A Word About Writing


Exquisite Corpse: Lit Crawl Austin 2015

Slice took part in Lit Crawl Austin last weekend. There was mischief. There were antics. And there were smackdowns. All with a literary spin. Plus, a generous amount of alcohol was thrown into the mix. In short, it was a blast.

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Cowboys and Poets, by C.K. Williams

In 2007 Maria Gagliano and I reached out to C.K. Williams for an interview. It was for our second issue of Slice. When he heard that the theme of the issue would be “heroes,” he suggested we publish a little piece he’d written that had been waiting for a home for some time. In honor of C. K. Williams, we wanted to share that piece with you this week.

-Celia Johnson, Creative Director, Slice

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An Interview with Katherine Fawcett, by Liz Mathews

In the opening of his NPR book review of Katherine Fawcett’s The Little Washer of Sorrows, Jason Heller writes that the book  “is not what it seems.” Halfway through the third page of the first story of the collection the reader gets a heavy sense of this, and even though the tale clearly breaks from any reality you or I might recognize, you just have to know what’s going to happen next. This is true of pretty much every piece in the collection, including a short one called “Cannonball,” from the perspective of a kid whose mom is giving him some bad news. Have you ever bothered to consider bad news from an eleven-year-old’s point of view, since you were eleven? Afraid to go down that path? Indulge yourself.

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An Interview with Author Helen Phillips and Editor Sarah Bowlin, by Celia Johnson

With the publication of her debut novel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat, Helen Phillips has been compared to a host of literary masters: Kafka, Davis, Calvino, Atwood, Saramago, Borges, and more. Take note of the breadth of that list. Clearly, by evoking so many great writers and not just one, Phillips has created a work very much her own. The Beautiful Bureaucrat is at once surreal and familiar. It is the story of Josephine, a young woman who moves to a city with her husband. Josephine finds work at The Database, which seems, at first, as mundane as it sounds. But she soon discovers that she has become part of something more sinister than she could ever imagine. I spoke with Phillips and her editor, Sarah Bowlin, about memorable characters, the creative process, unsung heroes in the publishing industry, and more. For more from Phillips and Bowlin, check out our upcoming writers’ conference. They are both lined up to take part in panels.

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An Interview with Steven Wingate, by Jennifer Fandel

Steven Wingate’s short fiction has appeared in Slice issues #3 (“In Translation”) and #12 (“Obsession”), including an audio excerpt in “In the Telling” featurette here. I’ll be exploring Thirty-One Octets: Incantations and Meditations (WordTech/CW Books, 2014), which is Wingate’s second collection of poetry, with this self-proclaimed genre nomad.

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An Interview with Author Patricia Park and Editor Pamela Dorman, by Celia Johnson

Patricia Park’s debut novel, Re Jane, is a modern-day retelling of Jane Eyre. The story moves from the heart of Queens, New York, over to Brooklyn, and as far away as Seoul. Park’s protagonist, Jane, is insightful, sensitive, and funny. But the entire cast of characters in this book are fully rendered and thoroughly entertaining, from Jane’s overly direct uncle, Sang, to the academia-entrenched professors who invite Jane to live with them as an au pair. I spoke with Park and her editor, Pamela Dorman, about writing, editing, the publishing process, and more.

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