Seeing the World as a Writer Sees It

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272 pages
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Title: MFA in a Box
Subtitle: A Why to Write Book
Author: John Rember
Publisher: Dream of Things
ISBN 978-0-9825794-2-8

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo and elsewhere.

“The essential truths about excellent writing.” – The Judges of the Hoffer Awards

“Beyond Burroway. This is the book for the serious student of writing.” – Jo-Ann Mapson, author, and co-creator of the University of Alaska Low-Residency MFA Program

“Witty, audacious, and wise, John Rember’s MFA in a Box is a unique and valuable book….You’ll be enthralled. And walk away a more astute and vibrant writer.” –Robin Metz, author of Unbidden Angel, winner of the Rainer Maria Rilke International Poetry Award, and Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Knox College

“What makes [this book] different than the many, many books about writing on the market today is the way Rember engages his readers in some of the issues every writer faces — writing about place, about family, about grief — not as problems to be overcome but as issues to be understood.” –Jeff Baker, Book Editor, The (Portland) Oregonian

“For writers and teachers searching for rejuvenation of their work and affirmation of it, this book is a sacred read.”– Renee D’Aoust, author of Body of a Dancer

MFA in a Box  should be on every writer’s bookshelf.” –Randy Richardson, President, Chicago Writers Association

“If you are ready to plunge into the depths of your writer’s soul and uncover the secrets that you might be holding back, then MFA in a Box could change the whole way you think about the process of writing.” – Sharon Harrigan, author, poet, journalist, Walking on the Highway

If your adult child is living in your basement, claiming to be a writer…

If you’ve thought you don’t need no stinking MFA…

If you’ve been banned from your writing group…

YOU NEED THIS BOOK!


MFA in a Box is a different kind of book on creative writing — and, more broadly, on the creative process. Part craft talk, part philosophical tome, part memoir, MFA in a Box is not so much a book about how to write as it is about why to write. In chapters that explore the relationships between the writer and love, grief, place, family, race, violence, and other topics, author and creative writing professor John Rember (Sudden Death Over Time, Traplines, Cheerleaders from Gomorrah) helps writers dive deep into their own writing. He tells them how they can breathe down there and how they can get back.

“A big part of writing involves grappling with the terrors and discouragements that come when you have writing skills but can’t project yourself or your work into the future,” says Rember. “My hope is that MFA in a Box will help writers balance the despair of writing with the joy of writing. It’s a book designed to help you to find the courage to put truth into words and to understand that writing is a life-and-death endeavor–but that nothing about a life-and-death endeavor keeps it from being laugh-out-loud funny.”

More Praise for MFA in a Box

“Not your father’s writer’s manual. Rember’s humor is dry, mordant, and merciless.” Kent McDaniel, Windy City Reviews

“The best book I’ve read about writing and living the creative life.” Gretchen Little, “A Book Review and More,” Squidoo

“Maybe not a book for the faint-hearted writer–unless you want to stop being faint-hearted.” Richard P. Flanagan, Colby College

“There is such a wealth of life in each essay…deep, authentic stuff about relationships, politics, religion, mythology…and everything is discussed with such perfect humor. I love the Rules for Writers at the end of the chapters…really useful as well as entertaining. This book should be mandatory for any writing course, undergrad or graduate. This is so much more than a craft book…this is an inspiration. It makes me want to write, helps me find the courage to do so, and allows me see the purpose in the hard work of it.” Rebecca Elgin, wolvesandwriting.com

“The best book I’ve read on why to write. Deep. Wise. Thoughtful. Informative. Hilarious.” Adrienne Christian, author, editor, teacher, broadcast journalist

“Rember cleverly makes the reader dig into her own unconscious wisdom to recognize the true jewel at the center of a story. This book is not filled with rules and dogma to guide the writing process. Instead, an understanding of our relationship to our place on earth, acknowledging that our civilization is built on violence, and ‘how the big moments in life require a witness,’ impel us to infuse our stories with truth.” The Judges of the Hoffer Awards

“John Rember is unafraid to stare down life’s big questions, but does so always with a twinkle in the eye. Like the fool in King Lear’s court, he will rap you on the noggin with a truth so sweet it hurts. If you don’t close his book somehow transformed, you may well be un-transformable. Rember demonstrates time and again what it means to write as a fully engaged human being, teaching along the way that deep writing is deep living, and profound fun.” Robert Peake, The Silence Teacher

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