A Word About Writing


An Interview with Susan Orlean, by Tom Hardej

Susan Orlean certainly has had an eclectic career. (How many of us can say that Meryl Streep has played us in a movie?) She always follows her interests and writes passionate, thoughtful pieces, whether it’s for the New Yorker, one of her books—her most recent, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, was a New York Times bestseller and has just come out in paperback—or her massive Twitter following. We caught up with her to talk about her process as a writer.

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An Interview with Norman Lock, by Celia Johnson

Mr. Hyde sits in an asylum conversing with an ambitious superintendent. An Egyptian Mummy listens to Noël Coward hammer out a tune on the piano. Norman Lock rows along a dark lake below the Paris Opera, eager to disappear, like Gaston Leroux’s Phantom. These are just a few of the scenes you’ll witness in Love Among the Particles, by Norman Lock (yes, he is both the author and, sometimes, a character in the book). Lock creates stories that, at first glance, seem impossible, and yet by the end of each one, feel utterly familiar. I had the honor of discussing this new book with Lock. During our interview, he observed, “Try as I have, I cannot seem to write other than I do: fables of identity, parables of self-consciousness, and tales of the marvelous.” That magnetic pull transcends the pages of his book, making for a fully addictive collection. Read on to find out more about Lock’s creative process, his characters’ fates, and his view of time.

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An Interview with Myla Goldberg, by Maria Gagliano

Myla Goldberg has a way about her. Not everyone can inspire a famous rock star they don’t even know to write a song about them. Not everyone can transport themselves back to the mind of an eleven-year-old. And most of us certainly can’t sit our butts down for six to eight hours straight, distractions be damned, and just write. That certain something is evident in her novels—from Bee Season, which inspired the Decemberists’ Song for Myla Goldberg, to her latest novel, The False Friend, in which she vividly relives life among adolescent girls.

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An Interview with Erik Larson, by Celia Johnson

When Erik Larson researched late nineteenth century Chicago for The Devil in the White City, one of his most useful tools was a magnifying glass. Through its lens he pored over old photographs, picking up details that would enrich his portrait of the city. Those observations became a series of verbal pixels that do more than simply describe; they transport. That kind of focus might be called obsession, a trait that permeates Larson’s life, whether he is perfecting a tennis serve or digging through library archives.

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An Interview with Maurice Sendak, by Celia Johnson and Maria Gagliano

Maurice Sendak captured the power of a child’s imagination, to transport them into the wild recesses of dreams, in his most famous book, Where the Wild Things Are. We had the opportunity to chat on the phone with Sendak, who lived in Connecticut, a week before his eighty-second birthday.

During our interview, Sendak took us back to the wildest place he ever went to, the place that inspired the adventures of his mischievous character named Max. It was his childhood home, located in Brooklyn, the same borough as Slice’s headquarters. So it turns out that the wild can take root in your backyard, or if you don’t have one—as is the case for many city kids—in the nooks and crannies of your apartment.

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