• Converse College Low-Residency MFA

    Converse College Low-Residency MFA Facebook Live Info Session

    on Sep 11, 17 with No Comments

    Sarah Gray Associate Director of the Converse College Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing is a title that sounds far grander than the position it actually entails.  The truth is, come residency time my goal is to stay invisible because invisibility means everything is running...

  • writing tortured nirvana

    A Tortured Nirvana

    on Aug 7, 17 with No Comments

    M. M. Adjarian People who glamorize the writing life should be hanged, drawn and quartered for their demon-spawned lies. Writing is unsexy dog work, a ceaseless plodding of word after blasted word. And it’s unforgiving. Progress for most comes in stingy half-inches rather than...

  • Staff Update 2017

    Our Reading Period Begins Today!

    on Aug 1, 17 with No Comments

    South 85 Journal‘s staff is gearing up for our next issue, Fall / Winter 2017, which we will release on December 15, 2017.  Usually, we open our reading period for the Fall / Winter issue on September 1, but we are trying an earlier schedule this time.  We are accepting...

  • I Edit My Life by Michael Lee Johnson

    I Edit My Life

    on Jul 17, 17 with No Comments

    Michael Lee Johnson I edit my life. Clothesline pins and clips hang to dry dirty laundry. I turn poetic hedonistic in my early 70’s, reviewing the joys and the sorrows of my journey. I find myself wanting a new review, a new product, a new time machine, a new internet...

  • Reaching Writing

    Reaching: Devin Murphy on Real Life and Inspiration

    on Jul 10, 17 with No Comments

    Mel Sherrer Devin Murphy’s debut novel, The Boat Runner, is forthcoming with Harper Perennial/Harper Collins on September 5th, 2017. This month, we sat down to speak with him about the impending work, writing and real life inspiration. S85:   Do you write every day or...

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  • Reps, Sets, and Prose: Writing Exercises

    on Nov 2, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    Exercise is good for you. It keeps your heart healthy, helps you lose weight, and may one day enable you to outrun a hungry tiger. Writing exercises have similar benefits for your writing life. They can help illuminate aspects of character, breathe life into a dull setting, or plant the seed of a future story.

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  • One Magician Watching Another Magician Doing Magic

    on Oct 27, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    Some time after I started seriously writing and studying the craft, I noticed I was having trouble really enjoying movies or getting caught up in the mystery and marvel of a book or a story. Throughout the entire experience, I realized that I had successfully plotted every event, character interaction, and motivation into a graph-like form in my head. It felt a bit like blasphemy, turning an artistic experience into a quasi-math. Yet, for better or worse, my head was full of quantifiable plot lines and character-arcs and dialogue patterns and motifs and symbols. Even watching plot based commercials was becoming exhausting.

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  • The R.O.I. of Writing

    on Oct 14, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    Imagine for a moment that an executive approached you with a job offer: there will be long hours staring over a computer, countless hours of research and reading, loads of letter-writing, mailing, emailing, editing, revising documents to conform to the recipient’s idiosyncratic wishes, networking with peers, professional development demands, travel, public speaking, conferences, teaching, and, of course, producing work. Successful candidates will be confident, inspiring, innovative, relentless, engaged with the world around them, emotionally and intellectually available, curious, inquisitive, and possess a strong backbone as well as the ability to refute or defend a position at a moment’s notice. By the way, there is little to no compensation for this position.

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  • Letting Your Voice Be Heard

    on Oct 11, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    In the sixth grade, I became friends with a wonderful person—we’ll call her “Alice.”  Alice is gifted with a phenomenal singing voice.  Her mother was part of the music program at our church, and I often heard the personnel there speak with admiration about how lovely Alice’s voice was.  I sat beside Alice in choir for several years, attended the same middle school, high school, and college, even rooming with her for two semesters.  And looking back on all that time we spent together, I can honestly say that I have never heard Alice sing alone.  In the choir room, with fifty other voices, yes.  But by herself?  Not once!  I have no doubt that she can do so, and do so magnificently.  Alice is not a prideful person, and those that have heard her sing are surely not all lying.  But the truth is that Alice refuses to sing solo for just about anyone.  I’ve always thought it was a shame. 

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  • My Story (and Other Bad Ideas)

    on Oct 6, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    After a good hour of typing away at my blog entry for this week, I clicked “Save” only to have it vanish into cyber-nothingness before my eyes.  After the initial fury subsided, I was left with a queasy “maybe-somebody’s-trying-to-tell-me-something” feeling.  While my blog-thoughts weren’t exactly original, they were what I’ve been pondering this week, but with my confidence shaken by the fateful “Invalid Entry” (the computer’s words, not mine), I’ll share only an abbreviated version of my original post.

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