online magazine for short, good writing

Category: This Week in Words

This Week in Words – Oct. 26

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Back from hiatus!

Hi everybody! In honor of the Austin City Limits music festival, which I attended two weekends ago, I’ll start things off with a slideshow of 8 songs inspired by pieces of literature. It’s not the best list, nor the most comprehensive, but it’s the Huffington Post so, you know, what’re you gonna do?

Ian Crouch for The New Yorker talks about neologisms (a word I love), which are new words (many of which I do not love, i.e. twerking…ugh).

I suggest we all move to Iceland. I’m not saying it’ll improve our chances of publication, but they certainly seem to be literary-friendly over there. And it couldn’t hurt, right?

’Tis the season for All Hallow’s Read, my friends. Check out the site, the awesome promotional video, and give a stranger a scary book. Here are some recommendations, too, from them to me to you!

Happy (pre-)Halloween (weekend)!

This Week in Words – Oct 5

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz’s sixth and newest poetry collection is available as of today on Amazon. Autobiographical in nature, The Year of No Mistakes “shines with beautiful vulnerability” as it follows Cristin’s departure from New York City and how she copes with her ten-year relationship coming to an end. It also features this piece that we published in February.

GalleyCat sums up a top lit journal editor’s submission advice gleaned from a Q&A on Reddit last month.

More on poetry. Flavorwire catalogues quotes from the likes of poets Mary Oliver, Percy Shelley, Dylan Thomas, and more on what they think is the meaning of poetry.

This week, I want you to read “Sometimes We Both Fight in Wars” from past contributor Leesa Cross Smith; it was recently featured in Smokelong Weekly, and it’s a prime example of Leesa’s sometimes gritty but always beautiful writing. (And don’t be shy about checking out her lit mag WhiskeyPaper.)

This Week in Words – Sept 28

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

I’ve been talking about this book a lot.  So how about I let someone else give it a try for a change?  Say, Steve Almond?

This past Tuesday was National Punctuation Day!!! ! &…. That’s how one celebrates, I suppose? — Anyway, Mary Norris ruminates about NPD (that acronym is going to catch on, I can feel it) over at The New Yorker.

Also this week, and ending today, is Banned Books Week!  My favorite literary week of the year!  MediaBistro offers a list of this year’s most challenged books – which you can also find here – and links to samples of each.  Do yourself a favor though: don’t read the sample for 50 Shades of Grey.  It claims to have been banned for being “sexually explicit” and containing “offensive language,” which I think means curse words and such, but if you’ve read any of it, you know they mean it’s offensive to the institution of language.

Recommended reading: Go here, read about banned or challenged books, then select one and read it.  If you’re overwhelmed with too many choices, you can start with the list of my favorites I wrote last year.

This Week in Words – Sept 21

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Kelly Ramsey’s “Senator Max Baucus Leaves Five Tips” (published in Treehouse on August 7) is featured this month as The Committee Room’s Story of the Month! If you haven’t already, you can read the story here.

Jack Handey, brilliant comedy writer who worked on “The Simpsons” and “Saturday Night Live,” has a new book out. It’s a novel, but it reads as if the main character is the guy who was thinking all those Deep Thoughts we loved so much from the 90s. It’s called The Stench of Honolulu and you can buy it here.

Here’s a whole mess of books you should read that have been translated into English somewhere down the line, brought to you by Flavorwire.

This has nothing to do with anything, but it made me laugh so there you go.

This Week in Words – Sept 14

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Happy Football Season from the folks at American Short Fiction!

The shortlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize has been released. You can watch the Vine version or read a list that won’t give you a headache instead.

Good things abound for our friends at A Strange Object.The Austin Chronicle is simply raving over them. And there’s a wicked little book trailer getting the word out for their first release Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail by Kelly Luce. It comes out October 1st but you can pre-order here. (I’ve read it and – spoiler alert! – it’s a truly excellent collection of stories.)

You’re on your own for reading recommendations this week. Or how about this: Write something remarkable. Read that.

This Week in Words – Sept 7

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

The Rumpus is accepting fiction submissions!  Great news, because The Rumpus is awesome and it’s nice to have another awesome place to read and send fiction.

More FBI notes for your entertainment.  This time from the file of Charles Bukowski, a spectacular grump and a favorite of mine.

A history of punctuation!  Who doesn’t want to know where the octothorpe originated before the Internet hijacked it as the hashtag?  And the ampersand.  Everyone loves that little piece of punctuation that seems impossible to write perfectly by hand but has persisted still against all odds.

And for reading fun, I just think you should read all of DOGZPLOT.  With stories shorter than 200 words, you can read dozens at a time and get lost in a wonderful world of itty bitty fiction.  A minor sidenote: I’m in there somewhere.  Happy reading!

This Week in Words – Aug 31

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

First off, a hearty thanks to Michael Chaney for mentioning us on his blog. We published his piece “Futility Company” last winter and immediately followed it with his highly unique addition to our 5 Things series, which he goes out of his way to praise.

Slate just blogged about introverts and why they’re so awesome (according to the Internet, at least). I’m including this almost exclusively so I can also mention the hilarious and not-at-all uncharacteristic response in defense of extroverts.

Equally hilarious are these notes from William T. Vollmann’s FBI file, amassed during the time period he was suspected of being the Unabomber. To be fair, the FBI had this overwhelmingly compelling evidence from which to draw their conclusions: both Vollmann and the Unabomber counted their written works by word (Hey, they both write and that’s a writer thing!); they both dislike the idea of editing their work (Such unconscionable hubris – only these two individuals could have the gall to think such things!); and Vollmann may or may not own a flamethrower (Oh, well, um, fair point, FBI). I’m sold. I think we can call this one.

This is probably the best argument for the humanities I’ve heard yet.

This week I’m recommending you read the work of a former contributor of ours: Michael Landweber. He has a novel coming out September 1st called We that, sight unseen, looks completely worthy of reading and recommending (I’ll be ordering it from Amazon). And if you don’t believe me, read his story “Climate Change” which we published with pleasure this past February. We were right about that one, weren’t we?