Saul Bellow’s College English Professor Called Him A ‘Dud’

Saul Bellow may be considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, but he apparently didn’t show much potential until well into his college career.

Stephen Dobyns Was His Own Toughest Critic

“The poems I read were wonderfully graceful poems and then I wrote something that looked absolutely like dogshit and the impulse was to stop entirely, and sometimes I would, but then I’d come back to it.”

5 Essential Tips For Writing A Book

The creative process may be mysterious at times, but when it comes to writing, there are certain tried and true tactics for putting together a significant work, as one soon-to-be author recently found out.

The Miseducation of Mona Simpson

As Simpson tells OpeningLines in this interview, the idea that she would pursue a career as a writer – let alone a fiction writer – was anything but a foregone conclusion for the girl who grew up in a single-parent household.

R.L. Stine’s First Job: Professional Plagiarism

All that R.L. Stine wanted to be when he grew up was an illustrator and the editor of a humor magazine. Instead, he ended up plagiarizing interviews for his first job and then becoming one of the country’s most successful horror writers.

How Christian Lander Stumbled on What (White) People Like

How do you become a phenomenally successful blogger? For Christian Lander, the answer is simple: you just have to fail at everything else.

Ron Carlson’s Stories Got Censored in Fourth Grade

Carlson, a renowned short story writer and novelist, speaks with Opening Lines about his early days writing horror skits and how teaching nearly killed his writing career.

For Jennifer Egan, Success Came Too Soon

Jennifer Egan was fortunate enough to get a short story published in the New Yorker when she was just 26, but as she confesses in this interview, in some ways, it made her writing career much more difficult.

Flannery O’Connor: The Writer Who Couldn’t Spell

She was either a renaissance woman or just an indecisive one. Before she settled into a life as a novelist and short story writer, Flannery O’Connor dabbled in journalism, cartoons, poetry and poultry.

Sloane Crosley: Great Writer, Terrible Painter

Sloane Crosley

Those who read Crosley’s work seem to end up with one of two conclusions. Either they praise her as one of the funniest women writing today, or they bash her for being… well, one of the funniest women writing today.

John Wray’s Unfinished Work

John Wray could be the future of American fiction, unless he gets sidetracked by another hobby first.

Lois Lowry Grew Up Too Soon

Lois Lowry has charmed readers for years with her imaginative and moving stories. In this interview with Opening Lines, she describes her early attempts at being a poet.