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Your First Page Paperback – November 27, 2017
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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"The straightforward premise of Peter Selgin's Your First Page -- your story or novel is as good as its first page--is ingenious, seductive and bracingly pragmatic. A boon for teachers of writing, this charming, immensely readable handbook on writing is destined to appear in countless libraries and classrooms and be given treasured space on the bookshelves of seasoned and aspiring writers alike."--Melissa Pritchard, author of A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write and Palmerino
"With an emphasis on the creative process itself, I have long taught the critical importance of the first few pages of any work of fiction. What a delight to find a smart, perceptive, enormously useful book that focuses on the craft and technique issues of these same make-or-break first 500 words. I heartily recommend Peter Selgin's Your First Page to any aspiring young writer."--Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of From Where You Dream, The Process of Writing Fiction
"Like a detective dusting for fingerprints, in Your First Page Peter Selgin demonstrates how a close examination of the opening paragraphs of a story, novel, or essay can reveal much more than a beginning writer might imagine: the entire work's DNA. In example after example, he demonstrates the kind of close reading that will serve any writer well, and offers sound advice on exposition, scene, characterization, point of view, style, and many more essential components of effective prose. Though it can serve the individual writer toiling away at home, I look forward to sharing it with students in my classes, too."--Peter Turchi, author of A Muse and A Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic
"Selgin is a champion instructor. The breadth of his reading is vast, his taste is impeccable, his ear true. This brilliant, engaging focus on, ostensibly, writing your first page, contains within it, like the submerged part of an iceberg, the whole, rounded Selgin: masterful advice to begin, and get you all the way to your story's end. In his writing on craft, and his own works of memoir and fiction, Peter Selgin is my favorite contemporary writer."--Peter Nichols, author of A Voyage for Madmen and The Rocks
"Peter Selgin's Your First Page not only reveals myriad ways to begin a narrative but how to establish a promising path toward the conclusion. A practical guide for literary writers."--Steve Heller, author of What We Choose to Remember
About the Author
Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the 2007 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. He has written a novel, three books on the craft of writing, an essay collection, and several children's books. His novel, The Water Master, won the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize for the Novel, and his memoir-in-essays, Confessions of a Left-Handed Man, was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize. His recent memoir, The Inventors, won the 2017 Housatonic Book Award. Of it the Library Journal's reviewer wrote, "It is a book destined to become a modern American classic." His essays have been featured in Best American Essaysand Best American Travel Writing. His plays have been published and produced nationally. A visual artist as well as a writer, his work has been featured in The New Yorker and other publications. He is an affiliate faculty member of Antioch University's low-residency MFA program in Los Angeles, and Associate Professor of English at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia.