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Teaching William Zinsser to Write Poetry

newyorker.com – Tuesday March 6, 2018

In the spring of 2012, I got a call from William Zinsser, asking if I thought I could teach him to write poetry. “Yes,” I replied, confident not so much in myself as in him: if Zinsser, the beloved nonfiction guru, the author of “On Writing Well” and eighteen other books, couldn’t be taught to write poetry, nobody could. There was just one catch: Bill was blind.

He wasn’t completely blind, not yet; he could still make out shapes and shadows. Progressive glaucoma had recently caused him to retire from writing prose, a practice he’d maintained, weekdays from nine to five, into his eighty-ninth year, working in a one-room office on East Fifty-fifth Street. Bill’s daily commute to that office—a half-mile walk—had become too harrowing.

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Writers, editors offer pet peeves to mark National Grammar Day

prdaily.com – Sunday March 4, 2018

Editors wish people would think about their grammar every day—and those professional nitpickers are using an upcoming holiday to sound off about what drives them nuts.

March 4 is National Grammar Day, and to mark the occasion, we at PR Daily solicited writers’ and editors’ biggest gripes when it comes to linguistic lapses.

Whether it’s in the form of improper punctuation, misapplied homonyms or a lack of care when speaking off the cuff, word nerds can all agree: Bad grammar is like nails on a chalkboard.

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Should you enter a writing contest?

seattletimes.com – Thursday March 1, 2018

Yes, yes, yes you should.  Writing contests offer many benefits, not the least of which is a deadline. There’s nothing like a deadline to force you to put your posterior in a chair and some words down on paper. You can also win prize money, get published, establish credibility, build your writer’s platform and grow a readership.  The first step is to enter.  It can be daunting, but to grow as a writer, you need to send your work out into the world. Contests offer that opportunity.

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Stop writing and learn to be a better writer

thedrum.com – Tuesday February 27, 2018

A woman walks up to a construction worker in Manhattan.

“Excuse me young man,” she says. “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”

He puts his pickaxe down and wipes his brow. Finally, he speaks.

“Lady, you gotta practise.”

He’s right. Every skilled, or would-be skilled, tradesperson needs to practise. But what does practise mean? For copywriters, specifically? It might seem obvious. You write. As much and as often as you can.

Ads. Blog posts. Emails. Landing pages. Scripts. Sales letters.

The more you write, the better you get. Right? Wrong.

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Book clinic: why do publishers still issue hardbacks?

theguardian.com – Sunday February 25, 2018

Q: Years ago, I read that publishers were going to end the practice of bringing out hardback editions before paperbacks. But it never happened. Why do they still do this, and does anyone apart from libraries buy hardbacks? I never do.

Phil Goddard

A: From Philip Jones, editor, the Bookseller

Yes, hardbacks are still popular. Hardback fiction brings in about £70m annually (roughly 20% of the printed fiction market), according to sales data from Nielsen BookScan.

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14 Stephen King quotes about the writing process

mashable.com – Friday February 23, 2018

The first Stephen King book I ever read was The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I was still in my teens, and my gran — a huge King fan herself — thought it was the one I'd have the best chance of reading without getting too scared.

She was wrong about that (I scare pretty easily), but she was right to introduce me to King. He's been my favourite author ever since.

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9 writing and reading tips from writers

artshub.co.uk – Monday February 19, 2018

Are you are an emerging or professional writer? Maybe your day job consist of writing, reading and replying to numerous emails. Perhaps you may want a better understanding of the craft of writing, which in turn will allow for a different perspective when you are reading other people’s words.

As Margret Atwood stated in The Guardian‘Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones.'

To help you traverse this global culture of constant communication, ArtsHub spoke with five writers to ask them for some helpful reading advice.

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What I Learned From Bestselling Author Andrew Neiderman

publishersweekly.com – Saturday February 17, 2018

I grew up in South Fallsburg, New York about 100 miles from New York City. I went to Fallsburg Central Schools, where it took nearly 10 villages and rural towns to create a district. And in my junior year of high school, I convinced the school leadership to allow me to graduate a year early, and I convinced my parents to let me escape small town life for college.

The main requirement for early graduation was doing double English in my junior year. So I signed up for the required New York State Regents English course, and took a creative writing elective. I was neither creative, nor showing any potential as a writer, but I was always a reader. And my creative writing teacher, Andrew Neiderman, nurtured that love of reading with the eclectic novels he chose for his syllabus, among them, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, books that have stayed with me nearly 50 years later.

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6 famous writers who never made a dime

bigthink.com – Friday February 16, 2018

The image of the broke writer is engrained in the popular imagination. The often tortured artist who writes until they remember to eat, and then eats too little as to stretch out their failing budget.

While this image doesn’t apply to most writers, there are a few remarkably famous authors who hardly made a dime by writing. This didn’t stop them from joining the ranks of the most celebrated poets and novelists of all time. Here we have six such authors for your consideration.

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Creative Writing Tips from Harvard’s Faculty

thecrimson.com – Wednesday February 14, 2018

Harvard’s English faculty hosts a powerhouse of acclaimed creative writers. As lecturers and professors, they devote countless hours to passing on the skills of their craft to students. The Crimson asked four faculty members who teach fiction-writing classes to share their creative writing wisdom.

“You can make an entire world up in your head and transmit it to other people with scribbles on a page,” said Claire Messud, a Senior Lecturer. “Making up stories is open to all of us.” While not every Harvard student will have the opportunity to take their classes, anyone can try their hand at creative writing.

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