Book Fight

At the suggestion of a listener, in this special bonus episode we're discussing self-publishing, copyright, and how evolving digital technologies might influence both writers and publishers. Should writers and publishers embrace Creative Commons licenses and post their work online for free? Is copyright an outmoded idea? How can writers balance the desire to make a living with the desire to reach a wide reading audience? 

Direct download: BonusEpisode-Copyright.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week we've got questions about getting an MA, submitting to magazines that already published you, and finding a writing group. Also: Chubby Checker's less popular dance crazes, Tom's brief theater career, and Philadelphia's cheesiest pervert. 

Direct download: WritersAsk-WhoMovedMyCheese_2.mp3
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This week's book is a story collection from Foxhead Books, and features small-town characters whose lives have fallen short of their dreams. We talk about the difference between generous and stereotypical portrayals of small-town Southern characters, how to put together a story collection, and why Americans keep shooting each other. For more, visit

Direct download: Ep52-MichaelWayneHampton.mp3
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We're joined by Joshua Isard (author of Conquistador of the Useless, and director of Arcadia University's low-residency MFA program), who answers questions about reading your own reviews, and what to do with an MFA in creative writing. Josh shares some details about Arcadia's program, we talk a little smack about Jennifer Weiner, and we speculate about Babe Ruth's junk. 

Direct download: WritersAsk-LongLiveBeaverCollege.mp3
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We welcome guest Joshua Isard (author of the novel Conquistador of the Useless) to discuss Roth's 2004 novel, which imagines a midcentury America in which Charles Lindbergh is elected president on an "America First" platform of non-interventionism. We talk about the believability of the book's conceit, the idea of a "false memoir," and the continued presence of anti-semitism in the United States. We also bring back our Sticks and Stones segment, now with a special theme song. 

This episode is sponsored by Five Chapters, an online journal and press, which has recently begun publishing story collections, including Everyone's Irish by friend-of-the-show Ian Stansel. Check out everything they have to offer at

Direct download: Ep51-Roth_Plot_Against_America.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT