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Robin Robertson: 'Writing poetry has very little to do with the intellect'

theguardian.com – Saturday December 8, 2018

Robin Robertson is an acclaimed poet who has won all three of the Forward poetry prizes. His latest work, The Long Take, a narrative poem, is set in the years immediately after the second world war. The story unfolds in New York, San Francisco and, most importantly, Los Angeles, and follows Walker, a traumatised D-day veteran from Nova Scotia, as he tries to piece his life together just as the American dream is beginning to fray at its edges. It was shortlisted for the Booker prize and, last month, won the Goldsmiths prize for fiction, awarded to works that “open up new possibilities for the novel form”. Robertson also works as an editor at Jonathan Cape, where he publishes, among many others, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Oswald and Adam Thorpe.

[Read the full article]

Widely Published Author Discusses Art of Writing the ‘Tiny Story’

newhaven.edu – Friday December 7, 2018

Jeff Foster is the master of the tiny story. Give him just 200 words – 300 tops – and he’ll fashion characters, a plot, and everything that lives within the landscape of a short story.

He’ll take an iconic figure and place him in an unusual setting “to humanize him” – like the Dalai Lama at a drive-thru picking up some coffee. “My stories pivot on character,” he says.

A lecturer in the University of New Haven’s English Department, Foster has published more than 25 flash fiction stories – fictional works of extreme brevity that still offer character and plot development – in highly regarded nanofiction journals and online magazines.

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Eleventh Annual Papatango New Writing Prize Opens For 2019 Submissions

broadwayworld.com – Thursday December 6, 2018

The Papatango New Writing Prize, now in its eleventh year, opens for submissions today, 6 December 2018, until 9pm on 17 February 2019.

The Papatango New Writing Prize was the UK's first - and remains the only annual - opportunity guaranteeing a new writer a full production, publication by Nick Hern Books, a royalty of 10% of the gross box office, and a £6000 commission with full developmental support for a follow-up play.

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Writing Short Fiction, Then and Now

dagblog.com – Thursday December 6, 2018

I used to write short stories. Then, for many reasons, I stopped writing fiction. Today I had my first story published in more than twenty years. (It will be posted on the web in two weeks, and I will link to it then. If you can't wait, the issue's for sale here.) More stories may be along; we'll see. If it takes another twenty-one years, I'll have something to look forward to in 2039.

It's a little strange returning to an art form after two decades away. One of the things it means is that in my old stories, no one has e-mail. Most people didn't. Or cell phones. Any temptation to dredge up old pieces is held at bay by the fact that they've become historical fiction.

So what else has changed?

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New Literary Agency Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday December 6, 2018

Handles: Fiction; Nonfiction
Markets: Adult
Treatments: Commercial; Literary

See website for agent bios and individual contact details, then submit to one by email only. See website for full guidelines.

[See the full listing]

New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Monday December 3, 2018

Publishes: Fiction; 
Areas include: Fantasy; Sci-Fi; 
Markets: Adult; Youth; 
Preferred styles: Commercial; Contemporary; Experimental; Mainstream; Niche; Popular; Satirical

This magazine is about fiction that isn't fit for "them". What do I mean by "them"? Who in particular are "they"? They are the government. They are your parents. They are your teachers. They are everywhere.

[See the full listing]

Nine things not to do if you want to write/paint/create

smh.com.au – Sunday December 2, 2018

A decade ago this week the Sydney Opera House architect Jorn Utzon died. I was on the other side of the world when this happened, living in San Francisco driving across the Golden Gate Bridge when his obituary was read out on the BBC World Service. Listening to this Dane’s extraordinary story about the building he dreamt up but never saw complete, I knew this most Sydney of stories would make a great book. By the next month I had pitched the idea to a publisher and spent the best part of the next decade wrestling to find the time to research and write it.

A lot happened in my personal life over those 10 years. But I also spent a lot of time procrastinating. So I dreamt up some tips, from my own hard-wrought experience about what NOT to do if you want to write a book, or indeed undertake any creative endeavour. If the fire burns in your belly for such an undertaking (which is a core ingredient to success) you might find them helpful.

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How To Get A Book Deal From Your Instagram Account

forbes.com – Sunday December 2, 2018

If you’re hoping to snag a book deal based on your Instagram account, the good news is you don’t need anywhere close to Kim Kardashian’s 121 million followers. The photo-sharing platform has become a source for books and a gateway to publishing for many who started their accounts on a whim or simply as a creative outlet.

Look through Publishers Marketplace’s book deal listings and you’ll see plenty of phrases like “Instagram influencer,” “Instagram artist” and “Instagram poet.” Books have sold based on all sorts of Instagram accounts, from We Should All Be Mirandas(@everyoutfitonsatc) to Bento Power (@shisodelicious) to Baseball Card Vandals (@baseballcardvandals), and far beyond. But how many followers do you need to rack up before publishers and literary agents are eager for you to turn your photos, artwork or poetry into book form?

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Jonathan Franzen’s puffed-up advice for novelists turned simple by Charlie Connelly

theneweuropean.co.uk – Friday November 30, 2018

Jonathan Franzen is a Serious Writer, the sort of Serious Writer who requires capital letters whenever you describe him as a Serious Writer. Most of us are serious writers inasmuch as we take our writing seriously and try to make it as good as we can, but that’s just peanuts compared to how seriously Serious Writers like Jonathan Franzen take their writing and how seriously they’d like us to take their writing too. These guys – and it is usually guys – have serious things to say that need to be not only said seriously but read seriously, interpreted seriously and discussed seriously, for writing is a serious business.

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Why I stopped writing

palatinate.org.uk – Wednesday November 28, 2018

What does it mean to write black?

It means that the style of writing, storyline, the whole plot, characters, the book should be based on the only supposedly important aspect of your life, which is your race. The outcome of this is that many upcoming black novelists find it hard to come forward with their own pieces. Unique writings which do not particularly sit well with what a black book is understood to be, and which eventually causes a lack of uniqueness in writing style and diversity in storylines and plots. Battling the preconceived conception of your non-existent novel is one of the many problems that black authors face in the literary industry.

‘It is true that black authors are expected to write what they know- and apparently, in our case, that is ghettos, slavery and racism. You want to write romance, crime, blockbusters or sci-fi? Sorry, people, that’s not your thing’- Dreda Say Mitchell.

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