If you have a story to tell, just tell it

by David Alm November 8, 2013

A confession: I rarely write if I’m not getting paid for it. So I was humbled earlier this week to attend a reading by a woman I’d never heard of before, but who has built a following that any writer would covet. In the basement of a small independent bookstore in Brooklyn, at least 100 […]

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What does a writing teacher look like?

by David Alm February 10, 2012

When I was in high school, the only two writing teachers I had were guys who taught so they could coach sports. Nothing against athletics, but these guys were dimwits. Their hearts were clearly in the gymnasium, not the classroom or at an austere table someplace with a small desk lamp, polishing prose and contemplating […]

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The superstitious writer

by Tasha Cotter May 24, 2011
View of farm with barn from Jacks Creek Pike, ...

On the morn ing of February 17th, 2011 I opened my laptop to resume work on a young adult novel that had been kicking my butt for weeks. But now there was a new development that I was certain would put new kinks in an already complicated and increasingly intricate story: I was back in […]

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Toni Morrison’s $30,000 payday

by David Alm March 28, 2011

By now you’ve probably heard about Toni Morrison’s next big speaking engagement: the commencement address at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The Nobel Laureate will receive $30,000 and an honorary doctorate for the speech, scheduled for May 15th th is year. Let me state upfront that I like Toni Morrison. I first read her as […]

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What good is studying the humanities?

by David Alm February 11, 2011

My first post for this blog was inspired by New York State officials reporting that less than half of the state’s high school students are graduating prepared for success in college or well-paid careers. I wrote about how this might impact the humanities as a field of study, if kids are taught throughout school to […]

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Simone on the stockyards

by Jeff McMahon February 6, 2011
The cattle pens at the Chicago stockyards.

I posted this originally as a test of our blogging software. Now that it has served its purpose, I can’t seem to take it down. Simone de Beauvoir is known for many things, but generally not as a Chicago writer. And yet her writing on Chicago is as eloquent and poignant as the best work […]

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