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ABR author urges students to take chances with writing

By Gabriella Canales
Sept. 22, 2016 at 11:45 p.m.
Updated Sept. 23, 2016 at 6 a.m.

Sam Lipsyte

Sam Lipsyte

The next time she takes pen to paper, St. Joseph High School junior Emery Brown, 16, will make a personal connection in the writing process after listening to author Sam Lipsyte on Thursday.

Brown said she was surprised by how the presentation compared to previous American Book Review Series presenters.

"I don't really open up to people in my writing," Brown said. "I don't write on a personal level."

She said she will build subject matter from herself in this new approach.

Lipsyte's presentation Thursday marked the second in the ABR Series. He read a section from his work, "The Fun Parts."

After the reading, audience members were given the opportunity to ask questions.

Lipsyte said he doesn't want to know where he's going when he writes.

"I figure out who's talking, then figure out as I write what's the situation, then what's the story," Lipsyte said.

Responding to a question about what advice educators should give their students, he said he thinks it's important that writers read a lot.

"The more they read, the more they are aware of what's been done and what's out there and the closer they can get to something that might be unique," he said.

He said he assures his students if their voices sound similar to other writer, he knows they will work through that.

The writing process is "more standing there and showing everybody how you see the world," Lipsyte said. "It's a brave thing to do."

When writing, people should bring danger and jeopardy to their work, he said.

"It takes a lot to be confident enough to not rely on other filters," Lipsyte said. "You have to find the one that really feels honest to you."


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