• 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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  • 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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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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