In Defense of Rejection

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 | 4,678 views

Rejection has always been a part of being a writer, of being an artist. There is something heroic in the idea of the writer who persists in the face of crushing rejection, and it’s perhaps why famous writers seem to love talking about the rejection they suffered before finally breaking through.

In his book On Writing, Stephen King describes using a railroad spike to pin his numerous rejection letters to the wall. Sylvia Plath’s surprisingly optimistic take on rejection letters was that they “show me I try,” while Isaac Asimov said that they “are lacerations of the soul…but there is no way around them.” Writers bond over rejection like soldiers in trenches. In “The Eleventh Draft,” an essay published in a collection of the same name, novelist and short story writer Chris Offutt describes his goal as an MFA student at the University of Iowa of accumulating a hundred rejection letters in a year. Rejection, because it was inevitable, became a badge of honor.

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Mark Chiusano Reads Marine Park with Dave Daley

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Thursday, August 7th, 2014 | 3,115 views

Mark Chiusano and Dave Daley discuss the story collection Marine Park

Mark Chiusano’s debut collection of stories, Marine Park, chronicles the lives of the often overlooked Brooklyn neighborhood by the same name. The characters populating Chiusano’s world sometimes leave, but in the end, all are tied to the place. Salon editor Dave Daley joined Chiusano at McNally Jackson Books for a discussion of the collection, the neighborhood, and Brooklyn.

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Marie-Helene Bertino Launches 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 | 2,328 views

Marie-Helen Bertino launched her debut novel,2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas last night at Greenlight Bookstore

Marie-Helene Bertino launched her debut novel, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas last night at Greenlight Bookstore. Vintage jazz band Lapis Luna began the evening setting the mood for Bertino’s novel that takes place in The Cat’s Pajama’s, a Philadelphia jazz club. Bertino, who previously published the short story collection Safe as Houses (2012), celebrated the novel’s launch with a reading that included a dozen guest readers each sharing a portion of the opening chapter.

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Brick City Speaks, So Listen Up

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Monday, August 4th, 2014 | 3,468 views

Brick City Speaks, a Newark, New Jersey reading series

Although we often focus on New York City’s literary scene, countless events occur elsewhere. Newark, New Jersey is home to Brick City Speaks (BCS), a new series hosted on the second Monday of every month, one of many exciting readings that take place in that city. Like other Newark series, BCS creates a community for writers and linguaphiles. BCS also links the students and instructors of Rutgers University with the City of Newark. BCS takes place in Hell’s Kitchen Lounge, located on Lafayette Street, concurrent with Margarita Monday. Hell’s Kitchen is a popular bar in Newark and frequently hosts various events, including comedy and burlesque shows. It was an ideal choice for reading series co-founders, Ines Lopes and Marina Carreira.

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Paul Rome and Catherine Lacey Talk With Mark Doten

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Friday, August 1st, 2014 | 2,545 views

Paul Rome reads form his debut novel we all sleep in the same room along with Catherine Lacey, author of Nobody is Ever Missing, at McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan with Soho Press editor Mark Doten

Paul Rome’s debut novel We All Sleep In The Same Room captures emotional chilliness of two people distanced from each other by the grinding banality of their lives raising a son in a single bedroom apartment. Catherine Lacey’s Nobody is Ever Missing explores similar emotional distance, though in the case of her narrator, the distance is also a physical one; Elyria taking flight to New Zealand. Both authors sat down at McNally Jackson with Soho Press editor Mark Doten for a conversation about their books.

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Edan Lepucki, Emma Straub and Literary Friendship

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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 | 3,214 views

Edan Lepucki and Emma Straub talk about friendship and writing; both released novels this year. California hit no 3 on the NYTimes bestseller list and The Vacationers has sold more than 100,000 copies

Edan Lepucki and Emma Straub have been friends since they attended Oberlin College together. Both women released novels this year, and McNally Jackson hosted them to talk about their books and friendship in the literary world. David Gutowksi introduced the writers.

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False Binary, False Victories: Drafting and Revising as Partner Process

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 | 2,769 views

Writing about writing process is hard to do without making some broad generalizations riddled with exceptions, so let’s get the first out of the way now: there are two types of writers, those who love to draft, and those who love to revise.

It’s clear which camp has claimed me. I’m messy by nature, born with a high tolerance for stacks of teetering books on the floor, scraps of fabric and sequins piled in the corner, overstuffed bulletin boards with layers upon layers of postcards, photographs, ticket stubs. Not quite a hoarder, but hoard-ish—and the same goes for my drafts.

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Amy Sohn Talks The Actress with Choire Sicha

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 | 5,119 views

Amy Sohn reads from her latest novel, The Actress, at WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint Brooklyn

WORD Bookstore hosted Amy Sohn to talk about her latest novel, The Actress, (July 2014), with Choire Sicha, co-proprietor of The Awl. Sohn provided pierogies from a neighborhood restaurant and Sicha set the mood as casual, insisting members of the audience should call out questions or comments they pair could answer or refute.

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