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Here are 5 literary Substacks to brighten your inbox.

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November 16, 2020, 12:23pm

Every morning I get up and do my morning pages, by which I mean read my morning pages, by which I mean read the one long page that is my Twitter feed. So recently I’ve started subscribing to newsletters, so I can be more purposeful about what knowledge I’m absorbing—and it is changing my life! (Changing my life in that I read more newsletters than I did before. But it’s a positive.) Here are a few great writing-oriented Substacks to keep you thinking throughout the week.

The Reading by Yanyi
On Sundays and Wednesdays: The Year of Blue Water writer, Foundry poetry editor, and Substack fellow Yanyi answers reader-submitted questions on craft. The Reading’s archive features particularly thoughtful advice on writing about identity, second drafts and finding joy in revision, and (of course) the MFA question.

CRAFT TALK by Jamie Attenberg
A weekly newsletter on writing, publishing, and living creatively, from All This Could Be Yours author and New York Times contributor Jami Attenberg. I especially appreciate her insight on revisiting works-in-progress.

Memoir Monday
Lit Hub has teamed up with our friends at Catapult, Granta, Guernica, Narratively, and The Rumpus to curate this weekly newsletter featuring the week’s best personal essays. Memoir Monday also hosts a quarterly nonfiction reading series.

What It Is I Think I’m Doing by Kaitlyn Greenidge
For What It Is I Think I’m Doing, Substack Senior Fellow and We Love You, Charlie Freeman author Kaitlyn Greenidge  writes “cultural criticism that is entirely unchained from the demands of the timely/the zeitgeist,” like this meditation on writing and family. Greenidge’s newsletter also features interviews with other writers; check out this conversation with Edward P. Jones on fiction.

Nice Try by Bud Smith
An autobiographical newsletter from Bud Smith, author of Double Bird (Maudlin House, 2018), Dust Bunny City (Disorder Press, 2017), and the forthcoming novel TEENAGER (Vintage, 2022). Come for the entertaining depictions of the writing process, stay for the hot takes on Infinite Jest: “Fuck [Infinite Jest’s] Notes and Errata…The guy could have just put that stuff in the book. If that stuff was important he would have just put it in the actual novel.”

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