April Ayers Lawson
April Ayers Lawson is the author of Virgin and Other Stories, which was named a Best Book of the Year by The Irish Times and Vice, and a Best Foreign Book of the Year by Spain’s Qué Leer Magazine. Virgin and Other Stories has been (or will be) translated into German, Spanish, Norwegian, and Italian. She has received The Plimpton Prize for Fiction, as well as a writing fellowship from The Corporation of Yaddo. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, Die Welt, ZYZZYVA, and Oxford American, among others, has been cited as notable in Best American Short Stories, featured by Huffington Post, and anthologized in The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from The Paris Review. Her nonfiction has appeared in Der Spiegel, Granta, Vice, and Neue Zürcher Zeitung Magazine, and been named a Most Popular Read of the Year by Granta. She has taught in the creative writing programs at Emory University and the University Of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and now teaches at Clemson University.
Mentor. Workshops and classes in fiction.
Statement: “The most important thing your writing can be is interesting. And by that I mean interesting to you, because when you’re deeply engaged in the process, the work sparks alive. This level of engagement involves writing into places you didn’t expect and opening to the risk of surprise. In art as in life, we often enough try to dodge what would make us grow because it’s uncomfortable, and so when I read drafts I am in addition to all the usual craft-related things feeling for a pulse. Is it alive? Where do I feel tension and where does it go slack? What is being avoided? And is there a sense of discovery and transformation here or are you just going through the motions? Even the most playful fictional story should not feel like something made up but like something someone is trying to tell you that they need to tell you in order to keep living their life; when you walk away from it you should have the sense of something having actually happened, because it has.”