Nick Ripatrazone on Writers Finding Their Way Outside of MFA


Nick Ripatrazone wrote an article for the Millions where he asked a bunch of writers that never went with a Humanities major in college about how they became attracted to creative writing. It’s quite interesting to see how people paved their path and it acts as a reminder that there is no right or wrong way to finding meaning in words.

Here’s what I said:

Seidlinger writes: “As a failed musician without any options, I didn’t want to be in college and I didn’t know what major to pick. During the first semester, I started out undeclared. I took a handful of classes including one on deviant behavior. It was the least obnoxious of the bunch and maybe a little bit interesting. Turns out it was linked to a sociology program so I went with that.” He found sociology to be revelatory, and “helped a ton with coming up with ideas for stories.” Having never been in a workshop environment, “the lack of formal training both helped and hindered my writing. I am what I’ve become, and I just hope what I’ve become isn’t beyond repair.”

Click here for the full article.

New Work Highlighted in “Featured Writer Series” at Atticus Review


Thanks so much, Jamie, for the opportunity to be a “Featured Author” at Atticus Review for the month. There’s a whole lot of writing comprised within the feature… numerous manuscripts from future Civil Coping Mechanisms authors… as well as three excerpts of my own. One includes the first glimpse of my next book, “The Fun We’ve Had,” forthcoming in May of 2014 from Lazy Fascist Press.

I’ll provide a sample of Jamie Iredell’s introduction here, followed by a link to the feature at the bottom. You know, usual deal.

In a little over three years he’s published eight books. Eight fucking books. I admit, I’ve only read two of those (one of which, The Laughter of Strangers, is excerpted here in this special feature at Atticus Review), but if they are any indication of what all of his writing is like, it is lasting, full of great imagery and interesting characters, it is dark, dirty, and rushing. The man knows how to handle a plot. And, since Seidlinger spends so much of his time publishing, promoting, sharing, and generally giving props to the work of other writers, I wanted to give him a space. I wanted to promote Michael J. Seidlinger. But look at this guy: he’s so selfless, cares so much for the work of others, that he was more interested in sharing excerpts from the forthcoming Civil Coping Mechanisms books for 2014 than he was about publishing his own writing. So while we did get a few excerpts of Michael’s own writing for you to savor, you also gain a glimpse at Civil Coping Mechanisms’ 2014 catalog. And a great catalog it proves to be. If you’re at all like me, and you at all care about your place in your literary community, you’ll be thinking about the money you’ll need to save in advance so that you can afford all these great books soon to come.

Now I’m blushing. Click here for the feature.