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A Word About Writing: One Author, Seven Questions

An Interview with Author Helen Phillips and Editor Sarah Bowlin, by Celia Johnson


With the publication of her debut novel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat, Helen Phillips has been compared to a host of literary masters: Kafka, Davis, Calvino, Atwood, Saramago, Borges, and more. Take note of the breadth of that list. Clearly, by evoking so many great writers and not just one, Phillips has created a work very much her own. The Beautiful Bureaucrat is at once surreal and familiar. It is the story of Josephine, a young woman who moves to a city with her husband. Josephine finds work at The Database, which seems, at first, as mundane as it sounds. But she soon discovers that she has become part of something more sinister than she could ever imagine. I spoke with Phillips and her editor, Sarah Bowlin, about memorable characters, the creative process, unsung heroes in the publishing industry, and more. For more from Phillips and Bowlin, check out our upcoming writers’ conference. They are both lined up to take part in panels.

Helen Phillips, Author, The Beautiful Bureaucrat

What inspired you to write this novel?

HP There were three primary sources of inspiration. Firstly, a job I had that involved some data-entry, combined with a two-month period... Read more

In the Telling

#23: Erin Somers

In our latest installment of the In the Telling series, listen to Erin Somers read “Regret,” which appears in Issue 15: Hope.

Erin Somers was the recipient of the 2013 Neil Shepard Fiction Prize. Her writing has appeared in Green Mountains Review, One Teen Story, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the... Read more

Encounters in Publishing

#76: Behind the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference: An Interview with Little, Brown Deputy Marketing Director Miriam Parker, by Liz Mathews

Marketing: an incredibly important department in the publishing world. But what, exactly, does the marketing department do for a title? Or for the author of that title? And what can you do for the marketing department when it comes to your book?

We spoke with Miriam Parker, the Deputy Marketing Director at Little, Brown, to get some insight... Read more

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News and Events

Slice Literary Writers' Conference

The 2015 Slice Literary Writers' Conference will take place on September 12 + 13, 2015.


“Beautiful, compelling, irresistible: Slice will knock you right out. In the best way possible.” - Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Slice is among the golden few of modern literary publications, not only because of its fiction, poetry, interviews, and articles, but because it's simply the one everyone is talking about.” - Simon Van Booy, bestselling author of The Illusion of Separateness

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