• 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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  • Reflection and Shadow: The Nature of the Artist’s Reality

    on Sep 26, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    South85 is honored to introduce our very first guest blogger. Rick Mulkey is the director of the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program and the BFA Writing program at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. He is the author of four collections of poetry, including Toward Any Darkness and Before the Age of Reason.

     

    Michio Kaku–”The mind of God is music resonating through ten dimensional hyperspace.”

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  • A Few Thoughts on Words

    on Sep 18, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    I guess you could say some are born to write.

    As a child, when other kids were outside playing kickball, I was holed up in some corner of the house reading the dictionary. Yes, reading the dictionary.

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  • Write the Damn Thing: How to Make Progress on Your First Draft (Or Make Your Title Needlessly Long)

    on Sep 13, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    First drafts, even good ones, are terrible. It doesn’t matter if you are in your first workshop, writing your master’s thesis, or starting your three hundred and seventy-second novel, it will be bad. This is not a reflection of your skill as a writer, but rather a fundamental law. The E=mc^2 of writing, if you will.

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  • Knowing When To Give Up

    on Sep 5, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    Sometimes you realize that the story/chapter/poem/memoir/article that you’re writing is garbage. Not garbage in the sense that a few line edits might fix, but garbage as in this particular story/chapter/poem/memoir/article would be better if everyone involved just stopped what they were doing and took a nap. One of my stories (one I was particularly fond of) was completely torn apart after I sent it to an established writer for review. When I read this person’s suggestions (verbal beatings) I spent the rest of the day moping and feeling sorry for myself and realized my story was mostly garbage. A whole day later I sat back down, refreshed and determined to create anew and started to work on the story again. Only nothing would come out. The characters were bland, the plot was laughable at best, and all my words came out at a fourth grade level. Then my wife gave me some of the best advice I have been given as a writer to this day. She told me to give up on it (for a little while at least).

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  • Readers Really Do Make Better Writers

    on Aug 31, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    I recently had an “ah-ha” moment while reading Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. In that moment, I finally understood what my teachers meant when they told me I needed to be a good reader if I wanted to be a good writer. Of course, I already understood logically why reading fiction leads to better writing: through reading good fiction we learn how to structure plots and develop characters and write dialogue, etc. But it was still blurry to me as to how reading a novel or short story would concretely enhance my craft.

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