In this episode of Saturday Show Podcast, Frank explores the following topics and so much MORE: How do you create a bond with your reader? How do you hook a reader into your story? What are the differences between genre fiction and literary fiction? Do they matter? What writerly secrets can the story “Fat” by Raymond Carver reveal to the writing student? Why are “Fat” and “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway correlated?

At what point do you know it’s time to quit writing and move on to something more productive? How do you deal with the soul-crushing reality of frequent rejections?

What are the effects of sleeping on the floor for one week?

And what point is it all nada y pues nada y pues nada y mas nada?

NOTE: The audio player above uses Flash. Here is the link to the show on


“Fat” by Raymond Carver
“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway
“The Real Writers Group” on

The hook brings you back…

…when i’m feeling stuck and need a buck i don’t rely on luck because…

Posted by Frank Marcopolos

Frank Marcopolos founded "The Whirligig" literary magazine in 1999, which has been called "a landmark, demonstrating the power of the literary underground." It has been said that "you get this true lion-roaring sense that Editor Frank Marcopolos knows what he likes, and how to read, and how to publish, and he has guts, and eats insects on Wheaties with bleach." His long-form fiction has been reviewed with such praise as "thorough-goingly entertaining" and "highly readable...recalls the style of Michael Chabon or John Irving. A literary gem that should not be missed." A broadcasting-school graduate, his unique literary-audio work has been featured in movie trailers, scholastic environments, and on YouTube, with one of his audiobooks achieving over 100,000 "views" there.


  1. Enjoyed the podcast. I do want to point out that you are further down the writing road than maybe last week’s writing group may have made you feel. I have been reading your stuff for years and have definitely watched your writing evolve. While each writer has things they can always do better to continue to improve, the idea that you aren’t a good writer is simply not true. You have an amazing way in your writing of bring a romantic quality and view of life in the way you choose to word things, in the level of detail you use to evoke emotional responses and to make the reader root for your key character and of depicting the key character in such an honest and raw light that makes that character seem vulnerable and thereby very relatable. Those are all qualities of excellent writing so if your group isn’t picking up on that from your most recent story, they are bound to do so in one of your future works. I continue to admire your dedication to the craft and the drive you have to continue to improve. This teamed with your skills will get you to your end game. Just my two cents. I am sure you will rise to the challenge of their feedback and I look forward to it. Keep writing.

  2. Roughing it on the floor for a week AND thinking about giving up writing? You need a beer, man.

    1. Y’know, I think life presents you with just the right Obstacle at just the right time. So, the feedback was probably the exact thing I needed to hear.

      And I think the ruminations about quitting were just coming from the pain at the moment. But the great thing about pain is that it’s just weakness leaving the body (and mind.) So, it’s all good. I’m not quitting. Of course I’m not quitting.

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