In these interviews, writers who also teach discuss publishing, teaching, the business of editing and managing literary journals, and, of course, their own work and process. They offer advice and hard-won wisdom for burgeoning writers and their teachers. We also ask them about their favorite music, and who knows, maybe a favorite writer or two, and a great coffeeshop or beer to add to your "must try" list.
Robert Fanning, professor of creative writing at Central Michigan University, shares his manuscripts in process as well as the methods and sources of inspiration he used to draft them. His advice for burgeoning writers, poets in particular, is not the standard cookie-cutter words of wisdom you've heard elsewhere, and his refreshing approach to publishing will help you rethink Submission Sundays. And if you need a new playlist for writing, we have it.
I don’t even think of Alimentum necessarily as “food writing.” Alimentum is this funny thing in the middle because it’s fiction and creative writing and it’s poetry, but it’s about food—so some people think of it as “food writing.” The magazine started as a bridge between literary writing and food, since they were a big part of my life. Some lit mags do food-themed issues once in a while, but I wondered: why not a journal that was food all the time? We started in 2005 and we still get terrific submissions from writers who somehow incorporate food as a catalyst or character in their stories and poems.
Art is important. Art isn’t an extra for society, it’s something we have to have. When you edit a magazine or edit a press, if you’re good to the people who submit to you and you’re good to your contributors, and if when you edit, your goal is to help them not only make this piece great, but help them be a better writer down the road—because that’s what people did for us—then maybe those things are making the world better.