The Naked Writer by G. Miki Hayden—in Action
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Wednesday December 22, 2021
No matter how gifted a writer you are today, you can become a much better writer than you are now. I know you can because I, myself, have transformed into a greatly improved writer over the years. Recently, I’ve been re-editing a lot of my work from the 1990s, to the mid-2010s; and looking at even more contemporary work of mine to just this year, I see how I’ve grown.
Aspen Words Announces New SF/F Writing Workshop
locusmag.com – Tuesday December 21, 2021
Aspen Words, a longstanding literary program of the Aspen Institute, has announced the addition of a new Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writing Workshop, led by author Fonda Lee, expanding their current workshop offerings into genre literature.
The workshop is sponsored by the General Motors’ Future Fiction Collective, which “aims to decolonize the sci-fi/fantasy genre by increasing the diversity of authors and readers in STEM based literature.” They will provide 10 scholarships for writers to participate in the workshop with a focus of “including underrepresented groups and creating a diverse class.”
How to Start Writing Fan Fiction
bookriot.com – Wednesday December 15, 2021
I began writing fan fiction in around 2008, when I was 11 years old. So, since I’m 24 now, that’s more than half of my life ago! It was then that I loved Twilight and a few other fantasy novels so much that I was desperate to find more stories in that universe and Google searched for that exact thing. And to my surprise, there were tons of them on a magical but now outdated site called “Fan Fiction Dot Net.”
Through middle and high school, I wrote fanfic for a ton of different fandoms but mainly The Avengers. Fan fiction not only helped me practice character development but also come to terms with my queer identity through pairings I enjoyed, especially since I grew up in a fairly conservative area where being queer wasn’t something I could share without losing friends.
These days, I’m a reader of fanfic more so than a writer of it — in part because I have other writing projects that take up more of my time, and a day job, and non-writing hobbies that help me avoid burnout but also take up time, et cetera, et cetera. But I still enjoy reading it for stress relief and a reminder that writing can be purely for joy and personal fulfillment if you want it to be.
Fan fiction became my gateway to writing original stories. I’m adamant that it can play a positive role in practicing things like character development or even just finding a love of writing. These six tips will help you get started writing fan fiction if you’re a beginner and get the most out of your project.
Strange and Janson-Smith join Gleam Futures
thebookseller.com – Wednesday December 15, 2021
Adam Strange has joined Gleam Futures as head of publishing while Oscar Janson-Smith has been appointed as literary agent.
Strange (pictured above) arrives at the titles division of the talent management and influencer marketing company after three years running publishing consultancy Strange Media. Before this, he spent 12 years as publisher of the Sphere non-fiction list at Little, Brown, where he worked with a wide variety of authors including Gwyneth Paltrow, Rafael Nadal, Billy Connolly, Val McDermid, Richard Herring and Kevin Pietersen, and with brands ranging from Candy Crush to "The Great British Bake Off".
In his new role, Strange will represent the publishing activities of the agency’s roster of more than 50 entertainment and digital-first talent, as well as working with new authors from emerging and untapped genres who use digital and social media to build narratives and grow audiences.
New Literary Agency Listing: Gleam Futures (US)
firstwriter.com – Wednesday December 15, 2021
We represent a wide range of fiction and non-fiction writers and are extremely proud to have launched nearly 40 Sunday Times bestselling books to date.
Always on the lookout for original, brave, and exciting new voices who are looking to build and nurture an authentic connection with their audiences across social media and drive long-term value in their books across multiple media platforms.
Is 'fiction novel' the 'pin number' of books?
news.yahoo.com – Tuesday December 14, 2021
"It's a fiction novel."
When you hear that, does it go right by? Or do you think: "Did you, now? Did you drink some wet water?"
Not everyone has an opinion on "fiction novel," but those who do tend to have strong ones. Benjamin Dreyer, author of Dreyer's English and copy chief of Random House, calls the term "appalling." A novel, as he explains, is by definition a work of fiction. And yet, "[l]ately one encounters people referring to any full-length book, even a work of nonfiction, as a novel," Dreyer observes. "That has to stop."
He's not alone in the opinion. As author Casey McCormick discovered, among literary agents, "'fiction novel' is considered an automatic 'you shouldn't be querying if you don't know why this is wrong' thing." It shows you're clueless about something that is considered core knowledge: Novels have been fiction by definition for more than three centuries, since authors like Daniel Defoe first started writing long, coherent, fictional prose narratives.
New Literary Agency Listing: Sebes & Bisseling
firstwriter.com – Tuesday December 14, 2021
London branch of a literary agency with offices in Amsterdam and Stockholm. Represents authors in the US, UK and in translation, for their book, digital and screen adaptation rights. Welcomes submissions from authors writing in English across all genres.
Can “Distraction-Free” Devices Change the Way We Write?
newyorker.com – Monday December 13, 2021
For a long time, I believed that my only hope of becoming a professional writer was to find the perfect tool. A few months into my career as a book critic, I’d already run up against the limits of my productivity, and, like many others before me, I pinned the blame on Microsoft Word. Each time I opened a draft, I seemed to lose my bearings, scrolling from top to bottom and alighting on far-flung sentences at random. I found and replaced, wrote and rewrote; the program made fiddling easy and finishing next to impossible.
I’d fallen into the trap that the philosopher Jacques Derrida identified in an interview from the mid-nineties. “With the computer, everything is rapid and so easy,” he complained. “An interminable revision, an infinite analysis is already on the horizon.” Derrida hadn’t even contended with the sirens of online life, which were driving writer friends to buy disconnected laptops or to quarantine their smartphones in storage bins with timed locks. Zadie Smith touted Freedom, a subscription service that cut off the user’s devices—a chastity belt for procrastinators.
From reporter to the corner office: a self-publisher’s maiden voyage
poynter.org – Monday December 13, 2021
Self-publishing, once derided as ‘vanity publishing’ reserved for losers who couldn’t find a traditional publisher, has gone mainstream.
Four simple questions recently changed my life, and I hope they’ll change yours, too.
As a journalist, freelance magazine writer and author, I’ve been working for publishers for 50 years. They were shadowy figures in suits, sometimes glimpsed in the elevator, but rarely stepping into the newsroom. Often, they were just a name on my paycheck.
Nevertheless, they controlled my life, and the lives of those in the newsroom, and not just through the wages they paid. While leaving editorial decisions to editors, (usually) they ruled over the business side: printing, marketing, promotion, distribution, and all the other work required for the daily miracle of newspapers, monthly deadlines for magazines, and those for books that may stretch for years.
This fall, dissatisfied with the marketing and promotion of my last three books, I decided that it was time for a change. I wanted to control my own publishing destiny.
Michael Pietsch Looks at Publishing’s (Near) Future
publishersweekly.com – Saturday December 11, 2021
The publishing industry had an unexpectedly good year in 2020, despite the many challenges created by the pandemic. In the essay below, Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch uses lessons from last year to make some educated guesses about where the industry may be heading in the near term.
The essay is part of a larger piece that appears in the Publishers Weekly Book Publishing Almanac 2022: A Master Class in the Art of Bringing Books to Readers. Published last month by Skyhorse Publishing and written in cooperation with PW, the almanac is designed to help authors, editors, agents, publicists, and anyone else working in book publishing understand the changing landscape of the business.
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