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More Workshop Gems

As we continue to sift through our journals, notebooks, and countless crumpled up cocktail napkins that were accumulated during our most recent Writer’s Workshop, we offer up another batch of some of our favorite quotes from the conference.

“In order to be a living, breathing thing, a novel has to be failed in some kind of way. Or at least that’s how I keep writing them.”–Dana Spiotta

“It’s never a bad idea to wait a little bit longer to write your memoir.” —Cheryl Strayed

“Your readership should never be everybody. If it’s everybody, you’ve done something wrong.” —Karen Karbo

“In the world, we can only visit place. In the alchemy of writing, we become place and place becomes us.” —Luis Alberto Urrea

“We always talk about giving characters something to want. [If your story’s not moving] give them a time frame in which to get it.”–Jess Walter

“One person’s unacceptable is another person’s fetish.”–Matthew Specktor

“Your ignorance is your best friend. It’s a nearly inexhaustible source.” —Charles D’Ambrosio

“The problem with research is that if you have an addictive personality, it feels a lot like writing.”–Jodi Angel

(On honesty in nonfiction) “Say it. You don’t want to be vanilla. We’re not making the new Coke.” —Elissa Schappell

(On when to publish/send out work): “It’s like having a kid and keeping it until you think it’s perfect. No. Keep a kid until it can smoke and fuck and vote and then send it into the world.” —Matthew Dickman

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