Author: Jonathan Ball


Having Too Many Ideas

Beginning writers often worry about ideas. The question “Where do you get your ideas?” has become a cliché, a question writers hate to answer, and the reason everyone hates it so much is this: non-beginning writers know that “getting ideas” is the easiest thing about writing. The difficulty, if you write regularly, is not getting […]


Book Review: New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

New Boy is a novel by Tracy Chevalier that follows the playground love story of two sixth-graders: a black Ghanaian boy, Osei, and a white American girl, Dee. Although set in a 1970s Washington suburb, the story is based on William Shakespeare’s play, Othello (as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project, which sees bestselling novelists retell Shakespeare’s […]

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Reframing Rejection

One of my earliest rejection letters, from age 22. This rejection letter reshaped my entire thought process around rejection and in retrospect was foundational in my career. Let me walk you through how it blew my young mind and made me rethink how I would view rejections forever. Most writers would do well to reframe […]

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Why Fear Experimental Art?

No good name for experimental art exists. Many object to the scientistic experimental, claiming either that science has a capitalistic classism or art should not be reduced to a form of knowledge-production. Less grandly but more eloquently, filmmaker Guy Maddin once (in conversation) objected that it annoyed him when people called his work experimental, because he wasn’t experimenting, […]

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