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On Writing

Comma Conundrum

Comma Conundrum

Surely, you’ve heard it all before. Heralded as a key mark for clarity, bemoaned as a pretentious rhythm breaking roadblock, the Oxford comma has sparked more eye-rolling debates than a piece of punctuation might deserve. To review, the Oxford comma (also called the serial comma, […]

Q&A: Cafe Talks to Katie Kotchman, Literary Agent

Q&A: Cafe Talks to Katie Kotchman, Literary Agent

  I had the distinct pleasure of conducting a Q and A with literary agent Katie Kotchman of Don Congdon Associates regarding the ins and outs of the publishing industry. The following includes some information to keep in mind when searching for an agent and […]

A Look at DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Grants

A Look at DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Grants

  The deadlines for 2016 grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities begin in May 2015. The qualifications for applying for DCCAH grants are:  Be artists or arts professionals (e.g., presenters, producers and educators), aged 18 or older; Be legal DC residents […]

An Interview with Jenny Offill

An Interview with Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill’s first novel, Last Things, was a New York Times Notable book and a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award. She is also the author of four children’s books: While you Were Napping, 11 Experiments That Failed, 17 Things I’m Not Allowed […]

The Memoir-in-Verse: An Interview with Patricia Smith

The Memoir-in-Verse: An Interview with Patricia Smith

  Patricia Smith was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and currently lives in New Jersey. She is a Cave Canem faculty member at CUNY/College of Staten Island, and a faculty member of the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Sierra Nevada College. […]

Darling: An Interview with Richard Rodriguez

Darling: An Interview with Richard Rodriguez

Richard Rodriguez was born the son of Mexican immigrants and grew up in Sacramento, California. He attended Stanford University as an undergraduate, Columbia as a religious studies graduate student. Rodriguez also studied English Renaissance literature at the Warburg Institute in London, and was a doctoral […]

Andrew O’Hagan on the Morality of Style

Andrew O’Hagan on the Morality of Style

Since his first book, The Missing, was published in 1996, Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan has pushed the limits of literary genre, blurring the boundaries between fiction, memoir, documentary, and journalism. He has published four novels: Our Fathers; Personality; The Life and Opinions of Maf the […]

Humanity and Humor: PEN/Faulkner Recognizes George Saunders’ Greatness

Humanity and Humor: PEN/Faulkner Recognizes George Saunders’ Greatness

“Revision is love,” said George Saunders from the pulpit at the Church of the Reformation, across the street from the Library of Congress, after receiving the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the art of the short story. “It’s a means to open up our writing […]

Ted Conover and The Transcendence of Good Writing

Ted Conover and The Transcendence of Good Writing

Ted Conover is the author of five books of nonfiction, Rolling Nowhere and Newjack to name a couple. Conover visited the campus at American University on Monday, February 4, 2013. Conover has a dignified presence, the bearing of a man who knows what it’s like to roll up […]

Say the Hard Thing

Say the Hard Thing

After poet Nikky Finney’s reading at the 2012 National Book Festival, an aspiring poet came to the microphone to ask how to avoid censoring herself when writing about difficult topics. “Be willing to say the hard thing in the most beautiful way,” Finney told her. […]