I have this theory, that when the calendar flips past Daylight Savings Time and we start to feel less productive, it’s a result of the light and the illusion that the day is shorter. We still get up at the same time, but the sun doesn’t rise until we’re on our commute and at 4:30, it’s dark and we feel like the day is over, despite the clock saying the same thing it did in August. We feel like we didn’t get enough done in the day, simply because it feels like the day is over so much sooner. Our students are feeling this too–I’m sure I’m not the only one noticing a certain strain on their faces. We’re in that place where we need a new spark to our writing and teaching as we prep for the last run to finals and are trying to simultaneously prep for spring semester.
That’s how we envision this blog, as an extension of Assay’s mission, between the issues. We want to publish the work that supports what we’re doing in the main issues and what our readers are doing. We’re committed to expanding our syllabi bank, to compiling a list of global nonfiction writers, and extending our discussions into the blog itself. Click on the Follow link on the left to keep updated on what’s happening here. If you don’t already like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, those are two more good resources.
We discovered, quite by accident, a treasure trove of truly excellent work not often considered for publication–students’ reading responses. Whether undergraduate or graduate, these brief forays into a work can be bright and fresh and absolutely worthy of a larger audience. We want those–send them to us! As teachers, we often require these of our students, but we don’t often visualize a larger audience for them–and that’s our job, to support writers at all levels. Reading-responses-turned-blog-posts should be more than summaries of a work, more than general observations.
Past AWP panel papers are another source of potential blog posts that shouldn’t collect dust. B.J. Hollars’ post this week came out of a recent AWP paper. Most of us do–and those ideas deserve a wider audience.
We want fresh, provocative explorations of texts, perspectives, pedagogies, and more. Perhaps you saw an article and that sparked something–right now, this article from NPR this week, “How Animals Hacked the Rainbow and Got Stumped on Blue,” is making me think about the essays I know that are on color, particularly Ashley Hays’ “Ultramarine.” I feel an essay coming on…
We’re specifically looking for entries into our weekly series, but don’t feel constrained by them:
- “My Favorite Essay to Teach” (a series published on Mondays): tell us about a favorite essay to teach, how you approach it, how students respond, etc. Give us a glimpse into your classroom.
- “Wednesday Writers to Read” (a series published on Wednesdays): tell us about what you’re reading. It can be an old favorite, a newly published book, a text you’re teaching. If somebody has already posted on the book you’re reading, feel free to send in a differing opinion on it. Our goal here is to compile a resource list of texts. You could also write up brief reviews of the nonfiction published in the new issues of literary journals, for this series.
We seek submissions of 750 words or less for our ongoing blog series. Guest Posts to the blog should be provocative, in the sense of starting conversations with our readers. Because of the space requirements, language should be tight and luminous, the point sharp and bright.