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Musing the Margins:
Essays on Craft edited by Audrey T. Carroll

Who determines the rules of craft? How are these rules exclusionary? Elitist? Reflective of a dominant lens?

Musing the Margins serves as a space to consider craft discourse from traditionally marginalized angles. In their innovative and thoughtful essays, these writers provide perspectives that enrich and expand the ways in which we might think about fiction.


Musing the Margins examines the influence of culture and identity on the craft of fiction.

These essays delve into race, ethnicity, class, queerness, neurodivergence, disability, and chronic illness. The anthology challenges fiction writers to read and teach beyond familiar views, approaches, and voices. What questions should writers be asking themselves? How do writers acknowledge their privilege in their work? How can writers do their due diligence in order to create the least possible harm with their art? How do marginalized identity and craft interact, complicate one another, and create new possibilities for the future of fiction?


“Musing the Margins isn’t just a stunning new arrival to the canon of creative writing craft books; it’s a crucial, long overdue addition to the field. The volume brings together an impressive array of marginalized voices—from writers of color, to writers with disabilities, to Native American writers, to LGBTQ+ writers—all of whom don’t merely speak out about the pressing issues of false representation and cultural appropriation but who offer specific craft advice to creative writers on how to avoid falling into these tired old traps. It’s not a book about condemnation but about listening to informed authors, understanding familiar problems, and, as a result, working better as a writer. This is the craft book that the 21st century has been begging for. It’s an instant classic and will be a touchstone for generations to come.”

— John Vanderslice, University of Central Arkansas Author of The Last Days of Oscar Wilde and Island Fog


“Essential reading for any creative writing course and any writer, this collection provides the means for reflection and understanding. It names what we need to name at the workshop table and at the page. It breaks through enforced silences. There is much to discuss in these pages and much to account for as this book informs our practice.”

— Janelle Adsit, Humboldt State University Author of Toward an Inclusive Creative Writing: Threshold Concepts to Guide the Literary Writing Curriculum and co-author of Writing Intersectional Identities: Keywords for Creative Writers

To order a paperback copy or to download by donation, click here: Human Kind 

To purchase and read the individual essay, click here 

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