Here are some suggestions for you if you’re stuck for a topic. These are, so far, just a few of the “columns” we might be running, if there’s any interest. As we update our fields of interest, so shall we update this page. Anyway, here’s the list. If you have suggestions for anything we might want to add or take away, please comment below, or email Nick And Sam. Thanks.
1) Reviews. Readings, lectures, events, debates, elections….
2) Writing Strategy. What are your favorite places to write around town? Survival strategies (in the face of rejection/noise pollution/schedule)?
3) Course Time. How has close-reading affected your work? What are your classroom experiences? You could talk of horrible stories turned good, or great stories you had to leave behind. How to fail well!
3) Our Bookshelf. Reviews of new books.
4) Interviews. Audio, video, and written. Anything related to New York’s written world, 12th Street, 12th Street (the street) or the W&D program.
5) The Podium. Author MP3s of their work, either poems or sections of their writing. You/they should start with the following line: “Hi, and welcome to 12th Street Online’s podium. My name is …. and I’m going to be reading from …. etc etc.” The etc etc bit is a short introduction to the piece, like “…from my new poem, green stick, which is about my parent’s disciplinary focus. I wanted to make it funny but passionate too, and tried to make the audience see the events clearly and graphically. See what you think.” You’ll need to have the full text of the piece written into the post as well.
6) Spin Cycle. Review of media coverage from different angles. One event, two papers (right and left) or newspaper VS blog VS television. Close attention to sculpting of message and spin, and the effect this has on the audience. Try to pick particular phrases that one medium might repeat, and say what the intention of that is. In which order do the different sources tell the parts of the story? What are the images shown?
7) Video Notebook. A brief video montage of 12th St. pedestrians answering a random question—preferably a question that leads to funny answers. Not longer than three minutes, unless it’s brilliant.
8) Quote of the Week/Day. A quote demonstrating the misuse or abuse of language—don’t add your own commentary: just the quote itself with an attribution (time, place, description of speaker/audience).
9) New School Stats. Demographics/fun facts about the school, assuming someone’s been tallying these things; could also require reporting–eg, how many English majors are there? What’s the average class size? What percentage of students have TVs? How many students were in the reading room at the main building on Fifth Avenue at any given hour? Perhaps a good place to go would be the Student Body Reprasentative. See what they’re doing at the moment.
10) Street Sketches. 100-word vignettes about a theme, to be determined. Like, for example, “only in New York.” Or where we’ve seen writing in weird places. You make up the theme, and if we like it, we’ll run with it.
If you have suggestions for more themes, please leave a comment or email us.