The Theme Meme

4 Apr

Themes: a blessing and a curse. When I speak to our readers and writers after each installment of Syllable series, I find that the theme scares people, but ultimately drives them to write a story they didn’t know they had in them. I got the idea of themes from some of my favorite literary magazines, like Tin House. I always found that their themes compelling and sort of weird. Not only did they draw interesting pieces, but the writers always made me think more deeply about the theme itself.

We all found this when Karin, one of our “Love” readers, read about her love for her nurse while she was fighting cancer. We were impressed by the unluckiness of Earl’s mother being his substitute sex-ed teacher while he was in high school. When a bunch of boys decided to read prologues from video games, that seems right on target for “Fantasy.” I didn’t expect any of those things– and you didn’t either, I’ll bet.

“Light” is either the hardest or the easiest of the themes we’ve ever had. Abstract. I can’t wait to see what you all will do with it.

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