Keep Fighting the Good Fight

College reoriented my worldview over three years that this writing site helped captured in all of its radical flourish and sad nuance. Yet nothing truly prepares you for the working world and the realities of life. I think the “real world” is a convenient dichotomy that we hide behind, but like most stereotypes, it has some essence of truth.

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A New Test for Reality

Partly inspired by The Trouble with Reality by Brooke Gladstone, which the title pays homage to.

This post doesn’t fit into the Writing for the Masses or Satire Saturday series, but it addresses an issue I’ve grappled with for the past few days.

First, some background: I had seen advertisements for The President Show, a new thirty minute block on Comedy Central that would fill the gap left by the cancellation of The Nightly Show. That’s about all I thought about it, other than the fact that it seemed to rely on crude humor to mock the president and didn’t deserve my attention.

Test more!

Satire Saturday 1: CNN Starts Fake News Section

Due to a disagreement between the editors at The Breeze, the multiple satires I wrote will never be published in their paper. However, I realized that I have a website that can distribute them just as effectively. So, the topics may be dated by a few weeks, but they are (sadly) no less relevant.


CNN Starts Fake News Section

Rising to the challenge of Fox News’s “Fair and Balanced” tagline, CNN has committed to equally reporting both real and false news stories. The newly added Fake News tab on the network’s website features compelling headlines such as “Pipeline spills found to increase health,” “DNC planning ‘Real Housewives’ reunion with Bernie Sanders on Bravo” and “CBO finds that less healthcare coverage for elderly boosts funeral industry.”

The news agency made their pushback against the conservative Fox News clear, modifying the channel’s byline for their new section: “They Report, You Decide.”

Satire more!

Writing for the Masses 8: Finding Test Readers

You’ve spent months on this manuscript, discovering your characters and putting their personalities on the page. Just one issue: you forgot to introduce one character in the first chapter.

After all the time invested, we often lose the ability to objectively evaluate and inspect our writing. Any gaps in information are automatically filled in by our mind, which has all the backstories and plot-points catalogued. That’s all well and good if you plan on only writing for yourself, but most of us want to see a return on our investment.

Enter the reader. Our unpublished comrades may not have writing expertise, but their populist perspective will help you gauge how the public may react to your book. More importantly, test readers are great for pointing out errors and slow moments. For that, they’re worth their weight in gold.

Keep finding!

Writing for the Masses 7: Know Writing When You See It

“Keep writing” seems like some obvious advice for anyone with creative writing ambitions, no matter how large or small. There really isn’t much else to writing other than to do it, and continue until you can do it well. You can read fiction, read publishing advice books, read writing websites (like this one!), but at the end of the day, practice is the only way to hone your voice.

I throw the “others have said this much better, but it bears repeating” disclaimer about here in the post. I’m not pretending to have some significant insight, just the experiences of my undergraduate career that I think others could learn from.

First, comrades, we must discuss the idea that we are writing all the time. Many of you will no doubt protest: “But I set aside special time for my fiction/poetry/satire. How can you tell me I’m always writing it?”

Know more!

Creedence Clearwater (and my) Revival

I know what you’re thinking:

Yes, he’s back again. Yet another post about how he had to go off and live his life, but now he’s going to be good to all his readers and followers and never leave us hanging again.

Well, no, actually. If you’re a longtime reader of this website, and I know there are at least a few of you out there, then you’ll know the “I’m back for good” posts are kind of a running gag on this site. Each summer, I write a post asking for forgiveness after school and work wrested my efforts away from writing, and then I promise to keep a consistent stream of content from here on out. After which, I promptly relapse into inactivity.

But I’m not going to do that this time. I won’t make any promises; I’m going to show you, my faithful readers (that haven’t yet found the “Unsubscribe” button), that The Future Writers of America lives on.

Revive more!

Sexual Assault and JMU’s Hidden Figures

As writers, we have a responsibility to use our skills to bring issues to light. I use my journalist experience, sociological studies, and overall concern as a citizen in this article to give statistical grounding to the issue of sexual assault that continues on my own campus at JMU and across the nation.

ShoutOut! JMU

The following post was written by guest blogger, Stephen Roddewig.

In 2014, JMU found three fraternity men “responsible” for the forceful sexual assault of Sarah Butters during a spring break trip and sentenced them to “expulsion after graduation.” But the focus of media coverage centered on the university, whose ruling sparked the initial outcry surrounding the case. The university social structure tasked with preventing sexual assault, though attempting to maintain a profile of responsibility, proves that the devil lies in the details.

After waiting 372 days from the report of her sexual assault to the sentencing of the offenders, Butters filed a Title IX lawsuit. According to the complaint, Butters felt discouraged from pursuing the case, and that the university acted to avoid negative publicity. In a statement, JMU responded that it is equipped to deal with sexual assault, yet officials stated to Butters that the university would…

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