5 Writing Tips: Donald Ray Pollock
publishersweekly.com – Friday July 22, 2016
Donald Ray Pollock's The Heavenly Table is one of the most delightfully twisted novels of the year, a terror ride through an early 20th century hillbilly hellscape that puts the family of a swindled, good-hearted farmer on a collision course with three brothers on a crime spree. Pollock, whose previous novel, The Devil All the Time, was named one of the 10 best books of 2011, shares five writing tips.
When I decided to learn how to write, I didn’t know any writers, or anything about how to get started. I was forty-five and had worked at the same paper mill in a small town in southern Ohio for twenty-seven years at that point. However, thanks to a program the mill had that helped with tuition for employees who wanted to go to college part-time, I did have a degree in English. Plus, I loved to read. I determined to devote at least five years to writing, and worked at it almost every day. By the time I turned fifty, I had published five or six stories in small literary magazines. Granted, this doesn’t seem like much, but over time, I slowly discovered that it was what I wanted to do; and that’s always a good thing, actually, the very best thing, knowing exactly what you want to do with your life, no matter how hard or frustrating it might be, and writing is, more often than not, pretty damn hard and pretty damn frustrating. Still, I wasted a lot of time in the beginning, and with that in mind, here, mainly for the benefit of beginners, are the major things I’ve learned about writing:
firstwriter.magazine Issue 29: Summer 2016
firstwriter.com – Thursday July 21, 2016
The latest issue of firstwriter.magazine has just been released, featuring quality fiction and poetry submitted from around the world, plus your first chance to see not just the winning poem from our Fourteenth International Poetry Competition, but also all the Special Commendations. To view the magazine click here. To enter your work in our Fifteenth International Poetry Competition click here.
Madeleine Milburn Agency launches writing competition
thebookseller.com – Thursday July 21, 2016
The Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency will tomorrow (22nd July) launch a competition to find unpublished authors.
The theme of this year’s ‘Madeleine Milburn Summer Writing Competition’ is ‘make us scared’, and entrants can send any genre of writing as long as it fits the brief. Writers from anywhere in the world that are un-agented and unpublished are eligible, although their manuscripts must be in English.
New Magazine Listing
firstwriter.com – Thursday July 21, 2016
Publishes: Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry;
Areas include: Short Stories;
Preferred styles: Literary
Online journal publishing short fiction up to 5,000 words, flash fiction up to 500 words, micro-fiction up to 100 words, short nonfiction up to 5,000 words, first chapters of graphic novels up to 5,000 words, and poetry (submit up to 5). Submissions must be sent by email with the subject line "Submission". See website for full details.
Popular writing app Scrivener is now available on iOS
techcrunch.com – Wednesday July 20, 2016
If you’re tech-savvy and a serious writer, chances are you already know about Scrivener. The popular writing app has been available on OS X and Windows for years now. And now, it is available on iOS for $19.99 as well. Scrivener is a flexible and powerful writing app that makes it easier to write long-form stuff — think about it as a sort of writing studio.
Who wants to be liked? The joy of writing outrageous, amoral women
inews.co.uk – Tuesday July 19, 2016
I’ve always been drawn to dark, unpredictable, unknowable characters. I love performing baddies as much as watching them and I had a macabre sense of play as a child. I was a committed tomboy always playing “man on the run”, or “boy being kidnapped”, rather than making daisy-chains or throwing tea parties. I have never been interested in playing Juliet, though I can appreciate the brilliance and beauty of the role from the stalls, my instinct as an actress is always to undercut and be irreverent. Something a role like that really does not require.
Mallory Ortberg on Texts from Jane Eyre: 'Writing was the simplest part of the process'
theguardian.com – Tuesday July 19, 2016
Texts from Jane Eyre was the first book I ever wrote, or even tried to write, and when I found my agent, I rather assumed my part in the process was done. She had approached me about the project, so I assumed an editor would approach her in turn, and I would continue to attract publishing attention like a sea anemone attracts shrimp. This turned out not to be the case: it took over a year, and quite active shopping, to sell the book proposal, rather than seeing it snapped up straight away.
Why theatre is set for greater diversity as publishing lags behind
theguardian.com – Saturday July 16, 2016
British publishing and the stage have a problem with diversity. But when it comes to action rather than words, the theatre leaves book publishing standing. I have been commissioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber to lead research into why few black and Asian actors make it to the stage as he is “deeply concerned” about the lack of diversity, as he said last week.
New Publisher Listing
firstwriter.com – Friday July 15, 2016
Areas include: Autobiography; Biography; Fantasy; Historical; Horror; Humour; Mystery; Sci-Fi; Self-Help; Suspense; Thrillers;
Markets: Adult; Children's; Youth;
Preferred styles: Commercial; Literary
Accepts submissions by email only. For fiction, send one-page query, one-page synopsis, and first three chapters, in the body of your email. For nonfiction, send one-page query and book proposal. No attachments. No children's picture books, novellas, gift books, poetry, or religious books. See website for full details.
Stop pushing the same 'classic' books on children and trust modern writing
theguardian.com – Wednesday July 13, 2016
I will start by saying: the BBC’s #LoveToRead campaign looks fantastic and I love that it “celebrates reading for pleasure”, and aims to start “a unique national conversation about books”. Nonetheless, among all the planned dramatisations, documentaries and live events, one aspect of the campaign is strangely unadventurous – its list of top 10 books recommended for children.
The list isn’t a bad one. It’s just not a new one. Created by the public, it sets out 10 books that children should read, and includes the usual suspects: The Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Bible, with Harry Potter coming out on top. Yes, it’s right that we acknowledge that they are all important contributions to the history of literature; yes, it is also understandable that we want the next generation to experience the books that we have loved.