The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

How to Write a YA Novel, by Elena Ender

How to Write a YA Novel

by Elena Ender


YA: young adult, teen, tween, advanced child, less-advanced adult, emotional human


Novel: story, book, doorstop

I know a lot about books, I’ve even read a few. One genre of book that sells well is “Young Adult” (or YA) “literature.” I have read at least one YA novel and I have seen trailers for The Fault in Our Stars, so I’m going to let you in on the secret of how to write a YA novel and make more money than JK Running.

What you’ll need: 

  • Mac computer
  • leather notebook
  • fountain pen
  • loose papers
  • coffee shop
  • beanie


Getting started:

There are three types of YA novels you can choose to write about.

1) post-apocalyptic dystopian romance novel

2) magical/fantasy/vampire romance novel

3) 21st century American teen coming-of-age, cancer romance novel

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Poetry by Ben Nardolilli

Terrestrial Bliss


Heaven is a two-concourse parkway, I know,

I saw it through the glare rising off the parking lot asphalt

And also the glare bouncing off every window

From buildings in the office park or the cars still between the lines

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“Goodbye Joy,” fiction by Kitty Shields

Goodbye, Joy.

I’m moving next month so we won’t run into each other. I blocked your number today too. It’s a relief not to have to press the ignore button anymore.

<Press> Ignore?

<Press> Accept?

I (don’t) say that to hurt you.

I want you to understand why I’m writing you. I want you to understand because when I’m done writing, I’m shredding you in my memory.
I kept all the silly love notes, the mall pictures, the ticket stubs. I couldn’t shred you before when you broke up with me. I tried. I scraped and pulled, nails clawing at the memories. Chunks out of my skin are missing trying to find and dig you out.

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“The Jeweler,” a poem by Gonzalinho da Costa

The Jeweler

by Gonzalinho da Costa


Afternoon is a jeweler

Setting hours in gold,

As silver glinting waves

Slap the garnet shore.


Gonzalinho da Costa—a pen name—teaches at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Makati City, Philippines. He is a management research and communication consultant. A lover of world literature, he has completed three humanities degrees and writes poetry as a hobby.

Is It Okay If I Write This Article About Female Authority?

Is It Okay If I Write This Article About Female Authority?

by Meg Thompson


During the lead up to the 2008 presidential election, when I was an English Instructor in western Missouri, a student said to me, shaking his head, “A woman and a black man. Can’t we just have a normal person run for office?”

I don’t remember how I responded, perhaps because I fainted. Back then, barely a semester out of graduate school, my approach to handling the delicate issues of race and gender veered toward melodrama. Today, when met with similar rhetorical questions, it is not uncommon to find me crouching in front of the student’s desk like I am taking an order at Chili’s, nodding, probing with my little questions: Why do you think that? After class, we would go to the university coffeeshop so we could chat one-on-one, more in-depth.

Now, in 2016, that black man is getting ready to finish his second term and that woman has the democratic nomination in her grasp. My female students come to my office, which is now in rural Oklahoma where I teach, and tell me in hushed tones that they aren’t feminists, but they believe women should be given equal treatment. Continue reading

“Country Boy Returns to University,” a poem by Michael A. Arnold


The night stars, I’m going to miss them

light up the dark sky, like Dante’s god.

From here, on this cold hill, it seems 

the earth is dark but heaven is bright.

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“Teeth,” a short story by Kristen Clanton

Lindie lit an Old Gold, letting it catch on her upper lip as she peeled a tangerine. Her long fingers slowly pulled the skin into a snake, one she could mold into a hollow sphere and use as an ashtray through morning. With the ritual complete, she set the fruit on a napkin, next to a tube of peach lipstick, a plastic unicorn lighter, and a Styrofoam cup of coffee, dramatically lightened with powdered cream and sugar. With the cigarette still hanging from her mouth, the ash bending to gravity but never breaking, she leaned over and unfastened her sandals, deliberately emphasizing the length of her legs.

Lindie knew the man was watching from his room. Where else was there to look? The motel, constructed during the Cold War, had no windows facing out. From within its walls, there was no way to view the medians stuffed with palm trees and crab grass, the causeway beach, narrow and crowded, laid out beyond the lines of interstate. There was no bar, no pool, no cabana or casino. A giant echo, all the motel rooms above the second floor looked down onto the sundeck, its surface a smooth, brown rock at the bottom of a well. Lindie pressed her toes against the tiles, each oval a turtle on its back, the smoothness cold and slick with morning dew. She set her sandals on the glass top table, along with most everything else she owned, and pushed her sunglasses closer to her brow.

. . .

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Poetry by Joe Antoshak

Panic Scenes in a Green Room

Lately my nights are gripped by research
on Christine Chubbuck’s suicide, hers the type
of public spectacle that pits a noxious smell
in the stomach, which I find to be a far-out,
wholly alien emotion responding to the difficulty
of a strange death. Freshly attuned to my own Continue reading

Girl. Plant. Sky. by Lisa Levine

Girl. Plant. Sky

by Lisa Levine


While the daggery brush held its color, evergreen and everbrown, cottonwoods leafed out above their heads, patterning yellow and occasional red against the sky. Ahead of G, impatient and unconcerned with minor scratches, A drank in sunlight as strong as bleach, trying to tell time. Ten a.m. at the leafy, dry confluence between Hackberry and Devil’s? Ten in the morning, and the obvious signs of place: campfire circles and cairns. Couldn’t the others move faster? A. Could. Not. Wait. But she found a sienna-dun bed of leaves and nestled herself until the rest of the group caught up. C came first, sitting on a rock, now that spot looks good too, unzippering trip directions from inside his pants. “Todd’s hiking guide says go right.” A closed her eyes.

B stomped through ankle-high weeds, sat between A and C and relaced his boots; one by one, E, G, and the others came into the clearing. A stood first, looking at the sky again. If she’d known them, she would have said Let’s go, but the group was B’s friends, not hers. She waited, shifting from boot to boot. “Gotta pee?” asked F. Continue reading

“BODIES/BALANCE,” a poem by Leah Cappelli


by Leah Cappelli


Languishing in a state of dire straits,

he contemplates the rate of his life,

the ways of his strife,

the days and the nights.


An abecedarian learning to speak again

in his most recent reincarnation,

walking fine lines between monstrosity

and virtuousness.

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