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Poetic justice: the rise of brilliant women writing in dark times

theguardian.com – Thursday July 28, 2016

Hera Lindsay Bird has attracted the biggest hoo-ha with a poetry book I can recall,” wrote one reviewer of the New Zealand-born poet, whose recently released debut collection has become a cult bestseller in her home country. And rightly so: Bird’s frank, outrageous writing – see, for example “Keats is Dead so Fuck Me From Behind” – is in turns bleakly hilarious and peppered with pitch-perfect similes (“the days burn off like leopard print”; “Love like Windows 95”). It has made me, like many others, more excited about poetry than I have been in a long time.

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10 Self-Publishing Trends to Watch

publishersweekly.com – Saturday July 23, 2016

The future of publishing is fraught with opportunity and peril. Here are 10 trends shaping your future as a writer and/or publisher.

The rise of e-books: Ten years ago, e-books accounted for less than 1% of the trade book market. Today, e-books account for about 25% of dollar sales and 40%–50% of units. Although the rate of growth has slowed for e-books, the affordability and accessibility of digital will continue to erode print readership.

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How to Write a Thriller

wsj.com – Friday July 22, 2016

The works of Megan Abbott, Blake Crouch and James Patterson diverge in style and form, but they’re all about creating a thrill. The three authors, who all have new books out this summer, answered questions about the mechanics of storytelling, the genre’s best works and finding success for a round-table conversation. Here, an edited compilation of their responses from separate interviews.

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5 Writing Tips: Donald Ray Pollock

publishersweekly.com – Friday July 22, 2016

Donald Ray Pollock's The Heavenly Table is one of the most delightfully twisted novels of the year, a terror ride through an early 20th century hillbilly hellscape that puts the family of a swindled, good-hearted farmer on a collision course with three brothers on a crime spree. Pollock, whose previous novel, The Devil All the Time, was named one of the 10 best books of 2011, shares five writing tips.

When I decided to learn how to write, I didn’t know any writers, or anything about how to get started. I was forty-five and had worked at the same paper mill in a small town in southern Ohio for twenty-seven years at that point. However, thanks to a program the mill had that helped with tuition for employees who wanted to go to college part-time, I did have a degree in English. Plus, I loved to read. I determined to devote at least five years to writing, and worked at it almost every day. By the time I turned fifty, I had published five or six stories in small literary magazines. Granted, this doesn’t seem like much, but over time, I slowly discovered that it was what I wanted to do; and that’s always a good thing, actually, the very best thing, knowing exactly what you want to do with your life, no matter how hard or frustrating it might be, and writing is, more often than not, pretty damn hard and pretty damn frustrating. Still, I wasted a lot of time in the beginning, and with that in mind, here, mainly for the benefit of beginners, are the major things I’ve learned about writing:

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Who wants to be liked? The joy of writing outrageous, amoral women

inews.co.uk – Tuesday July 19, 2016

I’ve always been drawn to dark, unpredictable, unknowable characters. I love performing baddies as much as watching them and I had a macabre sense of play as a child. I was a committed tomboy always playing “man on the run”, or “boy being kidnapped”, rather than making daisy-chains or throwing tea parties. I have never been interested in playing Juliet, though I can appreciate the brilliance and beauty of the role from the stalls, my instinct as an actress is always to undercut and be irreverent. Something a role like that really does not require.

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Mallory Ortberg on Texts from Jane Eyre: 'Writing was the simplest part of the process'

theguardian.com – Tuesday July 19, 2016

Texts from Jane Eyre was the first book I ever wrote, or even tried to write, and when I found my agent, I rather assumed my part in the process was done. She had approached me about the project, so I assumed an editor would approach her in turn, and I would continue to attract publishing attention like a sea anemone attracts shrimp. This turned out not to be the case: it took over a year, and quite active shopping, to sell the book proposal, rather than seeing it snapped up straight away.

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8 things I wish I'd known before writing my first novel

marieclaire.co.uk – Tuesday July 12, 2016

Award-winning author Kate Mosse reveals her top tips for making a career out of writing books

'As a former editor in publishing, I had a bit of a head start,' says Kate Mosse author of best sellers from Labyrinth to The Taxidermist's Daughter

'I'd seen all the pitfalls and traps for a first-time novelist, so had a notebook full of "avoid this at all costs" and "always remember to..." tips, before I ever became a writer myself. But, for the record, here I learned a few hard truths along the way.'

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Russell Smith: Why publishers think pink for book covers

theglobeandmail.com – Thursday July 7, 2016

It has just occurred to me that my last four books, all works of fiction, have had an image of a woman on the cover. The books, however, largely represent masculine points of view. One of the books is even called Young Men. It still has a beautiful girl on the cover.

The reason for this repeated imagery is simple and economic: Most readers of fiction in North America are, by a wide margin, women. The books are being marketed to them.

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How to write rollicking rhyming stories

theguardian.com – Friday July 1, 2016

On the day started I writing my first children’s book, Squishy McFluff: The Invisible Cat! I didn’t deliberately set out to write it in rhyme. It just happened.

The first line that popped out was: “As Ava played out in the garden one day, when the air was all foggy, the sky rather grey…” I realised straight away that if I split the sentence, I had a perfect rhyming couplet. That set the scene for the rest of the book, and now I’ve written six of them, each one up to 2,000 words, all written in rhyme.

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How to Start a Freelance Writing Career for $0

sitepoint.com – Saturday June 25, 2016

You’ve heard the old saying: “You have to spend money to make money.” That’s true in almost every field of work, whether you want to open a restaurant or start a blog. The problem? Some people with entrepreneurial spirits have just enough to get by and not a penny more. Not everyone has a good amount of dispensable income to spend to start a career.

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