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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Necessity of 'Willful Blindness' in Writing
theatlantic.com – Wednesday February 14, 2018
There’s nothing conventional about Heart Berries, Terese Marie Mailhot’s debut. A little over 100 pages, it’s far short of the 80,000 words most memoirs need to be deemed viable. There’s barely any exposition: Major characters enter the narrative intimately and without fanfare, almost as though we know them already. A crucial scene might be just three lines of unsparing poetry. In short, the book does everything it technically shouldn’t, brushing off the familiar regimen prescribed by MFA programs, and slipping the strictures of commercial publishing. The thrilling part is, it works. Heart Berries is a reminder that, in the right hands, literature can do anything it wants.
8 Short Story Writing Tips from a Dean of Creative Writing
snhu.edu – Tuesday February 13, 2018
I love stories. It's safe to assume that applies to all fiction writers. Novels allow us to weave complex narratives that evoke authentic worlds and intriguing characters. The benefit of a novel is that it gives a writer the time and space to build a fictional, yet believable, world. It can also be argued that it gives writers too much time and space.
Short stories can also contain rich settings and compelling characters, but they force efficiency upon a writer. While this might seem frightening at first, I find that the confines of a short story often boil the work down to its most important, and compelling, parts.
So, where do you start? There is no magic formula, and each writer follows his or her own unique process, but I hold to eight general guidelines when sitting down to draft a short story.