AWP Staff Recommends Writing Resources for the New Year

January 18, 2019

Staff Picks

Don’t give up on your New Year’s resolution yet, whether it’s to complete the short story on your desk or to start your first manuscript. The AWP staff has gathered resources and tools that we have used to guide us on our writing journeys.

Sheila Black, Director of Development, has many go-to resources at hand. First is Anne Lamott on “Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity.” She follows this with “Stop Reading, Start Writing” by Walter Mosley for those who prefer “no-nonsense advice” and this Donald Hall interview with Martin Lammon, a previous AWP board president. Lastly, Sheila suggests Zadie Smith’s writing tips, which have been very helpful in her personal writing goals.

Juanita Lester, Director of Social Media, recommends Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley. “I found this book fascinating and an easy read, especially in easing my fears into writing,” says Juanita. “When I have struggled for content, I refer to this book as my safety blanket for calming my worries in tackling writing tasks.”

Christopher Kondrich, our Associate Editor, suggests the podcast Creative Pep Talk: “Although it’s geared toward visual artists, I find Andy Miller’s podcast to not only be translatable to the writing process, but also supremely vibrant, compassionate, and passionately delivered. Miller’s messages are restorative and motivating, and there’s often something useful in each episode to help me through the difficulties of sustaining a life making poems.”

Meg Eden Kuyatt, our Advertising Manager, says, “I use NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and word count goals to get me through the initial drafts of projects. I find that NaNoWriMo gives a concrete structure through a dedicated month and word count goal. Since others are doing it too, I find it very encouraging. I also love to use submission deadlines to push me to finish projects—e.g., February 1 is the deadline for this young adult anthology, so it’s motivating me to try to write and tweak a short story by then. Since I usually don’t do short stories, this is a nice way to get me out of my element.”

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