personal papers and oral histories to repeatedly clicking the “random article” button on Wikipedia.

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Wherein an Anthropomorphic Tree Upends Me

By Amanda Dykes

My husband and I were playing catch-up with the rest of the world, sitting down to watch Guardians of the Galaxy a few years after everyone else had. Not my usual genre, but isn’t that one of the glories of marriage and friendship? Bringing us outside of our walls and helping us to see new horizons?

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A Spare Oom Of My Own

By Janna Barber

Of the six of bedrooms I can remember from my childhood, only two were completely my own, and the time I lived in both of them was less than two years. The rest I shared with my sister. In college I had five different roommates in three different dorm rooms and one apartment, then I got married. So I guess you could say I never really had a room of my own. Until now.

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As Weak

By Doug McKelvey

In the afterglow of Hutchmoot 2018’s dizzying cascade of several dozens of wonderful and meaningful conversations, I can no longer remember who requested copies of the poem I read during Rebecca Reynolds’ and my tag team session on “the holy, hidden potential of human weakness.”

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An Interview with Leif Enger about Virgil Wander

By Russ Ramsey

A few years ago, Leif Enger came to speak at Hutchmoot, the annual Rabbit Room conference. That year, he and I had both gone through sudden medical crises. We bonded then over recovery stories and continued that friendship in the form of a fairly regular correspondence. When I was preparing to release Struck, a memoir about my experience, I asked Leif if he might be willing to read it and write an endorsement. He graciously obliged, providing one of the true high points in my career as an author—support from a literary hero.

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Gamble, Gambol, Ham, and Gambrel: On Inefficiency

By Jonathan Rogers

The great thing about Google is that it takes you straight to the information you want to find (or, in any case, straight to the information that the Keeper of the Algorithm wants you to find). The great thing about every other method of organizing and/or delivering information is that it doesn’t take you straight to the information you want to find.

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Frankenstein: The Scary Part

By Pete Peterson

Today we begin the closing weekend of Frankenstein with five final performances. It’s been a ton of fun to watch this show get to its feet and learn to run.

I’m at Lipscomb University this morning, about to walk in and talk to a group of students about theater, and as I do so, I’m overwhelmed by how lucky I am that I get to do this kind of work. The experience of writing a story and then seeing it incarnated in three dimensions on a stage is surreal. Read More ›

Old English and a New Cuss Word: On Word Choice

By Jonathan Rogers

Think of every barnyard animal you know. Cow. Pig. Chicken. Sheep. Horse. Duck. Goose. Every one of those words derives from Old English (also known as Anglo-Saxon). If you were to kick around the farm with the poet who wrote Beowulf, the two of you would use the same words (or, in any case, very similar words) for all the animals you saw (except turkeys; turkeys didn’t come to England until five or eight centuries after the Beowulf poet died). And, by the way, you would even use all the same words for the male and female variations for each animal. Bull, boar, sow, rooster, hen, ram, ewe, mare, drake, and gander are all Old English words. The one exception is stallion, for reasons that will soon become apparent.

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Spontaneous Human Combustion—What a Stroke of Luck!

By Jonathan Rogers

When I was a boy, I read a comic book about which I remember only one scene: the protagonists are being menaced by a bad guy with a gun. They get backed into a corner (literally, if memory serves, not figuratively), and just when it is obvious that there is no way they could possibly escape, the bad guy bursts into flames right before their eyes. One protagonist turns to the other and says, “Spontaneous human combustion: what a stroke of luck!”

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