• When You Can Bear It, Write What You Know

    When You Can Bear It, Write What You...

    on Jun 21, 19 with No Comments

    A.J. Howells We carelessly toss around adages without questioning their implications. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is perhaps the best one. I can imagine plenty of grotesque situations where this wouldn’t apply. For reference, read Dalton Trumbo’s 1939...

  • J.E. Crum

    The Spring / Summer 2019 Issue!

    on Jun 15, 19 with No Comments

    The Spring / Summer 2019 Issue of South 85 Journal is now available online. Creative Work We are pleased to present work by the following authors and artists: • Artwork – Amanda Barbarito, William C. Crawford, J.E. Crum, Fabio Sassi, Edward Michael Supranowicz, and...

  • Converse College MFA 10-year anniversary

    Converse MFA’s 10th Anniversary + New South 85...

    on Jun 7, 19 with 1 Comment

    Students, alumni, faculty, administration, and friends of the Converse College Low-Residency MFA program gathered yesterday at Ciclops Cyderie and Brewery in Spartanburg, SC, to celebrate the program’s 10th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, Ciclops General...

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  • The Power of a Writing Ritual

    on Feb 20, 12 in Blog by with No Comments

    Growing up, I always admired my father’s Saturday morning ritual of washing the family car. Every Saturday, the bucket, rags, soap, and Turtle Wax would appear from his tool shed, and he’d go to work. Hours would go by as he washed and detailed the interior and exterior of the car, never asking or wanting any help from anyone. When I moved out for college, I found myself taking my car to the local do it yourself car wash with a handful of quarters to wash my old blue hatchback, gaining some sort of satisfaction out of scrubbing the tires,wiping the dashboard with protectant, and every so often changing the wiper blades. 

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  • Shutting the Door

    on Feb 11, 12 in Blog by with No Comments

    In her essay “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf claimed that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” While Woolf’s essay had more to do with the lack of financial and educational freedom female writers were subject to, the title of this piece strikes upon an essential piece of equipment in the arsenal of any serious writer: a place to write.

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  • Writing Your Way Out

    on Feb 2, 12 in Blog by with Comments Off on Writing Your Way Out

    I tried the exercises. I wrote in different rooms of the house, different times of day. I tried writing something completely unrelated to shake myself out of a rut. I freewrote. You name it; I tried it. But none of it mattered because I’d managed to write myself into a corner. Everywhere I looked, there were obstacles. Somehow I’d worked my way into a scene I couldn’t get past because everything that would come after seemed to hinge upon it. Everything.

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  • Rebooting Your Brain

    on Jan 26, 12 in Blog by with Comments Off on Rebooting Your Brain

    What do you do when you get stuck on a story or run out of motivation or creativity? How do you refresh it? How do you get inspired?

    I’ve been wrestling with these questions lately because my imagination has been quite stingy. Just last week, while I was working on a short story, my brain froze up. Instantly, I felt stupid and incapable of forming complete thoughts. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening or what to write next or how to form the second half of the piece. Every idea I came up with seemed obvious or lame. It was extremely frustrating and I went three days without writing a good word (and this is bad because I have some deadlines coming up).

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  • The Well-Worn Book

    on Jan 22, 12 in Blog by with No Comments

    As a young girl, my grandmother would take me to pick out fabrics for the dresses she would sew for me to wear. My fingers loved to browse through bolts of soft cotton, rough tweeds, linear corduroys, and ethereal gauzes. I would hide within the racks, all the while feeling each pattern, each texture, each subtle pick of fiber. 

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