by Kaitlin Zeilman
Human beings are artistic and creative by nature. There always should be a conduit for fresh ideas not only to enrich the mind, but also to enlarge possibilities for the world in general. Limiting the options for the creative freedom of others never should be considered an option. Does anyone really think a law could have stopped Chopin, Huxley, or Salinger from writing some of the greatest works of our time?
Author Martin C. Dillon from SUNY Binghamton said everyone has different notions of what could be considered obscene. Authors depict or allude to the subject of sexuality or innuendo differently based on personal style, or per each individual body of work. Where do we draw the line for the sake of creative and artistic freedom? Classics such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Madame Bovary have been banned from some libraries and schools because of the sexual content, yet these books are considered by many to be highly respected literary art. Where does the gauntlet fall?
Should lawmakers and conservative groups be able to limit what might seemingly be uncomfortable to some, even if such literary works have a message that extends far beyond the face value of the content?
(Photos courtesy of Flickr and Wikipedia.)
by Kevin Coopersmith
It’s a hard truth to realize, but that doesn’t make it any less real – America is reading, they’re just not reading anything of substance. As a matter of fact, the average American spends most of their day reading – 11 hours a day on average with digital media alone, according to a Nielsen study conducted last year. That’s 11 hours of channel surfing, Facebook walls, Twitter feeds, refreshed Reddit pages, and underwhelming Buzzfeed articles.
by Christi Fox
Among many tools available to fiction writers while working on a project is a writer’s workshop. Workshops are available in many different genres, including poetry workshop, fiction workshop and creative non-fiction workshop, just to name a few. As a graduate student, pursuing my MA in Writing, I’ve taken a number of workshops and in my own experience they’ve been useful to some degree but there were times when they’ve led to nothing but frustration due to battles among workshop peers as to what should or shouldn’t be in the piece I was currently working on. This led me to ask the question, are workshops helpful or harmful?
The writer’s workshop is a community of writers willing to share their work with others in order to provide and receive useful feedback on their current pieces. However, when we say “useful feedback,” how much is truly useful? What can the writer really use from the feedback given? Two sources that touch upon this topic are the online resource, 12 Writing, and William H. Coles from Editor Opinions Blog, a Companion to Story in Literary Fiction. Both of these sources discuss how to learn from a workshop and avoid an unnecessary sense of failure. Some workshops never instruct a writer on what they are doing right, leaving the writer to delete even the best parts of their work. I’ve experienced this first hand in one of the very first classes that I had in my master's program: the poetry workshop. Since I was a child, writing poetry has always given me a sense of security and pride, until my first workshop, when my pieces were completely ripped apart by some while praised by others. Those who ripped apart my pieces never once gave a bit of good feedback, which caused me to feel like, no matter what I did, those people would not be happy and I tore myself apart in continuing to try.
Texting Harry Potter:
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