Tag Archives: Novelists

Interview with Brian Anderson

I’m privileged to bring my readers a conversation with one of the finest up-and-coming novelists around, my good friend Brian Anderson.

In our discussion, Brian shares his thoughts on his excellent novel Groundwork, the writing process, and many other topics of interest to aspiring writers.

Brian Anderson, author of Groundwork, on the left, Alfonso Colasuonno, founder of The Literary Game, on the right.

Writing Beyond Novels


To all the writers currently at work on a novel, or who have already written a novel (or two, or three, etc.), I applaud you.

Writing a novel is a war of attrition. It’s you versus every test of your patience. If you’ve completed a novel, again, congratulations.

I’m certainly not against writers who choose to write a novel. I just want to remind them that there are many ways to present their ideas.

Call it a gut feeling, but I imagine that many aspiring writers (perhaps subconsciously) believe a novel to be a mark of validation offering the status of a “real writer.” I don’t believe this to be the case.

There are many literary forms that can capture an idea. A novel is certainly the longest form. When you get a great idea, it may be perfect for a novel. If so, go right ahead and write a novel. However, your idea may work much better as short fiction, a play, or a screenplay, perhaps even a poem. You can take the fictional aspects out and turn it into creative nonfiction. You can even take the creative aspects out and turn it into pure nonfiction.

But it’s not just that. Aspiring writers should be aware of the fact that writing is all around, and goes beyond novels, beyond all traditional forms. Writing is everywhere. Writing includes the cover letters that you write when applying for jobs (or for publication in literary journals, for that matter). Writing includes the comedy routine that you perform at a local open mic. Writing includes the blog posts that you share with our community on WordPress.

Yes, go ahead and write your novel. It’s a wonderful undertaking. I have the highest respect for all writers who work in the form. Just please, don’t think that novels are the only form that you should work in.

Do you agree or disagree? I’d love to hear from readers with dissenting opinions. Do you believe novels have more value than other forms of writing? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Perhaps we can even start a conversation about this on our new Facebook group. See you there!

How I Published My Writing (With a Little Help From My Friends)

Sixteen months ago, I had only published six poems (all in a close friend’s journal that accepted 100% of submissions).

As of today, I’ve now published thirty-two poems/short stories in twenty literary journals. Not bad for sixteen months work when you’re coming out of nowhere.

Every journal that has accepted my work (since those initial six poems) maintains strict standards regarding quality. They don’t accept every piece that’s submitted, in fact, most pieces are rejected.

How did I accomplish this feat? The truth is, there are many reasons. I can credit experience, perseverance, luck, and savvy – but the biggest factor that led to my work being published in these journals was working with two amazing editors who helped turn interesting ideas into finished products.

I’ve known my friend Rairigh Drum for eleven years now. I met her at Beloit College’s smoking lounge (2004 was a totally different era!). When Rair learned that I was a Creative Writing major, she was eager to read my work.

Years later, after my successes in publishing my creative writing, Rair let loose a barely veiled secret – she thought that my writing was terrible when we were classmates! I knew it. My professors knew it. My classmates knew it. She knew it.

While experience, perseverance, savvy, and luck have played their part in helping me improve – these alone would not have been enough. Everything came about from the help of my adroit editors.

When I decided to stop treating my fiction and poetry as a mere hobby, and began to take it seriously, I turned to some of my closest friends to give me their honest feedback about my writing. They didn’t pull any punches. They skewered it. Their constructive criticism steered my work in the right direction..

Because of my friends Rairigh Drum and Lena Olive, the two editors who I always turn to for my own pieces, I’ve been fortunate enough to have published with many literary journals that are perfect matches for my style. I’ve been able to publish with the same journals that regularly feature the same Internet phenoms that played a big part in inspiring me to take my work seriously: names like Misti Rainwater-Lites; Doug Draime; Sarah E. Alderman; and Michele McDannold..

I know that Rair and Lena’s aptitude in being able to see a simple draft, and from that flesh it out in a holistic manner, one befitting of a finished piece, was the deciding factor in my rapid advancement from nobody to emerging writer. Without their help, all the savvy in the world regarding how to find appropriate literary journals wouldn’t have been enough. My work would not have been up to snuff.

This post is really just a big “thank you” to Rairigh and Lena. They helped me move forward.

The best part is that Rairigh and Lena are available to edit your pieces – FREE. Here’s the catch: if you send your writing in to theliterarygame at gmail dot com, I’ll send it their way so that one of them can work with you to shape your piece (at no cost), BUT… you do have to give your honest opinion of how helpful they were after the whole process is over. Fair enough?

If you want to begin to move your writing to the next level, simply email us your work. Our email address is theliterarygame at gmail dot com.

It happened to me. It could definitely happen to you!

One last thing, would you please help us out by sharing this post with your friends on social media? Even if you may not have a piece ready to work with, I’m sure many other literary-minded friends may benefit!

If you’d like to learn a bit more about our editing service, just click right here. If you want to know more about our publishing service, click right here. If you have any questions, or want to send your work in, please email us (theliterarygame at gmail dot com).