Today we are pleased to feature Jonathan Duckworth as our Authors Talk series contributor. In this interview by fellow writer Jaimie Eubanks, Jonathan discusses his story, “On Clear Days I Can See Your Aura.”
Jonathan tells us how he decides what a story is about and how his spontaneous writing process is guided mostly by what a story calls for. Though his approach to writing is without “method,” Jonathan finds that a short story assembles itself. He concludes the podcast by discussing the differences between writing a novel and a short story.
Today we are pleased to feature poet Johannah Racz Knudson as our Authors Talk series contributor.
Johannah speaks about her poem, “Cosmology: Four Score,” and her current main creative project titled Transylvania Blue. She discusses Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and how the voice of authority of the speech has benefited her poem. After discussing the background of the poem, Johannah moves on to her current project, a biography centered around the life of her great uncle who escaped from the Nazis and eventually immigrated to Canada. She concludes her podcast by emphasizing the importance of sharing his story, which is her own rich yet painful inheritance.
To know more about Transylvania Blue visit Johannah’s blog here.
Today we are pleased to feature C.A. Schaefer as our Authors Talk series contributor.
C.A. Schaefer discusses the origin of her short story “Raw Materials.” She parallels performed magic and fiction, and how she serves as both the magician and assistant of her own work. She then talks about research being at the heart of her writing and the importance of science, philosophy, history, and art in the fantastic. She ends her talk by discussing the next step for her writing; one of endless possibility.
C.A. Schaefer’s short story, “Raw Materials,” can be read in Issue 20 of Superstition Review.
Today we are pleased to announce that future contributor Rebecca Hazelton has been recently featured in The New Yorker. Rebecca’s poem “Generic Husband” can be read on their website and will appear in the November 13, 2017 Issue.
We are glad to feature Rebecca in our upcoming Issue 20 of Superstition Review.
Reading submissions for Superstition Review allowed me to think about the stories I love to read. I’ve found that the best stories have a character I can connect with, and also an interesting problem.
There are so many elements that can make a piece of writing good. The first thing that comes to mind is characterization, which means creating round characters, with both internal and external struggles, and a full life that exists outside the page. My sister says that when she finishes a good book, she sometimes misses the characters and the time that she’s spent with them. One of my professors will always remind us in class not to say the word character, because writers are actually creating souls.
But it’s not enough to have an interesting character sitting in a room doing nothing. What makes a character truly endearing and relatable is their problems and how they choose to deal with them. Even Nick Carroway and Jay Gatsby without their dramatic love affairs would likely not hold a reader’s attention very long.
This is where I feel we get the human experience: when we read about someone relatable that has a problem foreign to us. Or someone that is completely foreign to us, and how they’ve overcome their problems (or not). Stories are about what a character wants and what they are willing to go through to get it. These struggles create an empathetic connection between the reader and the outside world.
Scientific American recently highlighted a study that found reading literary fiction helps young students to learn empathy. The experiment presented young groups with various types of reading; literary fiction, genre fiction, nonfiction, and nothing. The young readers that read literary fiction were significantly stronger at inferring others’ thoughts and emotions. Through seeing someone else’s trials and tribulations, a person is able to learn better how to interpret other people.
Interesting souls with interesting problems create the basis of fiction that empathetically moves readers. These are the kinds of stories that I love; stories that help to build an understanding of the world around us.
Bio: John Chakravarty is an undergraduate student at ASU majoring in English and Creative Writing. He is the Fiction Editor at Superstition Review. He also interns at Four Chambers Press reading submissions. When he graduates he hopes to write, edit, and publish for the comic book industry.