The naked truth: how to write a memoir
theguardian.com – Saturday December 14, 2019
Some memoirists send drafts of their work to loved ones, or even not-so-loved ones, and where there’s a response alter their writing as a result. Others see no need for consultation. Either way, when writing about your own life, it’s important to get the monkeys off your shoulder – to be uninhibited by the possible fallout of your words. You can worry about other people later, when you’re editing. In mid-flow, you need the illusion of privacy, not to be anticipating people’s reactions (which are in any case unpredictable). Most self-censorship is cowardly. In Elizabeth’s Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton, the writing tutor Sarah says: “If you find yourself protecting anyone as you write … remember this: you’re not doing it right.”
Everyone has a book in them, it’s said, but as Martin Amis noted in his memoir Experience (2000), what everyone seems to have in them “is not a novel but a memoir … We are all writing it or at any rate talking it: the memoir, the apologia, the CV, the cri de coeur.” Democracy itself may be under threat but the democratisation of the memoir keeps advancing. What was once a geriatric, self-satisfied genre – politicians, generals and film stars looking back fondly on long careers – is now open to anyone with a story to tell. And the genre has reinvented itself to take diverse forms: lyric essay, creative non-fiction, confessional prose-poem and so on. You don’t have to be famous to write a memoir. And it doesn’t have to be cradle-to-grave: a slice of life, or collage of fragments, can be enough.
Born of Friendship, the Book Group Is Making Its Mark as an Agency
publishersweekly.com – Saturday December 14, 2019
Walking into the offices of the Book Group, housed in a small (by Manhattan standards) building on West 20th Street, one is greeted by the standard design trappings of literary agencies. Posters of book jackets line the walls and dozens upon dozens of books sit on shelves hanging above desks in cubicles and offices.
In the conference room, where the books of clients sit spine out on shelves that stretch from hip level to the ceiling, the vibe is unusually positive. Those who work in publishing can tend toward glass-half-empty. The eight women who work at Book Group (four principals, one senior agent, one agent, and two assistants) seem different. It feels a bit like stepping onto the set of a TV show about book publishing—one cast by the creators of Friends, featuring characters written by Aaron Sorkin.
10 top tips for teaching creative writing
tes.com – Thursday December 12, 2019
Teaching creative writing is one of my favourite things. I love the imaginative and weird ideas pupils come up with. But it’s hard, no doubt about that, and students can struggle to trust their creativity.
Teaching creative writing
So, here are my 10 tips for creative essays:
1. Get story ideas from the world around you
Read the paper to see what weird things are going on. Listen to strangers’ conversations and steal them. If you love history, write historical fiction. If you love science, write about the moon. Make it your own.
2. There are no rules here
Creative writing is personal and individual. Nobody should tell anybody what they can or can’t do. Having said that, the following suggestions are tried and tested. They will give most stories a bit of a boost.
New Magazine Listing
firstwriter.com – Wednesday December 11, 2019
Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry;
Areas include: Short Stories; Translations;
Preferred styles: Literary
Submit short stories and novel excerpts up to 8,000 words, or three flash fiction pieces (1,000 words each), 1-3 poems (up to ten pages total), or creative nonfiction including memoir excerpts, essays, imaginative meditations, up to 8,000 words, via online submission system during the three annual reading periods: January, May, and September.
The Choose Your Own Adventure publishers are trying to get the phrase banned from Itch.io
theverge.com – Tuesday December 10, 2019
Chooseco, which publishes the famous Choose Your Own Adventure series, is apparently trying to stop indie game developers from using the phrase “choose your own adventure.” It’s sending trademark infringement notices to the Itch.io gaming storefront, and so far, they’ve resulted in four game pages being suspended.
Itch.io founder Leaf Corcoran told developers about the takedowns this afternoon. “Warning to any devs using the phrase ‘choose your own adventure’ to describe their games, Chooseco is issuing takedown notices,” he wrote on Twitter. Corcoran tells The Verge that the games include Purrfect Apawcalypse, an “apocalyptic dog dating choose your own adventure game”; a “choose your own dating sim text adventure” game called It’s a Date; an unofficial GameBoy game called Choose Your Own Adventure GB; and New Yorker writer Luke Burns’ A Series of Choose Your Own Adventure Stories Where No Matter What You Choose You Are Immediately Killed by a Werewolf, whose plot is self-explanatory.
New Literary Agent Listing: Ellen Goff
firstwriter.com – Tuesday December 10, 2019
Interested in all genres and formats of YA, especially anything spooky, historical fiction, and graphic novels. She has a soft spot for Shakespeare as well as southern gothic stories that remind her of her home state of Kentucky.
Vicarious travels: On the travel writing genre
mancunion.com – Saturday December 7, 2019
Upon arriving at Waterstones there is one section we tend to flock to: fiction. We crave the idea of losing ourselves in others’ stories, travelling into our imagination. Whilst I’m an aficionado for the fictional, in recent months I’ve come across a new genre that allows us to explore the amazing and varied world we live in and follow the stories of real people’s adventures and experiences, of people’s subjective and varying experiences when travelling across the globe.
I’m now a strong advocate for the modern travel genre, and have a few recommendations for reading over the winter break.
Travel writing encompasses so many styles and sub-genres – the common characteristic is simply to give a new perspective on life, through stories of new places and cultures. It isn’t simply recommendations of where to go and what to see, like promotional travel magazines, but rather tales of real people going out and seeing the world.
Major Talent Agencies Step Up Global Expansion As WGA Standoff Continues
deadline.com – Saturday December 7, 2019
The television business is becoming increasingly global, fueled by the rapid expansion of the major streaming platforms. That also goes for the major Hollywood talent agencies.
Reps have always looked for opportunities beyond the U.S. But now, because of the increased demand for locally produced international content, they have stepped up their efforts. Also factoring into the acceleration is the ongoing impasse (and legal battle) between the Big 4 talent agencies and the Writers Guild of America which in April ordered its members to fire their agents if they hadn’t signed the guild’s new Code of Conduct.
Call for Names, Editors, and Contributors: Journal/Magazine of Fiction by Academics #CFP
patheos.com – Thursday December 5, 2019
I really shouldn’t start new projects. But I’ve had so many conversations recently with academics in my field about writing fiction that I think the time has come to do something about it. And so I’m going to be announcing soon the launch of a new periodical dedicated to fiction written by academics. This post aims mainly at gauging interest (and more specifically the kinds of interest there may be both from potential contributors and from potentially readers) and tackling a few initial questions that it is better to crowd source now.
New Agent Listing: Mitchell Waters
firstwriter.com – Thursday December 5, 2019
Mitchell Waters represents a wide and diverse array of literary and commercial fiction and nonfiction, including mystery, history, biography and memoir. He is particularly drawn to historical fiction and voice-driven narratives, especially when both dark and humorous. He is also looking for realistic young adult fiction. He served for ten years on the Board of Directors of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and is currently head of the membership committee. Query by email preferred.