Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop

Wow, what a week. I’m still recovering from a mind-blowing experience at the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop. From the incredible faculty (Jonathan Dee, Rachel Kushner, Jess Walter, Sharon Olds, Jericho Brown) to the diverse community of talented writers, I’m at a loss for how to fully express my gratitude for this amazing workshop.


Set on the Harry Potter campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop is essentially a super cool summer camp for writers serious about craft and the greater conversation of contemporary literature across disciplines. Seven days of manuscript critiques in small workshop groups assigned by genre (novel, short fiction, poetry, non-fiction), faculty craft talks and lectures, nightly readings in a gorgeous natural amphitheater on the river, and… karaoke?

It’s kind of a strange social experiment to bring together over two-hundred writers from across the country and force them to interact like, say, “normal” people. Writers by nature are often not the most social animals, spending most of their time lost in imaginary worlds. So, sure it was awkward at first. But the initial first-day-at-school jitters quickly gave way to a feeling of camaraderie, thanks in part to a steady flow of alcohol at the many happy hours hosted after class. What impressed me most was how the Tin House staff created such an inclusive and collegial atmosphere. It felt like we were all peers, grateful for the experience, grateful for this unique moment in time where we were free to talk about the craft of writing and share our art with each other.

It was an honor to be included in the 2016 class of Tin House Summer Workshop writers. Thank you, Tin House!

NYC Literary Scene: Atlas Review

A couple years ago, I ran this short-lived series about the NYC Literary Scene for Exit Strata. Basically it was a way to get me out of the house and be social instead of spending all my time at my typewriter/computer in my own little happy fiction cloud.

And well, since I quit my job in advertising and I find myself back in the freelance life again, I’m going to start this series up again and do it right this time.

Ahem, ok, let’s get to it.

The NYC Literary Scene is really just a bunch of reading series run by small literary magazines trying to build an audience and support emerging writers. Besides this scrappy bunch of true believers in prose & poetry, Barnes & Noble holds the big author readings, the Moth hosts its monthly storyteller events, NYC LITCrawl does its round-robin night of readings and merriment in September, and the New Yorker has its annual star-studded festival in October.

So Atlas Review. I first heard about Atlas Review from this shaggy-haired writer named Dolan Morgan (he’s one of their editors, he has a new book of short stories out right now called That’s When the Knives Come Down). I was attending a reading at the independent library / reading room / best place ever called Mellow Pages (temporarily closed, books in storage, the sadness remains, supposedly Matt and Jacob are on the lamb and possibly fishing some place with stars in the sky instead of trapped in this dystopian city state we call New York). Dolan mentioned Atlas at the reading. I looked them up three months later.

Anyway, Atlas Review is a literary journal that’s darkly absurd, thought-provoking, and leaning toward the experimental side of prose (more MFA experimental than classic storytelling on the fiction side… for poetry don’t ever trust what I have to say about poetry, I’m clueless. But CAConrad was in their last issue, who is like Allen Ginsberg reborn as a new-age guru of somatic transcendence).

Last week, Atlas Review hosted a reading series at Local 61 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn that featured several writers from VIDA (a non-profit literary advocacy group for critical attention to contemporary women’s writing).

Reader roll call: Amy King, Metta Sama, Lynn Melnick, Camille Rankine

The event was hosted by Natalie Eilbert, the founder of Atlas Review. The readings were all poetry with beautiful lines like “I died young and I was so pretty” from Camille (whose new book is coming out from Copper Cannon) or “There’s no such thing as fate, only the story of fate” from Lynn Melnick. But I was most captivated by Amy King because of her humor and electrifying presence.

She read with passion, joy, humor, and biting sarcasm at the political/socioeconomic clusterfuck of our society. Hell, I read anything she publishes out in the world (btw, I think her newest book is I Want to Make You Safe).

All in all, the Atlas Review reading with VIDA was great. An amazing showcase of talented female poets and a wonderful, receptive, and warm audience. I look forward to their next event.

Exit Strata est Morte… Long live Exit Strata


Thank you to all the poets, fictionists, artists, musicians, and financial backers that made Exit Strata possible. It was a wild ride and we are forever grateful for your support.

The Exit Strata Editorial Corps has moved onto other ventures.

D.A. Wright & Jonathan Rose are working on solo fiction & film endeavors.

Lynne DeSilva-Johnson & Benjamin Wiessner have begun a new creative community project known as The Operating System.

For the original site and back issues of the magazine, please visit ExitStrata.com.

If you are looking for the Awesome Creators, 30/30/30 Poetry Month, [RE-CON]VERSATIONS, or Field Notes series, these web archives and other content have been moved to The Operating System: www.theoperatingsystem.org/category/community_content

9780985518004WHAT WAS EXIT STRATA?

Exit Strata was born out of our desire to produce an art/lit magazine — one that’s a Post-Modern take on the traditional literary magazine, presented like a revolving-door gallery on the page.

In our print issues, we strived to give equal attention to art and literature, often merging the two through collaboration between artists and writers… and also in recognizing the ultimately fuzzy boundaries between these (and all) creative “disciplines.”

Print!: Vol. 1 was published in Spring 2012. Print!: Vol. 2 was published in Winter 2013.

In April 2012, the web portal ExitStrata.com was launched as the online home for exclusive content from emerging artists, filmmakers, musicians, performers, and writers across a wide range of disciplines. Our managing editor/web master Lynne DeSilva-Johnson did fantastic job building a wonderful community of online contributors and producing weekly content and series such Awesome Creators, Field Notes, [RE-CON]VERSATIONS, and much more.

Thank you to everyone who came along with us on this amazing journey. We are forever grateful.


Douglas A. Wright – Founding Editor / Print Editor for Exit Strata

EXIT Strata: New Lit/Art Magazine

Attention Writers/Artists:
Open call for submissions through September 1st for the first issue of EXIT strata, a new lit/art magazine.

What is ‘EXIT strata’, you might ask? Well, it’s a little Dada, so to speak. EXIT strata is an upcoming art/lit magazine, which will be a postmodern take on the traditional literary magazine, as well as a parody on everything that is a consumer magazine. It will be absurd, necessarily, and a 50/50 split between art and literature, often merging the two through collaboration between artists and writers. Flash fiction, poetry, short essays, new york sights and scenes, play excerpts, equations for a better life, parodies of magazine ads, art/word spurts, all playing with the left/right, two-page spread of books (both vertically in the juxtaposition of two pages, and horizontally across the fold) and what can only be done with a book in its hard-copy print form, reinvented between the margins.

For more details and submission information, please visit the EXIT strata website.