Monday, November 01, 2010


A FundsforWriters reader, Will Cantrell, asked me to read his essay in The Morning Dew. He writes well, so I scooted over there. I fell in love with the publication.

I'm a fan of slices-of-life essays, pieces that dissect us and define little moments of our existence into beautiful prose. No memoir, no family history, just bits of human beings and how we function. It's hard to find pieces that address soul-touching topics with magical prose. Some writers write well and others have great ideas, but when one writer can marry both, it's like Southern fried chicken fixed to perfection - nothing beats it.

This weekend, The Dew had an essay entitled The Stubborn One by Mark Dohle. It spoke of a tree, the type of tree I've noticed at several times in my life. As someone enamored with nature and the outdoors, I cherish trees. When I bought my place on the lake, it was wooded. They cleared more trees than I desired for the homesite, and the first time I saw the results I cried. I've spent every year since then, in an act of foregiveness, planting trees back in their place.

And I teared up at this essay.

This is what I love to read and would be honored to write. I try, and occasionally I hit the mark in my FundsforWriters essays. Essays are my drug of choice in my profession. There aren't many markets for essays, and those available tend to attract those top shelf authors who've made their living with novels, journalism and nonfiction books. These are people who've mastered their writing niche, and publications want that brand in their pages. Literary journals ask for essays, but not many hit home with me.

Guess I like blue-collar literary writing. That's my niche.

What's your niche? What is the star in your writing solar system? What niche and style draw the best of you out of your inner, reclusive soul and carries you to a new level you're almost embarrassed to show your mother? That's the writing we need. That's the writing that sells.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what my writing niche is but I hope to try Southern Fried Chicken before I die!

anjie said...

Wow, I just got a short short published about climbing trees and aging at
if you feel like checking it out.

I wrote it after climbing a tree at a writing retreat -- where I felt I hadn't gotten much done. I guess I just had to get out and do something that made me FEEL that day, to be able to write from someplace special within.

Thanks for posting,