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Top tips for young writers – from past winners of the young writer award

theguardian.com – Thursday November 5, 2015

How do you get started on a writing career? As the Sunday Times / PFD Young writer of the year award returns, we ask past winners including Sarah Waters, Ross Raisin and Helen Simpson for their top tips for young authors

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Middlebrow? What's so shameful about writing a book and hoping it sells?

theguardian.com – Thursday November 5, 2015

Reading the recent Sydney Review of Books essay, Could Not Put It Down, it’s difficult to work out who its author, Beth Driscoll, intended to insult the most: readers for liking middlebrow books, writers for having the temerity to write them, or publishers for bowing to the demons of commerce by printing them.

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Ten things I learned about writing from Stephen King

theguardian.com – Saturday October 31, 2015

The novelist James Smythe, who has been analysing the work of Stephen King for the Guardian since 2012, on the lessons he has drawn from the master of horror fiction

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Publishers sell empty calories, but kids want meatier books

thetimesherald.com – Friday October 30, 2015

In 1998, when I first presented the concept for the children’s TV series Blue’s Clues to a roomful of television executives, my proposal was met with nearly complete skepticism. At the time, conventional wisdom held that children were afflicted with “short attention spans,” yet I was proposing a continuous 25-minute narrative, which is more than seven times longer than anyone believed the attention of a preschooler could be held. The only way to get preschoolers to engage with a TV series, the executives insisted, was to give them easily digestible bits of content in a “magazine format,” like most other preschool series.

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Virginia Pye On Books, Publishers & the Dreaded Sophomore Jinx

huffingtonpost.com – Thursday October 29, 2015

We first met Virginia Pye at the James River Writers Conference (another reason to attend what is a great conference) and we were immediately struck by how curious she was. How she asked questions. How she seemed to want to know. We believe this is one of the most important characteristics an author can have, especially one who is starting out, but it really applies to anyone. We were overjoyed when her first novel came out, and now she has a second. We thought we'd pick her brain about what it's like to go through the process the first time, and then do it all over again.

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Top tips for writing to frighten

theguardian.com – Wednesday October 28, 2015

Want to write a really scary story? Follow these top tips from Matt Ralphs, author of Fire Girl, and learn how to create the killer combination to make your readers shiver with fear

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The 5 Worst Things a Writer Can Say

huffingtonpost.com – Monday October 26, 2015

This past week, I launched my fifth novel, Chance Harbor, provoking a friend to exclaim, "Wow, you're popping out books like Tic Tacs, aren't you?"

She has a point. Six years ago, I hadn't even published one book. It took me a quarter century to land a traditional publishing deal, so nobody could be more surprised--or thrilled--than I am to see my books be born.

These days, I'm often approached by aspiring writers who want to know how I beat the odds. I'm always happy to chat with anyone about writing and publishing, but sometimes I hear writers say things that make me cringe. Here are some of the worst things writers have said to me lately:

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Award-Winning Novelist Cecilia Galante Shares The Realities Of Writing As A Profession

forbes.com – Saturday October 24, 2015

As a writer of non-fiction and an experienced blogger, I see myself as someone with a strong grasp of ideas and of the written word. But when it comes to writing an enthralling novel that impacts our understanding of ourselves and our lives, now that’s a completely different animal.

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My Writing Education: A Time Line

newyorker.com – Friday October 23, 2015

February 1986

Tobias Wolff calls my parents’ house in Amarillo, Texas, leaves a message: I’ve been admitted to the Syracuse Creative Writing Program. I call back, holding Back in the World in my hands. For what seems, in chagrined memory, like eighteen hours, I tell him all of my ideas about Art and list all the things that have been holding me back artistic-development-wise and possibly (God! Yikes!) ask if he ever listens to music while he writes. He’s kind and patient and doesn’t make me feel like an idiot. I do that myself, once I hang up.

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Writing books is not a sane way to make a living

independent.co.uk – Saturday October 17, 2015

Since the beginning of the year I have been writing a book about Star Trek. Next September, it will be 50 years since the first episode (“The Man Trap”) was shown on American television, and although an anniversary isn't necessarily the best reason for a new book, observers of the publishing process will know that it's often a very good excuse. A couple of weeks ago I finished the book and sent it off by email, three and a half months after the original deadline, two and a half months after the renegotiated deadline and six weeks after the absolutely final deadline that could not be breached on pain of death. Douglas Adams's famous comment on the subject (“I love deadlines – I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by”) speaks to every writer in the world, alive or dead.

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