Happy Thoughts on #InPrint14



A few weeks ago Ball State held their annual In Print festival. This year featured poet Natalie Shapero, fiction writer Mario Alberto Zambrano, and non-fiction writer T Fleischmann.  As I said in my previous post , this was the first year I actually rallied enough courage to go to the event. And it was worth it.  Hearing the words come from the author’s mouth paints the colored canvases in a different light. I know that is somewhat cliché, but it’s true. Take for example:


T Fleischmann’s Syzygy, Beauty

I had to read T Fleischmann’s Syzygy, Beauty: An Essay for class and I found it interesting and unique after first reading it, but I can’t say it was my cup of tea (I know, I need to stop with the clichés but they’re so much fun!). I honestly didn’t understand most of the pieces or the book as a whole. And yet after hearing T talk about his work and reading new things, I came to appreciate Syzygy and his words more. I understood where these experiences that shaped the book came from and I could see why it was a hidden gem (much like the other two author’s works). I don’t know my opinion would have changed if I hadn’t of went to the In Print festival.

One of the great opportunities that In Print gave us was the reading with the authors, but the event also featured a Q&A panel with the authors and visiting editor, Robert Stapleton from the literary magazine Booth. All the authors had great things to say and advise for their audience (which you can catch here). One of my favorite pieces of advice I took from the panel was:


(excuse my handwriting please) “Break away from the traditional roles when writing.”

“Break away from the traditional roles when writing.” (excuse my handwriting)

As a writer it is scary thinking you’re not “traditional” enough or don’t fit in with what other successful authors are putting out. But that’s the beauty of it: you don’t need to be traditional—you need to be different. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being traditional. What is important is to find what you like to write about and where you see yourself fitting in. And that is one of the things I loved about this experience—the positivity.

So, in the spirit of positivity, what can you think of that puts a smile on your face whenever you think about it? It doesn’t have to be about writing or anything In Print or college related, but it can be! I know for me it’s my family and this little nugget of cuteness.


I hope you all are enjoying the days of Spring! If haven’t already (and if you want to check out more on In Print) Lindsay, Kate, and E. M. St. Claire have some great blog posts about their experiences at the event.


9 thoughts on “Happy Thoughts on #InPrint14

  1. I like the analysis of “Syzygy, Beauty,” the first time I read it I felt the same way. I had no idea what was going on. I ended up reading it at face value; only for the beauty of his language. Since that initial read, I’ve read it four more times, and each time I focus on a different theme. I’d suggest going back and reading it since it’s a pretty short book.

  2. I think the great thing about “Syzygy, Beauty” is that it is one of those books that you need to read more than once to really appreciate everything that’s happening. Your note taking thing was pretty cute.

  3. I agree with brittanymeans – the photo of your note was a nice touch! I loved Syzygy and am happy to see that you’ve given it a chance. T is such an amazing writer! Definitely became a literary hero of mine.

  4. I think your point about hearing an author’s work in their own words is really important. I’m not a poetry person but after hearing Natalie read her poems aloud and I wanted to devour the book!

  5. Taking a picture of your handwritten notes was a sweet touch. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of Syzygy, but I’m rather picky when it comes to poetry and literature in general. It still would have been cool to have gone, but thanks to everyone’s blog posts, I can put some of the pieces together!

  6. It is interesting that we tend to like books differently if we know or meet the author. It makes the work more personable I think because we see it as someone’s creation, not as just another book that magically appeared on the self.

  7. As you continue to blog, start categorizing your posts so that when someone comes to the blog and wants to read, say, all your posts on YA, then can find them easily. What categories would you use?

  8. You make a good point about hearing writers read their own works. It’s sort of like live music. Knowing the song (or poem or story) is great. But experiencing the performance of any kind of artistic creation adds a sense of immediacy that you just can’t get from the polished product.

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