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'Ridiculed and not taken seriously': why fan fiction deserves more credit

smh.com.au – Saturday July 20, 2019

When Astrid Scholte was a teenager she was enthralled by the science fiction television series Farscape, a sweeping intergalactic space opera. She couldn't get enough.

The internet was a smaller universe in 2000, but online Scholte discovered a trove of fictional stories inspired by the characters and world of the show, written by other obsessed fans.

Soon, Scholte started studiously writing her own "episodes" to broaden the dimensions of her favourite television show.

"I didn't realise what I was doing was fan fiction. I did not realise there was a term distinctly defined back then," Scholte says.

These days, Scholte receives her own notes from fans after publishing her debut young adult fantasy novel Four Dead Queens in March.

[Read the full article]

Writing Jobs

benzinga.com – Saturday July 20, 2019

Are you a talented wordsmith? Writing careers offer many different job titles, roles and can also offer a lot of flexibility through full-time work or part-time gigs. We’ve researched various writing jobs, their pay and what both the current and future job market look like. Read on for our best tips to learn how you can find a writing job that matches your skills.

Main Takeaways: Getting a Writing Job

  • Writing is a diverse field. From creative to technical, there is a type of writing that fits almost all interests.
  • You don’t necessarily need a degree. You can get a writing job from studying English in college, or you can put together a portfolio of work.
  • There are many skills that make someone successful in writing. We explore this and more, including job listings, below.

[Read the full article]

Adventures in Script-Writing

counterpunch.org – Friday July 19, 2019

Over the years I’ve had approximately twenty scripts produced at small theaters in and around Hollywood and Orange County. None of these plays were celebrated or spectacular, mind you, just some offbeat comedies (in what might be called the “minimalist” tradition) that were fortunate enough to attract modest audiences willing to pay $25.

Live theater, particularly when you’re doing original scripts, is a fascinating process. You start by submitting a script to the artistic director of a theater. If they agree to produce it, you hold auditions, cast the roles, conduct rehearsals (usually four to six weeks), have your “tech week” (where the cast dresses in their costumes, and all the technical stuff—lights, musical cues, and special effects—are integrated into the performance), followed by opening night. Which is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Original plays are also challenging in ways that established plays are not. The difference between an actor doing material by a dead playwright like Arthur Miller or Agatha Christie, and doing material by a famous but living playwright like Christopher Durang or Beth Henley, is that the actor is never going to suggest to the director that the script be changed. Not in his or her wildest dreams would they suggest such a thing. (“Can’t we shorten that speech by Hamlet?” Make it lighter?”)

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David Ly and Jenny Ferguson In Conversation

this.org – Wednesday July 17, 2019

Meet This Magazine‘s new Poetry Editor, David Ly, and Fiction Editor, Jenny Ferguson. Jenny Ferguson is Métis, an activist, feminist, auntie, teacher, and accomplice with a PhD. She is the author of Border Markers (NeWest Press), a collection of linked flash fiction narratives. Jenny believes writing and teaching are political acts. David Ly is a writer and poet based in Vancouver. His poetry has appeared in range of magazines and anthologies, including The Puritan, The /temz/ Review, Prism international, Pulp Literature, The Maynard, and carte blanche. He is the author of the chapbook, Stubble Burn (Anstruther Press) and the upcoming collection Mythical Man (Anstruther Books, 2020). Here, Jenny and David interview each other about their new roles, what they’re looking for in a poem or story, and the future of CanLit.

[Read the full article]

Tips From Publishers: How Authors Can Improve Their Chances Of Getting Published

By Hollie Jones
Freelance Blogger

firstwriter.com – Wednesday July 17, 2019

What are the odds of an author getting a book published? According to literary agent Chip MacGregor, the chances could be as low as 0.0065%. If you want to be one of the few writers who are able to make a book and see it on the shelves, you have to get it in front of publishers and give them something they can work with. From finding the right niche to getting an agent, here’s what you can do to improve your chances of getting published.

[Read the full article]

Author Myke Cole talks writing hard science fiction in his space-set Coast Guard novel Sixteenth Watch

theverge.com – Monday July 15, 2019

Myke Cole is best known for his fantasy work, including his military-focused urban fantasy Shadow Ops series and his more traditionally epic fantasy Sacred Throne trilogy. But with his next novel, Sixteenth Watch, he’s switching things up a bit, swapping out the swords and sorcery for spacecraft in his first novel-length science fiction work.

Like Cole’s other books, his next draws on his personal military experience. But instead of putting the spotlight on the usual branches of the armed forces seen in military science fiction, like the Army or Marines (or even a Space Force), it focuses on the United States Coast Guard attempting to de-escalate a potential war on the Moon between the United States and China.

[Read the full article]

‘Read, read, read to stoke the furnace,’ and more writing advice from Luis Alberto Urrea

pbs.org – Friday July 12, 2019

When Luis Alberto Urrea was 21 years old, he received a pearl of wisdom from Rudolfo Anaya, considered one of the founding authors of contemporary Chicano literature. “If you can make your Mexican grandmother the grandmother of a reader in Iowa or Nebraska through your art,” Anaya said, “then you have accomplished the most powerful, moral and political act in the world.”

Since then, Urrea says, that advice has woven its way into everything he’s written. Urrea, who was born in Tijuana and whose father is Mexican and mother American, often writes about the Mexican-American experience in his novels, nonfiction, essays and poems. He is a 2005 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for “The Devil’s Highway,” his nonfiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the barren Arizona desert. His most recent book, “The House of Broken Angels,” is the June pick for PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, “Now Read This.”

Below, Urrea shares more advice for writers and readers about establishing a routine (or not), starting anywhere with literature (you never know it will lead), and getting inspiration in unlikely places (even from the symphony).

[Read the full article]

What Does It Mean to Be a "Real" Writer?

newyorker.com – Thursday July 4, 2019

Talent is like obscenity: you know it when you see it. It’s something that can’t be defined, only recognized—an irreducible and unteachable entity, like charisma or humor, and its confirmation all the more coveted for being so. In his fundamental study, “The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing,” Mark McGurl detailed how, in postwar America, anointing and cultivating literary talent became the purview of creative-writing programs and how, in turn, certain modes of writing came to be privileged above others. With this professionalization—indeed, institutionalization—of a nation’s art form, three injunctions popularized by the M.F.A. became holy writ. Write what you know; show, don’t tell; find your voice. Of this trinity, only the second speaks explicitly to craft and seems readily practicable. It’s the first and last dicta, however, that have proved the most influential, not through their utility but through their confounding simplicity. The question isn’t whether you should cultivate knowledge or voice. The question instead is a screamed “Yes, but how?”

[Read the full article]

Why Fiction And Non-Fiction Are More Related Than You Think

forbes.com – Wednesday July 3, 2019

In my late twenties, after graduate school and a few semesters teaching English at the College of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, I decided to spend a period of time writing fiction. My artist mom, Stella Waitzkin, had a messy art studio on 14th Street across from S.Klein’s at Union Square in Manhattan, mostly a place where she stored her large abstract canvases. She loaned it to me to kick off my career as a novelist. It was a chilly soulful place—just perfect for an aspiring writer. My next door neighbor was an Andy Warhol actor of some acclaim, Taylor Mead. Just passing Taylor in the hall on my way into Mom’s studio was inspiring or should have been. He had the most astonishing drooping face that always mirrored a mixture of emotions. Maybe I could write a story about Taylor Mead…but no, that’s not what I wanted to do. That would be cheating, or so I imagined. I wanted to create a grand design of a novel like Tolstoy. So I blasted jazz most afternoons while I sat at my desk trying to pull arresting plots from my brain. Forget Tolstoy, I couldn’t think of a single plot.

[Read the full article]

The Biggest 5 Mistakes When Self-Publishing A Book

forbes.com – Sunday June 30, 2019

When I first set out for a book deal, I was apprehensive—and for good reason: by all accounts, it’s tough to sell a book these days.

There’s a reason people think of the word “struggling” when they think of writers, and I’ve been on a mission to prove to myself that this doesn’t have to be the case.

I either got lucky or happened to have hit on something because, after a nerve-wrangling month, my agent let me know that Hay House—among a couple of other publishing houses—made an offer on my book and soon I had a bidding war, which inspired a solid book deal.

[Read the full article]

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