Contributors: Zan Bockes, James Brown, Wendy Call, Karen de Balbian Verster, John Dufresne, Kathleen Gerard, Reginald Gibbons, Sue Grafton, Robin Hemley, Dorianne Laux, Phillip Lopate, Rebecca McClanahan, Kyoko Mori, Bonnie Morris, Mark Pawlak, Diana Raab, Peter Selgin, Kim Stafford, Maureen Stanton, Ilan Stavans, Michael Steinberg, Katherine Towler, Tony Trigilio, Lori VanPelt, Michelle Wildgen, Kathryn Wilkens


Praise for Writers and Their Notebooks:

“Writers And Their Notebooks is an anthology of essays by established and professional writers, discussing the value of simple notebooks to collect ideas, play around with words, discover new insights into evoking emotion with language, and much more. From sample journal entries that evolved into published pieces, to valuable advice for aspiring writers, to individual approaches to notebook keeping and much more, Writers And Their Notebooks is filled with tips, tricks, and techniques for getting creative juices flowing. An excellent supplementary reference for any would-be writer’s shelf.”

~Midwest Book Review


“In this book, a bevy of writers give the reader a glimpse into their private spaces. It is like peering into the rehearsal hall before the big opening performance where a ballerina does pirouette after pirouette, hoping to perfect the move before she must execute it in public. In their notebooks, the bards could banish the pesky editors (both internal and external) and be as free, as silly, as redundant or as irreverent as they wished. They could plant a verbal seed in their journal, as children do with watermelon seeds in their backyards, and see if it grows to be a formidable, fruit-giving novel. And perhaps they might inspire another young person stricken with hypergraphia to do the same, and we laypeople will be endlessly grateful for it.”

~ Book Slut


“Writers and Their Notebooks is a collection of honest, thoughtful essays. Writers will be able to relate to the different perspectives, and non-writers will find the essays interesting and informative. At book signings, people often question the writing process of the author. Raab’s book provides answers for those readers through these well-crafted essays.”

~ US Review of Books


“This eclectic collection of essays illustrates what every writer and teacher of writing knows to be true: prewriting prepares writers to write. Diana M. Raab has assembled the work of more than twenty writers whose essays reflect on the relationship between journaling and effective writing. Writers and Their Notebooks provides a variety of perspectives on journal keeping, including the thoughts of such writers as James Brown whose journal is a tool to mine memory, Maureen Stanton who journals to survive despair, Bonnie Morris who journals to record and remember her world, Reginald Gibbons whose journal feeds his muse, and Dorianne Laux who journals to understand life. This collection offers a variety of analogies that will connect with a wide writing audience and inspire many to start keeping notebooks so that they, like Wendy Call, might “grab thoughts and anchor them in the world of dust motes and molecules . . . so they don’t decompose, float away, sublimate—passing like iodine into purple vapor.”

~ R.A.Rycraft, Contemporary World Literature


“Diana Raab is sure that “in time, your natural, authentic voice will emerge on the pages of your journal—a voice free from societal restrictions and inhibitions.” Writing is hardly a natural act. We’ve been doing it for only five thousand years, give or take. And when you keep a journal, you are dividing yourself into two people: the writer and her reader, who may be more critical than neutrally receptive. A double consciousness is a refined state of mind. It is certainly good training for creating fictional and poetic personas and characters who don’t come trailing the swampy dregs of sentimentality.”

~ Rain Taxi Review of Books


“You’re going to want to read and reread this book; write in it; draw stars beside passages; and exclamation marks next to those that are so apt they could have emanated from your own pen, your own heart. The collection will introduce you to writers you didn’t know before; and you’ll want to read their published work and compare those to what they say about the relationship of their notebooks to the final products. For example, writer James Brown states in his contribution, “For me the journal is . . . a stepping stone to a larger, more refined work . . . [W]hat you originally thought you wanted to say and what you actually end up writing aren’t always the same thing. My only complaint: I wish it were double its size.”

~ Lynette Benton, Tools and Tactics for Writers


“I love Diana Raab’s writing, and her editing is just as great. She gives the reader a look into how well-known authors use this essential part of every writer’s tool box, the notebook. She also provides a few sparks to get the reader writing. Great book.”

~ Patricia Charpentier


“What I especially like about Diana Raab’s book is the generous revealing of the creative workings and open-hearted generosity of the writers included. Plus I found a few tips for exercises to try in my own free-style notebook. All this experience and wisdom, plus an appendix that includes journal-writing exercises and a compilation of suggestions for further reading have me keeping my dog-eared copy of this book within easy reach.”

~ Judy Reeves

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