The Writer's Series

The Tin House Writer’s Series includes the best books on the craft of writing and the writing life. Plotto, The Writer’s NotebookThe Writer’s Notebook II, and The World Within are featured in this new series.

Plotto by William Wallace Cook is a classic how-to manual originally published in 1928 by “the man who deforested Canada.” Plotto is Cook’s personal plot-generating method, painstakingly diagrammed for the benefit of others. The theory itself may be simple—“Purpose, opposed by Obstacle, yields Conflict”—but Cook takes his “Plottoist” through hundreds of situations and scenarios, guiding the reader’s hand as a dizzying array of “purposes” and “obstacles” comes to a head.

The Writer’s Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House combines the best craft seminars in the history of the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop with a variety of essays written by some of Tin House’s favorite authors, offering aspiring writers insight into the craft of writing. 
“We get all manner of books on writing around here and they tend to blend together but the offerings from Tin House always stand out.”—The Elegant Variation

The Writer's Notebook II continues in the tradition of The Writer's Notebook, featuring essays based on craft seminars from the Tin House Summer Writer's Workshop, as well as a variety of craft essays from Tin House magazine contributors and Tin House Books authors. The collection includes essays that not only examine important craft aspects such as humor, suspense, and research but that also explore creating fractured and nonrealist narratives and the role of dream in fiction. An engaging and enlightening read, The Writer's Notebook II is both a toolkit and an inspiration for any writer.

The World Within gathers twenty of the freshest, funniest, and most intriguing interviews in the history of Tin House. Featuring informal conversations with a veritable who’s-who of contemporary writers, the collection offers insights into the creative process, the craft of writing, and the balance between a writer’s work and life. 
“You, lucky reader, are a bystander at the greatest literary dinner party ever held.”—LA Weekly

  • Page Count: 1322
  • Direct Price: $49.95
  • List Price: $79.80
  • Trade Paper
  • November 2012
  • The Writer's Series

The Writer's Notebook

Contributors include:

Dorothy Allison, Steve Almond, Rick Bass, Susan Bell, Aimee Bender,Kate Bernheimer, Lucy Corin, Tom Grimes, Matthea Harvey, AnnaKeesey, Jim Krusoe, Margot Livesey, Antonya nelson, Chris Offutt, D.A. Powell, Peter Rock, and Jim Shepard.


The Story About the Story

J. C. Hallman is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Chess Artistand The Devil is a Gentleman. A collection of his short fiction, The Hospital for Bad Poets, will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2009. His work has appeared in GQBoulevardPrairie Schooner, and a number of other journals and anthologies. He is working on a book about modern expressions of utopian thought.


Contributors include:

Sven Birkerts, Albert Camus, Michael Chabon, Charles D’Ambrosio,Geoff Dyer, William Gass, Robert Hass, Seamus Heaney, HermannHesse, Edward Hirsch, Randall Jarrell, Walter Kirn, Milan Kundera,D. H. Lawrence, Czeslaw Milosz, Vladimir Nabokov, Frank O’Connor,Phyllis Rose, Salman Rushdie, Fred Setterberg, Susan Sontag, WallaceStegner, E. B. White, Oscar Wilde, James Wood, and Virginia Woolf.


The World Within

Contributors include:

Claribel Alegría, Sherman Alexie, Tracy Chevalier, Charles D’ Ambrosio, Lydia Davis, AnitaDesai, Roddy Doyle, Rikki Ducornet, Deborah Eisenberg, Ellen Fagg, Nuruddin Farah, AbbieFields, Ben George, Regan Good, Tom Grimes, Ron Hansen, Heather Hartley, Todd Haynes,Denis Johnson, Anna Keesey, Ken Kesey, Tracy Kidder, Heather Larimer, Win McCormack,Christopher Merrill, Rick Moody, Chris Offutt, Carla Perry, Francine Prose, Rachel Resnick,,Marilynne Robinson, Barney Rosset , James Salter, Marjane Satrapi, George Saunders , ElissaSchappell, James Schiff, Wallace Shawn, Jim Shepard, Rob Spillman, Mark Strand, AndersonTepper, and Gus Van Sant.



William Wallace Cook was born in Marshall, Michigan, in 1867. He was the author of a memoir, The Fiction Factory, as well as dozens of Westerns and science-fiction novels, many of which were adapted into films. He was nicknamed “the man who deforested Canada” for the volume of stories he fed into the pulp-magazine mill. He spent five years composing Plotto before finally publishing it in 1928. Cook died in his hometown of Marshall in 1933.