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WRITERS' STUDIO

Need a place to write?

 

Don't want to spend a fortune for your literary sanctuary? Our writing studio is located in a beautiful, sky-lit space on our top floor. It provides the perfect setting for writing. Each writer has access to a desk, a personal locker, an up-to-date reference library, lounge area, comfortable chairs, electrical outlets for portable and laptop computers, WiFi internet, wireless printer access, and a kitchenette/refreshment room stocked with coffee, water and M&Ms.

 

Exclusive to The Center for Fiction, we offer our Writers' Studio members full access to our circulating collection of 85,000 titles–perfect for inspiration and research in any genre. Membership also includes discounts on writing classes, reading groups, events at the Center, and in our bookstore. You also have full access to our entire building, including our second-floor Reading Room.

 

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NEED INSPIRATION?

 

We know that the path to writing the next great American novel is a long one, and that everyone needs a little inspiration and help along the way. We hope some of these resources on our site will help you grapple with the craft and inspire you to keep writing! 

 

Over at our Writers on Writing section, some of your favorite authors offer practical advice on craft.

 

Our Interview archives offer writers talking about their work (and their own struggles with writing!)  

 

Publishing professionals weigh in on the process over at The Book Business

 

The Model Short Story can act as your guide. Writers of all types introduce the stories that they think are exemplary of the form. 

 

Our Essential Books for Writers lists some of our favorite (off-line!) resources. 

 

And don't forget our archive of Audio & Video. Most of our events are available online for you to watch and learn from. 

 

Happy writing! 

ESSENTIAL READING
Family Histories
 
The line between fact and fiction is often blurry, but it can be even more complicated when family is involved. In this essay, award-winning author Roxana Robinson writes about the fascinating subject of her uncle, Dr. William Beecher Scoville, a neurosurgeon who inspired a character in her novel Cost. Scoville was also the subject of his grandson Luke Dittrich's recent nonfiction book, Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets. Robinson explores the concept of building character from reality for both fiction and nonfiction, and the hold that family has on our imagination. 

"Dr. Scoville is a part of our family history, but he’s also a part of medical history, and his story is compelling and in some ways terrifying. " READ 

The Book Drop: The Indefatigable Caroline Leavitt
by Jon Michaud

 

This month in The Book Drop our head librarian Jon Michaud, profiles New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt (Pictures of You, Is This Tomorrow). Leavitt returns with her eleventh book, the hotly anticipated Cruel Beautiful World, about a teenage runaway in rural Pennsylvania during The Summer of Love. Michaud and Leavitt discuss the difficulties of writing, being a good literary citizen, and her inspiration for this latest book. READ

 

And don't miss Caroline Leavitt in conversation with Rick Moody (The Ice StormHotels of North Americaon October 4th to celebrate Cruel Beautiful World.

Say Yes to Obsession
by Molly Prentiss


"Pasta Bolognese, soft, cloudy cheese, quick sandwiches on long baguettes"—this is what we want for lunch, but not necessarily in our fiction (or do we???). In this new craft post, Molly Prentiss looks at a story that focuses on the gastronomical instead of the emotional, and how to turn our obsessions into literary gold.  


"I have recently been considering how to use obsession—whether it’s a character’s obsession or the writer’s—on a smaller level: not only using it to help us to know what to write about, but also how to write." READ MORE

Molly Prentiss will lead Fiction Reboot, an intermediate level writing course focusing on revitalizing your fiction through experimentation, craft and revision, starting on October 6th. Click here for more information and to enroll.
How to Steal Stuff
by Elizabeth Gaffney 


In this new craft post, author Elizabeth Gaffney discusses the blurred boundaries between allusion, homage, and plagiarism. And how to get away with stealing from your favorite authors! 

"My first theft was almost an accident. It was a pair of clip-on rhinestone earrings, glittery and bright....I put them on...somehow, I got distracted and forgot I had them. Maybe ten minutes later, I walked out of the store....I think that incident— which I do regret—was similar to a common literary crime: plagiarism." READ MORE

How has the advent of social media changed book reviewing?

 

As part of our Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event, Expanding the World of Literary Criticism, with the National Book Critics Circle on September 15th, we decided to put our panel of critics to the test! We asked them how social media has impacted the world of criticism. Click through to see what Michael Miller, Jane Ciabattari, Michele Filgate, Kate Tuttle, Walton Muyumba and Tom Beer have to say.

Writing to the Tension
by Andrea Chapin


Tightrope walkers, archers, and writers all have one thing in common—they all need to be experts in tension. In this new craft post, Andrea Chapin (author of The Tutor) looks at how writers can keep their audiences enthralled. 

"If you have an idea for a short story or a novel and want to get started, write a scene that feels urgent, important, and essential. Don’t feel you must write a “beginning,” unless that beginning has an immediacy that tugs at you." READ MORE
Alice Mattison, interviewed by Sarai Walker

 

The acclaimed teacher and author Alice Mattison talks to Sarai Walker about penning a new book on writing (The Kite and the String), the best craft advice she's ever received, and the importance of diverse voices in fiction. 

 

"When we fail to encourage writing by people who need to earn a living and maybe support others, by women, by mothers, by those with disabilities, or those past their first youth, we lose the books they’d have written. We need those books." READ MORE

 

And if you'd like to experience Mattison's teaching first-hand, she'll be leading a one-day workshop for us this fall. Click here to find out more and sign up.