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The Many Joys of a Writing Workshop

nextavenue.org – Thursday February 1, 2018

For two years, I had the pleasure of guiding a writing workshop that involved women ranging in age from their 40s to their 70s. Only one of these women was a professional writer, and only a few aspired to seeing a piece through to publication. Yet all of them were devoted to the weekly workshop, which had existed for several years before they invited me to take the helm.

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Dear younger writer self, can I give you some advice?

irishtimes.com – Thursday January 25, 2018

Joan Brady on taking the scenic route to write her novel, missing her deadline to go from journalist to author by a mere 20 years.

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I often reward writing a thousand words with a latte and eight jammie dodgers

irishtimes.com – Wednesday January 24, 2018

Louise Beech: Writing without a deal, agent or audience means you can be the most honest you’ll probably ever be

Adversity is a great place for inspiration. It lends a sort of desperation, a need to create and make something good when the world seems against us. It’s not a great place to permanently live, but without experiencing it for at least a good period of time we don’t grow, survive, or scream to be heard. During adversity, we write hungry. I mean this in a spiritual way, not literally, though it can help to be physically hungry too. I often reward writing a thousand words with a latte and eight Jammie Dodgers.

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Award-Winning Author Judy Blume Shares 6 Inspiring Tips From 50 Years of Writing (and 85 Million Books Sold)

inc.com – Sunday January 21, 2018

When I was a kid I loved to read Judy Blume books: Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingBlubberDeenieFreckle JuiceSuperfudge. They addressed themes and issues other books I was reading at the time didn't cover. Her stories spoke directly to me, as if she could see right into my curious, hyper-sensitive, insecure pre-teen head.

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How to Keep Writing When Every Day Is a Blow to the Gut

huffingtonpost.com – Monday January 15, 2018

Most writers I know have put themselves on a news diet, but even if you’ve done that it’s impossible to escape the bad news altogether—nor do most of us want to be completely checked out. The s**tstorm we’re contending with in our country—#MeToo, our erratic weather, nuclear threats, a Twitter presidency—is leaving most of us feeling anxious at best. Few writers I know are able to wield their anxiety into well-crafted scenes. Most are distracted (for good reason!) and yet the new year is supposed to be about new beginnings, right?

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Five Rules for Writers

nationalreview.com – Saturday January 13, 2018

As a professional writer, I’m always trying to improve. I’ve studied the work of the top writers. I’ve debated great opening sentences with colleagues. I’ve thought long and hard about things like serial commas, concluding that they are good and necessary (don’t @ me).

These days, I’m not only a professional writer, but also a teacher of writing: I run the journalism program at Hillsdale College. The best way to learn how to write is to write, because experience offers the soundest instruction. Yet my students and I also consult sources such as The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, whose best advice has become a famous dictum: “Omit needless words.”

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Bloodhound Books on surviving and thriving as an indie publisher

telegraph.co.uk – Monday January 8, 2018

Indie crime fiction house, Bloodhound Books, is killing it right
now – and to such a degree that its doors have had to be temporarily shut for submissions.

"Our schedule is full up; we're set to release seven or eight books a month until June," says Betsy Reavley, who co-founded the company with her husband, Fred Freeman.

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A Fine Bromance: On Writing About Friendship

signature-reads.com – Friday January 5, 2018

Over the course of the six novels I’ve published, my characters have fallen in love and had their hearts broken more times than I can count. There’s a reason why readers and writers relish a good love story: when we read an ecstatic description of a heart tumbling into deranged wonder, we think: yes. An intoxicating bell of recognition (or perhaps hope) chimes deep within us. And yet, as fascinating as we may find affairs of the heart, I’m starting to feel the limitations of writing about romance.

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2018 Book Publishing Predictions - Are Indie Authors Losing their Independence?

huffingtonpost.com – Tuesday January 2, 2018

Welcome to my annual publishing predictions post where I prognosticate about the future and share my views on the state of the indie nation.

Each year around this time I polish off my imaginary crystal ball and ask it what the heck is going to happen next.

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Why should we subsidise writers who have lost the plot?

theguardian.com – Monday January 1, 2018

Following the announcement from Arts Council England that sales of literary fiction are plummeting, it is suggested that arts subsidies be deployed to help writers survive. I have another idea. They should write better books.

I barely read literary fiction any more. When I do it is almost always American writers: Michael ChabonJonathan FranzenAnne TylerDonna Tartt. Not only are the aforementioned brilliant writers, they are accomplished storytellers. But here, the form of storytelling and literary novel writing has become largely divorced.

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