Fellowships, Stories in Context, & Punctuating Dialogue

Suyi Davies Okungbowa's inaugural Fellowship awards; how to write dialogue; and why fiction and stories matter.

Fellowships, Stories in Context, & Punctuating Dialogue
Photo by Clarisse Meyer / Unsplash

Morning fellow Frivolous,

We're halfway through the year already.  In honor of that, next week look for a round up of notable books that have been published so far, and what's more to come this year.

The month of July in North America is all heat, summer rains, hungry-making smoke from grills, crickets (haven't heard cicadas yet), creek walks and the mid-afternoon drone of the sun beating down on vulnerable necks.  Hotter cities, bikers, joggers and cyclists, coffee-and-jam-pastry smells from shops, the evening dinner chatter and clink through open garage-door restaurants.

It's good to take walks.  And make stories.

Enjoy today's finds!


Literary Laddership for Emerging African Authors

Founded by Suyi Davies Okungbowa, this fellowship supports and connects authors of Black and/or African descent, based primarily on the African continent and writing in English.  They've just announced their 2022 Fellows, selected from 76 applicants.

You can learn more about why Okungbowa started this and it makes a lot of sense.  The level and consistency of support writers in the US or UK have (even the fact that there are paying avenues to publish work) is something writers in many other countries don't have.  But there's no absence of talent in those countries!


Write Speaking - this is helpful writing tip.

There are some times, (okay fine, many) when I'm in the flow of hammering out some words on my stories and I hit a wall.  It involves a lot of typing one punctuation mark, backspacing, replacing it with another punctuation mark, second guessing that one, and trying a third permutation.

And then research.  Thank goodness I found this handy guide.

Bookmark the link and move on to hammering words.


The Age of Stories, an Essay by Ken Liu via Orion Magazine

I've followed Orion Magazine for several years.  They publish stories and essays that show how beautifully and painfully we're bound to our natural world in which what we do to it, we do to ourselves...perhaps just not yet and perhaps not in a linear causal way.  A lot of writing in that magazine is heady though, and in my frenetic life, it really takes some space to work through a full issue.

That said, I was glad to see Ken Liu, creator of "silkpunk" Dandelion Dynasty series, post an essay which is an ode stories and fiction and why they matter.  I came across an odd debate online around whether literature exists to fix people and world, and this essay stands in contrast to that.  We make stories out of everything, and those same stories make us.  Even in the business world, we've moved from prescribing to inspiring, from advertising to storytelling.

Liu's essay is a great context-setter for our collective pursuit of stories.