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Writers' News

The simple truth behind suspenseful writing – 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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Proselint is a "style checker" for your writing – Tuesday March 8, 2016

Proselint isn't a grammar checker. It's a "style" checker, warning writers when their work is hackneyed, inconsistent or very obviously not great.

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One-handed typing improves prose, research suggests – Tuesday March 8, 2016

Nothing highlights someone unused to hammering away at a computer keyboard more than the use of a single digit, hunting down each character slowly and deliberately. But while you may finish your emails first, they’ll have the last laugh. It turns out this is very much like the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins the race – at least in terms of quality.

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Write For Us: Your Story Matters – Sunday March 6, 2016

Your story matters. Whether you think your life has been a total drag or you think no one will care. You have something to share with the world. We’d like it in writing, please.

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A writer's lament: Literary efforts are labors of love, but bittersweet – Sunday March 6, 2016

Someday I’m gonna sit down, open my old files and figure out how many book signings, library talks, book festivals, craft fairs and book clubs I’ve attended over the 25 years I’ve been writing. In summary fashion, I can safely say I’ve been as far west as Calgary, Alberta, as far east as Youngstown, Ohio, as far north as Winnipeg, Manitoba, and as far south as Council Bluffs, Iowa.

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Editor, Lifestyle Publishing – Saturday March 5, 2016

Chronicle Books seeks an experienced acquisitions Editor to join our Lifestyle group – an editor brimming with creative ideas, strong publishing relationships, and a clear vision for what makes our publishing irresistible.

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Fast-Growing Independent Publishers, 2016 – Saturday March 5, 2016

Though this year’s list of fast-growing independent houses counts only seven publishers, entrepreneurs looking to crack into publishing should not be too discouraged. The two fastest-growing publishers on the list are relatively new, proving that even in an era when publishing models are in flux, people with good ideas and the ability to execute them can make a mark on the industry.

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Story St. Labs Wants You to Start That Novel You've Always Wanted to Write – Saturday March 5, 2016

Carlos Frederico Rosenwald believes that everyone has a story to tell. They just might not have a place they feel comfortable telling it.

"Telling stories is a very intimate thing for people," he said. "Exposing yourself and exposing your ideas is also something challenging. That sort of holds them back. They don't know how good they are until they put the story out there."

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Prue Leith: Women writers are underrated by publishers, says author – Friday March 4, 2016

The restaurateur-turned-novelist Prue Leith has hit out at the publishing industry for “underrating women’s writing” Love stories by female authors were not taken as seriously as those written by men, she said.

Leith told the audience at The Independent Bath Literature Festival: “I don’t want to sound carping and over-feminist but I do think there is something in publishing which underrates women’s writing.”

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The mistakes writers make – Thursday March 3, 2016

As an editor of a homeschool magazine, I get a lot of queries (i.e. “pitches” in the form of letters or e-mails) from writers wanting to write for us. I rarely respond to any of them because they rarely warrant a response. While I wish I could return each message with an instructional guide on how to make a proper pitch, it would be a waste of my time. Still, my heart goes out to these wannabe writers because many years ago, I didn’t know how to make a pitch either.

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