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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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ESSENTIAL READING

New Class! 
How to Focus Your Story

led by Judy Sternlight


Many lucky writers are familiar with acclaimed editor Judy Sternlight, who has edited celebrated authors such as Elliot Ackerman, Marie-Helene Bertino, Rita Mae Brown, Gwen Florio, Bret Anthony Johnston, Peter Matthiessen, and Daniel Menaker. We're offering a special one-day bootcamp in which Judy will help writers explore key story-building decisions through a mix of improvisational exercises, in-class writing, and discussions about craft. 

 

Click here to find out more about this class and to signup.

How Walter White Can Make You a Better Writer 

by Martha Southgate 


"I’m proud to admit that I was and am an obsessive fan of Breaking Bad. When Walt, Jesse and all their friends left us on that Sunday night three years ago, I was left bereft for a while. Sundays just weren’t the same without those guys."

 

What can blue meth and tighty-whities teach you about writing fiction? In this new craft post, acclaimed writer Martha Southgate uses one of her favorite TV shows to illustrate some helpful writing tools to have in your arsenal. 

Christine Schutt on Joy Williams' "Brass"

 

In our latest edition of The Model Short Story, acclaimed author Christine Schutt (Prosperous Friends) looks at the haunting "Brass" by Joy Williams. The short story is loosely based on Jared Lee Loughner, who seriously injured Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and killed several others. Schutt investigates the spareness of Williams' prose and the compassion she brings to her characters.

 

"When I think of Joy Williams writing this story, I think of an expert watercolorist making rapid, simple seeming strokes from all directions." READ MORE


Inventing Time

by Laura van den Berg

 

Time is an essential part of our lives and our fiction. Done well, it disappears in a story, but done badly... suddenly a story can become clunky and awkward. In this new craft post our writing instructor Laura van den Berg takes on the subject of time and how she's dealt with its passing in her own work. 

 

"Time frames our experience in the world, yet time is never stable: it is always moving. This morning, I walked my dog from Carroll Gardens to the Red Hook waterfront and back. We were out for an hour and ten minutes. Yet during that time I also traveled to the immediate past..." READ MORE 

An Introduction to Constance Fenimore Woolson's 
“‘Miss Grief’” 
by Anne Boyd Rioux

 

Professor and Woolson biographer Anne Boyd Rioux discusses the classic short story "'Miss Grief'" and its investigation of gender politics in this edition of The Model Short Story. Rioux also looks at the ways the characters in the story echo Woolson's real life relationship with Henry James. Then read the story for yourself on our site!

Three-Dimensional Writing

by Alison Gaylin

 

What's the key to a good page-turner? In this craft post our CFA instructor Alison Gaylin argues that character can make the difference between a good book, and a good book that keeps your readers excited. 

 

"I love a good suspense story—the type of dark, twisting tale that keeps me on the edge of my seat, turning pages, barely able to wait for what happens next. That’s the effect you strive for in writing suspense; that emotional investment in the plot." READ MORE

The Must-Read Ten: A List of Ten Crime Books 

by Lorenzo Carcaterra

 

Whether you're a student of crime fiction (hello CFA students!) or just a fan of the genre, master author and screenwriter Lorenzo Carcaterra, presents this list of novels and story collections that everyone should pick up. 

 

"I write about crime—whether it’s a murder committed by a member of my own family or one that comes out of a world of my own. I also read about crime and have since I was old enough to get a library card." READ MORE

Who's the God of Minnie Marsh? 

by Kristopher Jansma

 

Author Kristopher Jansma takes a look at Virginia Woolf's classic short story "An Unwritten Novel" and the way she adds layers of complexity to her characters.  

 

"I teach two hours from where I live, so I spend a lot of time writing on the bus. It’s quiet and the route is scenic––once we get through North Jersey. Each day I engage in various strategies so I can get a seat to myself...READ MORE