CRAFT Literary’s mission is to “explore the art of fiction with a focus on the elements of craft.” They do this through publishing fiction with commentary, pieces on craft, interviews, and more.
Recent publications include Cathy Ulrich’s flash fiction piece “Being the Murdered Extra.” Ulrich imagines the backstory for the quintessential crime show “dead girl.” Written in second person, readers are put in the place of the auditioning girl while still feeling disconnected (you’re dead after all) as the story moves on to breathe life into the background characters of the background character: her mother and her roommates. This story is accompanied by two paragraphs of commentary on the craft.
The “Craft” section of the website includes sections titled “Essays,” “Interviews,” “Books,” and “Roundups.” In “Books,” find reviews, and in “Roundups” check out lists like “TV Adaptations We Love” and “CRAFT Fiction by the Elements.” A recent interview with Ariel Gore is introduced by a bonus essay on Gore’s We Were Witches by interviewer Melissa Benton Barker.
Jody Hobbs Hesler in “If You Can Name It, You Can Fix It: A Craft Glossary” writes about the benefits of giving clear feedback during writing workshops. In the essay, she points out how it’s easy to provide feedback of what’s working, but harder to articulate what could use some help, so she offers her own help by pointing out some common issues such as “Cliches of the Body” or “Too Much Reality vs. Realism.” Hesler provides a convenient little glossary for writers and those who workshop.
CRAFT Literary provides a deeper look into fiction while offering writers plenty of material to help out with their own writing processes.
Review by Katy Haas