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Monthly Archives: March 2013


[Editor’s note: In celebration of the holidays, we’re spending the next two Tuesdays by counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #12, was originally published March 3rd.] Since March is Women’s History Month, we’ve been thinking a lot about the women who have had positive and lasting impacts on our lives — and perhaps not surprisingly for a bunch of literary geeks like us, we’ve realized that many of them are fictional. For all the hullabaloo about the dearth of strong female characters in modern culture, thankfully there are some wonderfully powerful, kick-ass maidens that have inspired us with their strength, self-discovery, and incredible brilliance over the years. Click through to see our list of ten of the most powerful female characters in literature, and then be sure to pipe up with your own suggestions — we’ve chosen the ten who resonate most…

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SPELLS, a local writing lab in center city Philadelphia, holds workshops and tutoring for kids aged 7-14. In honor of Pi Day that we just passed last week [3/14], the children wrote some pi-kus [haikus] with 3-1-4 syllables per line.

Check them out!

* * *

I love pie


Pie is awesome.

—by Jamal, age 9


The three shells


big and yellow.

—by Ahmir, age 7


Apple pie


my favorite.

—by Dreana, age 11


I eat pie


I love pie, man.

—by Isaiah, age 12


I am smart


I want to learn.


I am short


I want to grow.

—by Diwud, age 9


I love math,


Very very much

—by Dayanna, age 7


Now, it’s your turn: send us your Pi-ku and maybe we’ll post it on the blog!

By Lena Van

What is fan fiction? It is fiction written primarily by fans about a popular book, film or tv series. Have you ever wondered what the ‘Harry Potter’ series would be like if Harry and Hermione were a couple? Just Google ‘Harry and Hermione fan fiction’ and you’ll see you’re not alone. Ever wanted to read an alternate take on the ‘Sopranos’? That is what fan fiction is for!

There are some legal copyright issues with fan fiction but that hasn’t stopped fans from posting their stories online. The internet boasts many fan fiction communities, the most popular being FanFiction.Net. Nowadays, many writers have disclaimers in their stories indicating they are not making profit off their (non-original) works. Several authors like J.K. Rowling find fan fiction to be very flattering however.

Here’s an idea: the next time you have writer’s block, why not try turning to fan fiction? Some people find it easier to write fan fiction and I have seen several that vary exponentially from the original work to the point where they’re basically characters in an alternate universe. Some have even given birth to new character tropes, like the infamous Mary-Sue. But hey, as long as it helps you write or gets you to write, why not?

by Chara Kramer


One of the easiest ways to become a better writer is with your memory. Memory can be one of the most important tools in writing, regardless if it is nonfiction, fiction, or poetry. We all draw from real-life experiences, even if we are writing fantasy or science fiction like Harry Potter or Star Wars. The characters all still have real emotions, and things from our lives still squeeze their way into our writing, whether on purpose or on accident.

Remembering and recalling details will help your memory, and therefore help your writing. It may be like keeping a journal, if it is something you enjoy and do everyday. But stories are all about those little details that get put into writing. So try this little exercise to improve your memory and your writing!

If you are in high school, try writing about a time from middle school. Include every detail you can remember from an event, a dance, a show, even a favorite classroom or a day you won an award.

If you are in middle school, write about something you remember from elementary school. This could be a field day, a field trip, or a special holiday like Halloween—can you remember what the kids in your class all dressed up as?

If you are in elementary school, don’t give up just because you are a little younger! Write about your favorite outfit, a birthday, your favorite lunch, your first memory, even a first day of school one year.

I’ll give you an example: As a college student, I know it can be difficult to remember sometimes. But as an example from me, there is one thing I remember from all the way back in kindergarten. After I met my two best friends who lived down the street from me, I remember walking to their house with my mom in a little red raincoat and purple leggings. As soon as I saw them playing outside, I remember that I ran the rest of the way, with my orange-pumpkin bucket, filled with chalk, swinging back and forth in my hand. And if I can remember all of that, there is no stopping all that you can remember!