All posts tagged: Genre Fiction

10 Things I Would Tell My 18-Year-Old Self About Writing, Now That I’m 28.

Oh well, hello little J.R., how are you? You’re not so little, I know, I know, you’re a big girl. You finally had a weird make-out session with the vice president of the Speech and Debate team and everything. You’re practically ready for your AARP card, you’re so wise and old. Okay, now shut up and listen. I get that you’re excited about moving to Chicago and starting up this whole new life where you’re going to be a real writer and learn all of those real writer things. You’re gonna meet real writers, write real stories, and look back on yourself in ten years and think to yourself, “Oh silly little plebian, that stupid ridiculous Philistine! She had no idea what it meant to be a writer!” Well, it’s been ten years. And I’ve collected ten pieces of advice for you, which I hope you will share with your other eighteen-year-old writer friends. I’m sure they’ll find time travel communication very hip. 10. AT THE AGE OF TWELVE, YOU WERE CLOSER TO BEING A …

The Imagination Lives On: The Challenges of Teaching (Genre) Fiction

By the middle of the fiction unit it was clear some of my students understood that fiction is not just about randomly inventing but also about deliberately constructing worlds and sharing those worlds in an appealing way. For one, students were not ready to produce so much material. Poetry had been a challenging unit for them, but some were getting by with just writing a poem that fit within a page—nothing more. Obviously, poetry asked that they put more attention to how they write about an incident and what the poetic form can do for the incident they chose (this was one poetry exercise, for instance). Therefore, the transition between poetry and fiction was not only abrupt for them, I could also sense the same sentiment as we went over the elements of fiction and they had to apply them to their stories. Me being me—and always wanting to challenge them while challenging myself—I assigned them a nontraditional assignment: I had them write a modern fairy tale and gave them the option of debunking or …

J.R. Dawson Introduction (Stonecoast ’16)

I didn’t go to my senior prom. Instead, I went to the after-party at the local YMCA. Somehow around three in the morning, I got wrangled into having a session with the tarot card reader the school had brought in for entertainment purposes (right between the hypnotist and the raffle drawing for QT gas cards). The guy was nice enough; he had a big beard and some weird little top hat. He said I reminded him of his daughter. I said he didn’t remind me of my father. And then he pulled the cards.