Should writers only write what they know? What I learned from my research
theconversation.com – Tuesday September 4, 2018
As an academic in creative writing, I attend a lot of literary events. One question I can always count on being asked is, “can I write characters of other backgrounds?” This has been a growing concern since Lionel Shriver at the 2016 Brisbane Writers Festival unleashed a tirade against what she called “censorship” in writing – referring to criticism of her book The Mandibles.
The recent ABC Q&A episode, Stranger Than Fiction, in conjunction with the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, showed the many sides of the “write what you know” debate. Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Sofie Laguna argued that space should be given for marginalised groups to represent themselves. Maxine Beneba Clarke pointedly discussed when appropriation can be harmful, as was the case with Shriver’s representation of Latino and African American characters. Meanwhile, Trent Dalton argued that appropriation leads to a good story, which also takes empathy and care.
Women reveal the VERY irritating mistakes male authors make in writing female characters - including describing itchy tights as 'sexy' and thinking EVERYONE can run in heels
dailymail.co.uk – Thursday August 30, 2018
Authors have the ability to immerse their readers in fictional words, but women everywhere believe they're still not getting one thing right: female characters.
Tumblr users from around the world have been penning advice to male authors about the common mistakes they make when writing female characters - and they'll strike a chord with women everywhere.
The tips, compiled in a Bored Panda thread, include a request to describe tights as 'itchy' rather than sexy and the handy tip that almost no women can run in heels
Turning Pages: When it's good to break the writing rules
smh.com.au – Sunday August 26, 2018
Sometimes the writer doesn't need a gentle muse when facing a blank page. Sometimes the writer needs a pep talk from a coach, the kind that gets you out in the drizzly dawn doing push-ups and feeling good about it.
If that's your bag, then Catherine Deveny is your woman. The comedian and writer who describes herself as "Atheist, Feminist, Dyslexic" runs regular writing classes for her Gunnas (as in "I'm gunna write a book some day"). For her students, that day is today. And she'll do everything short of push-ups to motivate them and destroy their procrastination and fear.
Judging from the website testimonials, her Gunnas adore her. So I was intrigued to see her in action at the recent Bayside Literary Festival, talking about "The Twelve Things They Don't Tell You About Writing".
I was particularly struck by one piece of advice that was exactly the opposite of what most creative writing teachers tell their students: "You don't have to read a lot".
Why millennial pink is the colour of money for book publishers
inews.co.uk – Sunday August 26, 2018
In recent years the mid-tone blush colour commonly referred to as “millennial pink” has taken over fashion, interior design, branding and publicity. Now publishers are also latching on to the colour’s marketability.
The number of pink books published in the past two years has risen sharply. Titles such as the Man Booker Prize-longlisted The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart and Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman all feature the hue on their covers. The cover of Sweetbitter, a novel by Stephanie Danler which was adapted into a Netflix series, was redesigned and reissued with a salmon-pink cover.
Clare Barron: 'My best advice? Write the ugliest, clunkiest play you can imagine'
standard.co.uk – Thursday August 23, 2018
In our Play Talk series, playwrights discuss the joys and struggles of the writing life. This week, Clare Barron talks about her Susan Smith Blackburn Award-winning play Dance Nation, which has its European premiere at the Almeida next month.
A bestselling author reveals his 3 techniques to overcome writer’s block
cnbc.com – Thursday August 23, 2018
Experiencing writer's block can be both frightening and frustrating for anybody working on a project with a deadline fast approaching.
Unfortunately, this inability to produce content within a specified period of time can strike at any moment.
Nurturing the literary landscape
thebookseller.com – Tuesday August 21, 2018
Literary fiction has lost status over the past quarter century, becoming marginal to our wider culture, argues New Statesman editor Jason Cowley in forthright terms in an interview in this week’s issue, reigniting the debate kicked off by Arts Council England’s report last December (Literature in the 21st Century) on what ACE reckoned were serious threats to literary fiction in the current climate.
Cowley may sound a touch nostalgic in his lament for the glamorous publishers of yesteryear, but many will think he has a point—particularly given that shrinking review space and the loss of dedicated literary editors has diminished the public profile of literary work over the past few years. This has made it a tougher arena than ever to establish new names and find a readership for experimental work, a task which was surely never easy anyway.
How #ShareYourRejection Reminds Us That Failure is Normal
comicsbeat.com – Sunday August 19, 2018
Big news. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Any success we have is accompanied by years of work and often countless failures. As someone who has faced rejection more times than they could shake a stick at, finding the #ShareYourRejection hashtag on Twitter was a lightning bolt to the soul (in a good way). It all started when Saeed Jones, author and co-host of Buzzfeed’s popular AM2DM show, Tweeted about a recent rejection he recieved.
Ebooks: How digital publishers are 'shaking up' the industry
bbc.com – Wednesday August 8, 2018
JK Rowling notoriously received numerous rejections before meeting her literary agent, and later, publisher. Having stacked up at least 60 rejections in my writing career, I know exactly how that feels.
And while being a novelist recently came out on top in a survey as one of the most desirable jobs to have, it is definitely not for the faint hearted.
I now have an agent and an award, but it wasn't always that way.
As a writer, the first step to securing a publishing deal is to acquire an agent, a middle-man, basically your number one fan who will shout about how good you are to publishers and hopefully persuade them to read your carefully-crafted novel.
They are the gatekeepers to the publishing industry.
Digital publishers, however, are changing the game because they talk directly to authors.
The one piece of advice every aspiring author needs to know
independent.co.uk – Sunday August 5, 2018
Not that it’s easy to avoid. If you go on Twitter and follow the hashtag #amwriting you’ll get more unsolicited advice than you know what to do with. Do this, do that, don’t on any account do the other. Everyone it seems, has some rules for you to follow.
Which is hardly surprising, as literally almost everybody is writinga book. And I use the phrase “literally almost everybody” advisedly. At the BookExpo America conference in 2015, author Jane McGonigal claimed that 90 per cent of young people in the US say they want to write a book.