About LitChat

LitChat is a fun, fast, and friendly way for book-lovers to talk about reading, writing and publishing on Twitter. We have moderated chat each Monday from 4-5 p.m. E.T.

Coming Up

All #litchat sessions begin each Monday at 4 p.m. E.T. and run until 5 p.m. E.T. You can follow the #litchat conversation in Twitter, or login directly to our dedicated channel at www.nurph.com/litchat.

Special #LitChat MFA Chats

LitChat is teaming up with the faculty of a new MFA program in writing for children and young adults at Sierra Nevada College for a series of evening click here to read more.

Author Blogs

When Words and Music Come Together

When Words and Music Come Together

The combining of music and poetry seems the most natural thing in the world. After all, poetry is musical by nature, plumbing the music of language in the pure sounds behind the sense of words. Adding actual music could be redundant, the results cloying, or overbearing. Yet, as composer Jeffrey L. Briggs showed…

The Tribe’s the Thing

The Tribe’s the Thing

The trajectory of my writing career has never been a normal one (if there is such a thing). My major was English, not Creative Writing, because I loved reading and writing about literature (I still do), and I didn’t finish my graduate degree until I was thirty….

A Writer’s Success Isn’t Book Sales Alone

A Writer’s Success Isn’t Book Sales Alone

It happens every day to writers: your book gets published and, as excited as you may have been, it goes nowhere or doesn’t go where you thought it would. Maybe it had a bad cover, poor marketing, another similar book came out at the same time with better packaging—you name it….

Writers Need Social Stimulation as Much as Solitude

Writers Need Social Stimulation as Much as Solitude

Writing books was supposed to be a dying art form. Poetry cast to the age of the dinosaurs—extinct with only the fossil remains of long dead masters of the craft. Parties? For writers? Puhlease! Writers aren’t fun. Writers don’t… party. Or do they?

Literature in the Digital Age

Literature in the Digital Age

I recently participated remotely in a discussion sponsored by the Funding Arts Network, the Betsy Hotel and Florida International University’s Miami Beach Urban Studios. While the other panelists were on site, I was connected by Skype video and projected on the event’s audio visual screen. Posted below is a Sway presentation featuring the text from my talk….

Crossover Fiction About Families

Crossover Fiction About Families

The magic pixie dust for how to reach lots and lots of readers may be elusive, but two things about book discoverability are indisputable: readers are always on the look out for good stories and writers are increasingly desperate to find their people. While the definition of crossover fiction…

Writing in the Round

Writing in the Round

Writers have a complicated and ever-changing relationship with the reader. And by the reader, I mean that hypothetical audience to which you’re supposed to be writing, that intended receptacle for your wisdom, your crafted prose, the performance of your particular form of entertainment: the delivery of a story….

Not a Review of Gail Godwin’s Memoir, Publishing

Not a Review of Gail Godwin’s Memoir, Publishing

It’s easy to compare ourselves to other writers and it’s a maladaptive practice we all engage in all the time, like kids looking around the table to see who got the biggest slices of pizza. The truth is, for all the differences we think exist, we have so much in common….

BEA and BookCon 2015: A Week-long Magic Carpet Ride

BEA and BookCon 2015: A Week-long Magic Carpet Ride

Alan Zweibel author, comedian, actor said at a panel at BookCon 2015 in New York City, “if you’re really lucky, you get to be friends with the artists you admire.”

From May 26 to 31 I felt a buzz about me like none other I’d experienced as a writer. I walked into the Javits Center…

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Book Reviews

Aim

By Joyce Hostetter; Reviewed by Carol Baldwin

aimWhen critically acclaimed children’s book author Joyce Hostetter’s editor suggested she write a novel based in her own backyard, Hostetter spun a tale of the polio epidemic in Hickory, NC and called it Blue (2006). The main character had more to tell and Hostetter’s 2009 novel Comfort  continues the story of Anne Fay dealing with the effects of polio, as well as her father’s return from WWII. Both novels were widely praised and won awards, but Hostetter knew there was more to these stories. A prequel to these two novels, Aim imagines the world before Blue

To the Bright Edge of the World

By Eowyn Ivey; Reviewed by Mary Vensel White

to-the-bright-edge-of-the-worldTo the Bright Edge of the World is Eowyn Ivey’s highly-anticipated second novel, another story set in the rugged and breathtaking expanse that is Alaska. Her debut, The Snow Child, was the tale of a pioneering, childless couple who build a little girl from snow and watch her magically come to life. Fans of Ivey’s touching, fairy tale first novel will find much to like in her new one, but it’s another type of story altogether.

Be Light Like a Bird

By Monika Schroeder; Reviewed by Carol Baldwin

be-like-a-birdSeveral weeks ago I attended Highlights Foundation Summer Camp and I’m still reflecting on the material I learned. One of the keynote addresses was by Susan Campbell Bartoletti which I blogged about here. In this review I use some of Bartoletti’s points to review Monika Schroeder’s latest middle grade novel, Be Light Like a Bird.

The Last Cherry Blossom

By Kathleen Burkinshaw; Reviewed by Carol Baldwin
TheLastCherryBlossom

Twelve-year-old Yuriko has become accustomed to daily air raid drills and the sounds of American B-29s flying over Hiroshima. But even though the sounds are familiar, she is always worried. Will we actually get bombed? What if the school collapses? Will a desk actually protect me? Is my papa safe? How will I find him if a bomb hits us?

Allegheny Front

By Matthew Neill Null; Reviewed by Billie Hinton
Allegheny Front

Like the river that rushes through Matthew Neill Null’s prize-winning debut story collection, Allegheny Front is a thing of wild beauty. And while the writing is what won Sarabande Books’ Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, the physical book itself is a delight to hold in the hand: textured cover with big bold imagery, lush creamy pages, the perfect size and weight for ease of reading. Which is all beside the point when the stories inside are riveting and raw, rich and searing, with turns of phrase as clear and sharp as the masterful cracking of a whip….

The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall

By Shannon Kirk; Reviewed by Dawn Reno Langley
The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne MarshallVivienne Marshall’s chance to shop for the heaven she will call her own begins the day she is struck down, a victim of texting-while-walking. The 35-year-old relives her life and plans her afterlife during the course of this extraordinary (excuse the pun) novel by award-winning author Shannon Kirk.

The novel imagines a process that dying people embark upon, the last choice they actually make during their lifetime: the choice of what life after life will become. Vivienne’s images of heaven …

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