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Writers' News

Writing Your Blurb or Bio: The Essential Points

huffingtonpost.com – Thursday March 10, 2016

Your blurb or bio is a short, concise, effective introduction and description of yourself. It can be used and inserted in myriad ways: for your company profile, as an introduction at meetings or presentations, on social media sites such as LinkedIn, for your articles, blogs or books, and whenever and wherever you need a pithy, interesting and informative description of yourself. The essential characteristics of effective and memorable blurbs are:

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Tax Court Holds That Family Vacations Are Not Deductible As Book-Writing Research

forbes.com – Thursday March 10, 2016

For the past few years, I’ve harbored the hope that I would author a children’s book. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered two small problems that have thus far kept me from fulfilling my goal:

  1. I have no ideas, and
  2. I have no talent.

Should those two things change, however, I’ll be off and running. And once that happens, I had hoped to turn my two kids into what I always dreamed they’d become: big ol’ tax deductions.

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Monkeys, Shakespeare, Writing and Me

huffingtonpost.com – Thursday March 10, 2016

There's an adage that says, "If you put 100 monkeys with typewriters in a room long enough, eventually they'll write Hamlet." It requires just a nanosecond of reflection to realize that the monkeys wouldn't actually be writing. They'd merely be typing. But the idea is they'd be typing fast and furious and eventually create something worth reading.

This is the biggest year I've ever experienced as a writer and there are indeed times when I feel like the aforementioned monkeys. I have four books being published in 2016 -- one each in January, March, April and May. When I mention the four books in conversation, people often regard me with incredulous shock. How is such a thing possible? Do you write non-stop? Did you write all four books simultaneously? Were you actually just monkey-typing?

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New Publisher Listing

firstwriter.com – Thursday March 10, 2016

Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; 
Markets: Adult; Children's; Youth

Publishes fiction and nonfiction for adults, children, and young adults. See website for submission guidelines.

[See the full listing]

What Big Publishing Consolidation Means for Authors

huffingtonpost.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016

So, the Hachette Book Group is acquiring the Perseus Books Group again, 18 months after its first failed attempt to do so. This time it looks like the deal will stick, though.

If you read industry news deals or press releases, you'll see all kinds of positive spin on deals like these. This is the third major publishing merger in the past three-plus years, preceded by the 2013 merger between Penguin and Random House and the acquisition earlier that same year of Harlequin by HarperCollins. The companies like to talk about expanding their global reach and investing in broadening their lists. And while these corporate agendas sound good on paper, the consolidation of publishing is not good for authors.

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Evelyn Conlon: prize culture devalues art of writing

irishtimes.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016

I am saddened for the apprentice writers who think that the only way their work can be judged is by a prize listing. What an awful thing for the industry to subject writers to.

My fear is that we’re in danger of losing the challenge of [the independent bookshop]. What happens now is that the window can be bought and that all that exciting innovative work has been bulldozed by giddy marketing. Too many people now make straight for the prize-winning shelf. I am not averse to the notion of the occasional prize, and yes I understand that it is a method of bringing attention to the as yet unknown, but when the bookshop experience seems like you’ve been tipped into a tombola then clearly we have lost sight of the art of finding our own books.

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Save dragons, save books! Three authors give tips on children's writing

theguardian.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016

It’s a perennial bugbear among children’s writers that every other writer thinks it’s an easy thing to do when, in fact, children are among the most discerning readers, with an intimate relationship with the on-off switch. Three leading authors will be passing on the tricks of the trade in a Guardian Masterclass on Sunday, 20 March. We asked Philip Ardagh, author of the Eddie Dickens series; How to Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell; and Laura Dockrill, author of the Darcy Burdock books, to explain the challenges and the rewards of specialising in literature for young people. They also give some useful tips for anyone hoping to follow them into this most demanding of areas.

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For writers: To agent or not to agent?

wnd.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016

Writers who want to be published (or who have already been published) are constantly in a state of turmoil trying to answer the question: Do I need an agent?

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New Magazine Listing

firstwriter.com – Wednesday March 9, 2016

Publishes: Essays; Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry; 
Areas include: Autobiography; Short Stories; Travel; 
Markets: Adult; 
Preferred styles: Literary

Publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art. Submit by post or through online submission system from September to May. Send up to 6 poems, or one piece of prose. As well as fiction, increasingly looking for nonfiction, including personal essays, travel writing, memoirs, and other forms of creative nonfiction. Novel excerpts acceptable if self-contained.

[See the full listing]

The simple truth behind suspenseful writing

bostonglobe.com – Tuesday March 8, 2016

With simple words, suspenseful stories thrill and chill us.

In Stephen King's The Shining, there's a heart-pounding moment when young Danny once again finds himself standing outside Room 217 of the Overlook Hotel.

Despite being warned not to enter, he puts a key into the lock. He turns the knob.

It's enough to make my palms sweat.

Good suspenseful stories elicit strong emotions, even when we know what happens next. Now, a team of academics at Stanford University has identified what prompts those feelings. Surprisingly, it often comes down to the use of simple words and sentence patterns. So simple, in fact, that the team trained a computer program to accurately predict when a written passage will be suspenseful.

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