Stories of Place
All writing is place-based, or so they say. I don’t know who said it first, but it may have been Wendell Berry. He may have written while teaching in New York, but his return to Kentucky is marked as the beginning of his literary career. In one of his essays, Berry speaks of how others tried to dissuade him from that return, fearing that leaving New York would end his career.
Berry’s fictional town of Port William, where his novels and short stories occur, is based on Port Royal, Kentucky, where he lives. His poetry and nonfiction spring from the soil of the working farm where he lives.
Although I am sure Berry knows that some of his books have been electronically published, I am also certain that he has not read them on an electronic device. He does not own a computer. He handwrites his manuscripts which his wife types on a manual typewriter.
As I Look through the books on my shelves, I see many that are place-based. They are the ones I have already read and seem to turn to regularly. For the next few weeks, I will focus the content of my newsletter and blog on place-based writing.
Help Along the Way
Tell it Slant is a lovely resource for writers wanting to explore the creative nonfiction genre. Reading the short chapters, you will gain insights on writing a family history, a memoir, or a travel piece. The authors included other aspects such as nature writing and literary journalism. The chapters end with numerous "try it" exercises to get you writing.
Shameless Self Promotion
My short story, "Life After Writing," won first place in the Chattanooga Writers' Guild's October contest. It takes place right where I live since it is a satire of organized critique groups,
I am now offering a free PDF of my broadside, Light and Shadow, including nonfiction pieces and a short story. Email Ray Zimmerman to request a copy.
An Announcement from the Masters' Review
Every year The Masters' Review opens submissions to produce our anthology, a collection of ten stories and essays written by the best emerging authors. We aim to showcase ten writers who we believe will continue to produce great work. The ten winners are nationally distributed in a printed book with their stories and essays exposed to top agents, editors, and authors across the country. Our third volume was awarded the Silver Medal for Best Short Story Collection through the INDIEFAB Awards in 2015, and our fourth volume was an honorable mention for best anthology. In honor of our tenth anniversary, This year’s prize pool has DOUBLED. $10,000 will be awarded between the winning writers!