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A place to read, on the Internet. A literary community. A platform for progress.

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    Most first novels are really second novels, since most first novels go unpublished. Writing for ZYZZYVA, Rumpus contributor Aaron Gilbreath talks through his experience having his debut memoir rejected, eventually leading an agent to suggest he write a novel instead:

    He wasn’t telling me to call a novel a memoir, or to capitalize on a hot genre.


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  • 12/30/14--10:00: The Joy of Writing
  • What happens when writing ceases to be enjoyable? Over at Beyond the Margins, Dell Smith discusses how the joy of writing must eventually yield to the joy of a finished draft because while writing first drafts might be pleasurable, the work leading to a final draft rarely is:

    The only way to finish something is to revise it.


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    Thomas H. McNeely discusses coming of age in the 1970s, Houston's complicated racial history, and his new novel Ghost Horse.

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  • 03/13/15--08:00: Technology Never Forgets
  • Draftback is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch every keystroke of every revision made to a Google Doc played back to you, opening up a new way to study how writers write. Chadwick Matlin at FiveThirtyEight tried the extension, however, and he sees a dark side:

    Embedded in Draftback’s ingenuity is also a certain kind of inevitability: that writing, like any commodity, is at the mercy of a technology that never forgets.


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    Liz Prato talks about her debut story collection, Baby's on Fire, why she enjoys the process of revision, and what the phrase "literary citizenship" means to her.

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    I try to...consider the writing process as seriously as I do entering a house with black smoke puffing from its eaves.

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    We live our lives and then relive them on the page in a relentless search for some nugget of discovery, some further comprehension of what it all means.

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    Karolina Waclawiak discusses her latest book, The Invaders, the dark side of human nature, and what it really means to be a “beach read”.

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    The Rumpus Poetry Book Club chats with Jonterri Gadson about Blues Triumphant, her love of editing, and the intersection of poetry and comedy.

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    Maryse Meijer discusses her debut collection Heartbreaker, the importance of tension in writing, revision as a shield against criticism, and life as a twin.

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    The more of us there are out here sharing our work and telling our own stories and flying our freak flags, being our intricate, strange, and idiosyncratic selves, the less power the monolith has.

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    D. Foy discusses his latest novel, Patricide, the evolution of “gutter opera,” his writing process, free will, and memes.

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    Abeer Hoque talks about coming of age in the predominantly white suburbs of Pittsburgh, rewriting her memoir manuscript ten times, and looking for poetry in prose.

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    Sonali Dev talks about her latest novel, A Change of Heart, the romance genre, writing non-white characters, and the parallels between writing and architectural design.

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    Julie Buntin discusses her debut novel, Marlena, the writers and books that influenced it, tackling addiction with compassion, and the magic of teenage girls.

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    Chanelle Benz’s debut collection, The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead, is filled with characters often facing a moral crossroads. The stories contain the unexpected, like a classic Western complete with local brothel as well as a gothic tale.


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    Jess Arndt discusses her debut story collection Large Animals, accepting love from other people, human bodies, and fear of the written word.

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    Author Meghan Lamb‘s new novel, Silk Flowers (Birds of Lace, March 2017), is a book that cuts to the core of disturbance. In it, a woman is struck by an inexplicable and undiagnosable illness that renders her immobile and takes away her ability to speak.


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    Jac Jemc discusses The Grip of It, revision, and returning to the theme of trustworthiness again and again.

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    Sylvia Brownrigg discusses Pages For Her and returning to its world of characters, the inner voices she heeds and those she silences, and who she imagines her readers to be.

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