As a member of PEN’s Writers in the Schools program, I tutor writing at a New York City public school. Often students especially need help on college admissions essays, as this is new territory for them. Over the years, here are some tips we have learned.

Emotion in Dialogue

A day in the life

Some history regarding living life and understanding it

A piece on characterization.

They are very good for something. But they’re rarely used for that purpose in big, mainstream media. A review of the latest book by a big-selling author proves the newspaper, magazine, or whatever outlet is on top of the literary…

This interview, by award-winning novelist Dora Machado, touches on both writing and editing.  Dora is author of the Stonewiser series and The Curse Giver. Read the interview here.      

Last night we were at the PEN America annual bash for new members and new books, which is really just a big cocktail party mercifully without speeches.  We talked to a number of people, one of them being a guy about…

Fiction readers are very demanding creatures. They want their made-up stories to be as close to truth as possible—sort of like vegetarian meat. If they have to pick between two gritty detective novels, one by an ex-cop and the other…

New research suggests that reading fiction is good for us, especially the brain.  It also turns out that reading a story to some degree functions as experience—we literally travel through a novel in the skin of the protagonist.