February 2013

Everything I Need to Know I (Re)Learned in Kindergarten

Last week I went to my son’s midyear parent-teacher conference. I was prepared to take notes and discuss his work. What I didn’t anticipate was a mini-writing workshop–– a refreshing twist to the usual discussion. To teach writing to the children, my son’s school utilizes a method Lucy Calkins developed. She is the Founding Director of the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University’s Teachers College.


The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International protests the charges brought against freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim over an unpublished interview with an alleged rape victim. Ibrahim, who has been detained since January 10, 2013, was charged on January 29 with insult to a national institution, publishing a media report and paying a bribe to create a false story. The charges are in connection with an interview Ibrahim conducted on January 6, 2013, with an internally displaced woman who alleged that she was raped by state security forces.

Writing About Blogging About Writing...

I’m nervous. Not about my writing––the collection’s coming along. What I’m nervous about is this blog. But I'll get to that in a moment.

2012 Emerging Voices Fellows

Jonathan Alfi

Jonathan Alfi was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 2008, he earned a Bachelors of Arts in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles. Alfi lives in Venice, California, and is writing his first novel, Saint with Lipstick.

Honest Space: An Interview With Lucy Corin

Photo credit: Robinberg Photography

At this point in The Mark program, I thought it would be helpful to reach out to Lucy Corin, my teacher from my masters program at UC Davis. I often look to writers I admire for guidance, and I’m excited to share some of Lucy’s inspiring thoughts with you here, on The Mark blog.

What's a Short Story, Anyway?

I thought I'd gotten the definition of a short story straight. Almost every conversation on the topic starts with Edgar Allan Poe’s famous quote: “A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build toward it.” But an overwhelming number of opinions and definitions flow from there.