News and Events

Weekly Writes Vol. 3 – Poetry or Prose

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

For the first time ever, we’re offering both poetry AND prose, in two separate programs. What do you want to write this summer? Pick the program, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for a weekly dose of writing inspiration in your inbox!

 

WW Volume 3 kicks off on July 8, just in time to help you reach your summer writing goals! The deadline to sign up is July 7th, 2019.

The program costs just $1.50 per week. This fee includes one free, expedited* submission via Submittable after program completion. Prompts and advice are brand new for Volume 3, so Volume 1 or 2 participants will not encounter any repetition or old prompts. Want to learn more about the program and how it works before you sign up? Visit our FAQ page.

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Each week participants receive:

⇒  Three writing prompts appropriate for both beginning and advanced writers.

    • For prose writers, two prompts each week will focus on generating new material and the third will guide participants through the process of writing a longer story.
    • For poets, the three weekly prompts will be a mix: generative prompts for creating brand new work, and prompts to guide revision on previous compositions.

⇒  Examples and readings to accompany some prompts, which were directly inspired by content from our magazine.

⇒  A look behind-the-scenes from our editors, with advice about writing, revising, and submitting, in addition to insights into what they’re looking for when selecting work for The Common.

FAQ

Emily EverettWeekly Writes Vol. 3 – Poetry or Prose
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The Common Magazine Named Finalist for CLMP Firecracker Award

Logo of firecracker for CLMP

New York, NY (May 30, 2019)—The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), the national nonprofit organization that for more than 50 years has supported the essential work of literary publishers, has announced the finalists of its fifth annual FIRECRACKER AWARDS. Given to recognize the importance of independent literary publishing, the FIRECRACKER AWARDS honor the best self- and independently published books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry and the best literary magazines in the categories of debut and general excellence.

Isabel MeyersThe Common Magazine Named Finalist for CLMP Firecracker Award
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The Common Magazine Receives $8,000 Amazon Literary Partnership Grant

Amazon Literary Partnership logo

Amherst, MA— The Common magazine, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has been selected for a 2019 Amazon Literary Partnership grant. Since 2017, funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership has helped further The Common’s mission of publishing and promoting emerging and diverse authors who deepen our individual and collective sense of place.  

Since 2009, the Amazon Literary Partnership program has awarded more than $12 million in grants to more than 150 organizations, including the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and Poets & Writers amongst others. Through these grants, the Literary Partnership program helps to uplift and amplify marginalized voices in order to promote a more diverse literary community. In 2019, the Amazon Literary Partnership worked with the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses to establish a new Literary Magazine Fund, and The Common is one of only 15 magazines awarded a grant from the Fund in its inaugural year. 

Isabel MeyersThe Common Magazine Receives $8,000 Amazon Literary Partnership Grant
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Remembering Richard Todd

Richard Todd headshot

“Clarity isn’t an exciting virtue, but it is a virtue always.” I repeat this maxim to my students, and it runs through my own head with even greater frequency. It comes from Good Prose, a guide to writing and editing excellent nonfiction, co-written by Tracy Kidder and the late Richard Todd, who passed away on April 21.

Julia PikeRemembering Richard Todd
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Honoring Amherst Writers

For Amherst College’s fourth annual LitFest, The Common put together a Literary Landmarks tour of Amherst College, highlighting locations on campus with special connections to literary figures affiliated with the college, from Robert Frost to Lauren Groff. Building on that effort, we’ve compiled these highlights from The Common that were written either by or about Amherst professors, alums, and even current students.


The Poet in Rome: Richard Wilbur in Postwar Italy by Robert Bagg

Richard Wilbur circa 1944, standing near the 6 X 6 truck that transported gear for the 36th Texans Division during World War II.

Richard Wilbur graduated from Amherst College in 1942, and returned to Amherst to teach towards the end of his life, from 2008 to 2014.

“Richard Wilbur first visited Rome with the American Fifth Army that liberated the city, just behind the fleeing Germans, on 5 June 1944. By 10:00 p.m., his division, the 36th Texans, in trucks, in jeeps, and on mobile artillery, followed the tanks of the First Armored Division into the southern outskirts of Rome, where it paused, expecting to camp and rest within Cinecittà—then, as now, the sprawling center of Italy’s movie industry. Ever the explorer, Wilbur wandered into an abandoned viewing room and found, already loaded into an editing machine, a costume drama set in the Roman Empire. He turned the hand crank and watched a Fascist version of ancient history until his disgust overcame his curiosity.”

Griffin LessellHonoring Amherst Writers
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Photos of LitFest 2019

This year marks the fourth LitFest, an annual literary festival hosted at Amherst College. From February 2-March 2, students, professors, alumni, and community members came together in Amherst College’s Johnson Chapel to hear National Book Award finalists Jennifer Egan, Brandon Hobson, and Jamel Brinkley speak about their writing processes, what writing means to them, and the purpose of writing. On March 2, Pulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Kolbert and NYT-bestselling author Charles C. Mann ’76 had a robust conversation about environmental changes and science journalism. Additional events included author masterclasses, a poetry slam, career panels, and a literary tour of Amherst. LitFest is sponsored by The Common, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry and the Emily Dickinson Museum.

Click here for a full write-up and more photos.

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Photos by Jiayi Liu and Matai Curzon ’22.

Debbie WenPhotos of LitFest 2019
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2019 AWP Writers Conference in Portland

Event Date: Wednesday, March 27–Saturday, March 30
Location: Oregon Convention Center

The Common will host a booth at AWP 2019 from March 27–30. Visit us at table T7040, and check out these panels, featuring Editor-in-chief Jennifer Acker and Managing Editor Emily Everett! More info below.

Map of AWP

Isabel Meyers2019 AWP Writers Conference in Portland
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Join Us For Amherst College LitFest 2019

Featured authors include Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Kolbert, Jamel Brinkley, Brandon Hobson, and more!

LitFest 2019

Amherst College’s fourth annual LitFest, a literary festival celebrating fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and spoken-word performance, will be hosted on February 27 – March 2 of this year. Co-hosted by The Common, this year’s events feature panels with 2018 National Book Award Fiction Finalists Jamel Brinkley and Brandon Hobson, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction author Elizabeth Kolbert, award-winning science writer Charles C. Mann, and more. Author events will be taking place in either Frost Library or Johnson Chapel on Amherst College campus, with most being followed by Q&A sessions and book-signings. All events are free and open to the public. Click here for coverage from the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Whitney BrunoJoin Us For Amherst College LitFest 2019
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The Common’s 10 Most-Read Pieces of 2018

As The Common office continues to anticipate the exciting work we plan to share in 2019 both online and in our next issues, it seems like a great time to reflect on the pieces that made 2018 just as exciting for us. See what resonated with readers the most in 2018 by browsing the list below of our most-read works of the past year: they range from fiction to essays, interviews, and more! 

Whitney BrunoThe Common’s 10 Most-Read Pieces of 2018
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