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David Ly and Jenny Ferguson In Conversation

this.org – Wednesday July 17, 2019

Meet This Magazine‘s new Poetry Editor, David Ly, and Fiction Editor, Jenny Ferguson. Jenny Ferguson is Métis, an activist, feminist, auntie, teacher, and accomplice with a PhD. She is the author of Border Markers (NeWest Press), a collection of linked flash fiction narratives. Jenny believes writing and teaching are political acts. David Ly is a writer and poet based in Vancouver. His poetry has appeared in range of magazines and anthologies, including The Puritan, The /temz/ Review, Prism international, Pulp Literature, The Maynard, and carte blanche. He is the author of the chapbook, Stubble Burn (Anstruther Press) and the upcoming collection Mythical Man (Anstruther Books, 2020). Here, Jenny and David interview each other about their new roles, what they’re looking for in a poem or story, and the future of CanLit.

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Tips From Publishers: How Authors Can Improve Their Chances Of Getting Published

By Hollie Jones
Freelance Blogger

firstwriter.com – Wednesday July 17, 2019

What are the odds of an author getting a book published? According to literary agent Chip MacGregor, the chances could be as low as 0.0065%. If you want to be one of the few writers who are able to make a book and see it on the shelves, you have to get it in front of publishers and give them something they can work with. From finding the right niche to getting an agent, here’s what you can do to improve your chances of getting published.

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Author Myke Cole talks writing hard science fiction in his space-set Coast Guard novel Sixteenth Watch

theverge.com – Monday July 15, 2019

Myke Cole is best known for his fantasy work, including his military-focused urban fantasy Shadow Ops series and his more traditionally epic fantasy Sacred Throne trilogy. But with his next novel, Sixteenth Watch, he’s switching things up a bit, swapping out the swords and sorcery for spacecraft in his first novel-length science fiction work.

Like Cole’s other books, his next draws on his personal military experience. But instead of putting the spotlight on the usual branches of the armed forces seen in military science fiction, like the Army or Marines (or even a Space Force), it focuses on the United States Coast Guard attempting to de-escalate a potential war on the Moon between the United States and China.

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‘Read, read, read to stoke the furnace,’ and more writing advice from Luis Alberto Urrea

pbs.org – Friday July 12, 2019

When Luis Alberto Urrea was 21 years old, he received a pearl of wisdom from Rudolfo Anaya, considered one of the founding authors of contemporary Chicano literature. “If you can make your Mexican grandmother the grandmother of a reader in Iowa or Nebraska through your art,” Anaya said, “then you have accomplished the most powerful, moral and political act in the world.”

Since then, Urrea says, that advice has woven its way into everything he’s written. Urrea, who was born in Tijuana and whose father is Mexican and mother American, often writes about the Mexican-American experience in his novels, nonfiction, essays and poems. He is a 2005 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for “The Devil’s Highway,” his nonfiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the barren Arizona desert. His most recent book, “The House of Broken Angels,” is the June pick for PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, “Now Read This.”

Below, Urrea shares more advice for writers and readers about establishing a routine (or not), starting anywhere with literature (you never know it will lead), and getting inspiration in unlikely places (even from the symphony).

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What Does It Mean to Be a "Real" Writer?

newyorker.com – Thursday July 4, 2019

Talent is like obscenity: you know it when you see it. It’s something that can’t be defined, only recognized—an irreducible and unteachable entity, like charisma or humor, and its confirmation all the more coveted for being so. In his fundamental study, “The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing,” Mark McGurl detailed how, in postwar America, anointing and cultivating literary talent became the purview of creative-writing programs and how, in turn, certain modes of writing came to be privileged above others. With this professionalization—indeed, institutionalization—of a nation’s art form, three injunctions popularized by the M.F.A. became holy writ. Write what you know; show, don’t tell; find your voice. Of this trinity, only the second speaks explicitly to craft and seems readily practicable. It’s the first and last dicta, however, that have proved the most influential, not through their utility but through their confounding simplicity. The question isn’t whether you should cultivate knowledge or voice. The question instead is a screamed “Yes, but how?”

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Death of the novel is greatly exaggerated, say UK booksellers

theguardian.com – Saturday June 29, 2019

The death of the novel has been pronounced for more than a century, in a series that stretches back from Will Self through VS Naipaul as far as Jules Verne. But the latest rumblings of its demise, which come courtesy of a drop in fiction sales in 2018, have been comprehensively dismissed by the books world, with new books from Margaret Atwood and Philip Pullman expected to drive a return to growth this year.

The Publishers Association’s yearbook suggested this week that sales of fiction dropped in physical formats last year, down 7% to £359m. The fall was not offset by a 4% rise in digital fiction sales, to £229m, with overall fiction sales down 3% in 2018 to £588m.

By contrast, sales for non-fiction rose 1%, to £954m, with digital revenues up 10% and physical sales remaining level. The Publishers Association noted a “standout” performance from non-fiction, which it said had grown by almost 30% in the last five years, as well as the “phenomenal” growth of audiobooks, up 43% between 2017 and 2018.

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Fall in Love with Criticism

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Wednesday June 26, 2019

Let’s raise our glasses to our true friends who can tell us that our participles are dangling and that our story is too soft. And let’s try to be the type of writers who are brave enough to accept and utilize criticism!–Nancy French

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Judith Krantz shared her formula for writing millions-selling ‘sex and shopping’ novels

thenewdaily.com.au – Monday June 24, 2019

When Princess Daisy author Judith Krantz was writing her steamy million-selling 1970s and ‘80s blockbusters, one of her iron-clad rules was that at least one character had to lose their virginity.

Another was that nothing was to be held back.

“If you’re going to write a good erotic scene, you have to go into details,” Krantz, who died of natural causes on June 22 at her Bel Air home at the age of 91, told the Los Angeles Times in 1990.

“I don’t believe in thunder and lightning and fireworks exploding. I think people want to know what’s happening.”

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4 Must-Read Dark Fiction Magazines

bookriot.com – Thursday June 20, 2019

Literary magazines need love too. Which is why we like to celebrate them here on Book Riot! We’ve had a Literary Magazines 101 to get you started, discussed general short fiction magazinesscience fiction/fantasy magazines, and we’ve even had a how-to post on reading (and writing for) science fiction magazines in particular. But today I want to give a little love to my current obsession: dark fiction. Though you can find dark fiction stories in a lot of different literary magazines, including most of the SFF magazines above, this post is a tribute to those literary magazines that specialize in the macabre, whether it’s horror, dark fantasy, or positively grim science fiction.

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In dropping Linda Fairstein, the book industry reveals its cowardice

nypost.com – Sunday June 16, 2019

When Galileo Galilei finished writing his last work, “Two New Sciences,” he had trouble finding a publisher.

Galileo had been branded a heretic, and his work was prohibited by the Inquisition. A patron arranged for the book to be published in Venice and then chickened out. The House of Elzevir (whose name lives on in the modern publisher Elsevier) arranged for the manuscript to be smuggled out of Italy and published in the Netherlands, then as now a stronghold of free thinking.

That defiance could very well have brought a death sentence. But a few publishers once had the grit to stand up to the Inquisition.

In our time, most of them cannot even stand up to Twitter, a measly and miserable inquisition of another kind.

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