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.
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
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!
Wake up and write! Now you can subscribe to the Literary Kitchen for weekly writing prompts from Ariel Gore. You’ll get a new writing assignment / writing prompt emailed to you every Saturday morning. Easy and affordable way to keep your writing practice fresh. $5 a month. Cancel any time.
“Forget Freytag’s Pyramid (of predictable male prose)—behold Gore’s upside down triangle (of fierce feminist narrative)! We Were Witches is its own genre, in its own canon.”
—Kate Schatz, author of Rad American Women A-Z
“Ariel Gore’s We Were Witches is one woman’s body refusing to become property, refusing to be overwritten by law or traditions, one woman’s body cutting open a hole in culture so that actual bodies might emerge. A triumphant body story. A singularly spectacular siren song.”
Out now from The Feminist Press & available from your favorite bookseller.
Magic spells and inverted fairy tales combat queer scapegoating, domestic violence, and high-interest student loans in We Were Witches by Ariel Gore
The Summer Manuscript Workshop has been so magical, manifesting books in the world every year, we decided to try it in the dark of winter . . .
TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE WINTER MANUSCRIPT WORKSHOP
Online Class Taught by Ariel Gore
January 5th – March 31st
Workshop size is limited. Please sign up early.
Spend the first months of the new year 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.
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.
The Literary Kitchen’s Ariel Gore Talks to Narrow River, Wide Sky Author Jenny Forrester about Writing through What Haunts UsOn the Colorado Plateau between slot canyons and rattlesnakes, Jenny Forrester grew up with her mother and brother in a single-wide trailer proudly displaying an American flag… The lyrical Western memoir she’s created from her memories has been called “an unsentimental portrait of small-town Colorado, a formative environment that both oppressed her and shaped her identity.” Jenny Forrester knows how to write about place. Forward Reviews says, “Forrester doesn’t gloss over the difficult parts of her life, but rather tells stories of how that adversity formed a stronger individual.” Jenny Forrester knows how not to gloss things over. Many Literary Kitchen writers know Jenny as a student here, as the quiet force behind Portland’s Unchaste Readers Series—and we’ll soon know her as a teacher, too. Jenny Forrester is breaking ground. How long did it take you to write Narrow River, Wide Sky? Twenty years to the final draft before publication.
Was there anything in taking that time that, in hindsight, feels particularly valuable?
The most valuable part really does seem to be all those years – I had to live and learn and it all took all that time. I wish it hadn’t.
The notion of what a memoir can be has changed so much in recent years—is still changing. What are your thoughts on memoir versus fiction in terms of your own creative expression and the stories you want to tell?
Fictionalizing is kind of what memory does. I mean, I’m not a neuroscientist or anything, but memory is a tricky thing. Even vision is tricky.
Stories are tricky, so if we say it’s all fiction, maybe we’re more honest, but I also know the patriarchy loves for us not to believe our memories, not to believe our stories.
I want to tell stories that matter, that could speak to power, that could tear down big men and bring up little women or show the truth that those men aren’t big and those women aren’t little and maybe gender is a fallacy, but patriarchy wants it not to be so it all seems to matter still. There needs to be a certain amount of fiction involved to topple them and bring ourselves and others up. So I trust memory, too. I trust that putting memory to the page matters. So mote it be.
As a small-town girl who has lived in the city for much of your life now, and as someone who grew up in conservative country but writes from a progressive, feminist perspective, what do you see as your unique insight into the multi-layered America we’re living in?
I love this question. I’m always thinking of myself as a small-town girl, as someone who’s been, and been among, the conservative mindset. It never feels like I’m safely progressive, fully feminist—the edge is always so close. I guess that’s unique—that I stand on the precipice and never really see things are changing for Them even though I’m part of a different We now. If that makes sense.
I mean, How did this Trump thing happen?
Maybe we don’t progress. We learn, we grow. To go back to the source of my understandings of things—the devil is always whispering and hissing. He never ceases to speak in that slithering way. He never rests.
One really interesting thing you do from a craft perspective in Narrow River, Wide Sky is the way that you move through time. Did you outline those movements and transitions or do you work more intuitively?
I can’t outline. That might be helpful, but I draw a lot—maps and circles and pies. I learned that from you. The pie thing. Moving through time is like this—sometimes we’re flying along having fun but the horrors are time-slowing.
I gave more words to the slow movements and fewer when I wanted to speed it up—like running. When you sprint, you take many more steps. When you want to cover distance, you stretch out those strides— fewer steps between mesas and mountains to close up the distance.
Kirkus calls the book, “A modest, thoughtful memoir that traces hard-won liberation from the past.” How important is liberation from the past? Do you think it’s possible?
I don’t know. Maybe we’re so much a part of the past and the steps we’ve already taken—we keep looking back to see what’s chasing us because it does seem something always is.
We can grow, we can change, we can move and all, but we live where our imprisonments happened or where the imprisoners live, if you will make allowances for that metaphor.
The places that trapped us, the places we left and we keep looking back like, seriously, did you SEE that? That’s how it is for me. Maybe other people can move on without looking back. I’m not them. I just know shapeshifting is temporary. Mostly, we maintain the forms we were born to.
So do you think you’re more or less haunted by the past for writing about it?
I used to believe there was some true answer, some redemptive piece of information I could find. Now, though. I do feel less haunted by the things I wrote about. But there are so many things I didn’t include so I am still working on those hauntings. I’m haunted by so much. I suppose we all are. I’m for facing ghosts. I’m for seeking solace. I’m for seeking freedom. I’ll continue.
Jenny Forrester’s debut memoir Narrow River, Wide Sky (Hawthorne Books, 2017) is available wherever books are sold.