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This week in fiction: Ottessa Moshfegh on writing predators and their victims

newyorker.com – Monday October 17, 2016

The inspiration for writing “An Honest Woman” came when I met someone who was so physically unattractive I felt sorry for him, and so I kept mum and polite while he lamely attempted to seduce me. I never called attention to the fact that his motivations were transparent and that, by ignoring him, I was protecting his dignity. I was in denial, and he was delusional.

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10 Writing Prompts To Get You Started On Your Next Manuscript

bustle.com – Thursday October 13, 2016

The best part about writing for yourself, and not for a class, is that there's no teacher to tell you what to write... but the worst part aboutwriting for yourself is also that there's no teacher to tell you what to write. Even the most accomplished writers occasionally find themselves staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen. Inspiration doesn't always strike on command. So here are a few helpful writing prompts, to get you started when you can't quite find the right words.

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What really happens to manuscripts sent to publishers?

abc.net.au – Monday October 10, 2016

There's a lot of mystery surrounding the book publishing process. But what really happens to the slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts that are sent to publishers by wannabe writers?

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BBC National Short Story winner – a plea to publishers to take risks

theguardian.com – Friday October 7, 2016

Since winning the BBC National Short Story award this week for “Disappearances”, I have been asked whether I am writing a novel. This is something that happens to short story writers. I have responded obliquely. There are good reasons for this: most importantly, one of the exciting aspects of writing is finding the form appropriate to the subject you are exploring – whatever it may be.

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Greg Jackson: 'Writing a novel is like an interminable family vacation'

theguardian.com – Thursday October 6, 2016

"Hello?” Skype blinks across the Atlantic to reveal Greg Jackson in his Brooklyn apartment on a boiling afternoon. One of his characters may use the video chat app to keep in touch with her “dysphoric” dogs, but the debut author confesses he’s unused to such communication himself. And though he’s warm and forthcoming, with the air of a slightly worried Buddha, he does seem a little cautious.

This is unsurprising for a number of reasons – he’s new to media scrutiny, he describes himself (and the other writers he knows) as a “stay-at-home introvert”, and Skype is a peculiar way to talk. But caution, qualification and a keenness to include nuance seem to be part of his style as a person. And they are also characteristic of his striking debut short-story collection, Prodigals, for which the US National Book Foundation last week named him as one of five writers under 35 expected “to make a lasting impression on the literary landsape”.

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How Jonathan Ames Approaches Writing for TV

splitsider.com – Tuesday October 4, 2016

Jonathan Ames began his career writing novels and performing in small theaters around New York City before landing a job writing and starring in his own pilot for Showtime. As a newcomer to running his own TV show, Ames acclimated himself to the fast-paced position through on-the-job training. After creating and working on three seasons of the HBO cult classic Bored to Death, Ames moved to STARZ to help develop and oversee the Seth MacFarlane-produced Blunt Talk, a comedy centered around popular TV newsman Walter Blunt (Patrick Stewart). Blunt Talkpremiered its second season last night and Ames appears to have found his rhythm as a showrunner. He approaches each season of the show by constructing an “idea document” which is later molded into ten scripts. I spoke with Ames about what it’s like writing comedy for Patrick Stewart, the difference between crafting novels and television scripts, and working on a talk show with Moby.

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How writing an audio-first novella changed John Scalzi’s writing process

theverge.com – Tuesday October 4, 2016

Audiobooks are more popular than ever, and as more people listen to novels on their phones or computers, publishers are beginning to experiment a bit more with the form. One example is John Scalzi’s The Dispatcherwhich arrives today from Audible. The novella is debuting as an audiobook months before a print edition, and presented some interesting opportunities for its author.

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Big Data’s Power to Innovate Content and Enhance Reader Engagement

digitalbookworld.com – Monday October 3, 2016

Consumption habits across industries, spanning different products and services, are evolving dramatically in the digital era. And the book publishing sector is not immune to these winds of change.

Like film, music and other forms of content, books, too, are undergoing a major transformation in terms of both development and distribution, thanks to rapidly changing customer expectations. Empowered readers today demand an intuitive user experience, as well as personalized, engaging and interactive content, for both academic and non-academic books.

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Writers Remembering

myneworleans.com – Sunday October 2, 2016

How many television programs are celebrating 50th anniversaries?”

The answer, of course, is “hardly any.”

But, a magazine celebrating a 50th anniversary isn’t unusual, according to Dr. Samir Husni, Director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism. Husni – known as “Mr. Magazine” – is decidedly bullish on printed publications.

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Challenges for Publishers in Uncertain Times

publishersweekly.com – Saturday October 1, 2016

The demise of print has been famously and erroneously predicted for years. In the early 1990s, the CEO of a major professional publisher announced that “print is dead.” To his credit, he publicly recanted that statement several years later. Despite the incredible advances in digital technology and new opportunities for selling e-products, print sales have remained the bread and butter of almost all publishers.

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