Hey, you. Yes. YOU. You should enter Fiction School’s first annual writing contest!

It’s the 2016 FICTION OPEN! The winning story gets published in Razor Lit Mag (where Baker is the Editor, so you know it’s cool) and the author will be a special guest on an upcoming episode of Fiction School.

There’s a small entry fee to help us pay for the Fiction School website and file storage so we can keep the podcast going strong. All contest entries will be considered for publication in Razor.

Read the full details here. Thanks! We’d love to see our listeners’ work.


A photo by Ross Sokolovski. unsplash.com/photos/YKQawNUINXAWell, it’s been quite a while, but WE ARE BACK!

Yes, life takes some unexpected turns and putting out a podcast falls by the wayside, but you fight through it, you persevere, you go down to the dungeon and turn on the mixer and call up your old pals and talk about writing some dadgum fiction.

In this show, the crew is shaking off the rust. In fact, they embrace the rust. They are inspired by the rust. They admit that breaks are gonna happen so Episode 47 magically becomes into Season 5 Episode 1. Since Baker apparently prioritizes family life over this podcast, we’re going to start releasing shows in seasons. We’re just like HBO.

So in this first episode of Season 5, we shake off our podcasting rust and talk about writing rust and the daunting, intimidating, scary prospect of starting new projects.

Show Notes

  • We goof around (something we’re not rusty at) to start off the season and give a few updates.
  • Baker, in addition to becoming a father of twins which caused the long break between podcast shows, also started a new literary magazine, Razor Lit Mag
  • Tommy is starting to think about starting a new project after his trilogy.
  • Jody is going “home” to playwriting as she continues to act in this other production and found an obsession with suspense and mysteries.
  • The gang talks about whether a writer should feel dry after not writing for a while and how to change that and how to keep it fresh.
  • Jody confronts the idea that she is never bored because she has so many genres open to her disposal.
  • Jody admits that she struggles the least when it comes to dialogue and that’s lucky when it comes to playwriting.
  • Baker tries to go back to short story writing to get back into the groove, but it is proving to be more of a challenge. His idea: short stories are actually harder to write than novels.
  • Tommy disagrees. All his novels are short stories that are craftily connected together. He finds the fun in searching for those connections but struggles with the idea of trying a new style. Is it good to stick to what you are comfortable with and what come naturally or do you push yourself toward something new?
  • Is Dan Brown up to something with his writing style? Eh.
  • Jody pokes the bear by asking if outlining would be helpful.
  • When starting to write after a hiatus, the gang debates whether a writer should write what they know, don’t know, or want to know.
  • Jody says you should write what you need, so no diapers, Baker.
  • Baker quotes Eudora Welty’s idea that you should “write what you don’t know about what you know.”
  • Tommy teaches his students to write what you can get away with. And don’t try too hard.
  • The gang shares their advice for starting anew. Tommy advises not to have twins. Jody advocates for just jumping back in and plowing forward no matter what.
  • Tommy recounts how Hunter S. Thompson sat down and typed The Great Gatsby to learn how to write a great novel.
  • Jody challenges herself and listeners to write with a friend. Just like when you run with a friend, they give you that friendly competition to keep going and push each other. Of course, Jody and Tommy used to run together and Jody left Tommy in her wake. And in a ditch once, also. True story.
  • Write everyday. Tommy is up to 1,000 words a day! Also has a new popcorn maker.