Discover more from Craftwork
Craftwork is coming
A newsletter on the craft of writing and a place to build community. No MFA required.
Hey y’all -
The last few years have been rough for so many of us for too many reasons to count. I’m a person who copes by immersing myself in projects, and so, like many of you, I’ve been trying to keep myself busy. In addition to my own personal writing and private advocacy work, in 2021, I launched a Patreon for Submerged Archive, a digital archive for caregiver stories. That project has taken longer than I wanted to take shape, but it’s slowly making progress. Now I'm ready to move to a stage where I need less individual funding and more ways to engage with folks and share progress on Submerged but also to share what else I’m working on and to maintain and build the writing community that has become so important to me.
But Patreon didn’t feel like the best place to do that anymore. And I wanted to free up my patrons so they could devote their money to other causes they support. So, today I made one last 25 percent donation from my Patreon account (my pledge when I started the project), and at the end of this month, I'm unlaunching my creator page and shifting to this free newsletter.
Craftwork is going to focus on two things: the craft of creative writing and community. In addition to milestones with Submerged, I’ll also share with you lessons from and progress on Craft Year, the free online writing workshop that will start this June (and which you can still apply for here through May 1). To start, I’ll write about:
mini craft seminars;
interviews with and insights from Craft Year members;
conversations with writers who come from marginalized backgrounds and who have taken nontraditional paths in their writing careers;
progress on my own writing projects - both the successes and the frustrations;
promotions of other Substacks, workshops, and talks that I can see are uplifting writers, especially emerging writers, writers without degrees, incarcerated writers, and writers who may not have access to institutional support;
analysis of pieces of fiction and nonfiction that are making the rounds so we can crack them open and see what makes them tick.
In short, this is going to be a grab-bag of a newsletter, probably biweekly or monthly at first as I pick up steam, and I’ll add topics to tackle as they seem relevant or helpful. If you’ve got ideas for things you’d like me to talk about, please drop them in the comments.
And just like Craft Year, this newsletter is free. But if you like what I’m planning, please consider making a donation to Kentucky Health Justice Network, which provides greatly-needed abortion support and gender-affirming care to Kentuckians.
Look y’all - I know everybody’s got a newsletter now. And I know this one may not be for you. If not, that’s okay. I won’t take it personally. And I know this can’t possibly replace Twitter if and when Twitter decides to collapse.
But I wanted a place where I could talk to people about the craft of writing that didn’t cost a dime. I wanted a place where emerging writers could be in conversation with established writers. I wanted a place where folks whose identities are under attack would know they would be welcomed and respected exactly as they are. I wanted a place where I could share some of the generosity and insight and guidance that I’ve received from the truly stellar writers who have mentored me and supported my work. I wanted a space that would keep some small measure of the spirit of the writing community on Twitter. And when you don’t see what you want, you gotta make it. So that’s what I’m trying to do, in some small way.
Craftwork will officially launch in June, around the same time as Craft Year. I’ll likely send out a few updates before then on Craft Year itself. I’m excited to talk about creative writing and to help build a little community - no MFA required.
And yes, for my 70s and 80s babies, my title is absolutely a riff on the German krautrock band, which is one of my many go-tos when I’m on a writing tear. Yes, our little newsletter will also have a playlist. Stay tuned.
I hope some of you will stick with me. I think we’re gonna have fun.