“A Writer”: A PEN USA Outreach Essay

If you missed Pete’s panel/talk at Skylight last week, his essay is up at the PEN Center USA website.

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And then a writer goes to a special event like, for example, the PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship Meet and Greet at Skylight Books. You go and stand outside, looking in through the front doors. You stand outside for a very long time and then go home without having gone in. Another time, you walk past those front doors, walking at a brisk pace, craning your neck to get a peek inside, but not stopping. And another time, you stop at the front doors and pretend to be looking at your cellphone, checking messages, and not going in. You get a call while standing there, and then you take the call and go back to your car and drive away. You feel relieved, having missed out on something that you really wanted but it was scary and anyway who did you think you were fooling?

The Emerging Voices Fellowship is a literary mentorship that aims to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career.

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