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The Underrated Magic of “Telling” In Creative Nonfiction

by Meghan Modafferi Surely you’ve heard the common refrain, “show, don’t tell.” And it’s good advice, I’ll admit, as most of us are awfully used to the telling, and could use some practice with the showing. But in my view, the real magic comes when we sneak the two together like teenagers under the bleachers, […]

How to Write About Sex

by Sarah Creech Good sex in fiction relies on powerful description skills, but what makes it “good” has much more to do with character and conflict than the sensory experience of sex on the page as mere titillation. Sex is always a power dynamic in story with various parties claiming power by different methods and […]

Why “The Iliad” Still Matters

by Jeffrey Thomson The Iliad is a book of transitions; it is a fundamentally a book of liminal moments. This is a story from the basement of history—from the moment when we began the movement from an oral storytelling culture to a culture of written literature. It establishes many of the characters and tropes of the modern […]

Writing Interiority

by Dustin M. Hoffman Occasionally, I get jealous of other artistic mediums. All we have to tell our stories are these words on the page, black ink on a white page. This can seem like a disadvantage when looking at the explosive, varied forms of expression the other mediums wield. Sadly, we just won’t be […]

Charlotte Lit in the Community: Winterfield Garden

Over the last several months, Charlotte Lit volunteers have been partnering with Winterfield Community Garden to celebrate its twelve-year anniversary with the upcoming Dozen Years of Digging Poetry Festival to be held on Saturday, May 14. Our team of volunteers has been working with Winterfield Elementary and Garinger High School students to write sustainability themed poems. Students […]

Our Favorite Reads of 2021

From Charlotte Lit’s faculty and staff, here’s a list of our favorite reads this year — most new, but some older favorites, too. Enjoy! Poetry Bright Dead Things, by Ada Limón — Paul Reali Come Hither Honeycomb, by Erin Belieu — Lisa Zerkle Facts about the Moon, by Dorianne Laux — Kathie Collins Indigo, by […]

Book Recommendations from Our Members

At our 2020 holiday party, we asked our members what books they’d recommend as gifts or for next year’s book clubs. Here’s the list, with purchase links to our friends Park Road Books. Enjoy! Future Home of the Living God, Louise Erdrich | Hardcover | Paperback The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow […]

Excerpt from “The Skin Artist” by George Hovis

The needles burned worse than last time. But today he was sober. Bill watched the artist’s eyes. The eyes alone seemed to will the tattoo gun’s movement as it trenched the skin of Bill’s forearm, burying its seed of ink. Maybe it was better not to try to make conversation. Just get this over with. […]

Pacing in a Poem

by Tina Barr One element that I often share with students, when we workshop poems, is the movement or pacing of a poem. The poem’s imagistic, linguistic or narrative thrust must convey the reader through the poem. The poem might center on a small drama, and this is fine. Think of a haiku. But the poem’s length has […]