Neuroscientist and Fiction Writer, An Interview with Ashok N. Hegde

by Lynn S. Schwebach Writers often work day jobs in addition to clocking evening hours on their writing. If they're lucky, those daytime jobs include skills that nurture the creative seeds needed to develop original works of art. Ashok N. Hegde is one of those lucky individuals. By day, Hegde is the William Harvey Endowed Professor …

How Style Guides Affect Profits— An Apple, Inc. Case Study

by Lynn S. Schwebach Business in the 21st century requires almost all employees at all levels to produce either in-house or external communications—or both. Time spent writing and editing dramatically affects workers’ productivity, and, what many companies fail to realize, the company’s profitability. Nearly everyone writing an e-mail hesitates over capitalization, spelling and grammar questions. …

What are Style Guides and How do They Earn Readers?

by Lynn S. Schwebach Given any writing project, writers want to express themselves today—not tomorrow. They want to get the words down and move on without revising for grammar and usage. Add to that impatience, bad memories from grade school make us avoid checking grammar; style might be a topic we never learned. Yet bypassing …

Interview: Jenny Wortman—What a Writer Wants

Not only is Jenny Wortman a great writer, but she’s also a master teacher. She has that unique ability to immediately identify the allusive problem in your story you’ve been struggling with yet unable to identify yourself—what I call the writing “curse.” Online classes allow anyone anywhere to take Lighthouse classes, and I recommend this class for any fiction writer at any stage in his or her career. I will be taking this particular class, so I look forward to meeting you and reading your work. Oh, and this is a great interview as well! Thank you, Laura Miller and Lighthouse!

The Lighthouse Writers Top-Secret Blog

by Laura I. Miller

With the weather approaching the 70s this week, you’re probably scrambling to book a few more ski weekends or to nail down your spring-break plans. We get it. But if you want to whip that draft into shape before summer (or in time for your juried workshop at Lit Fest), then today’s the day to get that class on the books! The next round of Lighthouse workshops won’t start until August.

Jenny Wortman Jenny Wortman

Jenny Wortman knows all about distractions and how Lighthouse can help you reach your writing goals. Designed to be uber-flexible and work with any schedule, the Online Advanced Fiction Workshop she’ll be teaching this March might be just what you need to move your writing project forward amidst all the temptation and greenery.

In addition to editing fiction for the Colorado Review, Jenny has had stories published in the North American…

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Lit Matters: How HARRIET THE SPY Taught Me to Be A Writer (and a Spy)

I have taken classes from Erika Krouse for…gasp…7 years. I hope to take classes from her for another 7 years. Not only is she a great writer, teacher, mentor and friend, but she is a blazing soul.

Her collection of short stories, “Come Up and See Me Sometime”(Scribner), won the Paterson Fiction Award, was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the year, and has been translated into six languages. Her new novel, Contenders, will be published by Rare Bird Books in 2015.

The Lighthouse Writers Top-Secret Blog

by Erika Krouse

Harriet the Spy coverI was a lonely, desperate kid, so I read obsessively. All that reading probably made me lonelier and more desperate, because I read instead of talking to people, or washing my hair, or learning how to say cool things. I took baths instead of showers so I could read uninterrupted (see above, dirty hair). I read books until they fell apart, and then read them again. And the book that I read to its most tattered state was Harriet the Spy.

It’s not that I liked it. In fact, if you take a long, cool look at the eleven-year-old Harriet M. Welsch, she’s a bitch. She writes mean things about everyone, even her best friends. She’s in love with herself. She abuses servants, and has a hefty dose of entitlement (“Why don’t we have a cook?” I asked my mother after reading Harriet the Spy for…

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Heidi Pitlor Shares Short Story Writing Tips

by Lynn S. Schwebach Sometimes writers think they’re flexing their creativity when they’re actually rehashing story lines. Because we work so insularly, we fail to notice changes in writing and the world around us. I learned that last Thursday at a workshop with Heidi Pitlor, series editor of “The Best American Short Stories” published by …

Jennifer Egan’s Writing Process Defines Creativity

by Lynn S. Schwebach Author talks and readings bring together a curious crowd, and during those gatherings when it comes time for questions from the audience, one question always inevitably gets asked: “What is your writing process?" The audience—both readers and writers—want to know how authors work, how they take imaginative thoughts and ideas and …

Audrey Niffenegger: An Interview on Writing Books, Creating Art, and Teaching

by Lynn S. Schwebach When you discover an author who is also a visual artist, you’re on the path to uncovering the secrets of creativity. Someone who works in both artistic domains is defying those experts who say we are either “word” people or “image” people. Which happens to be the case with Audrey Niffenegger. …