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Draft: the journal of process

Draft: the journal of process draft is a literary journal that features first & final drafts of stories, essays, & poems along with author interviews. Visit our website www.draftjournal.com or follow us on Twitter @draftjournal.

Founded in 2010 by Mark Polanzak and Rachel Yoder draft is edited by Rachel Yoder, Mark Polanzak, and Lisa Ciccarello

Founded in 2010 by Mark Polanzak and Rachel Yoder draft is edited by Rachel Yoder, Mark Polanzak, and Lisa Ciccarello

Issue 7 is here! Explore drafts of director Chris Radcliff’s film THE STRANGE ONES & Carmen Maria Machado’s story THE HU...
01/17/2022
Issue 7 — draft

Issue 7 is here! Explore drafts of director Chris Radcliff’s film THE STRANGE ONES & Carmen Maria Machado’s story THE HUSBAND STITCH, along with a never-before-published draft from ✨Ursula Le Guin👑..

Iowa City artist Mark Vollenweider’s amazing portraits inspired by Machado’s story are also available for purchase on our website. https://www.draftjournal.com/issues/issue-7

Featuring a never-before-published draft from Ursula Le Guin, a deep dive into "The Husband Stitch" by Carmen Maria Machado, and script drafts of "The Strange Ones" by Chris Radcliff

So pleased to be included within this auspicious group of Iowa City literary journals via this Andersonian-inspired shoo...
11/05/2021

So pleased to be included within this auspicious group of Iowa City literary journals via this Andersonian-inspired shoot at FilmScene.

Issue 7, featuring a screenplay by Chris Radcliff for the film The Strange Ones, first and final drafts of Carmen Machado's "The Husband Stitch", and a never-before-seen draft from Ursula le Guin, will be out soon! Preorder, as ever, available now at our website.

❌From the Annals of Rejection❌“I’m afraid we can’t use it…”A most genteel rejection from the The Threepenny Review
09/22/2021

❌From the Annals of Rejection❌
“I’m afraid we can’t use it…”

A most genteel rejection from the The Threepenny Review

WRITERS’ SPACES spaces that fascinate us. We love to see where a writer spends her time and the objects she keeps within...
09/14/2021

WRITERS’ SPACES spaces that fascinate us. We love to see where a writer spends her time and the objects she keeps within her creative field. Visit our website at https://www.draftjournal.com/ to see even more spaces from our contributors. We’ll be sharing more pics here, too! Happy drafting.

We've got news! The Fail Safe, a podcast that explores why failure is essential to the creative process, is now part of ...
10/09/2020
The Fail Safe podcast explores writing, failure, and the creative process — draft

We've got news!

The Fail Safe, a podcast that explores why failure is essential to the creative process, is now part of the draft journal website. Woop!

Find episode descriptions and peruse the many brilliant authors—including Roxane Gay, Kelly Link, Alexander Chee, Leslie Jamison, and more—who've chatted about their own failures and triumphs.

https://www.draftjournal.com/fail-safe-podcast

The Fail Safe podcast explores how today’s most successful writers grapple with and learn from creative failure, providing encouragement for anyone who’s ever wanted to write. Created & hosted by Rachel Yoder, the first episode aired in June 2016.

Amy Butcher shares an amazing 20-step exercise adapted from poet Jim Simmerman’s “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” with a...
03/26/2020
The 20 Little Essays Project — draft

Amy Butcher shares an amazing 20-step exercise adapted from poet Jim Simmerman’s “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” with a downloadable PDF available at our site

an amazing 20-step exercise adapted from poet  Jim Simmerman’s  “Twenty Little Poetry Projects”

Check out a writing prompt from draft featured today in the The University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums wonderful Nature J...
03/25/2020

Check out a writing prompt from draft featured today in the The University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums wonderful Nature Journal Challenge project. Great for kids and adults alike

NATURE JOURNAL CHALLENGE DAY 10:

A special part of this project has turned out to be the interaction with other groups in developing the daily prompts. Today's prompt comes from Draft: the journal of process, featuring first and final drafts of stories, essays, and poems along with author interviews about the creative process. The following was submitted by Draft and adapted from an exercise by artist/writer Lita Kurth:

"Find a leaf. Regard this leaf and describe it in great detail (size—use estimated numbers—color, shape, flaws, all its little parts) until you notice ~something~. Describe the discovery.

Now write TO the leaf, anything from a respectful letter to a rant.

Finally, let the leaf write back.

Save the leaf, closing it between the pages of your journal for safe keeping."

We know these are personal projects and journeys, but would love to see what you wrote to the leaf. Share if you'd like!

#mnhnaturejournal #iowacity #iowa #write #journal #nature #stayhome

A leaf—or really any object near or far—serves as inspiration for this writing prompt from Lita Kurth | Be well, writing...
03/24/2020
About a Leaf — draft

A leaf—or really any object near or far—serves as inspiration for this writing prompt from Lita Kurth | Be well, writing friends

a three-part exercise which seems to work especially well for beginning writers

"If you start with a piece that’s really small, you can do anything. The story could fail miserably or it could be a mas...
03/03/2020

"If you start with a piece that’s really small, you can do anything. The story could fail miserably or it could be a masterpiece—either way, there is possibility.” ISSUE 0 now available, featuring gems like this from Mary Miller along with her micro and macro drafts of the story originally known as "Once Upon a Time, Bananas"

https://www.draftjournal.com/issues/issue-0

NEW+OLD+SPECIAL ISSUE 0 is here, featuring a micro-turned-macro story by Mary Miller as well as drafts of the award-winn...
03/02/2020

NEW+OLD+SPECIAL ISSUE 0 is here, featuring a micro-turned-macro story by Mary Miller as well as drafts of the award-winning story SAGITTARIUS from Greg Hrbek!

Order online or find us at the #AWPVirtualBookfair .

We're back, baby!

https://www.draftjournal.com/issues/issue-0

Watch Carmen Maria Machado talk about her work here via The Tuesday Agency, and then check out her process of writing he...
01/10/2020
Before the Show ft. Carmen Maria Machado

Watch Carmen Maria Machado talk about her work here via The Tuesday Agency, and then check out her process of writing her popular short story THE HUSBAND STITCH in Issue 8 of draft, forthcoming later this year!

Before the Show is an artist interview series recorded at The Tuesday Agency in downtown Iowa City. As writers, musicians and other artists travel to town we...

Issue 3 cover art comes from Christian Zink, a tattoo artist in New York City. He and John O’Hara (also a tattooist at T...
09/02/2019
Christian Zink — draft

Issue 3 cover art comes from Christian Zink, a tattoo artist in New York City. He and John O’Hara (also a tattooist at The Queens Ink Tattoo) collaborated on a tattoo, inked onto John’s skin for our cover. Check out the process, from sketch to tattoo, on our website.

https://www.draftjournal.com/christian-zink

Issue 3 cover art comes from Christian Zink, a tattoo artist in New York City. He and John O’Hara (also a tattooist at The Queen’s Ink ) collaborated on a tattoo, inked onto John’s skin for our cover.

It's been a while but we're back, with a new website that features process photos of our cover art along with pics of th...
08/02/2019
draft

It's been a while but we're back, with a new website that features process photos of our cover art along with pics of the spaces where writers write. Take a look and stay tuned for some new issues, coming at you soon! https://www.draftjournal.com/

We ask the artists we work with to chronicle their process as they create cover art for each issue. Below you’ll find their work at every stage of the creative process.

draft is excited to join the Mission Creek Book Fair in April.  Look at this amazing lineup!
03/12/2019

draft is excited to join the Mission Creek Book Fair in April. Look at this amazing lineup!

Take a look at our amazing literary lineup for 2019 featuring Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl fame, The New Yorker poetry editor & scholar Kevin Young, literary critic & poet Stephanie Burt, best-selling novelist R.O. Kwon, award-winning poet Jericho Brown, an astonishing Visual Poetry Synthesizer (what!?), and literary video games (yep) thanks to lit+tech mastermind Maxwell Neely-Cohen.

And don't forget about the Friday evening Lit Walk all over downtown and Small Press & Literary Journal Book Fair at The Mill on Saturday.

Perhaps most astonishing of all: all lit events are free!

Details regarding times and locations at http://missioncreekfestival.com

#tbt to draft editor Mark Polanzak reading on the Lit Walk at Revival Clothing Store and Rachel Yoder reading at A More ...
06/21/2018

#tbt to draft editor Mark Polanzak reading on the Lit Walk at Revival Clothing Store and Rachel Yoder reading at A More Perfect Union—both events during Mission Creek Festival this past April in Iowa City

Need some writing inspiration? Check out #1000wordsofsummer & then write your own 1000 for today. You won’t regret it. h...
06/19/2018
jami attenberg on Twitter

Need some writing inspiration? Check out #1000wordsofsummer & then write your own 1000 for today. You won’t regret it. https://t.co/mIbCFfbcpB

“I am finally catching up on all the #1000wordsofsummer tweets and seriously, if you are looking for some inspiration, it is an extremely awesome hashtag. Proud of you guys.”

A big welcome to Grace Ridnour, our new [marginalia] Web Editor! Grace will be graduating from the University of Iowa wi...
05/08/2018

A big welcome to Grace Ridnour, our new [marginalia] Web Editor!

Grace will be graduating from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in English and a minor in Rhetoric and Persuasion in just a few short days. She writes:

"In the short 22 years I have been on this earth I have marched front and center in the Rose Bowl Parade, worked at Walt Disney World, and will be moving to Ankara, Turkey in a few short months. After spending this last year finishing the publishing track at Iowa and wrapping up the publishing of a chapbook for the Iowa Chapbook Prize, I have found a love and passion for editing and helping creators see their creative vision come to life. I'm so excited to be joining the team at draft because I think it's important for writers to realize great work doesn't happen with the snap of your fingers or the click clack of a keyboard; great work is a process of love, hate, edits, frustration, inspiration, all circling back and culminating into love again."

Grace brings a maturity well beyond her years, a wonderful foundation in publishing and editing thanks to U of I, and an adventurous spirit. We're thrilled to have her on board. Be on the lookout for great things to come this year on [marginalia]!

Wondering how to submit a piece for Grace's consideration? Check out our guidelines here: https://draftjournal.submittable.com/submit

We're thrilled to hear that Emily Nemens has been named the new Editor of The Paris Review. We here at draft admire her ...
04/11/2018
Draft - The Journal of Process

We're thrilled to hear that Emily Nemens has been named the new Editor of The Paris Review. We here at draft admire her editorial work and, back in the day, even interviewed her about the editing life at The Southern Review. Check out the interview on our site...and get ready for a wonderful new era at TPR.

Congrats, Emily!

http://draftjournal.com/#webexclusive

We're looking for writers, editors, student-writers, interested readers, disinterested readers, champions and adversaries of the writing world, writing profs and instructors, artists, and any combination thereof to write something for our ongoing web series MARGINALIA. This can be anything: writing....

We had an amazing time at Mission Creek Festival last week co-hosting this Lit Walk stop with YesYes Books at Revival Cl...
04/10/2018

We had an amazing time at Mission Creek Festival last week co-hosting this Lit Walk stop with YesYes Books at Revival Clothing Store. Here, draft editor Mark Polanzak reads his story GIANT which appears in the current Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Thanks to all the good folks in Iowa City for hosting us and putting together such a fun and inspiring week.

Mark Polanzak reads at Revival Clothing Store during round 2 of Lit Walk, hosted by YesYes Books and Draft: the journal of process/The Fail Safe

How many houses does it take to write a book? How many laptops? Tattoos? Notebooks? Options for chapter orders?Amy P. Kn...
02/23/2018
[marginalia] A Book, In Numbers : : Amy P. Knight | draft: the blog of process

How many houses does it take to write a book? How many laptops? Tattoos? Notebooks? Options for chapter orders?

Amy P. Knight, author of the novel LOST, ALMOST, takes a look at process—by the numbers—today on the draft blog.

http://draftjournal.com/blog/amy-knight/

[marginalia] A Book, In Numbers : : Amy P. Knight Leave a reply Lost, Almost is a book about people who see the world through their work in science and math. In that spirit, here is a look at the process of writing, publishing, and marketing the book, in numbers. 10: years ago I wrote the beginning....

Need a creative writing exercise for class during this short week? Or just want a prompt to jump-start your Monday? Cons...
11/20/2017
draft: the blog of process

Need a creative writing exercise for class during this short week? Or just want a prompt to jump-start your Monday? Consider this oldie-but-goodie exercise that uses memory to demonstrate change.

Also a great excuse to re-visit "Bullet In The Brain" by Tobias Wolff.

Happy writing!

http://draftjournal.com/blog/476/#more-476

UNIFIED FIELD THEORY, a wonderful collage essay by Misty Urban, was inspired by the 20 Little Essays exercise, both of w...
10/25/2017
[marginalia] 20 Little Essays Project in Action : : Misty Urban | draft: the blog of process

UNIFIED FIELD THEORY, a wonderful collage essay by Misty Urban, was inspired by the 20 Little Essays exercise, both of which you will find on draft's [marginalia]. Get inspired and get writing!

http://draftjournal.com/blog/misty-urban/

[marginalia] 20 Little Essays Project in Action : : Misty Urban Leave a reply When I came to Rachel’s literary collage workshop at the 2017 David R. Collins conference, I hadn’t written literary collage since graduate school, but I had a story circling in my head that wanted to be told. It was the s...

draft editor Mark Polanzak featured in BANR. About time! https://t.co/vzbQBsmmL8
10/04/2017
Emily Nemens on Twitter

draft editor Mark Polanzak featured in BANR. About time! https://t.co/vzbQBsmmL8

“Check out @southern_review contributors Mark Polanzak & Christine Rhein in the new BEST AMERICAN NONREQUIRED READING, out now from @HMHbooks”

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We'd like to say a big THANK YOU to all of the amazing businesses who generously donated to our Eye Opener fundraiser this past Sunday. We couldn't have done it without you! Mackie Garrett Nina Lohman Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery Deluxe Cakes & Pastries Diventures in North Liberty Draft: the journal of process The Englert Theatre fix Coffee Heyn's Ice Cream Iowa City Humanize My Hoodie Hy-Vee Ink Lit Mag The Iowa Review Johns Grocery {made} community M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers Molly's Cupcakes Iowa City Prairie Kitchen Store Prairie Lights Bookstore PromptPress RAYGUNshirts Revival Clothing Store Riverside Casino & Golf Resort Riverside Theatre rsvp Shakespeare's Pub And Grill SpareMeIC Sweets and Treats The Examined Life Journal Ulysses Modern Yotopia : Iowa City's Original FroYo Willow & Stock
NATURE JOURNAL CHALLENGE DAY 10: A special part of this project has turned out to be the interaction with other groups in developing the daily prompts. Today's prompt comes from Draft: the journal of process, featuring first and final drafts of stories, essays, and poems along with author interviews about the creative process. The following was submitted by Draft and adapted from an exercise by artist/writer Lita Kurth: "Find a leaf. Regard this leaf and describe it in great detail (size—use estimated numbers—color, shape, flaws, all its little parts) until you notice ~something~. Describe the discovery. Now write TO the leaf, anything from a respectful letter to a rant. Finally, let the leaf write back. Save the leaf, closing it between the pages of your journal for safe keeping." We know these are personal projects and journeys, but would love to see what you wrote to the leaf. Share if you'd like! #mnhnaturejournal #iowacity #iowa #write #journal #nature #stayhome
"Actually I have this memoir that I accidentally finished." At long freakin' last, we have Carmen Machado's excellent interview up for your listening pleasure! She and host Rachel Yoder talk about why novels are so hard to write, Cat Person (yes, Cat Person), Carmen's forthcoming memoir (!!) and much more. http://thefailsafepodcast.com/carmen-maria-machado/ Special thanks, as ever, to the Iowa Writers' House, Draft: the journal of process, Andrea Wilson, Mark Polanzak, and the Iowa Arts Council.
Mark Polanzak reads at Revival Clothing Store during round 2 of Lit Walk, hosted by YesYes Books and Draft: the journal of process/The Fail Safe
It's July. It's hot. And we've got an even hotter new episode with literary powerhouse ROXANE GAY who's saying all the things you wanna hear, such as: - how she got started as a writer and her first blog entitled "I Have Become Accustomed to Rejection" - her secret* writing career in erotica - what books have become her literary touchstones - BEYONCE We love Roxane. We love this episode. We hope you love it all, too. (*actually not a secret) http://thefailsafepodcast.com/roxane-gay/ With special thanks, as ever, to Iowa Writers' House and Draft: the journal of process for production support
We're going to have a FULL HOUSE tomorrow for our girls' workshop! We absolutely can't wait to give them a weekend workshop experience they'll never forget. Shout-out to our incredible instructor team including Dr. Allison Poss and Abbie Schneider of Girls With Ideas, Mallory Hellman of the Iowa Youth Writing Projectand Rachel Yoder of Draft: the journal of process and The Fail Safe. Also to our guest readers and writerly role models, Monique Green and Dawnie Walton, and to our sponsor, ACT, for making this possible! We've started a waiting list so any parents interested in being contacted in advance of the next event for young writers can feel free to email us at [email protected] and we'll add you to the list! http://www.iowawritershouse.org/new-events/2016/8/8/finding-our-voices-writing-our-futures-a-workshop-for-young-ladies-ages-8-12
You won't want to miss these HUGE live recordings events this fall, in Iowa City and Cambridge, featuring authors Roxane Gay, Alissa Nutting, Laura van den Berg, and Jessica Hopper. We're partnering with Witching Hour as well as the Iowa City Book Festival and Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature to bring you these amazing writers talking about--what else--failure. Brought to you, as ever, by Draft: the journal of process and the Iowa Writers' House. All events are FREE and space is limited. Hope to see you there!
August's Hot Tin Roof honoree was Rachel Yoder , who submitted her piece "Train Room" for LV's monthly creative writing feature — a collaboration with The Englert Theatre, Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature and M.C. Ginsberg: Objects of Art. Yoder lives in Iowa City and hosts Draft: the journal of process's Fail Safe podcast. Check out "Train Room" here:
As writers, how do we learn from and overcome creative failure? What do we do when our work just isn't working? Our friends at Draft: the journal of process and Iowa Writers' House have teamed up to help answer those questions with #TheFailsafePodcast! The first episode, a conversation with Garth Greenwell hosted by Rachel Yoder, is now live. Follow them on Twitter (@FailsafePodcast), subscribe on iTunes, or check them out on soundcloud:
First we heard from Draft: the journal of process, the only literary journal to showcase first drafts alongside finished work and interviews with the writer.
Garth Greenwell talks failure, success and the role of chance in art making on the inaugural Iowa Writers' House and Draft: the journal of process's Fail Safe podcast:
Wow. What can we say? Last night we were witness to MAGIC. Thanks to Garth Greenwell for being authentic, honest, and incredibly inspiring to every human who expresses and gives to the world through art. To Rachel Yoder for being the kind of hostess who makes us all wish we could navigate life with her questions and insights as our guide. And to Draft: the journal of process for being our amazing partner in producing this podcast. We can't wait to hear the final episode in all it's glory. Cheers! *** Sign up to receive The Fail Safe Podcast: http://iowawritershouse.org/fail-safe/