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When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing and the Writing Life

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  6 reviews
When the Rewards Can Be So Great is a selection of craft talks delivered by faculty at the Pacific University MFA in Writing program. The essays in this exciting collection are at times deeply personal, providing insight into the development of the writers in their craft; and at times sharply practical and filled with long-tested approaches for writing with power and effec ...more
Paperback, 338 pages
Published July 15th 2016 by 1849 Editions
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Sayantani Dasgupta
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I taught this book in my advanced creative nonfiction class this year. Several of the essays, devoted to both fiction and nonfiction in this anthology, are absolutely stunning. My personal favorites were the ones by Benjamin Percy and Claire Davis. Highly recommended to all writers!
Isla McKetta
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
There are real gems in this collection (esp. essays by Dawes, Bass, Daux, Bell), but they are brought down by a few very long duds (I nearly choked on the length and self-indulgent repetitiveness of the McNally essay, thereby losing out on the rest of the book). This collection is best suited for beginning writers.
Sue
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This collection of essays about writing, created from the craft talks the faculty give at Pacific University, is a brilliant and inspiring book that looks at many facets of the writing process. Some of the essays are more didactic than others, using literary examples to discuss point of view, format and writing style. John McNally offers “The Shame, the Necessity, the Discouragement, and the Freedom: Rejection, Failure and the Bigger Picture” to raise the art of writing beyond merely creating a ...more
A.M. Pfeffer
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding on every level. Pam Houston's chapter specifically floored me. Mary Helen Stefaniak's six rules for all first-person narrators was spot on. John McNally is my kind of cynic! And Kawme Dawes crushed the editing on this one. I even found a new respect for poetry. Not that I didn't respect it previously, but it is admittedly not something I gravitate toward. Now I will. Now I do. This book has something to offer every facet of writer/author/poet/dreamer/aspiring talent. ...more
Theresa
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended by a workshop instructor, and it consists of essays from the Paciific MFA program written by faculty, essays that were adapted from in-person MFA workshops. I found some essays more instructive than others, just from a personal interest perspective. Highly recommended for writers who want to add to their toolbox.
Alison Hicks
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Useful collections of essays on the craft and also process of writing. The selections are varied, and some will resonate or be more helpful to some than others. That's the point of an anthology, though, for browsing and maybe finding some little piece of advice or point of view that opens a door. ...more
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Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica . As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of that lush place, citing in a recent interview his "spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music." His book Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley.

His 11th co
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