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!
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’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
The Common will receive its fifth grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2021. The Art Works grant of $15,000 will be awarded to The Common to help it publish diverse writers, expand its readership, and support The Common’s international portfolios.
The Common to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
Q: I already did Weekly Writes Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Is this the same thing?
A: Prompts and advice for our Summer 2021 program are built on those from previous programs. So if you’ve participated in Weekly Writes before, you might see familiar material here. Prose prompts are from Weekly Writes Vol. 3, and poetry prompts are from Weekly Writes Vol. 4. If you participated but aren’t sure which volume you completed, feel free to email us at [email protected], so we can check for you.
Q: What makes this program different than past Weekly Writes volumes?
A: Weekly Writes Accountable You includes an additional focus on committing to a regular writing practice. 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 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.
(Amherst, Mass. — December 7, 2020)— The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has hired acclaimed poet Willie Perdomo as its new Interviews Editor. With publishing experience stretching back twenty-five years, Perdomo currently teaches English at Philips Exeter Academy.
Willie Perdomo To Join Editorial Staff of The Common
It’s that time of year again: bid for a personalized, handwritten postcard from your favorite author through The Common’s seventh 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, and MacArthur 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 doodles to haikus.
New this year, in celebration of The Common’s 10th anniversary, some bidders will also receive rewards from Penguin Classics! The first and every fifth bidder, plus the highest bidder and top two underbidders (just missed out on winning!), will receive one of a handful of books from the gorgeous Deluxe or hardcover Vitae series including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, George Elliot’s Middlemarch, and the autobiography of Frederick Douglass.
Online bidding will open to the public at 10 am EST on November 9, 2020. Participating authors include literary powerhouses such as André Aciman,Susan Choi, and Valeria Luiselli, as well as writer-performers Jenny Slate and David Sedaris. Newcomers to the auction include acclaimed writers Anne Carson and Phil Klay and world-renowned singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant.
The application window for this position is now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied!
The Interviews Editor organizes and edits a monthly interview feature for The Common Online. (Examples of recent interviews can be found here or here.) Additional interviews may be coordinated by TC’s central editorial team, in consultation with the Interviews Editor. A biannual honorarium is available for this position.
The Common is Hiring: Be Our Next Interviews Editor
Issue 20 of The Common will be here this fall. Subscribe by September 30 to find this hot pink celebration in your mailbox! In addition to the global, place-based stories, essays, and poems you’re used to reading in The Common, this issue also includes a portfolio of writing from and about the Lusosphere: Portugal’s colonial and linguistic diaspora. You’ll find works in English and in translation, and explore Lisbon, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, and even Luso-American families and communities here in the States. 1 year subscriptions start at $12.
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 anthologyThe 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.”