A Writer’s Greatest Fear

By Mel Blasingame | April 10, 2019

After weeks, months, maybe even years of work, you’ve finally completed a writing project that you feel deserves an award. It’s your baby—you brought an idea to life, nurtured it, and helped it grow into what it is today. Congratulations! You’re a proud parent! You want to show off your accomplishment to the world, but you can’t yet. There’s one crucial aspect of the creative process that every writer needs to go through: peer review. Don’t panic! I know it … READ MORE…

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Return to Simplicity

By Edward Callery | April 5, 2019

I often find myself craving the thought patterns and imagination of younger years—a reality unhinged, naïve, and above all else, limited. My appreciation for reading has really dulled over these past few years; I guess academic writing will do that to you, but I find myself coming to blows with it more and more often. What I can’t forgive is the same disregard from creative writing—just carelessly preparing extravagant dishes, only to try and force-feed them down my metaphorical gullet. … READ MORE…

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So You Want to Write a Thesis

By Lauren Kennedy | March 28, 2019

By the time you start grad school you will hear all your fellow students talking about their thesis ideas. Knowing that you have to write a thesis, a large body of work with your own research and contribution to a field of study, can feel overwhelming at times. The first suggestion I have is to think about what interests you the most. For me as a literature major, this can be anything as general as deciding between British literature, American … READ MORE…

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Top 5 Writers for Children’s Literature in China

By Wenchuan Hu | March 15, 2018

Children’s literature in China has a much shorter history compared to other kinds of literature. Even though the history is short, there are a huge number of classics. With the development of the genre, people in China now pay more attention to children’s education, which encourages the development of children’s literature in return. Here are the top five writers of children’s literature in China. 5. Shen Shixi He is a bestselling children’s author in China. He is best known for … READ MORE…

Five* Spotify Playlists by Writers (or Inspired by Them)

By Stella Kim | March 8, 2018

Spotify playlists have taken over as the preferred way to listen and discover music. It has also become a popular way to share playlists with friends and family. Curated playlists are also becoming popular, specifically ones created by artists and celebrities. If you do not have a Spotify account, signing up is free. You will have to listen to ads here and there, but if that becomes unbearable, Spotify offers premium accounts for students at a discounted price. Here are … READ MORE…

Why You Should Listen to Music When Writing

By Mel Blasingame | March 1, 2018

Music, in general, helps you focus. Is the dog barking annoyingly in the backyard? Your significant other playing video games too loud? No problem! Put in some earbuds and tune into your favorite playlist as you tune out all of the distractions of daily life. Music will take you away from this world and give you your own little writing bubble. Listening to music with no lyrics, like movie scores, classical, and EDM, are actually proven to maximize your focus … READ MORE…

The Woman Behind the Journal, Interview with Shay Rahm

By Kelsey Smythe | February 22, 2018

Professor Shay Rahm is the Publishing Director for New Plains Student Publishing, but sometimes we just call her “Empress.” Shay is motivational, inspirational, encouraging, and all around a great teacher. We owe her a great deal for her patient coaching and tireless leadership. Read on for more about the woman behind the journal. Kelsey Smythe (KS): To start off, can you introduce yourself? SR: My name is Shay Rahm and I am a lecturer of English at the University of … READ MORE…

Song Analysis: “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of a Bay” by Otis Redding

By Alexandria Sanders | February 15, 2018

Otis Redding has been noted as one of the greatest soul singers and composers of all time. Also known as the “The King of Soul,” he is remembered mostly because of his powerful voice, soulful lyrics, and who he inspired. Redding did not only influence the masses, he influenced many famous musicians. Some artists that Otis Redding have inspired or have covered his songs include The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Willie Nelson, Al Green, Pearl Jam, Etta James, Rod Stewart, … READ MORE…

Inspiration is Fleeting

By Joe Zook | February 10, 2018

Inspiration, that fickle little beast that makes you unable to concentrate, let alone do anything else until it uses your pen to leap onto the page—or at least that seems to be how it feels for me. Don’t let it fool you though. Inspiration is something that doesn’t show up often, and most times you might have a deadline. You might not have time to wait for inspiration to strike. Don’t be waiting for it, lure it out with the … READ MORE…

Interview with John Granger, Dean of Harry Potter Scholars

By Alexandra Savage | February 1, 2018

John Granger, given the moniker of “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars” by TIME magazine, is a published author and internationally renowned lecturer on the artistry of J.K. Rowling’s writing and Wizarding World. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago then proceeded to get his Master of Fine Arts from Oklahoma City University in Creative Writing. Currently, Professor Granger is seeking his doctorate through Swansea University in Wales. He’s been a featured speaker at a plethora of … READ MORE…

Top 5 Kurt Vonnegut Novels

By Betsy Dickens | November 16, 2017

Most people who know me well know that my all-time favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. I’ve taken many a trip to Half Price Books solely to buy out every copy they had of his books. I’ve almost finished collecting every book he’s written, including an encyclopedia of his characters and made-up words. I even have a tattoo of one of his many famous doodles. In honor of Vonnegut, I’ve compiled this list of his very best novels, number one being … READ MORE…

Post-Halloween Writing Exercises

By Mary Means | November 9, 2017

Hey there, poets! Many of our prose writing comrades are beginning to burrow themselves into the leafy soil of NaNoWriMo. You may be sitting on your bathroom floor a half-eaten Laffy Taffy stuck to your face, wondering if there are any special post-Halloween writing exercises that are just for poets. The answer is no. These exercises are for prose writers too. 1. Candy Wrapper Ransom Note Before you get too excited, you can put away rope and duct tape. This … READ MORE…

5 Less-Known Spooky Short Stories

By Kelly McConnell | November 7, 2017

Halloween may be over, but the incoming cold, overcast weather is still perfect for bundling up by a fire and reading some spooky stories. Perhaps you’re tired of reading the same old Goosebumps book you’ve read since you were in elementary school. There’s too much going on at this point in the semester to have time in your schedule to read your favorite horror novels anyway. But you still want something scary to read under the safety of your covers … READ MORE…