Packet 3: Your Reading Practice

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Additional Resources


Download a copy of the Book Review Template here or get it on Google docs here.


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A good day of writing can be either a fresh draft with new words or editing old words or even erasing old words. It’s any sort of progress that’s being made in the thoughtfulness about a story or a novel that’s going forward. For me that’s a good day. It’s progress. You’re going to start the next day further along than you were day before, you have a little better idea of what the story is that you’re writing and a little bit better idea of where it’s going to go next.

— Ross McMeekin

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Ross McMeekin’s debut novel, The Hummingbirds, was published by Skyhorse in 2018. His stories have appeared in Virginia Quarterly ReviewShenandoahRedivider, and Tin Houseonline. He edits the literary journal Spartan, and has been awarded fellowships from Hugo House and Jack Straw Cultural Center.

Ross McMeekin

You don’t just start playing concertos; you have to start with notes. You have to begin from the beginning; you can’t begin from the end. It’s going to be hard, and you’re going to look at people whom you admire and be like, “I could never do that.” But they didn’t come out of their mothers’ wombs writing that way. They worked hard. You have to work hard.

— Michelle Peñaloza

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Michelle Peñaloza is author of landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias) and Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes (Organic Weapon Arts). Her poetry and essays can be found in places likeNew England Review, Pleiades, TriQuarterly, Off Paper, Vinyl, and The Collagist, with poems forthcoming in Prairie Schooner and Cincinnati Review. Michelle is the recipient of fellowships from Kundiman and the Richard Hugo House, awards from 4Culture, and Artist Trust, recent residencies from Caldera and The Lemon Tree House, and scholarships from VONA Voices and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, among others. Michelle lives in rural Northern California.