A Northwest Based Literary Journal

Craft of Writing rss


The Silenced Story

February 21, 2017

In a response to a blog on my personal site a while ago about the writing voice, a commenter who goes by the avatar Joplingirl noted that, “Finding a voice is inherently about bringing to the page a silenced story.” I love that idea, and the thought has occurred to me occasionally since, no doubt… Read More ›


Kill Your Darlings, Not Your Characters

Story themes seem to come in waves, like currents in time. Lately it’s been of the sort I callously call “After the Funeral,[1]” in which someone, usually a loved one, has just died and the people left behind get to remember and self-analyze. ATF has become ever more frequent in our submission queue, even more… Read More ›


Images and Imaginations of Guinevere

By Dina Greenberg Over the course of two short weeks, I wrote “Guinevere Tries a New Kind of In-vitro” in response to a series of paintings by Elisabeth Chant (1865-1947). Chant’s artwork—in particular, the ghostly watercolor triptych shown here—struck me as a remarkably feminist treatment of Arthurian legend. My flash fiction response became part of an… Read More ›


The Importance of Time in Writing… or Some Tips to Avoid Premature Submission

It took me a long time to understand just how much time goes into crafting an effective piece of fiction. That’s a bit ironic, I suppose, since I already knew that a good story takes a long time to write. I’m not necessarily talking about time spent at the keyboard, but time for the work… Read More ›


A Writer’s Role in the Coming Administration

I had wondered, throughout the 2016 campaign, of what a Donald Trump presidency might mean for writers and artists. Would funding be cut? Would laws be passed to suppress opinion? Would certain works be censored or banned? This is not to say that a Trump presidency guarantees reduced support of the arts, or that intellectual… Read More ›


Does Memory Really Work That Way?

It’s a common technique among short story writers: develop background and depth by triggering a character’s memories. We’ve all seen it—an unusual or profound sensory moment brings on a flood of recollection, often from childhood; scenes from events, vivid colors and emotions that help the reader understand the forces that shaped the character. Here’s an… Read More ›


When to Turn Nonfiction into Fiction

There is a fine line between fiction and nonfiction. In fact, some of us, yours truly included, believe that all fiction is rooted in some nonfiction, whether that truth be a certain emotion that triggers a storyline, or real-life events that the writer wants to spin into a fictional work. It can be tempting to… Read More ›


Who Gets to Judge: On the Editor and Diversity

A few weeks ago UK writer Tony Rock wrote a blog about our policy on diversity. In it, he seemed to be making the case that by encouraging diversity in our pages, we were making it more difficult for certain writers to be published. His comments were based on a paragraph that is on our… Read More ›


On Mothers and Daughters

By Tasha Cotter Lately, I’ve been immersed in two dazzling books: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout and When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams. Both books deal with ideas of motherhood in ways that are touching, sometimes sentimental, but always deeply honest. So often we read mother-daughter experiences that seem at… Read More ›


Why Proofreading Matters

Just a quick reminder to writers that the submission period for issue 8 of Tahoma Literary Review closes in a week, on August 31 at midnight. We’re making a special call for nonfiction work. But whether you write essays, poetry or stories, if you’ve got something ready, please consider sending it our way. Keep in… Read More ›