Tag Archives: best advice for young writers

Best Advice for Writers: B. J. Chute

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Beatrice Joy Chute (1913-1987), known as B. J. Chute, was an American novelist and shorty-story writer, adjunct professor of English at Barnard College, and a past president of the PEN American Center, a nonprofit that supports writers. In the 1930s she wrote short stories for several publications, including The Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s. She is best known for her novel Greenwillow, published in 1956, about young love and self-discovery. The novel was adapted into a Broadway musical of the same name in 1960 by Frank Loesser. Regrettably, as of this writing, there is no article about Chute in Wikipedia — an editorial oversight that should definitely be rectified. Chute, who taught creative writing for many years, offered this advice to aspiring writers:

“Imagination is as necessary to a novelist or short-story writer as the spinning of webs is to a spider and just as mysterious… Imagination cannot be created, but it can be fostered, and this fostering is part of the writer’s duty. It is not enough to congratulate oneself on having been gifted (lovely word!) with imagination, though it is certainly a major cause for rejoicing. The imagination, like the intellect, has to be used, and a creative writer ought to exercise it all the time. There is no idea, however insignificant or vague it may be, that the imagination cannot touch to new beginnings, turning it around and around in different lights, playing with it, listening to it.”

Read related posts: Best Writing Advice From Famous Writers
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For further reading: Good Advice on Writing by William Safire and Leonard Safir
https://www.nytimes.com/1987/09/15/obituaries/beatrice-chute-writer-dies.html


Best Advice for Writers: Diane Ackerman

atkins-bookshelf-literatureDiane Ackerman (born 1948) is an American essayist, naturalist, and poet. She is best known for The Zookeeper’s Wife, The Human Age, An Alchemy of Mind, A Natural History of Love, and A Natural History of the Senses. In Jon Winokur’s Advice to Writers, Ackerman offered this writing advice:

“The best advice on writing I ever received was: Invent your confidence. When you’re trying something new, in security and stage fright come with the territory. Many wonderful writers (and other artists) have been plagued by insecurity throughout their profes sional lives. How could it be otherwise? By its nature, art involves risk. It’s not easy, but sometimes one has to invent one’s confidence.

My own best advice to young writers is: follow your curiosity and passion. What fascinates you will probably fascinate others. But, even if it doesn’t, you will have devoted your life to what you love. An important corollary is that it’s no use trying to write like someone else. Discover what’s uniquely yours.”

Read related posts: Best Writing Advice From Famous Writers
Best Advice for Writers: P.D. James

The Best Advice for Writers
Best Books for Writers

William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty
The Responsibility of the Poet
The Power of Literature
Why Writers Write

For further reading: Advice to Writers by Jon Winokur


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