Sheryl Monks

AWP and The Faith of a Writer

Way back in 2008, I attended AWP in NYC, returning home as always with a head full of new ideas about publishing and writing. But one thing, above all else, lingers with me about that trip. Earlier in the week, I’d met two of my best writer pals, Karen and Susan, at the airport in …

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Crushing on Raymond Carver

Listen to Raymond Carver read “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”  . Who are some of your favorite writers? . . .  

On Desire

If my students remember anything about me, it will probably be how much I love Flannery O’Connor, Robert Olen Butler, Pinckney Benedict, Charles Baxter and other literary heroes. If they remember anything I’ve said, it will probably have something to do with conflict, the accumulation of detail, change, meaning, or desire. Yearning, I remind them, …

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Cannibalize Your Darlings

Faulkner warns that we should “kill our darlings,” but I have a slightly different take on that natty piece of advice. Throwing out what feels like our best work is never easy, and in truth, I never actually throw mine away. Rather, I toss it into a virtual junk drawer where I can go back later and …

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How to Write Flash Fiction

The best source I’ve found for explaining how to write flash is this article by David Gaffney in the Guardian. When I discuss flash with my students, I follow this flash-fiction PowerPoint, which I built almost solely around Gaffney’s advice. Then I share several of my favorite flash stories that can be found around the web. The …

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