The New Guard - Literary Review


“Hey, buddy boy, there’s going to be some changes around here…”

THE NEW GUARD is an independent literary review. We proudly publish in print, with the exception of our online feature, BANG!, a page on this site that publishes three short works by a single writer for a full month at a time.

The New Guard is here to showcase newcomers alongside established writers, and to juxtapose tradition with experiment to create a new dialogue. The Writer's Hotel is the editorial arm of The New Guard literary review. Via The Writer's Hotel, we work with writers to develop their writing, online and in person at our Master Class Workshops. We are writers for writers' sake.

Here at TNG and The Writer's Hotel, we work diligently to support writers. We will stand up and put on the gloves for those good stories and poems. We do all we can to help our fellow writers.

Give us your ire, your lore, your guarded passage.

Patrick Rioux, video/Shanna McNair, music

"The New Guard presents a curious mixture of the traditional narrative with the experimental, whether it is intimate fan letters to long-deceased authors, short stories showcasing mythical transformations, or free-verse poems." --NewPages

"It is a rollicking read, at turns whimsical, sad, and experimental." --The Portland Phoenix

More on TNG:

The New Guard on Poets & Writers

The New Guard and Shanna McNair in The Portland Phoenix

TNG on

TNG on

TNG live on ABC radio Australia

TNG in Lily Magazine

TNG Columbia College video interview at AWP 2011

TNG on

Interested in helping support our cause? The New Guard accepts donations mailed to our postal address, payable to The New Guard, or via the PayPal donation button below. Every dollar counts for writers!

Thank you for your support!

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Cover art by Matt Welch


Thank you to all who entered the Volume III Machigonne Fiction Contest and The Knightville Poetry Contest! Competition was extremely tough, more so than ever before. We got an overwhelming response to our contests—the amount of entries doubled from last year, and we saw manuscripts coming in from all over the world. The stories and poems were of an extremely high caliber, and the selection process was truly a challenge.

All of the finalists and semi-finalists are to be published alongside the winners and contributors in Volume III. Big congratulations to our winners, finalists and semi-finalists! Big congratulations to our Pushcart nominees, as well.

Machigonne Fiction Contest Winner: Mark Wagstaff

Short story, Burn Lines (judged by Rick Bass)

Mark Wagstaff lives in London. Since 1999 he has had stories published across a range of journals and online, including Stone Highway Review, Scissors & Spackle, and Inkwell. Mark has published four novels and a novella. His most recent novel, In Sparta, a story of radicalism, conformity and terror, is available in print and e-book. Mark's first collection of short stories appeared in 2002 and his second collection will be published by InkTears. He is also working on an e-book project with Folded Word.

Knightville Poetry Contest Winner: Bruce Bond

Poem, Sea of Trees (judged by Jeanne Marie Beaumont)

Bruce Bond is the author of eight published books of poetry, most recently The Visible, Peal, and Blind Rain. His tetralogy of new books entitled Choir of the Wells will be released in 2013. Presently, he is a Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas, and Poetry Editor for American Literary Review.

Pushcart Nominees for TNG Volume III:

Individual nominations:

Quenton Baker, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Nigger

John Blair, Three Little Indians

Bruce Bond, Sea of Trees

Jenn Chan Lyman, The Natural

Mark Wagstaff, Burn Lines

Section nomination:


Leslie Z. Anderson, To Faith

Madeleine Blais, To Miami

Erin Belieu, Love Letter: Final Visitation

Edie Clark, The Love of Many Strangers

Stephen Dunn, Love Poem for the Ages

Barbara Hurd, A Pre-Mortem Promise

Kate Levin, Angel (Excerpt from her novel-in-progress,Punk Prophet)

Van Newell, We'll Leave the Refrigerator Light on for You

Sharon Olds, The Signature

Judith Podell, To the IRS

Ian Withrow, To Ray



Jacob Appel, The Rod Of Asclepius

Brian Beard, Merci Jesus

John Blair, Three Little Indians

Taylor Brown, The Vizsla

Tracy Debrincat, A Certain Fire

Sarah Gerkensmeyer, Vanishing Point

Joan Lee Hunter, The Dog

Jenn Chan Lyman, The Natural

Leslie Jill Patterson, Catch And Release

Sara Patton, The Bull Rider

Leslie Rodd, Las Manos Grandes

Benjamin Rybeck, Perfect, Starting Now

Tamra Wilson, The Cozy Corner

Charles Wyatt, The Goldberg Variations


Conor Broughan, Moving Forward, No Delays

Paul Brown, Two Russians and An American Walk Into An Irish Pub

Justin Burnell, Non-lexemic Translation

Chris Connolly, Rabbit

Tomek Dzido, Ya Get Me

B D Feil, Men In Love

Kristen Hay, Hazard Ratios

Marc Mewshaw, Happy Accidents

Leslie Munnelly, Tonic Immobility

Gregg Schroeder, Apartment 6D

Lones Seiber, Finches



Quenton Baker, Nude Transformation and Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Nigger

Christopher Bursk, Untitled—Mark Rothko—1969/70

Kevin Conner, Skinny

Meghan Dunn, Galileo Sees His Future

Roberta George, Reading Palms

John Johnson, California Breakdown

Wulf Losee, In the Season of Rain

Eamon Mahoney, Blood On The Moon

Kristina McDonald, My Brother Tries to Tell Me About the Zeno Effect

Jenny Molberg, Matryoshka

Cindy St. Onge, Egyptians

Jose Padua, One Night at the Nuyorican


Robyn Art, Frost, Beleagured Plains, Augeries of Dew, Whatever:

Vincent Basso, On the Death of Poets

M. Callen, History of Romance

Doris Ferleger Now the Smoke Bushes

Wayne Lee, Just Like John Glenn

Gregory Loselle, My Cat has an X ray

Allister MacMartin, The News

Ed Madden Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans

Mary Morris, Dinner with Hades

Gabriela Tiessen, Composed

Erica Vega, An Open Window

Order The New Guard

Cover art by Matt Welch


Subscription options are in the dropdown menu below. TNG VOL. III is $25, TNG VOL. II is $18 (reg. price is $22; 20% off), TNG VOL. I is $12 (reg. price is $15; 20% off) and the set of TNG VOL. I, VOL. II and VOL. III is $48 (reg. price is $62; over 20% off).


TNG VOL.III includes new work by contributors Sharon Olds, Marge Piercy, Madeleine Blais, Erin Belieu, Stephen Dunn, Barbara Hurd,Edie Clark and Judith Podell, among others, and interviews with Maine writers Patrick Quinlan, Elizabeth Miles, and Lewis Robinson.Our Volume III letters section is called "Love Letters." Cover art by Maine artist Matt Welch.

Orders over 20 copies nationally and over 10 copies internationally need special shipping attention. Please contact us at before ordering.

TNG VOL. II features A Storm of Blizzard Proportions (1944) by Ralph Ellison, a complete finished story which has never before been in print, and has only been read by a handful of people! Alongside A Storm of Blizzard Proportions, we've published a reproduction the original typewritten pages, straight from The Library of Congress.

Also included in this special section is an interview of John Callahan, Mr. Ellison's literary executor and author of A Man You Could Love. We are excited by this tremendous opportunity to share Mr. Ellison's work with our readers and writers.

TNG VOL II is a deluxe trade paperback with French flaps of 334 pages. Cover art is by Maine artist Jeff McCreight.

TNG VOL. II Contest Winners: Knightville Poetry Contest winner: Kathleen Spivack; VOL. II Machigonne Fiction Contest winner: Dan Marmor. All Vol. II contests finalists and semi-finalists (both genres) are published in this issue.

The Vol. II Letters Section: "Writers to Superheroes and Supervillains." Letter contributors: Joe Wenderoth, Tim Siebles, Tod Goldberg, Fred Marchant, Michael Kimball, Ed Skoog, Carolina De Robertis, Aaron Hamburger, Sarah Braunstein, James Zimmerman, Alexandra Oliver & Mike Heppner. A special illustration by local artist dave naybor (Dave Peabody) precedes the letters and kicks off this volume's group.

TNG VOL. II includes a section called "Twenty Questions," TNG's ode to writers who have lived and worked in Maine. Writers playing 20Q in VOL. II are Tess Gerritsen, Liz Hand & former Maine Poet Laureate Baron Wormser.

We are also be featuring two established writers in this volume: Theodore Deppe & Cortright McMeel.

TNG is grateful to our incredible Vol. II judges: former U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic & novelist and author of The Pure Lover, DAVID PLANTE.


TNG VOL. I features previously unpublished essays by two phenomenal Maine writers, Jaed Coffin & Bill Roorbach.

VOL. I Knightville Poetry Contest winner: William Derge; VOL. I Machigonne Fiction Contest winner: Payne Ratner.

Our most gracious VOL. I judges: former U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall & Good for the Jews author Debra Spark.

VOL. I letters: "Writers to Writers: Fan Letters to the Dead," a collection of fan letters to dead writers. Fan Letter contributors include: Sven Birkirts, Tom Grimes, Maxine Kumin, Thomas Lynch & Josip Novakovich.

TNG is also available at these fine bookstores:

Longfellow Books, Sherman's, McNally Jackson Books (Manhattan),Book Culture (Manhattan), Devaney, Doak & Garrett,Nonesuch Books,USM Bookstore,Colby Bookstore & Skylight Books.

Click the link below for THE NEW GUARD store! Get your TNG merchandise and be the coolest kid on the block:




P.O. Box 60
Meriden, NH 03770

Founding Editor & Publisher:

Shanna McNair

VOL. III Special Sections Editors:

Shanna McNair
Scott Wolven

VOL. III Contest Readers:

Richard Hoffman, Fiction
Shanna McNair, Fiction, Poetry
Scott Wolven, Fiction

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The New Guard Editor's Reading at Longfellow Books on Monument Square in Portland, Maine July 11, from 7-8 PM. TNG Founding Editor Shanna McNair and TNG Special Sections Editor Scott Wolven will read selections of their own original fiction in a special one-time-only Editor's Reading. This event is free and open to the public.

Light refreshments will be offered for guests of the bookstore, and TNG Editors will be happy to sign your copy of The New Guard. Longfellow's carries all three volumes of The New Guard, including the newest, TNG Volume III. Volume III is nearly sold out, and Longfellow's is the only local store with remaining copies. See you at Longfellow's this Friday night!


November 8th, 7 PM: All-Maine author reading! TNG Contributor Sarah Braunstein, TNG Contributor Jaed Coffin, and TNG Fiction Finalist Jefferson Navicky.

Sarah Braunstein is the author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children. Honors include being named one of "5 Under 35" fiction writers by the national Book Foundation, and she was a 2007 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Stories and essays have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Green Mountains Review, Five Chapters, AGNI, Ploughshares, Nylon Magazine, Maine Magazine, and on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Jaed Muncharoen Coffin is the author of A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants . Jaed has spoken widely at universities and colleges where his book is taught as a common text in multicultural curriculum initiatives. Honors include receiving the 2009 William Sloane Fellow at Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the 2009-10 Wilson Fellow in Creative Writing at Deerfield Academy. His forthcoming book, Roughhouse Friday, is about the year he fought as the middleweight champion of a barroom boxing show in Juneau, Alaska.

Jefferson Navicky is the author of the poetry chapbook, Map of the Second Person and his work has recently appeared in Quickfiction, Horse Less Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Interrobang!, and Tarpaulin Sky. He received a 2011 Good Idea Grant from the Maine Arts Commission for his six-play cycle, Redwing Solitaire, and his play, Lungfish, was chosen for the 2010 Maine Playwright's Festival.

August 3rd, 7 PM: Maine-based author and TNG Contributor Tess Gerritsen. Tess gave a special reading from her forthcoming novel, Last to Die, the newest in the Rizzoli and Isles series. Last to Die is to be released on August 28th. You can pre-order the book from Longfellow's! Buy local!

Tess Gerritsen was trained as a medical doctor and built a second career as a thriller writer. Her 23 novels include the Rizzoli and Isles crime series, on which the TV show "Rizzoli & Isles" is based. Among her titles are The Surgeon, Ice Cold, and The Silent Girl. Her books are translated into 37 languages and more than 20 million copies have been sold.

July 11, 7 PM: former U.S. Poet Laureate and TNG VOL. II Knightville Poetry Judge Charles Simic.

Charles Simic is a poet, translator, editor and essayist. He has put out over 30 books of poetry, has translated 15 books, and has published several books of essays. He won The Pulitzer Prize for his book, The World Doesn't End: Prose Poems. Other awards and fellowships include The Wallace Stevens Award, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the Academy Fellowship and Guggenheim, MacArthur and National Endowment for the Arts grants. Simic was named a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2000. He was also was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1995.

Georgia Review correspondent Peter Stitt wrote: “The fact that [Simic] spent his first eleven years surviving World War II as a resident of Eastern Europe makes him a going-away-from-home writer in an especially profound way...He is one of the wisest poets of his generation, and one of the best.”

April 6th, 7 PM: An all-Maine author reading! TNG Editor and Contributor Bill Roorbach, TNG Editor and Contributor Scott Wolven, TNG Poetry Finalist Melissa Roberts, and TNG Founding Editor & Publisher Shanna McNair.

Shanna McNair is the founder of TNG and The Writer’s Hotel. She writes fiction, poetry, scripts and the occasional article. She is an award-winning journalist with a background in the visual and performing arts. She has a novel and a book of short stories forthcoming.

Melissa Roberts is a student in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She lives in Maine.

Bill Roorbach is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Flannery O'Connor Prize and O. Henry Prize winner Big Bend (2001), Into Woods (2003), and Temple Stream (2005). Life Among Giants, a novel, is forthcoming this year. The 10th anniversary edition of his craft book, Writing Life Stories (2008), is used in writing programs around the world. Recently, Bill was a judge on Food Network All Star Challenge, evaluating incredible Life Stories cakes. Bill’s work has been published in Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, and dozens of other magazines and journals.

Scott Wolven is a TNG Editor and an Editor at The Writer's Hotel. He is the author of the short story collection, Controlled Burn. His stories have appeared seven years in a row in The Best American Mystery Stories Series, the most consecutive appearances in the history of the series. The title story of the collection appeared in Best American Noir of the Century.


THE NEW GUARD VOLUME IV contest submission period has closed. Thank you so much to all of our entrants! Writing submissions came in from all over the world. We're so excited to settle in and read this work! Contest winners will be announced within two months, by September 15, 2014. Thank you again from all of us at The New Guard.


MACHIGONNE FICTION CONTEST: $1,000 for an exceptional fiction in any genre. Submit up to 5,000 words: anything from flash to the long story. Novel excerpts are welcome if the excerpt functions as a stand-alone story.

Judged by Letters to Wendy's author Joe Wenderoth.

KNIGHTVILLE POETRY CONTEST: $1,000 for an exceptional poem in any form. Three poems per entry. Up to 150 lines per poem. Please submit all three poems in a single document.

Judged by National Book Award Finalist and author of Fast Animal, Tim Siebles. Tim Siebles just won the Theodore Roethke Poetry Prize this July.

You may submit as many contest entries as you like, as often as you like. Please include your name on the first page of your contest entry; we will remove your name in the final stages of judging. We accept .doc or similar files–no PDFs, please. We do pay strict attention to word and line count. We accept previously unpublished work only. Any size print run or online publication (including blogs and/or social networking) disqualify an entry. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, provided we're notified upon publication elsewhere. If we accept your story or poem for publication, we trust you will remove that story or poem from all other contests upon our acceptance of your work. Please note that we do not publish illustrations.

Contest winners and all finalists get one free copy of The New Guard, and each submission will be carefully considered for publication. Final judging is blind.

TNG retains standard first publication rights; all rights immediately revert to the writer upon publication. We are presently accepting contest submissions only. Please note that we no longer accept submissions via postal mail.

Please direct all submission questions to


Bang! authors are showcased individually here online. Each author installment is made up of three pieces in any combination: poetry shorts (20 lines) or fiction or nonfiction (500 words each) for thirty days. Bang! pieces are not published in The New Guard. Work is meant to be very short--flash-short--so that the pieces on Bang! serve as a kind of calling card for the author. Bang! installments run from the first to the first of every month.

Submit your work to be considered for Bang! below.


All work on must be previously unpublished. The entry fee is $20. Submission period runs all year round.

Our June 20-August 1 BANG! author is Timothy Dyke. Timothy attended The Writer's Hotel in NYC this year. Timothy is an invited contributor. *Timothy Dyke's installation will be up on this page longer than usual as we switch our Bang! schedule to begin on the first of each month.

Timothy Dyke lives with parrots in Hawaii where he writes stories and teaches English to high school students. His short fiction has appeared in Drunken Boat, Santa Monica Review, Spork and Kugelmass. A text/image collaboration with Noah Saterstrom was published by Lorimer Press in Confluence, a collection of art and writing inspired by Black Mountain College. His story, “No Look Back,” is featured in the anthology, Don’t Look Back: Hawaiian Myths Made New, published by Watermark Books of Honolulu. In 2011 he was chosen as a semi-finalist for the Sentence Book Award for a manuscript of prose poems. In 2012 he was a finalist for the Gold Line Fiction Chapbook award. He received an MFA in creative writing at the University of Arizona in 2012. Timothy is working on a novel-in-stories entitled Another Imaginary Dead Gay Kid.

TImothy Dyke

Short works of fiction by Timothy Dyke


My Puberty in Buffalo Was Drab

The summer The Omen came out, I traveled alone from suburban California to Sinaloa -- across the Mexican border on a bus by myself, fifteen-years-old, son of unyielding Nixon supporters -- to participate in an exchange program sponsored by Intercambio Internacional. In Los Mochis, Consuela taught me how to drink myself out of hangovers. My host brother and his friends were uncircumcised. I have the smallest penis. The family owned the cinema, two hotels and a disco. Eduardo offered mid-day access to daily showings of The Omen, a movie I’d been afraid to see when it opened at the Fox. Eduardo had this paraplegic uncle who showed us his collection of latex dolls in the cottage with the ramps. In Spanish The Omen is La Profecia. My entire life I have feared decapitation and priests. The scariest devils are the young and pretty devils. I am an English teacher. One Parent Night I explained to the moms and dads how I do the Psycho lesson. We watch the shower scene together over and over again with the sound off. We talk about critical thinking. Some parents write hostile emails to the principal. To make amends I send them Evites to Emily Dickinson’s birthday party. When I write my horror movie, I will set the scene of maximal carnage at Tennessee Pentecostal summer camp in 1978, the year I first masturbated to images of John Travolta.

Pie Shadow

The song is on repeat   I am sitting in the dark   Maybe all prostate cancer deaths involve three days of lost consciousness  puking up Frost poems   The man in the shadow is thinking of his shadow   I snorted heroin from the empty shaft of a ballpoint pen   afterwards I smelled bacon for weeks   Art and shame feed from the same all-you-can-eat buffet   Helen asked me if I had ever been in love   Do I really look like a person who has never fallen in love  The pie though isn’t really what’s important   In a backyard in Texas  a tire-swing hung from a branch   Last week a boy hanged himself from that same tree     I am the dead boy  or I am The Maple Tree  or I am the story of the flower tattoo            In a dorm in New Jersey a boy had sex for the first time   Last Tuesday he jumped off a bridge   The song is still on repeat   Over and over as ritual I listen to one specific indie rock anthem   I don’t think I have a   problem  My shadow is waking up   My shadow is baking without me   I do this all the time   Five young teenagers hang out in front of Time Market   Four of them wear purple shirts   the other one’s got purple hair  They don’t notice me wearing purple  This is how it should be   When Sydney’s cancer finally claimed him   I used my birds as an excuse to stay away   The man in the shadow is thinking of the shadow   I do this all the time

Dr. Wayne Curses Yemen

Rusty hated his homophobic co-worker. He sent Nazi emails to himself from the woman’s computer, then reported her to HR. When the co-worker figured it out, Rusty moved to Nevada where he sold weed to a long-closeted, newly out, divorced, 39-year-old radiologist named Wayne who had an actual X-ray of Elvis’s hip framed over the sink in the Master Bath of his fabulous, shimmery bungalow. The love between Rusty and Dr. Wayne ended in pseudo-Navajo prayer sessions. After the break-up Dr. Wayne invited Rusty to watch some Sochi Olympics on his flat-screen, their first attempt to hang out non-sexually as friends. Rusty asked Wayne about his family. During a mattress commercial Rusty told Wayne to put it on pause. Rusty explained: he was now sharing his futon with a Russian exile named Kolya, nineteen-years-old. Wayne fast-forwarded. Rusty reached for guacamole. Drunk on women’s luge and cheap tequila, Dr. Wayne shouted that Russia could go fuck herself. Rusty said, “Not cool Wayne,” but Wayne thought he was referring to the guacamole -– a store-bought bag of thawed, dye-laden goo -- so Dr. Wayne continued to curse Russia. Fuck the Kremlin. Fuck the Horse of Catherine the Great. Fuck Chekhov and His Prophetic Gun. Fuck Tchaikovsky. No, don’t fuck Tchaikovsky. He was tormented and gay. Rusty yanked off a sock, balled it up and threw it at Wayne. “Wayne, shut the fuck up. You don’t give a shit about Tchaikovsky.” Dr. Wayne dodged the sock and cursed on. Fuck the KGB. Fuck the Potemkin Village. Fuck the Horse of Half-nude Vladimir Putin. Fuck Maria Sharapova. Wayne focused. No, don’t fuck Maria. His anger re-calibrated. Fuck Russian law. Fuck Ugandan law. Fuck Nigerian law. Fuck Yemen. Fuck Arizona. Fuck Mississippi. Fuck Baptists. Fuck the Taliban. Fuck Mormons. Fuck Fred Phelps. Fuck all Popes including this one. Fuck the 2014 Winter Olympics. Fuck luge. Wayne inhaled and pivoted. Rusty tilted. Wayne sputtered. Fuck Liquid Smoke. Fuck Lunchables. Fuck all radiated meat. Rusty told Wayne he wasn’t making sense. Wayne reached for the one-hitter. He set the TV to freeze-frame. Finnish lugers hovered efficiently in tandem. Wayne threw his leg over Rusty, grabbed for nipple and ass-cheek, licking Rusty on the face. Uninvited. Rusty pushed, hollered, twisted and lunged. Cheetos flew. Wayne stammered. The one-hitter fell. They sat. Rusty kind of felt sorry for his drunken ex-lover, so he told Dr. Wayne that Kolya is really a nice guy. You’d like him. You’ll meet. We’ll go out. We would like that. Rusty says Kolya knows a music teacher who was gang-raped by three Russian Orthodox priests. Wayne reaches for Cuervo. Fuck Orthodoxy. Wayne reaches for the one-hitter. Fuck Scientology too.


Prose © Timothy Dyke, 2014. All rights reserved by author.

The Writer's Hotel

"Midtown Manhattan Dawn" by used under CC.



From vision to page: new focus for writers in the heart of NYC.

Thanks so much to all of the talented writers who applied for this year's Master Class in Fiction & Nonfiction. We're excited to be with our terrific class this June in NYC!

**Please note that applications are no longer being accepted for this year's Master Class. New applicants are free to inquire about our NYC 2015 Master Class in Fiction & Nonfiction.

The Writer's Hotel & TNG are hosting a Writer's Workshop Master Class in Fiction and Nonfiction in the NYC Midtown area. Our events are to be held between three writer's hotels, The Algonquin Hotel, The Library Hotel and The Bryant Park Hotel. Workshops will take place at The Library Hotel Writer's Den and Poetry Garden and workshops, lectures and seminars will be given at The Bryant Park Hotel Terrace Loft and The Loft.

The June, 2014 Master Class in Fiction & Nonfiction is centered on craft and the publishing industry. Each writer participates in an intensive Master Class workshop with a TWH instructor. There will be several lectures and seminars on craft in both Fiction and Nonfiction. Agents and editors will be in attendance for two seminar spots. Writers get the opportunity to interact with those agents and editors face-to-face, and to present their best work for consideration. Each writer also has the chance to read their own original work at an NYC venue on one of our reading nights. Our venues for workshop participants are: KGB Bar Lit's Red Room* , The EAR Inn via The New York Poetry Society, Cornelia Street Cafe and Book Culture. Faculty readings are at The Half King and Kinokuniya. This special series is called "The Writer's Hotel Reading Series" and is just for our Master Class this year. *The KGB Readings are now full.

Accepted Master Class participants get the added benefit of having TWH Editors working alongside them right up to the Master Class in June, helping to tighten up manuscripts and ready them for presentation to our agents on site. We will also be working with our accepted writers for a month after the Master Class has ended, until July 20, 2014. The sooner a writer is accepted to the program, the sooner a writer will be able to begin the editing process with TWH Editors.

We are working in cooperation with Literary Manhattan , to give the Master Class its proper backdrop and to honor writers and a city so steeped in literary history. There are historic literary walking tours of Midtown and literary events on the docket, including a guided game of "Wink, Murder" at The Algonquin Hotel, a parlor game made famous by NYC's so-called "Vicious Circle."

Many seats have been reserved, and the process is selective. There is no application fee; we'll read your work, free of charge. Should you be accepted, you would be part of an exclusive group of writers. Our Master Class is very small, at only 44 writers total. A limited number of rooms have been reserved for attendees at **The Library Hotel, The Algonquin and The Bryant Park Hotel. Those rooms are first-come, first-serve.

Workshop Leaders are Scott Wolven, Elyssa East and Shanna McNair teaching Fiction, and Richard Hoffman teaching Nonfiction.

The Writer's Hotel Master Class in Fiction & Nonfiction, 2014 is sponsored in part by The Kirby Family Foundation in cooperation with Creative Portland Corporation.

Please inquire at for more details. We hope to see you there!


The Writer's Hotel Master Class in Fiction & Nonfiction, 2014 in the news!

TWH on Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)A New Kind of Writing Program? The Writer’s Hotel Master Class

TWH on Literary Manhattan“Floating” writer’s campus prepares to take over New York City streets

TWH on the Poets & Writers Conferences and Residencies Database



Your conference just ended. Your MFA is over, or maybe you decided the MFA wasn't for you. You're yearning for more attention and guidance as you work your way through your manuscript. Maybe you're coming to us after a lifetime of writing on your own; maybe you are looking to step up your game. No matter what the reason, we are here for you. What's that you're feeling? You want to keep writing! It's time to complete your book. We will help you every step of the way.

THE WRITER'S HOTEL is the teaching and editorial arm of THE NEW GUARD. We offer intensive, one-on-one Private Study. Our Private Study is much like a graduate-level Creative Writing course, and we aim to give you the same results at a fraction of the cost. We also work with writers to complete projects.


Private Study/Creative Writing Instruction/Coaching

Manuscript Evaluation

Blind Virtual Workshops


Editorial Services


Shanna McNair is the founder of TNG and The Writer’s Hotel. She writes fiction, poetry, scripts and the occasional article. She is an award-winning journalist with a background in the visual and performing arts. She has a novel and a book of short stories forthcoming.

"Shanna McNair has an eagle-eye and a deep understanding of the intricacies of the writing process. As editor of The New Guard, she helped me bring my memoir/essay on Saul Bellow into focus and being. Thank you Shanna!" --Fred Marchant, poet, scholar and author of The Looking House and Tipping Point.

Scott Wolven is a TNG Editor and he is also an Editor at The Writer’s Hotel. He is the author of the short story collection, Controlled Burn. His stories have appeared seven years in a row in The Best American Mystery Stories Series, the most consecutive appearances in the history of the series. The title story of the collection appeared in Best American Noir of the Century.

Praise for Scott Wolven's writing: "Wolven has turned raw, unreconciled life into startling, evocative, and very good short stories. He draws on a New England different from Updike’s and even Dubus’, but his fictive lives--no less than theirs--render the world newly, and full of important consequence." --Richard Ford, author of Independence Day and Canada.

We promise you will emerge from The Writer's Hotel a more confident writer. It is our goal to help you become the best writer you can be.

You will always have two sets of eyes on your work. Both editors will review your material, giving extensive line edits and detailed comments. Fiction and Creative Nonfiction students can expect us to study everything on the page, including plot, character development, dialogue, sentence structure and narrative arc. Poetry students will receive responses involving the elements of poetry, such as use of form, line breaks, rhythm, tone and imagery. Poetry students will also get line edits and detailed responses to each piece. Email communication is unlimited, phone communication is as needed.

Aside from our popular Private Study, we are also available for general copyediting and proofing--you tell us what you want and we will deliver. We will tailor a program to suit you.

The Writer's Hotel Editors are professional writers, teachers and editors. We enjoy helping our fellows. Where appropriate, we will seek agency connections for our writers.

Please email us at for information on current rates, virtual workshops and more. We look forward to reading your work!

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