Two Lessons From My Afternoon With Walker Percy

As a boy of eleven, when I asked Bunt, the perennially charming wife of Walker Percy, if I could meet the great writer, little did I know I would soon feel such inspiration, and years later, such admiration for the man’s character.  Percy taught me two lessons valuable to any artist, lessons I want to […]

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Why Most Writers Return To Writers’ Conferences

Why Most Writers Return To Writers’ Conferences

Many accomplished authors go their entire lives without attending a writers’ conference, either as a speaker, teacher, or workshop participant. No Tin House, no Iowa, no Bread Loaf, no Sewanee. Many writers actually attend several writers’ conferences, year after year, and never publish a line. Regardless, many writers consider the experience of participating in a top-notch writers’ conference a […]

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Why First Novels Are Unique

Why Debut Novels Are Unique

It is true that for most novelists, their first novel is not their greatest. You can probably say this about Dickens, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison, Hemingway, and scores of other greats. James Joyce and Walker Percy might be exceptions. But it is also probably true that for most novelists, their first novels emerge from how they deal […]

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No Writer Is An Island: Why A Writer Needs A Writers’ Group

No Writer Is An Island: Why A Writer Needs A Writers’ Group

Truly one of the shrewdest decisions an author can make is to participate avidly in a writers’ group or club. A writer is like the man in John Donne’s poem: “No man is an island/Entire of itself,/Every man is a piece of the continent,/A part of the main.” Almost always, a writer will produce better work during or […]

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