Bradley’s Barn Pre-Construction, Mt. Juliet, TN
You Bright-Young-Thing Southern Scribes, let me judge your best submission. I’m thrilled to be one of the judges for the Short Story category for the 2015 Southern Literary Festival Competition. Undergraduates, send in your writing.
Is your college or university a member of The Southern Literary Festival Association? Ask your English Department chair or a professor or an instructor obsessed with Southern Literature because The 2015 Southern Literary Festival Competition will award First, Second, and Third Certificate prizes and publish an anthology of the winning submissions in undergraduate writing of member institutions at the 2015 Southern Literary Festival held at The University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA, March 26, 27, and 28 in the following categories:
2. Short Story
3. One-Act Play
4. Formal Essay
5. Creative Nonfiction
6. Literary Magazine (Print), and
7. Literary E-zine.
“I done a lot of things I shouldn’t have. You don’t know the half of it. But let me tell you something. I did not do stupid shit with stupid people that resulted in even more stupider shit that needed help cleaning up after. You got that” (99)? This is all the information thirty four-year old James Hart is willing to reveal about himself to his younger brother, Ezra, known as Rabbit in Steph Post‘s new novel, A Tree Born Crooked, forthcoming September 30 and available for preorder from Pandamoon Publishing. A flight school dropout who cut himself off from his family for fifteen years, James returns to his family’s rural home in Alachua County, Florida when he receives a summons by postcard announcing his father’s death too late to attend the funeral. Instead of leaving the place that haunts and repels him, James remains to settle his father’s estate and walks into a snare meant for his petty-criminal brother. Author Steph Post has created a vivid literary thriller where her characters stride among the groves, backroads, and bars of north-central Florida like weary Titians, flicking their burning cigarettes into the sand and grit, wiping away whiskey with the backs of their hands.
After the murder (1882) artist John Collier (1850–1934) Guildhall Art Gallery (London) Public Domain
Many thanks to Anna B. Sutton for inviting me to join a literary blog tour about the writing process.
Anna B. Sutton is a writer & co-founder of the Porch Writers’ Collective. Born & raised in Nashville, TN, she received her BFA in Art Education & Painting from the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN. In 2013, she received her MFA in Creative Writing & Poetry at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
While in Nashville, Anna worked at the Tennessee Young Writers Workshop as a counselor & assistant director. She also earned her teacher’s license & taught high school art in Cookeville, TN. In her time at UNCW, Anna served as the president of the Creative Writing Graduate Student Association, as an outreach teacher with Writers in Action, & as a counselor & instructor at the UNCW Young Writers Workshop. Anna also spent three years on staff at Lookout Books, a literary imprint housed in UNCW’s Publishing Laboratory. There, she worked with authors such as Edith Pearlman, Steve Almond, & John Rybicki. She has served as a reader for the literary journals Ecotone, Gigantic Sequins, Dialogist, Chautauqua, & Atlantis. In 2011, Anna became a web editor at One Pause Poetry, an online audio archive & resource center. She received a James Merrill fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in 2013. She is now the Sales & Marketing Assistant at John F. Blair Publisher in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Her MFA thesis, Playing House on the Bones, has been shortlisted in the Crab Orchard Poetry Series’ 2013 First Book & 2014 Open Reading contests & is currently looking for a home. Anna also is a participant in Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Project. This is a fundraiser project to support writers.
Four Questions About My Writing Process.
Various friends have read and commented on versions of a short story that began in September last and grew into something entirely different over the six months of its evolution. No one yet has had the nerve to tell me that it’s pap and ought never to see the light of day. They’re leaving that happy task up to the journals. However, one question each reader asked with a sense of astonishment is, Did you really do this?
“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it – wholeheartedly – and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”
Arthur Quiller-Couch, On the Art of Writing, 1916
My short story is in a wonderful tangle at the moment because I began to revise before I completed it. At the time this made all kinds of sense, primarily because the story required some tinkering on point of view. My experiment on expanding the point of view to two characters’ observations, thoughts, impressions and emotions seemed like a good idea at first but as the story progressed, one character’s perspective began to dominate. The draft needed some clarity in this respect. It was an easy fix that would have taken little time to correct. Then, I should have been on my merry way.