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May 2021 Volume 134 Number 5

DEPARTMENTS 6 From the Front Lines

Code-Meshing 101 Broadening a reader’s world and brightening any writer’s work. BY YI SHUN LAI 38 Literary Spotlight

The Twin Bill BY MELISSA HART 40 Conference Insider

Jackson Hole Writers Conference BY MELISSA HART

IN EVERY ISSUE 2 From the Editor 4 Take Note 42 Markets 47 Classified advertising 48 Gigi Will Know

8 Dearly departed

These professional obituary writers mix storytelling, honesty, and yes…even humor. BY MELISSA HART

14 Walking cliché

Pro tips for avoiding clichéd characters in fiction. BY JACK SMITH

20 How to merge your many drafts Plus, the dangers of over-rewriting them. BY JESSICA STILLING

26 The DIY writing retreat

Sick of staring at your own four walls? Here are tips for creating an alternative writing vacation. BY RYAN G. VAN CLEAVE

30 Lightning in a bottle

Tips for making your short-short fiction and nonfiction stand out in the queue. BY NICKI PORTER • The Writer | 1

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