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Portico prize winner Benjamin Myers: 'Why bother chasing the big publishers?'

theguardian.com – Wednesday December 9, 2015

After being turned down by ‘every major publisher in London’ for his Portico winning novel Beastings, the author says landing the £10,000 prize ‘felt like a vindication’.

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Should Writing Be an Art or a Career?

newrepublic.com – Tuesday December 8, 2015

There’s a very funny photograph taken by Brassaï of Pablo Picasso posing in his Paris studio. Picasso had acquired a giant oil painting of a nude woman from an antique shop, and he strikes an affected pose before it, his brush poised and his little finger extended, as though he’s preparing to make the finishing touch on a masterwork. The actor Jean Marais is stretched out on the floor beside him, pretending to serve as the model despite being fully dressed. The target of the joke is clear: Picasso was ridiculing the pretensions and conventions of the professional painter. “I am not a professional artist,” Brassaï recounts him repeating, “as if he were claiming innocence of a slander.”

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What Acclaimed Authors Love About Writing

huffingtonpost.com – Monday December 7, 2015

Over the years, I've had the incredibly good fortune of interviewing many of the most widely-read novelists on the planet. I often (but not always) ask certain questions of each author. One of my favorites is: What do you love about the writing life?

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Rude rejection letters could cost you the next JK Rowling or George Orwell, publishers warned

independent.co.uk – Monday December 7, 2015

JK Rowling was advised not to quit her day job, George Orwell was informed there was “no market” for animal stories and Rudyard Kipling was told he clearly did not understand the English language.

There are countless such tales of writerly brilliance being turned away with a snooty dismissal. But in an age when it is increasingly easy to self-publish, whether  online or in print, one publishing house has warned others to think again before sending rude rejection letters, for the sake of future profits.

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The idea that rude publishers force future literary stars to self-publish sounds like codswallop

independent.co.uk – Monday December 7, 2015

There were some house rules: no film scripts, plays or poetry. Want to publish a children’s book? Not with us you don’t. A book on self-help? Give us a break.

For an arrogant almost graduate with an inflated sense of literary worth, it seemed the perfect job. Read the stuff the great unwashed think is a future bestseller then, with nary a thought for the pain it would cause, tell them what utter drivel it was and why, even if they were the last words on earth, you still wouldn’t read them.

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Eschew thesaurophilia

economist.com – Friday December 4, 2015

It’s rare for a bit of writing advice to get something quite this wrong. The headline from theWall Street Journal says it all:

‘Use More Expressive Words!’ Teachers Bark, Beseech, Implore. To encourage lively writing, instructors put certain words to rest; no more ‘fun’

Though it purports to be a trend piece, it is an old practice: teachers not just encouraging but requiring students to vary their vocabulary by banning certain common, plain English words, and making the students to choose from a list of bigger and fancier words to replace them.

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Faith O’Grady: a day in the life of a literary agent

irishtimes.com – Wednesday December 2, 2015

In the first of a series on how publishing works, Sarah Bannan talks to a top Irish agent about what her job entails, what drives and what frustrates her.

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The seven stages of writing a novel

theguardian.com – Wednesday December 2, 2015

Anna Caltabiano self-published her first novel at the age of 14. Now with three published novels under her belt, the 18-year-old author and student shares some marvellous writing tips for teenage writers and beyond.

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7 Essential Ingredients to Writing a Successful Holiday Movie

huffingtonpost.com – Thursday November 26, 2015

The Holiday movie genre is one of the most consistent box office earners in the history of the film industry. Since 1960, Holiday movies have earned well over two billion dollars (not adjusted for inflation).

What's even more interesting is the phenomenon that we see each and every year. Television networks play those movies endlessly from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Classics like It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story often have 24-hour runs. The more contemporary classics continue to grow in stature with the likes Christmas VacationElfThe Santa Clause movies, Home AloneScrooged, and many more.

The Hallmark and Lifetime Channels have made a successful ratings business out of producing original Christmas-themed telemovies.

Audiences, each and every year, and even for those that don't celebrate the Christmas holiday, sit down with their friends and family to watch movies they've seen over and over and over again.

So what is it about these movies that make people come back for more?

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Melton Times reporter Nick Rennie shares the secrets of writing and self-publishing your own book

meltontimes.co.uk – Thursday November 26, 2015

Not so long ago, writing and publishing your own book was just a pipe dream for many of us.

It wasn’t so much getting the words down on paper which was putting us off.

It was more the expense of either finding an agent and a publisher or paying through the nose to print dozens of copies yourself which might have ended up unsold and gathering dust in the garage.

But that is resoundingly no longer the case. Digital publishing and online booksellers such as Amazon have been an absolute game-changer.

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