Emily Everett

Issue 23 Virtual Launch Party

The Common Spring Launch Party

Wednesday, May 4, 2022Image of Issue 23 cover (piece of toast on turquoise background).
5:00 pm
Via Zoom

On May 4th at 5pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual celebration of Issue 23! We welcome fiction writer Fernando Flores, poet Tina Cane, Palestinian writer Eyad Barghuthy, and Arabic translator Nashwa Gowanlock for brief readings and conversation about place, culture, and translation. The event will be hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief Jennifer Acker, in partnership with the Amherst College Creative Writing Center and Arts at Amherst Initiative. 

Please Register in Advance for the Virtual Event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Register Here

 

Issue 23 Virtual Launch Party
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Craft Masterclasses: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry & Translation

Blue image with title CRAFT MASTERCLASSES with THE COMMON with group headshots 

Give your writing a boost this spring. Join The Common for a series of craft classes with these literary luminaries.
 

    • Bruna Dantas Lobato: No Two Snowflakes Are Alike: How to Translate Style [register]

    • Karen Shepard on Fiction: The Children’s Hour [register]

    • Willie Perdomo on Poetry: The City and the Poet, the Street and the Poem [register]

    • Suketu Mehta on Nonfiction: Writing the City [register]

 
Each class includes a craft talk and Q&A with the guest author, generative exercises and discussion, and a take-home list of readings and writing prompts. Recordings will be available after the fact for participants who cannot attend the live event.
 
Each class is $125, or $85 for current subscribers or current and past Weekly Writes participants. 

 

Craft Masterclasses: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry & Translation
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Is Poetry Possible at the Moment History Stirs: Poets of Ukraine

I ask
Half-awake
Is poetry possible
At the moment history stirs
Once its steps
Reverberate through every heart?

— From “Can there be poetry after” by Anastasia Afanasieva, translated by Kevin Vaughn and Maria Khotimsky

 

With the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, we at The Common have been reflecting on the powerful words of many Ukrainian poets who have appeared in our pages. In recent years their work has been rooted in conflict, as the country struggled first with self-determination and later with the Russian annexation of Crimea and, since 2014, with a Russian-incited war in the East. This focus lends a feeling of prescience and timeliness to their work now, even though most of these poems are not new. We hope you’ll make time to read and reflect on the work of these poets, as we all keep Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in our thoughts.

Is Poetry Possible at the Moment History Stirs: Poets of Ukraine
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FAQ: Weekly Writes Summer 2022


write with us now

WW Summer 2022 Accountable You Questions

Q: What makes this program different from past Weekly Writes volumes?

A: Weekly Writes Accountable You includes an additional focus on committing to a regular writing practice. After joining the Google Classroom, you’ll be asked to upload one page a week to show that you’ve worked on a prompt. This is not a submission to the magazine, and these assignments will not be read or receive any feedback. To recognize your hard work and commitment, you will receive a short note of encouragement after uploading your piece!


Q: Do I send in my weekly writing for you to read? Will I get editorial feedback on my weekly writing?

A: You will be asked to upload one page a week to Google Classroom to show that you’ve worked on at least one prompt. This is not a submission to the magazine, and these assignments will not be read or receive any feedback.


Q: I already did Weekly Writes Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Is this the same thing?

A: Prompts and advice for Weekly Writes Summer 2022 are not all brand new; if you participated in Vol. 4 Prose or Vol. 5 Poetry, you will see some familiar material this summer. If you’re not sure which volume you participated in, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll help figure it out!


FAQ: Weekly Writes Summer 2022
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Weekly Writes Vol. 6: Accountable You

Sign up for Weekly Writes Vol. 6 is now closed. Please add your email here to hear when our next Weekly Writes program opens!

 


 

 
typing on a laptop

Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based writing, beginning January 24.

We’re offering both poetry AND prose, in two separate programs. What do you want to prioritize in 2022? Pick the program, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for a weekly dose of writing inspiration (and accountability) in your inbox!

Weekly Writes Vol. 6: Accountable You
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Podcast: Mary O’Donoghue on “Safety Advice for Staying Indoors”

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Listen on Apple Podcasts.

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Listen on Spotify.

Transcript: Mary O’Donoghue Podcast.

Mary O’Donoghue speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her story “Safety Advice for Staying Indoors,” which appears in The Common’s fall issue. Mary talks about crafting a story that explores two points of view within the same Irish family, both stuck inside during a strong storm, both coping with loss. She also discusses her work translating Irish-language poets, her interest in stories that require the reader to connect their own dots, and what it’s like to edit fiction for AGNI while writing her own short stories, too.

Headshot of Mary O'Donoghue (white woman with curly hair) next to cover of The Common ISsue 22 (pink seashell on blue background)

Podcast: Mary O’Donoghue on “Safety Advice for Staying Indoors”
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The 2021 Author Postcard Auction is Open!

It’s that time of year again: bid for a personalized, handwritten postcard from your favorite author in The Common’s eighth annual author postcard auction! The personalization of the postcards makes them fantastic gifts, just in time for the holidays.

Join in on the fun this year for a chance to receive a postcard from New York Times-bestsellers, National Book Award-winners, Man Booker Prize finalists, and Pulitzer Prize-winners and finalists. In the past few years, authors have famously gone all out with their postcards: expect to receive anything from long letters to drawings and doodles to haikus. 

handwritten author postcards from Chris Bachelder and Anthony Doerr

Online bidding is open now. Participating authors include literary powerhouses and popular favorites such as Joy Williams, Maggie Shipstead, Alexander Chee, Anthony Doerr, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and Amor Towles. We also have writer-actor-comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jenny Slate, songwriters Jeff Tweedy (singer and guitarist of Wilco) and Craig Finn (frontman for The Hold Steady), and newcomers to the auction Kirstin Valdez Quade, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Aleksandar Hemon, and Lily King.

Winning bids are tax-deductible donations. All proceeds go to The Common Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to publishing and promoting art and literature from global, diverse voices.

If you’re interested in supporting The Common but don’t want to bid, click here to donate

The 2021 Author Postcard Auction is Open!
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Available Positions with The Common

Consider any listing on this page active. We will continue to post future opportunities here as they arise.


reading The Common

READING STAFF (currently open for applications)

The Common invites those interested in the world of literary publishing and passionate about contemporary fiction and nonfiction to apply to join our Reading Staff. Volunteer readers evaluate short works of fiction as well as essays; readers must be open-minded yet analytical. They must judge, quickly and thoroughly, the literary merit of each submission and the rightness of its fit for The Common given its sense-of-place mission. Readers are expected to review an average of 12 stories per week, which we estimate requires between 3 and 5 hours. We welcome undergraduate and MFA students as well as avid, sophisticated readers of all kinds.

Interested applicants should be thoroughly familiar with work published in The Common. All pieces published in print and online content are available in our digital archive. Ideal candidates will have demonstrated skill and experience in critical reading and comprehension, and must be concise and articulate writers. Candidates must be able to read and review 12 pieces per week.

 

Please click here to express your interest in the reading staff position.

You will be asked for contact information as well as a CV and cover letter outlining why the position appeals to you and any relevant experience. The next step for qualified candidates is evaluating two test pieces. 

 

Available Positions with The Common
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Sample Lesson Plan for Literature in Translation

Lesson plans, readings, and resources to inspire your students.

Enrich your classroom with The Common magazine: poems, essays, stories, and images that provide fresh, global perspectives on place and placelessness, home and belonging, migration and exile.
 

Thanks for submitting your email; we’ll be in touch soon with additional resources.
 

Living with an Author and a Translator

Adapted from Curtis Bauer, The Common’s Translation Editor, and Director of Creative Writing Program and teacher of Comparative Literature at Texas Tech University.

In this exercise you will explore the multidimensionality of a poem, essay, or story by “living with” the author and translator: reading and thinking about their work every day for a week. This is a multi-step assignment so read carefully and make sure you plan in advance.

Sample Lesson Plan for Literature in Translation
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Sample Lesson Plans for Literature and Creative Writing Courses

Lesson plans, readings, and resources to inspire your students. 

Enrich your classroom with The Common magazine: poems, essays, stories, and images that provide fresh, global perspectives on place and placelessness, home and belonging, migration and exile.

 

Thanks for submitting your email; we’ll be in touch soon with additional resources.

 

Lesson Plan: Group Assignment & Student-led Exercise 

Divide students into small groups (trios work well) and give them a week to:

  1. Meet together outside of class with their copies of The Common in hand;
  2. Select, as a group, a poem they particularly like,
  3. Prepare to read that poem aloud to the class, and
  4. Design and lead an in-class writing exercise for their classmates and teacher that is inspired by a technique or aspect of that poem.

Example

One group chose Fatimah Asghar’s poem “Kul” from Issue 14, read the poem aloud, and noted that it was based on one word that could mean several, potentially opposite things – a contronym. The students had generated a list of contronyms in advance and projected them on the board (e.g., “sanction,” “oversight,” and “left”). They then invited their classmates to write at least a few lines of a poem that would, in their words, embrace these opposite meanings.

“I like this exercise not only because it gets students engaging with the fresh texts in detailed ways (at the same time we are all receiving and getting into our new issues) and working together, but also because it gives them a sense of what it is like to be in front of a class, teaching (potentially useful information for those who may be considering that path.)” – Amy Weldon

Adapted from Amy Weldon, Professor of English, Luther College

 

Lesson Plan: Discussion

Student-led discussion:

Ask student groups or individual students to lead discussions on essays and poems from a single issue, identifying specific attributes of place-based writing and how that might apply to their own writing and/or how they perceive the places they inhabit.

Workshops:

Ask students to read all the poems, stories, or essays in a single issue, and to discuss them as a group—how they fit together and/or form a cohesive group across the whole journal, almost as if discussing a collection of poems, stories, or essays by a single author. How do they fit together with the rest of the issue?

Assignment

Identify a poem (or story or essay) from the issue that uses memory to link a past and present experience with place; write a poem (or story or essay) that functions in a similar way, but draw from your own experience.

Adapted from Curtis Bauer, Associate Professor, Texas Tech University

 

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Learn more about teaching The Common and request a free sample issue.

Sample Lesson Plans for Literature and Creative Writing Courses
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