January writing links, pre-AWP blizzard edition

I’m getting ready for my trip to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday; I’ll be attending the AWP annual conference for the first time. I spent the weekend pouring over the amazing list of conference sessions and events and after picking out my must-attends, I thought, OK, I’m ready. And then I looked at a weather map.

Let’s be frank. I live in California. There’s not much cause to study the weather here. It’s been sunny and 60 degrees or so for most of the past month. And so it should be noted that when I booked my flight to DC for the conference, I didn’t consider the implications, of, for example, “February” and “Chicago.” And I happily booked myself a flight via the Windy City to get to DC.

Last night I checked my flights and thought maybe, possibly, I should look at a weather report for both Chicago and D.C. And it just so happens that there’s a giant, blustery blizzard of apparently historical proportions scheduled to batter Chicago on Tuesday night and Wednesday. Two feet of snow, tornadoes, you name it.

But enough about that. I have gotten myself rebooked on another flight via Denver. The airline won’t give me a seat, so who knows what that means, or whether I will, in fact, actually make it to D.C. as planned. But you did not stop by to read about the winter weather. I’m getting back to my routine of posting my favorite writing links for the month. Enjoy, and if you’re traveling to AWP, good luck and be safe!

Author Michelle Richmond on accidentally finding her way through a novel (Glimmer Train)

Writing advice from Rick Bass: Don’t compare bodies to car parts. (Huffington Post)

Should grammar be taught in the creative writing workshop? (via The Missouri Review blog)

An old interview with Colm Toibin in The Guardian: “Let’s have no more backstory!” I found Toibin’s approach to teaching American writing students very interesting.

Ploughshares magazine is launching an Emerging Fiction Writer’s Contest.  Deadline is March 15.

Let’s get persnickety! Why you should never, ever put two spaces after a period. (Slate)

Beyond the Margins offers 13 ways of beginning a novel, along with the pros and cons of each. Clever.

And, finally, some tips on surviving AWP. (The Missouri Review)

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