Sunday, September 25, 2005

Kate Wilhelm's must-read writerly advice/history of Clarion

Teaching writing is a balancing act between compassionate encouragement and firm, blunt criticism. Kate is a master of it. The book uses reminisces about the founding, development and running of Clarion to frame a series of practical, plainly stated lessons for the beginning (and professional) writer. I learned a great deal reading it -- something that can be accomplished in a deceptively short time, for Kate is also a master of simply and clearly setting out complicated, muddy issues, a skill honed both in her award-winning fiction (Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang is a personal favorite) and in her long years of teaching.

I'll probably read this; I figure it will be worth its price if it proves half as good as Stephen King's "On Writing."

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