Tell Us Your Story!

When we started Big World a few years ago, it was really about building writing community. It grew out of our organic conversations about the need and the desire to carve out time and opportunity to get the writing done.

We were – and still are – about providing a chance for “butt in seat” writing.Writers who write get more written than writers who don’t. Simple as that.

Community – it’s a tough thing to maintain and to grow, especially when there are the usual suspects involved: full-time jobs, families, involvements, and doing our own writing.

Hats off to my co-moderator, who does the lion’s share of the organizing of the monthly write-ins. For my part, I would like to help grow our community via the blog and our social media, provide useful writing resources to writers in the Twin Cities and beyond, and to expose our readers to perspectives on writing they might not otherwise encounter.

That’s where you come in. We’d love to feature your experiences and stories as they relate to writing. We’d be interested in posts about:

  • Writing community – Do you have one? Who is a part of your writing community? What are your must-haves, when considering a writing community?
  • Writing soundtracks – What music/sounds helps you keep your writing mojo going? Jazz, classical, R&B, ambient noise, silence?
  • Writing goals – Look ahead to a year from now; what writing goals would you want to have accomplished by then? (BONUS: we’d love to see this in letter format, either to yourself, a la FutureMe, or to someone else of your choosing.)
  • What are you working on right now? – Longform descriptions of your current project, or #8Sunday format.
  • Submitting your writing – Lessons learned, tips, frustrations, etc. from the process of submitting your writing for publication
  • Photo tours – of bookstores, of write-ins, places to write, writer workspaces
  • Short reviews of process/editing books and or annotated bibliographies for writing books
  • Tips for the self-publishing journey

Interested? Email us at [at] and share your stories!

A few quick and dirty guidelines. The post must be:

  1. Original
    It can’t be a post that has been posted anywhere else before. In other words, it must be a new post.
  2. At least 200 words long.
    This is for the content part, not counting the title and bio.
  3. At most 50 words bio.
    You may include links to your website/blog and/or social media channels here. Please put the bio at the end of the post. We will write an introduction at the beginning.

A word on location: as we are based in the Twin Cities, we especially want to hear from Minnesota-based writers, but we’re open to all.

Also, since we’re a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary, multi-genre writing group, we want our guest post authorship to reflect a wide range of identities and experiences, including those that are systemically underrepresented in the world of writing (which are typically the same identities that are marginalized everywhere else, just sayin.’).

Thanks and we look forward to building and growing a writing community with you!



Form, Long vs. Short

by Big World Writing Club Moderator A2

Here we are, almost mid-way through the year, and I’m already thinking ahead to NaNoWriMo; or rather, I’m wondering if I’m going to do it at all this year.

For NaNo 2011, I wrote a series of connected short stories instead of a novel. (I’ve already talked about my very, very slow process. And at the risk of making all of my posts sound very angsty and tortured – I am neither of those things – I’m going to leave that there.) I’m finally getting two of the stories to where I want to, and I’ve just accepted that my process is going to be much slower than I anticipated. Maybe my focus for NaNoWriMo 2012 will be different from that of 2011. Stay tuned for more on that front. Big World is going to be busy this summer, so I’m sure all sorts of ideas will bubble up.

Anyway, this post is about short stories, and my growing appreciation for and interest in them. Recently, I returned to an article from 2008 featuring author Jhumpa Lahiri about misconceptions about short stories, called “Why size doesn’t matter in fiction.” Lahiri says:

In the wider world, there is a terrible hierarchy that people have between stories and novels. There is a sense that bigger is better and smaller is a diminutive, lesser thing. It’s maddening to me because I don’t understand it. I just think that if one is a serious reader of fiction, that argument doesn’t really hold very much water because some of the most remarkable works of fiction are short.

And as one of my favorite writers says, “But the short story deserves better than to be your practice date.”

As I approach June and revisit my writing goals for the year,  I find that they are shifting a little bit. My goal now is simple: I would like to spend some time with short stories: reading more of them and writing more of them without feeling as though I need to expand all of them into sweeping novels.

First step: add Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies to my to-read list. School’s in session.