Posts Tagged "Erin Ollila"

ABC’s of Writing (for Beginners): G for Generalization

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Poetry is a very peculiar kind of magic. It is built, as so many beautiful things are, out of contradictions. In poems, we make meaning of the seemingly insignificant, time shortens and alternately stretches, the past is alive, and memory crisper and clearer on paper than it could ever be in our own heads. Magic. But there’s something all beginning (and sometimes not-so-beginning) poets do because of said contradictions, something I would categorize as an understandable error in judgment—they generalize what they’re trying to say in an attempt to write something that their readers can connect with. They take what they want to write about and hammer out the details...

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Behind the Words: Wei He

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Wei He is in the beginning of a long, successful, bilingual writing career. After accepting her short fiction story “You Are the City” for the first issue of Spry, we were shocked to find out that it was her first English publication. You’d think she spoke and wrote English her entire life with the way her words preformed a melody on the page. Her short story was so lyrical and well written, and Spry was honored to be the home for this story. Wei He was kind enough to speak with Erin about the story, her process, and current aspirations.   Erin Ollila: H, the narrator of “You are the City” considers the world (specifically the city)...

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Behind the Words: Chels Knorr

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Chels Knorr is an editor, a writer, a student, and a soon-to-be MFA graduate. She came to Spry in our third issue with her lovely creative nonfiction essay, “Navigating the Margin,” a piece that dealt with big themes like figuring out roles in a new marriage and finding–and giving away a pet–all in the same day. If you haven’t read it yet, head over to read it now and then come back here! She prefers writing short creative nonfiction, but don’t let the length fool you. Her essays are lively and full of emotions.    Erin Ollila: Navigating the Margin” is a very short essay. Coming in at just over 1,000 words, it could...

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Behind the Words: Emily Densten

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

When “Fine” was first published, Allie, a reader for the issue, commented that “the writing is deceptively simple–and I think that sometimes, like a shy person, that trait can be misinterpreted. Make no mistake, this piece is elegantly constructed, and straight-forward and honest in its intentions. But it doesn’t yell, doesn’t raise its voice; it simply tells its truth and trusts that the reader will take pause and really listen.” It’s impossible to introduce this piece without reflecting on Allie’s spot-on comment. We are so fortunate to have Emily on Spry’s staff for issue #5, and I’m excited to be the person lucky...

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Behind the Words: Amanda Stopa

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The first time I read Amanda Stopa’s “Jeff” in our submissions manager, I was immediately stopped. Jeff, the main character in a flash fiction piece, felt alive. It wasn’t a character sketch or a well-developed character in a story. Jeff jumped through my screen and showed me his world. Amanda has the power to capture the reader’s attention immediately. Her words draw you in and turn you around until your balance is off, but you don’t want to stop spinning. I recently caught up with her to talk about craft and the writing life.   Erin: “Jeff,” coming in at under 700 words, is a flash fiction piece following a twisted...

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