Musings & Meanderings
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Musings & Meanderings: College finals care packages, RUNAWAY interview with Erin Keane, Corporeal Writing Labs, merch, and more from Ragdale to Tin House, this issue is all about continuing your writing education

By Leslie Lindsay

A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more

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Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book


Hello, Friends!

There may be times when we feel we are spinning our wheels, doing lots of stuff, but getting nowhere. I assure you, we are not. Here’s the deal: all of this static momentum is building, accumulating. It may seem as if you’ve reached a plateau, that your art is just moving at a lateral pace.

Could it be that what you need right now is just to…be?! To read, observe, absorb? Maybe it means you are in a season of submitting your work and waiting for responses. That’s still work. That’s still something. Maybe you are in the process of reading/researching or world-building. That might look like collaging or watching period movies or culling through racks at a vintage clothing store. Maybe it looks like mindful mediation or walking with a notebook in hand. Perhaps it’s listening to a podcast on writing/reading and collecting all of that great information.

Whatever form this more slow/contemplative stage is, I assure you, it’s not ‘spinning your wheels.’

Tell me what you think: do you have slow periods? How do you fill them? Is there often a burst of creativity or productivity afterward?

Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

In the spirit of quiet spaces, honing your craft, moving into winter, I have a round-up of some really great writing organizations (below) to help you along your journey. Now is the perfect time to peruse these offerings and start gearing up for your 2023 writing goals. You may even consider requesting enrollment in a class (or creative lab as Corporeal Writing cleverly calls them) as a gift this holiday season.


~Leslie : )

There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!

This adorable Main Street-style indie bookstore, Con tent in the heart of Northfield, Minnesota is offering these super-fun, super-inspired finals study care packages. They will certainly be delivered to local colleges St. Olaf and Carleton, but you can ship anywhere. Prices range from $30 to $200. Just make sure to order your Survival Kit 72 hours before your desired ship or delivery date.

image source: content website



I just returned from a fabulous Corporeal Writing retreat experience at the Salishan Lodge on the coast of Oregon where we all worked with the lovely Lidia Yuknavitch, Domi Shoemaker, Janice Lee, and Katie Collins-Guinn, whose fabulous new logo you are looking at above. They offer a ton of craft classes, called creative labs (how cool is that?!) in-person (in Portland) and on-line. Their focus: the body, grief, memoir, more. Also? Check out their merch. I just ordered these writing portal cards #witchy/notwitchy and also a heart hoodie. Finally…they have a lit mag, Khora, I totally dig the aestheics of. Check out their 500 words submission.

image source: Corporeal website.

Story Studio Chicago offers a plethora of classes, webinars, in-person stuff, festivals, and more. Try a novel-in-year class, or sharpen your poetry. Plus: write-ins, book clubs, podcasts. They really got you covered.

image source: StoryStudio Chicago website

Hedgebrook is located in the Pacific Northwest and gah–get a load of that logo.! It’s a dreamy woodland writerly escape I’d love to attend in person some day, but for now, here’s a selection of their online offerings. Be sure to check out the early 2023 schedule.

image source: hedgebrook website

Located at a former architect’s country home in Lake Forest, IL, Ragdale is a delightful place for artists of all walks: architects, writers, photographers, musicians. I so want to go! It appears as though all 2023 residencies are filled, but it’s my understanding some of these fall through…which means, you might get to attend on super-short notice. Check it out all HERE. I promise you’ll be swooning!

image source: ragdale website

Tin House is such a go-to for many serious writers in terms of sharpening one’s craft. Their new craft series is up and it starts in December. Check it out and see if anything tickles your fancy.

They also offer writing residencies in all kinds of categories: first book, next book, parents, and more. Check that out–and apply HERE. Applications close November 20

image soure: Tin House website

Located in the cozy college town on Gambier, Ohio, Kenyon College hosts a residency-workshop for writers each summer, in two different sessions. Each session consists of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry cohorts paired with an instructor. The concept is you work together as a group for 3-hours each morning followed by personal time to hone your craft, relax, read.

image source: Kenyon Writer’s Workshop.

Some Writing Opportunties:


Narratively is looking for pitches for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/Wilson Quarterly about navigating geopolitical strategic competition. I’m not even sure I know what that means, but if you do, power on! They pay $2,000 per published article. Pitches due November 17!

If that doesn’t work for you, Narratively is always looking for personal stories: reported, hidden histories, first-person, more. Submit those HERE.

image source: Narratively website

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Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:

  • A conversation with Sheila O’Connor about elegantly exploring the nonlinear, (a total obsession of mine), in her EVIDENCE OF V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, Fictions (Rose Metal Press, 2019), in Fractured Literary, October 25, 2022
  • Prose in SEPIA Journal Oct/Nov 2022 issue. Interiors is about an Appalachian family, black bottom pie, trains, and ear aches. It was inspired by my own family lore, and also: this journal is STUNNING!
  • An interview with Lauren Acampora about the pursuit of art, the suburbs, growth and stagnation, more as related to her highly anticipated novel, THE HUNDRED WATERS, in The Millions
  • A review-in-dialogue with Kristine Langley Mahler about her debut, CURING SEASON: Artifacts, in Brevity. We unpack home, displacement, found forms, more.
  • An essay about an experience at a workshop/retreat, featuring design/architecture, and how we are all works-in-progress, in The Smart Set.
  • “Making Space: Cicadas & My Mother,” by Leslie Lindsay, CNF in ANMLY
Photo by Sena on

Coming soon:

  • A book review of YOUR HEARTS, YOUR SCARS (Bellevue Literary Press, January 2023) by Adina Talve-Goodman in DIAGRAM.
  • A photo essay in On the Seawall featuring miniatures, houses, and a family besieged by mental illness.
  • A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.
  • Sarah Fawn Montgomery’s HALFWAY FROM HOME (Split/Lip Press, Nov 8) to appear in November.
  • Kathryn Gahl in conversation about her poetic memoir, THE YELLOW TOOTHBRUSH (Two Shrews Press, September 2022), about her incarcerated daughter, perinatal mood disorder, more
  • A conversation-in-review with Nicole McCarthy on her genre-defying A SUMMONING (Heavy Feather Review, September 2022) to appear in CRAFT Literary in 2023.

I’ll be sharing my published interviews here, after they’ve ‘gone live’ with their various publications.

There’s more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling.

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Happy Reading:

I’m halfway through Julie Phillips’s The Baby on the Fire Escape: Motherhood & Creativity, and Mind-Baby Problem (Norton, Spring 2022), and loving it. Can women have an intellectual and creative life and also be good mothers? Does something have to give? It’s not all about writing or motherhood, but autonomy. A great companion book to this is The Artist’s House by Kirsty Bell, which is also amazing, full of amazing photos, insights, and delicious writing.

Happy Listening:

Have you heard of the Tylenol Murders? In 1982, people were mysteriously dropping dead in the Chicago area. No one really understood why–it all seemed sort of random. Until it wasn’t. It’s been forty years and theTribune has reopened this case. You might appreciate this podcast about it.

image source: Apple Podcasts

L.Lindsay archives.

You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews. I’m also on twitter and instagram. I try to answer comments as best I canFeel free to find my book suggestions on, and also check out the authors I’ve hosted in in-depth interviews HERE.

In the meantime, catch me on:

Reviewing books and talking about them with others on-line and in-person is one small way to engage with & support the literary community.

Thank you for letting me guide you on your bookish journey.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on

Let’s walk this bookish path together.


Some of you have been reading my reviews, interviews, and meanderings for more than a decade now. That’s huge and I am so humbled. Thanks for being here.

More than 2,800 folks read Musings & Meanderings.

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Created by Leslie Lindsay. I’m a proud book nerd. Connect with me on Instagram, and Twitter. See what I’m reading on Find my reviews on GoodReads. I’m also a Zibby Books Ambassador.

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