News and Events

The Common Young Writers Program Opens Applications for Summer 2022

Students with issues of The Common

Applications are now open for The Common Young Writers Program, which offers two two-week, fully virtual 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 25-August 5.

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. Tuition waivers will be awarded to students with strong applications who cannot attend the program without financial assistance. In the application, students will have the opportunity to briefly describe their financial circumstances and state the amount they could afford to pay, if any, if accepted into the program. No tax returns or other documentation is required.

Click here for more information and details on how to apply.

The Common Young Writers Program Opens Applications for Summer 2022
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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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2022 Festival of Debut Authors

Join The Common’s special events team on April 13th at 7:00pm for our 2022 Festival of Debut Authors, an evening devoted to emerging talents! The celebration will highlight poets and prose writers Priyanki Sacheti, Jeremy Michael Clark, Hiten Samtani, Danielle Ola, Carlie Hoffman, and Amalia Gladhart

Hosted by Ben Shattuck and Sara Elkamel, the festival will feature readings and conversation, and aims to raise scholarship funds for the magazine’s Young Writers Program.

2022 Festival of Debut Authors
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“The Old Man of Kusumpur” Wins O. Henry Prize 2022

Cover of The Best Short Stories 2022: The O. Henry Prize Winners, edited by Valeria Luiselli. The text is in a white box in the upper left corner, and the rest shows a design of orange ovals on a purple backdrop

We are thrilled to announce that “The Old Man of Kusumpur,” written by Amar Mitra and translated from the Bengali by Anish Gupta, has been selected for the O. Henry Prize for 2022. The story was originally published in The Common Online. An anthology of the winning stories, edited by Valeria Luiselli, will be released this September from Anchor. 

This is the first year the O. Henry Prize series has considered fiction in translation. In the prize announcement, series editor Jenny Minton Quigley writes, “If stories give us a window through which to momentarily enter the soul of another person, then translated stories magically transcend the limits of the language that has shaped our consciousness.

View the full list of winners and read more about the prize at LitHub.

Congratulations to Amar, Anish, and all the winners!

“The Old Man of Kusumpur” Wins O. Henry Prize 2022
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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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The Common Adds Editors and Educator to Board of Directors

(Amherst, MA—February 21, 2022)—The Common, Amherst College’s award-winning literary
magazine, announces the addition of three new members to its Board of Directors: Kate Nintzel,
Lee Oglesby and Tara Safronoff. Willie Perdomo, The Common’s former Interviews Editor, will
join the magazine’s Editorial Board.

The Common Adds Editors and Educator to Board of Directors
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Announcing LitFest 2022

Amherst LitFest 2022 Logo stating: Illuminating Great Writing & Amhest's Literary Life

We hope you’ll join us virtually for the seventh annual LitFest, hosted in conjunction with Amherst College. This year’s lineup includes Pulitzer Prize winners Natalie Diaz and Viet Thanh Nguyen; 2021 National Book Award nominees Katie Kitamura and Elizabeth McCracken; and journalists Vann Newkirk and David Graham, among others.

This year, we are continuing to highlight the work of The Common’s own Literary Publishing Interns and Amherst Alumni Authors during a virtual reading at 4pm on Saturday, February 26. The Common is also hosting, in collaboration with Restless Books, a conversation with winners of the Restless Books Immigrant Writing Prize, Deepak Unnikrishnan, Grace Talusan, and Ani Gjika. Join us for this packed weekend!

Announcing LitFest 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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