News and Events

The Common Young Writers Program

The Common Young Writers Program is a two-week (Monday-Friday) online creative writing program for high school students (rising 9-12). Taught by the editors and editorial assistants of Amherst College’s literary magazine, the summer 2020 course will focus on the short story. Through writing exercises and contemporary reading assignments from The Common, we will introduce students to the building blocks of fiction (scene, character, plot, image) and guide them through the process of writing and revising their own short stories.

The Common Young Writers Program
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“To Be Led from Behind” Chosen for 2020 Best Small Fictions Award Anthology

Mohammad Ibrahim Nawaya’s story “To Be Led from Behind,” translated from the Arabic by Robin Moger, has been chosen to appear in Sonder Press’s 2020 award anthology The Best Small Fictions. The anthology, now in its sixth year, presents one hundred and twenty-­six pristinely crafted pieces from an array of authors. It features micro fiction, flash fiction, haibun stories, and prose poetry.

The Bath Flash Fiction Award writes “[T]he beauty of an anthology such as this, pulling together the best of the form, is that you will always encounter something new, something different, something that pushes the boundaries of flash further than before. If this anthology proves nothing else, it is that small fiction in all its forms continues to go from strength to strength, as does the series itself.”

Congrats to Mohammad! Read “To Be Led from Behind” here, or check out other pieces from our Issue 17 portfolio of Arabic stories from Syria,.

Browse more of The Common’s prize-winning pieces here

“To Be Led from Behind” Chosen for 2020 Best Small Fictions Award Anthology
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Literature and Creative Writing Resources for Your Remote-Learning Needs

During this difficult time, we want to take the opportunity to highlight a few educational resources we offer that are readily available for at-home learning. Even while stuck at home, you can use works from The Common to connect your students to new voices and perspectives from around the world, while also deepening their own sense of place. Several recently published web features will also offer students examples of how literature can help us to reflect upon the present moment.

Literature and Creative Writing Resources for Your Remote-Learning Needs
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Support The Common’s Favorite Indie Bookstores

We’re all eager to support local small businesses at this difficult time. Among the businesses that could most use our support are independent bookstores: that’s why we at The Common have put together this list of bookstores we’ve partnered with who are staying open—in some capacity—to serve your literary quarantine needs. The situation is changing rapidly, so make sure to check bookstores’ websites or social media for the most up-to-date info on how they are operating.

Support The Common’s Favorite Indie Bookstores
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Virtual Office Hour for Teachers

Virtual AWP, Virtual Office Hour for Teachers: Please join us Thursday, March 5th, at 4pm ET via Zoom.  
Unfortunately, we at The Common had to cancel our trip to San Antonio, but I hope you’ll join me and Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Acker via video conference to chat about The Common‘s classroom program and our supportive resources for teachers and students. We’ll also be joined by Professor Judith Baumel (Adelphi University) who will share her experiences and answer your questions about teaching The Common
 
 
 
image of class
 
Questions in the interim? Send to Liz Witte, Associate Editor and Director of The Common in the Classroom at [email protected]! Know of a friend or colleague looking for a syllabus refresh? Forward them the link to this page so they can join, too.
Virtual Office Hour for Teachers
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The Common’s 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominations

It’s that time of year again: below are The Common’s nominations for the annual Pushcart Prize! The Pushcart Prize celebrates outstanding works of literature produced by small-press writers; each of our nominations are exceptional works of art that dare to take fresh and impactful perspectives on what it means to have a unique sense of place.

pushcart

The Common’s 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominations
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Author Postcard Auction 2019

It's that time of year again: bid for a personalized, handwritten postcard from your favorite author through The Common's annual author postcard auction! The personalization of the postcards makes them fantastic gifts, and they should arrive in time for the holidays.

Chris Bachelder postcardJoin in on the fun this year for a chance to receive a postcard from Pulitzer Prize-winners, National Book Award-winners, and Guggenheim Fellows. In the past few years, authors have famously gone all out with their postcards: expect to receive anything from long letters to drawings and haikus.

Online bidding begins this year on November 11, 2019 at 10 a.m. EST! Participating authors include literary powerhouses like David Sedaris, George Saunders, Ann Patchett, André Aciman, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, among others. Newcomer authors this year include author-actors Jenny Slate and Alan Cumming. Don't miss out!

All proceeds from the auction will help The Common's effort to publish emerging writers, aid our Literary Publishing Internship Program, and allow us to establish even more connections with students across the globe via The Common in the Classroom. Check out the full list of authors at our auction site: https://charityauction.bid/postcards.

 

Author Postcard Auction 2019
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Issue 18 Launch and Reading

We’d love for you to join us in Amherst to celebrate the launch of Issue 18. The Common‘s student interns will be reading briefly from their favorite pieces in the new issue, and seniors will read from their own writing as well. There will be wine, cheese, and great conversation.

Friday, November 1, 5 p.m.
Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Frost Library
Amherst College

Intern reading and Issue 18 cover

Come toast the latest place-based stories, essays, poems and artwork! We’ll be gathering in Frost Library’s beautiful Center for Humanistic Inquiry, on the Amherst College campus. This event is free and open to the public; bring your family and friends! You can also invite other lit lovers via our Facebook event page.

[Pre-order Issue 18 here.]

Issue 18 Launch and Reading
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A conversation with Joseph O’Neill, hosted by Jennifer Acker

Images of Joseph O'Neill and Jen Acker

Wednesday, November 13, 4:30pm
The Center for Humanistic Inquiry
Frost Library
Amherst College
Free and open to the public

Join The Common and the Amherst College Creative Writing Center for a reading and Q&A with author Joseph O’Neill, hosted by TC Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker. This event is part of the Amherst College Creative Writing Fall Reading Series, which includes several readings around the town of Amherst.

A conversation with Joseph O’Neill, hosted by Jennifer Acker
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