Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based writing, beginning August 2nd.
We’re offering both poetry AND prose, in two separate programs. What do you want to prioritize this summer? Pick the program, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for a weekly dose of writing inspiration (and accountability) in your inbox!
(Amherst, Mass. July 12, 2021)— The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has announced its second Literary Editorial Fellow: Elly Hong ’21. The fellowship is funded in part by generous support from alumni donors and from the Whiting Foundation, which is providing a $20,000 matching grant for the second consecutive year, in recognition of the magazine’s secure and important foothold in literary publishing. In 2019, The Common was the top print award winner of the Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes.
The Literary Editorial Fellowship was created with two goals in mind: to strengthen the bridge between The Common’s existing Literary Publishing Internship (LPI) program for undergraduates and the professional publishing world; and to provide invaluable, real-world experience for an Amherst graduate, transferable to any job in nonprofit, trade, or academic publishing, or a wide variety of related fields.
The Common Magazine Announces Second Literary Editorial Fellow
Join The Common and Foglifter for a virtual panel conversation, moderated by Callum Angus, on Thursday, July 8 at 7:30pm EST/4:30pm PDT. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link!
Trans in Place: Trans Writers on Place and Environment
Inspired by the mission and role of the town common, an egalitarian gathering place, The Common aims to foster the global exchange of diverse ideas and experiences. As such, we welcome and encourage submissions from writers who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled, LGBTQIA+-identifying, immigrant, international, and/or otherwise from communities underrepresented in U.S. literary magazines and journals.
In an effort to remove barriers to access, The Common will open exclusively for BIPOC writers for two weeks, and waive submission fees, now extended until July 4 at 11:59 PM EST. Outside of that time, submitters with any financial hardship can contact us at [email protected] for a fee waiver.
Exclusive Fee-Free Submission Period for BIPOC Writers
Amherst, MA, June 4, 2021 — The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, is a 2021 Literary Magazine Fund Grant Recipient, awarded in alliance with the Amazon Literary Partnership Literary Magazine Fund and the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses. Since 2017, funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership has helped further The Common’s mission of publishing and promoting emerging and underrepresented authors who deepen our individual and collective sense of place.
With this $7,000 grant, The Common will publish, promote, and support a diverse group of writers in its print magazine and open-access website, connecting authors with a global readership. In the spring of 2022, The Common will continue its series of translated Arabic fiction with a collection of short stories from Palestinian authors, co-edited by acclaimed Jordanian author, and The Common’s Arabic Fiction Editor, Hisham Bustani. As part of The Common’s spring issue, this portfolio will feature contemporary Palestinian voices alongside poetry and prose from the US and abroad.
Recent issues of The Common have featured short stories from Morocco (Issue 21, spring 2021), literature from and about the Lusosphere (Portugal and its linguistic and colonial diaspora) in Issue 20, and fiction from Sudan in Issue 19. A collection of writing from the Arabian Gulf, co-edited with Egyptian author Noor Naga, is forthcoming this fall. All of the above portfolios have been developed with Amazon Literary Partnership support.
The Common Awarded 2021 Amazon Literary Partnership grant
♦ Applications for The Common Young Writers Program are now closed.
If you’d like to hear from us when applications open for next year, please click here. ♦
Applications are now open for The Common Young Writers Program, which offers two two-week summer classes for high school students (rising 9-12). Students will be introduced to the building blocks of fiction and learn to read with a writer’s gaze. Taught by the editors and editorial assistants of Amherst College’s literary magazine, the summer courses (Level I and Level II) run Monday-Friday and are open to all high school students (rising 9-12). The program runs July 19-31.
The cost of the two-week program is $725 for Level I, and $875 for Level II. Full and partial need-based tuition waivers are available for both levels; we hope that no student will let financial difficulty prevent them from applying.
On May 6th at 7pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual launch of Issue 21! Contributors Aleksandar Hemon, Celeste Mohammed, Abdelaziz Errachidi, and translator Nariman Youssef will join us from all around the world for brief readings, followed by conversation about place, culture, and translation, hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief Jennifer Acker. This event is co-sponsored by the Arts at Amherst Initiative.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email via Amherst College, containing information about joining the event. If you’d like to receive a copy of Issue 21 before the launch party, pre-order the issue here.
Give your writing a boost this spring. Join The Common for a series of craft classes with these literary luminaries.
Jim Shepard: Generating Fiction from History [register]
Vievee Francis and Curtis Bauer: Writing Toward a Poetry Chapbook or Collection [register]
W. Ralph Eubanks: How to Turn a Place into an Essay [register]
Each class includes a craft talk and Q&A with the guest author, generative exercises and discussion in breakout sessions, and a take-home list of readings and writing prompts. Students also receive exclusive access to a free “Behind the Scenes” session about what literary magazine editors look for in submissions. Recordings will be available after the fact for participants who cannot attend the live event.
Each class is $125, or $75 for current subscribers or past Weekly Writes participants.
Amherst’s annual literary festival celebrates the College’s extraordinary literary life by inviting distinguished authors and editors to share and discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression—from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and spoken-word performance. This year’s LitFest was held virtually, with authors, poets, and literature lovers joining from all around the world.
The Common’s Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker hosted two readings at LitFest: one with The Common’s student interns, and one with Amherst College alumni authors. Both events were recorded and can be watched below. Watch video recordings of all the events, readings, and discussions at LitFest ’21 here.
LitFest ’21 Readings by The Common’s Literary Publishing Interns
Student interns at The Common read short excerpts from their writing. Readers are:
Isabel Meyers ’20 (former intern, current Literary Editorial Fellow)
Elly Hong ’21 (Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellow)
Whitney Bruno ’21
Sofia Belimova ’22
Eliza Brewer ’22
Olive Amdur ’23
LitFest ’21 Amherst College Alumni Authors Reading
Amherst College alumni read short excerpts from their recent work, and answer questions. Readers are:
Calvin Baker ’94
Chris Bohjalian ’82
Dan Chiasson ’93
Edward A. Farmer ’05
Michael Gorra ’79
Kirun Kapur ’97
Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne ’01
Ismée Williams ’95