John McNally | Literary Events | Chicago Reader
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When: Mon., Oct. 11, 6-8 p.m. 2010
Phone: 312-369-7611
colum.edu
John McNally will be the first to tell you John McNally's not a big name in the literary world. So why should anybody take his advice on how to become a professional writer? Because, big name or not, he makes a living at it. McNally has published three novels and two short story collections, edited several anthologies, and placed pieces in numerous periodicals. He's also taught writing for many years--currently as an associate professor at Wake Forest University--and even worked as an author media escort. But his success came by way of a lot of hard work and perseverance and plenty of failure, as he dutifully notes in The Creative Writer's Survival Guide: Advice From an Unrepentant Novelist (University of Iowa Press). The book isn't about how to write: it's school-of-hard-knocks advice on what to do once you've determined to be a writer, with tips (and red flags) on going to school, getting published, getting publicized, and finding employment. It ain't all pretty, and that's one of McNally's main points. "Writing is a job," he admonishes. "And you have to treat it as one." But the book isn't meant to scare off would-be Rushdies and Oateses, either--there are enough amusing personal anecdotes here to make the effort seem worthwhile. He'll also be signing his books on Sat 10/16, 11 AM-2PM, at Duke's Italian Beef Drive-In, 8115 S. Harlem in Bridgeview. (McNally is a native southwest-sider, and Duke's shows up in his charming 2004 novel, The Book of Ralph.) --Jerome Ludwig

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