Wednesday, June 14, 2006

IU Writers' Conference--Day 3

Dana Johnson's First Person Class continued. Today we looked at some diverse examples of voice, including A.J. Verdelle, Chris Offutt, Gish Jen, Camus and Nabokov. The discussion was, again, lively, especially when we talked about Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

We had a session with the Editor and Associate Editor of the Indiana Review, in which they read to us several ridiculous cover letters they have received from authors, including letters that recounted all of a writer's near-misses with other magazines, and another one who used a photocopy of her rejection from The New Yorker as her cover letter to IR. Tracy Truels, the current editor, says they are slowly catching up on their backlog now that they are in suspension, and will reopen to general submissions in October.

In the Publishing seminar we talked about book publishing, contests, agents, etc. Again, there wasn't much new, although the speakers did cite a website that might be useful:

The Workshop with Amy Bloom was also pretty lively, as Amy spent a good deal of time answering questions and ranting a little about how important it is to read good stuff. Not news, of course. The work under discussion also prompted lively debate.

The evening readings were quite good. First up was poet Jon Tribble, then fiction writer Dana Johnson, and finally poet Mark Wunderlich.


Myfanwy Collins said...

Oh man, would love to have been a fly on the wall during that cover letter discussion. What a hoot! I can't get over the cluelessness/arrogance of some people.

Anonymous said...

So, is Esther Lee no longer with the IR?

And must agree with MC - Here's a list of many people who didn't like my story enough to publish it, maybe you would? WTF?

Dan Wickett - EWN

Clifford Garstang said...

Right, IR is completely run by the MFA students, and the editor-ship rotates every year. The associate editor one year moves up to editor the next year . . .

Pam P said...

I'm enjoying all these posts on IU conf! I'll definitely read the new books you've mentioned.

Mary Akers said...

Thanks, Cliff! These are great posts!!