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PICKS OF THE WEEK: Inspirational reads for National Novel Writing Month

Get inspired to write with these new books available at the BWG Library
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BWG Library Picks of the Week

November is National Novel Writing Month and BWG Library is joining other Simcoe County Libraries with supports and virtual programs for local authors. Watch our website for links to virtual programs and much more about NaNoWriMo. The BWG Library also has many books to assist you with your writing, check out this selection of new books from 2021 about creative writing. 

Never say you can’t survive by Charlie Jane Anders.  

Things are scary right now. We’re all being swept along by a tidal wave of history, and it’s easy to feel helpless. But we’re not helpless: we have minds, and imaginations, and the ability to visualize other worlds and valiant struggles. And writing can be an act of resistance that reminds us that other futures and other ways of living are possible. Full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish during the present emergency, Never Say You Can’t Survive is the perfect manual for creativity in unprecedented times. 

Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping by Matthew Salesses 

The traditional writing workshop was established with white male writers in mind; what we call craft is informed by their cultural values. In this bold and original examination of elements of writing - including plot, character, conflict, structure, and believability - and aspects of workshop - including the silenced writer and the imagined reader - Matthew Salesses asks questions to invigorate these familiar concepts. He upends Western notions of how a story must progress. How can we rethink craft, and the teaching of it, to better reach writers with diverse backgrounds? How can we invite diverse storytelling traditions into literary spaces? 

This Strange Visible Air: Essays on Aging and the Writing Life by Sharon Butala 

In this incisive collection, Sharon Butala reflects on the ways her life has changed as she's grown old. She knows that society fails the elderly massively, and so she tackles ageism and loneliness, friendship and companionship. She writes with pointed wit and acerbic humour about dinner parties and health challenges and forgetfulness and complicated family relationships and the pandemic -- and lettuce. And she tells her story with the tremendous skill and beauty of a writer who has masterfully honed her craft over the course of her storied four-decade career. 

How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America 

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) is known for providing unparalleled resources on the craft, art, and business of storytelling, helping writers of all levels improve their skills for nearly a century. Now, this new handbook helps authors navigate the ever-shifting publishing landscape - from pacing, plotting, the business side of publishing, to the current demand for diversity and inclusivity across all genres, and more. 

The Bridge: Writing Across the Binary by Keith Maillard 

In this stunning memoir, Maillard creates an intricate collage of childhood memories, exploring the contradictory and destructive forces at work that put his very life at risk. For young Keith, writing proved to be a way to fight against what the world was telling him. In his scribbled stories, he began to spot the faintest glimmer that things could be different. And he kept fighting for years -- decades -- until he found a new understanding of his own nonbinary identity. 

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders 

For the last 20 years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times.