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Magazine Rejections and Learning to Love the Hate

splicetoday.com – Tuesday August 25, 2020

Many years ago, an editor at The Chicago Quarterly Review sent me one of the most colorful rejections I’ve gotten from a magazine: “I can’t think of a single person who’d want to spend thirty seconds with these morons,” meaning the characters in my short story but also, in a way, me.

It was a story about falling in love with a stripper in Missoula, titled “The Machinery Above Us,” and Eclipse Magazine took it some time after that. There were graphic parts in it and I noticed that the rejections came most fluidly from the Ivy and Ivy-adjacent literary journals on my submission A-list. The Partisan ReviewThe Paris ReviewDoubletakeStory, and Boulevard rejected it with a quickness. They seemed to find the material distasteful.

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Start Preparing for NaNoWriMo Now

lifehacker.com – Saturday August 22, 2020

Even under normal circumstances, early planning for major events is critical to their success. This year, of course, we are in far from ordinary circumstances, which makes it that much more important for writers to begin planning for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, for short—NaNo, for even shorter) right now.

A couple years (decades?) ago, an amazing colleague spelled out a game plan for succeeding at the challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel draft within the month of November. But like most structured plans, it takes time to get into a groove and properly form a habit. NaNoWriMo should be treated no differently. It may sound easy to some—you’re just writing 1,667 words per day, not training for a marathon—but take it from someone’s who’s done both: the preparation involved in both is, in many ways, is quite similar.

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The realities of being an Instagram poet

thebookseller.com – Thursday August 13, 2020

I have been writing poetry most of my life. Encouraged by my English teacher as a child, I used writing as a way of dealing with emotions, anxiety and, as I grew older, with heartbreak.

In February 2019, I decided to set up an Instagram page on the advice of a friend, who thought the platform would be a good place to share my poetry. It’s fair to say I was dubious at first, particularly given the fact that Instagram is such a visual medium; not a platform one would assume would be a good fit for the written word.

But I took his advice and began to publish one or two short poems every day, in the hope that a handful of people may enjoy it. Eighteen months later, I have over 98,000 followers and I’m on the third print run of my self-published debut collection, Tell the Birds She’s Gone. My second book, Beekeeper, is released on September 8th, 2020, and pre-orders are already going well.

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WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE! My short, strong sentence can beat up your fancy long one

nwaonline.com – Monday August 10, 2020

This week I'm going full-bore on long phrases that can so easily be shorter. I hope going full-bore doesn't make the topic a complete bore.

I've been out of college for decades now, but I still have the end-of-semester nightmare where I have to write a 1,000-word paper by the next morning. I decline to comment on whether I padded out sentences in those days.

But when I'm awake and living in the present, I fully advocate writing concisely.

I'm not alone in this belief.

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Does setting deadlines help your creative writing?

theboar.org – Sunday August 9, 2020

While sometimes dreadful and inconvenient, deadlines are often jokingly referred to as “the greatest inspiration”. Looking back at my first year at Warwick, there never seemed to be ‘the right time’ to write my essays until the deadline was just around the corner… probably not a coincidence. Since having clear and unmovable deadlines for essay writing always ensured that I would get my essays done, it only seemed natural to do the same when I decided to explore creative writing.

Long story short, I managed to write a 20,000 word novel in just a month. I achieved this as part of the NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) initiative. NaNoWriMo is a fantastic project that encourages authors of all ages to write, by providing them with a book writing platform, writing resources, and inspiration to keep going. Although the resources are available all year, the initiative is centred around the month of November – the month in which all authors are challenged to set a clear word count goal and complete it before the month ends. 

One of its best features is the visual representations of your progress. These include the number of words written, word count that you need to write today, and your daily writing streak. When completing the challenge, my favourite thing about these statistics was the blend of big and small goals. The fact that I could see my word count increase with every minute of writing made me feel accomplished, and the day streak reminded me of how far I’ve come. 

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Why I plan every novel I write - and how to plan yours

theguardian.com – Thursday August 6, 2020

There’s no denying that around 90 per cent of novelists asked will say that they don’t plan their books before they begin drafting, and they will often follow that up with a comment that implies planning would somehow take the fun/creativity out of the process for them.

The opposite is true for me. And, since so many people at festivals and talks I have done have found this helpful to hear, I’ve decided to write about it. Maybe it will be helpful for you too?

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12 (Plus 1) Ways to Promote Safely at Home

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Sunday August 2, 2020

When I first published a couple of books, of course I went to all the conferences in various cities to speak on panels and promote. I did readings in bookstores.

Those were the days.

Those days are gone.

Now, while we might deliver hometown bookstore readings in some locales, in other towns and cities, we might not be able to. We’d certainly have to think twice about the risks anywhere (if the stores are even open).

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Creative writing – how to begin

argyllshireadvertiser.co.uk – Friday July 31, 2020

For me, there are two essential ingredients when it comes to setting out as a creative writer: time and space. By creative writing I mean poetry, short stories, novels and children’s writing: everything involving the use of the imagination.

When someone claims they don’t have time to write, I don’t believe them as it’s a question of making time.

PD James started writing when nursing a dying husband: he needed care all through the day. There was a part of the night when finally he went to sleep and she had the chance to put pen to paper, so that was what she did. If we are serious about wanting to write, we will make time.

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Why are women now dominating the literary landscape?

irishtimes.com – Thursday July 30, 2020

he past few years have been a boon for women novelists, often young and often literary debutantes. Sally Rooney is the standard bearer of this trend. And though we should resist comparisons between two successful female writers simply for the sake of it, snapping at Rooney’s ankles is Naoise Dolan (28) with her accomplished (if slightly naive) debut Exciting Times.

Dolan’s refreshingly sharp perspective on how women are perceived, coupled with Rooney’s stratospheric success, and Anna Burn’s Milkman winning the Man Booker Prize in 2018 all point to one thing: books by, and about, women are in vogue.

This upsurge in commercial success and critical acclaim is not just the preserve of Irish women, of course. In 2019 the Booker Prize was awarded to two women (that the award was split between Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo was a disappointingly lazy cop-out from the judges and no comment on the inimitable talents of either author). And so too this year the Booker Prize longlist contains just four men out of the total 13. Women’s domination of the literary landscape seems all but complete. But of course it raises the question: Why? And why now?

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How These Writers Got a Literary Agent

thecut.com – Friday July 24, 2020

What do you do if you think the document you’ve been working on maybe, just maybe, might possibly be a book? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but for some writers, the next step is to look for a literary agent who will work to sell your manuscript to a publishing house and help guide your career from a business standpoint (typically for a fee of 15 percent). Below, eight writers explain how they connected with their literary agent.

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