Facts and Fiction by Robbie Shell

bees on honeycomb

It’s hard to describe the feeling of freedom I felt when I left my job as editor of an online business research and analysis site, and started to write a middle-grade novel on honeybees, pollination and Colony Collapse Disorder (the still mysterious syndrome that is killing millions of honeybees around the globe). I had been a business journalist for more than three decades in Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia, where I now live. All of a sudden, with the decision to write a work of fiction, I could make up names, make up quotes, make up … Continue reading Facts and Fiction by Robbie Shell

A Hidden Glimmering

image of attention

I often use this poem, The Summer Day by Mary Oliver, in my poetry workshops to demonstrate the importance of paying attention in the writing of poems: Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale … Continue reading A Hidden Glimmering

The Peninsula by Christi Craig

campground with RV

Bobbie Ellen leaned against the wall of the arcade at Minnow Lake Campground and squinted at Nick Baker. The first wave of a thick Oklahoma summer had sent her inside with the rest of the gang, where the dark room and A/C kept them all from drowning in the heat. Not that being inside offered much relief, since Nick hogged every inch of cool with his seventeen-year-old self as he stood in front of the air conditioner and worked his usual game, Primal Rage. He dropped fifty cents into the coin slot and played another … Continue reading The Peninsula by Christi Craig

Thinking About the Bologna Train Station by Stefanie Newman

Bologna massacre memorial

“I passed through Bologna once on the way to…” That’s how my favorite Italian city is usually featured in travel narratives. Tourists know its train station, a surprisingly modest building considering how many travelers are propelled through it and on to the rest of Europe. It is a squat two-story rectangle with an unfussy columned entrance. Its design is bereft of allusions to the excitement of rail travel. The architect might have had a post office in mind. Italian train stations always combine hurry and lassitude; waiting punctuated by last-minute alterations in the track assignments. … Continue reading Thinking About the Bologna Train Station by Stefanie Newman

Sue Eisenfeld: An Author’s Journey to Publish Creative Nonfiction

Mount Marshall, Shenandoah National Park

I recently interviewed my friend, Sue Eisenfeld, about her creative nonfiction writing, and it turns out she’s taught a range of courses and workshops at Johns Hopkins University in creative nonfiction. She’s taught travel writing, nature writing, and recently a course called The Literature of Science Writing that examines what makes science writing literary and not simply technical writing. Eisenfeld has also written as a freelance writer for twenty years, but far and above her essays and articles stands her first book, Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal, published by the University of Nebraska … Continue reading Sue Eisenfeld: An Author’s Journey to Publish Creative Nonfiction