Brevity Podcast Episode #9: Rhiannon Navin and Ander Monson

April 5, 2018 § 1 Comment

This episode, Brevity takes a detour into fiction, speaking with debut author Rhiannon Navin about making fiction from fact and how she turned her real-life emotional experience into a novel. Then it’s back to our regularly scheduled creative nonfiction, with Ander Monson, editor-in-chief of Diagram.

Stream the show right from this post, or click over to iTunes, Soundcloud or Stitcher. If you’re subscribed, we’ll show up in your podcast app queue. And wherever you listen or download us, please take a moment to leave a brief review–it helps us show up in searches and recommendations.

Show notes and links to people, places and things we’ve discussed are below.

Next episode, it’s time for our listeners’ very own One-Minute Memoirs! Audio Editor Kathryn Rose and I will discuss what made the winning submissions stand out, and how to make your own story pack maximum punch in minimum space. And you’ll hear 15 fantastic, very short memoirs.

 

Show Notes: Episode #9 People and Books

Find out more about:

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

Ander Monson

Letter to a Future Lover

Paul Monette

The Mezzanine

Turtle Island

Casa de los Ninos

Charley Douglas and the “laff box”

Useful Adjectives and Adjectival Phrases to Describe Ander Monson:

  1. phenomenal
  2. maverick
  3. self-involved
  4. trickeration-loving
  5. asinine
  6. straight-shooting
  7. family-betraying
  8. law-breaking
  9. ne’er-do-well
  10. bad boy
  11. future addict
  12. serious and accomplished
  13. brainy but beautiful
  14. chubby
  15. crazy
  16. more than likely delusional
  17. poetryish
  18. encyclopedic
  19. whale-kicking
  20. profane
  21. piratical
  22. regretful
  23. sympathetic
  24. criminal
  25. pensive
  26. bright but misguided
  27. hurt, badly, baldly
  28. good
  29. trying real hard to be good

Additional music by John Stebbe, Ars Sonor, and Kai Engel via freemusicarchive.org.

________________________________

Allison K Williams is the host of the Brevity Podcast.

Winning the (Essay) Lottery

December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

balls

Bad news, Brevity fans.  You aren’t going to win the lottery**, a fact made clear in Eric LeMay’s addictive essay in Diagram 11.5 and in Hannah Ensor’s appreciation of LeMay’s essay found on the Essay Daily Advent Calendar.  Here is Ensor on LeMay’s essay (which is indeed a Flash essay, but of a different kind):

LOSING THE LOTTERY … does some fancy interactive computer stuff alongside more classic essay things. It starts by asking you to choose six numbers from among floating gray lottery balls. Once you do, you enter the essay: split into two parts, the essay sections (49 in all and, besides the first, randomly presented) on the left and on the right a computer-generated simulation of lottery results: using the six numbers you chose, it simulates winnings and costs based on buying a hundred $1 Ohio Classic Lotto tickets every second. Which, for the record, would be a lot of lottery tickets. … The essay itself, or rather its 48 sections after the first, are presented in random order, making for 14,106,722,264,245,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible sequences. I like the order I first read them in. I obviously never got that order again, still and each time I’m pretty convinced that this is the best order: the one I’m reading them in now. The fact remains that I can’t even comprehend of the number 14,106,722,264,245,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Do you know how you would say this out loud? And, I mean, even if you knew the right word, how would you say this out loud and mean it?  … I think I like this essay in large part because it’s perfect for my little tiny attention span. Each section is a paragraph, at most 100 words or so, that ends. And then I’m on to the next one. Also: look over to the right! Have I won yet? Reading, reading, another second ticks by and I’ve “bought” another hundred lottery tickets. Good news: I’ve won $1,876. Bad news: I’ve spent $19,372. This is crazy!

You truly have to see it to fully understand. Read the Ensor appreciation here, and then by all means jump over to and read Eric LeMay’s interactive, addictive, dynamic essay. You might just get lucky!

** But if we are wrong, and you do win the lottery, here’s A WONDERFUL IDEA.

Diagram Wants Unruly Beast Essays

October 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Things we like: essays.  Places we like: The journal Diagram.  Discuss:

DIAGRAM’s yearly Essay Contest encourages submissions of essays—essays in an expansive sense, meaning essay as experiment, essay as heterogenous and sometimes strange or unruly beast. The Essay Contest deadline for 2012 is October 31, 2012. This is the deadline for receipt of submissions.

We invite your submissions of unpublished (in a serial/book or on a non-personal website—blogs etc. are okay) essays. (“Unpublished” means you must be able to assign us first serial rights, if your work is selected.)

To enter: Get us your essay entry of up to 10,000 words with a $15 reading fee by Oct 31, 2011.

The prize is $1000 + publication. This contest is judged by Nicole Walker and Ander Monson. We’ll shoot for publishing several of our finalists with the winner in DIAGRAM, as we have the last few years.

FAQ stuff:

  • We prefer our entries electronic (if possible), with the manuscript itself anonymous. A removable cover page would be ideal if you send hardcopy. If you send electronically no cover page is necessary; just don’t put your name on the manuscript.
  • Anyone with more than a casual relationship with either of the judges is ineligible (though we’re happy to read your work via regular submissions). Sorry lovers, former lovers, friends, students, mentors, and so on.
  • Images are fine as long as you have or can get rights to print/reprint (or if they are in the public domain) if selected.
  • We don’t have any particular aesthetic biases for this contest other than the name: we are looking for works of nonfiction that essay interestingly–however you’d like to define. That’s a pretty open definition, we admit.
  • If you’re sending something multimedia sometimes it’s easier to send snail mail if the file is too big (or unwieldy). The submission manager system only accepts files less than 10 megabytes or so. (Remember when that was a crazy size for a file?)
  • Multiple submissions are fine. Simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you notify us as soon if an essay is no longer available. In which case, congratulations on getting it published! Then you can withdraw your submission manually from the submissions manager if you sent it electronically, or email us below.
  • We read everything for contests anonymously, ethically, and rigorously.
  • We expect to notify finalists and winners in February 2012 or before. Thanks for entering! And good luck. Questions can go to nmp–atsymbol–thediagram–dot–com.
  • Multiple authors are fine, if a little weird.

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