Homework and Schedule until the end!

For class on Monday, 11/28

We have a lot of readings to catch up on, so for this class, please have a look at readings from the past two weeks, and choose a point or quote or part of a reading you found especially interesting to bring up in class. Be prepared to share. We’ve had readings on gender, class, and disability–and I’d like to catch up as much as we can.

Also, lord help me, we will finally look at those offensive book covers.

I’ll also make time for doing your class evaluations.

For class on Wednesday, 11/30

First, bring a “classic” novel or nonfiction book by a white writer with you to class. And read these:

I’d like us to take some time in class to come up with a concrete list of ways we, as writers and potential publishers, can enact changes in our lives as we move forward.

For class on Wednesday, 12/7, 3:00 (our final exam time)

Mostly this is our chance to wrap up and say goodbye. I think it would be fun to share some readings and ideas that have inspired us over the course of the semester, perhaps share a children’s book or two we love. There can be food. We’ll touch base on Monday to make an official plan, no readings necessary.


Homework for 11/21 and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Homework for 11/21

I’ve just talked to both of our guests, who are understandably feeling emotional post-election. Instead of a more traditional talk about publishing, both women seem to prefer a more honest discussion about the importance of art in difficult times. I think we’re in for a treat. Melissa Pritchard, who has been publishing her work for several decades about women, wanted to share this article, and Renee Simms, who writes frequently about gender and race and publishing, this article. (It’s fairly dense, but she’ll talk to us about many of the facets of it on Monday.)

I know we’ve talked about race a lot, but I’m hoping these perspectives by women will also touch on the gender readings we read not too long ago, and they’ll help us transition into thinking about what we, as writers and potential publishers, can do to change the industry (i.e. the world, yes? Art is more important now than ever). That will be the focus of readings during our last week of class as well: some good news and inspiring perspectives as we move forward.

Please enjoy your Thanksgiving break! And check back next week for those last-week-of-class readings.

Homework for 11/14 & 11/16

Homework for 11/14

First, keep working on your responsibilities for the final class project. Unheard is this week! E-mail with any questions.

We’ll be meeting in the library distance learning room on Monday to talk to Dawn Dorland and Melissa Chadburn about issues of class in publishing. The first link has information about the organization Melissa works for (the rest are more general readings on poverty/class), and Dawn ran the amazing panel at AWP last year on class and publishing. I’ll make sure they introduce themselves at the start of the talk:

Homework for 11/16

A few readings about ableism in publishing. We’ll head over to the library to set up the Unheard shelf for the latter part of class. For the first part, be prepared to share your horrible book cover from last week. And next week, we’ll catch up on discussing readings from this week and last.


Homework for 11/7 and 11/9

Homework for 11/7

Homework for 11/9

  • Read “On Pandering” by Claire Vaye Watkins
  • Read Marlon James’s response on Facebook (and any of the 43 comments you feel like diving into)
  • Listen to this NPR story with both writers.
  • Lastly, find a book cover you find is offensive in some way. (Remember how Vivian Lee said she wants her books’ designs to focus on the stories, not their “diverse” elements? Find a book you think does a bad job at this, in any way–race-wise, gender-wise, sexuality-wise, disability-wise, etc. I’ll pull them up on the overhead in class.)

Homework for 10/24 & 10/26

Homework for 10/24

Your Open Letter essay is due! Come prepared to share what you wrote about, at least a little.

We’ll also finalize the material and protocol for our Writers’ Week information table. If you haven’t completed the tasks assigned to your group, make sure you’re clear about what still needs to be done so we can do it.


Homework for 10/26

We’ll be meeting in the library Skype room to talk to another author-editor team, as we begin to think and talk about the experience of women writers in the publishing industry. Check out Chantel Acevedo’s website here and this article by her here, and Carolina Wren Press’s website here and Robin Muira’s bio here. And read the following:


Homework for 10/17 and 10/19

Homework for 10/17

We’ll be meeting in the library media room to talk to author Bill Konigsberg. Check out Bill’s website here (I’m particularly fond of the text of his Stonewall Book Award Speech or this article about his Trevor Project book tour.) Come ready with questions! A few other readings:


Homework for 10/19

Today in class we’ll work more on our class project. Come with a draft of the week’s mission statement, and any further ideas about reaching out to partners. We’ll draft an email together and get started on creating material.

You also have a one-page response due. And here are a few more readings about language and gender. Feel free to respond to these or the above readings for this week’s response:

  • Check out the very awesome and thorough GLAAD media reference guide for all sorts of information from appropriate LGBTQ terms to covering the bisexual or transgender community in writing.
  • The case for the pronoun “they”: readings from the Atlantic and the New York Times
  • “Should Dictionaries Do More to Confront Sexism?” from the New Yorker

Post-Matthew Plan

Hi, everyone! I hope you all safely weathered the storm. Looks like classes are back on for tomorrow, and my plan is for us to see if we can solidify plans for our class project together. So come ready with thoughts. If you’re stuck in another part of the state and won’t be able to make class, please let me know by e-mail.

We’ll get back to regular readings and responses–and more Skype sessions–starting next week.


Homework for 10/3 & 10/5

Homework for 10/3

We’ll Skype for part of the class with Todd Kaneko, poetry editor of Waxwing. Here’s a link to Todd’s website, and here’s a link to Waxwing (check out its most recent issue and its Masthead page to see the diversity at the editorial level!)–come ready with some questions about curating and editing international literature. A few other things to read:


Homework for 10/5

We’ll meet in the library Skype room to talk to Nathan Rostron from Restless books. Read up on Restless books on their website here, including their $10,000 Prize for New Immigrant Writing. Nathan also thought we might be interested in their The Face project. You can check out an excerpt of writer Tash Aw’s contribution here, and read an interview with Restless’s executive editor about the project here. (If you love the project–but no obligation–here are excerpts of the other two installments of the series: Ruth Ozeki and Chris Abani.) A couple of other readings about literary translation:



Homework for 9/26 & 9/28

Homework for 9/26

Paper #2, your publisher profile, is due. Come ready to turn it in and ready to tell the class about your publisher. I’ll turn it over to each of you for about 10 minutes or so to bring up the press’s website, talk about its mission, talk about what you learned from talking to someone there, and to show off the book you brought. So come ready to do all of that!


Homework for 9/28

A few readings for this week:

And since it’s Wednesday, don’t forget your one-page response.

Homework for 9/19 & 9/21 (and Bethany’s article!)

First, check out Bethany’s awesome article in which she snuck in diversity statistics without being asked!

Homework for 9/19

Research your controversial issue and be prepared to explain what happened, the sides of the issue, and your own thoughts/reactions to it to the class. The links on the sheet I gave you are just starting places! There are lots of reactions and discussions to find about each topic online.

Homework for 9/21

We’ll be meeting, once again, in the Skype room in the library, to chat with Vivian Lee, editor at Little A (that’s Amazon’s literary imprint!) and her author Matthew Salesses, writer of the One Hundred-Year Flood. Readings, including an article by Matthew and an interview with Vivian, are below. As always, be prepared with questions large and small for both of them. And you’ve got a one-page response due this week as well, which can be in response to any (or all!) of the readings from the past couple weeks you haven’t written about yet.

Also, a heads-up: I’ll be asking each of you to bring a children’s picture book to class on 10/3–either one you love or one you hate (with respect to diversity, of course). The UNCW library has a collection. Or maybe you want to revisit your own books from childhood. In any case, start looking!