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A Desperate Plea From A Desperate Writer

huffingtonpost.com – Saturday September 3, 2016

Whether this sounds snarky or not it needs to be said, and I guess I’m going to be the one to say it.

PLEASE STOP TALKING SH*T TO WRITERS.

This is a desperate plea from a writer trying her hardest to remain a pacifist, but some people make it hard. While I juggle edits and the general neurosis that goes with trying to tell stories people will read in a world where, to quote Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, “Print is dead,” you dum dums say things that make me understand why some of the best writers of our time went a little batty.

Let’s examine, shall we?

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Why It’s Wrong To Say Creative Writing Courses Are Killing Creativity

huffingtonpost.co.uk – Saturday September 3, 2016

I have just read Ravinder Randhawa’s blog on Killing the Creative - In Creative Writing Courses.

Without wanting to offend her, I wanted to write about why, in my opinion, she is wrong and also about why I believe it’s important to address the way the criticism of writing training for the reasons outlined in her blog is causing damage to the diversity of the writing industry.

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The Best Writing Advice Changes Everything

huffingtonpost.com – Friday September 2, 2016

This summer I was invited to the Mendocino Writers Conference, where at the opening reception in downtown Mendocino (where one can’t help but evoke Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote) each presenter was asked to come to the microphone to share their best piece of writing advice. I was inspired by what people chose to impart, but more important, I was moved by how each person remembered who had imparted the advice, and how, in effect, that person’s wisdom lived on, carried along by the group share in the tradition of storytelling as it’s existed for thousands of years. It’s occurred to me since that good advice can only come from the heart, and its staying power is serious business.

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Eimear McBride: Let’s write about sex

irishtimes.com – Tuesday August 30, 2016

The thing about sex is, it’s everywhere and for someone of my generation, that’s quite a reversal. When I was growing up it was nowhere. I harbour no nostalgia for that, though, because when Beckett’s characters at stool are more publicly acceptable than the merest intimation of physical desire, you know something has gone awry. Nowadays you can’t buy a yoghurt without fighting through a fug of heavy breathing, sexual cannibal is the de rigueur look for every woman from nine to 90 and the uniform sex-monkeydom of popstars is enough to put anyone off YouTube for life. The accessibility of internet pornography means that knowledge of the mechanics of sex is possible from an increasingly early age but, as porn mostly features the hairless engaging in the joyless, it’s a poor initiator into the wonders and horrors of what the average adult’s sexual life will be.

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Writing your first novel: what you should know

marieclaire.co.uk – Monday August 29, 2016

Ex journalist Corrie Jackson, whose debut thriller is published this month, shares her advice for sharpening your story and getting it out there...

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The Inevitable Death of Traditional Book Publishers

huffingtonpost.com – Saturday August 13, 2016

Traditional book publishers. They were once known as the titans of the book publishing industry. In the Baby Boomer era, self-publishing was an unknown concept. You needed a traditional publisher if you wanted the best chance to succeed with your book.

During that time, there was significantly less competition for publishers and authors, meaning more book sales for both parties.

Over time, traditional publishers (especially The Big 5) gradually started to exploit authors by offering lower royalties and seizing the author’s publishing rights.

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The Global Golden Age for Independent Publishers Has Begun

digitalbookworld.com – Wednesday August 10, 2016

A number of years ago, I predicted the publishing and bookselling industries would follow a boutique model, with the large and small and little in between. Note: this also applies to other industries, in most part due to the digital age and today’s customer.

Book sales would be split between higher priced print books, for which the margin would be found, and low price digital books, which would provide the mass quantities. Bookstores would be split between the large chains with the budgets and economies of scale, and a wide range of independent bookstores that successfully built and became indispensable to their communities. Likewise, publishers would consist of the huge conglomerates with the advertising and bargaining power, and a vibrant independent publishing sector in touch and adaptive to the book buying community.

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Top 10 books writers should read

theguardian.com – Wednesday August 10, 2016

Writing a novel from scratch, which is to say without training, was such an unexpected odyssey that I was prompted to recall the discoveries in my new book, Release the Bats – as much to remind myself where the power lay as to pass the keys on to others trying their luck. I didn’t read a lot before writing a novel, but I realise now that certain books helped set me up. Writing fiction means writing vibrant human characters, and luck is with us in terms of research, as we haven’t essentially changed since we came down from the trees. So the best grounding for a fiction writer must be one that explores human nature with gloves off. There’s nothing like literature from ancient Rome bemoaning consumer culture to show that nothing is new, or literature from Habsburg Italy telling how to hire nuns for sex from the mothers superior of convents to put Fifty Shades in perspective. Which is to say that if we haven’t figured ourselves out by now, there’s still time: we’re not going anywhere.

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Writers On Writing

huffingtonpost.com – Saturday July 30, 2016

There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call ‘the breaks.’ In order for a writer to succeed, I suggest three things - read and write - and wait. - Countee Cullen

Knowledge is one of the most excellent purifiers of our mind and intellect. Books are one among many sources of knowledge. By means of the book, we can dwell and live through the mind of another person. It is one of the process of advancing ourselves to the full potential. There is nothing more valuable in life than learning. Learning awakens us, it guides and inspires us. Slowly and steadily, books have led little man to become giant men and redeemers of the society.

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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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