Redefining north.

Notes from Crew Quarters--What Inspires Us

Notes from Crew Quarters--What Inspires Us


This week we asked our editors: What inspires you to write?

Hayley Fitz, Associate Fiction Editor

Crazy science or history gets my brain spitting. College is great for that shit. I had an astronomy professor a few years back offhandedly mention how astronomers were super surprised at the public outrage when they reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet. Apparently they didn't think anyone would care since Pluto is still Pluto. Stuff like that sticks to the back of my skull until one day it kind of plops down and tells me how to write a story about it. Sometimes it takes years, but now I have a cool flash piece about Pluto and what it's up to out there.

Ethan Brightbill, Associate Fiction Editor

My hatred of Iowan drivers; a terrible mock documentary on what it will be like when we visit other planets; a creepy story a friend told me of how she found a beheaded dog in Jordan; a game of tag; an unremarkable sentence in a book about a girl that doesn't appear in any other part of the novel. Those are some things that triggered stories, anyway. I think what inspires them is when I go out walking at night and sift through my memories. I dwell on the unpleasant things then, but in such a way that everything wears down and becomes smooth and beautiful. It's a good feeling.

John LaPine, Associate Fiction Editor

Morning: caffeine Evening: alcohol

Amy Hansen, Associate Poetry Editor


Jason Teal, Associate Nonfiction Editor

When I run out of TV shows.

Jacque Boucher, Spoken Word Poetry

Writing always comes from a place of stress and urgency for me. I can go long periods without writing at all, and then suddenly there's this ache in my guts and bones that won't go away until I've said the thing I need to say. As for how I say it, lately my inspiration has been the answer to the question "how do I say this gross thing in the most beautiful way possible?"

Taking Stock by Kate Partridge

Taking Stock by Kate Partridge

Divinity by Robert Krut

Divinity by Robert Krut