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Advice for New Writers

Blog of the Week: Jeff Goins Writer

photo of Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins is an unpretentious blogger. You won’t see him writing stuff like the novelist and essayist Jonathan Lethem wrote a week or so back. Stuff like: What’s a novelist? I remove myself from human traffic to sit in a … Read more »

The Mystery of a Good Title

Photo of Viven Leigh and Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire.

I noticed A Streetcar Named Desire played again last night on Turner Classic Movies. And earlier in the day I read that the British philosopher Isaiah Berlin once wrote an essay he rather liked titled “Tolstoy’s Historical Skepticism,” which his … Read more »

Benchmarking the Top 10 Blogs for Writers

Photo of rainforest

One of the traits I like best about the Webverse is its lack of gatekeepers and credentialing. It reminds me of the American frontier circa 1834. When Abraham Lincoln as a young man decided to make his living as a … Read more »

You and Your Godlike Powers

image of FCPS ACE program "Writing a Short Story" students, February 2012

I had a little fit of insight the other night while in my short story class. We were sitting around discussing how our first drafts had turned out. It was the final class—thought of by some as The Dread Reckoning—when … Read more »

Writing vs. Social Media

Photo of New York City skyline.

I’m ramping up a new self-improvement program in public this morning. This is a big deal to me, though it probably won’t seem like much to you.  Here’s my problem: I’ve determined quite rationally that the number-one thing I want … Read more »

What Makes a Great Movie? Notes on Casablanca

Photo of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca

The Oscars Week Fest at 317am continues today with the nearly impossible question posed by our title. One way of getting at the issue of great movies would be to collect a list of such films and then extract their … Read more »