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In this episode of “Craftwork,” a new series from the Otherppl podcast, author Peter Turchi teaches a lesson on how to use shifting power dynamics to write more dynamic scenes in fiction.

 

Turchi is the author of seven books and the co-editor of three anthologies. His books include (Don’t) Stop Me if You’ve Heard This Before; A Muse and A Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic; Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer; Suburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie, in collaboration with the artist; a novel, The Girls Next Door; a collection of stories, Magician; and The Pirate Prince, co-written with Cape Cod treasure hunter Barry Clifford, about Clifford’s discovery of the pirate ship Whydah. His short story “Night, Truck, Two Lights Burning” has been published, with images by Charles Ritchie, in a limited edition artist’s book. He has also co-edited, with Andrea Barrett, A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work and, with Charles Baxter, Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life.

Turchi’s work has appeared in Tin House, Fiction Writers Review, Ploughshares, Story, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, and The Colorado Review, among other journals. His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Washington College’s Sophie Kerr Prize, an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh Award, and having a quotation from A Muse and a Maze serve as the answer to the New York Times Magazine Sunday acrostic.

Born in Baltimore, he earned his BA at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and his MFA at the University of Arizona. He has taught at Northwestern University and Appalachian State University, and has been on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. For 15 years he directed The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina; at Arizona State University he taught fiction and served as Director of Creative Writing and Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. He currently teaches at the University of Houston, and in Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. Laura, his wife, is a Clinical Professor in English at Arizona State University, where she is curriculum director for “RaceB4Race: Sustaining, Building, Innovating” at the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; she also co-directs the Shakespeare and Social Justice Project at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. Reed, their son, is a musician (www.reedturchi.com).

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Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

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In the inaugural episode of Craftwork, a new series from the Otherppl podcast, author Matt Bell teaches a lesson on how to write action in fiction.

 

Bell is the author most recently of the novel Appleseed (a New York Times Notable Book) and the craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, and revision.

He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Walla non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur’s Gate IIand several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Tin House, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, Orion, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

His novel In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award and an Indies Choice Adult Book of the Year Honor Recipient, and was selected as the winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award, among other honors. Both In the House and Scrapper were selected by the Library of Michigan as Michigan Notable Books.

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Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

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Merch

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The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Sam Lipsyte is the author of the novel No One Left to Come Looking for You (Simon & Schuster).

 

Lipsyte is the author of the story collections Venus Drive and The Fun Parts and four novels: HarkThe Ask (a New York Times Notable Book), The Subject Steve, and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the Believer Book Award. His fiction has appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories, among other places. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, he lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Andrew Sean Greer is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of the novel Less is Lost (Little, Brown), a New York Times bestseller.

 

Greer is the author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Less. Greer has taught at a number of universities, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, been a Today show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He is the recipient of a NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He lives in San Francisco.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel Lucy by the Sea, available from Random House.

 

Strout is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Oh William!; Olive, Again; Anything Is Possiblewinner of the Story Prize; My Name Is Lucy Barton; The Burgess Boys; Olive Kitteridgewinner of the Pulitzer Prize; Abide with Meand Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Jerry Stahl is the author of the memoir Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust, available from Akashic Books.

 

Stahl has written ten books, including the best-selling memoir Permanent Midnight, made into a movie with Ben Stiller; the essay collection OG Dad; and the novels Pain KillersI, FattyPervPlainclothes NakedHappy Mutant Baby Pills; and Bad Sex on Speed. A Pushcart Prize–winning author, Stahl’s work has appeared in EsquireVice, the BelieverTin HouseLos Angeles Review of Books, and the New York Times, among other places. He has written extensively for film and television, including HBO’s Hemingway & Gellhorn, which earned a Writers Guild Award nomination; Bad Boys II; and the cult classic Dr. Caligari; series credits include MaronCSI, and Escape at Dannemora, for which he received an Emmy nomination. Stahl’s writing has been widely translated, and he has taught with the InsideOUT Writers program for incarcerated youth, edited The Heroin Chronicles for Akashic Books, and participated in the documentary series, San Quentin Film School. He has two daughters, and lives with artist Zoe Hansen.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram 

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Melissa Chadburn is the author of the debut novel A Tiny Upward Shove, available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

 

Chadburn’s writing has appeared in The Los Angeles TimesThe New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Review of BooksThe Paris Review DailyThe Best American Food Writing, and many other publications. Her extensive reporting on the child welfare system appears in the Netflix docuseries The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez. Melissa is a worker lover and through her own labor and literary citizenship strives to upend economic violence. Her mother taught her how to sharpen a pencil with a knife and she’s basically been doing that ever since. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Southern California and lives in greater Los Angeles.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Nada Alic is the author of the debut story collection Bad Thoughts, available from Vintage. It is the official August pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Alic’s story “The Intruder” was shortlisted for the CBC Short Fiction Prize 2019. “My New Life” was published in No Tokens Journal. She lives in Los Angeles.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras is the author of the memoir The Man Who Could Move Clouds, available from Doubleday.

 

Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her debut novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree was the silver medal winner in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and a New York Times editor’s choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times MagazineThe Believer, and Zyzzyva, among others. She lives in California.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Lynne Tillman is the author of Mothercare: On Obligation, Love, Death, and Ambivalence, available from Soft Skull.

 

Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic. Her novels are Haunted Houses; Motion Sickness; Cast in Doubt; No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; American Genius, A Comedy, and Men and Apparitions. Her nonfiction books include The Velvet Years: Warhol’s Factory 1965-1967, with photographs by Stephen Shore; Bookstore: The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co.; and What Would Lynne Tillman Do?, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at The University of Albany, and lives in New York with bass player David Hofstra.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of a trilogy of books on creativity in the digital age, including Steal Like an Artistnow celebrating its 10th year in print—Show Your Work!, and Keep Going.

 

Kleon is also the author of Newspaper Blackout, a collection of poems made by redacting the newspaper with a permanent marker. His books have been translated into dozens of languages and have sold over a million copies worldwide. He’s been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street JournalNew York Magazine called his work “brilliant,” The Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and The New Yorker said his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.” He speaks for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. In previous lives, he worked as a librarian, a web designer, and an advertising copywriter. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and sons. Visit him online at www.austinkleon.com.

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Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram 

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Marcy Dermansky is the author of the novel Hurricane Girl, available from Knopf.

 

Dermansky is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Very Nice, The Red CarBad Marie, and Twins. She has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Edward F. Albee Foundation. She lives with her daughter in Montclair, New Jersey.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram 

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Sloane Crosley is the author of the novel Cult Classic, available from MCD/FSG.

 

Crosley is the author of The New York Times bestselling essay collections, I Was Told There’d Be Cake (a 2009 finalist for The Thurber Prize for American Humor) and How Did You Get This Number, as well as Look Alive Out There (a 2019 finalist for The Thurber Prize for American Humor) and the bestselling novel, The Clasp. She served as editor of The Best American Travel Writing series and is featured in The Library of America’s 50 Funniest American Writers, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Phillip Lopate’s The Contemporary American Essay and others. She was the inaugural columnist for The New York Times Op-Ed “Townies” series, a contributing editor at Interview Magazine, and a columnist for The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, The Independent, Black Book, Departures and The New York Observer. She is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Her next nonfiction book, Grief Is for People, will be published in 2023. She lives in New York City.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram 

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood is the author of the novel Constellations of Eve, available from DVAN/UTTP. It is the official June pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Rosewood was born in Vietnam, where she lived until the age of twelve. Her debut novel, If I Had Two Lives, has been hailed as “a tale of staggering artistry” by the Los Angeles Review of Books and “a lyrical, exquisitely written novel” by the New York Journal of BooksThe New Yorker called it “a dangerous fantasy world” that “double haunts the novel.” Her short fiction and essays can be found at Electric LitLitHubCatapultThe Southampton ReviewThe Brooklyn ReviewColumbia Journal, and The Adroit Journal, among others. In 2019, her hybrid writing was featured in a multimedia art and poetry exhibit at Eccles Gallery. Her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best American Short Story 2020. She is the founder of Neon Door, a forthcoming immersive literary exhibit.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram 

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Hernan Diaz is the author of the novel Trustavailable from Riverhead.

 

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award, Diaz’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He has published stories and essays in The Paris Review, Granta, Playboy, The Yale Review, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere.

His first novel, In the Distance, was the winner of the Saroyan International Prize, the Cabell Award, the Prix Page America, and the New American Voices Award, among other distinctions. It was also a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book of the Year and one of Lit Hub’s 20 Best Novels of the Decade.

He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Ingmar Bergman Estate.

He holds a PhD from NYU, edits an academic journal at Columbia University, and is also the author of Borges, between History and Eternity.

* * *

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram 

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.