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Subscribe to get full access to writing advice for fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction from our writers-in-residence. You will receive roughly one weekly post from each writer.

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.

Stay in No Realms: Seeking and Essaying with Christopher Martin

In the monthly column “Stay in No Realms: Seeking and Essaying,” award-winning memoirist and teacher Christopher Martin will envision creative nonfiction as a pilgrimage by which writers can reckon their own lives and experiences as art. Alongside readers, he’ll consider the inherent challenges of the creative nonfiction path, ever mindful of the greater aims and the real work of this often misunderstood form, aims and work that include fostering empathy, learning who we are, and enriching our shared humanity.

Christopher Martin, the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year in Memoir, is author of This Gladdening Light, published by Mercer University Press, recipient of the Will D. Campbell Award in Creative Nonfiction, and featured in the AJC, ArtsATL, and the Literary Atlanta podcast. Janisse Ray called this memoir an “honest, gritty, and transcendent book” that “explores a theology of love.” The author of three poetry chapbooks and recipient of the George Scarbrough Poetry Prize, Chris teaches composition and literature at Kennesaw State University. His work appears in publications across the country. 

Website: chrbrmartin.com / Social media: @chrbrmartin

The Earthly and the Unearthly: Poetry’s Imperative to Know 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.

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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.)