Wake up and write! Now you can subscribe to the Literary Kitchen for weekly writing prompts. You’ll get a new writing assignment emailed to you every Saturday morning. An easy and affordable way to keep your writing practice fresh. $5 a month. Cancel any time.
8-week Online Class Starts February 17th
Taught by Narrow River, Wide Sky Author Jenny Forrester
The Summer Manuscript Workshop has been so magical,
manifesting new books in the world each year, . . .
Online Class Taught by Ariel Gore
June 15 – September 7
Workshop size is limited. Please sign up early.
Spend the summer finishing your book . . . or start a new one. In this 12-week workshop, you’ll generate new material for your book, polish what you’ve already got with weekly and monthly feedback, learn traditional and nontraditional plot structure, experiment wildly, and make your book reality.
Participants will write to weekly assignments, post monthly excerpts as their books-in-progress emerge, and read and comment on one colleague’s manuscript-excerpt each week.
Here are two of the latest books to come out of the summer manuscript workshop:
Several years ago I had a vague idea for a book and on a whim I signed up for Ariel Gore’s manuscript workshop just to see what would happen. Signing up for that workshop was one of the best writing decisions I have ever made. Ariel’s incredibly supportive feedback and constructive critiques, as well as her challenging writing exercises, were instrumental in taking my book from a vague idea to a finished product. I highly recommend Ariel Gore’s workshops to anyone who has an idea that is begging to live on the page.
—Nina Packebush, author of Girls Like Me (Bink Books, 2017)
Ariel Gore’s manuscript workshop was the best way to spend a summer—writing, re-visioning, and gaining ever-increasing clarity. We had prompts and activities that kept us focused on getting the bulk of our manuscripts completed in twelve weeks. She’s got the book-writing experience, invaluable insight and artistic commitment to help you organize and write the book only you can write.
—Jenny Forrester, author of Narrow River, Wide Sky (Hawthorne Books, 2017)
The cost of the 12-week workshop is $580
A $145 deposit saves your spot.
April 1 – 21
The Short Story Intensive Online Class
Taught by Ariel Gore
In the Short Story Intensive, we’ll explore both classical and experimental short stories, draft our own, share feedback, and polish our stories for publication. Appropriate for writers at all levels wishing to work in fiction, memoir, or hybrid forms. We’ll focus first on fiction–literary, mystery, and experimental. For those who wish to write memoir-based short stories, we’ll apply the tools of the fiction writer to craft those true stories.
Class size is limited, so please sign up early.
Cost for the 3-week intensive is $205 — a $65 deposit saves your spot
8-week online course starts January 8th
The Literary Kitchen is over the moon to announce this new writing & publishing workshop with ABQ Zine Fest founder Marya Errin Jones. Class size is extremely limited, so please sign up early.
Zines have been part of modern literary history from the raucous pamphleteers who helped shape the American and French Revolutions to the Punk and Riot Grrl movements of the 70s and 80s and 90s. Now, zines are becoming personal, visual essays that help writers dig into the events of their lives. With writer and zinester Marya Errin Jones, dive into the tactile, cut-and-paste land of zine-making to connect to your own memories, philosophies, images and personal histories that shape your work and your world.
Along with writing assignments and zine page building, the course will include the following topics:
• An Abridged History of the Pamphleteers
• Dada is Zine Spelled Backwards: How surrealists made zine culture possible
• The Zine Body Politic: Making Zines in War Time
• Zine Dream: turning your memories into visual art
• Distill and Display: Zine language and thought sauce reduction
• So, I put a staple in it? The how and the why of printing and zine formatting
• Nothing lasts forever: How to archive your zines
• Time to go outside: The social art of zine festivals
If you’d rather get the full tuition out of the way, you can pay it right here:
Marya Errin Jones is a writer/performer/musician, and founder of ABQ Zine Fest, now in its 7th year. Marya’s zines can be found in the zine collections of Barnard College, University of Iowa, London College of Communications and Tate Modern. She is a founder and lead curator at The Tannex, an independent, DIY, safer space performance venue in Albuquerque. Marya interned at the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, was the recipient of a Jim Henson Seed Grant. She was awarded the inaugural Fulcrum Fund Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, NYC for the creation of zines as an art form. Marya is curating a zine collection at Central Features, a modern art gallery in Albuquerque for their exhibition, Boundless. Marya will bring zines to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as part of an innovative creative team participating in “Make the Brest Pump Not Suck Hackathon 2.0” at MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“How did you go to college and not learn the difference between hate and justice?”
The barn smelled like manure as I turned on the lights. Immediately, the chatter between animals began. I could never tell if they were hungry and demanding hay or crying for help to escape the pens we kept them in against their will.
I cursed myself under my breath for taking this job without asking the right questions. For moving across eight states, for leaving a community I spent three years building to live in a small rural Vermont town close to my family. I was expecting sanctuary, peaceful nature, outdoor education experience. What I found was a glorified petting zoo with fancy barns and an expensive gift shop.
I heard a shuffle in the feed room and prepared myself to interact with my new coworker. Menial morning chores often invited conversation, but on this particular morning I wasn’t interested.
The night before, I watched footage of white supremacists reigning terror in Charlottesville, inciting violence across the nation. My mind played loops of domestic terrorism and hate speech and I searched for direction on how to resist. Lost for words.
“Morning!” Conor said cheerfully—as if existing on a different planet.
“Morning.” I replied quietly. I poured mental energy into sending every possible nonverbal signal that I didn’t want to chat.
I left the barn to feed the outdoor animals in the pasture—seeking solitude.
When I returned 20 minutes later, Kathryn, another coworker, had arrived. They were both mucking out the stalls.
“Have you seen the Vice documentary yet? About Christopher Cantwell?” Kathryn asked. Cantwell was a featured white supremacist, I found out later, who lived only 15 minutes away from us.
Great, I thought. Just what I was prepared to talk about this morning with these relative strangers.
“No,” Conor said. “But I saw someone from Burlington got fired because they were spotted in the footage.”
“Good,” I said. “They deserve to be fired and shamed.”
“Really?” Conor asked. “I feel like that’s a little harsh. I bet you wouldn’t say that if someone got fired from a conservative organization for attending a pro-choice rally.” He followed, too prepared.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Within seconds, my teeth clenched, my chest contracted and blood rushed to my head pounding violently. My brain sifted through thoughts as if experiencing grief.
You stupid asshole.
How did you go to college and not learn the difference between hate and justice?
Why the fuck would you say that?
You were way too quick to make this comparison! Have you been thinking about this all night?
No, it’s not the same.
Do you even know why women attend pro choice protests?
Do you know any women?
That’s literally the most ignorant reasoning I have heard a person use.
What news are you watching?
Why would you compare these things?
Why are you inquiring in such a nonchalant way- as if asking: isn’t annie’s mac and cheese the same as kraft? As if this was a simple and non-threatening non-triggering opinion?
This isn’t about partisan politics. This is about hate speech and violence. A life was lost yesterday. How dare you compare, referencing freedom of speech?
My face was on fire.
You are a 23-year-old white male. Old enough to understand, but clearly you have never grasped the concept of privilege or been challenged to question it. Maybe you need someone to show you truth unveiled.
1) Women attend pro choice rallies because for so long, men have decided, and continue to decide, what we do with our own bodies. Different life experiences bring us to these protests for a variety of reasons. We want autonomy, rights and safety to decide whether or not to birth a child- one of the hardest most painful things that the body can naturally endure. We want to choose whether or not to be a parent with all the responsibilities that that entails- just like fathers have that choice.
2) What happened in Charlottesville was a dangerous hate group that supported racism and violence against all people that didn’t have their “white” complexion. They were so violent that a woman fighting for justice died. Too young. They were so violent that people across the country were fearful. These white supremacist terrorists unveiled the hatred that has plagued america since its inception, something we still choose to deny as a society.
3) To compare a desire for individual and collective liberation, freedom and safety to a “rally” that preaches hate, inferiority and violence, is OUTRAGEOUS.
4) You wouldn’t know these to be different because you have never hurt directly from oppression. You have never feared being raped for simply walking home at night. You have never feared cops pulling you over and shooting you for a broken tail light before you have a chance to defend yourself. You benefit from this oppression.
5) But this white supremacy that you are defending behind the guise of free speech does NOT help you. In fact, it inhibits us all from living as our fullest, most vibrant and creative selves. It strips us of culture and attempts to make us all the same. But you would laugh at this. You would say; “Oh yeah, I wish we could all live in a world with rainbows and butterflies.” And smirk at the “hippy shit” idea. And that, my friend, is a shame.
Back to reality. My shovel, half full of shit, rested in my hands, my face was stern and my heart fluttering. All I could manage to get out is:
“You are so wrong. There is no justification for hate speech and violence. A pro choice protest is advocating for rights and freedoms- not preaching hate.” My voice shook and I walked away without allowing him the chance to respond. Water seeped through my eyelids and I tried desperately to find more cow shit to clean up until I pulled myself together.
I hope you read this, Conor. I intend on sending it to you. Because while you probably never gave this conversation a second thought, I am still churning over it five months later. That’s your privilege. Being able to say whatever you want without consequence and forgetting about how it could have hurt others. I hope your journey leads you to compassion so you can wipe that permanent cavalier smile off your goddamn face.
Meagan Lyle is a queer artist, organizer and educator who loves exploring the forest & cooking for family and friends. Her roots are in the northeast, though she found welcoming community and a warm home in the southeast after finishing school. She writes in an effort to understand the world a little better, which some times works and some times doesn’t. Meagan eager to start exploring the zine world by blending her passion for watercolor paintings and poetry together.
Now you can buy all the things I made this year in one place. My house boys will be making runs to the post office every day starting November 30th so you’ll get things in time for whatever holiday makes you happy & not stressed.
It’s here! I made this 28-page coloring book while I was on book tour for We Were Witches. Drawing the images made me feel less anxious about talking to people I didn’t know. Coloring the images in has the same effect, so I think you’ll like it. 5″ x 7″ sweet size for stockings!
$7 includes U.S. Shipping
Michelle Tea calls We Were Witches “A new feminist classic penned by one of the culture’s strongest authors at her most experimental and personal.”
$18 includes U.S. Shipping.
New! Notes & Spells Scout Book
I don’t know how writers keep on with the mighty task of public honesty. Our responsibility to the collective human conversation is not only daunting, it’s painful in the most vulnerable and shaming way.
Since I’ve been working on it for 10 years, it’s enough to give me hope that my voice belongs “out there.”
But there are always a few reactions that turn my stomach and make me grateful for my day job.
One professional editor in New York read the post as a courtesy to a friend who called in a “big favor.” He texted back: “She’s a solid writer. If she’d had an editor who cleaned up her errors and inconsistencies it would’ve been more powerful. But the errors were distracting. She especially needs someone who doesn’t know her to read her stuff. They can let her know what parts she’s missing.”
Sensing an opportunity, my dear friend suggested that he, Mr. New York, could be that person? His “no thanks” came back so fast, I almost felt the burn in my fingers as my friend hung up suddenly, after mumbling, “Well maybe I’m biased in your favor.”
I decided to make myself feel better in the weird egotistical and self-deprecating custom of a true writer, and seek validation with a friend who “liked” my piece and got her ex-boyfriend to “like” it too. This friend is a nice suburban white lady who confessed that she befriended me because she thought I was Latinx. I don’t look Latinx, I just have a (weird for an Irish Canadian) olive complexion most of the year. She kept me on as a friend after she learned I was White, but she works the subject of race and Detroit politics into almost every conversation, so much that I feel I need to study up before I head to her house.
I step into her house after a brisk walk and she greets me with a detail from the story I just published.
Friend: Hi Elisa. So you have only one boob?
Me: Uh, I have Poland’s Syndrome?
Friend: Yeah, but you only have one boob? How come I didn’t know this?
Me: Um, not exactly. You could Google Poland’s Syndrome?
Friend: But WHY didn’t I know?
Me: (running away thinking Because it’s not my job to tell you?)
I assume that most people are walking around with a boatload of hurt and it’s not my business to poke at them.
So, in case you’ve been worrying about it, the proper response to a writer baring her soul is
“Wow, you’ve really made me:
c) Fall asleep
d) Want to kill you.”
What not to say: “Are you sure you’re not making this all up?” Or “Or I feel so sad you feel this way.” Or “Tell me about your body parts.”
If I wanted to feel ashamed about my life choices, questioned about my truthfulness and morals, or have my body poked at and put on display like an exhibit in a freak show, I wouldn’t write stories. I’d build a time machine and go back to my childhood—and if you were there, too, I’d punch you in the face.
Lisa Sinnett, in spite of being deeply flawed, vulnerable and truthful, manages to hold down a full time job teaching high school Spanish in Hamtramck, Michigan, while maintaining close relationships with her family and working on her upcoming memoir-novel, Dispatches from Detroit.
28 pages of excellence. 5″ x 7″ sweet size means it fits in your purse. Guaranteed to make you feel less anxious with regular coloring—or your money back!
Ships to you on November 30th.
$7 includes postage. U.S. Shipping only.
$9 includes shipping to CANADA.
“You know that feeling when you crack open a brand new book and just by reading the first paragraph you can tell you’re about to go on a transformative journey? The kind of book that grabs you by the hand and says, hold on, we’ve got important work to do? A story that, at the risk of sounding very cliche because the word “witches” is, after all, in the title — leaves you spellbound? We Were Witchesby Ariel Gore is that book. Released in September by Feminist Press, it is everything you didn’t know you were allowed to want in a narrative.”
Now you can get signed copies of Ariel Gore’s new novel, We Were Witches, direct from The Literary Kitchen. $18 includes postage & your own spell book! U.S. SHIPPING ONLY.
Canadian readers! I need an extra $2 to ship to you. Thank you for your support!