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Jonathan Franzen’s puffed-up advice for novelists turned simple by Charlie Connelly

theneweuropean.co.uk – Friday November 30, 2018

Jonathan Franzen is a Serious Writer, the sort of Serious Writer who requires capital letters whenever you describe him as a Serious Writer. Most of us are serious writers inasmuch as we take our writing seriously and try to make it as good as we can, but that’s just peanuts compared to how seriously Serious Writers like Jonathan Franzen take their writing and how seriously they’d like us to take their writing too. These guys – and it is usually guys – have serious things to say that need to be not only said seriously but read seriously, interpreted seriously and discussed seriously, for writing is a serious business.

[Read the full article]

Why I stopped writing

palatinate.org.uk – Wednesday November 28, 2018

What does it mean to write black?

It means that the style of writing, storyline, the whole plot, characters, the book should be based on the only supposedly important aspect of your life, which is your race. The outcome of this is that many upcoming black novelists find it hard to come forward with their own pieces. Unique writings which do not particularly sit well with what a black book is understood to be, and which eventually causes a lack of uniqueness in writing style and diversity in storylines and plots. Battling the preconceived conception of your non-existent novel is one of the many problems that black authors face in the literary industry.

‘It is true that black authors are expected to write what they know- and apparently, in our case, that is ghettos, slavery and racism. You want to write romance, crime, blockbusters or sci-fi? Sorry, people, that’s not your thing’- Dreda Say Mitchell.

[Read the full article]

Lerner Publishing Group Acquires Zest Books

globalbankingandfinance.com – Tuesday November 27, 2018

Lerner Publishing Group announced today the acquisition of Zest Books. Zest Books publishes young adult nonfiction books on entertainment, history, science, health, fashion, and lifestyle advice. Zest Books will operate as an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. As part of Lerner, Zest will launch at least 10 new titles in 2019, and further expansion of the list is planned future seasons.

YA nonfiction is extremely important and relevant to todays teens, who deserve quality lifestyle advice and who are many times at the forefront of complicated current events. As teens continue to educate themselves and engage, YA nonfiction has become one of the fastest growing genres in publishing, said Hallie Warshaw, publisher and creative director of Zest Books. Lerner will be a great home for Zest Books because it ensures that Zest will continue to publish relevant and compelling YA nonfiction, while providing the support and expertise to become an even larger player in the marketplace.

[Read the full article]

2019 Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award Guidelines Announced

bsu.edu – Tuesday November 27, 2018

Ball State University’s Department of Journalism has announced guidelines for the 2019 Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award competition. The award, which is sponsored by the Pulliam family and coordinated by Ball State, honors outstanding writing in United States-based newspapers and magazines. There is no entry fee for the competition, and the winner receives a $1,000 prize and hotel accommodations at Ball State for the annual award ceremony on March 28. Three previous winners of the prestigious Pulliam Award have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism.

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The app that makes writing less lonely

bbc.co.uk – Monday November 26, 2018

If you see a writer in a movie, most likely she (or he) will be tapping on a laptop. But many young writers are doing it on mobile phones, and sometimes in teams.

Daniel, who uses the pen name LisVender, begins the story, which his writing team decides to call A Small Case of Writer's Block.

The tapping of Sara's pen against her glasses became so rhythmic that it sounded like a metronome set to allegretto. She spun in her swivel chair, watching the bookcases in her study swing by. She had to admit it: her story was stuck, her characters were stuck, and so was she.

Ella, pen name Elle, who has 313 stories under her belt, then picks up the tale.

Sighing, she slumped forward, forehead hitting the desk with a thump. How was she going to keep the plot rolling forward, give her characters the development they needed? Her eyes swivelled to the window, the glass frosted over with thin ice. Maybe a walk outside in the cold

At 276 characters, Elle has nearly reached her 280 limit, so she stops mid-sentence and passes the story to the next writer. (You can read the rest of the story at the bottom of this page.)

Welcome to the world of Inkvite, one of a number of creative-writing platforms popular with teenagers and young adults in the US. It allows users to share stories, comment on them, and also collaborate.

Here, five Inkvite authors explain its appeal.

[Read the full article]

Jonathan Franzen was mocked for sharing his writing tips. Me? I’m all ears

theguardian.com – Saturday November 24, 2018

Poor Jonathan Franzen, as literally no one says these days. Last week the acclaimed novelist and, to many, human embodiment of white male privilege published his 10 rules for aspiring novelists and, as tends to happen any time Franzen dares to open his mouth, he was thanked for his trouble with derision.

Small sidenote here, but I really don’t get the Franzen loathing. Sure, he could lighten up on the constant talk about birdwatching, but otherwise the things Franzen is hated for are either not really hateworthy or not actually his fault. This all began in ye olden times of 2001 with the famous, nay, legendary saga of Oprah Winfrey choosing Franzen’s novel, The Corrections, for her book club and him saying he’d rather not, thanks. Winfrey’s book choices were often, he said, not incorrectly, “schmaltzy”. It was the snub heard around the world and Franzen was for ever cast as an elitist snob, his every pronouncement since (he hates social media! He likes nature!) taken as further evidence of his hatefulness, even though surely most people would love to live a nice, Twitter-free, nature-based life in California, as Franzen does.

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What Authors Should Do When Their Publisher Closes

forbes.com – Saturday November 24, 2018

Mystery author Kellye Garrett found out that her publisher, Midnight Ink, an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide, would be closing to new author submissions next year on the same day the news was announced publicly in October, when she received an email from the publisher.

Garrett has two current titles in her Midnight Ink Detective by Day series for sale: Hollywood Homicide, published in August 2017, and Hollywood Ending, published in August 2018, with a third, Hollywood Hack, scheduled for an August 2019 release. Hollywood Homicide was widely lauded in the mystery community, winning the coveted 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel and 2018 Anthony Award for Best First Novel, among others.

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New Literary Agency Listing

firstwriter.com – Friday November 23, 2018

Handles: Nonfiction
Markets: Adult
Treatments: Commercial

Specialises in commercial nonfiction. Particularly interested in bold female voices. Send query by email.

[See the full listing]

15 Writing Habits That Will Kill Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript

bustle.com – Thursday November 22, 2018

This is gonna be your year, the year you win NaNoWriMo. There are plenty of hurdles to clear ahead — even with just one week left — including the 15 habits that will kill your NaNoWriMo manuscript dead, as detailed on the list below. Learn to identify and avoid these all-too-common problems, and you'll ace the world's most infamous, 30-day writing challenge.

Founded by Chris Baty in 1999 as a fun challenge for Bay Area writers, NaNoWriMo — that's National Novel Writing Month — celebrates its 20th iteration in 2018. The rules are simple: in the 30 days of November, write 50,000 words on a single novel manuscript.* That averages out to about 1,667 words per day, which is no easy feat, especially if you don't already have a daily writing habit.

Even though NaNoWriMo is a tough, tough slog, it's still 100 percent doable, y'all. Most novel projects get derailed by a handful of common, avoidable problems that throw off your writing groove, but you might not even identify these issues as harmful to your writing career.

Check out the 15 NaNoWriMo-killing habits I've identified below:

[Read the full article]

How To Turn A Viral Article Into A Published Book

forbes.com – Tuesday November 20, 2018

Harper’s Bazaar article on emotional labor, “Women Aren’t Nags—We’re Just Fed Up,” went viral on publication, it helped that she was prepared. “This was one of the few cases throughout my freelance career when I thought, I could write a whole book on this,” she said.

Since there were several months between filing her article and its publication, she had time to mull over the topic. When the article exploded online, with over half a million social media shares, she was contacted by literary agents. By that point, Hartley says, she already had a “rough outline” in mind for the book, which felt like “a natural, if surreal, next step.” Her expanded exploration of the topic, Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward, was published by HarperOne on November 13.

[Read the full article]

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