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Stringing for “Brevity”: the Second of Three.

Continuing to tell the world about covering AWP panels for my bucket-list mag, Brevity:

When they talk about “distinguished panelists,” they are not kidding. One of my favorite writers, Mimi Schwartz (Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed), the editor of one of my favorite magazines, Joe Mackall (River Teeth Journal); and Philip Lopate (Philip Lopate).

“Speaking after Phillip Lopate must be like what Danny DeVito feels, at a bar with Brad Pitt. They’re not there for you but there is decent overflow.”

Joe Mackall

Read the full pieceComedy is Tragedy Plus Time



About Writing Calls, News, & Reviews Read Alle's work The Glam

Stringing for “Brevity”: The First of Three.

A dream-come-true gig as a result of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference: I covered three panels for one of my bucket list literary magazines.


Out of the Classroom: Possible Adventures in Creative Writing

Panelists: Philip Graham, Dinty W. Moore, Harmony Neal, and Dana Sokolowski.

You want them to write outside their comfort zone.

Or outside themselves.

Or just outside.

Philip Graham said, “I could barely get under-graduates to cross the street”—let alone be so adventurous as to reach into a cow’s stomach. Which ended up happening, after a great deal of effort toward adventure-taking. The CNF movement calls it Immersion.

Read more here …


Calls, News, & Reviews How I Got That Story Writing Prompts

How I Got That “Mahatma”: Dinty W. Moore discusses short nonfiction with NOT ME.

Dinty Moore: some call him Mahatma.

River Teeth Journal just posted an interview with Dinty Moore. In founding and editing Brevity: A Journal of Concise Nonfiction, Moore has played a large part in defining what we think of as short (or flash) nonfiction.

I interviewed Moore circa. 2006, during his tour to promote The Accidental Buddhist. This is not that interview.

I wish I had been blogging in 2006. About Childhood has a running feature called How I Got That Story, where I interview authors about the path to their first book. (Search on How I Got That Story.) Had I been blogging in 2006: a) I’d probably have a book out by now; and b) I would post that interview.

Since I wasn’t, why … Ladies and gentleman, I introduce to you … someone else’s conversation with Dinty Moore!

Why did you choose 750 words as the maximum for Brevity submissions?

I felt a 500-word maximum was too short and 2,000 words too long.

The adage “show don’t tell” is something many readers expect from memoir, yet in more than a few Brevity essays – such as “Sam at the Gun Show” by Greg Bottoms – telling is prominent.

The writer who is sensitive to word choice and rhythm and the power of the intimate detail can do a lot of telling. There’s a difference, too, between telling and explaining. I advise my students to show the most, tell a little bit, and never explain.

What’s imperative for a short piece that’s different in a longer piece?

Everything is dialed up in a shorter piece. The first paragraph of a brief essay has to do what the first chapter of a memoir does.

What assumptions do others seem to have about flash nonfiction?

Many assume a flash piece is an excerpt from a longer work. Sometimes a significant moment out of a chapter or a long essay can stand alone, but we’re getting more and more pieces that clearly could never work in the longer form because the energy of the piece hinges on the rapid fire sharing of information, and the urgency of having to fit it into a {750 word.–Ed.} frame is what makes it powerful.

What are some other journals you recommend for short nonfiction?

Sweet, Blip, Alimentum, Fringe Magazine, Defunct, South Loop Review, Flashquake, 400 Words, Underwired Magazine, 751 Magazine, Diagram, and The Sun’s “Readers Write” section.

The above is a highly edited version of the original article.

Winner: Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize

Dinty W. Moore, is author of Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, as well as the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. Moore has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues.