• Mel Sherrer and Liz Valvano

    Meditations on Togetherness

    on Oct 9, 17 with 1 Comment

    Mel Sherrer https://youtu.be/aw2WvKWNoq4I RitualMy expectation is to rise every morning with a Texas dawn ripping my eyes open like a sweaty Sunday shirt. I expect the complaints of abused bones creaking in marriage with cartilage I expect the ache of every hour ago. Expect...

  • Debby DeRosa making an announcement

    South 85 Journal Launches a YouTube Channel

    on Sep 25, 17 with No Comments

    Debby DeRosa South 85 Journal is launching a YouTube Channel to help us promote contemporary literature.  Starting October 9, we will release one video poetry reading a month.  To get everyone excited (and to test some features), I created this video announcement:...

  • Stories from the Times Between: Caitlin Hamilton Summie...

    on Sep 22, 17 with No Comments

    Mel Sherrer Caitlin Hamilton Summie’s short story collection, To Lay to Rest Our Ghosts, was released by Fomite in August. We sat down to talk to her about the writer/promo balance, novels vs. short stories, and the importance of place. Read on! S85: How do you navigate being...

  • 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...

Our Blog

Our blog about the joys and frustrations of being a writer... as well as thoughts on anything and everything literary! Subscribe now so that you won't miss a single post!
  • 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.

    Continue Reading

    Read More »
  • 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).

    Continue Reading

    Read More »
  • 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.

    Continue Reading

    Read More »
  • Writing while Traveling

    on Aug 21, 11 in Blog by with No Comments

    There is much to think about when you travel. I’m headed to Boston in the next couple of weeks, and I’ve thought a lot about my itinerary. I’m one of those people who plan, organize, and then plan again. It becomes a balancing act when trying to measure which things to do or places to see to constitute which weighs the most. I’ve thought about going to Concord while I’m there and daydreaming about my childhood obsession with “Little Women.” I’ve thought about knocking on Paul Revere’s door to see who answers and even contemplated buying a studio there to put a desk next to a window facing the Back Bay area.

    Continue Reading

    Read More »
  • The Voices in my Head and Other Reasons Not to Write

    on Aug 17, 11 in Blog by with Comments Off on The Voices in my Head and Other Reasons Not to Write

    There’s something thrilling about starting a new project, whether it’s starting work on a new short story, cracking the spine of brand new book, trying a new recipe, or beginning an online literary journal.  From the earliest meetings about South85, I was positively giddy about the opportunity to serve as editor.  Behind that excitement, however, there was (and still is sometimes) an underlying feeling of fear.  Who do I think that I am?  Sure, reading lots of submissions and picking the absolute best to share with our readers sounds like my ultimate idea of fun.  But deep down, there lingers a smidge of doubt.  I’ve met literary journal editors.  Mostly, my fellow writers and I speak of them in hushed tones, praying they will remember our names when one of our manuscripts come across their desks.

    Continue Reading

    Read More »
Scroll to top