Laura I. Miller
Laura I. Miller is the program coordinator at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and received an MFA in fiction from the University of Arizona. Her stories, essays, and interviews appear in Electric Literature, Lit Hub, Mid-American Review, CutBank, Cosmonauts Avenue, Sonora Review, Fairy Tale Review, Necessary Fiction, Specter, Spork Press, Oxford American, and elsewhere. She is at work on a novel.
Latest Articles

This Book Is Called 'Barbara The Slut'. It's Great

If you haven’t tried carrying around a book with the word SLUT printed in all-caps on the cover, you should. And Lauren Holmes’ debut story collection Barbara the Slut and Other People is a great title for this experiment. Take it to the airport, rea…
By Laura I. Miller

A Writer You Need To Drop Everything And Read Now

Literary critic and theorist and Robert Scholes said, “What makes reality fascinating is the imaginary catastrophe that lies behind it.” This is the quote that comes to mind every time I read from Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s impressive body …
By Laura I. Miller

This Novel Just Might Change How You See The World

When Julie Iromuanya’s debut novel Mr. and Mrs. Doctor arrived in the mail, I read the back cover — “a Nigerian couple in an arranged marriage begin their lives together in Nebraska” — ran my thumb across all 292 pages, and thought, What have I gotte…
By Laura I. Miller

Starting Your MFA? 11 Ways To Prepare Now

Between mouthfuls of casserole, I looked down at my phone to see a missed call from a number I didn’t recognize. Gulp. After spending the past four months waiting and wondering, a university had finally called about my MFA application… and I’d missed…
By Laura I. Miller

You've Never Seen a Diary Like This

I’ve always been infatuated with middle school diaries, their impossibly small gold-plated locks and fragile silver keys. You won’t find a lock on any other kind of book, since no other book is built with the goal of keeping its pages private. The di…
By Laura I. Miller

10 Things You Should Know Before Heading To AWP

You have two options when it comes to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Book Fair and Conference (a cult-like literary gathering known as AWP 2015 Minneapolis): You can be motivated by the gargantuan number of creative-types and …
By Laura I. Miller

9 Ways Reading Joyce Carol Oates Will Empower You

Joyce Carol Oates doesn’t shy away from darkness. If you’ve read her best-known story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?," based on the account of a Tucson serial killer, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Oates’ particular brand of sub…
By Laura I. Miller

Thinking About Reading The New Ishiguro? Do It.

When I first encountered the title of Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel The Buried Giant (Knopf), I didn’t know what to expect. His previous novel, Never Let Me Go, written more than a decade ago, wades into the realm of science fiction; his Man Booker P…
By Laura I. Miller

14 Secluded Literary Spots for V-Day Road Trippers

I understand the all-too-typical millennial hostility toward Valentine’s Day — it’s too commercial, too capitalist, too invasive. You don’t want anyone telling you when, where, and how to celebrate your romantic relationship, much less some vague and…
By Laura I. Miller

Go Read Kelly Link's 'Get In Trouble' Right. Now.

Kelly Link has been in the business of tearing down genre boundaries long before her first short story collection, Stranger Things Happen, debuted in 2001. When I first encountered this book — its pages filled with fairytale characters, haunted cello…
By Laura I. Miller

13 Words For All the Badass Women in Your Life

It's no secret that women have been viewed as less important in Western culture for centuries. Unfortunately, this also means that words for powerful, intelligent women are hard to come by in the English language. Even the so-called positive terms th…
By Laura I. Miller

15 Things Only Contemporary Lit-Lovers Know

I was a latecomer when it came to loving contemporary literature. Even while earning a bachelor’s degree in “literary studies,” I never felt as if my perspective, as a twentysomething woman, belonged in “real” literature. Instead, it seemed like lit …
By Laura I. Miller

The Survivability of 7 Atwood Apocalypses, Ranked

Margaret Atwood is the queen of post-apocalyptic fiction. From zombies to worldwide contagions, few things are as captivating as the apocalypses she conjures — aside from what comes after. More brutal than The Hunger Games, more disturbing than The R…
By Laura I. Miller

Want to Lucid Dream? These Books Will Teach You

You’re on the back of a motorcycle, holding a shotgun in one hand. Behind you, your zombie neighbor, and throes of zombie citizens, give chase. What if in this dream — instead of being bitten — you have a magic wand that turns all the zombies to take…
By Laura I. Miller

You're Going to Love Miranda July's Debut Novel

“This is the most disturbing book you’ll ever read,” a friend of mine said as he placed in my hands Miranda July’s first book, No One Belongs Here More Than You. The same could be (and has been) said of the two films she wrote, starred in, and direct…
By Laura I. Miller

12 Reasons to Keep Writing in 2015

Last summer, I asked a group of middle schoolers why they liked to write. “Because it makes what’s inside real to other people,” one said. Bingo, I thought. She nailed it. Although writing can sometimes be slow, hard, friend-repelling, social-anxiety…
By Laura I. Miller

13 Books That’ll Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

Around the holidays — the malls, the crowds — being an adult kind of sucks. There are so many responsibilities and extra stresses that come this time of year that all make us want to run and hide and escape and fly away from everything we have to do,…
By Laura I. Miller

19 Small Press Books You May Have Missed in 2014

As Big Five publishers release hundreds of titles a year and dominate best-of-books lists, small press books sometimes fly under the radar. Yes, even we miss them; despite our reputation as voracious and diverse readers at Bustle, even we're guilty o…
By Laura I. Miller

15 Literary Sign-Offs to Smarten Your Email

The art of the email salutation isn’t easy to master. If you're anything like me, you've tried to substitute in something else — a sign-off that dazzles the receiver with its wit and originality. But it doesn't always work, and instead falling flat, …
By Laura I. Miller

12 Chapbooks That Make Excellent Greeting Cards

If you really want to send a memorable and thought-provoking greeting this year, put down the ennui-inducing Hallmark card. No, seriously, put it down and take a step backwards. Embrace the literary chapbook instead. Usually handmade and always insig…
By Laura I. Miller