13 Comments

Who doesn't love an epistolary novel for the very reason you claim: a sustained intimacy with an audience of one -- whereas today we scatter pieces of ourselves to everyone we know, used to know, want to know -thru social media. But is there room for the enchantment of letters in our daily lives these days? If only. I used to write reams of letters to other writer friends in my 20s and 30s -especially when traveling then long emails - but now who has time to read or write long stuff? Recently, having to cull my library in view of an upcoming move, I pondered my many volumes of letters by favorite authors. In the future we won't have this documentation for writers today. It's all in the ether --what a loss. Maybe epistolary novels can revive the trend in real life of writing our hearts out to someone

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Apr 11Liked by Amy Shearn

Loved this and I learned stuff!

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I recently wrote a 15,000 word epistolary story--a grim family with a mystery in early 20th century New England. I'm not sure what one does with a story of that length, too long to be short, to short to even reach Claire Keegan wee novel size. I could expand it and may.

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author

Sounds great! But yeah, it's hard to find a home for pieces of that length. Good luck!

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Dear Amy:

What a treat to receive your newsletter! As someone who was not only diligent about sending my Mom letters, but occasionally wrote those letters in the voice of our mostly blind dog, I have always had a deep and abiding affection for written correspondence. However, I'd never fully considered the epistolic origins of the texts, DMs and other instant messages we now receive on a daily basis. I can't wait to receive your book, which I was excited to order and hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,

dannyo

P.S. You'll never guess what happened, but within hours of receiving your newsletter, we experienced an earthquake. In New York. Can you believe it? Just one more thing to write down for posterity's sake if nothing else. Take care!

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author

I swear I didn't cause the earthquake! (I don't think?)

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A stirring call to action. However, re 'for all of our hand-wringing about the decline of literacy, we’re awfully, well, literate these days, aren’t we? (Or perhaps that’s just me being overly optimistic.'

Very optimistic. The US ranks No 35 in the world for literacy and nearly half of Americans only read to 6th grade level.

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I've shared epistolary novels with my readers (who are all interested in the connection power of note and letter writing), but I hadn't thought about it from a writer's standpoint. It makes sense that this form could solve some logistical problems of how to share a character's thoughts and opinions in a natural way.

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author

Love this!

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Apr 5Liked by Amy Shearn

I really appreciate the publisher information today. Thank you!

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Also, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and The Sotweed Factor by John Barth!

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author

Thank you for giving this piece a home! Let's all write epistolary novels, they are so much funnnn

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author

Yay Amy! <3

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