Novel Writing


Fiction Fall 2017


A Journal of Practical Writing

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The latest issue of Meredith Sue Willis's Books for Readers,(Issue # 192) just went live with reviews of To the Lighthouse and a book of Appalachian murders called Appalachian Murders & Mysteries: True Stories from Kentucky, West Virginina, and Southern Ohio.


Observation of Light Through the Foliage
The Day After the Eclipse
Yesterday– eclipse
crescent shadows like fish scales.
Now, soft pools of light.



Check out this article about what fiction can do--and maybe can't anymore.

See Meredith Sue Willis's books for children and teens and her workshops for adults and young people.

Here's the link to a review of a new reprint edition of A Space Apart by George Brosi.       

New book on writing from teachers at Hindman (the AppalachianWriters Workshop).
More information here.

Free writing exercise 7-27-17: Three Relationships


Summer Special: E-book version of A Space Apart 75% off at Use the coupon here.


A new edition of MSW's first novel A Space Apart is nowavailable in hard copy from Irene Weinberger Books. The ebook is available from Foreverland Press. For a description of this new edition and reviews of both the first and current editions, click here.

Recent news about Meredith Sue Willis.

A nice birthday present: a short piece on me on West Virginia Public Broadcasting: "This Week in West Virginia History: WV Public Broadcasting for May 31, 2017." (Click on the title for text, then scroll down to "Listen" for the audio clip.)

The Unbroken Circle is now available on Kindle:

Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South

In turbulent times, what we need is possibility, and in this rich gathering of diverse voices, Editors Julia Watts and Larry Smith give us just that. A girl molds clay against her deaf brother?s ears to heal him. A gay man finds his Appalachian clan in a dark world. These are stories and essays about the blues, about poverty, about families lost and made. Unbroken Circle is about broken and unbroken lives, and ultimately, hope.

To purchase, try the usual online suspects or Bottom Dog Press directly. For the Kindle edition, click here.

For more information about this book, contact: Larry Smith,, phone: 419-602-1556, fax: 419-616-3966, URL:

An interesting blog post with commentary on novels in the present tense: pro, con, and practical ("...the story chooses the tense...")



See my story in the new anthology of literature from West Virginia: Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods


Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes came to the Ethical Culture
Society of Essex County to speak about
and read from her book Losing Aaron.


Some Poems I like:

  • A favorite Shakespeare monologue:

    Clarence's speech from Richard III:
    (not pleasant, but gorgeous for all that)
    Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower,
    And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
    And, in my company, my brother Gloucester;
    Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
    Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England,
    And cited up a thousand fearful times,
    During the wars of York and Lancaster
    That had befall'n us. As we paced along
    Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
    Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling,
    Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
    Into the tumbling billows of the main.
    Lord, Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
    What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears!
    What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!
    Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
    Ten thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon;
    Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
    Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
    All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea:
    Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes
    Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
    As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
    Which woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
    And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.
  • Beautiful audio version of Wordsworth's "Daffodils"
  • Poem about organizing and the human of political movements.
  • A poem of what a mirror sees and has seen by Gail Mazur.
  • Poem of comfort in desolation, by Ellen Bass
  • Here's a wonderfully heavy yet surprisingly uplifing poem by Emilia Phillips with lonely people in restaurants and a dead dream horse.
  • More poetry: a series of anti-Keystone pipeline poems by one of my favorite professors, Karl Patten.  The poems are introduced by Cynthia Hogue.
  • Article (with links to some of her wonderful poems) about Naomi Replansky.
  • Poem about honoring the recently assassinated Americans.
  • A reading from 2001 by Crystal Wilkinson of her poem "Dear Johnny P."


Jami Attenberg on autobiography & fiction:  "Nonfiction, while more 'true' than fiction, is bound by limitations in part because of its responsibility to that sametruth. You can know only so much in nonfiction. But with fiction, you can have it all." I'm not crazy about Attenberg's attitude in this essay, in which she comes across as having an over-developed sense of entitlement, but scroll down and find what Junot Diaz and others say about readers who want to know if fiction really happened.

New issue of The Hamilton Stone Review (no. 36, spring 2017) now online!

Poetry by Chris Abbate, Michael Aird, Bruce Alford, Lisa Bellamy, Tony Beyer, Ace Boggess, Carrie Bond, Michelle Brooks, Richard Cecil, Natalie Crick, Norita Dittberner-Jax, William Doreski, Abigail George, Howie Good, James Grabill, Nels Hanson, Michael Hettich, Alicia Hoffman, Clara B. Jones, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Kristin LaFollette, Allie Longn Kevin J.B. O’Connor, Al Ortolani, Roger Pfingston, Daniel Pravda, Zack Rogow, Terry Savoie, Barry Seiler, D.E. Steward, Lynn Strongin, Tim Suermondt, Ben Swimm, Pepper Trail, Lisa Zimmerman; Fiction by Ellen Conley, Troy Hill, Halvard Johnson, Lynda Schor, and Jane Stark; Nonfiction by Edward Myers. 

Writers and others: Do you have a website? Here are some resources on my Resources for Writers Page on making one or choosing someone to make one for you.

Teachers & Writers Magazine online republished an article of mine on teaching middle schoolers to write long stories and novels. You may also see the .pdf file of the article here.

How Virginia Woolf uses the omnisicent point of view.

My interview with my former student Helen Wan, author of The Partner Track, is now online at the NYUSPS Center for Applied Liberal Arts blog.

MSW' s upcoming appearances

Blog entry about this image.

Updated Biography  of Meredith Sue Willis--including an old news photo from 1968 when I was part of the anti-war sit-ins at Columbia University.

Updated Information on bringing Meredith Sue Willis to your book group, library, or school.




Click here for reviews of Meli's Way

Meli's Way Book Cover Image



Valerie Nieman on Meli's Way


Meli's Way on YA Books Central


Midwest Bookwatch/Children's Bookwatch
Ed Davis Blog

Meli's Way is now an e-book for Kindle and other formats!
Ed Davis Blog
For more information, or to buy, visit the publisher's web page. The book is also, of course, available online at amazon and Barnes & Noble.
  Contact Montemayor Press

MSW E-books!

Meli's Way Ebook Cover ImageOradell at Sea Ebook Cover ImageLove Palace Ebook Cover ImageDwight's House Ebook Cover ImageHigher Ground Ebook Cover ImageOnly Great Changes Ebook Cover Image
Trespassers Ebook Cover ImageA Space Apart Ebook Cover ImageRe-Visions Ebook Cover ImageOut of the Mountains Ebook Cover ImageThe City Bulit of Starships Ebook Cover Image

(To buy any of these books as e-books, click on the image. They are also available at the Kindle Store and at the Nook Store as well as the iBook store and other e-book stores.)



black horsey
Irene Weinberger Books.... an imprint of Hamilton Stone Editions. Check us out!



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Thanks Wikipedia