Writers Studio

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Essay Published … Sgt. Pepper at 50: What Can Writers Learn?

Published September 12, 2017 by Philip Ivory

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of perhaps the single most influential rock and roll album of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a leap forward in the popular conception of what a long-playing record could be and a zenith in the Beatles’ creative output.

I thought it would be illuminating to write an essay exploring some of the writerly techniques used by the Beatles in composing the record’s amazingly eclectic array of songs, focusing on insights that writers might apply to their own work.

The essay has been published at The Bookends Review, an independent creative arts journal. Read it here:

The Bookends Review
Sgt. Pepper at 50: What Can Writers Learn?
by Philip Ivory

Thanks for reading. Please share any comments below. And as the Beatles would say, “Sit back and let the evening go!”

 

 

 

Tucson Writers: Free Lecture to Jumpstart Your Writing Skills

Published June 9, 2017 by Philip Ivory

Check out the latest in a series of special free lectures from Writers Studio. Join us for an inspiring talk by Writers Studio teacher Frances Lynch on the value of using writing exercises to improve your craft.

WHAT: Free Lecture: Writing Exercises — The Path To Your Best Writing

WHERE: Woods Memorial Library at 3455 N. First Avenue

WHEN: Thursday June 22 at 6:30 to 7:30 PM

Hope to see you there!

Also, new classes start at the Writers Studio here in Tucson in only a few weeks. Sign up for a workshop class and put exercises to work to enhance your writing skills and try your hand at new voices and techniques:

Register here.

Flash Sale: $30 off any summer writing class. Discount must be taken at time of registration, cannot be combined with any other offer. Valid while supplies last. Expires 6/12/17. Use coupon code: Facebook17

New Flash Fiction: The Daytime People

Published May 26, 2017 by Philip Ivory

Today I had a flash fiction piece published in a new online journal, Edify Fiction. It’s called “The Daytime People” and was directly inspired by an afternoon I spent observing people in a fast food restaurant here in Tucson.  You can Read It Here.

The Daytime People

The piece  was created for a Writers Studio reading event last fall. My thanks to Renee Bibby and all my friends and colleagues at Writers Studio for providing the inspiration for this piece and the impetus to write it.

Hope you enjoy the piece, and feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the orange dialogue box to the right of the story title.

If you have fiction, poetry or digital art of a uniquely positive nature, consider submitting it to Edify Fiction.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Writers Studio 30th Anniversary Anthology

Published April 20, 2017 by Philip Ivory

The Writers Studio is the renowned creative writing program founded in 1987 in New York by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Schulz. With its branches in NYC, San Francisco, Tucson, Hudson Valley as well as its online and “Kids Write” components, Writers Studio has been helping poets and fiction writers reach their potential for 30 years.

Through my work with Writers Studio as a student and now as a teacher, I’ve become more confident at developing strong narrative voices that take command of my creative material. Using effective narrators that help guide the reader through a satisfactory literary experience has helped me  publish multiple short pieces and make progress on a novel, a first draft of which I hope to complete later this year.

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To celebrate its three decades of helping writers develop their craft, Writers Studio is releasing a 500-page 30th anniversary anthology, featuring nearly 100 hundred authors. The publisher is Epiphany Editions.

The Writers Studio at 30 features work by Writers Studio advisory board members Jennifer Egan, Robert Pinsky, Edward Hirsch, Grace Schulman, Matthew Klam, Carl Dennis, and Jill Bialosky, as well as 30 years of students and teachers from its creative writing classes.

I’m proud to be one of the authors featured, with a short fiction piece titled “Probably Last Meeting of the Bluebell Ridge II Homeowners Association.” It was previously published in The Airgonaut.

A celebratory reading will be held in New York on May 6 at the Strand Bookstore to mark the occasion. Wish I could be there, but traveling to NY is not in my budget right now.

The Writers Studio at 30 Anthology should be a great resource for anyone interested in enjoying a smorgasbord of strong narrative voices used in service to poems and stories containing wildly divergent subject matter. 

Until May 6, you can pre-order the anthology at a discounted price of $20.

Click here for Discount Pre-Order.

 

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Freeing the Stories Inside You: Writers Studio Tucson

Published September 22, 2016 by Philip Ivory

Tucson writer friends!

Do you have stories inside you, bursting to get out? Do you have the longing to write fiction or poetry, but perhaps lack the confidence to know how to judge and develop your own material? Feel stalled, stunted or blocked?

Take a class at the Writers Studio. Different days and times are available to suit your schedule. Writers Studio exercises will jumpstart your creativity and help you unleash new expressive voices from within. Our teachers are highly skilled and adept at nurturing and encouraging your creative expression.

Sign up today! Classes begin the first week in October.

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Tucson Poetry Event: The Offering with Eleanor Kedney

Published September 8, 2016 by Philip Ivory

Join Writers Studio Tucson for a special event on Sept. 9.  For details, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1684550965200130/

 

Eleanor Kedney’s poems constantly surprise the reader with flashes of sheer intelligence and attention to language. While her spirited work no doubt engages the intellect, these are also poems of the body and the voice; this book never disappoints. The sensuality of The Offering is unavoidable and ultimately joyous. There is a music here that sings and rings and lingers in the mind.

—Juliet Patterson, winner of the Nightboat Books Prize

Teaching at Writers Studio Tucson

Published August 30, 2016 by Philip Ivory

I’m pleased to announce that as of the first week in October, I’ll be joining the faculty at Writers Studio Tucson as a teacher on the Intermediate Level.

I’ve worked my way up through the program, and the Writers Studio method has done a lot for me, encouraging me to stretch my writing muscles and attempt techniques I otherwise would have never have dreamed of using. (And it has helped me get a few things published.)

Want to try the program? Take one of our upcoming Tucson Workshop classes, available on Wed and Thursday nights, and on Saturday mornings. I know the teachers and they are all great.

Click Here To Sign Up Now.

If you ever hear yourself saying, “I would like to write more, but don’t know what to write about,” you’ll find yourself reassured by the variety of stimulating exercises to jump start your creativity. They’ll prompt you to unleash strong new voices that have been simmering inside you for too long.

“Every week, I presented a new story. Finally something did click, the very thing that’s their specialty at The Writers Studio, emotional content. Before, my work was dead. When I brought in my breakthrough story, I felt I was carrying a weird animal in my bag. It was the first story I sold.”

-JENNIFER EGAN, former student at The Writers Studio, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for A Visit From the Goon Squad (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010)

You’ll receive friendly, constructive feedback from your teacher and fellow students, never with the intent to tear each other down, always with an emphasis to strengthening our use of writerly techniques to make our writing really sing.

Classes are also available in New York, San Francisco and Amsterdam …. and if you’re not in one of those places, there are online classes as well.

It’s a great program, so try it!

Fiction Publication: Most Of Us Are From Someplace Else

Published July 5, 2016 by Philip Ivory

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I’m pleased that today the online literary journal, “Literally Stories,”  published my short story, “Most Of Us Are From Someplace Else.” It’s about a group of eccentric characters who have created an unusual community in an abandoned railway station in a town in Pennsylvania. Read it here.

“Literally Stories” was launched in 2014, created “by writers for writers.”  It showcases a wide spectrum of short story fiction from new and emerging writers to more seasoned authors.

This story wouldn’t exist except for the “Write-to-Read” challenge issued last September by Writers Studio Tucson. The contest was open to past and present students of the Writers Studio and featured a writing challenged crafted by award-winning Tucson author Adrienne Celt. The writing prompt centered on the idea of “nested narratives,” inspired by the image of the matryoshka, or Russian nesting doll, containing smaller dolls.

I was honored that my entry was chosen as one of three winners of the contest, and I enjoyed the privilege of reading my story aloud at a Writers Studio event last November. (Read more about the event here.)

In accordance with Adrienne’s writing challenge, the story has a larger narrative in which are contained smaller back-stories about the residents of this oddball community, each of whom has suffered some disillusioning experience before finding a place to call home.

I hope you’ll read “Most Of Us Are From Someplace Else” and let me know what you think.

Thanks!

My Novelette Online: “The Yellow Man”

Published May 29, 2016 by Philip Ivory

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From “The Yellow Man” by Philip Ivory:
“All you have to do is lift up that circle in the middle of the floor. Do you see it? And then go down there, under the floor, and get something. You’ll know it when you see it.”
Indeed, there was a circle in the concrete of the floor, about the size and shape of a manhole, and it seemed to be moving slightly.
That wasn’t right.
“No,” said Allan.
His heart was racing. Something about the circle made him uneasy. All his instincts told him to stay clear of it. When he tried to understand why, it just made the fear worse.
“You have to,” said the Yellow Man. “Or things will never get better.”

My first published novelette, “The Yellow Man,” is now available courtesy of the venerable online journal, “Bewildering Stories.”  CLICK HERE to read it now. (Because of its length, the story’s been broken, like a dark wizard’s soul, into seven horcrux-like parts,  all of which are now available to read.)

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“The Yellow Man” is a puzzle box of a tale, dealing with  childhood loneliness, identity and the shadow world between life and death. You may find it a bit sad and scary — but perhaps also touching and surprising.

For those interested in such distinctions, a novelette  — something  more than a story and something less than a novella — is a piece of fiction landing somewhere between 7,500 words to 17,500 words.

This is by far the longest piece I’ve had published yet. I’ve written one other novelette, yet unpublished, that’s about the same length as this one. And I presently have a novel in the works, but it will be a while before that one’s ready for public consumption.

“The Yellow Man” began last year in my advanced class at Writers Studio Tucson. My thanks to WS teacher Renee Bibby and my fellow class members for their encouragement and feedback, which were essential to this tale’s development.

“Bewildering Stories,” which features quite a dazzling smorgasbord of prose and poetry that you really should check out, has also posted an author profile about me. CLICK HERE to see it.

Please read “The Yellow Man,” and post your reactions here on the blog. Your feedback means everything to me. 

Thanks for reading!

Upon a Time: How Fairy Tale Feeds Fiction

Published May 10, 2016 by Philip Ivory

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Tucson writer friends … unlock the mythic story-telling power of fairy tales, and enrich your own writing. Join our friends at Tucson Writers Studio for this enthralling and illuminating event at Tucson Hop Shop on Saturday, May 14.

Beer and fairy tales, a combination devoutly to be wished!

Follow the link to learn more:

Source: Upon a Time: How Fairy Tale Feeds Fiction