The Best Articles & Takeaways From The Writer’s Chronicle Magazine

There are many writing magazines a literature enthusiast can subscribe to. One type of writing magazine I enjoy is The Writer’s Chronicle, a publication packed with publishing opportunities, interviews, tips, discussions, ideas, and more.

I managed to get my hands on ten copies of The Writer’s Chronicle which gave me a taste of the amazing content this magazine offers. I read each one and below are some of the most thought-provoking and interesting things I learned or made me ponder the writing life.

To learn more about The Writer’s Chronicle, click their website here:
awpwriter.org

September 2016

Some Interesting Things: Hear the words, Creative Writing and your mind may wander to short stories, flash fiction, poetry, book writing, and creative essays. The genre of fanfiction might not pop into your mind as instantly, if at all. Is fanfiction a true form of creative writing, that is worth exploring, understanding, appreciating, and refining? This article debates just so, suggesting that fanfiction is worth a spot in workshops and transformed into a college course. What makes this discussion interesting to me is that I had never considered fanfiction to be a form of creative writing. I had considered it to be its own entity. While I personally would not take a course of the subject, the idea of worthiness in the creative writing life is worth acknowledging and considering.

Memorable Quote: “I think similar to poetry, painting creates a sort of alphabet, the way tubes of paint are used to lay color and images on the canvas.” – Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

February 2017

Some Interesting Things: I have written and mentioned about the element of voice in writing. The concept and term seems simple in regard to the written word, but this article suggests something more. Sandra Beasley explains that voice is an in-depth idea and we must turn to certain poems when understanding voice. Voice is more than what your writing is about and the perspective it is told through. Voice is style, voice is truth, and something real that relates to the author’s being. It is a writer being who they are and not sacrificing their thoughts, strategies, and beliefs.

Memorable Quote: “Writing is a huge undertaking, immense; it takes more than all you have when you begin.” – Annie Dillard

May/Summer 2017

Some Interesting Things: Writing of religious tones and writing of God is not something I do. But many writers rely on God or God-like figures to help narrate the poem or story they hope to tell. This article questions the portrayal of God in many poems, which is described as, “In most American poems that represent the Divine, God is reduced to an empty concept, a toothless patriarchal caricature, a generalized wonder at nature, or, sometimes, a disappointed wish for something beyond us, something that is not us, something that could unlock the prison of individual consciousness.” The article continues to mention the benefits of writing God in a real, human way, erasing this “invisible” undertone.

Memorable Quote: “Literature and ideas belong not just to one nation, not just to one people, they belong to those people who care about them, who nourish them, who renew them, who give them a new name.” – Azar Nafisi

September 2017

Some Interesting Things: Just like the author of this article, I have mentioned about the importance of control while blogging about writing. But pinpointing what control means to the writer, and in turn the reader, can be challenging. The article discusses how using proper control can prevent a reader’s questioning and wonder about interpretation and meaning. Too much control, however, can limit abstractness and the riveting magic it can create.

Memorable Quote: “If you say that there are elephants flying in the sky, people are not going to believe you. But if you say that there are four hundred and twenty-five elephants flying in the sky, people will probably believe you.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

October/November 2017

Some Interesting Things: Beyond The Sims, Spyro, and Mario, my knowledge and imprint in the video game world is very nonexistent. I don’t really engage in the popular video games of the moment, but after hearing a lot of how such games are played, I generally understand their purpose. An interesting connection between video games and writing is storyline. With plot, a book and video game would not exist. Both elements are built on “things” and those “things” happening. This article brings the idea of video games and writing to life, aimed to bridge an obvious gap. One way is through the dimension of characters and choice.

Memorable Quote: “Poetry at root is metaphor, and there can be no metaphor without analogy, for without the dynamics of analogy the world is islanded into discrete fragments that bear no relation to each other.” – Daniel Tobin

December 2017

Some Interesting Things: Sure, clocks tell us the time. Essentially, the sun and moon do as well. This article grasps the idea and perception of time from a scientific perspective and relates to the progression of time inside pages. The discussion mentions that our view of time can translate most noticeably when non-fiction is written, as this genre recreates true accounts of our life. When thought about, time controls our life in countless ways, seeping into our writing life.

Memorable Quote: “…Nonfiction is trickier because you are more likely to be tempted to be exhaustive, to be nostalgic, to include everything. But you have to omit so many details and zero in on others.” – Debra Monroe

February 2018

Some Interesting Things: When I flipped to this watercolored page, I knew this article was worth the read. Description is a writing subject I enjoy talking about. In this discussion, types of art, such as Realism, Impressionism, Expressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Cubism, were compared to the types of pathways a writer can take to describe a scene, emotion, or idea. Real poems and their description were used to make this comparison more vivid. While I was aware of the vast ways a scene can be described, I had not taken into account the further artistic connection and how the ways in which a writer describes something can mimic a painting’s style.

Memorable Quote: “As a writer you’re skinless, and as you go through the world, you have to let things hit you, but if you do that too much and don’t have enough defenses, you perish. You have to find that balance or you can’t live.” – Julia Keller

May/Summer 2018

Some Interesting Things: World-building for writers is intense, complex, and requires meticulous planning. They must understand the world and memorize all of the ins and outs. World-building can give the reader something new to believe and “explore.” The article discusses world-building in relation to style and syntax. Much of this article was new for me, as world-building isn’t really used in the genre I write in. This is an article great for those who are world-building pros and who haven’t dabbled within that creativity avenue.

Memorable Quote: “I travel widely out the window. I like the window because there is a distance to observe and be alert to, a horizon, and there is also something close by to look at. That’s not to mention the windows reflective quality.” – David Biespiel

September 2018

Some Interesting Things: For a while now, the following question has been bumping around my mind: “How diverse and inclusive should our writing be?” The debate I was considering here, was in a world where diversity is strived for among people, should our characters be of various races, backgrounds, cultures, etc? While this article was not about that idea, it did focus on the types of people we write about and likely know minimal about. Research, of course, must be done. But how should that research begin? Like the subheading of this article suggests, do you have to be one to write about one?

Memorable Quote: “I sometimes imagine my reader sitting right beside me in one of those motorcycle sidecars. In a well-told story, reader and writer are so close together that their helmets are clicking as they ride.” – George Saunders

March/April 2019

Some Interesting Things: Have you ever heard of the saying, “Write drunk, edit sober?” I sure have, many times. I never tried it, but some, I feel confident in saying, have. This article mentions that quote a few times, replacing “edit” with “revise” as this is what the subject of the article is about. One thing I enjoyed about this piece was to hear insight about the process of workshopping as well as accepting or ignoring critiques.

Memorable Quote: “Most of the time, writing looks like striking flint against stone, hoping our paltry sparks will yield to a raging fire. How rare it is to receive the lightning bolt!” – Philip Metres

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