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A Word, Please: Seven deadly adverbs to avoid in your writing

latimes.com – Wednesday February 16, 2022

Adverbs are great, right? They let you describe how an action went down — whether it was walking quickly or sleeping soundly or yelling loudly.

But if adverbs are so great, why do editors like me spend a good chunk of our time hacking and slashing them out of articles, stories and other written works? Answer: Because the adverbs you know and love — those dynamic little words with the cute -ly tails — aren’t as benevolent as you think. Some can undermine your message and cast doubt on your credibility. Below we’ll look at seven deadly adverbs to avoid. But first, a few important points.

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We don’t need more literary magazines

spectatorworld.com – Tuesday February 15, 2022

At CNN, Leah Asmelash laments the demise of many “long-standing” literary magazines. “The Believer,” she writes, which was started in 2003, “was once at the top of the literary magazine game. A leading journal of art and culture, the Believer published the work of icons like Leslie Jamison, Nick Hornby and Anne Carson. It won awards, it launched careers.” But the University of Nevada, which has housed the magazine since 2017, announced that it was shutting it down: “In a statement explaining the decision, the dean of the school’s College of Liberal Arts called print publications like the Believer ‘a financially challenging endeavor.’”

Oh, boy. Leslie Jamison, an icon? The Believer, a publication that “launched careers”? The only thing missing here is some theme music and a “CNN exclusive” or two.

Asmelash goes on to write about a handful of literary magazines housed at universities with MFA programs that are also shutting down — the Alaska Quarterly Review and the Sycamore Review, among others. We get the predictable “It wasn’t always this way” about halfway through:

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Valentine’s Day: Four authors share their thoughts on writing romance

belfasttelegraph.co.uk – Sunday February 13, 2022

With romantic fiction sales increasing 49% last year, just what is it about these tantalising tales that set our hearts ablaze?

Mills & Boon author Lynne Graham believes happy endings are one of the reasons why the romance genre remains so popular. Penning love stories helped the Ballymena-based author to achieve her very own happy ending when she used her first book payment for a special purpose.

“My first advance paid for us to go out to Sri Lanka, where we adopted two of our children,” Lynne says.

“I had a 10-year-old daughter at the time. It felt like a miracle that the cheque arrived at that moment and it was sufficient to cover the travel expenses, so I’ve never forgotten it.”

The mum-of-five is the bestselling Mills & Boon Presents author, with sales of 42 million worldwide.

[Read the full article]

Write Across scheme aims to find new BBC One drama writers

bbc.co.uk – Sunday February 13, 2022

A scheme to "find and develop the people who will be writing BBC One dramas in five years' time" has been launched by the broadcaster's boss.

Director general Tim Davie said Write Across would be piloted in Liverpool, before similar projects were rolled out across the UK.

He said Liverpool was picked because it was "a city of stories".

Tony Schumacher, who wrote the recent Liverpool-set drama The Responder, welcomed the initiative.

He said starting a writing career was "hard and it's difficult to know where to begin".

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Greene Door mentoring scheme returns for crime and thriller writers

thebookseller.com – Saturday February 12, 2022

Greene & Heaton is bringing back its Greene Door mentoring scheme for writers from underrepresented backgrounds, and this year has opened submissions specifically for crime and thriller writers. 

The literacy agency launched the initiative as part of the Greene Door Project in November 2021. The project aims to discover writers and help increase diversity of representation in the publishing industry. This time, the opportunity is open to unagented crime and thriller writers who are underrepresented in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or socio-economic background.

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Long-standing literary magazines are struggling to stay afloat. Where do they go from here?

edition.cnn.com – Wednesday February 9, 2022

The Believer was once at the top of the literary magazine game.

A leading journal of art and culture, The Believer published the work of icons like Leslie Jamison, Nick Hornby and Anne Carson. It won awards, it launched careers -- it created a home for off-beat, quirky writing. When the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada bought the magazine, observers spoke of Las Vegas as a potential new hub for literary arts.

Then, in October of last year, the college announced it was shutting the magazine down in early 2022, citing the "financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic." In a statement explaining the decision, the dean of the school's College of Liberal Arts called print publications like The Believer "a financially challenging endeavor."

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New Literary Agent Listing: Sian Ellis-Martin

firstwriter.com – Wednesday February 9, 2022

Enjoys reading books with a broad range of themes, such as mental health, sexuality, coming-of-age, race, class and gender. Particularly keen to read books by authors from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, especially LGBTQIA+ authors, or stories with LGBTQIA+ characters and themes.

[See the full listing]

“I do not think it is a good story.” Never ask Charles Dickens for writing advice.

lithub.com – Tuesday February 8, 2022

Today marks the 210th birthday of Charles Dickens—novelist, critic, and, from 1859 until his death, editor of a weekly literary journal called All the Year Round. As literary journal editors will presumably understand, the responsibilities stressed him out to the point of dispensing with politeness. We know this because when Dickens’s friend Captain Frederick Marryat’s daughter Florence submitted a piece and asked him for writing advice, he roasted her to hell for even asking for feedback:

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'JK Rowling is a gold-plated hero': Author Anthony Horowitz blasts cancel culture and says writers are 'under siege' and should 'lead the agenda, not be cowed by it'

dailymail.co.uk – Monday February 7, 2022

Writers are ‘under siege’ from cancel culture and should be able to express their views ‘without the world falling in on you’, according to best-selling author Anthony Horowitz.

The man behind hit children’s book series Alex Rider and ITV series Foyle’s War said Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, who has been targeted by trans activists, was a ‘gold-plated hero’ who had done a lot for children’s literacy and charity.

Horowitz, 66, admitted that when writing a character who had a different ethnicity, sex or gender to his own he started ‘worrying’ what the reaction would be. 

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Does the feedback in creative writing workshops make for better writing?

whyy.org – Sunday February 6, 2022

When Yi Wei was a young child, she would write down snippets of English conversations and phrases she heard while watching television. And soon this practice followed her to her early classrooms, where her written responses in her schoolwork would come in fragmented sentences.

“At the time my teachers would be like, ‘Oh, this is a poem.’ And it was because when I was growing up, I kinda learned to speak through the TV.”

Wei is a Chinese immigrant, and she said this is an experience she shares with many immigrants in the United States. She has been writing for years, and now she’s a graduate student in New York University’s poetry MFA program. But Wei didn’t begin writing poems until high school. And she says there was little opportunity for feedback, with the exception of small, informal writing groups she started with close friends.

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