Volume 17
An Online Literary Magazine
April 14, 2023


Editor's Note


Nick O’Connell


Nick O'Connell



riters need heroes. Sometimes these are historical figures—Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Thoreau, Willa Cather, Hemingway. Other times they’re contemporaries who show us how to write for today’s audiences.


Paul Theroux is one of my heroes. I’ve read him systematically, from the chilling The Mosquito Coast to the laugh-out-loud hilarious Hotel Honolulu, learning from his travel writing riffs, deft characterizations, and expert storytelling.


Thus, it’s a great honor to excerpt a chapter from his latest novel, The Bad Angel Brothers, in this issue of The Writer’s Workshop Review. It’s a story about a sibling rivalry, a theme going back to Cain and Abel from The Book of Genesis, but set in a contemporary world of cobalt mining and estate law litigation. The accompanying interview reveals his shrewd approach to the art and craft of writing, a kind of master class from one of the best in the business.


The issue also contains moving stories like “Once a Shipmate” by Craig Moodie, celebrating the unbreakable bonds formed at sea; “Playing Hobo” by Will Brooks, a classic slice of Americana about jumping a freight train and lighting out for the territory ahead; “Postlude” by Shih-Li, a touching tale about reconciliation, even when it seems impossible; and “The Gift Kala Gave Me” by Kristen Skedgell, probing some of human life’s deepest questions.


I'd like to thank the following people for their help with this issue: all the writers who contributed, Managing Editor Kathleen Glassburn for keeping things on track, and Irene Wanner, Kate Jackson, and Elisa Stancil for careful reading of submissions and editing of manuscripts.


We hope you enjoy the 17th issue of The Writer's Workshop Review. Please let us know what you think, and if you have a story that might work for us, please send it. We read all year and welcome submissions at any time. We look forward to hearing from you!




All best,

Nicholas O’Connell

Publisher/ Editor

The Writer’s Workshop Review





Nicholas O’Connell, M.F.A, Ph.D., is the author of The Storms of Denali (University of Alaska Press, 2012), On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature (U.W. Press, 2003), At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers (U.W. Press, 1998), Contemporary Ecofiction (Charles Scribner’s, 1996) and Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers (Mountaineers, 1993). He contributes to Newsweek, Gourmet, Saveur, Outside, GO, National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sierra, The Wine Spectator, Commonweal, Image, Rock + Ice and many other places. He is the publisher/editor of The Writer’s Workshop Review and the founder of the creative writing program ( http://www.thewritersworkshop.net).



RAVEL WRITING CLASS IN PROVENCE (May 21-27) – Travel writing, Food writing and Wine writing are some of the most appealing genres of nonfiction, calling on all of an author’s skills—dramatic scenes, character sketches, concrete detail, point of view, scene by scene construction—to compose compelling, engaging travel narratives. This one week intensive class will introduce you to essential techniques of travel, food and wine writing and give you expert, insider advice about how to submit and publish finished travel stories.


In addition to learning these skills, you’ll dine at outstanding restaurants, visit some of the world’s best wineries, and explore fascinating historic sights during the travel writing classes. You’ll enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes tours unavailable to the general public. Best of all, you’ll receive up-to-date story ideas from local industry experts that you can turn into finished travel, food and wine stories by the end of the class and submit to newspapers and magazines for publication. And now, I will personally edit and recommend your stories to a well-known food and beverage magazine for likely publication.


The one week travel writing class will take place in Vaison la Romaine, one of the most beautiful medieval hill towns in Provence, and a center of the region's cultural and epicurean life since Roman times. The cost will be $2,800 per person, including accommodations and most meals. (single supplement, $500 per person). Plane fare, transit to and from Vaison la Romaine and some meals extra (see itinerary below).


To enroll, please send me a non-refundable deposit of $800 to 201 Newell St., Seattle, WA 98109 or you can pay with a credit card via the Paypal link of my website. The balance for the class will be due April 1st. After that date, there will be no refunds except in the case of medical emergency. Enrollment is limited to 10. For more information, contact me at nick@thewritersworkshop.net, 206-284-7121, or take a look at my website: http://www.thewritersworkshop.net/travel.htm.







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