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Subscribe to gain full access to writing advice from our talented writers-in-residence. You’ll receive roughly one weekly post from each writer. To receive a free subscription, along with free monthly workshops and writing events throughout the year, become a member of Georgia Writers:

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A Novel Idea with Jessica Handler

In "A Novel Idea," award-winning author Jessica Handler will take the fear out of fiction writing with practical advice about writing craft and the writer’s life. With humor and honesty, she’ll explore practical writing tips, including character insights, sensory integration on the page, innovative research techniques, and more. Each column will include a generative writing prompt.

Jessica Handler is the author of the novel The Magnetic Girl,  winner of the 2020 Southern Book Prize and a nominee for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. The novel is one of the 2019 “Books All Georgians Should Read,” an Indie Next pick, Wall Street Journal Spring 2019 pick, Bitter Southerner Summer 2019 pick, and a SIBA Okra Pick. Her memoir, Invisible Sisters, was also named one of the “Books All Georgians Should Read,” and her craft guide Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss was praised by Vanity Fair magazine. Her writing has appeared on NPR, in Tin HouseDrunken Boat, The Bitter Southerner, Electric Literature, BrevityCreative NonfictionNewsweek, The Washington Post. Honors include residencies at AIR Serenbe, Newnan ArtsRez, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, several Georgia Author of the Year awards, and special mention for a Pushcart Prize. She has been an Emerging Writer Fellow at The Writers Center in Bethesda, MD and a Peter Taylor Nonfiction Fellow at the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop. She teaches creative writing and directs the Minor in Writing at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and lectures internationally on writing. Buy her books at your local independent bookseller or https://bookshop.org/shop/jessicahandler. Her website is www.jessicahandler.com.

Publicare with Kurt Milberger

PUBLICARE: The Latin “publicare,” meaning to “make public,” provides the root of our English verb “publish.” Midway between Latin and contemporary English, “to publish” also meant “to people, to populate, to multiply, to breed,” hence our notion that publishing creates publics: communities bound together by shared revelations, understandings, values, and practices. Influenced by Makoto Fujimura’s notion of “culture care,” Kurt Milberger considers moments in publishing’s history and present that demonstrate the power of “publicare” and how acts of publishing shape our lives as writers and beyond.

Kurt Milberger teaches publishing and professional writing at Kennesaw State University. He’s worked for several academic journals, and he studies literature, as well as editorial history, theory, and practice. After recently relocating his book collection to Georgia, he longs to no longer delight in books as material objects, but he has too great a fondness for the art of bookmaking.

The Earthly and the Unearthly with Amy Pence

In her column series, “The Earthly and the Unearthly: Poetry’s Imperative to Know,” Amy considers the life path of poetry. If, as Rilke says, you have gone within yourself and discovered that you must write, what does that mean for how you live and write your life? Alongside her readers, she’ll consider how poetry helps us to interrogate both the known and the unknown, and how the practice of poetry can be more about an enriching discovery and less about promotion and pursuing publication.

Amy Pence authored two poetry collections, The Decadent Lovely (Main Street Rag) and Armor, Amour, one hybrid book, [It] Incandescent (both Ninebark Press), centered around the poet Emily Dickinson, and two chapbooks. She’s published short fiction in addition to poetry in a variety of journals. In magazines such as Poets & Writers and The Writer’s Chronicle, she’s published interviews with poets and writers Jane Hirshfield, Li-Young Lee, Brenda Hillman, Paul Guest, Cecilia Woloch, and Barbara Kingsolver. In late 2019, she and local Atlanta poets debuted her chapbook, Your Posthumous Dress: Remnants from the Alexander McQueen Collection at a fashion show/reading and raised over $500 for SHATTERPROOF, a non-profit dedicated to ending opioid addiction. She’s taught poetry writing workshops independently as well as at Emory University. Currently, she’s the Humanities tutor at Pace Academy. Links to her books and work can be found at amypence.com.

Writing Life

In Meredith’s words: “I’m Meredith Talusan, author of the memoir Fairest who works in multiple genres including essays, journalism, translation, poetry, and criticism, though I’m mostly working on fiction these days. This column will cover various aspects of life writing, though I’ll often bring in ideas and examples from other genres because for me, all writing is life writing.”

Meredith Talusan (she/they) is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Fairest from Viking/Penguin Random House, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. She has also contributed to many books and her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Nation, WIRED, SELF, and Condé Nast Traveler, among other publications. Her fiction is also published or forthcoming in Guernica, Boston Review, Epoch,The Rumpus, Grand, Catapult, and BLR. She has received awards from GLAAD, The Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. She is also the founding executive editor of them, Condé Nast’s LGBTQ+ digital platform, where she is currently contributing editor.

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Be part of a community of people who like to write. Visit us at GeorgiaWriters.org to find out more about our organization, how to join, and what else we do!

Depending on the number of Friday per month, there may be times where there will not be writing advice.

(Please note that we work closely with each writer-in-residence, and we are grateful for their expertise being shared with you. There may be times when they may not be able to write for the month due to other commitments and will be mindful of that should that arise.)

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Thoughts on writing & the writing life from Georgia Writers' writers-in-residence.


Christopher Martin

Christopher Martin is author of This Gladdening Light, for which he received the Georgia Author of the Year in Memoir the Will D. Campbell Award in Creative Nonfiction. His writing appears in publications across the country. [chrbrmartin.com]

Danielle Hanson

Danielle Hanson strives to create and facilitate wonder. She is author of Fraying Edge of Sky and Ambushing Water, is Artist-in-Residence at Arts Beacon and Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and teaches at UCI. Daniellejhanson.com.

Jessica Handler

Jessica Handler is the author of the novel The Magnetic Girl, winner of the 2020 Southern Book Prize, the memoir, Invisible Sisters, and Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss. www.jessicahandler.com

Georgia Writers

Georgia Writers' mission is to connect creatives across the state of Georgia and beyond, to uplift marginalized voices, facilitate accessibility within the community, and connect writers so that they can learn from each other.