Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

glimmer train etc

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21st, 2012 and

hi guys. ok, the month’s almost gone by and i haven’t heard much from you, but i’m posting in case anyone is still interested in the project. three things i want to share with you:

firstly, check out this website. looks like a great journal and they have writing contests that award publication and cash *every month*. not shabby at all. i might submit the story i’m working on to them.

secondly, i have been revising my story and think it’s almost done. it could use a reader. any volunteers? in exchange, i will, of course, read your story.

thirdly, this is a book review from tomorrow’s _times_ that raises that age-old question of style versus substance. what do you think matters most in good writing, a beautifully wrought sentence or the sweeping arcs of meaning through the story or novel? an interesting discussion, no?

hope you are all enjoying snow, january, life, and everything. be in touch if you wish to be in touch.


let’s get published!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8th, 2011 and

ok, continuing Creative Writers–let’s do this!

First, I think we need to change the format of this blog, however. Rather than have this site be the hub for your individual blogs, let’s please all post our notes, etc. on this site. I have to add each of you as “author” to this blog, and for that I need your active qc email addresses. Please send me that as a comment to this post. We can help each other revise our work on the individual blogs, but should collect our publishing info on a centralized site, I think.

Once you’re added as an author, please post telling us what piece(s) you’re trying to place, whether you’ve been published before (and when and where), and any ideas you have for how to go about this process.

Here are some ideas I have to get things started:

1) I got a story published in my favorite literary journal last spring. It was not a coincidence that I got published there. I read it religiously, admired all the work therein, and was no doubt influenced in my writing by what I read there. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the journal’s site:  So, find journals that are publishing the kind of work you like and read them. St. Mark’s Bookstore has a great selection of literary journals, as does the reading room on the second floor of the NYPL main branch.

2) Similarly, look at collections of stories, poems, and non-fiction–the “Year’s Best” series being a good place to start, to see where these people are being published.

3) Check out the “Poet’s and Writer’s” website for the titles of small presses, journals, online publications, and also literary contests, wch might pay more than the acceptance fee to a journal (my story got me 20 bucks!).

Yes? I know class just ended yesterday, but there’s no time like the present to get going on a (probably) long and difficult task. Looking forward to hearing from you!


my story, to read or not…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30th, 2011 and

So, on the basis of our last class exercise, where we all wrote on clichéd themes handed to us by peers, I began writing this. It’s not done yet, but I decided to post it in case anyone had helpful comments. This is not an assignment! Samantha’s prompt (a great one!) was something like, “A girl falls in love with a guy, who turns out to be a cad, and then realizes she’s been in love with her best friend all along.”




My Living Head

2 packets of poetry

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13th, 2011 and

about class tomorrow…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11th, 2011 and

So, I thought if I’m going to torture you with this week’s assignment, I should taste my own medicine. My first effort at a sonnet was a total humiliation, and here’s my humble villanelle:

October Villanelle


Good thing pen and paper are always here in bed.

After a sleep hard and somber as bone,

Dim morning washes nightmares from my head.


I’ve heard the hour before dawn likened to lead.

Thereon I scratch weak words all to atone—

Good thing pen and paper are always here in bed.


Heat water for tea and then toast some bread;

Glance at computer screen and check my phone.

Dim morning washes nightmares from my head.


Leaves that now are so bright will soon be dead;

October maiden must become the crone.

Good thing pen and paper are always here in bed.


Not one thing I’ve accomplished, created, read

Could have prepared me for when glory’d gone.

Dim morning washes nightmares from my head,


But it’s dreams I want to lose in their stead;

There’s no disaster in being alone.

Good thing pen and paper are always here in bed.

Dim morning washes nightmares from my head.


Feel free to comment on it if you like. And PLEASE print out your poems and bring them to class tomorrow–we’re going to spend more time with them.


who critiques who…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 9th, 2011 and

Hi Everyone. Here are the assignments for who critiques who. I’ve tried to take everyone’s preferences into consideration, and I think this will work out well. There’s a complete description of the “Extended Critique” assignment posted on this site under “pages,” but I would like to add that your first poems should be critiqued as well as all the creative non-fiction pieces. Your critique should be submitted as a comment on your author’s blog, and of course each author can respond to the critique, too. If anyone has questions about the assignment, please post it as a comment to this post so that everyone might have the benefit of further clarification. Ok, here goes:

Billy critiques Rafal




Jamie–> Julie



Kathleen–> Madison














homework week 4

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22nd, 2011 and

Creative Writing—Queens College—Fall 2011

 WEEK 4—21 SEP The Particular and the Universal

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.

                                                                                                                                                       —Elizabeth Drew

We don’t meet for two weeks, and you have two larger writing assignments coming up (details posted on the blog under “pages”), so it may seem as though the homework assignment is lengthier than usual. Allow me to enumerate for you:

1) Read “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream,” by Joan Didion (an imperfect copy, I apologize, found on course blog).

2) By Wednesday 28 September, freewrite a comment in response to this post, considering the following questions: What is generalized in this piece and what specific details are given? What do you think “the golden dream” is, and how does this story illuminate that theme or idea? Is there something universal or broadly experienced communicated through this piece? What do you think of the writing itself?

3) Please write and post two more blog-entries, one by this Sunday and one by next Sunday. Read and respond to peers’ blog-posts!

4) Prepare portfolio i, as described, to be handed in when we meet next.

5) As soon as you can, and no later than Tuesday 27 September, email me the names of three classmates whose writing you would like to treat in your extended critique (details of this assignment posted seperately). I will do my best to accomodate your wishes, but everyone must be critiqued, so please accept your assignations with good spirit.

6) Bring one photocopied page of writing that you like, that you would wish to emulate, that you are open to being influenced by. We will discuss these in our next class before moving on to poetry.

7) Read, write, and live intensely.


update and vocabulary quiz

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19th, 2011 and

hello there, young writers! I have good news: the blog roll is complete. Each of you has a blog, not that all of you have written in it yet, but the majority of you have indeed written two posts, and they are very good posts, as well. Don’t take my word for it–read them yourself, and then leave a comment, a little marker that you have passed through that particular territory in hyperspace. Before a comment–mine or anyone else’s–can be seen on your blog, you must “approve” it. I encourage you to do so so we can see what kinds of conversations are elicited by these interesting posts.

If you haven’t posted twice on your blog, well, there’s some writing in your near future, isn’t there?

Vis a vis our discussion about “wonderful words” the other day, I happened upon this vocabulary quiz. Take it, just for fun. Anyone who beats my score of 3,780 gets extra credit. And stay vigilant listening and looking for fascinating words that cross your path–I’d like to see them appear in your writing…

See you in a couple days–be well ’til then…



Posted in Uncategorized on September 6th, 2011 and

Welcome, Creative Writing Students!

Please note that the syllabus is accessible here, and you are free to comment or ask questions. Also your weekly assignments will be posted on the sidebar to the left.

Good luck setting up your own blogs. Feel free to email me with questions, and make use of the qwriting help link to the left.

Can’t wait to see your first posts!

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