writing

  In the early seventeenth century, a crippled, graying, almost toothless veteran of Spain's wars against the Ottoman Empire published a book. It was the story of a poor nobleman, his brain addled from reading too many books of chivalry, who deludes himself that he is a knight errant and sets off on hilarious adventures. That book, Don Quixote, went on to sell more copies than any other book beside the Bible, making its author, Miguel de Cervantes, the single most-read author in human history. Cervantes did more than just publish a bestseller, though. He invented a way of writing.

In The Man Who Invented Fiction William Egginton explores Cervantes's life and the world he lived in, showing how his influences converged in his work, and how his work--especially Don Quixote--radically changed the nature of literature and created a new way of viewing the world.

Joining us in the studio today is novelist Barbara Chepaitis and storyteller Mary Murphy. They’re here to answer your questions about the process of creative writing. 

  Local author/storytellers Courtney Maum and Hallie Goodman will lead a performance-based workshop where live reading is used as a revision tool.

Reading work out loud is a stupendous way to identify the trouble spots in a piece of writing. With the creative input of other participants, the workshop will help fiction and non-fiction writers understand where the work shines and where it can be tightened.

The workshop is presented by the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and will take place this Saturday, May 7th at the Sandisfield Arts Center in Sandisfield, MA.

  Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This week we will feature the work of: The Excelsior College Online Writing Lab. To learn more we welcome - Dr. Crystal Sands - Founding Director of the Online Writing Lab and Dr. Frank Crocco, Associate Director of the Online Writing Lab.

  In his new novel The Doubter’s Almanac, Ethan Canin – the author of America, America and The Palace Thief explores the nature of genius,  rivalry, ambition, and love among multiple generations of a gifted family.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're discussing the long and colorful history of American crime writing. Our guest is Harold Schecter, professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, and the editor of the Library of America's True Crime volume. A writer of true crime fiction himself, Harold recently served as the scholar-advisor for the New York Council's new Reading and Discussion series "True Crime an American Genre."

  Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 50  books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays including Cat's Eye, Alias Grace, and A Handmaid’s Tale. Her latest, The Heart Goes Last, is a funny disturbing tale about a new future in which the lawful are locked up and the lawless roam free.

Novelist Barbara Chepaitis and screenwriter John Holser join us to discuss the process of writing, NaNoWriMo and more.

  Long before his finest hour as Britain's wartime leader, Winston Churchill emerged on the world stage as a brazen foreign correspondent, covering wars of empire in Cuba, India, the Sudan, and South Africa.

In those far-flung corners of the world, reporting from the front lines between 1895 and 1900, Churchill mastered his celebrated command of language and formed strong opinions about war.

Based on his private letters and war reportage, Winston Churchill Reporting by Simon Read intertwines young Winston's daring exploits in combat, adventures in distant corners of the globe, and rise as a major literary talent.

 Jackie Mercurio lives with her husband, five children, and black Lab in New York. She was recently named Winner of the Good Housekeeping Memoir Contest (2014). Her website iswww.jackiemercurio.com

BIFF - The Paper Trail

May 28, 2015

  The Paper Trail is screening at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival on Sunday, May 3st at 1:30pm.

The documentary is about writers and people in the literary world talking about what they do, how they do it, what it means to them - and the future of writing and publishing. The talking-head style doc features luminaries and authors who are just starting out.

We are joined by the film’s director, Kelly Carty, and the co-director,  writer, and producer, Jonathan Bee.

  

  Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we check in with the Vermont Humanities Council to talk about their program Standing Together: Veterans Book Groups. We are joined by Michael Heaney, a retired American History Professor, lawyer, and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War. In 1965 and 1966, he served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division as an infantry platoon leader. Much of his post-war life has been devoted to working with combat veterans, and to writing, teaching, and leading discussions about war- and veteran-related matters. For 15 years, he led wilderness expedition courses for combat veterans, in a program jointly sponsored by Outward Bound and the Veterans Administration.

  Publishing is a personal story of a writer's hunger to be published, the pursuit of that goal, and then the long haul--for Gail Godwin, forty-five years of being a published writer and all that goes with it.

Gail Godwin is the author of fourteen critically acclaimed novels, including Flora, A Mother and Two Daughters, The Good Husband, Evensong, and Father Melancholy's Daughter, as well as The Making of a Writer, volumes one and two, edited by Rob Neufeld.

The book launch event for Publishing: A Writer's Memoir will take place at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY on Tuesday, January 13 at 7pm.

  Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, a career capped by a National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president. Now, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, he is writing searching essays that startle, move, and delight.

  Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing? Why should any of us care?

  Chris Baty, founder of the wildly successful literary marathon known as National Novel Writing Month, has completely revised and expanded his definitive handbook for extreme noveling.

Chris pulls from over 15 years of results-oriented writing experience to pack this compendium with new tips and tricks, ranging from week-by-week quick reference guides to encouraging advice from authors, and more.

  With sage bits of advice, inviting questions, and colorful blank pages for writing, Colleen Murtaugh Paratore’s new book, Fireflies: A Writer’s Notebook, offers writers of all ages a place to capture ideas when they spark.

Paratore makes the case to travel to the firefly fields inside your own mind and heart, to write what only you can write, without worrying about "the rules."

She will be at the Albany Children’s Book Festival at the Albany Academies on Saturday.

  Editor Julia Scott produces radio documentaries and news features for the BBC World Service and nationally syndicated programs, and writes for newspapers and magazines including The New York Times. Her work has been featured in Best American Science Writing.

She has now edited the collection Drivel: Deliciously Bad Writing by Your Favorite Authors. It is a collection of wordy, overwrought, insipid writing by America’s most beloved authors and artists, including the likes of Gillian Flynn, Mary Roach, Dave Eggers, Rick Moody and Chuck Palahniuk.

    The very witty Fran Lebowitz joins this morning to talk about her stop at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA on August 9th, her love of public speaking, and dread of writing.

Lebowitz is the author of two classic books of essays, Metropolitan Life and Social Studies and she was the subject of the documentary film, Public Speaking, directed by Martin Scorsese.

    How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide is a practical resource for everything you’ll ever have to write–at work, at school, and in your personal life. The book contains over 200 entries covering the most common writing tasks you’ll encounter. Each entry includes model outlines, annotated examples, and dos-and-don’ts.

    

  George Saunders’ Tenth of December was named one of the best books of last year by The New York Times Magazine, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, New York, Kirkus Reviews, BookPage, Shelf Awareness, and People. It was a National Book Award finalist and won the Folio prize.

The collection of short stories scriven in Saunder’s signature sportive and startling style is now available in paperback.

  Our interview with Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd originally aired on The Book Show. It is online here

  If you are interested in telling your own story and writing anything from a blog to a memoir – listen up. Writer Marion Roach Smith is here to help. Her bestselling book, The Memoir Project, is a guidebook for anyone telling his or her own story.

Marion Roach Smith has taught a sold-out class called "Writing What You Know" since 1998. She is the author of The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair; co-author with Michael Baden, M.D., of Dead Reckoning; and author of Another Name for Madness.

Marion has been a commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and for six years had weekly spots on Martha Stewart Living Radio.

Listener Essay - The Retreat

May 23, 2013

   Dan New is a combat Vietnam Veteran and an artist who loves to write and photograph as expression of his life.

    Cheryl Strayed is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller Wild, her essay collection, Tiny Beautiful Things, and the novel Torch.

Wild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. It tells Cheryl’s story of hitting the Pacific Crest Trail at age 22, following the death of her mother.

    For this Woodstock Writer's Festival panel, four of the best writers for late night television come to Woodstock to share the mirth. Panelists include the legendary Bill Scheft (The Late Show with David Letterman), Jess Dweck (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), and Meredith Scardino (The Colbert Report). Moderated by J.R. Havlan, (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart).

The panel will be a live taping of J.R.'s podcast, Writer's Bloc - he joins us for a preview.

    Natalie Goldberg, teacher and author of Writing Down the Bones, joins us to talk about her new book: The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language.

She offers writing guidance learned from years of teaching and practice in the second part of the hour.

    In 1973 in the offices of The Atlantic Monthly in Boston, a young freelance writer named Tracy Kidder came looking for an assignment. Richard Todd was the editor that encouraged him.

After much success they have written the new book, Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction, which explores three major non-fiction forms: narratives, essays, and memoirs.

Rabbi Dan Ornstein - To Speak the Truth, or not?

Feb 14, 2013

At a recent writing workshop I attended, I read a short, painful piece about the illness and death of a high school friend to my fellow writers.   For some time since writing the piece, I have been struggling with the wisdom of attempting to publish it because some of my friend’s family members are still alive, and much of what I wrote might be quite distressing to them if they saw it in print.  The group told me to stop worrying about this, specifically because they felt that the essay honors her memory, and that the main goal of personal essay and memoir is honest self- expression.  Still

Writers know it instinctively: Verbs make a sentence zing. Grammar gurus agree: Drama in writing emerges from the interplay of a subject (noun) and a predicate (verb).

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