Tags » Patty Kirk

Cutting Out the Frivolous Stuff

Last week, during a series of presentations on writing-related discoveries, which I always make first-year composition students do at the end of the year, one student said, “I learned that writing shorter is harder than writing longer.” 795 more words

Writing

Asking the Question, "How Do I Get Published?"

Nothing dispels the misconception that I am unique more categorically than the internet.

Case in point: Every time I embark on some new project—whether it’s growing asparagus from seed or figuring out whether to read a talked-about novel or advising a student about whether she should negotiate for a better grad school fellowship offer—I always begin by asking… 743 more words

Writing

All. Those. Books.

Recently I totted up that, of the eighty or so college students I’ve taught this year (only about a half of whom were creative-writing-emphasis English majors), a good dozen have written novels. 879 more words

Writing

Revising Aloud

“Reading aloud,” I’m always telling my writing students, “is the best way to revise.”

I encourage them—sometimes require them—to find read-aloud partners or start writing groups in which they take turns reading their work aloud. 671 more words

Writing

What My Students and I Learned This Semester in Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Big Thing #1: Neatening the messy truth never works. Story: A sweet-hearted student wrote a moving essay about her difficulty with “being held” following her father’s death. 685 more words

Writing

Loved, Chosen, and Writing (for the Forseeable Future) at 5 a.m.—A Lesson from Anne Lamott

I just returned from Calvin College’s Festival of Faith and Writing, featuring such diverse writers as Luci Shaw, Richard Foster, Rachel Held Evans, and Anne Lamott and offering sessions on everything from how to write a book proposal to self-publishing, writing about trauma to writing novels, writing children’s books to writing faithfully about sex. 689 more words

Writing

What Stories Teach Us

I just finished reading two novels that I ended up loving but started out hating. Or, not exactly hating. Just struggling to keep on reading. 707 more words

Writing