Saturday, January 16, 2016

An Index of Guest Posts from Authors of 2015 Short Story Collections

Popular posters: McCann (left), Campbell (top right), and Gornick (bottom right)
In 2015, we once again invited each author of a collection we received as an entry for The Story Prize to contribute a guest post to this blog. Out of 100 authors, 48 chose to participate. Since 2010, the TSP blog has featured 384 guest posts from 372 writers (some have contributed in more than one year).

According to Blogger's statistics, most 2015 guest posts received 300 or more page views. The most popular post, "Colum McCann's Letter to a Young Writer," went viral (by our standards) and has so far drawn nearly 10,000 page views—the second most ever of any TSP blog post, after "Antonya Nelson's Ten Writing Rules,"  which currently has nearly 14,000 views. The author posts with the second and third most hits this year were "Bonnie Jo Campbell's Confessions of a Story Writer" and "Lisa Gornick Asks: Can Writing Make You a Better Person?"—both with more than 600 page views to date.

When we ask the authors if they'd like to contribute, we give them several options. One is to answer any or all of a series of questions, which we change somewhat each year. The 2015 questions were:
  • Describe a good writing day.
  • What keeps you going?
  • What do you think is the source of your impulse to write stories?
  • Where does a story begin for you? 
  • Describe your revision process. 
  • What’s the best phrase, line, or passage you’ve had to cut from a story?
  • Name or describe some hidden influences on your work.
  • What surprises you most when you re-read your own writing?
  • If you teach writing, how has it affected your work?
  • Describe your collection in ten words or less.
We also suggest some possible topics:
  • A literary touchstone.
  • A letter to a young writer, a la Rilke.
  • A list of ten pieces of writing advice.
Contributors also had the option of coming up with their own ideas.

This index is in alphabetical order by last name, with author names linking to their books on IndieBound (unless a book wasn't lised on that site) and the rest of the guest post titles linking to the posts themselves.


Lauren Acampora's Good Writing Day
Jacob M. Appel Conjures the Impossible
Charles Baxter and the Restored Sentence
Karen E. Bender's Ten Ideas For Revision
Megan Mayhew Bergman's Collection in a Nutshell
Z.Z. Boone Advocates Lying
Mark Brazaitis' Orphan Stories
Austin Bunn's "Plans for Work"
Carole Burns' Free-Roaming, Imaginative Phase

Liam Callanan Sorts It Out
Bonnie Jo Campbell's Confessions of a Story Writer
Literary Stones Joy Castro Keeps Touching
Bryn Chancellor and the Girl on the Wall
Kelly Cherry and the Hard Work of Imagination
Michael Coffey's Writing Advice: Don't (Necessarily) Eschew Adverbs
Why Saadia Faruqi Turned to Fiction
April L. Ford and the Essential Activation
Kelly Fordon Loses Track of Time

Jerry Gabriel and the Crux of the Impulse
Lisa Gornick Asks: Can Writing Make You a Better Person?
Toni Graham's Writerly Inclinations
Katherine Heiny Offers Her Apologies
Patrick Hicks: 11 True Things About Writing
Tara Ison and the One Good Word
John Keene's Hidden Soundtrack
Michal Lemberger's Letter to a Young Writer Emphasizes Empathy

Rebecca Makkai on What Some Readers Are Missing Out on
Where Margaret Malone's Stories Began Then and Begin Now
Colum McCann's Letter to a Young Writer
What Keeps Helen McClory Going
John McManus Rebuilds from the Ground up
Margaret McMullan Learns the Importance of Seeing
Andrew Malan Milward's 25 Entreaties
Emily Mitchell: Anatomy of a Bad Writing Day

Ben Nickol's Shrubbery Epiphany
Sameer Pandya on the Intimacy of “I”
Barbara Paul-Emile and the Insuppresible Urge
Leslie Pietrzyk Gets All the Answers
Kirstin Valdez Quade: All Work and No Play...
Sandip Roy's Act of Remembrance
Mary Rickert's Letter to a Young Writer

Fatima Shaik Travels into the Unknown
Rob McClure Smith and the Big Fish
Adrian Tomine Cuts a Scene
Johnny Townsend Writes for the Record
Siamak Vossoughi Draws Inspiration from an Unlikely Source
Joanna Walsh Writes Against

Past indexes of guest posts: