Category Archives: News

Dawg Towne: A Review of Alice Kaltman’s Novel by Nancy Ludmerer

Cover of the book Dawg Towne

There are silhouettes of dogs cavorting on the cover, barking and begging, and a misspelled title. Was it so foolish to assume that the first-person narrator at the start of Alice Kaltman’s beguiling new novel Dawg Towne (word west press, 2021) is a canine? Given that some of my favorite stories have dog narrators—from Chekhov’s Kashtanka to Kafka’s Investigations of a Dog—and that I myself have written dog-narrated fiction (Head of A Dog in The Hong Kong Review), was that so wrong-headed? Dawg Towne begins: “You wouldn’t know me now, if you knew me then,” … Continue reading Dawg Towne: A Review of Alice Kaltman’s Novel by Nancy Ludmerer

An Interview with author Sharon Harrigan


I met Sharon one Saturday morning in late September at Writer House in Charlottesville, Virginia after dropping a writer off at the train station who had been at Porches writing retreat. We talked about Playing With Dynamite, a memoir about her father who died in a mysterious and bizarre accident when she was seven. Sharon: It’s cool to be talking to you because I was at Porches when I made the final edits on the book. It was my last opportunity to make any changes so it felt like it was high stakes and I … Continue reading An Interview with author Sharon Harrigan

On Talking to the Dead

flowers and baseball on a grave marker

I talk to dead people. Oh, don’t get worried. It’s not like they talk back. Although, there was that time… What I’m saying is that I have some graves that are my favorite haunts. (And just to be absolutely clear—it’s me that’s doing the haunting.) My grandmother’s for one. But also David’s, because my grandmother is several hours away. David, the firefighter and preacher. As his assigned mentor in the ministry, I spent a lot of hours with him. I also helped with his funeral five years ago after he was thrown from the vehicle … Continue reading On Talking to the Dead

Nancy Christie Interviews Our Fiction Editor

purple typewriter

Full disclosure: I didn’t ask Erika Raskin* to be this month’s interviewee until after she had decided on the story I had submitted. That being said, once she had reached her decision (a yes, by the way!), I followed up with an invitation to be on my Focus On Fiction blog, and she agreed. —Nancy Christie What is your role at Streetlight Magazine? I’ve been the fiction editor of the (beautiful) online arts journal for a year and a half. As an editor, what do you look for when deciding which piece to publish? I … Continue reading Nancy Christie Interviews Our Fiction Editor

Resources for Writers Series: Midwest Writers Workshop

Two matches burning together

After I attended the Midwest Writers Workshop this summer, I made a vow to write about it. I had gone to other writing conferences, but this one felt different. Warmer, helpful. Permanent. As a dutiful outreach coordinator whose mission is to offer writers opportunities to publish and improve their craft, I reached out to Jama Kehoe Bigger, the long-term director of the workshop. Jama didn’t disappoint. The warmth and enthusiasm which will envelop you as you read on is the same whether conveyed in writing, from a podium or in a conversation. Karol Lagodzki: Jama, … Continue reading Resources for Writers Series: Midwest Writers Workshop

Resources for Writers: Snowflakes in a Blizzard


Have you sold a novel for a seven-figure advance? Yes? Then this post is not for you. Still here? Skedaddle. Go write something. Yes? Okay. Now that we’re all alone, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Karol Lagodzki, and I have recently joined Streetlight Magazine’s staff as an outreach coordinator. I see my job as that of a conduit between writers and what they need. You will hear from me about our writing contests, free or inexpensive marketing and craft resources, and those writing conferences which represent good value for the cash-strapped among … Continue reading Resources for Writers: Snowflakes in a Blizzard

“A Great Time For Young Filmmakers” Eleanor Gaver, writer director

Scene of Sarah from Here One Minute movie.

A conversation with writer director Eleanor Gaver I met Eleanor Gaver in a writing workshop in L.A. and we kept in touch after she and her husband and daughter moved to NYC. I knew she had recently finished a film and knowing how hard it is to get financing I asked her how Here One Minute was able to go from script to screen. Eleanor: I got so tired of writing scripts and waiting years to get the money to make the film; I was so tired of hearing, ‘No.’ I decided to make a … Continue reading “A Great Time For Young Filmmakers” Eleanor Gaver, writer director

Amazing But True! Confessions from a Ghost (Writer): Diane Whitbeck

books with author name obscured

Some writers spend years honing their craft until their work unfolds with the effortless grace of an Olympic figure skater. It’s the kind of ease and proficiency that looks impossible—belying countless hours of rehearsal—and can make an audience gasp. Diane Whitbeck is such a writer. A prolific freelance writer and published author, she has ghostwritten fourteen books in just two and a half years and has also authored six books under her own name. I interviewed Whitbeck about her writing career, and though I had only a short list of questions, she offered me a … Continue reading Amazing But True! Confessions from a Ghost (Writer): Diane Whitbeck

The Consternations of Traveling South with Paul Theroux


A few years back I took a trip to Texas with Bill Clinton. It was not a fun trip. Clinton is pathologically self-referential and by the time he’d repeated the phrase, “Let me tell you one more clever thing I said when I did something bad,” for the eleventy-twelfth time, I was ready to leave him by the side of the road in Alabama. I sputtered at the car CD player (which is where books-on-tape lived before they became books-on-Audible…did I mention Clinton was on the CD and not in the car?), “I don’t care … Continue reading The Consternations of Traveling South with Paul Theroux

Cleaning Up


HELP, I’m roiled in moil, chaos on every side of me. My life flashes before my eyes, although the only thing I’m drowning in is the sorting of minute particulars. It’s a cautionary tale. Some time ago (has it been weeks?) I bought a copy of a benign looking little book called the life-changing magic of tidying up. It  had occurred to me, on numerous occasions that this is something I ought to be doing, tidying up, I mean, and so this looked like the answer to if not my prayers, probably somebody’s. Marie Kondo, … Continue reading Cleaning Up