In this essay, Almond talks about his students disparaging published writers. Mainly out of fear and insecurity and a lack of respect for the writing process. It basically comes down to empathy for other human beings who are involved in the process. Everyone should read other people’s work carefully and understand that it was another human being who made it, and we all have the same goals in mind as writers—making good work that reaches an audience. Here’s an excerpt:

It might sound like I’m describing “snark” here. But while the Problem of Entitlement and the Problem of Snark are related, they’re not the same.

Snark is a conscious attempt to cast aspersion for narcissistic reward. Writers who use social media, or other public forums, to dis other writers are seeking to convert resentment into attention. It’s a tool of self-promotion.

Entitlement operates at a more basic and often unconscious level. It’s a kind of defensive snobbery, a delusion that the world and its constituent parts—whether a product or a piece of art or a loved one—exist to please you.

Americans as a whole have become more entitled as we’ve become more deeply immersed in consumer culture, with its insidious credo: The customer is always right.


From their FB:

We can hardly believe that our beloved Renegade is about to turn 3! To celebrate, some of our favorite writers have graciously volunteered to read from their Trapper Keepers of high school breakup poetry.

Elissa Schappell
Scott Cheshire
Leah Umansky
Hubert Vigilla
John Proctor

Locale:
Cool Pony, 733 Franklin Ave at Sterling Place in Crown Heights, near the Franklin Ave stop on the 2/3/4/5

No gifts required (although we will graciously them). We are just over the moon to celebrate this occasion with you. And you. And you and you and you.


Full disclosure: I play sax on this track. But go buy the whole album. It’ll get you through to September, from end to end. Well-crafted tunes with great lyrics. Buy it.


I just got into this podcast today and absolutely loved this interview with D. Foy, author of Made to Break. There’s just a lot of life here, a lot of interesting topics, from mysticism to long drives to comedic influences. The story about his dog knocked me out. Check it out, give it a listen.


Offsite: Brooklyn Bridge Park
Books Beneath the Bridge
Mon Aug 11, 7:00PM

Host(s):
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Appearing:
Marie-Helene Bertino
Scott Cheshire
Robin Black
Julia Fierro

Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

On the Docket:
Reading
Audience Q&A
Book Signing

Marie Helene-Bertino is the author of Safe as Houses, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize. An Emerging Writer Fellow at New York’s Center for Fiction, she has spent six years as an editor and writing instructor at One Story. A Philadelphia native, she currently lives in Brooklyn.

Scott Cheshire earned his MFA from Hunter College. He is the interview editor at the Tottenville Review and teaches writing at the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. His work has been published in Slice, AGNI, Guernica and the Picador anthology The Book of Men. He lives in New York City.

Robin Black is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, a finalist for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including One Story, Colorado Review, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and the anthology The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. I. A recipient of fellowships from the Leeway Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, Black was the 2012 Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bryn Mawr College and has taught most recently in the Brooklyn College MFA Program. She lives with her family in Philadelphia.

Julia Fierro is the founder of The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, which has been a creative home to over 2000 writers since 2002. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow, her writing has appeared in Guernica, The Millions, Flavorwire, and other publications, and she has been profiled in The L Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, The Observer and The Economist. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two children.

Courtney Elizabeth Mauk is the author of the novel Spark. Her short work has appeared in The Literary Review, PANK, and FiveChapters, among others. She is an assistant editor at Barrelhouse and teaches at The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop and The Juilliard School. She lives in Manhattan with her husband.


This sort of goes along with the last post about being mistaken for your protagonist. That would be fictionalizing yourself. But what about fictionalizing other people, or having other people mistake themselves for fictional characters based on small details you’ve procured from them to use in a story? This has happened to me with my first book. Michelle Huneven covers all the bases on this topic in The Paris Review blog.


Cool essay by Catherine Lacey in BuzzFeed about being interviewed about your book and being mistaken for your protagonist. Somebody once said, all fiction is memoir, or something like that. Maybe it is, but not exactly.

She says:
I realized that when reporters tease out similarities between novelists and their protagonists, it’s not only boring and lazy, but offensive to the whole point of writing fiction.




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